2.19.2009

2009 USA Baseball Upper Deck blecch.

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.

And what's this? Another one. Same player. 463/479.

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?

11 comments:

Matt F. said...

wow...I am watching my recorded episode of Lost while reading your post and I kid you not I thought I was reading a different blog. I actually had to go back to the top and double check it said Dinged Corners. I'm glad you let off some steam without a four letter word too!

mmosley said...

Wow, you almost got a little uncensored there! I'll agree, pretty stinky problems with that box.

Just turn your thoughts to Livan and the coming season. You still love baseball and baseball cards. You'll buy more because it's fun. And when it stops being fun, you'll stop. But admit it, it's too fun to quite just yet!

MDA said...

This explains a lot. You'd almost think that this box was designed to end up a Beckett.

You're probably being a bit harsh on Mr. Morris. I don't think that his answer was "Coach", but "Couch." He looks like that kind of guy.

I do like the Art Deco stylings.

Mr. Tsung-Hsun seems to be flashing a gang symbol with his right hand on the dinged-corner card. At least it is a gang symbol in KnoxVegas. Or a "I'll bid on 3 bales of burley" sign.

The three numbered cards of the same player in the same box. Looks like you've about cornered the market on him. Just 476 to go.

I think that your criticism of UD is justified. It would be nice if the card companies could explain the basics of their 'randomness' and quality control. Or lack thereof.

night owl said...

Too hard on Hunter? Maybe a wee bit.

Too hard on Upper Deck? No. So far I'm not interested in anything that they've done in 2009.

Too tough on the batch of cards? What you got is atrocious. Especially the 463/465/467 special. That's just insulting.

dayf said...

You should be mad about this, this is unacceptable for such a high-priced product. I'd send a letter to Upper Deck and see if they can fix the damaged card at least. The most awesome one in the box WOULD be all beat up. Ugh.

Sorry 'bout that dud box, this is much worse than pulling a Mark Teixeira Documentary card out of a pack.

dayf said...

Here's a little something to cheer you up:

http://blogs.nypost.com/sports/mets/archives/2009/02/yikes_another_p.html

The Mets are putting a different patch on their caps for the inaugural season. Much better than the Domino's box.

paulsrandomstuff said...

Wow. I'd definitely try to contact Upper Deck and let them know about your experience with this product.

I don't know that you'll get anywhere, but I think its important to let them know how you feel.

I do think you are being too hard on Mr. Morris, though.

PunkRockPaint said...

As a Kun-Sheng Lin supercollector, I am super jealous.

#463 was his number for his elementary school's baseball team try-outs.

#465 are the first three digits of his mobile phone number.

#467 is equal to the number of hits he had last season X the number of HRs - Base on Balls... Sabrmetric MOJO!!!

DC said...

Matt, We got the Emily Dickinson card and my blood pressure went down.
Mark, I'm looking for our Livan cards.
MDA, Our new collecting goal: the other 476.
N.O., Will UD come out with anything good in 2009? We'll see.
dayf, Thanks for acknowledging my angst. The more judicious use of The Pizza Patch is good news.
Paul, We were a tad too tough on Mr. Morris. We should have been more clear, we are mad at his cards, not at him. Plus, did he have any say over cut or on-card? Doubtful. Plus, maybe all Coach Morris wants to do is baseball. It's like one of those blogger profile questions.
Mr. Punk, you almost make us glad we have three of Mr. Kun-Sheng's card.

dayf said...

More good news for ya:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/20/SPFE1613NU.DTL&feed=rss.giants

Joey said...

Ouch!! That was an absolutely brutal box. I would go to the trouble to contact UD and let them know what you ended up with.