Tuesday, June 7, 2011

5 on the 5: 2010 Upper Deck

My standard policy has been to treat unlicensed cards with extreme disinterest. I won't buy them, generally speaking, but I will allow them to share binder space with other more licensed Cardinals cards in my collection. I was dead set against buying any Upper Deck packs from the 2010 year, but this is a strange set under strange circumstances. This is practically a licensed set poorly trying to disguise itself as "NOT authorized by Major League Baseball or its Member Teams". Yeah, right. After virtually ignoring this set for more than a calendar year, I could not pass up five packs at a deeply discounted rate.

Pack 1:
194 - Marcus Thames

17 - Juan Francisco Star Rookie (Upper Deck even decided to make up their own rookie card logo. How quaint.)
426 - Nate Schierholtz
336 - Mike Pelfrey
64 - Omar Infante (2010 All-Star. Seriously.)
383 - Brad Lidge

473 - Kyle Lohse (Lohse has been surprisingly effective this season.)
216 - Anibal Sanchez (I can't believe he's been available in most fantasy leagues.)
521 - Marc Rzepczynski

SB-170 - Landon Powell Season Biography (These are apparently one-per pack inserts that are reminiscent of the nauseating 2008 Documentary set, except that there aren't 10 different Landon Powell cards with the same photo. Wait, who is Landon Powell, anyway?)
451 - Ichiro Suzuki (He's no Matt Murton.)
186 - Huston Street
519 - Roy Halladay
310 - Nick Punto (Punto was impressive defensively in his short time with the Cardinals before heading back to the DL. There have been lots of wounded birds this year.)
179 - Dexter Fowler
178 - Matt Murton (Better than Ichiro.)

562 - PNC Park (These are fun. It amuses me that they don't use the stadium's name in the title of the card, but they will tell you all about PNC Park on the back.)

Pack 2:
392 - Brandon Moss
4 - Michael Brantley Star Rookie
477 - Ben Zobrist
97 - Jed Lowrie

408 - Tony Gwynn (Come on... that's not Tony Gwynn!)
137 - John Danks (Dreadful season so far.)
165 - Shin-Soo Choo

469 - Dennys Reyes (I'm not sure if I've ever seen another Cardinals card of The Big Sweat.)
254 - Kyle Farnsworth

SB-189 - Jake Peavy Season Biography
422 - Joe Thatcher
155 - Francisco Cordero
370 - Craig Breslow
191 - Jason Hammel
499 - Taylor Teagarden
358 - Rajai Davis (Davis is one of those all-steal, no-anything else guys.)

594 - Tim Lincecum / Pablo Sandoval Team Checklists (Here we are. Face to face. A couple of silver spoons.)
144 - Laynce Nix

Pack 3:
306 - Joe Mauer
374 - Jayson Werth (Predictably, Werth has not exactly been a franchise player for the Nats so far. You have to wonder if the decision makers for these teams ever take a step back and think about what they're doing and how it might play out.)
265 - Mike Napoli
311 - Jason Kubel
85 - Jim Johnson

460 - Colby Rasmus (I'm doing well on Cardinals so far.)
201 - Joel Zumaya
505 - Scott Feldman

SE-79 - Ichiro Suzuki Portraits (Here's an interesting insert card. The backs are almost completely devoid of anything and the card stock is similar to the Goodwin Champions set from 2009.)

SB-191 - Sonia Sotomayor Season Biography (Speaking of interesting, here's a Supreme Court Justice on a baseball card. I don't even know what to say.)
537 - Ross Detwiler
139 - Gavin Floyd
268 - Joe Saunders
80 - Cesar Izturis
401 - Jesse Chavez
561 - Citizens Bank Park
593 - Chase Headley / Tony Gwynn Team Checklist (Wait, so not replacing Adrian Gonzalez in their lineup didn't work out well for the Padres?)
177 - Seth Smith

Pack 4:
12 - Tommy Manzella Star Rookie

475 - Ryan Franklin (The exiled ex-closer.)
92 - David Ortiz
265 - Mike Napoli
311 - Jason Kubel
85 - Jim Johnson

517 - Jose Bautista (Go-Go-Gadget Dingers!)
119 - Randy Wells
SB-41 - Brett Cecil Season Biography

SB-52 - Mark Reynolds Supreme (These remind me of StarQuest or ToppsTown.)
490 - Grant Balfour
228 - Darin Erstad
533 - Livan Hernandez (There's always that guy at every occupation that just keeps showing up.)
121 - Carlos Marmol
436 - Merkin Valdez
562 - PNC Park

589 - Derek Jeter / Mariano Rivera Team Checklist (I don't really like these cards. I don't think it would be so hard to find the two players together in the same shot at the same time now, would it?)

445 - Ken Griffey Jr. (I think the saddest thing about this card is that it says DH in the corner for his position.)

Pack 5:
289 - Corey Hart
18 - Ernesto Frieri Star Rookie

472 - Kyle McClellan (The one-per-pack Cardinal thing is weird to me. This photo does not work at all. Did it really need to be a horizontal card?)
204 - Bobby Seay
516 - Aaron Hill (Well... he'll always have 2009.)
364 - Kurt Suzuki
90 - Rich Hill
493 - Matt Capps
SB-85 - Ryan Dempster Season Biography

BH-8 - Joe DiMaggio Baseball Heroes (It's nice to see the Baseball Heroes thing is still going strong... or was, at least.)
346 - Andy Pettitte
162 - Jeremy Sowers
405 - Ryan Doumit
229 - Lance Berkman (Berkman hasn't been especially kind to his former team this season, but that sits well with me.)
530 - Willie Harris
572 - Chipper Jones / Kenshin Kawakami Team Checklist

291 - Ryan Braun (This card is proof that Upper Deck still, sometimes... occasionally... knew what they were doing.)
545 - Wrigley Field

Despite my reluctance to do so, I will add my Cardinals wants for this set to my list in the coming days. In the meantime, I also picked up 5 discounted packs at Target recent from the same set. I have plenty to trade now if anyone is trying to complete their team sets or the set itself.


night owl said...

One of the many sets that I have all the Dodgers for and am very relieved I never have to purchase again.

Todd Uncommon said...

Yep. 2010 Upper Deck was a set that deserved being euthanized before it had a chance to get to Series 2.

I just don't understand a company who so often operated so dickish-ly with a puffed chest for so long, can be so defiant about how great their products are supposed to be, when they clearly look like the cut every corner to put this product out.

Back in the late 90s or so, I could still take the fact that the company was arrogant. No excuse to be arrogant now, when you're reduced to making Lacrosse and Thor cards.