Sunday, June 22, 2008

Featured pack break
2008 Upper Deck II fat pack [$4.99 each at Tarjay]
- Though it doesn't come without perceived faults [read below], I do like the Upper Deck base brand [even though I'm not a set builder] because it seems like it is designed for more sophisticated collectors.

Blister one [18 cards per blister]#422 Nick Markakis - the card kind of dinged on the back.
#468 Ryan Freel - Farney's fan favorite
#625 Adrian Gonzalez - sporting the camo uniform
#484 Garrett Atkins - a little underrated for a very productive third baseman.

#676 David Murphy - a suprising talent, somewhere between a good reserve and a guy who should be starting on a semi-regular basis.
#642 Adrian Beltre - smiling on the back of the card
#513 Lance Berkman - wearing the shades
#552 Rickie Weeks - injured a bunch, brother Jemile was drafted No. 12 overall [by Oakland] in this year's amateur draft.
#504 Dan Uggla - suddenly the top slugger in baseball
#612 Geoff Jenkins - there is really nothing [in his stats] to suggest he is anything special, but you take a look at him and say, 'yeah, he looks the part of a Major Leaguer.'
#580 Brian Scheider - smiling on the back of his card
#689 Reed Johnson - what is he growing on his goatee [on the back of the card]?

#498 Edgar Renteria - as a shortstop, he seems to get knocked down a peg, but he almost has 2,000 hits in his career.

#729 Yasuhiko Yabuta - you can't beat pulling a true rookie card, even if it is of a 35 year old middle reliever from Japan.
#784 Carl Crawford - Season Highlights subset
#742 Jimmy Rollins - Season Highlights subset; all dirty as he crosses the plate and congratulated by teammate Ryan Howard.
#778 Joe Mauer checklist - I suppose it makes no difference, but checklist cards shouldn't picture players, because it is a waste of a player's image. I'd rather have the front of the checklist feature the company's logo, like a 'header card.'
#DC-12 Manny Corpas Diamond Collection insert - Corpas was a late season hero as the closer for the Colorado Rockies in 2007, but has been a flop in 2008.

Blister two [18 cards per blister]
#440 Joey Cora

#486 Brian Fuentes
- you can see how his fingers extend after he releases the ball on his follow through.
#415 John Smoltz - I suppose the established veterans of the game are not getting younger and guys who have enjoyed 20-21 year Major League careers are are one step closer to leaving the game as active players.
#478 Asdrubal Cabrera - he was a late season hero for the Cleveland Indians in 2007, but has been a flop in 2008.
#670 Vicente Padilla
#532 Francisco Rodriguez - nice, a Halo

#695 Odalis Perez - at times has shown brief flashes of brilliance, but is now considered a journeyman.
#589 Robinson Cano - wearing the shades

#530 Torii Hunter - my first card of Hunter as a Halo
#564 Adam Everett
#453 Scott Linebrink
- sporting facial hair
#673 Milton Bradley - first card of him in a Texas Rangers' uniform.
#601 Kurt Suzuki - ripping off his mask to chase after a foul pop up.
#715 Blake DeWitt - too bad his first-year cards came out back the year when he was drafted in 2004.
#797 Magglio Ordonez - Season Highlights subset
#764 Erik Bedard checklist
#701 Randor Bierd
- another true rookie card pull, even if it features another middle reliever. At least his listed age says he is 24, not 35.
#DC-13 Mark Ellis Diamond Collection insert - has turned in a good defender at second base and an excellent player for the Oakland Athletics.

Comments - I think the minimal graphics on the front take away from the aesthetics just a little bit. I tend to think the card backs look just a little more impressive than the fronts of the card.

While the photography is top notch and generally sharp, it feels a little bit like Topps, where the images all over the place - the set is littered with great action shots, but you tend to feel no one took the time to select images showing something unique. I suppose it is more of esoteric gripe, but perhaps Upper Deck uses so many photographers or services providing them with players' images, there is no consistency.

1 comment:

tm87 said...

You know, Upper Deck Series 2 was great this year. We didn't touch the product last year and now I am wishing that we did. Not only did we get practically the entire Marlins team in one box, but the photography was astonishing. You can tell they really took their time with it. I liked it a lot. :)