One of the major complaints I and everyone else has in the hobby is the number of useless auto and jersey cards. I commented that my case of 2007 UD Artifacts had a very high number of autos of players that even if you are a big fan of a particular team, you could care less about having that auto or jersey.
With autos in Football the rookies and skill positions (sorry Tight Ends)are a given, but if you aren't a top two quarterback, receiver, or running back on the depth chart, NO AUTO FOR YOU. The second guy should be a rare exception for an auto at that. For example, in Arizona you have Kurt Warner and Matt Leinert. In my opinion, it is ok if both of those guys have autos in a set. However, if in Big D you have T Romo and Brad Johnson. Don't get me wrong I actually like Brad Johnson, but I dont want to pull an auto of him. Rookie autos do not count toward the total as rookies are always a chance and you never know when you are going to end up with a Tom Brady type star, plus getting rookie autos and seeing how they turn out is most of the fun. My point is, when I get an auto in a pack I want to say "Sweet" not "Who?"
Exceptions might be made for a Tri, quad, or penta? auto with a theme. For example, I think a cool card could be made with the starting 5 offensive lineman on opening day. That is a true team fan card. Defensive players should be used moderately, should be limited to no more than one per team if that, and should only be a true Defensive star. Again this might be multi auto territory. Ty Law/Lawyer Malloy dual auto? Very few Defensive or TE should get auto's: Shockey, love him or hate him, Ray Lewis, Urlacher and maybe one or two others.
Pretty much the same goes for Basketball. You might recall I pulled a tri auto of the Pistons. Even though I am not a pistons fan, I like the card because it has 3 true stars on it. But a single jersey auto of JR Smith? WTF? Every team has one or two stars. The Nuggets Carmelo and Iverson for example. Again Rookies get a pass, but Jesus Upper deck the number 48 pick in the draft? How about you limit these guys. I am going to be happier with a /1999 Durant, Oden level pick than a /899 Josh Mcroberts. Some of your products aren't released untill well after the season starts, so its easy to determine who if any of these guys are at least getting minimal playing time.
Frankly, some teams aren't going to have one guy unless they are full of young developing stars. The Hornets for example, but these should probably be duals or triples.
Which brings me to baseball. I was watching the Upper Deck X break over at Stale Gum. Chris is anything if not honest in his views. I don't mind the cards, or the partial die cuts. IF the ONE ONLY ONE parallel was the die cuts that would be cool, but the exponentials look like bad pinnacle product. Then you have the balls to do 3, 4 versions? Much like the Topps Home Run sets, ugh, those cross product Yankee stadium cards are horrific and just piss most pople off.
The best part of the break was the first auto pull. "I don't even know who the fuck this guy is" Awesome. The rules for Basketball and Football drafts and rookies, in relation to autos and jerseys, do not apply to baseball. If Basketball and Football, the pick either hits or misses and you know pretty early what the answer is going to be. In baseball, these 18 year olds either sign and go to the minors for a while, don't sign and try their luck in next years draft or go to college or whatever. With 17 product slots, you can have your one big rookie auto jersey whatever set such as 52 rookies, Bowman, and the draft sets. I am ok with these sets even if 249 of the 250 players bust. You know what you are getting. With a standard set I don't want to see a lot of these guys, especially if it is a late release and you have time to see which players are getting AB's or Starts. I am just talking about base cards too.
With auto and jerseys especially, none of these terrible 1000th pick guys that have as many AB's or starts as I do or a guy that is a career 3-5 with a 9.45 ERA that has kicked around the minors for 4 years that wasn't really a prospect ever. When I pull an auto I want it to be a star. I do applaud the mystery rookie redemption cards because then you can pick a rookie that is making an impact.
I have always liked the multi player team prospect cards of Topps base sets, however, but these are not jerseys or autos and if they dont pan out then so be it. These cards are for team collectors anyway.
When it comes to veteran autos, you should limit these to true stars. I don't want a single Richie Sexson auto, but if you would have done a triple with the starting Mariners 3-4-5 hitters on opening day, thats cool. Same with starting rotation pitchers. Most Baseball teams have one or two guys too. In baseball there are more exceptions in baseball. Such as Boston and the Jankees.
Remember, when you are charging 50+ for a box and you know that people are after the autos and jerseys, make it worth it. I'm looking at you Co Signers, X, and Masterpieces.