Because we've had good luck with 2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball and enjoyed getting a lot of nice autos and jerseys (especially the Japanese collegiate team) per box, after careful consideration, we got out of our comfort zone and took a risk: we purchased one box of Upper Deck's much-hyped limited edition (2,655 sets) USA Baseball set for 2009. We waited until we got a very good price on eBay and then took the plunge.
Remember, this is not our day job.
So as a public service to you, our Blogger and Reader Friends, we offer up this advice: don't buy 2009 Upper Deck USA Baseball. Why? Because Upper Deck apparently has no quality control measures in place for this set. NONE.
We'll just hit the lowest points, rather than the endless list of merely low points.
Here's a patch auto of Hunter Morris. You know, the gonzo journalist. Oh wait, no. This is a different Hunter.
He's such a busy baseball player that he can barely bring himself to sign his name. And it is a cut signature. Why? Why is it a cut signature? What? They couldn't get Mr. Hunter Morris to sign a card? The only acceptable reason to find a cut signature on a baseball card is if it is cut from a check signed by Ty Cobb.
Oh wait! There are on-card autos...in fact, there are on-card autos of....HUNTER MORRIS! In the same box. This time, Mr. Morris didn't remember to shave. And he not only signed on-card in his inimitable HrrrM___ style, but he answered a question..........incorrectly!
Here's another on-card auto. We don't mind this one except for...the pose. Did the Upper Deck photographer suggest that pose? "Get up on yer tippy toes, son, and make believe yer puttin' the ball atop a Christmas tree, lahk to be instead of a star and whatnot."
We interrupt this crabfest to make one positive observation. The art deco style design of the cards is very nice. In fact, the graphics for the set are first-rate. It's the quality control that is the beeeeeg problem.
One of the primary reasons we were interested in this set was because it includes the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association cards. For this one, the photographer made the suggestion that the player vamp a little, perhaps in honor of Fashion Week in New York. Regarding jersey cards, white jerseys maybe should be outlawed.
But at least he is smiling. Note the number: 479/479.
Here is an example of one of the cards that got us all hopeful, at a distance. Looky, a SMILING Mr. Tsung-Hsun! A red jersey! Oh glory be!
But wait. It's another cut signature. And it's completely placed into the card off center. And...although we don't usually mind dinged corners <--- brand pride on a card, well, on this card it was quite a letdown:
You see on the lower left? Up close it appears exactly like someone dropped the card off the Empire State building and it landed on that corner and then bounced all the way downtown after getting hit by a bus.
And just in case we weren't convinced that Upper Deck has ABSOLUTELY NO QUALITY CONTROL in place for collation or damage, we came upon this:
Oh, that's ok, at least it's a Chinese Taipei team player...467/469...but what's this?
Another one. Same player. 465/479.
So, basically, we were reminded why, as a rule, we don't buy Boxes of cards. And why we won't buy more 2009 Upper Deck baseball cards of any stripe, because honest to gosh, the company is doing everything except pay attention to what they put in the box.
Three closing questions: are we too tough on Mr. Hunter Morris? Are we too tough on this batch of cards? Are we too tough on Upper Deck?