Monday, February 18, 2008

Box Break and Review: 2008 Upper Deck series one

One Hobby box of 2008 Upper Deck series one (paid $69)
16 packs per box, 20 cards per pack (MSRP $5)

The Details

Base Set: 400 cards (no short-prints, no rookie redemptions)

Parallels: NONE

1969 O-Pee-Chee: 50 cards (1:2)
Presidential Predictors: eights (or nine) cards (1:8)

Yankee Stadium Legacy: (1:4)

1997 UD Jersey: 25 cards*
1997 UD Patch: 25 cards*
1998 UD Jersey: 20 cards*
1998 UD Patch: 20 cards*
1999 UD Jersey: 20 cards*
1999 UD Patch: 20 cards*
2008 UD Jersey: 25 cards*
2008 UD Patch: 25 cards*
500 Home Run Bat: two cards*
Milestone Memorabilia: five cards*
Signature Sensations: 20 cards+
Inkredible: 20 cards+
Upper Deck Autographs: 20 cards+
Season Highlight Signatures: 20 cards+
All Rookie Team Signatures: 20 cards+
1969 OPC Autographs: 31 cards+

* Odds of finding a game jersey card: 1:8
+ Odds of finding an autograph: 1:16

The Pulls:

Base Set: 268 of 400 (67.00%)
34 Doubles

Chiptoppers: Yankee Stadium Legacy pamphlet.


6 1969 O-Pee-Chee: M. Cabrera, M. Holliday, M. Ordonez, Man-Ram, M. Teixeira, N. Lowry, P. Fielder, B. Phillips
2 Presidential Predictors: R. Giuliani, J. Edwards
1 OPC Buyback: 1988 Wally Joyner

4 Yankee Stadium Legacy: #3128 (W. Ford), #3153 (Y. Berra), #5193 (Mattingly), #5218 (K. Maas)

1 1997 Jersey: X. Nady
1 1998 Jersey: B. Hall
1 Inkredible: J. Sosa

The Review.

When I ripped open my first pack of 2008 Upper Deck and looked at the cards, I had a strange sense of deja vu. Didn't I collect this set 13 years ago?

Yes '08UD is a dead-ringer for the 1995 UD set. However, whereas the bronze-colored foil on the '95s accentuates the design, the silver foil on this year's model makes it very difficult to make out the player and team name.

As for the set's structure, '08UD is 400 cards divided between 300 individual players (cards 1-300), fifty MLBPA-approved "Rookies" (301-350), thirty team checklists (351-380), and twenty season highlights (381-400).

Again, like I've said the last couple of years, for the life of me, I still can't figure out why Upper Deck insists on including team checklist cards in the first series of a multiple series set. But what I still can't figure out, is which cards are the team checklists? Can you figure out which B.J. Upton card is the regular player card and which is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays team checklist?

One thing in the base set that (thankfully) was dropped from last year are the rookie redemptions. Although originally on the sell sheets, Upper Deck wisely decided against a repeat of last year's rookie card debacle. What does this mean for you the collector? There might actually be more than two true rookie cards in the second series.

Inserts include a 50-card Hobby-exclusive set done in the style of the 1969 O-Pee-Chee set -- which suspiciously looks a lot like the 1969 Topps set. (I don't happen to have a '69 Topps common, but I did pull a 2008 Topps insert of Jacoby Ellsbury made to look like a '69T.) See for yourself.

Unfortunately (just like the base set) the silver text camouflages itself into the lettering of the player's jersey, making the player's name virtually unreadable.

The Bottom Line:

This box yielded two-thirds of the base set with a healthy stack of doubles -- all of which came from the subsets. In fact, in one particular pack I found the same Clay Buchholz Season Highlight on back-to-back cards. Ideally one box should be enough, but you may have to buy a second (or a couple of Blaster boxes).

The inserts ran as scheduled: six '69OPCs, two Presidential Predictors, and four Yankee Stadium Legacy mirrors -- all of which will gladly be donated to The Bench's V Foundation charity drive.

Each box also promises three autogamers, and this box delivered. I pulled an autograph of Mets pitcher Jorge Sosa, a Xavier Nady jersey done in the style of the 1997 gamers, and a Bill Hall gamer which Upper Deck says is based on the non-existent 1998 Upper Deck game jersey set -- but is actually from 1999.

Xavier Nady, Bill Hall, and Jorge Sosa? Not exactly anything to get excited about, but it's hard to think of Upper Deck's flagship product without autogamers.

Product Rating:
4 Gumsticks (Out of five)

... and another thing.

In the very last pack of this box, I pulled a buyback card.

"Congratulations! You have received a trading card that was originally released in a previous product and is now being re-released for your collecting pleasure."

Then I flipped it over. A 1988 Topps Wally Joyner? Inserted into an Upper Deck pack? Wha-wha-what?

I then took the card out of it's slickie-sleeve and immediately noticed the French text. It was a 1988 O-Pee-Chee Wally Joyner -- diamond cut and severely off-center no less!

It should be noted that, unlike the off-center 1980 Topps Eddie Murray I found in a pack of Topps Traded a few years back, there is nothing on this '88OPC Joyner (i.e. a stamping or an embossing) to signify that this card was re-purchased.


dayf said...

I'll admit it, despite my ban, I like this set. The caricature cards are a big reason, but the set looks good and it completable unlike last year. The fake O-Pee-Chee design does nothing for me though, I'll probably be building this set thru blasters.

Anonymous said...

Upper Deck just drives me nuts with the player and team names you can't read.

Thanks for putting together this detailed break.

SJ said...

Wally Joyner, 88 OPC! Be still my heart. Any plans to be at Reading?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the box break and your review. Just wondering why you give it a 4/5? Reading your review I it sounded like it would be a 2.5 or 3....

Seems like it's a down year for UD base. Foil on the fronts are hard to read, insers are zzzzzzzzzz inducing (save the Presidential cards which are merely timely), sorry no UD for me this year.

OK, who am I kidding, I've been turned off UD since the mid 90's so I wasn't likely to pick up on this set anyhow......thanks for the review all the same!

sruchris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sruchris said...

Have you looked at the backs of '08 UD? Seriously. Look at the last 10 years. These are very nice. Probably the nicest designed card backs I've seen in a long time. Too bad they ruined the front with the hard-to-read silver foil.

Unknown said...

I just picked up a box of UD series one this morning. I am trying to get back into the collecting hobby. I have already picked up about five boxes of the Topps set for this year and decided to start picking up some Upper Deck. I'm not so sure about which set I like better yet. Here's my question for you though;

In the Upper Deck set I opened up a Ryan Howard Starquest card, and it is marked as Ultra Rare. I didn't see anywhere telling me exactly how rare it is. Any idea? I'm not out for selling it or anything because A) I never sell my cards, and B) I make sure I know where all of my Phillies cards go (favorite team).

Great blog! I'll be back!