I probably shouldn't speak for the majority of card collectors, so I will only speak for myself.
I didn't view the settlement between MLB and UD as a victory for me. I didn't feel as though I won anything.
I'm missing out.
Competition is usually a good thing in any marketplace. Competition sparks creativity, hard work and, sometimes, shady manuevers. We've seen plenty of that over the years in the card industry. (View details of the settlement here)
Even with that, I always felt having a variety of products to choose from was always a good thing. I was someone who bought mostly Upper Deck. This was never a slight at Topps, but I would much rather get the chance to pull a Derek Jeter-type of card from UD and found myself gravitating toward them in recent years.
Sets such as Masterpieces, Goudey and Sweet Spot helped their brand. I enjoyed these cards and loved ripping open packs. Upper Deck's pictures were always top notch and they consistently gave collectors a good flagship set.
In 2010, I have bought one product of a hobby box. Just one. I purchased two products of Ultimate. And, this is the first time I have ever bought a hobby box of a high-end product. I actually never even considered buying Topps Sterling or Triple Threads. When it comes to high end product, Upper Deck was clearly the better of the card companies.
I would like for MLB to explain how the million of fans who collect basecall cards won today. Do we get to see some of the money that was collected from Upper Deck in settlement? Does this mean that licenses will be cheaper so Topps could charge less on product?
I didn't really think so.
Despite certain practices Upper Deck employed over the years, I am definitely sad to see their current run of baseball cards come to an end.
I own three Derek Jeter autograph cards and can happily say they are from Upper Deck.
Make sure you get the last bit of Upper Deck you can.
2009 Star Signatures
2009 Ultimate Collection
2010 Upper Deck Series 1