While doing my Christmas shopping (yep, still talking about the season) at Kmart, I dug through the card aisle and found a couple of boxes of 2008 UD Heroes. I had never cracked even one pack of these cards, and was never really curious about them.
The cheapness in me saw these blasters priced at $9.99 each, and because of that 2 of the boxes wound up making the journey home with me. I'd seen scans here and there in the blogosphere, and I think that I may have a card or two towards the Jays collection, but other than that my knowledge was limited.
From what I ripped, I liked the idea of the set, but some of the cards in the set just didn't remind me of a "hero".
Let's take a look...
First, we have the one per pack black parallel
Jeter, Robinson and DiMaggio? Yes, I would definitely consider them heroes. Lincecum with his hair cut, has a good shot at becoming one. Erik Bedard and Bill Hall? Sorry fellas...
How about the Yankee Stadium Legacy cards? This was quite a novel concept that UD released across several brands in the 2008 season.
The Babe Ruth card was cool to get. I had never heard of Frankie Crosetti until I pulled the card ( a nice round game number to boot), so I did a little research. Crosetti led the AL in 1938 in an interesting group of 4 categories for a light hitting 3rd baseman/shortstop. Plate appearances (757), stolen bases (27), strikeouts (105), and hit by pitch (12). I would certainly believe that he could lead the league in the first two, but strikeouts and HBP? Those two categories are usually led by sluggers.
Can you imagine if someone in today's game led the league in strikeouts with that low a number? I'm sure that there a couple of hitters that are at 100 or more strikeouts by the all star break in today's game.
Would you call Alex Rodriguez a hero? I'm sure that could stir up a good debate. Bob Gibson? Yes, he's hero worthy in my opinion.
I like the idea of the multi-player cards. 4 heroes in 1. No misses here as far as I can see.
Of course, the parallel freak in me had his fix with the two cards you see above. The Sea Green Al Kaline was the best pull of the 2 boxes, #'d 44/99. The Emerald Green is of Josh Willingham, #174/499. I unfortunately didn't get any charcoal, brown, navy blue, purple, red, light blue or beige parallels. I guess I was just unlucky...
I do like the idea of the Heroes set. I like the idea that Upper Deck only did the set one time. I don't like that they included a lot of players that I definitely wouldn't consider 'Heroes'.
I know I've bitched and moaned on other posts previously about how some sets include too many retired ball players. The UD Heroes set, by name alone, leads me to believe that all the players in the packs could be considered heroes. More players like Carew, Bench and Yastrzemski should have been included.
But then again, I'm sure that someone, somewhere has Josh Willingham has their hero.
The term hero, upon reflection, is certainly relative to the person using it.
thanks for reading, Robert