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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Night Owl posted some newfangled crap, it's time to show off some GOOD Upper Deck cards, or at least look at their peak leading into a slow decline to oblivion. In honor of the Owl, I shall attempt to define the designs.

1989 Upper Deck

The Running To First Set

Very sneaky of UD to print up a card of Pettis with a mock up of the back of his card and have him hold it with the back facing the camera so we would be all like ZOMG UPPER DECK HAS CREATED A TIME/SPACE PARADOX

1990 Upper Deck

the green-and-gold racing stripe set (Night Owl defined this one already)

Rick Honeycutt looks BAD ASS until you realize he's taking drink orders for the fans in club level. 

1991 Upper Deck 
the "score from second" set (NO got this one too)

You would not believe the number of cards in early Upper Deck sets where the player is blowing a bubble. I almost did a post on just that instead. 

1992 Upper Deck
The Fastball Set

I think Upper Deck just tried too hard on this one. It's nice and all, but there are very, very few collectors out there who like this set best. 

1993 Upper Deck
The "It's All Downhill From Here Set"

The best set Upper Deck has ever done or will ever do. Period. Next. 

1994 Upper Deck
The Squished Little Photo Set

The first full-bleed set, the first with foil stamping. Innocence is officially lost. 

1995 Upper Deck

The Foil Minimalism Set

A design so good, UD recycled it in 2008. Deion says RAAAAWR.

1996 Upper Deck

The Classy Foil Set

I awlwys thought the two tone foil looked classy. Until you saw piles and piles of it and it started getting cheesy. Orange foil... (shudder)

1997 Upper Deck
The Wood Grain Foil Set

Wood grain on foil just does not look right. This card is very subtle, but someone will catch it.

1998 Upper Deck
The Stealth Foil Set

UD got sneaky and added extra unnecessary foil here, including the team name. Ariel has learned to levitate and is breaking the bonds of Earth.

1999 Upper Deck

The Way Too Much Damn Foil Set

Upper Deck's decline into foil madness is complete. They could have made a battleship with the amount of foil used in this set. Jeff is as dejected as I am with this set. 

Maybe I should have quit after 1993...


night owl said...

I might have to steal some of these set names.

I do like '95 even though there's very little design there. The rest, after '93, eeeeesh.

SpastikMooss said...


Also, for the record, I kind of like 1998 Upper Deck. Not enough to collect it or anything...but it ain't too shabby compared to everything else they've done.

paulsrandomstuff said...

I like the 1997 set because they identified when the photos were taken. Otherwise, I haven't been fond of any of Upper Deck's base sets that came out after 1993.

Captain Canuck said...

two things... one, I wasn't collecting in '93 so I have to ask, why is everyone's skin colour absolutely wrong in the '93 set?

and two, if anyone, or all of you, need help in finishing your '91 UD set, send me an email.
Seriously. Anybody.

John said...

OH MY GOD! I did not realize how bad the UD designs have been through the years (Topps did have a down period from about 1994 to 2002). They should have quit after 1989.

I never realized how 1990 and 1991 are basically the same. 1992 was ok. But noooooo! 1993 does not work. The beginning of the end was 1994. Only the 2003 set was decent.

I always wonder how they did that with Gary Pettis but the spring of 1989 was the end of Star Trek TNG 2nd season (which was hitting its stride) so I think it has something to do with the TIME SPACE CONTINUM.

gcrl said...

i actually like the 94 set. i always thought the 99 set reminded me of a magnet or a tuning fork or a sentinel's helmet (sad to say i can make an x-men reference. i am an uber nerd).
and, if anyone needs any 89s, let me know.

dogfacedgremlin said...

I have that 99 set, only my players are all in hockey uniforms. Wait a second...you don't think they used the same design in two products, do you?

Chris Harris said...



Bo said...

1994 would have been great except for those squished photos - I hate them. And it's only recently that I've been able to tell 1990, 1991 and 1992 apart. And I was collecting in those days.

Cardsplitter said...

Thanks for posting that. I had never seen any of the cards from 1994-1997.

PunkRockPaint said...

I have spent the last two weeks looking for stealth Bips... Somehow, I either missed that one, or don't have that card...