16 packs per box, 20 cards per pack.
Look for the special cameo appearances by A Cardboard Problem's Sooz, and the one and only Fast Eddie!
Base Set: 249 of 500 (49.98%)
1 Gold (numbered to 99): Twins Team Leaders
3 1975 O-Pee-Chee (1:6): F. Hernandez, J. Hamilton, M. Holliday
1 Stars of the Game: B. Webb
1 Rivals: J. Hamilton/R. Oswalt
2 USA Baseball Retrospective: M. Brown, T. Teagarden
6 USA Baseball 18U: J. Turner, C. Garfield, J. Malm, M. Stassi, N. Franklin, W. Hatton
2 2008 Historic Firsts: OBAMA!, The Ghats of Varanasi
2 2009 Historic Firsts Predictors: The New York Stock Exchange, A Space Alien (WTF?!?!?)
8 20th Anniversary (1:2): A hurricane, three hockey players, a former President and his VP, and three actual baseball players: K. Griffey, Jr, P. Martinez, and D. Winfield
4 Yankee Tedium Lunacy (1:4) #6666 (M. Rivera), #6705 (B. Abreu), #6718 (J. Giambi), and 6731 (M. Mussina)
4 Crockumentary (1:4): That J.D. Guy, J. Ellsbury, J. Lester, E. Longoria
1 Inkredible: D. Murphy
2 UD Game Jersey: Cap'n Cheesburger, J. Saltalamacchia
* Two inserts per pack
# One autograph, one single-swatch game jersey, and one multi-swatch game jersey numbered to 199 or less per box
It's the 20th Anniversary of Upper Deck Baseball, and as usual UD did an excellent job with the base set. Some collectors have complained about the gold "bar" on the bottom, but all-in-all it doesn't distract too much from the card.
The first series is back to 500 cards, the first 400 of which are the regular player cards and are arranged by team. The next 30 (401-430) are "Rookies," then 30 Team Leaders (431-460) , ten Season Highlights (461-470), and 30 Team Checklists (471-500). The Team Leaders cards are new and feature three players from each club on a horizontal-format card. Again, the Team Checklist and Season Highlights look exactly like the regular player cards.
Each pack includes two inserts, and among the ones you might receive is a 50 card set that suspiciously looks like 1975 Topps. The rest of the inserts leave much to be desired. Yankee Tedium Lunacy and Crockumentary are finally put to rest, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, UD just can't let go of the "mega-set" concept, and has unleashed their latest monstrosity: the 2500-card 20th Anniversary.
The Bottom Line
Wow, this box sucked. According to the sell-sheets, you're supposed to get one autograph, one single-swatch game jersey, and one multi-swatch jersey card in each box. I received the AU, but both of my gamers were single-swatch.
But getting screwed out of a multi-swatch jersey card is nothing compared to the 37 base set doubles this box yielded. What was weird is that all those doubles were from the first 100 cards in the set. I received substantially fewer cards numbered 101-200. This is unacceptable.
Of the eight 20th Anniversary cards I pulled, only three featured actual baseball players. In fact, I got just as many hockey players as I did baseball players. Last time I checked it still says "baseball cards" in the wrapper; so why am I getting hockey cards?
With that said, you're not really buying Upper Deck for the "hits," you're getting it for the base set, and it is (as usual) great -- even if you only get half of it and three-dozen doubles in a box.
Product Rating: 3 1/2 Gumsticks
Collation Rating: 1 1/2 Gumstick
... and another thing.
By now, you've probably heard the story of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. The winners of a Indian reality game show, the two 20-year-old cricketeers were signed by the Pirates, becoming the first players from their country to sign with a Major League team. Although Singh and Patel will probably never appear in a Major League game, Upper Deck thought it appropriate to commemorate the achievement with a card in the "2008 Historic Firsts" insert. After all, card collectors love collecting obscure prospects. Don't they? And if anything could be considered "Historic," it surely would be this.
There's just one problem. Instead of giving the two Indians their own baseball card (if only for the novelty), Singh and Patel's "rookie card" has a picture of the Ghats of Varanasi.
A picture of a Temple? Really, Upper Deck? Would it have killed you to, you know, ACTUALLY GIVE RINKU AND DINSEH THEIR OWN CARD?