2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions overview

6 07 2011

Continuing my summer break from my Lifetime Topps project to collect retro sets, I’ll go through Upper Deck’s multi-sport release of 2011 Goodwin Champions.

231 cards in the set – including all short prints.  The set pays homage to the tobacco cards from Goodwin & Co. – the 1888 Goodwin Champions N162 set.

  • Subsets: All the cards are individual “base” cards of the famous figure depicted – there aren’t really any subsets.  The set contains a mix of famous athletes and historic figures.  Cards #151-190 are short-printed and inserted at a rate of 1:3 per hobby packs, while the next 20 are ” (from the boxes I’ve opened, likely 1:9 or 1:10).  Cards #211-231 were only printed as mini cards and are all minor league baseball players (likely 1:6 to 1:9).
  • Set Design: Base cards feature a color print of an oil painting of the designated figure with a cream border.  The subject’s name and sport or profession is shown at the top of the card, while the bottom of the card features an eagle with the player’s initials on each side.  The figure’s “position” is shown below the eagle.  There is a box which says “2011 Goodwin Champions by Upper Deck” at the bottom.  This box is red for the base cards (#1-150), blue for the short prints (#151-190), black for the super-short prints (#191-210), and green for the minis (#211-231).
  • Packs: Upper Deck issued the set in 1 series.  Cards are available in 5-card hobby packs that come 20 to a box, 16 per case, and include a bonus 5″ x 7″ World Traveler post card as a box topper.
  • Rookies: Since there aren’t any current players, I’d say none – though some of the minor leaguers in the mini-only short prints could be considered RCs.
  • Hall of Fame: There are 31 Baseball Hall of Famers in this set, and a host of HOF-ers from other sports as well:
    • King Kelly, Lou Brock, Miller Huggins, Nolan Ryan, Addie Joss, Whitey Ford, Stan Musial, Ryne Sandberg, Steve Carlton, Jim Rice, Johnny Bench, Hughie Jennings, Wilbert Robinson, Ozzie Smith, Willie Keeler, Rube Waddell, Mike Schmidt, Cap Anson, Tony Perez, Bob Gibson, John McGraw, Carlton Fisk, Jack Chesbro, Charles Comiskey, Ed Delahanty, Buck Ewing, Dan Brouthers, Eddie Plank, Rube Foster, John Ward, Albert Spalding
  • Variations: Upper Deck created a couple of different variations on the base cards.  There are 15 variations with lightning in the background of the cards (inserted 2 per case, or 1:160).  Additionally, there appears to be at least one “presidential variation” as Lou Brock has two versions of card #19.  In the rarer variation, the same picture of Brock is shown, however the scene is made horizontal and extended to include President Jimmy Carter.

The tan-colored hobby box has a large window with the words “2011 Goodwin Champions” and the Upper Deck logo.  Outside of the window, there is the standard descriptions of what’s in the box, including notation of “3 Hits per Box”.  There are also pictures of 2 cards from the product – the Nolan Ryan base card and an autographed card of LeBron James.  The back and inside of the box has more cards – showing off the Presidential Masterpieces (Abe Lincoln specifically – more on that in a future post), a Museum Collection card (Horatio Nelson), an Animal Kingdon Patch (Bald Eagle), the Figures of Sport Die-Cuts (Michael Jordan) and the World Traveler box topper (Machu Picchu).

Parallel Sets

All the parallel sets Upper Deck issued were mini cards, even the printing plates.  There are 10 mini cards per hobby box, so they fall at an overall average rate of 1:2 packs.  The parallels were only made for the base cards (#1-150) and the mini short prints (#211-231).  Odds below are for hobby packs unless otherwise noted – I put a question mark where I wasn’t sure but am guessing based on what I got in my box.

  • Mini – 150 cards (1:5)
  • Mini Black Border, “Lady Luck” Back – 171 cards (1:8)
  • Mini Silver Foil – 171 cards (1:30)
  • Mini Black Border, “Magician” Back – 171 cards (#/9)
  • Mini Gold Border, “Presidential” Back – 171 Cards (#/1)
  • Mini Printing Plates – 171 cards (4 versions, #/1)

Insert sets

The set contains 2 “standard” insert sets – both come one per box.  Figures of Sport features die cut cards made to appear with a kind of 3-D background, and then there is famous contributors to society in Goodwin Citizens.

  • Figures of Sport – 18 cards (1:20)
  • Goodwin Citizens – 11 cards (1:20)

Relics and Autographs

This product includes an array of autographs and memorabilia cards.  Since Upper Deck doesn’t have the Big 3 sports licenses any more, it had to use some creativity for the memorabilia cards. The basic autograph and relic sets are inserted at different ratios based on a tiered system – certain figures are classified as Group A, B, C, etc. – each group has its own odds.  Just like previous sets, I won’t get into a lot of detail – but for the memorabilia cards, the Presidents are the true rarities.  Johnny Bench has an autograph, but unfortunately for me, it’s in the rarest category.  None of the autographs or memorabilia parallel the base set per se, but they do often use the same picture cropped in a way to get the swatch or signature to show.  The autos are all on-card.  There is also a second autograph set called Sport Royalty, which includes at least 5 players – including Glen Rice in a Michigan jersey for a sucker fan like me.

Additionally, Upper Deck inserted very rare Museum Collection Relics which include pieces of artifacts from historic figures (Annie Oakley, Napoleon) and institutions (White House, Spirit of St. Louis).  For some reason I just pictured Richard McWilliams running jumping the fence in front of the Oval Office front lawn with a plaque under his sport jacket.

Finally, Upper Deck returns with a memorabilia idea from 2009 – Thoroughbred Haircuts, which contain actual hair from Curlin and Super Saver.

  • Autographs – 20 cards (1:20 overall, 1:35 to 1:1,577)
  • Sports Royalty – 5 cards (? odds)
  • Memorabilia – 51 cards (1:13 overall, 1:22 to 1:14,613)
  • Memorabilia Dual Swatch – 11 cards (1:320 overall, 1:585 to 1:87,680)
  • Museum Collection Relics – 9 cards (1:2,237 overall, 1:4,473 to 1:54,800)
  • Thoroughbred Haircuts – 2 cards (? odds)

Goodwin Masterpieces

Another promotion was similar to Topps Original Art Patch cards from Gypsy Queen.  For each of the 44 U.S. Presidents, Upper Deck commissioned artists to do 10 separate on-card paintings.

  • Presidential Goodwin Masterpieces – 44 cards (#/10)

Animal Cards

The product includes two types of “animal card” sets – which I guess are considered Relics.  The first is Animal Kingdom Patch cards, which is also tiered by level of endangered status (Least Concern, Not Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critical, Extinct/Mythical).  The last category includes the Dodo Bird, the Chupacabra and the Saber-Toothed Tiger.  Additionally, Upper Deck returned with Entomology cards which are pulled via redemption.  Because I really want a dead scorpion in my house.  There was never such a risk of my dog eating my sports cards…

  • Animal Kingdom Patches – 100 cards (1:62 overall, 1:78 to 1:14,613)
  • Entomology Redemption – ? cards (? odds)



2 responses

6 07 2011

I`m really looking forward to this series. I loved the Gypsy Queen posts!

Just FYI this paragraph seemed a little bit out of place:

while Sticky Fingers and Wall Climbers are retail-only inserts. Additionally, Topps released a 20-card set of “gypsies” that has nothing to do with baseball but comes 1 per box.

7 07 2011

Thanks! A little snafu with copy a post. I fixed it – but as we say in auditing (my job) terminology – good catch!

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