I recently picked up a rack pack of Goodwin Champions to get a hands on look at the release. I know that some people do not care for mixed products like this but I think that it gives a little something for everyone. The down side is that without a MLB, NBA or NFL license any related athletes are stuck in relaxed poses and not in uniform as they should be depicted. I like the mix of old and new, there are a nice selection of players from years past along with athletes that are still in the prime of their career. It makes for a very interesting pack busting experience.
I started off with a group of baseball players from the 1800s; Ross Barnes, Ned Hanlon and Billy Hamilton. A nice group here with two Hall of Famers, Hanlon and Hamilton, though it should be noted that Barnes is not in the Hall of Fame on a technicality, he only played 9 professional seasons and the Hall requires 10 total pro seasons. Sadly he played 4 years with the Rockford Forest Citys (1866-1870) but because there were no professional leagues at the time they do not count these 4 seasons as professional.
Totaled up we have 3 players accounting for 34 professional seasons (plus Hanlon’s 18 years as a manger), 5 batting titles, 8 NA/NL Championships (plus Hanlon’s 5 NL Championships as a manager) and numerous records.
I followed up with Knute Rockne, a football genius who changed the game. He played at Notre Dame where he was named an All-American in 1913. Some people claim he invented the forward pass but that is not true, though he was part of making it an integral part of the game. After graduation he stayed on as the ND coach, over the next 13 seasons he went 105-12-5; his .881 win percentage is still the all-time winning percentage among college coaches. Toss in 5 undefeated seasons, 3 National Championships and a 1925 Rose Bowl win and you have one of the best coaches ever. You wonder how much more he would have added to his resume had he not died in a plane crash.
A group of fighters up next, two real and one fake. Overeem has/had a bright future, there is still time but I guess we are going to have to wait until he is able to apply for his license in December. He had his shot at the UFC Heavyweight title but failed a testosterone test and now has to wait until his ban ends. Couture is one of my favorites, he helped bring MMA and UFC back in to the public after the banning of UFC in the early 1990s in the US. He is a classy guy and a champion. His records are amazing, 3x Heavyweight Champ, 2x Light-heavyweight Champ, the most UFC Championships, the most Championship fights, the oldest UFC Champ ever and he is in the UFC Hall of Fame.
The Hulkster may be in sports entertainment but he did the same for wrestling that Couture did for MMA. Hulk Hogan was the man that made the WWF a legitimate organization and he did body slam Andre the Giant (with some help from Andre). To see that he is still (sort of) wrestling at 59 is amazing, even if it is only TnA Impact.
A couple of Bean(e)’s, one walked on the moon and the other changed the way baseball players are ranked by teams and scouts.
I think Upper Deck missed it with Payne Stewart; they should have gone with a shot of him in his famous knickers. He was another person taken before their time by a plane crash, he was 42 when he died and you know he still had more championships ahead of him.
Mike Bossy, why oh why do you look like Alice Cooper? This is another card where I think that Upper Deck went wrong, this is Mike Bossy, arguably the greatest NY Islander ever, he is in the NHL Hall of Fame and he still holds NHL records 20 years after he retired. UD has an NHL license, why would they not put him in an Islanders sweater?
A couple of “suave” guys here, well Donnie Baseball looks a little 1980s GQ but he still looks good.
And then we have a “not so suave” shot here. When I first saw this card I immediately pictured the Roger Patterson Bigfoot pictures. Just the way he is staged reminds me of the Bigfoot shots.
A couple of minis, including Iron Mike and Bigfoot-esque Larry Bird.
A Lady Luck green parallel of golfer Dustin Johnson.
I close with a Military Machines B-24 Liberator. These inserts are different from the base set, they have a smooth coating where the base cards are the old-school cardboard.
The B-24, not as famously known as the B-17, was actually better (to a point) than the Flying Fortress. The Liberator could carry a heavier payload, could fly faster and had a greater range but on the downside was more difficult to fly and when they were hit they tended to go down harder causing more death to the flight crews.
The Liberator was used in Europe, the Pacific and Indo-China by the US and her allies. Great Britain, Canada, Australia all had them in their arsenals because they had multiple uses on top of the bombing. They were used as spy planes, air and sea patrols, flying gas stations and transports. One was "lent" to the Soviet Union but they captured 73 other Liberators that were forced to land in areas held by Soviet forces. Even the Germans had a couple that had been captured and were used as spy planes over Allied lands.
The Liberator was retired by the military in 1944 when the B-29 Superfortress was released but they remained in use by the Navy until 1952 and by the Coast Guard until 1958. They were still being used privately until 2002 when one crashed while fighting a wildfire and the remaining planes were all grounded.