Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Take On (From) the 2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Group Case Break or THANKS DAN!!!

With only 3 cards to scan/upload this should be a quick and easy, not too much time away from unfinished essays, post. Last month I got in on my first ever group break. I have long been intrigued with the idea of the group break. I am Joe Collector runs group breaks pretty often, but he already has a regular participant who has the Rays slot covered. Basically, I had/have no idea how these things work nor did I know what to expect from this break. I wasn’t the least bit familiar with the product either, I only knew it was premium stuff, it was called 2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection. The only point of familiarity for me was the person putting it all together-a frequent trading partner, Dan from Saints of the Cheap Seats. He had hooked me up hugely in every trade we had done before, plus he was willing to wait for me to send a check, I WAS IN! It was 20 something bucks to buy a slot and there were 20-something collectors in on the rip, which was to be an entire case of Ultimate Collection. Everyone was given a number and those numbers were randomized and drawn prior to the break-I got number one. Well, let me tell you that I celebrated that I had just won the lottery! I thought for some reason (optimistic greed?) that having the number 1 would mean that I had first choice of which cards I wanted. What it actually meant was that I got the first “hit” that was pulled. As it turns out, the first card in the first pack was also the first hit, it was a game used jersey piece from Randy Johnson, serial numbered 02/75. It’s a great card, classy and regal looking, a low serial number, a dark jersey swatch and it features one of the most dominant pitchers of All Time, I could have done a whole lot worse… Each pack followed the same order for hits, so halfway through the numbers were re-randomized. I lost my number 1, don’t remember what I did end up getting, but it worked out even better for me on my next pull. Now that I know which current players were available in this set, I have to say that I am pretty happy with this one. This guy isn’t on my player collection list or anything, I don’t go out of my way to trade for him, but when I pull cards of him myself, I keep them. He plays for an exciting team to watch, even though they suck, and he plays the hot corner with the flair of Brooks Robinson (and I wouldn’t mind if he was traded to the Orioles either). He is kind of the NL version of Evan Longoria, a great fielding third baseman with a ton of raw power who produces runs. Oh yeah, I am talking about Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals. I have quietly given Zimm a couple of pages at the very end of my binder, there is a relic, a refractor and 14 of his base cards. Now I have a certified autograph to go along with everything else. Now I just need a bat card and I will be all set. Okay, so here it is. Classy, classy, classy. Deep blue and dark red surround a picture of Zimm in the center and the signature is framed in gold with an America’s Pastime shield above it. I had thought it was an on card signature, it really looks like it could be, but alas, it is a sticker. The sticker is placed so neatly with the frame that you can barely tell. There is no overlap and even the sticker looks somewhat classy, I had to touch it to tell for sure that it was a sticker.
Okay, the third and final card I scored from the group break is a base card, serial numbered 363/450 and it is of my favorite player Carl Crawford. As it turns out, this is CC card #189 in my collection-you can view it here.
This apparently is just a base card so I guess that even the base cards are thick and fancy. It is cut out on the side to show the brand name written vertically in silver. I had acquired a Scott Kazmir card from this issue a few months ago, but I didn’t realize that until I had the CC card at home with me. Okay, that is it for my haul. Now I am gonna share my take on the break…
The work that goes into a group break is pretty freaking intense. Aside from buying the product, trying to track down everyone’s payment, dealing with unhappy participants…and that is just the beginning. I can say with certainty that I would never host a group break. I don’t have a video camera so I couldn’t, but I won’t be running out to get one either. That said Dan and his Son did an amazing job of organizing and executing the whole thing. Ripping all of those packs looks like fun, but all of the other stuff-the sleeving, sorting and shipping-that is too much like work for me. So I think now is a good time to extend a HUGE thank you to the Krill family for doing a super job and making this break a well organized success. If and when they do another break, I will be in as long as its baseball and as long as it is not more Ultimate Collection. Maybe next time I will research the product a little bit, too, and I won’t be surprised when the break ends with everyone getting between 2 and 3 cards each. I don’t know anything about high-end brands-when I think of a case break, I imagine cracking open a bunch of boxes of Topps cards and having 1,000s of base cards stacked to the ceiling. I think that this case yielded about 75 cards-in my mind that is a boxes worth. That part of the break disappointed me. Spending 20 bucks and coming away with 3 cards isn’t really my norm of collecting, but that is the yield of a premium product and I would have known that had I done any research on it, so I can’t complain. I would definitely not rip any of this on my own, even though they are really classy looking cards and there were a couple of really nice pulls. The investment and return didn’t really add up for me, but it was fun to be a part of. I love the blog-o-sphere and events like this seem to bring us all closer as a community. I hope that Dan and son (sorry, I can’t remember your name) will run another group break very soon because they did one hell of a great job and it was very exciting. Honestly, if I won the lottery and bought a box of this on my own, I probably would have a whole team set of Rockies relics and sticker autos from Jack Cust and Eric Chavez, so I have to say that I am happy with who I ended up with. I don’t remember who the lucky collector was, but there was a SWEET Tony Gwynn patch card and a Rollie Fingers autographed relic that were pulled that were freaking awesome! I am pleased with my take. A future Hall of Famer and two legitimate All Stars isn’t too much. Aside from the Crawford, both of these cards are on the block if the deal is right. Thanks again Dan! You are awesome!!! Go Rays! Troll out.


  1. The tony Gwynn patch is mines!! Hahaha.... No really that was my first group break too Dan took my cherry, but if he does anymore baseball i'm in as well!!

  2. I'm interested in the Randy Johnson. I think I have some Carl Crawford cards that you need. At least one jersey and a couple of inserts. I am going to email you.

  3. That was my first high end break...and I enjoyed it. I'm going to put up my haul later.