Those of you who know me know about my love of baseball. But what you may not know is that I don't just enjoy watching and scoring the games or collecting autographs. I also collect baseball cards, and my collection is getting to be pretty decent now. My main collection includes a LOT of Arizona Diamondbacks autographed and game-used cards from players like Randy Johnson, Matt Williams, Justin Upton, Chris Young, Matt Kata, Conor Jackson, Brandon Webb, Dustin Nippert, and others. I also do a little bit of set-building (trying to get one of every card in the set of cards) for 2009 Topps Allen and Ginter, Upper Deck 2008 and 2009 A Piece of History, Topps Mayo Football, 2001 Pacific Baseball, and 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions. I'm actually very close to having complete base sets for most of these products, and all I need are the inserts and hard-to-find cards.
Every year, when the new sets come out, I like to buy a few packs of the ones I can afford and see if I like the designs enough to try to collect the set. Today, my local card shop, Hot Corner Sports Cards in Mesa, AZ got in boxes of 2010 Upper Deck Series 1 cards. This poses an interesting tangent. You see, Major League Baseball, in its infinite wisdom, last year awarded Topps, Inc. the exclusive rights to produce baseball cards using the MLB insignia and trademarks, thereby granting them basically a monopoly on baseball cards. Upper Deck, the only other major company in opposition to Topps, retains a contract with the MLB Players Association to allow players to be featured on Upper Deck cards, but without making mention of teams and using those trademarks.
Well, within the last couple of weeks, Upper Deck released sample photos of the 2010 baseball cards, which MLB Properties alleged were in violation of anti-trademark infringement policies because the cards show the photos of MLB logos in the photos of the players playing baseball. Apparently MLB wanted Upper Deck to airbrush/photoshop out all the MLB logos from the photos (such as the Athletics "A," the Indians "red man," or the MLB patch logos on players' sleeves). And thus, MLB sent a letter to a bunch of retailers asking them to not sell the 2010 Upper Deck cards (two or three different products) until the issue could be resolved. Upper Deck replied saying that retailers could sell their cards, since there's no law on the books regarding their claims. And thus, the MLBP sued Upper Deck.
So, as I was saying, these boxes of UD 2010 Series 1 cards came in today, and since my shop had the product, was never told by anyone to NOT sell it, and since it was supposed to be for sale starting today, I got my hands on 5 packs of the product. And to be honest, I can't see what MLBP is complaining about. I have pulled several cards below from my five packs to give my fellow readers a taste of what 2010 UDS1 looks like, and YOU be the judge regarding logos and trademark infringement!
First up, the base cards. I pulled three Diamondbacks from my five packs (Doug Davis, P; Max Scherzer, P; and Brandon Allen, rookie 1B). The design is clean, crisp, and looks nice enough for what would be classified among collectors as a low-end product, meant more for set-builders and kids than some of the more hardcore $300-per-box products. Allen's base card: