Over the weekend I was going through some of my “craptacular” Upper Deck cards that were a reasonably fun diversion at the time, but now just take up space… MVP, Victory and the like. While digging through my Upper Deck monster box, I also thought of another UD brand…
Eleven years ago, Upper Deck released one of their “Vintage” sets that paid shameless “homage” to the 1965 Topps design… Oh, excuse me, it paid shameless homage to 1965 O-Pee-Chee, a brand that Upper Deck owns and which – Jeepers! – happened to have used the design created by Topps that year.
Here’s an example of that set…
What I hadn’t completely remembered about this set is that it used the same basic design, but it wasn’t the EXACT same design. The pennant is shaped slightly differently, the fonts are different and the colors aren’t done by team. Here’s a 1965 card that shows how Mets were done “back in the day”.
…and here’s another UD Vintage Mets card done in completely different colors, just to emphasize the fact that nobody was copying Topps. Not UD. Nuh-uh.
The backs of the card were also similar, but not quite… Here’s a back I’ve shared before…
And here’s a UD Vintage back. Not only is the “cartoon” just a piece of clip art, it also has little-to-nothing to do with the caption.
Despite the fact that it’s the baseball card equivalent of “Imitation Cheese Product”, I will say that opening a couple of packs of 2003 Vintage made me appreciate the original set a bit more… prior to 2003, the 1965 set hadn’t really stood out from the rest of the 1960’s sets, at least not to me.
I thought I had bought a fairly large amount of these, but I only had 56 in my collection… and now I have even fewer because I decided I didn’t need 2003 Vintage cards of Bret Boone, Barry Zito and Mark Bellhorn.
…But you can see that UD didn’t waste any of their good photos on the non-flagship sets. Nomo here isn’t bad, but this Griffey…
…This Griffey is just strange. I mean, is that even Griffey? It looks like him, sorta, and yet it doesn’t.
One cool thing about 2003 Vintage is that it also had some legend-type players in the set as well.
The set also had 3-D cards, but they weren’t inserts, they were actually part of the set… They may have been short-printed, I know I don’t have any.
Later in the year when Upper Deck 40-Man came out, the packs of that product also included “Vintage Update” cards, which continued the numbering of the Vintage set, but had a different design.
So the whole point of all of this is that we’ll probably be hearing more about 2003 Vintage in the year to come… I know someone at Fairfield is on the ball, because I’ve seen these cards gracing the fronts of 100-card repacks, presumably to get people to say “Oooh, look! Heritage!”
Did anybody actually collect this set? Is there any information about this set you can add for all the folks at home?