30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Set Showcase #2: 2008 UD Masterpieces Baseball

Last Sunday, I had a few hours to kill so I sorted through some 3500 count boxes in my office. After about 10 minutes I came across some opened packs of 2008 UD Masterpieces that Ipurchased from a card show earlier this year. One card stood out in my small stack of 18 cards. It was Ichiro Suzuki's card #81. There were so many things I liked about this card.

A. The card was printed on high quality cardstock that felt like an artist's canvas.
B. There wasn't a picture of Ichiro on the card, there was a well done painting.
C. He was portrayed in his classic batting pose that any true baseball fan would recognize.
D. And most importantly, the card had a simple, but elegant design.

Now if you're a regular reader of my blog, then you I'll be the first to tell you that refractors, mirror golds, acetates, and holoviews are some of the coolest things about collecting cards. However, I'm also a collector that appreciates a simple, well designed set that has an amazing checklist. UD Masterpieces is the epitome of that.

After I was finished looking through the box, I immediately went online to see how much boxes were. I figured, I'd buy a couple of boxes and put together the set. But when I saw card #111 of Reggie Jackson in an Oakland A's uniform on Checkoutmycards.com, I knew I wanted the short print set too. That's when I went onto eBay to see if I could buy one without busting boxes.

As luck would have it, I found one with a "best offer" option. I figured that it books for $120, so I'd offer 25% of that. The guy countered with $34, so I accepted. As of yesterday, I am officially the proud owner of the 2008 UD Masterpieces baseball set.

Here's the set breakdown:

Base Set: 120 cards (90 regular cards + 30 short printed cards)

Hall of Famers: 30% of the set (36 cards/34 different players)
Jim Palmer
Brooks Robinson
Carl Yastrzemski
Wade Boggs
Ryne Sandberg
Joe Morgan
Robin Yount
Harmon Killebrew
Whitey Ford
Bill Mazeroski
Tony Gwynn
Ozzie Smith
Eddie Murray SP
Cal Ripken Jr. SP
Frank Robinson SP
Ryne Sandberg SP
Warren Spahn SP
Ernie Banks SP
Carlton Fisk SP
Johnny Bench SP
Al Kaline SP
Cal Ripken Jr. SP
Nolan Ryan SP
Rod Carew SP
Tom Seaver SP
Lou Brock SP
Joe DiMaggio SP
Yogi Berra SP
Reggie Jackson SP
Mike Schmidt SP
Steve Carlton SP
Willie Stargell SP
Roberto Clemente SP
Stan Musial SP
Bob Gibson SP
Dave Winfield SP

This checklist is stacked with HOFers. In fact this set has all of my favorite players (Gwynn, Ichiro, & Greg Maddux) except Kurt Suzuki and Jackie Robinson. Kurt doesn't belong in this set. And Jackie was in the 2007 set, so my guess is that they wanted to add other HOFers to the checklist.

So here's your question of the day. After looking over the HOF checklist, which hall of famer would you want to see added to this product?

You might have noticed that there are two different cards of Ryne Sandberg and Cal Ripken Jr. Sandberg has a regular card and a short print, while Ripken's are both short printed. In addition to those two players, Ken Griffey Jr. (future HOF) also has two cards (a regular & a short print).

Another thing I noticed was that there were three retired players who aren't in Cooperstown, but are in the set: Jack Morris, Don Mattingly, and Joe Carter.

This set is definitely catered towards collectors of legends. However, there are a few rookies thrown into the set.

Rookies: 5.8% of the set (7 players)
Max Scherzer
Evan Longoria
Kosuke Fukudome
Chin-Lung Hu
Ian Kennedy
Jay Bruce
Luke Hochevar

Overall, I am extremely happy with my purchase. Looking at the box break from other collectors, you get approximately 6 SP's per box. Since I wouldn't want to buy more than a couple of boxes, I'd probably have to buy singles of the SPs... which run anywhere from $.25 for Joe Carter to $3.50 for Ripken on COMC. Buying the set on eBay saved me time, shipping, and most likely a few dollars.

Oh and I forgot to mention. Included in the set purchase were 5 autographs and 2 memorabilia cards. None of them are superstars, but the Peavy will be going straight to my Padres PC.

Captured on Canvas memorabilia cards
Ivan Rodriguez
Jake Peavy

Stroke of Genius autographed cards
Noah Lowry (out of baseball)
Bill Hall (batting .236 with 12 homeruns)
Kelly Johnson (batting .290 with 17 homeruns)
Gavin Floyd (July's MLB pitcher of the month)
Glen Perkins (6.28 ERA in AAA)

I love the framed borders on both of these inserts. The canvas card stock and the on-card autographs are additional bonuses. Personally, if there's a downside to this product it would be Upper Deck's selection of players in the Stroke of Genius set. Don't get me wrong, the set contains Cal Ripken Jr., Ozzie Smith, Ken Griffey Jr, Jim Palmer, and Derek Jeter... and maybe another 5 to 10 decent names. Unfortunately, there's 68 autographs in this set (that's around 50 Bill Hall's and Kelly Johnson's). In my humble opinion... this would have been a classic autograph set if they would have left off the 50 lower end autographs and stayed with just the big names.

By the way, if you're interested in buying boxes of this stuff... here's a breakdown of the going rates (w/o shipping):

Dave and Adams: $35/box
PGH: $34.95/box
Blowout: $33.99/box
Big T's: $30.95
DCS: $37.95
Cards Infinity: $37.75
Charm City Cards: $39.00
eBay completed listings (includes shipping): $38 to $40

Thanks for reading!


  1. Great looking set! I need to pull the trigger and finally get a box of this stuff.

  2. The "Stroke of Genius" cards are some of the best looking auto's that have come out in recent years. I have a few of the Buffalo Bills ones. They are a great looking on card auto that usually sells for a very reasonable price. I still can't figure out way the "Stroke of Genius" cards sell for so cheap. Oh well…good for me and other collectors. Cool Set!!!

  3. Very well spent $34 if I do say so myself. Very nice stuff. That was one of the sets that almost got me back into collecting baseball.

    Hell, for under forty bucks, I guess I could still own the set if I wanted...

  4. tony mc - yeah, after the tna box busting bonanza, i feel the urge to bust more wax too. i'm happy with my purchase of the set, but it would have been fun to build too. good luck if you decide to buy boxes of this stuff.

    charles - i totally agree with you on the "stroke of genius" set. the borders, canvas, and on-card auto makes this set legendary (if you can look past the checkist...lol)

    g_moses - yeah... you can pick up the regular set of 90 cards for under $10. i now have the 2007 and 2008 baseball sets... i'm now looking at either buying or building the 2008 football set.

  5. Contest entries closed: Feel free to continue commenting, but it won't count for points.