Archive for Collectors

When we first saw young Liam Fitzgerald in his fist-bumping video where he gave knuckles to his favorite Boston Bruins players, we thought he was just adorable. As we dug into Liam’s story further however, we also found out he was a very brave and courageous young man. Liam, who was born with Down Syndrome in 2006, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2009. His family supported him through aggressive treatment that lasted four years. Liam battled through endless ongoing treatments, infections, fevers, seizures and multiple trips to the emergency room while working hard to get better.

In May 2013, Liam took his final chemo treatment and proclaimed to the world he had “kicked cancer’s butt!” And after that, together with his family, they worked to create a fundraising campaign to help find a cure and ensure access to treatment for those suffering from the disease. The goal is to use the popular fist bump to “Bump Out Cancer.” You can donate to Liam’s cause through his page here: http://www.mwoy.org/pages/ma/ma15/lfitzgeral

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We first engaged Liam with one of Upper Deck’s Random Acts of Kindness packages where we sent him a variety of hockey cards (mostly of his favorite team the Boston Bruins), signed pucks and more. He was thrilled when he received them!

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At Upper Deck we wanted to do something even more special to honor Liam’s courage and we felt he was a perfect candidate for Upper Deck’s Heroic Inspirations campaign. In the past we have honored courageous youngsters involved in sports who battled through adversity like Jack Hoffman, Mandi Schwartz, Jaclyn Murphy, Jack Miller, Sam Tageson and Lauren Hill. Adding Liam to the mix just made perfect sense.

We worked in conjunction with Liam’s family and the Boston Bruins to surprise Liam on the same night Upper Deck would offer a team pack giveaway to fans in attendance. During the first time-out of the game, the team recognized Liam with the card.

There were some great images courtesy of Steve Babineau of Getty Images from the event as well. Afterwards we heard Liam couldn’t stop touching the big card. He couldn’t believe he had his very own trading card and he was thrilled to sign some copies for fans at the team store.

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Responses to the card on social media have been nothing short of amazing.

davidamesse – I love this, and I’m a Hab’s fan

Billy Feliciano - Very classy Boston, very classy…. (And that’s coming from a due hard NYR fan).

Joel Rogers - That makes me a Hockey fan!

Jesse Kurtti - Great job Boston. This is why I love this game.

Susie Lilley - Goosebumps!!

Trice Powell – I think I’m getting soft in my old age because every time I see beautiful stuff like this I cry… That was super awesome

Chris Malboeuf - From a Red Wings fan, very classy Boston!

Donald Schneider – I want his card, what a dude!

Cesare Montefusco - Only in the NHL!!!!!!

Tian Carney - Crying

When is a trading card more than a trading card? When it has the power to change lives and inspire others. We believe Liam’s first Upper Deck rookie card is sure to be a collector’s item that every fan should want to add to their collection. His mother shared, “We believe Liam has a higher purpose in life, one in which during his journey he makes a difference in the world.” There are a limited amount of Liam’s Heroic Inspirations cards remaining and they will share details on how fans can score those soon!

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Check out these seven tips on how to best collect Upper Deck cards:

#1 – COLLECT WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
The best part about collecting Upper Deck Hockey cards is that there are so many different ways to do it. Hockey fans collect sets, teams, players, rookies, autograph cards, memorabilia cards and so much more. Find what makes you happy and enjoy the hobby for the fun experience it provides getting you more involved in the game and the players you cheer for.

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#2 – DON’T TRY TO COLLECT EVERYTHING
Upper Deck produces all sorts of hockey card sets every year for a variety of different collector’s tastes and budgets. It can be a little overwhelming so focus on the types of products you will enjoy the most. Fans getting started or returning to the hobby should look at these trading card products in particular:

O-Pee-Chee – The biggest hockey card set of the year, cool retro designs and a low price point per pack!

Upper Deck MVP – Provides excellent value with quality cards, great photography, rare parallel cards, autograph cards, memorabilia cards and more!

Upper Deck Series One & Two – These two products release at the start and middle of the season and have something for every type of collector. The “Young Guns” rookie cards are some of the most popular cards in the trading card industry.

Fleer Ultra – An extremely popular set every year with collectors who chase rookie cards, “Fresh Ink” autographs, “Platinum Medallion” parallel cards, die-cut cards, memorabilia cards and more!

