Monday, January 2, 2012

what's this all about, then?

and away we go.  what exactly is 'timeless teams', you might be wondering.  well, in 2004, upper deck put out a 300 card set celebrating several allegedly memorable baseball teams from seasons past.  this blog will address the checklist, the teams, and, of course, the cards themselves.

first, the basics.

when compiling the checklist, upper deck was limited to living players who were willing to sign cards, thanks to their ambitious plan to have signed versions of each of the 300 cards in the set.  that means that the only deceased people featured in the release were found in the combo cuts insert set and some of the relics.  i'll try to keep this in mind when reviewing the players featured for each team.

the base set consists of the 'traditional' player card front, in either color
or black and white
with a photo of the team's stadium and a single career stat line on the back. 
there are also a smattering of 'memorable moments' cards throughout the set
that document (what else) memorable moments from the season being feted.
in addition to the 300 card base set, there are several parallel sets.  a bronze set, with each card serial numbered to 50;
and a gold set, with each card serial numbered to 5.
and then there are the autographs. on card autos, at that.
each of the 300 cards in the set has three autograph parallels - 'common', gold, and platinum.  i am not sure what number most of the 'common' autographs were limited to, but there are documented short prints within the set ranging from 25 to 100 copies, so we know that at least more than 100 were made for the other cards.  the gold autographs are again serial numbered to 5,
and the platinum copies are limited to one of each.  the backs still have the stadium scene, but include upper deck's certification text instead of the stats and other text found on the base cards.  based on some info i have seen online, there were at least a couple of autographed cards that were 'exchange' or 'redemption', but i don't know what they looked like when pulled from a pack.

beyond the base cards and their multiple parallels, there are even more inserts. 

legendary combination signatures - 5 cards, serial numbered to 10 each, featuring 5-player, non-teammate combinations.  with a checklist that includes hall of famers and world series heroes, i sadly do not own any of these cards.

legendary combination cuts - 5 cards, serial numbered to 1 copy each, featuring deceased players and presidents.  the combinations on these cards include mickey mantle/joe dimaggio, jfk/thomas jefferson, jackie robinson/abraham lincon, fdr/ted williams, and george washington/babe ruth.  i have no images to share with you.

legendary signatures dual - 45 cards, limited from 25 to 150 copies, with two teammates' autographs featured on each card.  i do have one of these to show off
legendary signatures triple - 33 cards, ranging in runs from 25 to 75 copies, with three teammates' autographs featured on each card. i don't have any of these.

and don't forget about the relic cards.  each card features six teammates from selected teams on a fold-out card.  there are 9 different cards produced, each with 5 variations.  the teams featured are the orioles, red sox, reds, dodgers, brewers, mets, yankees, a's, and cardinals.  the variations, each with a different logo burned into the bat pieces, include:

team terrific game used timeless teams brand logo - 10 to 41 serial numbered copies

team terrific game used hat logo - 15 to 82 serial numbered copies

team terrific game used league logo - each limited to 15 copies, except for the yankees card which had only 5 copies made

team terrific game used stat version - each limited to 1 or 5 copies, with the yankees card being the only one with just a single copy.

team terrific game used team logo - ranging from 30 to 100 copies of each.  i have a couple of the dodgers' version of this card
although it is numbered to 85.  the 'official' upper deck checklist says it had a print run of 42.  i guess they found some more wood to use.

i think i will give each insert and parallel set its own post after we get through the base cards.
the cards were sold in packs which included 5 cards. each box consisted of 18 packs, with two autographed cards per box, on average.  the fold-out relic cards were inserted one every 4 cases (20 boxes per case), and the multi-player autos and combo cut autos were inserted at a rate of one per case.

[thanks to the 2009 standard catalog of baseball cards, upper deck, and dave and adam's for providing some of the info used in this post.]

i'll start with the first team featured in the set tomorrow, and then will likely be posting two teams each week.  as we go along, please let me know your thoughts about the set, the cards, the players - anything.  it's appreciated.


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing how Upper Deck handled the pictures on the cards of other teams. Here's what I wrote about the '69 Cubs in the set...I wasn't too impressed.

  2. Great info about the checklist vis-a-vi the autographs. I never really thought about that. I'm looking forward to more.

  3. great idea. godspeed, young man...

  4. shameless plug post is here...and you just sprouted a new follower with me....

  5. The big drawback to this set is that many of the photos don't match the year at ALL. Typical Upper Deck. Great concept, just not executed as well as it could have been.

  6. yup. i'll be sure to comment on the photos, just like wrigley wax did in his post. not to be overly negative, i would suggest that another drawback to the set is that not every team is represented, and that's the way it should be. but, if you are a giants fan, there's not much here to like. thank goodness the dodgers are well represented!

  7. This should be fun. I've seen very few of these cards so it'll be like a new set for me.

  8. i'm gonna 86 the text about the 1/1 base parallels. there is no mention of them anywhere, and that pedro card may just be the result of a poor resolution scan. plus, i picked up a 1/1 auto, and there is no modification to the brand logo.