More precious than gold

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

This package, still in its shrink wrap, is a fulfillment of a long held dream. I now have the entire 1989 Upper Deck set, high numbers and all. "Big deal!" I hear some of you say, "I have three of those." But for me, this set is where it truly began. '89 Upper Deck is what brought Topps out of its slumber, because goodness knows Donruss and Fleer were never going to do it. But Upper Deck, when it hit the market, was unlike anything ever seen before.

I liken Upper Deck to the ABA. Many of the things we take for granted - foil packs, quality card stock, glossy photographs - all popped up for the first time in '89 Upper Deck. Just as the ABA shook up the NBA and gave us the three-point line, the slam dunk contest and the swagger, Upper Deck fired a warning shot across Topps' bow. Eventually, the old guard vanquished the opponent. It just took Topps twice as long as it did the NBA to win its war. Of those '89 features, only the hologram didn't survive. Think of it as the baseball card equivalent to the red, white and blue basketball.

As much as I was mesmerised by Upper Deck in 1989 (and I guess I still am), the fact is I didn't get this set 21 years ago because, well, I was too damn cheap. I couldn't justify spending a whole dollar on a pack of cards, although I regularly spend three or four times that now. Funnily enough, I was able to luck into this box and get it for 25 bucks - cheaper than it probably cost in 1989. I'd love to say I planned it that way, but that would be a bald-faced lie.

Then there was the saga of the Griffey card. Most '89 sets are ridiculously priced because of it, still to this day. I finally have a Griffey rookie of my own (although it's still sealed in that box). I still need two more - one for my Mariners collection (most Mariners '89UD team sets are sold sans Griffey) and one for the Junior PC. If you have about ten of them, and would love to help out, just let me know!

Christmas is coming soon. I have a Christmas post all prepared and ready to go. See you then.

Comments (2)

    I'd have to say that UD begat the bad with the good as well. Would we be content with cards and cheap gum now without them?

    But do we want ridiculous insert counts, multiple sub sets, 'premium' cards that pringle and stick together, and finally, another monopoly?

    I think most of what they did is great. But I know that 1000+ card sets with 428 inserts with 7 variations each, along with numbers and autos is a bit much!

    Great post... I still don't own this set. But if I found one for $25... I'd definitely pick it up. Congratulations!