Old School Hits: 2000 UD MVP Game-Used Souvenirs
In 1999, Upper Deck MVP debuted as longtime favorite Collector’s Choice (called UD Choice that year) was on its way out the hobby. The makeup was similar. MVP was a cheap $2/pack product aimed at a younger audience. They did away with all the stickers, Starquests, and mini bobble-heads that made Collector’s Choice fun, but they did give kids a chance to draw their own trading card. The best entries were displayed in a 31-card insert set in 2000 (link). Another key difference between the two was the insertion of autographs and game-used cards. In the inaugural set, the game-used cards were hobby exclusives while the autographs could only be found in retail packs, with long odds on each.
In 2000, Game-Used Souvenir cards were inserted 1 in every 130 packs on average. There were 28 cards in the set and 75% of those cards featured a swatch of glove (batting or fielding). The other 7 contained bat pieces. There was not a jersey swatch to be found. In fact, the MVP Souvenir series didn’t feature any jersey pieces at all until 2002, its fourth year of existance. Back to 2000, 13 of the cards in the set also featured an autographed variation. These were hard signed (obviously), featured a gold background, and were hand-numbered to just 25. The autographed checklist is LOADED: Tony Gwynn, Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Alomar, Nolan Ryan, Kenny Lofton, Ken Griffey, Jr., Barry Bonds, Albert Belle, Chipper Jones, and Jose Canseco. Tony Gwynn, Barry Bonds, and Ken Griffey, Jr. also had 2 different autographed cards, one with a glove swatch and one with a bat.