According to the box, each hobby box should contain a box topper jumbo patch and three patch cards. There are 20 packs in a box with five cards per pack (the patch cards do not count as a card in the pack, you either get a patch card or a dummy card plus five base cards).
The back of the wrapper also states that short printed base cards are inserted at a rate of 1:4 packs but I couldn't find a list of the short printed cards anywhere online.
For completion, here is the checklist (each hobby box has one checklist inserted in the box).
As mentioned above, each box promises one box topper jumbo relic... However, upon opening the box I was greeted with a wrapper stating that it contained two jumbo patches. The patches were:
In total, there are 73 different possible jumbo patches, one for each All-Star game held up through 2003.
The box contained 95 of the 120 base card plus five duplicate base cards. The card design is decent but dull...
|2003 UD Patch Collection Base Card Front|
The backs of the cards aren't terrible, but again, they aren't exciting either.
|Base card back|
As a whole, the checklist is organized by team which is kind of nice for team collectors. I also often like how sets look in a binder when they are sorted by team. Unfortunately, it also makes it really obvious when one team has more cards than another team (the Mets and Yankees have a bunch of cards for instance).
The big draw of the set though is the patch cards. Besides the two jumbo patches, we ended up with FIVE different patch cards (crushing the stated odds of only 3 patches per box). We ended up with one example of each of the three patch sets numbered as part of the base set...
All-Star Selection: (1:40 packs)
132. Adam Dunn
Hall of Famers: (1:40 packs)
136. Ted Williams
Rookie Innovation (1:20 packs)
156. Ryan Cameron
We also ended up with two different MVP patches (1:20 packs):
MVP-8. Mickey Mantle
Given how we fared against the stated odds, I have to say the box was a great box! As I mentioned, the base set is quite boring but the allure of the different patches keeps the pack ripping exciting. There are also autographed patches in the set but we weren't lucky enough to find one of those. Even so, absolutely no complaints about the box overall!
Overall, I give the 2003 Upper Deck Patch Collection the following rating:
Set design: C-
Opening Thrill: B+
The positives of extra hits (three extras in total) made this box an exciting rip from start to finish. Unfortunately, given the small set size duplicates may be unavoidable (especially if there really are short printed base cards)...but without being able to locate a definitive list of short prints I can't say for sure. The design of the cards is quite dull as well which affects the score slightly (though admittedly this isn't a set that is designed for the base cards alone)! It should be noted that other than the various patches, there are no inserts or parallels - so if you get a pack without a hit you don't get much to be excited about at all.