Upper Deck: MVP
My Upper Deck: MVP Collection (Updated November 13th, 2022)
Upper Deck's assault on the hobby in 1999 continued with another solid title. This one called "Upper Deck MVP". The initial offering from Upper Deck had this set at 220-cards. Still a little low, but respectable. My first impression of the set wasn't good. I didn't like the big "MVP" over-laid on the photo. It just took away from the cards, in my opinion, (See the 1999 Upper Deck MVP "Chad Brown" #176 left). I thought the '99 release had an awesome assortment of insert sets though, from your "Draw you own card", (Where were these when I was a kid?), to the 1st installment of the "Prosign" autograph cards. Talk about a winner here!! These cards reminded me of the 1999 Upper Deck Century Legends "Epic Signatures" autograph set, just with color, (See the 1999 Upper Deck MVP "Ricky Williams" Prosign #RW below right). A solid 34-card autograph set filled with a bunch of "Short-printed" cards. A must for any autograph set collector!! Just a warning though, some of these autograph cards are very difficult to find.
The 1999 Upper Deck MVP set also had a memorabilia set included in its initial release; the "Game-Used Souvenirs" set, (See the 1999
1999 Upper Deck MVP: “Chad Brown” #176
1999 Upper Deck MVP: “Ricky Williams” Pro Sign RC Autograph #RW
2000 Upper Deck MVP: “Brian Dawkins” #130
1999 Upper Deck MVP: “Jamal Anderson” Game-Used Souvenirs #JA-S
The 2000 release was basically the same thing as the '99 offering. Literally, Upper Deck changed very little going forward into 2000 for the MVP title, (See the 2000 Upper Deck MVP "Brian Dawkins" #130 below right). I mean, even the # of cards in the set changed very little; from 220 in '99 to 218 in 2000. The newest set still had that huge "MVP" text plastered across the card front, so in my opinion, this newest release didn't change much. The "Prosign" autograph set was also back for a 2nd tour of duty, (See the 2000 Upper Deck MVP "Travis Taylor"
The 2000 version of the "Game Used Souvenirs" though was a different story. I realize you have to mix things up from year to year, but Upper Deck really went outside the box this time around. To see what I'm talking about look at the 2000 version of the "Game Used Souvenirs" and you'll see what I mean, (See the 2000 Upper Deck MVP
Upper Deck MVP "Jamal Anderson" #JA-S below left). What I really liked about this set? The football swatch was huge. Collector's Edge released a few sets in 1999 that you had to have a magnifying glass to see the swatches. I'm kidding, of course, but you understand what I'm saying. Upper Deck just went the extra mile.
Prosign #TT below left). I liked this Prosign autograph set just as much as the last one. Compared to the '99 set, these autographs were a little easier to find.
2000 Upper Deck MVP: “Travis Taylor” Prosign #TT
2000 Upper Deck MVP: “LaVar Arrington” RC #189 *
*Note: I do not own the card above. Unfortunately, the asking price is always a tad too high for me.
"Kevin Johnson" Game Used Souvenirs #KJ-S below right). Now that is just an odd-looking card. The color photo in the middle just breaks everything up...and not in a good way either.
The real "Chase Card" from this set though was the LaVar Arrington rookie card, (See the 2000 Upper Deck MVP "LaVar Arrington" RC #189 left). Most of LaVar's cards were cut from all the early 2000 sets; the Upper Deck MVP set being one of those. The card below is what it should've looked like if you were lucky enough to find one. Otherwise, your card would've looked like this, (See the 2000 Upper Deck MVP "LaVar Arrington" RC Cut-Out #189C below left).
The 2001 Upper Deck MVP release was my favorite of the bunch. Up till now I always thought the text was too big and took away from the photography, but the '01 set while also having large text didn't both me as much, (See the 2001 Upper Deck MVP "Todd Heap" RC #308 below right). And check out the card # on Todd Heap's card. That's right #308. The 2001 release had a sweet 330 cards. The '01 set also included 6 insert sets; 2 of those being memorabilia sets and 2 more being a memorabilia/autograph parallel sets. My favorite of those insert sets being the
2000 Upper Deck MVP: “Kevin Johnson” Game-Used Souvenirs #KJ-S
2000 Upper Deck MVP: “LaVar Arrington” RC #189C
"Campus Classics", (See the 2001 Upper Deck MVP "Peyton Manning" Campus Classics #CC-PM below right).
The 2001 release also had the 3rd installment of the "Game-Used Souvenirs" memorabilia set. Although the 2001 Souvenirs set wasn't my favorite of the three, (the 1999 edition was), it also went in a totally different direction. I know card companies sometimes want to switch up the look of the swatches, but sometimes I think they try to overdo it. Upper Deck changed from a circle the previous 2 years and switched to some ameba looking thing, (See the 2001 Upper Deck MVP "Aaron Brooks" Game Used Souvenirs #AB-S below right). I always thought the swatches on these cards looked silly.
2001 Upper Deck MVP: “Todd Heap” RC #308
In closing, the "Upper Deck: MVP" brand wasn't the best title and it was far from being the worst. It was just another solid title. The main thing that was lacking was the base sets. I just didn't think they looked very good, in my opinion. Other than that, the MVP title offered quite a bit for the average collector. The thought the "Prosign" and especially the "Campus Classics" were above average autograph and memorabilia sets, respectfully.
I have complete sets:
Upper Deck MVP:
1a) 1999 Upper Deck MVP Set
A) Draw Your Own Card Insert
B) Drive Time Insert
C) Dynamics Insert
D) Game Used Souvenirs Insert - Incomplete ( 20 / 22 )
E) Power Surge Insert
F) ProSign Insert - Incomplete ( 23 / 34 )
G) Strictly Business Insert
H) Theatre Insert
1b) 1999 Upper Deck MVP (Silver Script) Set
2) 2000 Upper Deck MVP Set
A) Air Show Insert
B) Game Used Souvenirs Insert
C) Headliners Insert
D) Highlight Reel Insert
E) Prolifics Insert
F) ProSign Insert - Incomplete ( 24 / 26 ) *
G) Theatre Insert
3) 2001 Upper Deck MVP Set
A) Campus Classics Jersey Insert
B) Souvenirs Insert
C) Team MVP Insert
D) Top 10 Performers Insert
*Note: This set was listed as a 25-card set, However, if you include card #PW-X the Peter Warrick Exchange card, the set is now 26-cards.
2001 Upper Deck MVP: “Peyton Manning” Campus Classics #CC-PM
2001 Upper Deck MVP: “Aaron Brooks” Game Used Souvenirs #AB-S