Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2002 Upper Deck Series 2, Part 1

American League, Schmerican League. You know what I think about the All-Star Game right now? I think that the National League won 2 of the last 3 World Series(es). Anyway, to wipe that sour taste that I got last night out of my mouth, here's the start of something that I threatened to post about awhile back. At the last monthly card show (next one isn't until September, apparently) I made a last ditch purchase of a 2002 Upper Deck Series 2 hobby box at a bargain price of something like $20. I would tell you exactly what I paid, but so much time has passed since then that I could not swear on the amount and take it to my grave. These boxes advertise "hobby exclusive jersey cards", "authentic Mark McGwire memorabilia cards" and include a "hobby exclusive 'UD-Plus' bonus pack." Also included with the box: Jason Giambi grants you an exlusive interview where he comes clean about his past and presents his future plans to grow a mustache that looks incredibly ridiculous in 2008, only to find out that nearly everyone is copping his style in 2009 long after he's ditched the thing.

First off is the bonus pack. Some kids call these things "box toppers" but I will stick with "bonus pack." Inside shall be two "UD-Plus" cards.

UD12 - Edgar Martinez UD Plus (1045/1125) (Edgar is the greatest DH of all-time in my opinion. I absolutely despise the DH rule, but considering that it's been a part of Major League Baseball since the '70s, like it or not, the best player who ever played a position should absolutely be in the Hall of Fame.)

UD57 - Fred McGriff UD Plus (0766/1125) (It's hard to look at McGriff as a Cub. These cards, incidentally, were part of some sort of contest where the objective was to collect all 100. Winners got scarcely printed serial numbered Joe DiMaggio or Mickey Mantle jersey cards. Sounds awesome to me. These cards themselves aren't that bad looking, either.)
- 2002 UD Plus Information Card (Besides the actual cards, there were two filler cards explaining what I attempted to explain above.)

Onto the real stuff now...

Pack 1:
604 - Carlos Febles (Way to start it off with someone I've never heard of before...)

578 - Mike Cameron (I think I like the design of these cards. There's no gaudy gold foil and the player name/team/position design at the bottom of the card is fairly simple. Apparently all of the previous season's All-Stars get an additional All-Star foil logo.)
633 - Jose Vizcaino

557 - Carlos Pena (Here's the first 2009 All-Star of the box.)
614 - Eric Milton
582 - Marty Cordova
741 - Shawn Green Season Highlights Checklist
535 - Eric Junge Star Rookie (I think Upper Deck did an even worse job than Donruss with their Rated Rookies at predicting future stars from their rookie crop.)

Pack 2:
655 - Alex Gonzalez (This box is lousy with Cubs already. And by lousy, I mean Cub lousy.)

629 - Bernie Williams (I always enjoy getting Bernie cards.)
670 - Brian Jordan (First year as a Dodger.)
644 - Alex Ochoa
624 - John Vander Wal (I never understood his last name.)
679 - Jeff Kent
687 - Pablo Ozuna (Teal alert!)

530 - Saturo Komiyama Star Rookie (I have no idea who this is, but according to the back of his card he is known as the "Japanese Greg Maddux.")

Pack 3:
698 - Kevin Jarvis
672 - Fernando Tatis (I was really surprised that Tatis made it back to the majors, since it seemed like he couldn't really keep it together after he had the one huge season with the Cards in the late '90s.)
568 - Bobby Smith
665 - Rick Helling (Seemed to be the very definition of League Average Starting Pitcher throughout his career.)

733 - Chipper Jones 2001 Year of the Record (Pretty nifty looking subset card.)
559 - Jose Cruz Jr. (Coming off of a 38 HR season with Toronto, I can honestly say I never really heard about him during his career. I pretty much ignored the mid-'90s, though.)
605 - Jose Rosado
533 - Anderson Machado Star Rookie

Pack 4:
569 - Wilson Alvarez
716 - Juan Encarnacion (I had forgotten that Juan actually played for the Reds at one point.)
628 - David Wells (Possibly half-drunk and/or hungover for his in-studio photo shoot. This began his second trial as a Yankee.)
602 - Chuck Knoblauch (Knoblauch stole an astonishing amount of bases in his career. I keep thinking of his problems with making throws to 1st, which is a shame.)

735 - Ichiro Suzuki 2001 Year of the Record

651 - Woody Williams (Nice! First Cardinal card of the box.)
703 - Marlon Byrd
532 - Ben Howard Star Rookie

Pack 5:
552 - David Justice (Another cheesy studio shot. Justice was a new Oakland Athletic.)
701 - Ramon Vazquez
607 - Bobby Higginson (Another player I apparently missed out on.)
581 - Jeff Cirillo (2002 was Cirillo's first season with Seattle, and I got to see him play in my first ever attended Major League game that season. Seattle beat the Cards 10-0.)
744 - Larry Walker Season Highlights Checklist
636 - Andruw Jones
677 - Bruce Chen

509 - Scotty Layfield Star Rookie

Pack 6:
603 - Michael Tucker

618 - Magglio Ordonez (An All-Star moment right here. Magglio has struggled this season, however, so he was not a participant in last night's game.)
564 - Jason Standridge
743 - Roberto Alomar Season Highlights Checklist (Saliva-free as far as I know.)
553 - Billy Koch

650 - J.D. Drew (...)

CH13 - Greg Maddux Chasing History (This is the first real insert card of the box as far as I can tell.)
504 - Reed Johnson Star Rookie

Pack 7:
646 - Eric Young
620 - Rocky Biddle
723 - Jose Ortiz (Also the name of a former great Oregon State basketball player.)
697 - Mark Kotsay
599 - John Burkett

745 - Mark McGwire Season Highlights Checklist (I don't care what you think about Mac - this is a cute card.)
546 - Aaron Sele
507 - Luis Martinez Star Rookie

Pack 8:
576 - Bret Boone
550 - Kevin Appier
713 - Mike Williams

579 - Jamie Moyer (In case you were dying to know, here's what the card backs look like.)
585 - Luis Matos
631 - Richard Hidalgo (Former Astros slugger that just fell off the face of the planet...)

CH5 - Rafael Palmeiro Chasing History (Well... he's not chasing it anymore, I guess?)
506 - John Ennis Star Rookie

Alright, so that's it for the first 8 packs (plus bonus.) Packs 9 through 16 are up next. Pretty much everything besides the Cardinals cards are up for grabs, so just let me know if you're dying for one of my Ramon Vazquez cards.


Dinged Corners said...

The Ichiro/Jones cards are especially nice. And you've got to love baseball cards with an Art Deco base design. Don't you?

Tunguska said...

If you need to give a home to the Cubs and Jays cards I will gladly volunteer.

Collective Troll said...

three things...
1. I hate the DH rule, too. Both Edgar and Harold Baines belong in the Hall.
2. I would love that Pena card, let me know what it would take...
3. The McGwire card is cute. I never liked him too much as a player, but i will say he and sosa did a lot to increase interest in the game and him being treated as a monster is not fair at all...

madding said...

Tunguska - I'll set aside the Cubs and Jays cards when I'm done with the box (there will be two more posts.) If you have any extra Cardinals cards laying around, maybe we can do a quick swap or something.

Troll - I'll set aside the Pena card for you. Thanks again for the package. I haven't gotten around to posting about it yet, but I will soon.