Scheduled for release at the start of May, SPx looks like it does just about every other year since 2001. The base set consists of 100 cards plus 50 SPx Materials, 30 SPx Rookie autographs and SPx Rookie Update autographs. The product announcement also mentions regular SPx Rookie Update cards numbered to 350 but it lists them as inserts. I'm checking with Upper Deck to see if they're base cards or inserts. The Rookie Update cards are meant to "celebrate" Upper Deck missing to put 21 guys like Johan Santana and Michael Young in the set a decade ago. Blowout Cards currently has box pre-sales listed at $100.
Each 18-pack box (packs have four cards) has one autograph and five jersey cards, two of which will be dual- or triple-swatch cards.
Autograph sets include (all withvaried serial numbers):
- SPx Rookie Signatures
- SPx Auto Materials
- SPx Auto Patch Materials
- Winning Materials Auto parallel
- Flashback Fabrics Auto parallel
- 2000 SPx Rookie Update Autographs
Memorabilia cards include:
- SPx Materials
- Winning Materials
- Winning Combos
- Flashback Fabrics
- Winning Trios
The following appear at a combined rate of two per case and have varied numbering:
- SPx Patch Materials
- Winning Materials Jersey Patch parallel
- Winning Combos Dual Patch
- Flashback Fabrics Dual Patch
Shadow Box inserts appear for the firt time in baseball, falling at a rate of one per case. There's two different levels: Shadow Box Stars and Shadow Box Chase to 56, which is bound to include some sort of connection to Joe Dimaggio, either by pairing him with a current player or offering something that breaks down his record hits streak.
The cross-brand Exquisite program continues with either a regular card or patch card in every case.
When SPx started as a hologram-based set in 1996 I ate it up. I bought as many one-card packs for $5 as I could afford (which wasn't much). They were thick, shiny and gorgeous. But as SPx aged, it changed into a set that focused on rookies and autographs, most of which were rather suspect for the price. I haven't been a fan of SPx since 2001. And while there's some things that have me intrigued, again, the lack of images is a major buzzkill.
I'd also be a little leary on pre-sales from Upper Deck for the next couple of weeks given this whole Konami lawsuit. If the court decides a major fine is in order and puts them to go bankrupt, then what happens to those who've placed their orders already? A ruling is due by the end of the month, which will hopefully clear things up.
But until we get some pictures, here's a couple of polar bears waltzing.