Upper Deck has released its first baseball-themed trading card set since January 2010. 2011 SP Legendary Cuts Baseball continues one of the company’s most popular lines. The high-end product is focused on autographs of past and present players.
“We’re extremely excited about this particular release,” said Grant Sandground, Upper Deck’s product manager. “Collectors have been waiting more than a year for Upper Deck to pack out another baseball set, so here it is. We’ve included something for almost every level of set collector and with cut signatures from historical icons like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, this release will surely ignite a whirlwind of activity in the marketplace.”
Each box contains one cut signature, although some are more attractive than others. Autographs are cut from a wide variety of sources including magazine photos, index cards, postcards and autograph books. There is at least one Multi-Player, Presidential or Exquisite card per five-box case
In addition to the 200-card “Legendary Cuts” base set, which sports hand-numbered cut signatures on every card, are “Legendary Black Cuts,” a 400-card insert set that focuses on the greatest baseball franchises of all time including 75 different Yankees; and “Exquisite Cuts,” a 100-card insert collection that includes the greatest lineup of baseball legends ever such as Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Nap Lajoie, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Abner Doubleday and Jackie Robinson. All cuts in the latter set have been hand-numbered to five or less.
“I went through and pruned the list,” wrote a Virginia collector on one message board after the product hit store shelves late last week. “There are around 266 premium hits. And I focused on cards that would easily go for around 1K. For 1K a case, or somewhere around there, a 1 in 7 chance of hitting a 4k++ card isn’t bad. In fact, it’s much better that the state lottery, on scratch-off tickets.”
The base set alone features 91 Hall of Famers including Roberto Clemente, Cobb, Ruth, Wagner and Robinson. Each of the base set cut autographs have been numbered to 35 or less.
The Legendary Black Cuts collection, hand-numbered to 40 or less, includes autos from some of the greatest franchises of all time with superstars from the 1923 New York World Champions (Joe Dugan, Waite Hoyt, Bob Shawkey and Whitey Witt), fellow New York championship foursomes from 1956 like Hank Bauer, Billy Martin, Casey Stengel and Tom Sturdivant, and additional great teams from St. Louis, Brooklyn, Cleveland, the Negro Leagues, and more.
The base set and Legendary Black Cuts checklist includes 28 players who were featured on the hobby’s iconic T206 baseball series.
Additional highlights include “themed” cuts appearing on multi-player cards. There’s an eight-cut “1927 Murderers’ Row” card that sports cut signatures from Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Dugan and Pat Collins; an “All-Time Greats Home Run Kings” triple-cut card (Hank Aaron, Ruth and Barry Bonds); and a six-cut “All-Time Greats – Negro League” card that includes Ray Dandridge, Leon Day, Judy Johnson and Satchel Paige.
Here’s the list of highlights:
– 1909 Detroit vs. Pittsburgh Dual Cut (Cobb, Wagner)
– 1919 Black Sox Quad Cut (Cicotte, Comiskey, Gandil, Landis)
– 1927 Murderer’s Row Eight Cut (Combs, Koenig, Ruth, Gehrig, Meusel, Lazzeri, Dugan, Collins)
– 1934 St. Louis “Gashouse Gang” Eight Cuts (Carleton, Davis, Dean, Dean, Durocher, Frisch, Martin, Medwick)
– 1937 New York Quad Cut (Dickey, DiMaggio, Gehrig, Gomez)
– 1955 Brooklyn Past & Present Eight Cut (Campanella, Gilliam, Hodges, Koufax, Newcombe, Reese, Robinson, Snider)
– 1969 New York Past & Present Eight Cut (Agee, Clendenon, Hodges, Jones, Koosman, McGraw, Ryan, Seaver)
– Breaking Baseball’s Color Barrier Dual Cut (Rickey, Robinson)
– 1931 Philadelphia All-Time Greats Quad Cut (Cochrane, Foxx, Grove, Simmons)
– 1941 Season for the Ages Dual Cut (DiMaggio, Williams)
– .400 Hitters Quad Cut (Hornsby, Sisler, Terry, Williams
– All-Time Greats Negro League Six Cut (Bell, Dandridge, Day, Johnson, Leonard, Paige)
– All-Time Greats Outfielders Past & Present Quad Cut (Aaron, DiMaggio, Mays, Williams)
– All-Time Greats Strikeout Kings Past & Present Triple Cut (Johnson, Koufax, Ryan)
– All-Time Hit Kings Past & Present (Cobb, Rose)
– All-Time Greats Home Run Kings Past & Present Triple Cut (Aaron, Bonds, Ruth)
Collectors will also search for “Historical Cut” signature cards including single-signed “Presidential Emblem” folding book cards that feature cut signatures of all 43 U.S. Presidents alongside a woven Presidential seal (Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms).
An Abraham Lincoln cut was pulled by a Canadian collector and and immediately listed on eBay with a $25,000 or best offer price tag.
All of the Historical Cut cards are hand-numbered to five copies or less. Even “First Couple” dual-cuts cards, numbered to two or less, are part of the mix as duos like John F. Kennedy and Jackie Onassis are spotlighted along with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Gerald and Betty Ford, and Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter.
Beyond American politics, Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts will also have signatures from overseas as “Royal Couple” dual-cut cards make their debuts on 1-of-1 folding book cards that feature the likes of Princess Grace of Monaco and Prince Rainier, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II.
Upper Deck 2011 Legendary Cuts Baseball set has one card per pack, one pack per box, and is available on store shelves now. Over 500 are already listed on eBay. It’s believed around 2,000 cases were produced.