Friday, February 13, 2009

And now, a Special Comment.

As someone intimately familiar with the worlds of politics, sport, and the collectibles of the same, I can say with only the utmost certainty that each is populated with the same villainous archetype: the furtive, pusillanimous but ultimately cocksure abusers of power bent on the realization of any goal, no matter how dastardly, at any cost, no matter how inimical.

By now, on this their twentieth anniversary, we know it to be too true of a certain sports trading card company, controlled and cruelly engineered as it is by a Senior Brand Manager named Jason Masherah.

[Shakes head in disgust]

But we find it all too evident in The Hobby as well, where only the truly elite collectors can achieve the ultimate prize, there underlies an ugly truth. As we were raised with the fiction that any man could grow up to be president, we now have learned that only those capable of backroom eBay dealing and deception can possibly collect a full base set of 2009 Upper Deck Series One baseball.

This previously un-announced David Price gimmick card - arrogating a persona which bespeaks liberty, valor and righteousness - in reality stands in a decided, deceitful, calculated counterpoise.

You, Mister Shaderah, sir, were quoted by Beckett that "This (David Price) variation will help create some additional interest without compromising the integrity of the base set.”

[Looks up at camera]

Additional Interest?

Without compromising the integrity of the base set?

Have you not learned the mistakes of your rival and their misadventures in similar gimmicks? Did your tin ears not hear the outrage that blossomed across The Hobby at the Johan Santana fake no-hitter card? Or the "Jon" Smoltz variation in last year's Topps Heritage? The upside-down Evan Longoria rookie card in TU&H?

Did the anger over Kosuke Fukudome, Kazuo Uzuki, and Poley Walnuts not reach the echo-chambers of 5909 Sea Otter Place?

[Looks across at camera]

The answer to that question is obvious, and as such, we the collectors ask of you in reply:


Why do you feel the need to do this?

Do you really think baseball card collectors, the people who pay your salary, and without whom this industry would cease to exist, are this guillible? Do you have any respect for your best customers? Do you even care what collectors actually want anyway? Judging by recent UD baseball releases, I think we all know the answer to those.

[Pounds fist on desk, shaking head in disgust]

If you, Mister Masherah, sir, are reading this, I will give you the same advise I recently gave to your competition. Follow closely, and take note if needed.

SHOW SOME FUCKING RESPECT FOR THE HOBBY, FOR COLLECTORS, AND (most importantly) FOR YOURSELVES! Cards like the stealth David Price variation, are slowly gimmicking away two decades years of history and tradition, and for what?

Is it too hard to tell us, your customers and the people who pay your salary, EVERYTHING THAT IS IN YOUR PRODUCT BEFORE YOU RELEASE IT? For some reason, you did that with the Joe DiMaggio and Jordan/Griffey cards -- both of which are listed on the website. But not the Price variation -- until now.

[Looks up at camera]

I leave you with this, if the main drawing card (no pun intended) of a particular product (any product) is a gimmick, then what does that say about the rest of the product?

If you, Mister Shaderah, sir, continues to feel that Upper Deck's annual flagship needs a gimmick, then what does that say about the rest of Upper Deck Baseball?

And so this ends Stale Gum for this, the 11,266th day I've been actively collecting baseball cards. Good night, and good luck.

[Crumbles up script into a ball and tosses it at the camera]

(inspired by, and portions of text ripped off of, KSK)


Dave said...

I don't see why this card is such an outrage for you. You can collect the regular version of the card for your base set, and people who want the Price card can go out and purchase it on eBay. I'm a David Price fan, and I think it's kinda cool that Upper Deck produced a rare variation of his card. I'm looking forward to adding it to my collection.

I really don't understand why you're so outraged at all of the various "gimmicks" from the last couple of years. If you don't like or want the cards, just don't buy them. Nobody is forcing you to want these cards.

Finally, is it really accurate to say that there was "outrage that blossomed across The Hobby" about the previous gimmicks? The only place where I saw outrage was Stale Gum...

dayf said...

k, it's friday of the third straight week in a row I've averaged under 5 hours a sleep per night and I'm too fried to do any research on this... context plz.

is this simply a variation?

is there a boring normal price card in packs?

is it numbered the same as the other price?

Has anyone actually pulled the damn thing yet?

If the answer is yes to the first three questions, I don't give a shit. I've already decided I'm building the UD base set instead of Topps this year and a variation card is easily ignored. the Dimaggio #0 card is odd, but also ignorable. The silver lining in all this is I now have found card #4.

Dave - Gimmick cards are like Nickelback. The first time you heard one of their songs you were like, "Not really my cup of tea, but ok whatever" Then the next song came out and it was the same damn shit as the first. The EXACT same shit. Then more songs came out. And more. All the same horrible banal crap assaulting your ears. The exact same useless, worthless annoying junk that just won't go away. IT JUST KEEPS COMING. IT JUST WON'T STOP. DEAR JESUS MAKE IT STOP. MAAAKE IT STOOOOOOP.

So yeah, that's gimmick cards.
Cardboard Nickelback.

The Mojo Hand said...

I pulled the Price out of a retail blaster yesterday. This is the 2nd gimmick I have pulled from wally world the first being the Jacoby error rookie. If any of you Idiots want to trade me a nice matt holliday card its yours.

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Regardless of how any one feels about your "opinion" on this topic, I must say that was one of the most articulately stated commentaries I have ever read. You are quite the wordsmith but I must say that some of your oratorical deliberations were too copious for my diminutive comprehension

Tom the Ripper said...


Chuck's Used Cards said...

love the commentary - no need for the gimmick fake variation special mock-up seudo Upper Deck card.

salutations !

sruchris said...

Chris, I agree with your thoughts on UD. I've always thought more of UD than Topps. UD designs, with the silver foil and the sleek lines always seemed like the Mercedes-Benz of cards, nothing but class. Never any gimmicks, they know how to count when it came to numbering and there were no surprises.

But now with this stealth Price card, I'm losing respect for UD. I lost respect for Topps long ago when they started with the gimmicks.

We desperately need a third card company.