Black Diamond – This technology based set features less cards per pack than the others, but all the cards have the look and feel of insert cards with shiny foil on the front of each card. This set usually has a deep selection of the latest rookie crop along with autograph versions of their cards. Collectors also have the opportunity to pull super-rare (and incredibly valuable) exchange cards good for “Quad Diamond Rookie Gems” cards that feature four diamonds embedded in the card (one carat each)!

Upper Deck ICE – This is another technolgy based set printed on acetate and plexi-glass stock. These are not your father’s hockey cards! The “Ice Premieres” rookie cards are some of the most valuable and sought after cards of the year.

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#3 – COLLECT WITH OTHERS
One of the best parts of collecting hockey cards is the lifetime of memories you can make and relationships you can build by enjoying this hobby with others. Collect with your family and your friends while you watch the games together. It will bring you closer to the sport, closer to the athletes and closert to each other.

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#4 – ENJOY PLENTY OF WAYS TO PURCHASE UPPER DECK HOCKEY CARDS FROM AUTHORIZED SOURCES
You can find Upper Deck cards (both new and old) from a variety of sources. Upper Deck works to protect our fans by creating a secure network of approved dealers to carry our trading card products and memorabilia. When purchasing new Upper Deck cards from hobby shops, make sure they are an Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer. Getting into an authorized shop for Upper Deck is the best way to learn about the hobby as not only do they have a variety of products available, but they have knowledgeable staff that can help you get started.

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Hobby shops are a great resource to get started in the hobby of collecting cards and they frequently run fun events and giveaways!

You can also get new Upper Deck cards from larger retail outlets like Target, Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us and more. Those who enjoy the ease of shopping online can purchase through Upper Deck’s network of Authorized Internet Retailers or make purchases from Upper Deck’s online store (www.upperdeckstore.com). And if you want to split the costs on opening new products, check out Upper Deck’s network of Authorized Group Breakers who share purchases and open the product together in online chatrooms with streaming video. Purchases made from unauthorized channels do not fall under Upper Deck’s warranty policy.

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#5 – KEEP YOUR UPPER DECK CARDS IN MINT CONDITION
Try to keep your Upper Deck hockey cards in mint condition by protecting them in card holders, binders or boxes. Avoid having them in extreme temperatures and make sure they are stored in a high location to avoid issues of floods or little hands who may not know how to handle them. The better the condition is on your Upper Deck cards, the more collectible and desirable they may be. There are third-party companies that will grade and encapsulate cards for collectors typically on a scale of 1-10, but as long as you keep them in good condition, your cards will likely be desirable for years to come.

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Be very careful with how you handle your Upper Deck cards as the condition is tied directly to the card’s value.

#6 – DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE VALUES
Constantly worrying about what your cards are worth or what you can sell them for takes a lot of the fun out of the hobby. Yes there are plenty of valuable cards that can be found in Upper Deck packs, but that shouldn’t be the main reason you collect. If you are looking to get an idea of what some of your best cards sell for, your best bet may be to check completed online auctions on eBay. At the very least it will give you a feel for what similar cards are selling for currently in the market. Understand however that values fluctuate on cards based on player and team performance in particular. What a card sells for today could be drastically different than what they could sell for in a week, month or year.

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Collect the players and teams you love!

#7 – ENGAGE IN THE ONLINE WORLD OF COLLECTING AND TRADING

The trading card hobby is incredibly friendly and there are a variety of online groups that can help you on your journey to become an expert collector. Many you will find on your own, but make sure to connect with Upper Deck’s online resources for fans:

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And for more tips on collecting, make sure to visit our Collectors Zone!

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St. Patrick’s Day is coming up which makes collectors think about how lucky they have been in terms of collecting. Upper Deck is well known for packing out great hits from the game’s biggest stars in our packs and we love to hear about fans scoring great pulls! For Throwback Thursday today, we want to hear about your best Upper Deck pull in the last year!

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Show us how you got lucky this year with Upper Deck and you could score!

To participate, email your name and address to us at UpperDeckMarketing@upperdeck.com along with your story (no more than two sentences) and a jpeg image of you holding that memorable Upper Deck card. We will select one fan to score a full box of 2014-15 NHL® Upper Deck Series Two which is a product fans have been pulling tons of big hits out of.

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Show us an image of you landing a big hit from Upper Deck in the last year and you could grab a FREE box of Upper Deck trading cards!

