Thursday, January 14, 2010

Preview: 2009 (???) Upper Deck Signature Stars Baseball

From the files of this doesn't make sense, Upper Deck has announced an addition to their 2009 baseball lineup. 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars is set for release at the end of the month and, like every other upcoming Upper Deck baseball product save for their latest USA boxed set, I'm curious to see what it looks like.

Putting on my Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring and a tall mug of Ovaltine, I'm going to attempt to decipher the available info.

It's priced at $90 for a 20-pack box. And remember, although the date says it's a 2009 product (that was announced in 2010), don't expect any of those MLB logos. But Upper Deck's got this one figured out by offering a competing USA-heavy product immediately after they're putting out their USA box set. Each box is slated to have a total of four autographed and game-used cards.

The set has 100 base cards, 20 Top Prospects, 65 Base Set High Series Signatures and 25 Rookie Signatures. The base set will also have a Blue Platinum parallel numbered to 170 copies.

A plus that I see is that Upper Deck appears to be adding some value to boxes by creating several different insert sets that are placed at somewhat tough but not ridiculous rates.Basic inserts include Signature Skills (1:25 packs), Signed, Sealed and Delivered (1:25 packs), and Trophy Winners (1:50 packs).

Common autograph and game-used insert sets focus largely on USA Baseball. Along with the previously mentioned High Series Signatures and Rookie Signatures, the following appear four per box:
  • USA Star Prospects Game Jersey
  • USA Winning Materials (/499)
  • USA Flashback Fabrics Dual JerseyImpressions Signatures
  • USA Star Prospect Signatures
  • USA Prospects- Auto Jersey (/399)
  • USA Future Watch Auto Jersey National Team (/799)
  • USA Future Watch Auto Jersey 18U Team (/899)
  • USA By  The Letter Autographs
There's also several sets that would be considered case hits:
  • Gold Signature parallels (1/case)
  • Team USA Patch Autographs  (combined 1/case)
    USA Star Prospects Patch Auto (/25)
    USA Future Watch Auto Patch National Team (/50)
    USA Future Watch Auto Patch 18U Team (/50)
  • Autographs (combined 3:4 cases)
    Signature Trios
    Signature Quads
    Signature Portraits
  • UD Black Pride of a Nation (combined 1:2 cases)
    Rookies (/1)
  • Team USA Memorabilia (combined 1:2 cases)
    USA Star Prospects Game Patch (/25)
    USA Premier Materials National Team Cap Flags (/4)
    USA Premier Materials 18U Team Cap Flags (/1)
    USA Winning Big Materials (/10)
    USA Flashbacks Fabrics Dual Patch (/25)
Bryce Harper's autograph is scheduled to appear alongside others like Michael Saunders, Chris Tillman, Josh Reddick and Fu-Te-Ni of Taiwan. Buybacks from all the way back from 2008 USA Baseball will also be inserted.

Without images, it's near impossible to get a real feel for this set but the more I look at the inserts and the structure, the more it seems like license-free Upper Deck's version to Bowman. You've got your token veterans in the base set like Bowman but the driving force behind the flashier inserts, that will likely drive sales, is based on the youngsters. Instead of being Minor Leaguers, they're national stars.

Since there's no pictures yet, I give you Bobo the Baseball-Playing Chimp and his handsome striped shirt.


Captain Canuck said...

you didn't give the ratio of actual:counterfeit cards....

sorry, I kid because I care...

Ryan Cracknell said...

Do you think the 2008 Buybacks are actual buybacks? And one guy with a shredder next to him selling them to his assistant and having said assistant trade them back for a ham sandwich and a bottle of Evian doesn't count.

Anonymous said...

Fu-Te Ni is from Taiwan not China.

Ryan Cracknell said...

Thanks for the correction.