Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions - First Look

2009 Goodwin Champions was an eagerly waited set which did not disappoint. The set did not return in 2010, which wasn't a surprise as Upper Deck was on the verge of extinction. It came back in 2011 and not knowing what to expect, I bought one blaster. I liked the set and wanted more but didn't see it again. This year I bought 2 blasters, hoping for the best.

As with last year, the set is not really a baseball set, although I think this year they feature more baseball players than last year. Of course, Upper Deck doesn't have a contract with Major League Baseball and is limited in what they can do. They learned in 2010 that MLB would come down on them hard if used MLB trademarks.

This year's set features a 210 card base set with a number of sports represented, retired sports figures, actors, artists and professional eaters (yes!). Cards numbered 151-210 are short-printed but not serial numbered cards.  The short print cards don't seem too hard to get as I pulled 10 of them in the two blasters.

Here's some of the base cards that I thought were interesting.

Mike Schmidt #27

The cards are printed on heavy brown card stock, vs. the grey card stock used in previous years. It's not surprising to see Mike as a golfer. He made a real effort to qualify for the Senior Pro Tour a few years ago, falling just a little short of the qualifications. Notice the blue swirly lines in the upper left corner. I have two cards with this. The other is Nolan Ryan (#108) with the swirly in the upper right. I'm assuming it's some sort of printing defect until I hear different.

John Kruk #109
There is at least one other former Phillie in the set, Steve Carlton. This reminds me of a famous john Kruk quote "Lady, I'm not a athlete, I'm a ball player".

Sonya Thomas #45
Sonya Thomas, all 98 pounds of her, is a professional eater. She was The International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) Rookie of the Year in 2003.

Bo Jackson #56
Bo knows...archery?

Larry Bird #88
Larry looks to be about 16 years old here.

Sarah Bernhardt #115
This is just a frightening looking getup.

Gale Sayers #117
Perhaps the weirdest card I pulled. Does anyone know the significance of this photo?

Brian Bosworth #132
Another former football player in a strange setting. I didn't know much about The Boz beyond a few lousy movies. He seems to parlayed a 3-year mediocre career and an unpleasant personality into fame.

Doug Flutie #136
Hi there, nice to be with you, glad you could stick around.
Like to introduce Doug Flutie, drums
And Sam Spoons, rhythm pole
And Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell, bass guitar
And Neil Innes, piano.
Come in Rodney Slater on the saxophone
With Roger Ruskin Spear on tenor sax.
I, Vivian Stanshall, trumpet.
Say hello to big John Wayne, xylophone
And Robert Morley, guitar.
Billy Butlin, spoons.
And looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on vibes.
Princess Anne on sousaphone.

William Sherman #165
 One of the short-print cards. According to Wikipedia, this is a portrait done by acclaimed Civil War photographer, Mathew Brady.

There are several mini parallels. There 150 reproducing the first 150 cards of the base set, then the numbering jumps to 211-231. The cards feature minor league baseball players.  The base minis are a cream color.

Nick Bucci #216
There were 12 packs per box and I pulled 5 minis per box. I got 8 of the regular minis, including the parallels of the Larry Bird and Gale Sayers cards I showed above. I only got one numbered above 210.

Marcell Ozuna #220
I pulled two of the green minis, including one of the minor league players. Upper Deck is not taking any chances with MLB trademarks so the players are in uniforms with the marks photoshopped out.

Blaine Gabbert 
I also pulled on memorabilia card. I don't follow football closely but I see that this guy signed a $12 million 4-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars last year.


High-Five Man said...

Did you, by any chance, pull any Dawn Harper cards? She's an Olympic runner, and I am in need of her card from this set!

Hackenbush said...

That Gale Sayers card is awesomely weird. I think the great Sarah Bernhhardt is shown playing Cleopatra.

capewood said...

Sorry, no Dawn Harper cards.

About Sarah Bernhardt, Cleopatra was my guess as well. According to Wikipedia she played Cleopatra twice. They have a photo of her as Cleopatra and it doesn't look anything like this card. She played a lot of classical roles so the picture could be of almost any of the characters she played except for Hamlet.