Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Collaborative box break : 2004 UD Play Ball

Ok, it's now time for our second installment in our ongoing Box break series with Matt. He went for Topps Turkey Red, so I went with Upper Deck Play Ball.

For those who don't remember the concept : we each break open a box, each at one end of the Atlantic Ocean. We draft teams (I always get the Blue Jays, Matt always gets the Pirates) and then hope for the best. The funny thing is that I'm sure that I can speak for Matt also, but we always end up rooting for the other guy instead of our own fortune. We're just happy to see that the box is a good one. This time, I got the NL (minus Pirates) and he got the AL (minus Blue Jays).

I didn't know much about that set and actually didn't own any of the Blue Jays from it, so it was all brand new in front of my eyes full of stars. Stars a little tainted because of the $40 customs fees (even though merchandise totaled for about $100, which is usually low enough to get past customs...but I suppose it's just a giant lottery), but hey, sometimes you win...

I'm not too impressed with the base design. It looks like something Panini would do today (I'll let you decide whether you think it's a compliment or not ! ).

A mix of HOFers (a handful, actually) and current (well, current in 2004) players

The backs of the cards are lackluster, but the text isn't too generic. I feel they could have stopped at 'talent alone' on Clemens' card...yup, sometimes you need a little outside help...And he'll need help from the Veteran Committee if he hopes to make it to the HOF one day.

Those are the first SPs, numbered out of 2004.

Those are the other SPs, numbered out of 1999

I got pretty lucky with that one. I didn't get any of the other parallels (there were 4 others, they all went to Matt), but at least I scored a Blue Jay on a low numbered one.

Those are inserted at 1:24. Never easy to unload a Sosa card, but it's still a nice thick card !

One of the two relics included in the box, and it's of one of my favorite players, so yay

So all in all, it was a fun box to open. That set would've probably annoyed me 10 years ago, as I'm not too sure what they were trying to do, and it looks more like one more set among others instead of a real solid effort (and 5 card packs were $4 at the time. That's a lot. Really). But at $50 a box, I won't go as far as to say it was worth it, but I do like the inserts and the overall checklist. Plus, the dispatching is almost equal, as I got a relic, a low numbered parallel and another insert, whereas Matt...well, you'll see on his end once he receives the envelope filled with goodies !

Along with the box for our box break, I got a couple more to soften S&H charges. I'll be showing them shortly !


  1. Piazza was a good hit. I'll don't recall opening any of this back in the mid 2000s which is rare since I busted everything under the sun. I'm excited to see them in person.

  2. nope, not up to Panini standards. ;) with a noted resemblance to more recent efforts of Goodwin Champions. I welcome Customs inasmuch as they protect the homeland from drugs and other criminal element but $40 on a box of cards? That is NUTSO! Nice Piazza tho! I'm such I have some Mike P dupes. Once I'm reunited with my collection, perhaps I can share. :)

    1. I always have you in mind when I find a Piazza ! If I decide not to keep it, you're first on the list. As for cutoms, well, there's a $20 flat fee, the rest is up to them...The thing is that there is no clear rule as to what is taxed and what isn't. Normally, if merchandise is less than $100, they're supposed to let it pass. I guess not..

  3. I think I ripped one pack of this sometime in my life. I remember finding a few of these cards and thought "holy hell - this is bad",

  4. Hideous set. Every time I see these I can't get over that the players' faces look like they're melting.

    1. thanks, now it's the only image I have when I look at the cards ! Yeah, the base set is bad. But the purpose of our breaks is to get trade bait with affordable hits (and have fun opening packs), so I suppose that served it.

  5. Someone at Upper Deck discovered the photo manipulation tools on Photoshop and realized no one had yet produced a card where the players looked like composite drawings from the searches for criminals. Voila! Instant set.