Saturday, August 23, 2008

Today, I Consider Myself...

...the luckiest collector-or-or-or...
...on the face of the earth-earth-th-th...

Well, maybe that's a bit of an overstatement. But I am excited because the final card I needed to complete the base set of 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces just arrived.

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces #8 Lou Gehrig

Let's review some of the finer points of this set.
*A small, manageable set from a company who has since seen fit to create sets that require municipal building permits in order to house them. Ninety cards fits perfectly in ten Ultra-Pro pages. That makes huge sense to collectors whose hobby might be seen as a form of OCD. Placing a 100-card set in pages always leaves that one leftover. Unsettling.

*Some of the greatest moments in baseball history are portrayed. Recent history is treated on par with classic moments.

*Good, rough card stock and tasteful artwork. While most of the art is taken from photographs, the results are understated and classy.

*Overrepresentation of then-current rookies. While a Dice-K card makes some sense in this set, there's just too much nonsense from unproven rookies here, especially in such a small set. Just listen to the first ten cards in the set:
1. Babe Ruth's called shot.
2. Babe Ruth retires.
3. Bobby Thompson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World."
4. Bill Mazeroski's 1960 Game 7 home run.
5. Carlton Fisk waving his ball fair.
6. Kirk Gibson 1988 World Series.
7. Don Larsen's WS perfect game.
8. Gehrig.
9. Roger Maris 61 home runs.
10 Cal Ripken consecutive games streak.
Now you tell me (actually I'll tell you) if these next ones belong in the same set.
51. Delmon Young homers in first MLB game. (No.)
65. Alez Gordon being compared to George Brett. (No.)
68. Akinori Iwamura: Devil Ray extraordinaire. (No.)
34. Troy Tulowitzki unassisted triple play. (Yes.)
Pick any card at random from this set and you're expecting an honest-to-God "masterpiece." Upper Deck needs to realize that one man's Andy LaRoche (#84) is most definitely not another man's Jackie Robinson (#24).

*No Brewers. I'm sure there are some other teams without any representation in this set, but that doesn't make it right.
Editor's Note: A thorough check reveals that the only other unrepresented team is the Toronto Blue Jays. Bastards!

*Cards per pack. Even for such a high quality set, four cards for $2.99 (Retail) is asking a lot from collectors. An '08 set is in the works, so we shall see if improvements are made. (Actually, the checklist shows cards for Fielder, Braun, and Yount.) Since I'm more in set-completion mode right now rather than starting something new, I'll probably just go after these separately.


dayf said...

The 2008 version looks about the same as the 2007 set from what I've seen, but there are 120 cards and 30 short prints. Most of the retired players' cards are short printed so like you I might shoot for just getting the Braves.

White Sox Cards said...

Originally, I thought that the Blue Jays were being represented by Frank Thomas. At first glance it even looks like the back of the alternate Blue Jays jersey.

madding said...

I recently got two packs of this stuff in a lot of random packs on eBay. I found it interesting that I pulled two different Pujols cards in such a small set. Not that I'm complaining, of course...

darkship said...

Got two boxes of '08 coming in at the local shop. The '07 has to be one of my favorite sets from this last year. My biggest worry is the short prints. Even with two boxes I won't get the complete set is I did my numbers right. Oh well that's what the "bay" is for right? Also if you know anyone that needs a card or two to complete the '07 set I have doubles of just about every one!