Flashback with me to 2009…

16 03 2011

I’ve noticed lately a lot of romanticizing of Upper Deck in their absence from the baseball hobby.  A lot of it comes in the form of “if Upper Deck were still around, then Topps would care more,” which to me is kind of a specious argument.  After all, we complained about Topps before Upper Deck was gone, and we will continue to complain about things if and when competition returns.

I’ll admit there’s some things I miss about them, too – Goudey, for instance, even though I’ve never followed through on my plans to collect any of the sets, but I think this is more of an instance where time away makes it easy to forget things like X, Spectrum, Signature Stars, and Icons, too.

2009 Upper Deck was a disappointing release to me when it first hit shelves.  I didn’t care much for the design, cards were damaged straight out of the pack, and don’t even get me started on the 20th Anniversary insert cards, the Yankee Stadium Legacy update cards, or any other of the ill conceived inserts that peppered the release.

But Upper Deck’s mark was made with photography, and while Topps has done a great job closing this gap in the last few years, there’s still something to be said for a full bleed no border shot.

Like this Andrew Miller.  I’m not sure why a horizontal shot like this looks so great while a vertical card with this image may not get a second look.  Miller was a can’t miss pitching prospect who somehow managed to miss anyway.

Seeing this card brought up a much more important question, though – anyone know how Mario from Wax Heaven is doing or what he’s up to?  I can’t see a Miller card without wondering what happened to him.

I’ve been relying on the horizontal cards a lot lately, so here’s a vertical card that looks great, too.  This must help atone for the run of Dodgers as card #666 that occurred after Upper Deck’s debut.  Pierre led the league last year in stolen bases, but unfortunately for the Dodgers it was the American League and for the Chicago White Sox.

I was torn between including this Dodger…

… or this one of Andre Either.  They are both great cards, so in the end I figured why not let you see both of them?

On a side note, I’ve often thought if I had the time that I’d create a second card blog featuring moments captured with dirt flying in the air on baseball cards.  You can see that both the Ethier (above his left hand) and Pierre (between his body and the base) would qualify.  There’s just something I love about that on a baseball card.  But since I haven’t had time to post here, a second blog would be a serious misuse of my time.  So instead, I’ll mention it here and move on.

I don’t remember this happening.  Pudge was a Yankee?  It wasn’t for very long, was it?

Now I remember.  For Kyle Farnsworth, right?  The Yankees didn’t give up much to get a guy they didn’t end up playing that often, did they?  I wonder what the point of it was, since Posada would be back the following year.  Was the plan to have Pudge back him up or something?

Ah, there’s the good stuff.  I like Edison Volquez and was a little disappointed to hear him turn down a long term contract with the Reds.

Voltron turned down a long-term contract with the Reds this year in hopes of proving he’s healthy and worth even more.  I hope that works out for him, because a season like that would certainly put the Reds in a place to repeat as NL Central champs.  Fifteen days away!

While my overall opinion on this set has soften, these cards were still a bad idea.  Put Matt Holliday outside, drap some curtains behind him – do something to lighten this up just a little bit.  I’d rather have to wait a year to see a player in a new uniform that look at one of this mug shot type cards.

And finally, a card of Brandon Phillips spreading his voodoo on you.  He wants you to help me finish this darn set by checking out my wantlist and getting rid of your useless 2009 Upper Deck cards.  Who are you to deny Brandon Phillips?  A Cardinals fan?

Thanks to reader Doug and my brother for these.

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