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Operation Gratitude is a non-profit organization dedicated to saying, “thank you,” to active and retired U.S. military members throughout the world by delivering free care packages to them. The group works with a variety of companies to get donations to include in the care packages and also funds to ship them to locations all over the globe. Upper Deck has been an active supporter of the charity for a number of years now and as they embark on an impressive milestone this weekend by shipping their millionth care package.
To help commemorate this accomplishment and the organization’s dedication to showing appreciation for U.S. military members, Upper Deck called out some help from the company’s exclusive spokesman; Tiger Woods. At a recent signing session with Upper Deck Authenticated, Tiger Woods signed an item exclusively for the millionth package recipient and added a nice personalized message to go along with it.
Dear One Millionth Package Recipient,
Thank you for all you do to protect and defend the USA!!
All the best,
This signed memorabilia piece will be presented for the recipient during a volunteer packaging drive taking place this Saturday. To volunteer to help assemble care packages for the troops and see the presentation of the millionth package this weekend, visit this link: http://opgrat.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/celebrate-with-us-on-december-7th/
Upper Deck sent this unique collector’s item to Operation Gratitude along with hundreds of sealed packs of trading cards to be inserted into care packages going to service men and women. This is just part of the company’s continued effort to be viewed as the military’s choice for trading cards, collectibles and games.
John F. Kennedy was one of the most polarizing presidents in American history. His youthful exuberance and charismatic nature inspired people around the world. He left us far too early, but there are still a great many ways to remember him. One of those ways is by collecting trading cards of JFK and Upper Deck has certainly created a few over our history. Below is a gallery of some of our favorites, a trading card tribute to the late, great JFK:
Another great one came from Upper Deck’s 2011 Goodwin Champions set where we had ten hand-painted trading cards done of Kennedy. And collectors who were lucky enough to score one were obviously thrilled.
Upper Deck has also created some really remarkable cut signature cards of John F. Kennedy over the years that feature an authentic signature actually embedded in the trading card. These are very rare and many have moved into private collections, but from time to time you will see one up for sale at auction sites.
Are you a hockey fan tired of looking at the same boring walls at your home, office or place of work? Well if you are, Upper Deck has an exciting promotion you’ll want to take advantage of where you can score an entire hobby case of the hottest hockey products of the year thus far; 2013-14 NHL Upper Deck Series One. Yes, we said an entire case of the product that is the first release of the year from UD to include live cards of the 2013-14 NHL Double Rookie Class. That is twelve hobby boxes. We are talking about 288 hobby packs! That’s right, 2,304 total new Upper Deck NHL cards including inserts! All for FREE!!!
Upper Deck is looking for fans to use Upper Deck NHL cards to decorate rooms in their home, their office or their place of work. Upper Deck NHL cards are the perfect way to accessorize a room to show your hockey love in your man cave at home or in the workplace. Fans have one week until Sunday, November 17 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific to makeover a room in their home or office using Upper Deck NHL cards and submit before and after jpeg images along with their story to us here at UpperDeckMarketing@upperdeck.com. The collector who most skillfully transforms a bland room into a great looking Upper Deck NHL hangout will take home the sealed factory case. Here are some tips for success:
- Look at creative ways to display the cards so they look nice. Look at the color schemes and try to create a theme. Come up with a cool plan and then work out implementing it from there.
- Give it your all! The more coverage we see with UD NHL cards, the better your chances are of securing that case! It is probably safest to use common base cards in the makeover, but if you want to incorporate inserts in some ways, that would be cool too. We just do not recommend you start gluing autograph and memorabilia cards to the walls.
- Have fun with the promotion! Get the whole family involved and take lots of pictures!
- If you do not own the home of office, make sure you get buyoff from the homeowners or your bosses before you start redecorating. And if you are a youngster, you are definitely going to need buyoff from your parents.
- Share what you are up to with your friends! You might be able to recruit a couple of extra helpers to help out!
- Visit your local hobby shop for commons! Many have a ton of them available for very little money and they can be a great resource for you in terms of coming up with your plan for the makeover.
