2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions overview

17 08 2012

Continuing my summer retro pause from the Lifetime Topps project is one of the few non-Topps products I’ve bought each of the last 2 years.  Over the next couple weeks, I’ll go through Upper Deck’s multi-sport release of 2012 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 SSP (1:12).  Cards #211-231 were only printed as mini cards and are all minor league baseball players.
  • Set Design: Base cards feature a color print made to look like an oil painting of the designated figure with a black border.  “Upper Deck Presents Goodwin Champions” is in a banner at the top, with the subject’s name inside the picture border just below that.  The player’s sport (or profession) and position are displayed at the bottom on two ribbons on each side of a shield. 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 color of the “banner” at the top is maroon for the base cards (#1-150), blue for the short prints (#151-190), gray for the super-short prints (#191-210).  The mini exclusives (#211-231) have the same design, but a cream border instead of the black.
  • 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 baseball players, I’d say none – though some of the minor leaguers in the mini-only short prints could be considered RCs.  Also, some of the players from other sports could be considered rookies.  Robert Griffin III is easily the most notable there.
  • Hall of Fame: There are 21 (now 22) Baseball Hall of Famers in this set, and a host of HOF-ers from other sports as well:
    • Carlton Fisk, Sam Thompson, Mike Schmidt, Johnny Bench, Billy Hamilton, Lou Brock, Al Kaline, Whitey Ford, Ryne Sandberg, Ernie Banks, Nolan Ryan, Jim O’Rourke, Steve Carlton, Dennis Eckersley, Bob Gibson, Stan Musial, Ross Youngs, Pud Galvin, Ned Hanlon, Ozzie Smith, Joe McGinnity, and now Deacon White (2013 inductee).
    • I also found it particularly interesting to note that the two “suspended list” players who would definitely be in the Hall of Fame are also in this set – Joe Jackson and Pete Rose.
    • Another name on the checklist that caused me to pause for a moment.  Ross Barnes was the best player in the National Association, which was the precursor to the National League.  And for Chicago in 1876, he was the clear best player in the NL when it was founded, when he hit .429.  If you list the chronological progression of all-time career leaders, the first name for most statistics usually starts with  Ross Barnes.  After becoming ill in 1877, he was never the same, but I believe he should be a member of the Hall of Fame.
  • Variations: Upper Deck used the idea they had on 1 card from last year, where there is a horizontal variation where the photo is extended so you can see the rest of the picture – usually with another person on the card.  For example, Michael Jordan’s card has Julius Erving in the extended section of his photo.

The hobby box has a large black shield-shaped scroll window with the words “2012 Goodwin Champions”.  Two ribbons above that is with the words “Upper Deck Presents”.  Outside of the window, there is the standard descriptions of what’s in the box, including notation of “3 Hits per Box”.  There are pictures of 2 cards from the product – a Michael Jordan autograph and a Bo Jackson relic.  The back and inside of the box has more cards – showing off the Goodwin Originals Masterpieces (Cap Anson), an Outer Space card (Zagami Meteorite), an Animal Kingdom Patch (Honey Badger), a Military Machines insert (USS Arizona) and a World Traveler box topper (Rio de Janeiro).

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.

  • Mini – 150 cards (2 minis per box, the come at about 1:5)
  • Mini Green, “Lady Luck” Back – 171 cards (1:10)
  • Mini Green, Blank Back – 171 cards (no info yet – but seem to be very rare)
  • Mini Foil – 171 cards (99 produced for 1-150, 199 produced for 211-231)
  • Mini Red, “Magician” Back – 171 cards (#/12)
  • Mini Rainbow Foil, “Presidential” Back – 171 Cards (#/1)
  • Mini Printing Plates – 171 cards (4 versions, #/1)

Insert sets

There is only 1 “standard” insert set, unlike the 2 from last year – but you get 2 per box instead of 1 each from last year.  Military Machines is just what it says – 25 different military vehicles with a picture and a description.

  • Military Machines – 25 cards (1:10)

Box Topper

As noted, World Travelers is back with 25 cards coming 1 per hobby box.  The theme seems to be more city-oriented than location-oriented this year, which is fine – I just wish they’d have continued the numbering to start at 26 and go up to 50.

  • World Travelers – 25 cards (1 per hobby box)

Relics and Autographs

This product includes an array of autographs and memorabilia cards.  Without any sports licenses outside of hockey and some collegiate contracts, Upper Deck has to use some creativity for 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.  None of the autographs or memorabilia parallel the base set per se, but they do often (maybe always?) use the same picture cropped in a way to get the swatch or signature to show.  The autos are all on-card.  The biggest addition from the auto set is Mike Tyson.  Pete Rose was added, too, with Lebron and MJ remaining as potentially huge pulls.  The biggest name available in the relics is easily Shoeless Joe.  There is also a second autograph set called Sport Royalty, which includes 10 players.

Additionally, Upper Deck inserted very rare Museum Collection Relics which is back from last year – but this time has a very distinct Civil War flavor.  Things like confederate notes and pieces from union military uniforms are included.

  • Autographs – 91 cards (1:20 overall, 1:36 to 1:1,977)
  • 2011 Update Autographs – 2 cards (1:20 overall, 1:5,036 to 1:21,745)
  • Sports Royalty – 10 cards (1:4,932 to 1:15,947)
  • Memorabilia – 74 cards (1:12 overall, 1:23 to 1:10,631)
  • Memorabilia Dual Swatch – 16 cards (1:320 overall, 1:520 to 1:95,680)
  • Museum Collection Relics – 21 cards (#/1, ? odds)

Goodwin Masterpieces

This promotion was back from last year when there were commissioned on-card paintings of the U.S. Presidents.  Upper Deck commissioned artists to do 10 separate on-card paintings of all 50 Goodwin Champions Originals.  These cards are phenomenal.

  • 1888 Originals Goodwin Masterpieces – 50 cards (#/10)

Animal Cards & Outer Space

The product includes two types of “animal card” sets back from last year – which I guess are considered Relics, and a new one.  The first is Animal Kingdom Patch cards, which is again tiered by level of endangered status (Least Concern, Not Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critical, Extinct/Mythical).  It’s a continuation from last year’s set – so the numbering is #101-200.  The last category includes the T-Rex, the Giant Vampire Bat (extinct) and the Pegasus (mythical).  Additionally, Upper Deck returned with Entomology cards which are pulled via redemption.  Because we all really want dead insects in our house…

There is also a new set of cards with pieces of Meteorites.  If you like what Topps does with A&G – I do think this kind of thing is pretty cool.  I have no idea how difficult it is to get your hands on a meteorite piece, but my guess is that each of these is “unique”.

  • Animal Kingdom Patches – 100 cards (1:64 overall, 1:85 to 1:15,947)
  • Entomology Redemption – 30 cards (? odds)
  • It Came from Outer Space – 20 cards (I think #/1)



7 responses

4 09 2012

Any new info on the print run of the blank back green mini’s?

4 09 2012

No clue – though I know they aren’t unique because I’ve seen a few cards with more than 1 on eBay.

4 09 2012

I’ve only seen unsold ones be relisted. I haven’t noticed more than one of the same card listed by 2 different sellers…

4 09 2012

You could be right. I thought I saw 2 of one card on ebay at the same time back when they came out, but I can’t remember which one.

19 11 2012

What are the odds on the outer space meteorite? 1 per box?

19 11 2012

What are the odds on the meteorite cards? 1 per box?

19 11 2012

No, it’s a lot rarer than that. I think there’s only 20 total in the whole product.

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