The 2008-2009 USA Baseball Box Set was officially released on January 28, 2009. Produced by Upper Deck, this released marked the eighth consecutive USA Box Set. This set was touted by USA Baseball as the most limited offering ever, with an announced print run of 2,665 sets. Collectors paid a premium for the limited availability, as the MSRP was $250, the most ever for a USA Box Set.
Featuring the 2008 National, 18U and 16U teams, the big draws at the time of release were RHP Stephen Strasburg (NT) and C Bryce Harper (16U). In contrast to the previous four box sets, many people turned profits on this set upon release. Historically, profits from the USA sets were realized after players were drafted and went on to become major league regulars.
The release features a 47-card base set, including each of the individual players from the National Team and 18U Team, while Bryce Harper was the only player from the 16U Team to be featured on his own card (the rest of the 16U Team were placed on cards featuring 3 players). Game-used jersey cards were included featuring a single jersey swatch in the cut-out portion of the “S” of a “USA” pattern, flanked by a picture of jersey fabric that made up the “U” and “A”. Many secondary sellers advertise these cards as “Triple Jersey” cards when, in fact, only a single swatch is inserted. (You can view the entire set checklist here).
Official USA Baseball Press Release
Collectors will not need to wait long to find these sets as Upper Deck has already started shipping them. To create additional excitement, USA Baseball fans can find rare autograph cards that feature a starting lineup with nine on-card autographs and the team roster autograph cards with over 20 autographs all on one card.
“We are excited to once again team with Upper Deck to produce the USA Baseball Box Set,” said David Perkins, chief operating officer of USA Baseball. “By featuring the first baseball cards of some of the game’s rising talent and keeping the number of sets limited, we hope to provide collectors and fans with a product with long-term value.”
“The USA Baseball National Teams’ box sets are extremely popular every year, but it was important to us to make them highly collectible by limiting the number we produced,” added Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck’s Baseball associate brand manager. “To have each of the insert cards sequentially numbered with much less product in the market, we believe we can dramatically enhance the overall value of the sealed sets and singles.”
Filed under: 2008-2009 Upper Deck USA Box Set