Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On-Location Box Break: 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

One box of 2009 Upper Deck Allen & Ginter Goodwin Champions
20 packs per box, five cards per pack (paid $68)

The Video

The Pulls

Base Set: 57 of 210 (27.14%)
short set: 47 of 150 (31.33%)
short-prints: 8 of 40 (20.00%)
super short prints: 2 of 20 (10.00%)

14 Minis
6 Exclusive Minis*
4 Black-Bordered Gypsy Queens
1 Black-Bordered Gypsy Queen Exclusive*
1 Foil Mini

* The "Exclusive Minis" are numbered as part of the base set (#211-252), but do not have a corresponding full-sized base card.

10 20th Anniversary
1 Citizen of the Day (15 cards) P.T. Barnum
1 Animal Series (ten cards) Bengal Tiger


2 Memorabilia Series (98 cards): J. Papelbon, P. Konerko
1 Autograph Series (93 cards): K. Griffey, Sr.

The Review

Between the press releases and Facebook postings, Upper Deck has been hyping the you-know-what out of Goodwin Champions for months, and I finally have a box in my hands. Yes, let me state the obvious. Goodwin Champions is an Allen & Ginter rip-off -- not that that's a bad thing, of course. And yes, Upper Deck did a pretty good job keeping the look of the cards faithful to their 19th Century originals. But after this one box, I have to say that I'm disappointed.

The base set is 210 cards with the last 60 short-printed -- the last 20 of them tougher to find than the other 40. I don't want to go off on a rant here, but why are there this many SPs in a set this size? I could see having 60 SPs in a set twice this size, but in a set that's only 210 cards? Why?

Like A&G, there are the usual mix of baseball players, past and present, with a sprinkling of athletes from other sports mixed in. One thing I found curious was that, while the basketball and hockey players are shown in their NBA and NHL uniforms, respectively, the football players are depicted in their college unis. Strange, considering that I pulled a 20th Anniversary insert of Brett Favre wearing a Packer shirt.

Speaking of strange, let's get to the one-per-pack mini inserts. (Make that, one-in-most-packs, but two-in-others.) Each of the 210 base cards are paralleled in a tobacco-sized format. But then, UD added 42 extra cards that are available in the mini-sized format only.


Now, before you mention that Allen & Ginter has, and has always had, "exclusive minis," there's one HUGE difference between the A&G and UDGC exclusives. The A&G exclusives have always (ALWAYS) been embedded inside a Rip Card, and have always (ALWAYS) featured players who were already in the regular base set. For example, in '09 A&G Albert Pujols is on Mini Exclusive card #361; but he also appears in the base set as card #71 and as mini card #71. In UDGC the 42 players tacked onto the mini set DO NOT appear in the base set. In other words, the mini card of Mariano Rivera I pulled in this box (card #222) does not have a corresponding full-sized base card.


As for the inserts, there are three: Citizens of the Day (19th Century celebrities), Citizens of the Century (current notables), and ten cards of wild animals. Of course, it wouldn't be a 2009 Upper Deck Baseball product without those wonderful 20th Anniversary cards everyone loves.

You get three hits in a box, and while all the ink has gone towards the horse hair and live bugs, you're more than likely to get two game jerseys and an on-card autograph.

The Bottom Line

Upper Deck just doesn't have it in them. They gave a good try with Goodwin, but they've yet to make a decent retro-themed product. I'll give them credit: The base cards do look great. But between the excessive number of short-prints, the mini-exclusive B.S., and the hopelessly out-of-place 20th Anniversary inserts, Goodwin just doesn't get it done.

For the record, I got about a-third of the base set and a-sixth of the SPs. I got two inserts, two rather indistinguishable jerseys, and an on-card autograph of Ken Griffey, Sr. that I'm actually happy with.

Product Rating: 2 1/2 Gumsticks (out of five)

... and another thing.

I'd thought I'd never say this, but Upper Deck 20th Anniversary may soon overtake the 2007 Topps A-Rod Road to 500 (a.k.a. The A-Rod Bullshit Waste of Space) for the title of "Worst Insert Set," ever.

OK, I take that back. They're not that bad. But in the same way the A-RBSWoS's didn't belong in 2007 Topps Heritage, UD20A's sure-as-hell don't belong in a set like Goodwin. If the A-Rod Bullshit Waste of Space were Kyle's cousin, then the 20th Anniversary cards are Towelie.


Anonymous said...

"When you think 19th century, you think of foil cards." HA HA HA HA HA... nice one. Same with the hideous retrospective cards - they simply don't belong in Goodwin.

night owl said...

You're right on.

I don't know why some people are raving over this set. Like you say, it's "nice." It's "decent." There are some good things in it. But it's certainly not the best thing to come out this year.

deal said...

Priceless Pursuit beat me to it - great observation, of course the same thing could be said of Chrome cards in the various Topps Heritage products.

Oh and does UD only have 1 file photo of Phil Niekro, wasn't that card in their Goudey set last year. and my glimpse of the Aaron Rowand card looked like a his picture from an old Goudey set. perhaps his Phils card from 07.

Lookin fwd to a break from the TJ Memorial.

dayf said...

That picture has been in practically every UD set featuring Knucksie since 2005.

So there are SPs? Exclusives? I did not know that. Now did I care, to tell the truth, but it's nice to know what I have.

The product is meh, but the cards are nice.

danny411 said...

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