Thursday, January 21, 2010

Box Break: 2008 Masterpieces


I had already opened a box of 2008 Masterpieces retail that I picked up during the BlowoutCards Black Friday promotion.  Now it was time to open a hobby box to get started on the set.

I’m still wondering exactly why Upper Deck completely halted Masterpieces.  Even if they didn’t want to do a full set, there should have been a Masterpieces insert set in 2009 Upper Deck Baseball like their was in 2009-10 Basketball.  This set had beautiful cards, great looking relic cards and on-card autographs.  Between commissioning the art and getting the cards signed, these sets were probably a ton of work, but it was worth the effort.  In its place we get poorly designed cards and sticker autographs.  It’s a damn shame.

I combined the cards from this box with the retail box before seeing exactly what came out of this box.  I was rushing to get my checklists updated and totally forgot to check that.  Currently, I’m 3 base cards and 19 short prints away from the set which isn’t too bad.  I’ve also got a small stack of duplicates if anyone out there is looking for some cards from the base set.  Lets go onto the hits:

ChipperOne of the best things about Masterpieces is the framed parallels.  There are so many different colors that you can usually find one that makes the picture on the card look even better.  This navy blue bordered Chipper Jones is a good example of that.  The card looks good with a white border, but it looks even better with this darker border.

The other navy bordered cards that I pulled were Johnny Bench, Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling.  I’ll be holding onto the Schilling, but the other three are available for trade.  Just post a reply or drop me an e-mail.

HafnerI pulled one red bordered card of Travis Hafner.  This is another example of a border making the card look better.  The red border is perfect for Indians.

Even though these red cards are rarer than the blues, since they aren’t serial numbered, they don’t really go for much more than the blues.  That’s good news for player collectors since you don’t end up paying more to pick up the parallels until you get to the numbered variants.

Hafner is available especially if a certain Indians collector needs it for his collection.


The next parallel… actually let’s wait on that.  My autograph for the box is from White Sox hurler Gavin Floyd.  Floyd had a breakout year in 2008, but wasn’t as successful in 2009.  It’ll be interesting to see if his 2010 season more closely resembles his dominant 2008 season or his solid 2009 season.  These Stroke of Genius cards are some of the best looking autograph cards ever produced.


I pulled a much better jersey card out of this box than I did from the retail box.  Without even trying, I’ve put together a decent little Griffey Jr collection over the years.  I’ve got rookies, a Sweet Spot signature card, relic cards and plenty of base cards and inserts.  I’ve even managed to pull three of the short prints base set cards from 2009 Upper Deck without yet buying a box.

I’ve always liked Griffey and it’s a shame that injuries kept him from challenging some of the records that many one day thought he would.  It’s nice to see him return to Seattle, but hopefully he doesn’t stick around too long.


Here’s that other parallel card that I was talking about.  It’s a David Wright gold parallel numbered 4/10.  This card easily beats both of the “hits” in the box and made this an excellent box overall.

In 2007 and 2008, Masterpieces was easily the best non-retro set produced.  The paintings are beautiful and the player selection is top notch.  On-card autographs are always nice to pull.  I just wish they limited the hits to the same players that are in the regular set.  That would make this an even better set, but would probably increase the price tag as well.  I would give this set an A and the box that I opened gets an A-.


Sooz said...

I really like this set too. Masterpieces has been one of my favorite.

Captain Canuck said...

I pulled a Youkalis jersey out of my box. Know any Sox collector wanting to trade for it?

Joe S. said...

We have the exact same taste in cards. I, too, bought some Masterpieces boxes on sale, though after just one retail box I'm only 6 cards short, and I've got already gotten two of the missing pieces out of the first two packs of my second box.

I've also been looking at a box of Obak every weekend it's on sale, too. Anyway, I'll let you know what doubles I have after I'm done with my two boxes if you're still looking for 'em.

Offy said...

Sooz - Masterpieces would be the perfect set to do without a license since everything is painted and it's very easy to leave out the logos. If Upper Deck survives, I'd love to see it make a return.

Captain - I'd think Adam over at Thoughts and Sox would like that card more than I would. I'm not a huge fan of Youk.

Joe - Obak is a lot of fun. I've been focusing on that a lot more these days as my recent breaks have probably shown.

Field of Cards said...

Nice Griffey. I like him on the Mariners this year but only if he gets under 200 ab.

Yeah, I think they should continue Masterpieces. It would still be great.

It seems so many excellent sets disappear.

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