Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Capricious Card Collector Conundrum

As some of my longtime readers know, I have a large collection of sports cards and memorabilia. One of the more peculiar trends in recent years is the insertion of cards featuring famous non-athletes, stars from unrelated sports, or cards commemorating historical events. Case in point: in any pack of 2009 Upper Deck Heroes football, you are just as likely to pull a Jay Cutler or Ladainian Tomlinson card as you would Thomas Edison or Davy Crockett. In one pack of 2009 Spectrum baseball (another UD brand) that I bought earlier this year, I pulled an authentic Kendra Wilkinson autograph card, made all the more impressive because I had no idea she could read or write. But I digress.

I mention this because Upper Deck is just about to take this fad to a peculiar extreme. This week, the California-based company will release Goodwin Champions, a faux-retro set depicting modern-day players on an obscure 19th-century card design. The prospect of seeing sepia-toned trading cards of Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter is nothing new, if brands like Topps Heritage and the rejuvinated O-Pee-Chee are any indicator. The key issue is what will be inserted in packs of Goodwin. This product will feature an insert set called Landmarks (elements from notable locations, like sand from the Gobi Desert and salt from the Dead Sea, in clear plastic casing), Thoroughbred Haircut cards (swatches of hair from Smarty Jones and Funny Cide, among others), and perhaps most interestingly, cards celebrating the field of entomology featuring actual specimens. Yes folks, dead bugs in a pack of baseball cards. Whoever handles product development at Upper Deck has clearly lost their mind, and we shall suffer for their insanity. For more information, plus a scanned image of a dead bug card, click here.

Other notes:

+ In case you hadn't already heard...

+ I caught a preview of the new NBC comedy "Community," and to be honest it doesn't look half-bad. As much as I enjoyed "My Name Is Earl," the tone of this new show fits better with the remaining Thursday night comedies.

+ As of yesterday, both of my fantasy baseball teams are in fifth place. I'm still debating in my head whether or not to drop Scott Rolen; if all else fails, I'll keep him on my bench until he recovers from "concussion-like symptoms."

+ A woman in New York State became the first American recipient of a wireless pacemaker that will allow her doctor to monitor her heartbeat via the internet. I wonder what would happen if she wandered into a dead zone...


  1. As a baseball traditionalist & purist, it is absolutely ridiculous on what they're doing to baseball cards, and doing stupid things like chopping up a game-worn jersey into little square swatches is just so wrong, those jerseys belong in a museum, and it should be a felony. The last pack I bought was at Dean's Dugout at Fox Valley, which was a 1993 Donruss, which I pulled out a Mike Piazza rated rookie card. I'll tell you something about my 1989-1992 Upper Deck cards: even in my binders, the fuckers yellowed on top!

    As for our fantasy teams, we're pretty much the old classic Washington Senators. I really hate the stupid Yahoo system that we can't release the highest rated players. I'm stuck with A-Roid, Berkman and Hamilton, all having horseshit seasons.

  2. I liked reading your reviews, but it does look like it took a long time to write them. At least you can still talk about it on the Fourms like everyone else.

    I don't like what has been done to the cards very much either. Since we are talking about sports here, what do you think of how the Bears have been in training camp, and the Eagles getting Vick?

  3. Wait, Stu.. 'memorabilia' too? I don't recall hearing much other than a few Royals caps & some of your card collection. Memorabilia goes from caps, jerseys, balls, pennants, coats, cards, promotional giveaways, autographs. Some things I used to have & somewhat miss is a red Chris Chelios CCM #7 Blackhawks jersey (got rid of it via Ebay due to him becoming a Red Wing) and a 1991-92 era White Sox black alternate #23 jersey of Robin Ventura (outgrew it & Robin became a Yankee bastard) & 1985 Super Bowl XX McDonalds Chicago Bears cards (back when Quarter Pounders with Cheese tasted good) tho I totally trashed those & I never got a Payton card. Now with my recent classic Bears jacket purchase, my Ebay hunt is pretty much done, tho it's always nice to know it's there & to look. Is there anything in particular memorabilia you're on the hunt for, Stu? (even if its extremely rare?)