Friday, January 22, 2016

Nostalgic Box Break: 2002 Upper Deck Series One (Part Two


There is a ton to like about to product, but there are some aspects that keeps it from being a universally loved set, and that's mostly because it lacks a lot of the edge that 90's UD and 06-09 UD would eventually inherit. This is a set in a transitional period in Upper Deck's history, and with that in mind it's kind of admirable.

Last 12 packs coming your way.

 Pack 13- Like with the 90's CC, a TON of full body shots, but when there is cropping there's a very good reason for it, like the Glavine at the bottom.

 Here's your yearly reminder that Brady Anderson once tried a season in Cleveland. As you can imagine, since this set isn't from the 90's, it didn't go too well for him.
Also, Reggie Sanders is practicing his bunting, which is pretty cool.

 Gotta love Bernie. He's on the run, evidently from his ASG nod from the previous year. Also, Tom Glavine, still on top of his game for one last season in Atlanta, throwing fire like the Future HOFer he is.

 Pack 14- Jeez, call me biased, but I was tempted to call the rookie on the far left a D-Backs player. Then I remembered the red uniforms don't come in until 2007.

 Two reminders that the early 00's Brewers weren't too impressive. Eric Young's best years were behind him, and Sexson's bat hadn't officially erupted yet.

 Plus, here's Curt Schilling, mowing 'em down in Arizona after a stellar postseason in 2001.

 Pack 15- That's one giant-ass ball.
 After paying his dues on those landmark Yankees teams, Tino Martinez took three seasons off, and two of them were spent at Busch stadium. Tino's not too well remembered generally (unless you're this guy) but he had some nice years as a Mariner and Yankee. He wasn't too shabby as a Cardinal either.

 Ruben Sierra, that DH guy, as a member of the Mariners. In case you wondered why they didn't get back to the playoffs in '02.

 Two big hitters from the 2000's. Giambi missed out on his chance at a ring with the Yankees when he left the team in 2009. Burrell stuck around Philly to grab a ring himself...and then high-tailed it over to San Francisco to be a part of the Cinderella team in 2010.

 Pack 16- Oh yeah, guys I forgot to warn you. My hit's in this pack, and it keeps calling about we ignore him for right now, until he comes over. Got it? Thanks...

 This is a pretty important card if you've seen Moneyball. Carlos Pena was playing pretty well for the A's in 2001, except he didn't get on base enough for Billy Beane to want him around. Great scene in the movie, when Jonah Hill has to tell a very confused Pena that he's been traded to Detroit.

 Also, here's a card that reminds you how much of a beast Albert Pujols was in 2001.

 Okay...deep breath in...deep breath out.

There is so much wrong with this hit that I have to just take a step back and take it all in. There's a ton of awfulness in there.

For those of you out there who've heard of Omar Daal (and for that, I apologize), he was the Phillies' 2001 Opening Day starter, before becoming a burnout in the LA rotation. Pulling a hit of Omar Daal is not something I was thinking of doing when I woke up that morning.

Add the fact that the swatch is VERY CLEARLY a Phillies one, complete with a red pinstripe, and the fact that Omar Daal's Dodgers jersey looks pretty photoshoppy, makes this one of the single WORST HITS I have ever pulled out of a pack of anything. Ever.

That bad, folks. THAT BAD.

I'll say that I broke another 00's UD product later, and got a MUCH BETTER hit out of it. But this is too pathetic for words. I'm truly sorry you all had to witness this.

 Pack 17- Three hall of famers in this pack, and one box office giant.

 Scott Hatteberg was a HUGE part of the Moneyball movie, going from a low-hitting catching convert to the offensive cornerstone of a playoff team. And he was played by Chris Pratt, no less, which is awesome.
Matt Williams is currently out of a job...which is fun.

 Not a ton of cool rookies in this set, but So Taguchi was a decent hitter for a few years.

 Two of our Hall of Famers. Pedro was in the middle of another killer season in Boston. Frank was still hitting up a storm in Chicago.

 And this Return of the Ace insert set, a pretty cool one too, highlights the sheer AWESOMENESS that is Greg Maddux. Can't help but appreciate the guy's stuff.

 Pack 18- The highlights are running thin here.

 John Flaherty's a basic no-name, but this is a pretty cool catcher shot.

 Can't go wrong with an Ichiro checklist.

 But you CAN go wrong, VERY wrong, with a Jose Valverde rookie.

 Pack 19- More sweet Expos uniforms!

 Our lone highlights are Carlos Beltran in the process of a base-run, and Curt Schilling in strikeout mode.

 Pack 20- More posed shot shenanigans!

 David Justice, YET ANOTHER star of the Moneyball movie, in his final season, coming from a season as the Yankees' DH.
Also, it's Omar Daal again, and he JUST...WON'T....LEAVE!

 Jeromy Burnitz looks pretty happy to be back in a Mets uniform, I think. Either that or it's Darrell Hammond.

 Another Return of the Ace. This one hasn't held up as well, as it's Wade Miller. Pretty soon after this card's release, a true ace would emerge in Houston, and that'd be Roy Oswalt. Sorry, Wade.

 Pack 21- Tons of pitchers in this one.

 A fan of this photo, a full wingspan shot of Eric Milton.

 Hideo Nomo FINALLY returned to LA in 2002, after a barrage of stints in Detroit, Boston, Queens and Milwaukee. Nomo would only play for three more teams over the final five seasons of his career.

 Pack 22- Very colorful, but quite a few posed shots.

 Another Moneyball tie. Jason Isringhausen was dealt away from Oakland after the 2001 season, into St. Louis, where he'd make a name for himself as a monster closer.

 Two HOFers. Robbie's there now, and Jim will join him in a couple years.

 Pack 23- Definitely winding down.

 This week in 'HE WAS STILL PLAYING IN 2002?' Rick Helling, as a D-Back.

 Also, here's a card commemorating Sammy Sosa's third 60-homer season. Not suspicious at all...

 Pack 24- Last pack, and not too much left.

 Jeff Kent probably won't make it into the Hall of Fame, but at least he'll have his tenure on Survivor...

And we'll finish it off with a super-cool shot of Jason Kendall stopping the runner toward home. One of the more consistent catchers of that era.

So, that's the box. Lots of fun, lots of cool photos, and one really crappy hit. Stay tuned, as I might get bored and throw another box from the archives onto the blog sometime soon.

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