Upper Deck has had some great products over the years. From their groundbreaking 1989 debut set, changing the baseball card landscape as we know it, to their excellent 2009 Goodwin Champions set, a wonderful homage to the original, and many sets in between.
This is one such set. 2001 Upper Deck Hall of Fame. I had picked up a few of the base cards a while ago, to add into my Hall of Fame personal collection. Guys like Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Honus Wagner, etc. They featured great black and white pictures on the front so I grabbed a few. Well, flash forward to that show I talked about a few days ago. Some of the dime box cards I grabbed were from this set also. It was enough to make me want to finish up the set. I had roughly about half and I remembered that my local shop had a bunch in his HoFer box. I headed over and pulled a bunch more I needed (I had a list this time). I am now 11 cards shy of the 90 card set. I know he probably has the last couple I need, I'll just have to do some looking. Enough of the backstory, on to the cards!
Here is the base set:
These cards are 1-50. These are the main cards of the series and most all feature black and white photos (even on some of the more recent Hofers like Mike Schmidt, which looks awesome in b&w). Jackie here is one of the few color pictures, which are about 10% of the set. The fronts feature the year they were inducted into the hall. The most recent being 1999 (Yount, Brett and Ryan). One of the best aspects of the set is the inclusion of Negro League players like Josh Gibson here, Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell.
The backs feature full stats:
Its really cool to see full stats on every player in here. These are some monumental careers here and to have it all listed is fantastic. Even the Negro Leaguers have full stats too. Its also pretty cool to see how many of these players stuck with one team their whole career.
This is the 'Origins of the Game' subset:
These are cards 51-60. The idea of this subset is to showcase the best of the originators in the game. Legendary names like Tris Speaker, Christy Mathewson and Cy Young reside here.
The National Pastime subset:
These are cards 61-80. This subset goes into depth and talks about some of these legendary players. The base cards have nothing but stats on the back (but not an issue) and these cards go into a little detail about these guys careers.
The Hall of Fame Records subset:
These are the final cards of the set, 81-90. This focuses on the records that will probably never be broken (or at least any time soon). Like Walter Johnson's 110 career shutouts, Cy Young's 511 career wins and Joe DiMaggio's incredible hit streak of 56 games.
Overall this set is exactly for what I am looking for in a set focused on baseball's history. Incredible photos, legendary players and a great design for each of the subsets are a whole great package for me. The hits, from what I red, were great too. Getting jerseys and bats (and autos from living players) of these guys, plus more that weren't in the base set, is always a good thing. Upper Deck done right.