30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's not perfect... but it's damn close.

Sometimes I get caught up in all of the memorabilia card and autograph hype... but it's important that you understand that this collector also appreciates "base cards" too.

Every now & then... a particular card design catches my eye and if my wallet allows it... I'll either build the set, or buy it.

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions is one of those products. It's one of my favorite sets from the past decade... and I don't say that lightly.

Why do I like it so much? Well the base cards have a nice retro feel to it, since they're modeled after the 1888 (N162) set. The beautiful painted pictures are supported by a simple border that resembles the original set.

Plus there are a slew of superstars from a variety of sports like MMA, figure skating, and surfing... which is a tribute to the original set that includes oddities like chess players & oarsmen.

Okay... so I realize this set isn't for everyone. Some collectors dislike "Presidents" mixed in with "baseball players". But, I like the variety... especially since that's what the N162 set was about.

Others wonder how people like Rick Cerone made the checklist.

Even the painted pictures, which I find beautiful and unique, are bothersome to certain collectors who feel that baseball cards should contain photos, not art.

But that's the beauty of collecting... everyone has their own preference when it comes to cardboard.

I personally have wanted this set since it hit the market back in 2009, but I'm too cheap to bust boxes and build it on my own. Nope... instead I've had the following as an eBay search for at least a year now: 2009 Goodwin Set 210.

The number "210" represents a complete base set (not the minis/mini parallels... just the standard size cards) including the short prints, but without the "Night Variations". I have no idea how "short printed" the SP's are, but they don't sell for much, so I assume they weren't hard to pull.

On the other hand, the "Night Variations" sell for a nice premium... usually in the $3 to $5 range for commons and $8 to $15 range for stars. The jury is still out as to whether or not I'll build this particular fifteen card set. They're sweet looking cards, but I'm not sure I'm ready to dish out the cash.

Anyways... last month, I finally came across a dealer who had the set as an auction, instead of the usual BIN (usually dealers way too much... in the $125 price range). So, I entered $45 into my sniping program as my maximum bid... and waited a week to see the results...

Voila... my final bid was $20.50 (+ $5 shipping). That's $10 cheaper than what DA Card World sells their 2009 Goodwin retail boxes for ($35.95).

Is it a steal? Well... not for collectors who dislike this product... but odds are, I'm not going to be able to find this set any cheaper. And considering the fact that I was willing to spend $45 (+ $5 shipping)... I'm pretty happy.

Do I think it's the perfect set? Nope... it's hard to fathom why they included Michael Beasley, but not Kobe Bryant. Their player selection issues crossed over into the gridiron. Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning? Really? How about replacing them with Joe Montana and Walter Payton? It's also a shame that the football players in the set are pictured in their college uniforms... instead of their NFL ones.

Anyways... these were the only key flaws I could find in the set... and in my opinion... the Pro's outweigh the Con's any day of the week.

Your turn...

What are some of your favorite "base" sets? Why?

Only three more days until Christmas... have a happy holidays everyone. Sayonara!


  1. Cool purchase. My favorite base sets are ones that feature the beautiful Kristi Yamaguchi.

    I dig retro sets that may include athletes from other sports. I like Ginter sets the best.

    Also, retro sets look great autographed.

  2. I love art sets. The first baseball cards were pretty much all art sets. They also require more effort to produce than a set that slaps a photo on a piece of cardboard. As far as multi-sport issues or ones that include non-sport figures, I like those too - but usually they have to include subjects outside of football, basketball, and hockey. Those sets (specially from Upper Deck) have done a good job including woman sports figures to inspire younger athletes (and provide me with cards to look for).

    My favorite sets are the Diamond King series and Topps Gallery art sets, both of which have SPs involved and use art!

  3. spiegel83 - i'm glad there's another cardboard collector who can appreciate the beauty of kristi yamaguchi. i had a huge crush on her in the early 90's. if you're bored, i blogged about her & the karate kid girl last year:


    ryan g - huge fan of the diamond kings series and the topps gallery sets. i know the art thing isn't for everyone, but at the same time... there are enough of us to warrant demand.

  4. When I got back into collecting early 2010, I found some of these packs and was totally impressed with the set. I didn't collect it though, as I knew packs were drying up. I should pick up a complete set one of these days because it IS that awesome. It's very Ginter-like in design and subject selection. Which is definitely a good thing!

    As for my favorite base sets I have to go with the 2002 and 2009 T206 sets that Topps put out. The original 1909-11 T206 is my favorite vintage set to get cards from and I feel both these Topps issues definitely paid proper homage to the original. Not 2010 though, the hatless thing just ruined everything about it. Too bad.

  5. Oh, that and both years of the Upper Deck Masterpieces. Those are amazing too.

  6. Fuji hit the nail on the head,the Goodwin set is one of the best by far.I also love the Heritage sets and A&G.Old school beats new school every time.

  7. moremonkeys138 - i'll have to look into the 2002 & 2009 T206 sets... and i definitely want at least one original T206 in my collection. heck, maybe that'll be one of my hobby goals for 2012.

    as for masterpieces... those sets are right on up there with goodwin. upper deck sure had something special going for them a few years ago.

    hairylemon - i agree... i'm totally an old school kind of guy. btw... i hope to add the 2005 heritage set to my collection at some point (love that 1956 design).

  8. I liked the 2009 Goodwin set. I haven't bought any 2011 Goodwin, have you?

    I want that 2005 Heritage set too. The 1956 set is very close to being my all-time favorite.

  9. haaa...the number now stands at three of us who were mad crushing on kristi.

    as for sets, im not a big set collector, so i dont have any real feelings about that. i will say, i love the painted cards as well.

    now, i'm off to read your past post about our old flame...

  10. play at the plate - never even considered 2011 for two reasons:

    a. already knew i wanted 2009
    b. figured that upper deck didn't have licenses to most of the sports... not a huge fan of missing logos.

    however... if i found the set for the right price, i might pick it up for the athletes from sports outside of baseball, football, basketball, and hockey.

    stealing home - welcome to the yamaguchi fan club!

  11. Fuji, I'm with you on UD's non-licensed stuff. I have the same feeling about Panini's upcoming baseball set. I'll try to get the Rangers for my team collection, but that's it.

  12. What a steal! I've been paying a few bucks each for the SSP minis!

  13. play at the plate - saw an ichiro card from the new panini set and wasn't impress, so i'll be avoiding that product.

    thesewingmachineguy - sadly... the mini set wasn't part of my purchase, although i'd like to add it... i'm assuming it's out of my price range.