Grand Cards: Ultimate Checklist: 2002 UD Prospect Premieres

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ultimate Checklist: 2002 UD Prospect Premieres

Grand Gallery: Hey! Snagged a picture to round out the full set. Gallery First, original post to follow. No commentary in between!

#14 Curtis Granderson
#17a Curtis Granderson ERR Matt Pender
Quads #4 Crain/Grant/ Gomes/Granderson (#/600)
Quads #16 Johnson/Crain/ Greenberg/Granderson (#/600)

It has been a little while since I pulled one of the these posts out. Meanwhile, I'm yet again a day behind on my mustache posts, I currently look like Bruce Sutter, and I'm contemplating whether I'm going to look like Dave Bergman or Ruppert Jones on Saturday (or anything close to either, if I'm lucky). So, while I will do my best to catch up with #4 and #3 tonight, I thought that it would be nice to get back to basics for a moment.

2002 UD Prospect Premieres is my favorite set for Granderson rookie cards. Now, I know that Bowman Chrome Draft is home of the "best" Granderson cards, and that regular Bowman Draft is the poor man's substitute. Topps 206 is also out there, and will be the next Ultimate Checklist set that I profile if I can ever get more Granderson cards from that release.

In the middle is the outlier, the non-topps set, the one that actually uses a different picture.

2002 UD Prospect Premieres #14 Curtis Granderson "Future Gems"

That's right faux-action shot! This card, the definitive rookie for Granderson from Upper Deck is my favorite of all of his offerings. I've never been one for traditional posed shots, and even though this is just a practice shot, or even a posed photo shoot, I really like it. Add to that the fact that you don't really ever get "lead off" shots--you get plenty of running and sliding and base stealing but very few lead-offs--that it creates an appropriate metaphor. This is where it starts. The Rookie card is the lead off that ultimately leads to an All Star career full of baseball cards of stolen bases and home runs and the like.

But wait, there's more!
2002 UD Prospect Premieres #17A Curtis Granderson ERR Matt Pender

Ultra-rare Error card worth millions! Or, not. Bonus points for this card showing Granderson and naming somebody else and not the other way around. Believe it or not, I even like this card more than the Bowman/Topps sets. I think it is the traditional jersey and not that odd blue batting practice thing. Tigers uniforms are baseball's tuxedos, and you just can't look bad in them. So, card B is not as good as his true rookie card, but it is pretty solid nonetheless.

And that alone would make this set the winner of the Granderson rookie card sweepstakes, but it gets even better.
2002 UD Prospect Premieres Future Gems Quads #4 Crain/Grant/Gomes/Granderson (#341/600)

What have we here?! I just got this card a few weeks ago, thinking that it would be a four-in-one card the way that you see it in 2009 Goudey, for example. Uh, no. This card is enormous. In fact, it is the size of four cards put together on on one uncut sheet and then primitively numbered in the middle by a computer from 1982. Apart from the fact that I have no idea how to store or display this, it is great. I'm always one for adding variation to my collection. Downside is that it repeats the regular rookie card picture, upside is that said picture consists of aforementioned career metaphor.

These cards are rather hard to come by, despite being numbered to 600, and there is one other one out there waiting to be found:

Future Gems Quads #16 Johnson/Crain/Greenberg/Granderson

And with those four cards, we have the entirety of 2002 UD Prospect Premiers, an easy and cheap way to pick up any Granderson rookie card.

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