- Obviously since 2013-14 NHL Upper Deck Series One just hit the shelves, it would be great to see at least some of those NHL cards incorporated into the makeover if possible.
That’s it puck fans! This is one of the biggest giveaways we’ve ever done so we are expecting to see some great looking rooms. Get cracking on those redesigns and hopefully in a week you will be celebrating the fact you have a BIG Upper Deck Mail Day coming your way!
When I first started collecting basketball cards, it started off as just a fun way to collect the players that I loved to watch on television. I had no idea that it would turn into something that I spent hours on, doing research on different products and learning about what to collect by visiting local card shops. In the beginning, I was in awe of a simple jersey card or any autographed card. It was a little time before I was really able to distinguish between cards that were not just rare, but highly collectible and valuable. A couple years into it I was able to determine which cards I am most passionate about and then slowly began to hunt them down adding them to my collection. These are some of those cards.
These first photos show some of the great inscription cards that Upper Deck has produced throughout the years. For me it is always unique to see a player add something along with their signatures. Inscriptions cards are something that I have always loved to collect and will continue to do so. The Kobe Bryant card where he inscribed “Black Mamba” is my favorite of the group. It was a card I actually pulled out of a box and it was a moment I will never forget. A Michael Jordan signed inscription card is something that is on the top of my wish list and I will continue to dive into Upper Deck basketball products searching for one since they have the exclusive agreement with MJ!
In addition to inscription cards, multi-signed cards are something that caught my eye right when I first got into the hobby. Having a historic combination of Jordan, Magic, and Kobe on a card, or a draft class pairing such future stars as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are some of my favorite cards. In my opinion, the 2007-08 NBA UD Black quad autographed set was perfectly made set with bold silver on-card signatures. The Jordan, Kobe, LeBron, and Magic card is limited to only 10 copies making it a tough find in high demand.
Obviously, the hardest cards to come by are ones limited to just one copy. I have been fortunate enough to come by a few, but I am hoping to add more to my collection in the future. The Steve Nash 1-of-1 card pictured below is one that will never leave my collection as it features a NBA logo patch along with an autograph of the 2-time league MVP.
These last two pictures capture my favorite basketball set Upper Deck has produces; the Exquisite Collection. It took me awhile to get into Exquisite because of the high-price of the packs, but once I realized how much value Upper Deck loaded into each tin, I was hooked. There really is no product that is of better quality for basketball than Exquisite Collection. From the on-card signatures to amazing patches and other innovative inserts, it is truly an amazing set to collect. One of the reasons Exquisite Collection products are so popular is because they have some of the nicest looking rookie cards. This photo shows some of my truly “exquisite” rookie cards from the different draft classes with high-profile rookie cards from players like Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Kevin Love, and Derrick Rose. One day, I am definitely hoping to add a LeBron James rookie card from this set!
Lastly, my favorite insert series in the Exquisite Collection are the Limited Logos cards! What better card is there to get then an autographed numbered card with a huge patch on it? The Limited Logos set has some of the biggest patches on cards that you will find in any basketball product. In addition to that, the checklist for the Limited Logos set is always strong with Hall-of-Fame level players like Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Julius Erving, and John Stockton included. You can also find future Hall-of-Famers like Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett!
The most exciting thing about the Upper Deck Basketball products like Exquisite Collection is the continual efforts the company makes to create innovative new inserts and sets that reinvent the category and get collectors buzzing. I’m personally pretty excited to see where they take this product in the future with booklet cards that contain twelve signatures of Michael Jordan and super tins that include a variety of autographs from one superstar player like LeBron James. And while there have certainly been changes in the basketball market, the good thing is we have the choice to collect limited-edition products from Upper Deck over the years that have the value we cannot find in any other releases.
Mitchell Panajian is a passionate basketball collector living in Southern California who is currently attending college at Loyola Marymount University pursuing a major in business administration. His future plans involve working with a team like the Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Clippers. He enjoys attending professional sporting events as well as interacting with players.