Fans Share their Fondest Memories of Collecting Upper Deck Trading Cards


For the last 25 years Upper Deck has worked hard to bring fans closer to the game and players they love. As we begin to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, fans have shared some of their fondest memories of collecting Upper Deck during that time. Here are just a few we enjoyed:

“The great photography, I loved the 1993 set.” – Andrew P.


The photography in the 1989 Upper Deck set was really groundbreaking. Is that Gary Pettis actually holding his Upper Deck card on his actual card? You bet it is!

“Pulling an Eric Staal and Jordan Staal jersey card. Made my day.” – Ben B.


Game-Worn Jersey cards have been super popular with fans since Upper Deck debuted them back in 1996.

“Pulling my Michael Jordan autograph card numbered to five.” – Steven S.


Upper Deck’s exclusive deal with Michael Jordan makes opening basketball packs from Upper Deck a real thrill for collectors.

“The 2002 Upper Deck 40-man Lumber Yard cards. Love those wood cards!” – Steve N.


Upper Deck has produced trading cards on a variety of substrates over the years, including wood.

“Buying a $4 pack of 2002-03 Upper Deck Hockey after not collecting for 10 years and pulling a Datsyuk Young Guns rookie card.” – Ryan B.


Young Guns rookie cards have been wildly popular in the hockey market for Upper Deck.

“My favorite card, the 1991 Deion Sanders card showing him running from baseball to football.” – Scott P.


Upper Deck loves making fans stop and take notice of the images on the card. This one definitely accomplishes that goal.

“Chasing a 1989 UD Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card when I was a kid growing up in the 90’s. It was my holy grail at age 12.” – Jeremy N.


This card continues to be one of the most iconic rookie cards in baseball history.

“My 1993 Derek Jeter rookie card and my 1994 Michael Jordan baseball rookie.” – Del C.


Most baseball collectors do not consider you a serious collector unless you have this card in your line-up.

“Pulling this.” – Mark G.


Adding autographs and memorabilia together on a trading card makes pulling them a lot of fun for fans!

“Pulling a dual patch of Lemeiux and Jagr.” – Logan G.


Patch cards are also a big draw for fans and nobody does them better than Upper Deck!

“In 2001 Upper Deck Ovation I received an Ichiro card that had a chance to evolve. I inputted the code and it evolved into an Ichiro jersey card, awesome memory, thanks!” – Shaun J.


Always trying to bring something new to the table, the E-Cards were a big hit with fans back in 2001.

“Opening up a 1999 Upper Deck Baseball box and getting a Babe Ruth ‘Piece of History’ bat card. It was 1 in 10,000 packs odds.” – Joe M.


This is probably one of the most iconic memorabilia cards in baseball history.

“I bought a box of 2001 SP Legendary Cuts and pulled a Lou Boudreau bat card, Jackie Robinson bat card, Bobby Thomson jersey card and a cut autograph of Lloyd Waner.” – Mason S.


Upper Deck grew in fame by always bringing fans the biggest and best players.

“The inaugural Upper Deck Hockey set for 1991-92! I still have all the great rookies and star cards from Upper Deck’s first hockey release! It was all about the hologram for me! There was something very authentic about that hologram! You knew you were getting the real deal!” – Clayton H.


Upper Deck’s first hockey set signaled a changing of the guard for hockey cards.

“I used to collect a lot of hockey and baseball cards in my early teenage years of 1990 to 1994 and gave up the hobby for quite a while. The National Hockey Card Day and McDonald’s Hockey card promotions brought me right back into the hobby over the past few years.” – GN H.


Events like National Hockey Card Day where fans can score free Upper Deck hockey packs is a great way to welcome in new and lapsed collectors to the hobby.

“In a single year pulling Jordan, LeBron, Kobe and Gretzky autographs.” – Doug C.


By signing big name players to autograph deals, Upper Deck was able to produce some big-time trading cards like this one!

“My favorite UD moment was opening up my first and only box of Exquisite. I have bought up tons of singles from the product, but nothing compares to cracking one open on your own.” – Lewis V.


