Last year, Topps created an insert set chronicling every Alex Rodriguez homerun that spanned the majority of their baseball card products. Despite my annoyance, Upper Deck decided to top Topps in 2008 and create a card for every single game played in Yankee Stadium.
Upper Deck's set has a whopping 6,661 cards in it - making it the largest set ever. According to their official website, if you are one of the first five collectors to complete the set you can watch a game for free and meet Derek Jeter... Color me unimpressed with that. If I complete a set of 6,661 cards (all inserts mind you), I'd expect a bit more than "meeting" Derek Jeter...and wouldn't it be terrible if you were the sixth collector to complete the set...you'd get nothing but boxes and boxes of cards that all look the same.
Now, I'm certainly not a Yankee fan, so this set isn't for me, I get that. However, it's the precedent that this set is setting that scares me. I've busted a bunch of Upper Deck boxes so far this year (look for my review of my hobby box of UD Goudey coming up in a few days). With each box, I've gotten a few different Yankee Stadium Legacy cards. I'm glad that someone likes them, because I'm listing my 61 different cards on eBay tonight. They certainly seem to sell fairly well, so I'm optimistic someone will be happy to add a large chunk of the cards to their collection. To them I say: "You're welcome." To the collecting community at large, I say, "Watch out."
Remember when relic cards were rare? Remember when it was exciting to pull a relic and know that you got a jersey of whatever player was on the front? Remember when those jerseys were actual game-used jerseys (not this game used relic crap that is code for "pants" that we see nowadays). Thinking back, remember when die-cut cards were cutting edge (literally)? Remember when Upper Deck busted onto the scene with that flashy hologram logo?
I'm afraid that ten years from now people will be saying things like "remember when sets only had 100 cards" or "remember when insert sets didn't span every set known to man" or even "remember when there was such thing as a base card"...
I see no good coming from these "super" sets that span the entire product line of a company. I suppose it encourages people to buy packs of cards from sets they normally wouldn't (like Upper Deck X), but I doubt that works all that well since eBay is such a player in the card collection market. Otherwise, the cards simply take up a slot in the packs that I’d rather not be wasted…
Since I’m a set collector at heart, I actually would rather have another Goudey card in place of those Yankee Stadium Legacy cards. Sure, the Legacy cards sell for a few bucks on eBay (or so I hope), but I’d much rather be able to buy fewer packs to assemble my own set. In short, I hope this is the last “super” set I ever see, though I’m afraid that the trend is only beginning…especially since the cards seem to sell.
What do you think? Do you like the super sets? Do you plan on collecting all 6,661 cards in the set?
The bottom line:
I give the 2008 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy set a x/100 where x = 95 if you are a Yankee fan and 5 if you aren't.
Pros: If you are hardcore New York Yankee fan, then this set is a dream set. There seems to be a nice variety of players featured on the front of the cards and the backs of each card has the boxscore for that particular game. The only way that Upper Deck could have improved the card would to have featured a star player from that game on the front of the card. Of course, on days where the Yankees got shutout there probably wouldn't be any "stars" to choose from.
Cons: If you aren't a Yankee fan, there's no real reason to like this set. It only features Yankees! Also, even if you are a Yankee fan, it's discouraging (to say the least) that the set is over 6,000 cards. I doubt many people will actually complete this set...which is a shame since baseball card sets are designed (or at least should be designed) to be complete sets!