So, why did I pick 2009-10 Upper Deck Basketball Draft Edition, a product that was really a huge bust, for my very first case break? Well, the fact that it was a big disappointment means that it can be found pretty cheaply these days. Second, there was one important thing that kept me coming back to look at this set:
There will be approximately (4) signatures per case that will come from the following list:
Kobe Bryant,Michael Jordan,LeBron James,Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Durant, Ricky Rubio (5th pick), James Harden (3rd pick), Johnny Flynn (6th pick), Stephen Curry (7th pick), Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Elgin Baylor.
There are some very big names on that list. I was afraid that the majority of the cases would just contain four autographs of Rubio, Harden, Flynn and Curry so I started to do more research. There’s really not a lot of case breaks of this product documented online. There was one video box break, but I didn’t have 2 hours to devote to watching all of the videos. The biggest autos from this set all seemed to have very low serial numbers so that made my first suspicion seem a lot more viable. A sale by Dave & Adam’s Card World pushed me over the edge and I pulled the trigger on a case.
Here’s what I got out of the first box:
The 2009-10 Upper Deck Basketball Draft Edition (wow, that’s a mouthful) base cards aren’t bad looking. It’s a design that you could easily identify as Upper Deck even without the logo in the corner. The set is lacking a little due to the fact that other players were signed to other companies or just overlooked by Upper Deck. Blake Griffin wasn’t in this set due to being a Panini spokesman. Both Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings aren’t in the base set, but they have some jersey cards available through redemption cards. If any of those guys had base and autograph cards available in this product then the price never would have dropped.
This wasn’t the most thrilling case break due to the small size of the set. Once you’ve opened one box, you’ve seen every base card there is to see and you end up just skipping to the hits in the middle of the pack. It saved a lot of time though when it came to opening the boxes and collating the sets.
There’s a 24-card Alma Mater insert set of non-basketball and non-rookie hoops stars. My favorite from this box was Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia. The set also includes stars such as Jennie Finch (twice?), Frank Thomas, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett, Matt Ryan and Tiger Woods. There are autographed versions of these cards and they are probably some of the most desirable pulls from this product.
Since this is a college basketball product, there’s an insert focusing on NCAA Tournament Titans. The set was originally going to include 20 cards, but it looks like the checklist has to be pared down to 15 cards when Upper Deck lost the basketball license and no longer had the rights to certain players. It still has some big names like Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Mr. Jordan over there. I’m not much of a college basketball fan so this insert set didn’t really interest me at all.
The next insert set focuses on players that were drafted the same year as each other. I pulled the 1991 draft in this box, but some of the big ones in this ten cards set are ‘84 with Olajuwon, Stockton and Jordan and 2009 with Rubio, Flynn and Curry. There are also autographed variations of these cards which fall as case hits. The autographed version of the 1984 draft class would be one amazing card to pull. The 1991 card with Stacey Augmon, Larry Johnson and Kenny Anderson won’t get many people excited unless they’re UNLV fans.
Here’s another insert of players that have something in common. This time it is the college that they attended. For example, James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph both attended Arizona State University. The pairings in this set seems a little suspect. No card for Duke or North Carolina? Two cards in the set for UCLA? LSU’s card should have been Shaq and Big Baby just for my benefit. These cards are also seeded as case hits and most of them are a lot more disappointing than the triple signed cards. This probably had a lot to do with the original checklist of 20 being whittled down to 13 for the release.
Each box contains 4 autographs (on average) and the majority that you’ll see are numbered to 999. Some of the other base autographs are randomly serial numbered to other amounts which makes things a little weird when you have a parallel autograph numbered to 249 and a base autograph numbered to 199. Here are base autographs of Wesley Matthews /999, Tyrese Rice /999 and Dionte Christmas /999.
The fourth autograph in the box was a Josh Shipp green parallel numbered to 249. Shipp was not drafted, which seems kind of strange in a set called Draft Edition, and is currently playing with the Galatasaray Café Crown.
There was also a redemption card in this box for a jersey card of Tyreke Evans. These are jerseys from the Jordan Brand Classic which features top high school players. This is the only place in the set where you will find cards of Tyreke Evans or Brandon Jennings. All of the cards look similar since the swatches are all cut from similar looking jerseys.
So, there’s box #1. I went into a little more detail with this post to introduce the set. As we progress, the posts will just be the nitty gritty. Enjoy!