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Upper Deck Unveils 2009 Baseball Series 1 Release

Five hundred-card base set will be joined by numerous insert sets, some of which will predict the future.
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Upper Deck is releasing a very ambitious series of special insert cards inside its flagship baseball brand, 2009 Series One Baseball. Led by 89 signed and several hundred unsigned buyback cards of its very first card ever released, the coveted 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card (No. 1), the company has also sprinkled in unique cards chronicling 10 "Historic Firsts" that took place during 2008 and nine "Historic Firsts Predictors" that could come true in 2009. What's more, the card behemoth is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, so the company has produced a special 2,500-card insert set that will be featured inside each of the company’s '09 baseball trading card releases starting with Series One, which have hit store shelves. The retrospective "20th Anniversary" cards, appearing at a rate of one in every other pack, celebrate special events from the past 20 years that have occurred in sports, politics, pop culture, world history and even technology.

“This year represents a special one for the Upper Deck Co., so we knew that our original brand - Upper Deck - would have to have some special bells and whistles associated with it," said Jason Masherah, Upper Deck’s senior sports brand manager. “I think we really captured some pivotal pieces to the puzzle, from the autographed Griffey rookie buybacks to the 20th Anniversary retrospective cards, we've really packed a lot of cool content into this year's flagship release.”

The 500-card base set (see sample card at left), which is 100 cards bigger than last year’s UD1 effort, truly has something for every collector. Hobby boxes will yield, on average, two MLB memorabilia cards, one of which is either a dual, triple or quad serial-numbered to 199 or less. In addition, hobby boxes will bear, on average, one “Inkredible” autograph card as well as up to four “Yankee Stadium Legacy Update” cards and four “MLB Documentary Update” cards. And to honor the card that started it all, Upper Deck had Griffey sign 89 of his 1989 rookie cards and include the special inscription: “20 years.” These cards were randomly inserted into the product. To add heightened rarity to these autographed cards, Junior signed the first 13 cards in black ink and the remaining 76 cards in blue ink.

The “Historic Firsts” cards, meanwhile, inserted at a rate of 1:6 packs in Upper Deck’s 2009 Series One Baseball, include notable achievements including from the political arena: the "First African-American elected to the U.S. Presidency" (Barack Obama); the “First Female Candidate on GOP’s Presidential Ticket” (Sarah Palin); from the military sector, the “First Female to be Promoted to U.S. Four-Star General” (Army General Ann E. Dunwoody); and from the science-and-technology region, the “First Privately Developed Space Launch” (SpaceX Falcon 1).

The “Historic Firsts Predictors” cards, also inserted at a rate of 1:6 packs, include gas prices plummeting to 99 cents per gallon, and the first African-American woman being confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Other historic firsts predictors cards topping the list are ones predicting that an AIDS vaccine is developed, that alien life form is discovered on another planet and that the Dow Jones reaches 15,000 points!

True to its roots, Upper Deck also included a few sports-related predictions. The scenario most likely to come true is that the National League ends a 10-year drought and actually wins this year’s MLB All-Star Game, which is being played at St. Louis’s Busch Stadium. The two remaining sports predictions include Chicago being named host city of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and college football adopting an actual playoff system to determine the national champion.

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