I never quite understood the raison d'etre of Authentics. Looking back, and with the benefit of six years of hindsight, I'm guessing that it might have been Upper Deck's attempt to cash in on the success of Topps Heritage. Maybe, maybe not. The cards certainly look like '89UD, and it was packaged like '89UD, but that's where the similarities end.
When this product came out, it's big selling point (not surprisingly) wasn't the base set itself. Rather, it was the game jerseys -- with each 16-pack waxbox yielding three of them. Of course, this was back when three game jerseys in a 16-pack waxbox still meant something.
Here's the pack:
In lieu of commentary, I'm just going to re-print the copy on the back of each card.
"A top all-around player, Mondesi hits home runs, steals bases and possesses one of the best arms in the game. The Dominican racked up 19 assists from right field in 2001."
"Dunn made quite an impact on the National League in just 66 games last season. The imposing slugger blasted 12 home runs in August alone."
"With a career-high 15 wins last year, Dempster is well on his way to stardom in the Big Leagues. He tossed the second shutout of his career on 7/3/01 against the Expos."
"The Mets team leader, Piazza seems to always come through when the club needs him most. The perennial All-Star hit .397 with an incredible .762 slugging percentage in July 2001."
Todd Donovan (Star Rookie)
"Donovan flashed his speed every chance he could last year with San Diego's Class-A affiliate in Lake Elsinore. The Sienna (sic) College product was successful on 23 of his 25 stolen base attempts (92 percent) and scored 37 runs in just 41 games. Donovan also chipped in to the Storm's success with a career-high .304 average."
It should be noted that -- six years after the issuance of his "Major League" rookie card -- Todd Donovan has still yet to make his Major League debut.