Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Unlicensed sets typically bore me. I know many of my fellow bloggers love the oddball cards, but a photo of George Brett wearing a plain blue hat and a generic white jersey with blue trim is terribly anticlimactic after pages upon pages of action shots.

So what to do when MLB pulls your baseball license, as they did with Upper Deck? You revive an old brand to compete with Allen & Ginter, of course.

Inevitably, this leads to obscure, overpainted photos...
2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #180 Ozzie Smith SP a very young Ozzie Smith trying to catch a wayward batting helmet...

2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #113 Steve Carlton
...Steve Carlton making a call, likely not to the bullpen...

2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #9 Nick Faldo
...and British golf legend Nick Faldo with a properly straight left arm.

But the real gems were the ones that appealed to my geeky side. For example, a card of fellow geek Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer.

2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #8 Steve Wozniak
Look how excited he is about the idea of mobile computing!

But the best one from this blaster (part of my Dave & Adam's Card World shopping spree) has to be this one of moon-walker Alan Bean.

2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #30 Alan Bean
Alan Bean was the Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) of Apollo 12, and the fourth man to walk on the moon. This is a detail from a group shot of the whole crew, and he's standing in front of a mockup of the LEM that he would pilot to land on another world.

When I first composed this post, I couldn't help but wonder if all twelve astronauts that have walked on the moon have been honored on a trading card. Besides this Bean and Buzz Aldrin, which I've shown on this blog before, the only other one that comes to mind is a card from another American Pie set - this one with a photo of Dave Scott, taken during Apollo 15.

A little Googling led me to this post of Fuji's, and it turns out that a whole set of Apollo-era astronauts was produced during the overproduction years. That set is the only one so far to immortalize some of our lesser-known Apollo astronauts like Charlie Duke and Gene Cernan on cardboard. I can assure you that I'd chase a 12-card insert set of those brave pioneers.

Now that China and India are firmly on the list of spacefaring nations, and American private industry is picking up where NASA left off, perhaps we'll start to see a resurgence of interest in the history and future of our space program.

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