Friday, December 16, 2011

2002 USA Baseball National Team

Set size: 30 cards

Front Design: The USA Baseball logo in gold foil is beneath a color photo in gold foil, with 2002 National Team beneath. The player's name is to the left, in a fading blue box placed over the photo; his position is in a separate blue box which fades into an American flag.

Back Design: The backs have a cropped headshot from the front photo and a short highlight biography over a background of the USA Baseball logo. The logo is repeated in full color beneath the biography.

Parallels and Similars: There are no parallels, though other USA sets have similar designs.

Distribution: Cards were sold complete in factory set form with an autograph and relic card for $19.99. Upper Deck claims to have released no more than 10,000 factory sets.

Thoughts: A full set, autograph, and relic for $20? These days, full USA Baseball sets retail for nearly $100, though those come with five autographs, two autographed relics, and three triple relics. I'll just pick up the $10 retail version with just the base cards. I enjoy USA Baseball sets, though I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the oddball nature of the sets - amateur players on "professional" baseball cards. Perhaps it's an interest in patriotic cards, though I don't collect non-sport patriotic cards. Maybe I just enjoy collecting Team USA because I saw them play in the 1996 Olympics. This is a nice set anyway, with a patriotic feel and gold foil highlights that add a touch of class without being over the top.

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