Upper Deck Making 2010 Interesting

This morning, Upper Deck announced that it had come to agreement with the Roger Maris estate to include his cards in six different releases. Along with base cards, U.D. has promised game-used relics and cut signatures of the late single-season Home Run King.

This announcement comes a week after Upper Deck came to terms with the legendary Roberto Clemente estate for the rights to produce cards of the Hall of Famer as early as 2009 with the Ultimate Collection line, as well as six products from 2009.

With Roger Maris and Roberto Clemente lined up and an exclusive contract with Joe DiMaggio already in place, who would you like to see in 2010 Upper Deck products? Aside from my wish list of Steroid Era players, I’d love to see a commemorative set of all the 3,000 hit players similar to the A Piece of Hstory cards.

A real St. Louis legend

Take a look at that man. That is what a real Home Run King looks like. I believe if it weren’t for Steroids and other illegal enhancement drugs, Roger Maris’ single-season home run record would still stand today. For further evidence, just look at the guys who have broken the record since Maris hit 61 in ’61.

In 1998 both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa did it, with “Big Mac” hitting 70 and Sosa following close behind with 66. In 2001, Barry Bonds hit 73. All three of those men are out of baseball, all of them share the very same cloud of suspicion, with the exception of Bonds, who has appeared on multiple “cheat sheets”. Also, like Roger Maris, all three have a shot of never entering the Hall of Fame despite one hitting 500+ home runs, another 600+, and one hitting more home runs than anyone else ever has in a career.

Bud Selig benifited from Steroid Monsters like Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, & Barry Bonds so it’s clear that Roger Maris’ record will never again be the real record on paper, but in the minds and hearts of real fans who live and die through baseball, there is only one Home Run King.

His name was Roger Eugene Maris.

Can one player ruin a dual autograph card?

I don’t preach about it as much these days but to me the all-time home run king is still Henry Aaron and the single-season home run record belongs to Roger Maris. The Steroid-era in baseball killed a lot of my enthusiasm but ultimately, I learned to accept it and move on. Thankfully, both Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, legends in their game cannot get a team to sign them to save their life. The game is much better without them.

That being said, check out this dual autograph Donruss Elite card from way back in 1998. It features the all-time home run king Hank Aaron on one side, and the underachieving Jose Cruz Jr. and his sloppy autograph on another. Now, I don’t know how much Aaron autographs go for but this one is stuck at $86 with just a day left. If my car wasn’t in the mechanic right now, I’d sacrifice to make a bid on it. Not only am I a Jose Cruz Jr. fan, I love everything about Hank Aaron, including the fact he didn’t want to attend Barry Bonds’ games towards his march at 756.

The card below is numbered to #1500 but only the first 100 are signed. So here’s my question: Would having someone like Jose Cruz Jr. on the card keep you from buying it? I know I always ignore dual autographs of Andrew Miller because they usually have him on the card with Kei Igawa, Justin Verlander, or Cole Hamels.

A vintage gold mine or sports card crime?

Jon is a long-time collector of all things baseball cards and recently hit the jackpot when he received a call from a man in his late 50’s who wanted to sell off his collection. Jon, an entrepreneur of sorts places ads in newspaper to see what kind of collections pop up from time to time. What he found this time is nothing short of hitting the lottery, by baseball cards standards.

When he arrived he was given a small box with cards inside and was told he wanted $250 for it. The rest of the boxes had over 2,000 cards, including most of the 1963 Fleer set. Jon didn’t hesitate and took home his new collection. In the end, the book value alone comes to over $10,000+ worth of baseball cards. Did Jon break some kind of unwritten baseball card rule? He paid exactly what the guy wanted, didn’t low ball and he even went to the only card shop in his area to make sure the cards weren’t stolen and they were not.

Below are actual scans of the cards in question. Would you have given the collector more than what he was asking for? Be honest…

MLB: Give back what belongs to Maris!

The record books will lie to you and tell you the all-time career home run record belongs to a black Hulk-like asshole named Barry Bonds, when it actually belongs to a heroic and brave man named Hank Aaron. They also lie and say that the single-season record belongs to Bonds as well. LIES!!!

Roger Maris probably lost 10 years of his life chasing Babe Ruth in 1961. He was hated by the media and fans, labeled an “outsider”, and began losing his hair, not to mention his family life began to suffer all for the chase of 61 home runs. After all was said and done what did he have to show for it? He was not elected into the Hall of Fame and died with an asterisk next to his home run record. He died believing that his record was not worth a damn and that’s about as tragic as it gets. It took ridiculous amounts of Steroids for anyone to come close to his record and finally was shattered by Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds. Two of those three men are guilty and one, well it’s only a matter of time.

It may not have been the death of baseball as some crazy Bloggers predicted, but there are many fans and collectors who have given up on the sport and wiping those three cheaters off the books is a step in the right direction. Yeah, it will never happen but a guy can wish, can’t he?