Monday, June 8, 2009

Embracing the X

I was asked recently why I buy stuff from sets that I dislike. I'm not sure if I have a great answer for that question. Part of it could be me just purchasing what is available to me at the time (versus purchasing nothing, which would be the smarter thing) and part of it might just be overall boredom. With this year's Goudey set, I can at least say that I like the idea of the set and probably at least 30% of the cards look really nice. It's just that when that set does something bad, it looks awful.

So how do I explain why I bought an Upper Deck X blaster? It was partly out of frustration from not being able to find Series 2 products on the shelf, still. And then there was the shiny 50% off price tag. And finally, I told myself that there is an "on average" memorabilia card in each box. Truth be told, I didn't know it at the time but one of the possible memorabilia cards is supposedly Chris Carpenter.

Bear with me while I go through a blaster of Upper Deck X. I decided to take a break from posting stuff from the card show and stuff I've received in the mail lately, but there will be plenty from those departments in the coming days.

Pack 1:

91 - Albert Pujols (This is what the base cards look like, in case you didn't know. This is the only one I'm going to scan.)
73 - Frank Thomas
80 - Adrian Gonzalez (He has a league-leading 22 HRs and he plays at the spacious Petco Park. HE MUST BE ON STEROIDS. QUICK, SOMEONE CALL BOB LEY!!)
YSL1938 - Yogi Berra Yankee Stadium Legacy (In some products I'd be annoyed that this replaced a base card or insert that I would have rather had, but I have no complaints here.)

X2-JA - Conor Jackson Xponential X2 (Despite the hilariously awful name, these insert cards are decent to look at, provided that you can handle shiny cards and cutting edge X-themed designs. They're almost as thin and flimsy as the base cards, however, so no one is going to mistake them for something high-end.)

34 - C.C. Sabathia Die Cut (These are exactly the same as the base cards, only with triangles cut out from the edges. Sometimes.)

Pack 2:
70 - Derek Jeter
77 - Chase Utley
52 - Vladimir Guerrero
38 - Troy Tulowitzki

X-NM - Nick Markakis Xponential (There are X, X2, X3 and X4 versions of these in increasingly short supply.)
48 - Alex Gordon Die Cut

Pack 3:
7 - Chipper Jones
42 - Magglio Ordonez
59 - Justin Morneau
69 - Chien-Ming Wang

X-JO - Chipper Jones Xponential (Insert "X-JO" joke here. It's a double Chipper pack.)
55 - Rafael Furcal Die Cut

Pack 4:
28 - Ken Griffey Jr.
98 - Alex Rios
27 - Jim Thome
48 - Alex Gordon

X3-MR - Manny Ramirez Xponential X3

90 - Rick Ankiel Die Cut (There's only two Cardinals in the base set. I have both, but I didn't have either Die Cut version. Both Albert Pujols and Rick Ankiel have Xponential inserts on various levels, of which I only own the X4 Pujols card. I guess I should add this stuff to my want list just for kicks.)

Pack 5:
14 - Jonathan Papelbon
49 - Zack Greinke
34 - C.C. Sabathia
41 - Gary Sheffield

X-DJ - Derek Jeter Xponential
6 - John Smoltz Die Cut

Pack 6:
56 - Ryan Braun
21 - Alfonso Soriano
55 - Rafael Furcal
1913 - Vic Raschi Yankee Stadium Legacy

X2-MR - Mariano Rivera Xponential X2 (This box is pretty Yankee-heavy.)
43 - Hanley Ramirez Die Cut
- code

Pack 7:
35 - Grady Sizemore (Currently occupying a DL-slot on one of my fantasy teams.)
15 - Josh Beckett
90 - Rick Ankiel (Ankiel needs to start hitting. Actually, the whole team does...)
6 - John Smoltz

X-BU - B.J. Upton Xponential
78 - Nate McLouth Die Cut

Pack 8:
36 - Garrett Atkins
22 - Kosuke Fukudome (RC) (I believe he's the only rookie in the set, which was probably not a great selling point.)
76 - Ryan Howard

21 - Alfonso Soriano Die Cut Gold (This basically looks like a First Edition version of the die cut cards. These are apparently pretty hard to get, but that doesn't stop them from looking uninspired.)

X4-DO - David Ortiz Xponential X4 (These ones are vertical rather than horizontal and look pretty nice, I guess.)
64 - Johan Santana Die Cut

Pack 9:
99 - Ryan Zimmerman

UDXM-PA - Jonathan Papelbon "Memorabilia" card (Just to remind me that I'm not spending my money wisely, my memorabilia card ends up being of the closer from one of my least favorite teams.)

(As you can see, Upper Deck plainly refuses to say what kind of memorabilia might be embedded in the cute little X window.)
50 - Howie Kendrick Die Cut

Pack 10:
29 - Adam Dunn
62 - David Wright
97 - Vernon Wells
YSL1888 - Allie Reynolds Yankee Stadium Legacy

X-VG - Vladimir Guerrero Xponential
1 - Randy Johnson Die Cut

As usual, pretty much all of these cards are up for grabs. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone if you want them.


night owl said...

I've never seen the X4 cards before. Those do look nice. I like all the inserts in X.

Slette said...

Good thing there's a bunch of Sox fans in the blogosphere - you could probably turn the Papelbon into a nice Cardinals relic... maybe talk to Adam at Thoughts and Sox.

I'd be interested in the Rivera Xponential insert if you don't want it...

I would also like to point out how impossible it is to find a decent Cardinals card to send you for that Joba. It's even more difficult to find anything Trailblazers around here. For crying out loud, we have an NBA team in this town - why do none of the shops seem to have any cards?

Tubby said...

We gotta do that Marlins/Piazza-Cardinals deal, lol. The longer pujols stares at me, the longer I think he's aiming that bat at my head.

Chris F

McCann Can Triple said...

I just bought a blaster pack of Upper Deck X myself.

I personally like the set.

Two chipper cards? I'd be happy for one Chipper card. Why is it I hardly ever get Braves in all the packs I buy?

I got a jersey card of Carlos Zambrano in mine.

madding said...

Ahh, the T-Wolves hardly qualify as an NBA team.

Just kidding... sorta.

aj said...

x-tremely x-citing x-post
(word verification: bonyclid)

beardy said...

I'd be interested in the Markakis if it's for trade.