I really didn't think I would buy anything from Upper Deck this year. But then with the lawsuit by MLB and the possibility that Upper Deck might get pulled, I figured if I could find a Cubs set, I would grab one. Who knows, maybe these will become a real collectors item some day. And it didn't really set me back too much. This is as far as I go with prospecting--I'm not much of a risk-taker!
The cards came yesterday and I really spent some time going over them. Upper Deck sure does try to make sure you know that these are not authorized by MLB. It says so on the back. And the team name is not on the card anywhere, its just "Chicago." But....
...on the back of the "Chicago Checklist" it says. "The Cubs roared to first place..." They used the C word! In fact, on the little write-up for most of the players, the C word is used. If you're going to use it in one place on the card, why not just go all in and use it everywhere.
And then there are the logos that show up on the hat or jersey on sixteen of the nineteen player cards. I know they are going to try to defend their use in court, but again, why not go all in. If your going to break the law a little, why not just smash the law a lot.
Now on to the photography. If we need to come up with a name for this set, we could call it the Profile Set or maybe the One Eye Set, because that's the shot we get on almost every one of these. Again, it seems like they are just trying to break the law a little, by using all these side shots that barely show the uniform front, but also just half of the players' faces. I don't like it at all. I want to be able to recognize the player by seeing his whole face.
Enough of my babbling. Take a look at them for yourself. There were a total of 20 Cubs on the team checklist. Here they are:
#575 Team Checklist, with a one-eyed Aramis Ramirez with logo on his hat, and a hatless Carlos Zambrano with the jersey logo showing.
#545 Ballpark Card, with "Wrigley Field, Home of Chicago C Word"
#19 One eye Tyler Colvin with the biggest example of the uniform logo among the set
#108 Two eyed Kevin Gregg, normally a four eyes, with a hat logo
#109 One eyed Ryan Theriot, with hat and jersey logo showing
#110 Half of Fukudome's face, with both hat and jersey logo visible
I guess we have to trust the back of the jersey to know that this is #111 Derrek Lee, because all we see is his neck and an ear. Terrible!
Half a face of #112 Bobby Scales, with the logo on the helmet
A full on head shot of #113 Aramis Ramirez with a full on hat logo shot, too.
A lousy profile of #114 Aaron Miles, with hat logo
This profile of #115 Mike Fontenot was taken at spring training. I wonder if the photographers were asked to take shots like this, with Upper Deck anticipating the loss of the MLB license?
One eyed with eyeblack of #116 Koyie Hill
A really crummy look at half of #117 Carlos Zambrano's face
A far away, half look at #118 Jeff Spellcheck
Half a face and a full hat logo for #119 Randy Wells. And please tell me that that is just dirt on his pant leg!
Another far away shot of a pitcher, this time #120 Sean Marshall. Look how tiny his head seems.
This one of #121 Carlos Marmol is a bit closer, but still a lousy profile shot.
No eyes at all for #122 Ryan Dempster.
Here's one way to obscure the hat logo, sunglasses Of course, we get some big full on looks at the hat logo on the hats the people are giving #123 Reed Johnson to sign.
Half a face of the departed #124 Jake Fox.
And that is all. If these do become more valuable, it will only be due to scarcity. The the boring design and lousy photography aren't worth squat!