Important Promotion Guidelines:

  1. You can only submit one photo per person/email address. Please state give your full name, address and up to two sentences on your story of your pull in the email.
  2. Photos are moderated so keep them clean and in good taste as we have a lot of youngsters on these pages. Photos deemed inappropriate will not be posted or eligible to score the box.
  3. You have until Friday morning, March 6that 10:00 a.m. PST to submit your photo before this promotion is closed.
  4. Upper Deck will review the photos submitted and select one (1) fan who we believe has the best story and best image showing their excitement with the pull.
  5. The customer selected will be contacted via email after the promotion is closed.
  6. Upper Deck reserves the right to show off these submissions and stories in a future blog post.

 

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As we saw fans sharing images with us from their National Hockey Card Day experiences, we noticed a nice trend with significant bump in the amount of young female hockey collectors. Many were collecting with their families and we were very happy to see so many passionate female hockey fans out there.  Here were some of our favorites!

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Many collectors keep their favorite Upper Deck cards in a closets, displays, safety deposit boxes and safes. There are some collectors however who like to take their favorite cards with them wherever they go and share them with those they meet. The industry term for the cards these types of collectors carry is the wallet card (#walletcard).

During Mardis Gras this year we saw a collector on Twitter who goes by the handle @Teejnola having a lot of fun with his 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card in New Orleans. We asked T.J. to share his story on his wallet card along with some of the fun pictures he took during the annual Mardis Gras party and parade. This is his story:

“Being that I live in an especially photogenic city I like to get pictures and having my favorite card in the photos seemed like a no brainer. For my wallet card I chose what is universally considered among the greatest modern-day baseball cards ever produced; Ken Griffey Jr.’s 1989 Upper Deck rookie card. I catch a little flack for picking a card with real monetary value as my wallet card, but I just couldn’t imagine using any other card.

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“I live in New Orleans, but my most popular wallet card post so far was that from my trip to the Canadian Yukon where my wife and I went in search of the Aurora Borealis. I have shots of the Griffey on a snowmobile, ice fishing, miles above snow-covered mountains, and with the world’s largest collection of Donald Duck figurines. We finally got a glimpse of the Aurora on our last night there, and while the pictures are a little blurry (photographing the Aurora is hard, it turns out) you can tell it’s the Griffey.

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On the chair is T.J.’s Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie wallet card that he takes with him EVERYWHERE!

“Only weeks later began the Carnival season here in NOLA which is just the sort of thing wallet card was made for. You probably know that this season is defined by massive parades and weird traditions that culminate in the big party on Mardi Gras Day. This year was unique in that I was actually riding in a parade for the first time in several years, but I did manage to make it to sixteen other parades including the ‘superkrewes’ of Endymion and Bacchus.

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“Simply put, Mardi Gras is a two-week city-wide party. The day before Mardi Gras (Lundi Gras) the King of Rex literally asks the Mayor to suspend law, tax, and business for one day in the name of frivolity, and the mayor ceremonially obliges. Of course the parades last for weeks before that even happens. It’s so ingrained in our culture that I was ten before I learned that this was not a national holiday.

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T.J. shows off his Griffey wallet card at Mardis Gras!

“Each parade is put on by a ‘krewe’ and consists of floats, bands, marching groups, and fleets of shriners in dune buggies. Highlights include the Budweiser Clydesdales, The Citadel, the U.S. Marine Corps marching band and color guard, and countless jazz bands, horses, cheerleaders, and fire-wielders (which we call flambeaux).

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“Of course Mardi Gras is probably best-known for the float riders hurling free stuff into the screaming crowds. Go to any parade and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to go home with a bag loaded with beads, candy, trinkets, doubloons, clothing, and even rubber dog poop. At least I hope it was rubber.

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Don’t throw them the Griffey card T.J.

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“In the two weeks of Carnival I took 1,500 wallet card photos, not counting the much bigger number I deleted. I’m now in the process of whittling them down to a digestible group to be showcased on my card blog, The Junior Junkie (thejuniorjunkie.blogspot.com). The blog has been on a bit of a hiatus (understandably) during the two-week Mardi Gras season. I’ve also posted a lot of #walletcard shots on Twitter on my account and I will continue to do so all year long. So make sure you give me a follow so you can see where Griffey goes next before he heads to Cooperstown in 2016!”

Thanks T.J. We love this idea and want to encourage more fans to have an Upper Deck wallet card and share images of it using the hashtag #walletcard and tagging us @UpperDeckSports on Twitter and Instagram. Think you can outdo T.J.? We’d love to see you try. Pack up your Upper Deck wallet card, have some adventures and share what happens with us. You could score an Upper Deck Random Acts of Kindness mail day for your efforts!

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