In 2009 Upper Deck introduced their new Goodwin Champions Baseball set. The product was designed around the 1888 Goodwin Champions baseball set and while the product was a baseball set it contained some interesting additions like the popular Entomology cards (who doesn’t love bugs?) as well as Landmarks (cards containing pieces of well-known landmarks like a piece of the Golden Gate Bridge and sand from Omaha Beach) and DNA Hair Cut cards of famous Thoroughbred horses.
In 2010 Upper Deck lost their MLB license and a 2010 set was not released. The 2011 release went through growing pains as the product changed from a sports product to a historical/oddities type product. By the time that the 2012 release hit the shelves Upper Deck had complete the transition to a mixture of historical, sports and interesting elements. There were hand-painted art cards, museum collection pieces, manufactured patches and even pieces of meteorites. The theme for 2012 was the Civil War. The 2013 set followed suit with a Wild West theme and now in 2014 it will be World War I, one my favorite historical era.
This year there will be some big named athletes on the checklist like Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey Jr, Lindsey Vonn and Joe Montana. There will be base cards, minis, parallels, relics and autographs. That is just the meat and potatoes of what to expect. There are plenty of side-dishes for collectors of all sorts.
There will be Origin of Species manufactured patches, Monster 3D cards, Art of the Ages painted cards and World War I Museum Collection cards.
I have been a fan of the Goodwin Champion releases, going back to the original baseball sets. Upper Deck took a tough punch when they lost their baseball license but they have done what they can with what they have. I know that there are plenty of collectors who are not big fans of non-sports cards in what originally was a sports card release but what they may not realize is that many of these old sets from the late 1800s were actually mixed releases.
Think about it this way, when the product comes out July 2nd each box will run around $75 and you will pull 3 hits (auto, relic, manufactured patch, Museum Collection or painted cards), 10 mini cards and a fun break. According to Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin the autographs are all live there will not be any redemptions, a nice addition.
I look forward to the release, hopefully I can open a box this year.