Grand Cards: Tigers Gallery Checklist: 2009 SP Authentic

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tigers Gallery Checklist: 2009 SP Authentic

Now nearly a month and a half into 2010 and I'm still plugging away on 2009 sets. So be it, I suppose. SP Authentic is one of those sets that I tend to be very lukewarm about. Collecting Granderson cards, I found that I was consistently drawn to their base cards--good card stock, nice designs, classy flashes of reflective foil and the like. That holds true in the 2009 set, although completely unnecessary string of indistinguishable parallels gives this set major downgrades from years past.

Of course, the whole reason people like this set is because of the "By the Letter" Autos, in which Letter Patches are signed by upcoming stars. I see the appeal, I do. But...well, I'll talk about it when I get there.

So here's my summary of 2009 SP Authentic: It's a nice set that you may or may not want to pick up singles from. How glowing.

Base Set Believe it or not, the base set is the highlight for me here. That may not be overly surprising, as I find a nice base set to trump a bunch of impossible and expensive hits any day of the week--although I know not everyone shares that mentality. The beauty here is in its simplicity. There's an 8 card set, that includes a nice mix of top-name team talent, and a very nice assortment of rookies. The biggest rookie of them all if featured in an autographed subset, but is still numbered as part of the base set. For a release like SP Authentic, I can dig that. The downside here is that there are Gold (#/299), Copper (#/99), Silver (#/59) and Titanium (#/19) parallels that are only marginally different than one another. Too many parallels is bad. We've talked about this. Anyway, here's the base set of Tigers for all to see:

#30 Magglio Ordonez

#67 Curtis Granderson

#73 Brandon Inge

#93 Miguel Cabrera

#155 Fu-Te Ni RC

#164 Ryan Perry RC

#170 Wilkin Ramirez RC

#248 Rick Porcello RC Auto (#/225)

Inserts I'm surprised how much I'm drawn to the Magglio Ordonez insert. I think that it is just an excellent card--with good photo and colorful, attractive and somehow not-too-busy design. Really really good. The "Platinum Power" cards are take it or leave for me. Yeah, they're die-cut but something just seems to be lacking. Take a look.

#PR19 Magglio Ordonez

#PP37 Justin Verlander

##PP42 Miguel Cabrera

Autographs What a bizarre autograph checklist. Edwin Jackson? That one's fine--no trouble here. But Josh Anderson? Oh, you mean the Josh Anderson that was on the team for like a couple of months before he was traded to Kansas City for nobody and proceeded to be a part-time player over there? Yeah, that one not so much. The winner of best dual autograph card for 2006 goes to the Dontrelle Willis/Joel Zumaya dual auto (#/15) which is just so hilariously outdated that it is shameful.

#SEJ Edwin Jackson

#SAJ Josh Anderson

#WZ Willis/Zumaya Dual Auto (#/15)

By The Letter Autos Ok. Some people go crazy over these. Some people hate them. I'm in between. Here's why: These cards include on-patch autographs of rising stars. That, in and of itself, makes these cards cool, the concept excellent and the end product a really nice addition to any collection. The patches themselves are manufactured (i.e. not patches from jerseys etc., but sewn in a factory in Taiwan or what have you). To me, in a product like this, that is no big deal. In fact, I think that manufactured patches are preferred for something like this because it allows people to add a really nice piece to their collection for relatively little cost. It brings the uniqueness of a game used auto patch to the market for much less. Cool. Accessibility for the masses.

Now the downside. First, for the Tigers at least, their patches don't spell out "Perry" or "Porcello", they spell out "Rookie." That is stupid. Like really stupid. Other cards in the set spell out "SP Authentic." That's even worse. If I were to try and collect one of each letter, I would be annoyed when I put it together. Similarly, if I wanted to end up with just one card and got a Ryan Perry "K" card, WTFs would abound. It just doesn't make sense and it isn't cool.

On top of that, for some reason that Tigers patches are Yellow. Yellow? HAVE ALL THE CARD COMPANIES FORGOTTEN WHAT THE DETROIT TIGERS COLOR SCHEME IS? Ugh. Anyway, I've mismashed the Perry and Porcello card together so that I can spell out Rookie just once. It's not that I don't like these--I mean, the On-Patch Autos are really nice-- but there are just too many detractors for me here.

#BLA-PE Ryan Perry (#/50)

#BLA-RP Rick Porcello (#/85)

#BLA-PE Ryan Perry (#/50)

#BLA-RP Rick Porcello (#/85)

#BLA-RP Rick Porcello (#/85)

By the Letter Auto "E"