Blaster Break: 2009 Upper Deck Baseball Series One

2009udstarquestjeterWhen the 2009 baseball products began hitting shelves earlier this month, I told myself I’d buy one hobby box of Topps and won’t even touch Upper Deck. For some reason I’d become a bitter collector who all but banished any base Upper Deck product from my home. Well, I’ve got to admit something, the ’09 Upper Deck base cards look pretty damn good; I figured I’d snatch up a few retail packs if I saw them– If anything I could use them for TTM requests. Well, I still have not found single retail packs, but I did find a blaster, which offers a guaranteed jersey card. I bought it, telling myself this was the one and only. Blaster results within …

Pack One:

Chipper Jones, Rafael Furcal, Jeff Keppinger, StarQuest Ichiro (GOLD-RARE), Indians checklist (Sizemore), Jose Reyes, Denard Span, Kenji Johjima.

2009udstarquestgoldichiro

Not a bad way to start things off. I see the Starquest inserts have returned, and here my first one is a “rare.” I really wish UD would put the damn insert odds on its products. This is actually one big reason why I stay away from UD.

Pack Two:

Jonathan Papelbon (YES! — stay tuned for a “Card of the Day” post), Gavin Floyd, Brian Bannister, Padres Team Leaders, USA BASEBALL 18U – Andrew Aplin, Dexter Fowler RC, Chin-Lung Hu, Marlon Byrd

2009ud18uandrewaplin

I love when I open a pack and the first card I see is a Boston player. The rest of the base cards here leave much to be desired, but this USA Baseball Team 18U set seems intriguing. The guy shown here was born in 1991! That’s crazy. Flippin’ Ken Griffey Jr. was already a household name …

Pack Three:

Bronson Arroyo, Carlos Guillen, Casey Blake, STARQUEST Matt Holliday (Blue-UnCommon), Jeff Suppan, Billy Wagner, Yadier Molina, Dustin McGowan

Pack Four:

Jon Lester, Garrett Atkins, Season Highlights Alex Rodriguez, STARQUEST Derek Jeter (Emerald — Super Rare), Pirates Team Leaders, Chien-Ming Wang, Edwin Jackson

2009udstarquestjeter

Nabbed another Sox card (Lester), a neat season highlight A-Rod card (back discusses the first use of replay for a home run), and a “super rare” Derek Jeter Starquest. I really wish UD would put insert odds on its packs; how rare is “super rare?”

Pack Five:

Tom Glavine, John Lackey, Rays Team Checklist (Longoria), 20-TH ANNIVERSARY RETRO Jack Nicklaus, Braves Team Checklist (Chipper), Chase Utley, Carlos Beltran, Khalil Greene

2009ud20thannnicklaus

I’m uncertain how I feel about the 20th anniversary retro cards. They’re pretty damn ugly, and pulling a golfer — even as great as Jack Nicklaus was — seems rather underwhelming. Usually I’d bitch about two checklist cards, but I really like how they are incorporated here.

Pack Six:

Joe Crede, Clay Buchholz, Mike Jacobs, Mat Gamel RC, RIVALS Ichiro/Francisco Rodriguez, Brad Lidge, Matt Stairs, Brian Giles.

2009udrivalskrodichiro

Pulled my third Red Sox card in the box, snagged a “rookie” card of a guy (Gamel) who has all of two official at-bats but should be a good seller this year, and an insert card I feel uncertain about. The “Rivals” card is shiny, that’s for sure, but it’s kind of a weak premise for a set. I am unsure what exactly we’re showcasing here: Ichiro v. K-Rod, the Mariners v. Angels, or both.

Pack Seven:

Derek Lee, Cliff Lee, Jose Guillen, Indians Team Leaders, YANKEE STADIUM LEGACY Mike Mussina, Chris Lambert RC, Bobby Crosby, Adrian Beltre

2009udyslmussina

This may the first time I’ve opened a pack and received three cards with the last name “Lee” on it. We had Derek, Cliff and then Cliff again on the Team Leaders card. And oh, look, a YSL card. For the record, the Mussina card is No. 6,731 in the set … really.

Pack Eight:

Nick Markakis, AJ Pierzynski, Miguel Tejada, OPC Retro Miguel Cabrera, Nationals Team Leaders, Bobby Abreau, Todd Wellemeyer, Alex Rios

2009udopccabrera

I like, but dislike the OPC card … I might feel different if it were another player. Maybe it’s the photo that was chose …

Pack Nine:

Stephen Drew, Hunter Pence, Ryan Garko, 2008 DOCUMENTARY Jimmy Rollins WORLD SERIES GM 3, STARQUEST Alfonso Soriano (BLACK ULTRA RARE) Joe Nathan, Daniel Murphy, Eric Hinske

2009udstarquestblacksoriano

I really wish UD would post the insert ratios … On another note, this pack reminds me why I did not touch 2008 UD Documentary. This card shows Jimmy Rollins but says, “Catcher makes amends for error with game-winning RBI.” D-U-M-B.

Pack Ten (aka, the Hit pack):

Ervin Santana, USA BASEBALL 18U- Donovan Tate, HISTORICAL FIRSTS PREDICTOR National League wins All-Star game, JERSEY CARD — Ryan Braun, Akinori Iwamura.

2009udgamejerseyryanbraun

Final Thoughts: This was a rather enjoyable bust. There were a decent number of inserts and snagging three Red Sox cards — this is a 500-card set — in the packs I opened is a plus. The Starquest cards are fun to see when you open the pack, but I’m wondering how rare “rare” is. I mean I pulled four Starquest cards and non of them were common. This looks like a case of fuzzy math … or a repeat of 2008 UD Timeline where there suposedly were SIX shortprints/inserts in every pack. If the “rare” cards are easier to get, then those are not rare. Got me?

I chuckled a bit when I saw the Predictor card, although I remember when Predictor cards actually were cool — you know, where if the card predicted right you could redeem it for something. Here it’s just some bold prediction — the alien card is ridiculous.

This Ryan Braun jersey also made me chuckle. It’s a good looking card and this is my first Braun jersey card, so I’ll add it to my RAM Project. But this made me laugh because I immediately wondered if this was an omen. You see, I just traded Ryan Braun (and draft picks) for Albert Pujols in one of my fantasy leagues.

**EDIT:  I’ve decided not to build this set, most of these cards will be listed in my trade area soon.

One Response to “Blaster Break: 2009 Upper Deck Baseball Series One”

  1. I bought a blaster of this a few days ago and pulled 3 “rare” starquest cards as well. Two being a Black Ultra Rare and Emerald Super Rare of Dice-K. I thought it was odd to pull all “rare” cards myself. Not a bad product to break but the design leaves a little to be desired I feel.

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