Monday, June 20, 2011

2008 UD Heroes baseball blasters (x3)

So I guess I'm back to buying blasters, but at $7.50 a pop for nine packs of this fun set, I couldn't resist.  I realize a three-year-old set puts me a little behind the times, but sometimes you just have to wait to snag a deal like this.  I was hoping to pick up some more of the Rich Hill rainbow I'm working on, plus I thought I might consider working on the base set since I like the look and concept of it.  Here's how I did:

Box:  2008 Upper Deck Heroes baseball blasters (x3)
Packs/cards:  9/5 (x3)
Price:  $7.49 each

Base cards:
Base front
Kaline base (one of many legends)
Schmidt/Banks/Robinson trio card (one of several multi-player cards)
Chipper Jones base back
Design grade:  A
I had plenty of the UD Heroes inserts as a young collector, so there's some nostalgia in it for me, but I think overall this set is executed very well.  A decently reasonable set size combined with mostly stars, legends, and a few rookies means a rare set without the scrubs nobody wants to collect.  Aesthetically the design is pleasing, as is the mix of color and black-and-white photographs.  And I have to say I kind of like the theme of picking a big moment in that player's career, then going into more detail about it on the back (not EVERY set has to go the standard stat dump route).  I should also mention that the duo, trio and quad cards are pretty cool with some nice combinations (a nice break from Strasburg/Walter Johnson or Chris Gomez/Honus Wagner (NOTE:  if you realize I made one of those up, congratulations on not working for Topps)) that play well off the mix of current stars and Hall-of-Famers.  I don't say this often, but well done, Upper Deck!

Base set completion:   81/200 (41%)
Extras:   19 doubles (19% of base cards pulled)
Collation grade:   C
Well the multi-player cards made sense so I don't THINK this was a Topps product, but the collation has me wondering.  Here's my standard caveat about this being multiple random blasters, but that's still pretty disappointing in my judgment.  I had more than one instance of "Where have I seen these same five cards before?  Oh right, a few packs ago...."  That combined with the one-per-pack Black parallels (still not as useless as Bowman Golds or the execrable Attax, though) make it pretty difficult to build this set without buying a ton of blasters. (though, I guess, why would you want to do that?)  

Inserts (35):

Black parallel:  27, including above (1:pack, 27 expected):  As usual I don't feel like listing every one that I pulled, but here's some highlights that seem like likely trade bait, a few multi-players to show those off, and a PC Grandy (hooray for the better days when he was still a Tiger).  As mentioned above, I don't think I needed one of these in every pack, especially when that meant only three or four base cards in the packs, but they look ok.

Yankee Stadium Legacy:  6, Joe Pepitone x2, Joe Gordon, Roy White, Tommy John, Don Mattingly (maybe 1:4 or 1:5?):  Ok, I'm back to wondering if this is a Topps product.  I knew about the UD YSL set, of course, and were I not part of the majority of the world that hates the Yankees, I'd be excited.  I have a feeling BA Benny will be getting these in our upcoming trade, so I'm more than happy to have pulled them for trade bait purposes at least.  

Charcoal parallel Carl Yastrzsemski #081/399 (no idea on odds):  Well now, here we go.  Thanks to my growing Rich Hill rainbow, I've started appreciating the various parallels in this set.  Pulling Yaz was a big plus, too, though I don't get the impression legends are any tougher to pull than the rest.  Still, a fun pull, but I'm happy to trade it if someone has more interest in it than I do. 

Emerald parallel Matt Holliday #386/499 (same deal on the odds):  Definitely my favorite pull of the box.  I'm no fan of green as a rule, mostly thanks to my green-smoking, white-snorting enemies up I-96 (no worries I'll offend them, it's not like they can read) but this is "emerald green" so I can make an exception, especially since it looks stunning on this card.  Though not as illustrious as Yaz, Holliday's a very good player, and I have a feeling one of my western trading partners is gonna be all over this.

Overall insert grade:  B
The one-a-pack Blacks aren't great and the YSLs do nothing for me, but the various other colored parallels are great!

Hits:  Not this time, friend-o

Value grade:  B
I'm not even halfway to a base set and I didn't pull that many useful inserts, but at $7.50 for nine packs, I really can't ding these blasters much.

Recommendation:  I don't know how likely you are to find hobby boxes of this set a couple years after this release, or what they're going for if you do, but that seems like the better way to do, although you'll still need a couple if you want to even sniff a complete set.  I wish they hadn't made it so tough to build this set, but that's collecting these days.

No wantlist yet because I need more than half and I have to weigh my options.  All above minus the Granderson are up for grabs, and I'll include the other Blacks in future trades as appropriate.


  1. It is a fun set. Let me know if you do decide to finish off the base set because I have a bunch that I'd be willing to trade. Maybe about a blasters worth.

  2. I hope I am the Western trading partner you are talking about because I am all over this one. A rainbow for each of the 5 Rockies something I have been thinking about starting. And that would give me 4 Hollidays.

    As always I think I can come up with something for you for it and the Tulo triple black (a new drink name).

  3. I just picked up half the charcoal (#/399) Red Sox team set however I didn't get the Yaz. What would you take for it?