Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2010 Upper Deck

"Oh what a tangled web we weave.
When first we practice to deceive."
- Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808)

The above quote is often mistaken for Shakespeare. It is quite apropos to the lovely mess that is the 2010 Upper Deck flagship set. Without the proper licensing, this set would seem to suffer from lack of logos. Yet logos sneak in, sometimes blatantly, as a gigantic middle finger to MLB Properties.

Unable to use the new "Rookie Card" logo, Upper Deck created their own. The use of certain photographs to avoid MLB team logos has been executed with the sheer brilliance of a shrewd businessman selling a product he does not have a right to sell. Caps are dropped out and uniforms are photographed from side views and back shots. The action and intimacy of a Major League baseball game is captured efficiently and effectively.

Then there are the photographs that should have been airbrushed. Multiple licensed logos are in full view on many cards. If Upper Deck felt compelled enough to crop out logos, why didn't they finish the job throughout the entire set? If Upper Deck wanted to disregard the licensing issue, why didn't they just go ahead and produce this set as they normally would? This is a set without a direction.

The White Sox have twenty cards in this set.

9 – Tyler Flowers
125 – Tony Pena
126 – Carlos Quentin
127 – A.J. Pierzynski
128 – Scott Podsednik
129 – Alexei Ramirez
130 – Paul Konerko
131 – Josh Fields
132 – Alex Rios
133 – Matt Thornton
134 – Mark Buehrle
135 – Scott Linebrink
136 – Freddy Garcia
137 – John Danks
138 – Bobby Jenks
139 – Gavin Floyd
140 – D.J. Carrasco
141 – Jake Peavy
546 – U.S. Cellular Field
576 – Checklist (Buehrle, Quentin)

The design is what we've come to expect from Upper Deck. It reminds me of the 1994 base set, without the squished black and white photo on the side. The usual gloss, foil and anti-counterfeit hologram is on every base card. The anti-counterfeit hologram is laughable, considering that Upper Deck was caught counterfeiting their own cards.

This is a drab, final stab at validity. Upper Deck's efforts are mixed. This is a set of contradiction. It's almost as if the company is throwing everything they have at one spot just to see what sticks. The problem with that approach is that barely anything in that mix has had the type of attention that it needs.

Over the past year, Upper Deck has done exactly what they wanted. How has that worked out? It has resulted in lawsuits, license pulls and lackluster releases. Much like the company, this set seems to be in transition. Collect what you absolutely have to and leave the rest behind.


Anonymous said...

No Beckham? What kind of two-bit operation are they running there? Series 2 coming?

Steve Gierman said...

So far, there is no Beckham to be found in Series 1. If Series 2 comes out, I would imagine that he would be in that release.

Anonymous said...

According to Stale Gum's compiled checklist, Dan Hudson has a card (#11). Maybe he was left off the team checklist because he's on the Star rookie checklist.

Steve Gierman said...

Card #11 belongs to Reid Gorecki of Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Alright, sir. Looks like it has been updated.

Steve Gierman said...

I know, after double checking with singles up on eBay, I updated the information.

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