Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Never Popular Felt Baseball Card Set

Every once in awhile I have a hard time deciding whether a card set is genius or a complete flop.  Sounds funny, but sometimes I think there is a very thin line between the two.  Take for example the 2001 Upper Deck Legends of New York set.  I initially passed on buying anything from this product when it was first released since it just focuses on four teams which I do not particularly care for.  One of my local card shops had a box of this product sitting on its shelf were it sat for a long time.  At some point on some weekend several years after 2001 I talked the shop owner down on price and figured I might get lucky with something cool.  Luckily, I pulled a cool autograph.  

2001 Upper Deck Legends of New York Reggie Jackson Bat/Autograph 

While I was really happy to pull an autograph of Mr. October I was also really intrigued by the base set of cards which featured felt.  The stuff on pool tables and the lining of your glasses case on a baseball card.  Who would have thunk of that?  Obviously, somebody at Upper Deck had this idea and put it into motion with the Legends of New York set.  At first I thought the cards looked cool and I assembled a set.  There are four basic card designs in the set featuring cards of the four New York franchises: Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, and Giants.  

2001 Upper Deck Legends of New York Ron Darling

The card above shows the most basic design from the card set which is divided equally into quarters between the four teams.  The felt part of this card is the team logo on the right side of the card.  If you cannot tell from the initial glance at the card, the felt is actually shedding.  Like a dog, or a cat.  Which is really the lowlight to this set.  Have you ever considered vacuuming out a box of baseball cards?  

2001 Upper Deck Legends of New York Mickey Mantle 

I have never actually vacuumed out the box of cards with my Legends of New York set, but there is excess felt floating around the inside of the box.  The cards, like the Mantle above, with the felt square cut around the team logo seem to shed a little less than the basic logo card, but they still are not perfect. There is also a set of cards recognizing the teams Championships, or Banner Years, which has a felt script writing with the teams name on the front of the card.  Another big shedder.  

2001 Upper Deck Legends of New York Duke Snider

If you look around the world of baseball cards you will notice that there has not been another felt set of baseball cards since Upper Deck issued the Legends of New York set in 2001.  Card companies have dabbled with other materials, like Topps and their silk cards, but nothing in felt.  After looking back over this set I fully understand why card companies have not duplicated this design or concept since this product.  

Sounds like a flop, so how do they also border on genius?  

In working on my reorganization project, this was one of the first sets that I pulled and sorted.  Frankly, I was astonished at the response I received from my efforts to trade a lot of doubles.  There is something a small cult following with this set and there are collectors that will go all out in order to complete a sale or trade.  Not lukewarm, not those are cool looking let me think about it.  More like, let me email you my want list from the set and lets fill some holes.  If you search out single cards from the set on Ebay most list for more than $1 per card, with the Mantles and Sniders fetching several dollars.  Complete sets can actually settle in the $50 range.  Not bad for a $70 box of cards considering you are likely to get either a bat or autograph card too.  

When I starting pulling doubles and triples out of my sets I expected there to effort and interest from collectors on my extras from sets like the 2001 Topps Heritage set, but the Legends of New York?  I understand that the set features four teams with good collecting bases, but was shocked to trade off one lot of doubles and sell another lot and make as much as I did.  

So, what ever comes out of my collection in way of doubles and multiples is being redirected into good things, so the Legends of New York, minus Reggie-he stays, netted me three pretty nice cards:  

2013 Bowman Inception George Springer Jersey/Autograph 

2013 Bowman Inception Shelby Miller Autograph 

2013 Topps Tribute World Baseball Classic Ben Zobrist Autograph

Not a bad haul for a set and lot of duplicates from a felt baseball card set.  I am not completely sold on the World Baseball Classic cards, but the other two cards are solid adds.  Not that I am down on Zobrist, but I am not a huge fan of the actual WBC event, barely watched it this year.  The Miller autograph is on card, while the Springer is not, but are players that I like having in my collection.    


  1. I came to a similar conclusion about this set on my own blog:

    oh, and that Reggie Jackson card is sick.

  2. felt on cardboard = awesome!