Back when 2009 SPx first came out, I grabbed a couple of packs just to see what they were like. I would have grabbed more than two, but after seeing what I got and what people were pulling out of video box breaks, the $8 per pack price tag was enough to keep me away. The base cards weren’t all that great looking and the multitude of single color, unnumbered jersey cards weren’t anything to get excited about. I was lucky enough to pull a rookie redemption which is one in every 7 boxes (126 packs) and figured that I would quit while I was ahead. I went online, redeemed the card and found out that I had Rookie Redemption #6.
Recently, Upper Deck has started a page on Facebook. They’ve offered some very cool first looks on the page of things such as Exquisite Basketball and Ultimate Collection Basketball. This is also where Upper Deck posted the first images of the Rookie Redemption cards. The first card to be posted is that of Koji Uehara. The card is numbered to 99 and Uehara signed 25 of those in Japanese.
The first Uehara cards have popped up on eBay and while the redemption cards have been selling in the $40 range, the first two Uehara cards have sold for $102.51 and $111.00 and there is currently a third at $133.00 with 15 hours to go. All three are the English versions. If this price holds for the English version of the card, it’ll be interesting to see what a Japanese variant sells for. It will also be interesting to see if the price of this card increases the price that the redemption cards are selling for. The only sticking point there is you don’t know who you are getting until you redeem the card. It could be Uehara, it could be 8 other unannounced players or it could be the recently announced Colby Rasmus.
All of the cards will be numbered to 99 and so far all of them have had 25 cards with a variant signature. This one is kind of interesting. Instead of adding an inscription to the card, the inscription has replaced Rasmus’ signature. Will collectors be as interested in a card that a player has written on, but not signed? Is the only important factor that there’s only 25 of the variant? It will be interesting to see as the Rasmus cards are sent out by Upper Deck and begin to show up on eBay.
I really like the design of the Rookie Redemption cards. They look nicer than the base cards from the set. I think it may be due to more of the X being blocked out by the picture. I should know in 12 – 18 weeks which player I’ll be getting for my redemption card and I can’t wait to see who it is.
EDITED TO ADD: IT looks like my eBay search was a little off earlier. The first Uehara to sell on eBay went for just $76 which may have been partially due to the fact that it was just a one day auction. One ended soon after that at $150 BIN. That one day auction was done to beat the first card posted on eBay in a 5 day auction and that card sold for $102.51. They’re selling anywhere between $100 and $140 with the price steadily climbing. The first Japanese card to show up on eBay sold for $158.05 which seems to be low given what the English cards are selling for. I guess it’s not that big of a difference between 74 of one and 25 of the other.