I'm not a big fan of Upper Deck, especially after reading Card Sharks. But I absolutely loved their Masterpieces sets. And from what I've read on other blogs, there are plenty of other collectors that feel the same way. I like the cards enough that I've got not just the Cubs, but the entire sets from the two years it was released. The paintings look superb, the texture of the cards is great, the gold borders look classy.
The 2007 release had 90 cards, 87 ballplayers and three presidents. In this mid-western's eyes, the set was too New York heavy. There were 23 of the 87 cards that featured New York (Yankees, Mets, Giants, and Dodgers) teams; that's 1/4 of the set. Putting that many New Yorkers in a set sounds more like Topps, but that is exactly what Upper Deck did. The Cubs the the short end of the stick; the real short end. There was one whole Cubs player in the set!
The did come up with a great looking picture of Sutter. I love that '70s Fu Manchu! That is exactly the Bruce Sutter that I remember with the Cubs.
In 2007 the set grew by 30 cards to 120. The number of Cubs grew too, up to eight. The Cubs won their division in 2007, so that helped get four modern players (Lee, Fukudome, Soriano, and Zambrano) in the set.
Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg (twice), and Lou Brock were included too. If I were a Cardinal fan, I would be pretty ticked that Brock was shown as a Cub. As a Cubs fan I'm ticked that Brock was shown as a Cub....I don't need to be reminded to that horrible trade!
I never heard why Upper Deck didn't release a set in 2009. You would have thought that they would want to keep pushing a successful product. Isn't that what card companies do? You push it until it become stale, and then push in again anyway! I don't think Masterpieces had become stale in 2008. Were the production costs too high?