DesignThe front design of the card is very simple and very clean. Down the left side is silver foil of the SP Authentic logo, the player's name, team city, team name and position. The player is centered in the card with a black graphic background that runs horizontal. The player and black graphic are glossy but the rest of the card stock is ( I don't know how to describe it) plain. Also, if you notice on this particular Joba card, the player's number is watermarked on the bottom right side of the card. You can only see it if you hold it at a certain angle in the light. Otherwise, it looks exactly like it does in the image.
The card back is completely glossed. And as you can see you get the player's full stats. The back of the card reminds me of the 2008 base set from Upper Deck. It's a very simple but extremely effective design. There's also a blurb about the player above the stats on every card, even Greg Maddux's 22-year stats has a one sentence blurb.
InsertsSo far with our blaster boxes we've seen two inserts specific to SP Authentic. Authentic Achievements and Marquee Matchups.
Authentic AchievementsAuthentic Achievements focuses on a particular player's achievement from 2008,
Marquee MatchupsThese remind me of the 2008 Legendary Cuts Memorable Memorabilia cards for some reason (I think it's the big SP logo in the middle). The design is simple, face pictures of two players, one pitcher and one hitter. On the back, there's a small description about each player and why they would have success about their on-card opponent.
How does that make you feeeeel
Well, Kim said this to me, "Ya know, the cards by themselves look really great but when you put a bunch of them together and look at them they're kinda plain." And I think she's right. I was impressed when I opened the first pack but now after reviewing it I'm a little disenchanted by the product as a whole. There are only 100 base cards in the set, 50 Authentic Achievements and 50 Marquee Matchups. The blaster boxes are nice if you're trying to build a base set or bought a hobby box and are missing some cards. Or if you're just looking curious about how they look and wanted a small sample.
Let's face it, the real reason to get a hobby box is to get a By the Letter autograph card or some other autograph relic. Those are what make this set stand out from the other cards. Obviously the chances of getting one of those in a blaster are slim to none (in my opinion). Unless you have UNBELIEVABLE LUCK.
Speaking of luck. Kim pulled 5 Yankees out of her box while I pulled, yep, a big zero. She even pulled most of the top players like Pujols and Griffey while I'm stuck with some Red Sox and David Wright, whoop-de-doo!
For me, I just can't see the justification of 1 By the Letter card and 2 rookie autos in a box where that's my only spot for excitement. The set-collector inside of me says that I would love to collect the 100 card base set and grab any of the inserts along the way. But the value part of me says that those few hits (plus no Mattingly) doesn't really justify spending my money on a box of those when I can just work on finishing my Masterpieces 2008 set. Oh and I'm sure any By the Letter Yankee cards will show up on eBay, like this. So if I REALLY wanted one I could get it (and I did).
But this might be a litmus test for you. Go to this youtube link. And watch one hour of these guys busting a case of this product (or just see the recap at the end of the video) and see if you still feel like buying a box. After watching it and seeing what I got in my blaster, I felt like this may not be the product for me.