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Old 05-19-2023, 05:54 PM
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Hollywood42 Hollywood42 is offline
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Location: Minnesota
Posts: 47
Default 2008 Upper Deck Series 2 white back variations?

I was sorting through some duplicates when I happened to notice a little variation on a pair of cards, and when I tried looking into it, I couldn't really find any information out there on it. Wanted to share this with the forums and get some thoughts on how this may have come to be and if anyone else has noticed this before

Here's pics of what I found first. The only difference as far as I can tell is the cards on the right having a white background - no gray in the top left corner or in the stat line header. The card on the right with the gray seems to be the standard base version, matching any given typical base card from the set. I haven't found any other differences on the backs, and the fronts appear to be the same as well

I couldn't find anything out there on this, so I've been trying to narrow down how widespread within the set these white backs may be. I started by flipping through all of the Twins cards I had in my collection from this set, and these were the only 2 that I turned up "white back variations" for.

My next step then was to turn to COMC and start spot checking throughout the set to see if I could find any more examples scattered across the set, as perhaps I just didn't have enough duplicate copies of these cards to find the white versions. Without clicking through all 76 pages of the 900+ base cards they have processed (though I have looked at a lot!), here are the only base subsets of which I found examples of other white back variations:

Series 2 Star Rookies (#701 - #719)
Series 2 Season Highlights (#730 - #750 and #781 - #799)
Series 2 Team Checklists (#751 - #780)

Or, to put that another way - I have only found these white back variations for cards in the #701 - #799 range. Didn't turn up any examples from Series 1, and nothing in Series 2 with a card number lower than 701. To be clear, I'm not ruling out the existence of white back versions of anything else, I just haven't come across any. Similarly, I can't say that white backs exist for every card #701 - #799 either, just that there seems to be a pattern of them only popping up in this range

Having established that, the two big questions that remain for me are 1) Where did these come from? And 2) How common are they?

For #1, I am not sure there's really any good way to know. There's a clear pattern so far of these existing from the last few base subsets in Series 2, but beyond that, who knows. The logical answer could be as simple as they were only in a certain type of pack, a certain edition of printing, or so on, but that seems like something that would be very hard to find information on

For #2, we can do a little more investigative digging on that one. My method for this is clicking through COMC listings of cards #701 and up, and for any card that has more than 20 cards listed, counting the number of white back variations that we see in comparison to the standard backs. There are definitely cards in this range with less than 20 listings on COMC that have 1, or even multiple, white backs listed. But we can only go so crazy here for now, so we'll limit to the cards with a larger sample size and see what we can learn:

#706 Callix Crabbe - 20 listed, 2 white backs
#707 Johnny Cueto - 35 listed, 0 white backs
#708 Kosuke Fukudome (english) - 233 listed, 2 white backs
#713 Masahide Kobayashi - 22 listed, 1 white back
#714 Hiroki Kuroda - 54 listed, 2 white backs
#715 Blake DeWitt - 31 listed, 1 white back
#718 Denard Span - 27 listed, 3 white backs
#720 Alexei Ramirez - 58 listed, 1 white back
#722 Clete Thomas - 22 listed, 1 white back
#723 Matt Tolbert - 20 listed, 3 white backs
#727 Randy Wells - 25 listed, 1 white back
#730 Alex Rodriguez - 22 listed, 3 white backs
#738 Greg Maddux - 25 listed, 1 white back
# 739 Ichiro - 34 listed, 1 white back
#748 Ryan Braun - 22 listed, 3 white backs
#750 Alex Rodriguez - 21 listed, 3 white backs
#780 Derek Jeter - 52 listed, 4 white backs
#787 Ichiro - 29 listed, 4 listed

Now, recognizing that this may not be the most statistically perfect method of doing this, that is a total of 752 cards listed, 36 of those being white backs, or about 4.7% of the population. Or to put another way, based on this experiment, there seems to be about 20 normal base cards for every 1 white back variation

I think I have taken this about as far as I'm able to at this point, but I am very curious to see if anyone has come across this before or has any additional insights to share. I don't expect this to be like uncovering a gold mine by any means (I am not sure myself if I really care about these variations or not!) but it was something I came across and found pretty interesting, and wanted to raise to the community!
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Old 08-17-2023, 07:57 PM
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Hollywood42 Hollywood42 is offline
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Posts: 47

Trying this one with a bump again, curious if anyone has any information!
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