Grand Cards: Tigers Checklist: 2009 Goodwin Champions

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tigers Checklist: 2009 Goodwin Champions

Upper Deck's Goodwin Champions release may have the most beautiful cards of 2009. People who tried to collect the set complained about things like cheap feeling card stock, too few cards per pack, too many stupid Upper Deck 20th Anniversary inserts per pack and a strange distribution of short prints, super-short prints and other odd things.

However, for someone like me who only cares about cards from one team, I can say with confidence that these are the most beautiful cards of 2009. Not all of them are gems, but the Kaline and Granderson cards are outstanding and the Verlander card may prove to be the best card ever produced of him. Take a look and you'll see what I mean.

Your 2009 Goodwin Champions Detroit Tigers:

Base Set

#30 Al Kaline
#102 Curtis Granderson
#131 Miguel Cabrera
#140 Gordie Howe
#172 Justin Verlander (SP)

In addition to this base set, there are two card that don't fit the regular schema of a card set. Gordie Howe has a short-printed parallel version with a different background. Similarly, Carlos Guillen has a card that only exists in mini form--this is the opposite of the Verlander short print, which is full-sized only and doesn't have any of the mini parallels that the rest of the base set enjoys. Still, these are different from regular parallels, so I feel compelled to include them:

Night Sky & Mini Exclusives

#140 Gordie Howe (Moonlight Variation)
#241 Carlos Guillen

Of course, there are relics and autographs as well--the "hits" of the set. The Kaline is the clear winner here.


#GCM-CG Curtis Granderson
#GCM-JV Justin Verlander
#GCM-MC Miguel Cabrera


#GCA-AK Al Kaline


  1. Hey, here's a link to the checklist for this set on the upper deck website. The different background that you were referring to is called the "moonlight variation". Only 15 cards from the set were lucky enough to receive this treatment, Mr. Gordie Howe being one of them.

    Finally someone who's writing about how great looking these cards are! Whether they are actual paintings or photographs with a painted effect digitally applied to them, they really are great looking. They appear genuinely painted yet create the illusion of depth within the player better than any other art cards that I have seen. My least favorite part are some of the backgrounds, they are created using a different style that doesn't look as cool, but I guess the idea was that they wanted it to be secondary to the awesome paintings of the players in the foreground.

  2. I couldn't agree more--these really are excellent looking cards. Thanks for the tip on the Howe variation--I've changed my caption to reflect its true name.

    As for the pictures of the players themselves, I'm pretty sure that they are digitized photographs, as the company would usually credit artists who would do paintings, and the Granderson version seems to be derived from the same shot that they used in his 2008 UDX Xponential insert. Whatever the case may be, they are certainly done nicely.

  3. Very true about them probably being pics. I really wish they had made the cardstock a lil higher quality, then they'd truly have come up with a worthy replacement for masterpieces