Who wouldn’t get excited about the prospect of opening up a $500 pack of cards. Especially if you find a rare player pack like this one featuring all LeBron James autograph trading cards!

Nolan Ryan throwing a football. My first Upper Deck card.” – Adam J.


This card was a little controversial at the time. “What’s Ryan doing with a football?” fans asked. It was part of his work out routine and Upper Deck documented that with this card.

“Buying and opening multiple packs to get Shaq‘s rookie card. It was worth the $$$!” – Andrew B.


This was actually the first redemption card in the industry and one many fans still love.

“1993 SP Authentic Football… I wanted that Bledsoe so bad as a kid!” – James B.


Using technology to continually create compelling new trading cards is what Upper Deck is all about.

“When I busted my UD Brett Favre autograph card limited to 25 copies!” – Vince A.


Quality and value are things fans love about opening Upper Deck packs.

“Purchasing my 1994 Upper Deck Griffey/Mantle dual autograph card!!! Best card of the 1990s!” – Eric M.


This card commands big bucks today and was a groundbreaking insert when it debuted!

“Winning your giveaway a couple years ago. It was the World of Sports Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan dual autograph card number to 5!! Absolutely amazing! Thanks Upper Deck!” – Kheva E.


Can you imagine winning this card?

“Joking with a fellow collector about pulling a Jordan autograph card from 2008-09 Radiance. I bought a pack and then my hands were shaking for the next half hour when I actually pulled an on-card Signature Flight card from the pack!” – Todd S.


Shaking hands are a symptom of opening Upper Deck packs and discovering cards like this.

What is really interesting to note is how many fans responded sharing that collecting cards had made them closer as a family. Trading cards really provide meaningful quality time between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, siblings and more. Take a look at some of those comments:

“The day you sent my Autistic son cards for the story my husband wrote for your blog. Shawn is still enjoying those cards. Thank you again.” – Danyel P.


Upper Deck helps fans find their happy place.

“First few packs my dad bought in ’89. I remember the Griffey rookie and a reverse negative Dale Murphy.” – Eric S.

“Sharing a hobby with my mother…” – Jason L.

“Me and my brother opening boxes!!!” – Scott Y.


Upper Deck has created thousands of wonderful memories for brothers who collect together.

“Seeing my wife’s face when she pulled a Luongo Milestone jersey last weekend at my local card shop!” Greg B.


Who wouldn’t be excited about pulling a card like this!

“My very first game used card I pulled was from 2001 Upper Deck Vintage. My best autograph I ever pulled was from 1999 Upper Deck Retro (Walter Payton). Upper Deck kept me opening packs and boxes for years. Then you released the University of North Carolina Basketball set and I have opened so much of that product and never get tired of it. I was born and raised a UNC fan and pulling autographs of the guys I grew up watching and rooting for with my grandpa brought back very fond memories of my time with him.” – John J.


Collecting Upper Deck is a family affair!

“Probably the first card show I brought my daughter to in 2011. You guys gave her a box of cards and a t-shirt, she was soooo happy! Then I took back last year and you guys gave her the mike to call out the raffle winners and again you made her day! She also won a signed puck of Seth Jones! You guys do the greatest job at keeping your fans happy, thanks so much!” Cindy-Lee V.


Fans really score when they see Upper Deck at trade shows.

“There have been so many, but I think the fondest memory is now was the look on my baby daughter’s face when I came home with a bunch of free National Hockey Card Day packs. Her face just lit up.” Will D.

Thanks to everyone for sharing. It is an honor to have played a small role in these memories that are so special to our fans. We look forward to making more memories over the next 25 years!




My best set EVER…FANTASTIC!!!


hi Jodi,

I just wanted to point out that the Shaq card shown in this article is not the redemption 1b card. instead it’s a picture of the ud European card #220 ( notice the solid white border and MAGIC written on the top)that was produced after the 92-93 US set.


This brought back so many fond memories. From the Deion, with me being from Atlanta, to the Griffey. Well, I don’t think I need to say much about the Griffey RC. That card has to be in the Top 3 most influential cards EVER. HAPPY 25th ANNIVERSARY, UPPER DECK! GOAT

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