Upper Deck has signed an exclusive, multi-year deal to become the official trading card of Little League Baseball.
The biggest promotion will be a national wrapper redemption program that will offer prizes to Little League teams who send in the most wrappers from 2004 Upper Deck baseball products.
"Little League Baseball is excited to be partnering with Upper Deck," Stephen D. Keener, president and chief operating officer of Little League Baseball told Sports Collectors Digest. "Upper Deck’s partnership will provide local Little Leagues a good opportunity for fund-raising while helping to keep their affiliation fees as low as possible."
Upper Deck will be featured on promotional materials that will be distributed to the estimated 2.8 million youth who will participate in more than 6,500 Little League-sanctioned teams in the United States this year. Upper Deck will also have a visible presence at the Little League World Series.
There will not be a card sampling element to the partnership, but the wrapper redemption program — Rip Into It & Win — hopes to encourage youngsters to purchase Upper Deck baseball products.
The Rip Into It & Win program begins March 1 and encourages Little League teams to purchase cards and submit their wrappers from any of the company’s 2004 baseball products for the opportunity to win prizes. The team that redeems the most wrappers by July 31 will win a skills clinic conducted by Ken Griffey Jr.
Weekly prizes, such as baseball equipment, autographed memorabilia, cards and video games, will be awarded to participating teams over the length of the promotion. Upper Deck will post weekly results and standings at www.ripintoit.com.
The five leagues whose teams submit the most wrappers will also win prizes, ranging from $5,000 to a Juggs pitching machine.
SIGN IN, PLEASE
Hall of Fame Legends are having an autograph session at 8 a.m. today at the Mesa Sheraton Hotel to benefit the All Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides awareness, education and prevention about prostate cancer.
Pro football Hall of Famers Gale Sayers, Chuck Bednarik, Art Donovan, Fred Biletnikoff, Bobby Bell, Ollie Matson, Don Maynard, Jim Otto, Joe Perry and Paul Warfield, baseball Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, and pro basketball Hall of Famer Hal Greer will be available to sign autographs for fans making a $30 tax-deductible donation for each signature to the All Sports Foundation. A super donation ticket for one autograph of each player is $325. For more information, call Jim Cassidy at (480) 964-3013 or visit www.prostatecheckup.com.
NIXON’S STILL THE ONE
NAXCOM.com, an internet-based sports memorabilia and collectibles exchange recently sold the Richard Nixon American Treasures cut autograph from the 2004 Topps Series I Baseball set. The 1-of-1 card sold in less than a week for $6,800. The seller had twice attempted to sell the card on eBay, only to end up with bogus bids each time.
This is the second high profile listing/sale for NAXCOM. The online exchange also received exclusive listing on the Babe Ruth/Ty Cobb 1-of-1 dual autographed/game-used jersey card.
In other American Treasures Presidential cut autograph news: After two eBay attempts, auctions for the John Adams card failed to garner any bids. In the first auction, which started Dec. 31, bidding started at $20,000 and achieved no results. The card was then relisted Jan. 11 with a beginning bid of $9,000 and a buy it now price of $20,000, but again failed to find a buyer. The Ronald Reagan American Treasures card fared better. One bidder agreed to pay the opening bid of $13,995.