But for all the irritation that the tobacco sized fellows cause me, there are a few sets that are a little more sorting friendly.
Topps remains the king of excessive use of the mini, but in the mid-late 2000's Upper Deck got in on the action too. The results were mixed, but the cards, lacking the setbuilder following of the Topps releases, seem to be far more difficult to come by.
In 2007, Upper Deck used their Fleer brand to put out a unique set of minis. The cards are supposedly available in silver (pictured on the right) and gold versions. This is the only Jack Wilson silver I have seen, and I have neither seen nor heard of the gold version. After the Fleer bankruptcy, UD treated the brand like a red headed stepchild. The flagship set became essentially a low-end, retail friendly set, likely explaining why many of these cards haven't trickled into the secondary market.
But at around 3/4 the size of the regular cards, they're nice looking parallels. Hopefully at some point a few other Bucs from the set will find their way into my collection. But I'm not holding my breath. If/when I find them, I'm sure it will probably be in a dime box, which is where the Jack came from.
The same can't be said for UD's Goudey sets. In theory the set followed the same formula as A&G. Poorly photoshopped photos based off of a classic vintage set. Mini cards with an annoying number of barely distinguishable parallels.
The lone area where they seemed to succeed is including Jack Wilson in more than one year of the set. And like A&G, completely and utterly annoying me.
The sets are far from memorable, and seem to have had little to no impact on the secondary market, making life tough on a player collector. Still, I give UD credit for the size of the mini cards, though perhaps credit is due moreso to the original Goudey release. Still, the parallels are less frustrating to look through than the A&G cards, but again finding these cards, particularly anything beyond the red and green backed minis, is almost impossible.
Like so many sets I continue to hold out hope that my next dime box dig will reveal a giant row or two of these cards to magically fill my holes on these sets. More likely, half of the print run is sitting in Burbank's warehouse, never to be seen or heard from unless willing to pay in blood.