Thursday, February 25, 2010

2009 Card Year Favorites - My One and Only List

Now that Ultimate is live, we only have one set left in the 2009 card season. Its been a long year, but there have been some very nice additions to the lineup, while others have been lacking in originality and look. I want to go over a few of my favorite cards of the year, mainly because my formal review process has stopped.

Topps/Topps Chrome Base Cards

When it comes to base, I rarely buy or collect any of them. I just don’t see the point. With Topps and Topps Chrome this year, the cards were awesome looking, even more so with the colored refractors we all love. The photography this year was good, the border was top notch, and the set delivered on almost all fronts. Chrome products are the reason I am sad to see Topps exit the market, but this was a good last hurrah.

SPX Shadowbox and Shadowbox Autos

SPX as a whole was pretty substandard for the year, but it did have one element that was truly amazing. The shadow box cards were the first football cards in a long time to feature acetate and card in the same space, and the autographs were even better. Although it was almost impossible to scan them because of the layers of the card, they looked great in person.

Leaf Limited Rookie Phenoms Patch Auto

I was unimpressed by most of limited because of the foil and the boring cards. However, the rookie Patch autos were awesome. I credit their use of team word logo diecuts that made the cards awesome, but good player placement and photography added to the overall effect. I think the cards brought life to a stale set, and it was the ONLY time during the year that I bought a card printed on foilboard. Although many were redemptions for stickers that should have been signed at the premiere, the final product was great.

SP Authentic Rookie Authentics Patch Auto

The numbering may have been higher, and the product may have redemption problems, but the cards are amazingly done. The white background is rarely ever a bad thing, and it makes the players and autos pop on these cards like no other. People often wonder how SPA can hold the value of these cards despite a lower box price and non-rare numbers, and the reason is look. They always look great, bottom line.

Phildelphia National Chicle Autos

Im not a retro guy by any means, but I loved the look of Upper Deck's national chicle cards. They blew topps out of the water in every single way, and stayed true to the original concept of the set. When you add in low numbered on card autos of rookies and veterans, including some inscriptions, you find a special place in my heart. I jumped on the Peterson the first time it came up on eBay and it is truly one of my favorites in the collection.

Upper Deck Black Lustrous Dual Patch Autos

Cards with acetate elements look cool because they add depth to a two dimensional object. The lustrous cards were awesome because of that element, as well as a great design and AWESOME action shots. Although these cards were ridiculously rare in a set that didn’t have a lot of bright spots for a lot of people, they were still some of the coolest of the year.

Bowman Chrome Red Refractors and Red Refractor Autos

Its tough for me to add these to the list because of their extreme rarity, but the reds from this year's bowman chrome were some of the coolest I have ever seen. Despite the fact that the set as a whole left some to be desired with the addition of jersey autos, these cards were great. I managed to pull one earlier out of some loose packs, and though I didn’t collect the player, I almost kept it. It looked that cool.

Upper Deck Premier Rookie Jersey Autos

Premier was downgraded to a one per case insert this year, but that may have been one of the worst decisions of the season with how good most of the cards looked. The rookie autos out of this set were some of my favorites, and I have even tried on a few occasions to get the Harvin. The problem was that they were numbered to only 40, so there are very few to go around. The design was better than any other year of premier, which made me sad that it wasn’t going to make a comeback.

Topps Rookie Premiere Autos

If there was a way to tell a fake from a real one without going through hell, I would buy a few. Now that people have had months to fake the cards, I wouldn’t touch any of them with a ten foot pole unless you saw it pack pulled. Either way, the cards looked awesome as the first hard signed pro-uni cards this year, to which I am sad that it is the last year for them.

Upper Deck Ultimate Patch Autos

Last but certainly not least, the Ultimate Patch autos from this recent release have been my favorite of the year. Its not because they are fresh in my mind either. If I had the money I would collect this set, and trust me, you would need a lot of money to do it. The on card signatures are in exactly the right place on the card, which leaves room for a big player pic, as well as three ornate patch windows. The overall look of the card is Exquisite worthy, and it may actually be better than most of the cards in the upcoming set. Im dying for both the Harvin and the Peterson, but I will most likely have to wait for both due to the prices they will command.

That’s all I can think of for right now, but im sure there are more that are in your minds this year as well. There sure were a lot of sets this year, and its sad that I can only think of this many as my favorites. Hopefully next year will spell some better offerings when its only Panini and UD squaring off.


  1. 6 of your 10 choices were Upper Deck products - what a surprise. Your typical Upper Deck bias. And on top of that you didn't judge the cards on their Favre content.

    Now I wait and see.....

  2. Alex, for reference, this was "my one and only list" not "Alex's one and only list." I dont see why its a problem that I like what I like. If you like something differently, you should do a post on your own blog.

    I would read it. I promise.

  3. Alex, chill out man, it is one person's opinion after all. Most of the choices that he has put up there seem a pretty good choice in my opinion. What would your top ten be Alex? The manufactored patch autos from National Treasures?

  4. Couldn't agree more with these picks. LOVED the Limited Phenom cards. I have a HARVIN, MORENO, MCCOY, WELLS that look awesome!

  5. The manufactured patch autos from National Treasures were awesome - only joking. Those were lame for a super high end product, though National Treasures did have some good cards in it, just not those.

    Yes Gellman, I know this is your list. My comment was designed to to get a response, for a reason. For the record I actually think 8 of the 10 were good sets, the exception being the Upper Deck Black and the shadowbox. Personally I think, purely from a design point of view, Topps Mayo was the best looking set of the year - and it didn't even have Favre relics or autos! It did have the Favre silk though, which is really nice.

    It is interesting that you say "I dont see why its a problem that I like what I like." considering you have a go at people who like products like Triple Threads all the time. Shouldn't that also be the case that it "You don't see why it's a problem that they like what they like"? Couldn't that be seen as being a tad hypocritical? Just playing the devil's advocate that will undoubtedly piss people off.

  6. "My comment was designed to to get a response, for a reason"

    This is usually said right before, "you see, I was a middle child and often felt neglected."

    The desperation is palpable.

  7. And again, I got you to respond, as well as Gellman and Ewensel, so mission accomplished.