Friday, July 15, 2011

Card of the Week: 2010 Upper Deck #107

When Upper Deck lost its license to produce MLB baseball cards, people wondered what they would do. When they announced that they would go ahead with a set, people were even more curious. Cards not licensed by MLB have been around forever. Most cards inside cereal boxes or cases of granola bars were only licensed by the MLBPA. But, those cards were usually pretty bland head shots with the logos airbrushed out. What would a card look like if a real company tried it. This Nick Green cards proves that it can look pretty good.

Now, I would imagine they broke the rules a bit with this one. I have a hard time believing that just because Robinson Cano’s interlocking N-Y is a little wrinkled it’s no longer a Yankees logo. But, if they had a picture from about a second before this one, when Cano’s arm was covering the logo…that should work. Otherwise, there’s nothing about the picture that screams unlicensed. Even the “Boston” team designation isn’t completely out there. Several of the retro sets use those designations. So, it doesn’t jump out as unusual.

The small head shot is always interesting to me. I wear a baseball cap quite often. I wear sunglasses quite often. I have NEVER stored my sunglasses on my hat like Nick Green is doing. And, looking at the rest of the set, there are plenty of similar players storing their glasses just like that. It was a great way for UD to avoid hat logos in several cases.

Now, there are enough iffy aspects to this card that I’m unsure how to treat it. The Cano Yankees logo. The back of the card specifically uses the term “Red Sox” in the write-up. If a card is violating the rules, when is it just another unlicensed card?

It’s too bad, really. Because it wouldn’t have been all that hard to make a great set that did follow the rules.

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