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Thursday, November 13, 2008

2008 Upper Deck Timelines Pack Examination

I recently got a couple of packs of 08 UD Timelines so why not show one off. This is the set that has all the short prints in it (6 per pack! the wrapper screams) and digs up a bunch of retro Upper Deck designs. They did this last year with the SP rookie edition and that was a miserable failure. I expect this one will bomb horribly as well and I'll be able to pick it up cheap later on because I love this stuff. I'm a sucker for retro. I even liked Donruss Originals, if you can believe that. I was lucky enough to get 6 different SPs in one of the packs, so I'll break down that one for you here.

Here's a base card of Albert Pujols. There are two of these per pack instead of one, so they are not short printed. Actually there are three, but I'll get into that later. Here's the details from Upper Deck, but their checklist is atrocious so let me break it down for you:

1-50: the base cards. Boooooring.
51-100: the rookies. these are "short printed" because there is one per pack instead of two.
101-130: 1992 Upper Deck Minor Leagues design. These are 1 per pack and like a few of the other subsets have autographed versions.
131-180: 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes design. Also one per pack, but slightly tougher to get than the '92s due to there being 50 of them.
181-210: 1995 SP Top Prospects Design. Like the '92s only thirty of 'em. One per pack.
211-310: 2004 Timeless Teams design. One per pack, but there's a HUNDRED of them! See how Upper Deck makes these SPs all complicated, even the one per pack ones?
311-335: 1993 SP design. These are listed one in every three packs. And you thought you could build a set of this stuff, didn't you? Poor deluded fool.
336-360: 1994 SP design. This one's not even on the sell sheet so I dunno how hard these are to get.
361-385: 1995 SP design. These are one in 6 packs and are (probably) the hardest to get.

So basically 8 different designs in all. In order of easiest to hardest to get they are:
Base rookies
92 Minor leagues & 95 SP Top Prospects
94 All Time Heroes
04 Timeless Teams
93 SP
94 SP (I guess, no odds)
95 SP

Got it? Good.

Here's the second card out of the pack. Big 'ol Ryan Howard. Don't you love this design? Doesn't it make you queasy that Upper Deck will be digging it back up in 2032? Let's look at the back.

Same basic design motif, just with a smaller photo and the border colors flipped. Not too stat heavy, this is a middle tier kind of design where they go for the flash and not the substance to make you think it's worth something. See? Silver! Silver's valuable, isn't it?

I must have done something dreadful in a past life to deserve all the Fukudomes I've pulled. Don't be fooled by the blue border. All borders are team color coded, it's not base = red and rookie = blue.

Blah Blah Blah... -No MLB Experience - Moving on...

Here's the 1992 Upper Deck Minors design. Looks exactly like the 1992 Upper Deck design, right? Yyyyep. I couldn't find a 1992 Minors card so I just scanned Glavine for comparison instead. Kazmir and Glavine are a good match, yes?

Ok, so the backs don't look to similar. If I can find a scan of a Minor league card I'll post it. This set isn't worth me digging that deeply for it.

Ok, found one. Here's one of Trevor Hoffman. Note the backs are much more similar on the '08 card and the '92 minor league card. Not exact, but close enough.

Woohoo! a One in three SP! One that I am completely incablable of scanning! This is the 93 SP design and as you can see, both are foil-intensive. I thought Javy was a good match for Towlie. The two foils are a little different in the two issues. The '93 card is straight foil with some FX etching on the Premier Prospect logo. The '08 card is more like a mirrorboard with gold foil stamping for the nameand logo.

The backs are pretty damn similar though. The picture is squeezed on the '08 card due to the extra legalese crap on the bottom.

Chase is seen here on the 2004 All Time Heroes Design. I paired him up with Rajah even though Chase isn't half the player of Hornsby. This is a nice underrated set full of legends and fan favorites. A lot of people aren't crazy about black and white photos, but it works well here.

The backs are essentially the same, Upper Deck did a nice job on this one, other than the new card being glossy. Not so on the next one:

Here's the 1995 Premier Top Prospects design. Let's count the ways Upper Deck screwed up on this one. Die cut at the top wrong. Foil color wrong. Plain photo instead of etched foil. Massive roller mark going up right through the middle of the cards, just like 90% of all their die cut cards this year. I goofed, this design is from the 1995 SP minor league set, which I don't have. The foil on those were silver while the SP prospects were bronze like the Clark card. Die Cuts worked in 1995, they aren't necessary thirteen years later.

The backs are pretty good though. other than using silver ink instead of gold. Upper Deck run out of gold ink or something? I chould really double check myself before posting from now on.

Last short print in the pack, this one a Timeless Teams card of Invader Zim. I paired him up with Dusty Baker because that was the nly card from this set I had. Did you know that in their timeless teams set, Upper Deck did not include a single Brave? #$^@ Upper Deck can go shove their Timeless Teams right up where Timeless Teams are not meant to go.

I hate the fronts of these cards, but I love the backs. I'd like to get one card from every team just to look at the pretty stadiums. The '08 card squeezes the photo with unnecessary blather about his solid defensive play, but the park (night game for a night owl) is still pretty sweet.

Here are the two short prints I didn't get in this pack:

1994 SP design and...

The 1995 SP design.

All in all this is an ok set, although I'd never bother to complete it. I'll rip some packs if I can find them and maybe chase the Braves, but 335 'short prints' (and you thought Goudey was bad) is a little goofy. Actually, the base and rookies set, the '92 UD subset, the '95 SP Top Prospects subset and the '94 All Time Heroes Subset should be pretty easy to finish if you really wanted to do it. The Rotroness is cool enough that I'm sure at least one obsessive compulsive soul will try to compete it, but for me this will be fun diversion as I rip some packs and pick up some singles here and there.

You can find more info on this set over at Hand Collated and Paul's Random Stuff.


night owl said...

I'm torn. Night game park vs. Dodger stadium? ... They must have mathmeticians employed at card companies now -- how do they keep track of all that stuff?

Anonymous said...

I have some 1992 UD Minors cards right here!...but no scanner.

Comparison: The balls at the top on the new design are larger. The font is correct, except that the font on the real UD Minors had drop caps. The design on the back where the stats go is correct, in that it had a bat background and the team logo, and the blue stripe with player name and position is correct except for the fact that in the original the card number was not in there, and also the font is wrong. the top of the real UD Minors has the card #, a star-shaped hologram, and the minor leagues logo of the time. the copyright notice was in tinytiny type between the stats and the back photo.

Joey said...

Great job with the comparison Dayf!