36 packs per box, six cards per pack (Paid $59)
Base Set: 159 of 600 (26.50%)
35 Black (one-per-pack)
1 Blank-Backed Black: P. Polanco
1 Mini Black (1:36): S. Olsen
2 2008 Highlights & Milestones (15 cards): A. Beltre, C. Gomez
1 Walk-Off Winners (ten cards): J. Damon
1 2008 OPC All-Rookie Team (ten cards): J. Bruce
1 Midsummer Memories (15 cards): C. Crawford
2 Face of the Franchise (30 cards): M. Young, E. Longoria
2 The Award Show (20 cards): A. Beltre, T. Hunter
1 New York, New York (30 cards, 1:36): J. Posada
1 1979-80 OPC Hockey (33 cards, 1:36): J. Toews (Hockey Player)
6 20th Anniversary: L. Berkman, R. Ankiel, T. Woods (three different), Jeter
1 20th Anniversary Memorabilia (1:432/packs): I. Rodriguez
When I first saw the sell-sheets for '09 UDOPC back in February, with it's faux '76 Topps design and one-per-pack '71 Topps parallel, my first thought was to the litigation that was all but inevitable. With the lawsuit now all but settled, I still have to wonder what Upper Deck was thinking with this product.
I get the fact that Upper Deck wanted to throw a bone to the set collectors; and with a large 600 base set, they have. But I don't understand why they had to call it "O-Pee-Chee." For baseball card collectors O-Pee-Chee will always be nothing more than Canadian Topps. (The fact that all the cards are in English-only goes against the spirit of the originals, but that's for another post.) Issuing a card set called "O-Pee-Chee," and shamelessly ripping off vintage Topps/OPC designs, was all but inviting a Topps lawsuit.
What I also don't understand is why UD decided to kill off a brand name they paid a lot of money for (Fleer), and revive a brand more associated with their competitor? Maybe it was to stick it to Topps?
The Bottom Line
2009 UDOPC is what it is. It's 2009 Fleer Tradition, but under a different name. I received a little more than a quarter of the base set, a bunch of black-bordered parallels, and a one-per-box mini parallel of former Marlin and current Nats pitcher Scott Olsen. I also pulled a black-bordered card of Placido Polanco with a blank-bank, that I didn't notice until after I was done sorting my box. Apparently, these blank-backed black-backs (try saying that five times as fast as you can) are a stealth parallel.
Not including those annoying 20th Anniversary cards, there are eight different insert sets and I received at least one card from each. Unfortunately, one of the inserts I received was of a hockey player. The card in question is from a 33-card "tribute" to the 1979-80 OPC Hockey set. (The first ten cards are of current NHL players, while the remaining 23 are of baseballers.) Last time I checked it says "Baseball Picture Cards" on the wrapper, and not "Baseball and Hockey Picture Cards." If I wanted hockey cards, I'd buy a pack of fucking hockey cards.
You're not guaranteed either an autograph or a gamer in a box, but then again you're probably not buying this for the "hits." You're supposed to get a triple-swatch game-used card every third box, an autograph every sixth, and a 20th Anniversary Game-Used card in every twelve-box case. This box yielded the "case hit," a Pudge Rodriguez 20th Anniversary jersey card.
I paid $59 for this box of cards, and although I got 36 wax packs, I still don't feel as though I got enough for my money. The problem with UDOPC is the price point. Yes, it's only $1.59/pack -- which puts it along the lines of Topps' flagship -- but you only get a measly six cards in a pack. When you consider that a 20-card Hobby pack of Upper Deck's flagship has an MSRP of $5, the cost-per-card of OPC is roughly the same as regular Upper Deck.
Product Rating: 2 1/2 Gumsticks
Box Rating: 3 Gumsticks
... and another thing
Contrary to what it originally said on the sell-sheet, the last 100 cards are NOT short printed. They are seeded at the rate of one-per-pack, but UD actually printed MORE of these cards than the first 500 cards. I received 36% of the "SPs," but only about a quarter of the first 500.