Each month Upper Deck spotlights one of its valued collectors to showcase their collection or pursuits. The great thing about sports collectors is that they are all very different in what they collect, how they collect, and what they do once they have the cards they were looking for. We found Matt W. on a collecting message board where he shared with other collectors that he was chasing the very rare set of 2011 Goodwin Champions Presidential Masterpiece painted cards. I reached out to him and after finally completing the set, he allowed us to profile him for the Upper Deck Blog. We hope you enjoy his story on completing this set of very limited cards of all the U.S. Presidents.
“I am a big fan of the throwback type products like Upper Deck’s 2011 Goodwin Champions. However, I wasn’t planning on collecting this product until I learned of the Presidential Masterpiece painted cards. When collectors started opening packs of the product, I began to see these unique cards popping up for sale online. I knew a friend of mine busted several cases of this product, so I called him up to ask if he pulled any of these fantastic cards. He did. In fact, he pulled several, and we were able to work out a deal for all of them! That day was July 2, 2011.
“As I started doing more research about these cards, I began asking questions in various on-line forums. All kinds of people were amazed at the quality of artwork contained on these cards. People started to wonder if anyone would make a run at a complete set. Some said it would be amazing. Others said it would be impossible. Hearing the latter fueled my passion to put this set together, and I wanted to do it before this year’s National Sports Card Convention in Chicago (NSCC), if possible.
“When I learned 13 of the 43 Presidents were redemptions, I knew I had to get them as soon as possible in order to allow Upper Deck enough time to get them back to me before the NSCC. Seeing the video with Grant Sandground showing off these redemptions was comforting because I then knew Upper Deck had them in-hand. Once the 13th redemption arrived and I entered the code, I called Upper Deck’s Customer Care and asked if there was a way they could bring my redemptions to the NSCC. They said they would see what they could do. Low and behold, all 13 cards arrived at my door the day before I left for Chicago. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least, but I was still 4 cards short of the complete set. The question then became, ‘Will I be able to find them in Chicago?’
“As luck would have it, I ran into another friend of mine named Patrick at the show, and he said he would help me find the last four I needed. I couldn’t believe it when shortly after discussing this with him, he called and said he found one! I quickly made the deal to acquire it, and not too long later, he called and said another one just showed up. Before the show was over, he helped me find three of the four cards I needed. I headed home still needing one more card to complete my set and I was a little disappointed hoping to finish the collection there. I had yet to see a single Dwight D. Eisenhower, and of all people, he was from my home state. I had to find his card. On September 1, one day shy of exactly two months from the moment I decided to chase this set, the final card arrived to complete my set. I finally landed the Eisenhower!
“Since then, I have been fortunate to acquire the Kennedy numbered 1/10, (the only one with the flag painted in the background), and a few other 1/10s. I have also spoken to the main artist, Jared Kelley, a few times via email. It’s been wonderful to learn some of his insight about this amazing set. It has been a true pleasure to put together. In the world of collecting cards, nothing is impossible these days.
“Some of my favorites are the Reagan and Kennedy with the flags in the background; Thomas Jefferson # 1/10, (my favorite President); The George Washington that Mr. Kelley signed on the front; and of course the Lincoln. Having these cards in-hand and seeing the amazing artwork up close is hard to describe. I will be looking forward to collecting more artwork type cards in the future. I see Jared painted some cards for your Parkhurst Champions brand, including Gretzky. Hopefully I will be lucky enough to locate one of each of those, and I will be looking forward to future products that contain his work.”
One thing that Matt doesn’t share is that the experience was truly a family affair and you can see that with some of the pictures of his boys holding the cards. Although Matt financed this chase, I’m sure the boys helped out as well. There’s no doubt that collecting with your kids is a great way to build a bond with your children and create some wonderful memories. Congratulations to Matt and his family on putting together this amazing set.