The One Card Review
Is it fair to judge an entire set based on one card? No. Do I care? No. Am I gonna do it anyway? Yup. Today's subject:
2009 Legendary Cuts
Someone sent me this card like a month ago. I don't remember who it was, so sorry 'bout that. I probably still owe you a package too, I am so freaking slack. Again, mea culpa. Unless I actually bought this from Champion Sports cards out of their 50c box. However I acquired the thing it's a pretty kick ass card.
I have not liked Legendary Cuts at all since they went from an all retired legends format to the half-assed 100 stars plus some short printed cards that may or may not have anything to do with baseball setup they are using now. Part of my disdain for the new version of this set is because I really really loved the old version. I enjoy new cards of old timey players and the Legendary Cuts sets did it spectacularly. There was always a great looking design, really classy looking. Gilded wood and marble all over the place like a fancy old Antebellum mansion your wife insists on dragging you to on vacation so you'll get a little class into your slovenly life. Unfortunately, the latest licensing contract murdered off the legendary sets, so all that went away and instead Upper Deck had to try to jazz up what is essentially a cookie cutter base setthat is merely filler in a blatant excuse for delivering more hits. The Special Darks in a bag of Hershey fun size bars if you will. Legendary Cuts' big gimmick is the cut signatures, obviously, but they do have a decent little selection of retired players jersey cards. I'm not reviewing the set on all that expensive junk though, I'm doing it based on this here card.
This year's offering is sponsored by the United States Postal Service. Remember that price hike that made yet another of your half used books of stamps completely impractical to use? That was so they could bribe UD to do some cross-promoting of the philatelic hobby. We all identify with this design, it's a stamp. The perforated edges are iconic even though 90% of the stamps we use today are peel and stick. It is a kind of old school classy design in that stamp collecting is sort of old fashioned and they are copying designs from before the full color commemorative stamps really took off in the 50's. Chipper here is sort of a sepia color, although I have heard rumors that other cards have different color schemes (and full color on some too!). I wouldn't know about any of that because I only havre this one here to go by. Upper Deck not only ripped off another hobby for the front but got lazy on the back.
The back design is the same as the front with the only changes being a block of legalese on the bottom and the banner and shield being moved up a tiny bit. The extra wide border design squashes the stats down to one line of career stats. There is a decent bio paragraph there and the position and uniform number decorates the corners of the border. What is it with companies mirroring the front design on the back? Playoff/Donruss/Panini/Beckett/Cardboard Borg have been doing it for years. Seems a little lazy and boring to me. All in all though it's a decent looking card, it just happens to be in an overpriced set that should probably just go the super premium route and ditch the base cards altogether. Will I ever buy a pack of this stuff? No. Would I buy a stack of commons if I saw them in a nickel box? Sure, why not.
I pulled out my old stamp album and hunted around for a stamp design that most resembles these cards. This is what I found:
This is an oldy moldy stamp from the late 1800's that was used by the Treasury Department. Back around 1985 or so, I got on a stamp collecting kick and I drove the guys at Northlake Stamp and Coin insane looking through all their oddball books for increasingly obscure stamps. This series is quite odd in that it takes American presidents and statesmen and dresses them up in Classical Roman garb. Abe here is wearing a toga and laurel. I don't remember the exact year of the stamp, check your Scott Catalog if you're interested. There isn't a box around the ova l portrait, but the Six 6 Cents banner at the bottom reminded me of the SP Legendary Cuts banner at the bottom of the card. Maybe the USPS can take Topps' lead and sue UD for ganking their designs...