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The World's Greatest Memorabilia™
The World's Greatest Memorabilia™

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How badly do you think card collectors are going to want to chase this thing?
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A Major Addition: Upper Deck Signs Rory McIlroy to an Exclusive Spokesman Deal
 
Superstar golfer joins the likes of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Landon Donovan to sign trading cards and memorabilia exclusively for Upper Deck.
 
Carlsbad, CA (August 30, 2012) – At just 23 years-old, Rory McIlroy has already achieved more than most golfers hope to for their entire career. With two major victories under his belt (2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship), it seems as though the future is very bright for this Northern Irish juggernaut. Upper Deck is proud to now be the exclusive home for McIlroy's authentic signed trading cards and memorabilia.
 
Trading card collectors can look to capture Rory's first-ever Upper Deck trading cards and autograph cards during the 2013 season, but memorabilia collectors won't have to wait that long. Upper Deck Authenticated will be offering a full line of authentic signed collectibles from Rory McIlroy after his first signing session currently scheduled for mid-September.
 
Golf aficionados can score autographed photos, hats, polos, shoes and pin flags of McIlroy exclusively from Upper Deck Authenticated . Additionally, Upper Deck will also offer the company's popular Curve and Breaking Through pieces for McIlroy. UDA will also offer some select signed items that were worn during tournaments as part of the company's Suite One-of-One program. Pricing for McIlroy’s items is still in the process of being finalized.
 
“At Upper Deck we have always prided ourselves on bringing our worldwide customers closer to the world’s most iconic athletes,” said Richard McWilliam, Upper Deck’s founder and CEO. “We have been targeting Rory for some time now and are thrilled to have him be a part of the Upper Deck team. Our golf collectibles provide fans with not only a premium talking piece for their home or office, but more importantly an authentic collectible to cherish forever.”
 
“I wanted to partner with Upper Deck because when my fans are looking for my collectibles, it is important to me they are getting the real thing,” said Rory McIlroy, two-time PGA major champion. “Upper Deck’s five-step authentication program will help insure they get just that. And based on some of the designs and concepts I have seen thus far, my fans are going to be blown away by what Upper Deck has to offer.”
 
Rory McIlroy fans can look for his first Upper Deck Authenticated items in October, 2012. Collectors can also expect to see a wide variety of Upper Deck trading cards from McIlroy in 2013.
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Trading Card Collectors Enjoy a Surprise with 2012-13 NHL O-Pee-Chee Black & White Inserts

It appears like card collectors seem to be enjoying Upper Deck’s first NHL product of the year with 2012-13 NHL O-Pee-Chee. And as they break pack after pack to put together the massive 600-card set and maybe to participate in the hobby only wrapper redemption program, they are finding something unique.

Upper Deck created a surprise to round out the insert offerings in this set called the O-Pee-Chee Black & White. Beautiful in their simplicity, the O-Pee-Chee Black & White insert set also includes a facsimile autograph of the athlete on the front. There are no actual signed versions of these cards in the market.

And they will likely not be very easy to find. These cards pop up at a rate of 1:960 packs at the hobby level and 1:1,920 on the retail side. There are 36 players in the set featuring some of the biggest names in the game.

Below is the checklist for all 36 cards:

1. Alexander Ovechkin
2. Alexandre Burrows
3. Antti Niemi
4. Bobby Orr
5. Brett Hull
6. Carey Price
7. Claude Giroux
8. Curtis Joseph
9. Daniel Alfredsson
10. Drew Doughty
11. Eric Lindros
12. Erik Karlsson
13. Henrik Lundqvist
14. Ilya Kovalchuk
15. Jaromir Jagr
16. Jason Spezza
17. Joe Sakic
18. John Tavares
19. Jonathan Toews
20. Jordan Eberle
21. Mario Lemieux
22. Martin Brodeur
23. MilanLucic
24. Nicklas Lidstrom
25. Ondrej Pavelec
26. P.K. Subban
27. Patrick Roy
28. Patrick Sharp
29. Pavel Datsyuk
30. Pelle Lindbergh
31. Roberto Luongo
32. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
33. Sidney Crosby
34. Teemu Selanne
35. Wayne Gretzky
36. Wendel Clark
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When it comes to trading cards, baseball has always been king. But things are changing as more and more collectors are looking for a trading card experience that features athletes who make their living off the diamond. Football, hockey, basketball, golf, MMA and even wrestling cards have all been popular, but now Upper Deck is excited to give sports fans a more extreme collecting option with surfing.

Upper Deck has been targeting pro surfer Kelly Slater for some time and was thrilled when the company was able to strike an agreement for image rights and autographs for new sports cards. One of the key points to striking a deal occurred when Slater learned Upper Deck wanted to include him in the company’s 2012 All-Time Greats product. This release has a checklist of only twenty athletes including iconic superstars like Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Dan Marino, Landon Donovan, Mike Tyson and Pete Rose to name a few. Kelly Slater will now be a part of that impressive checklist of superstars.

Slater’s deal is limited which means so are his cards. And with a shorter supply, we will likely see a greater demand from collectors. Fans of surfing’s greatest star can look to find his trading cards in two offerings from Upper Deck this season in 2012 Goodwin Champions and 2012 Upper Deck All-Time Greats.

The Goodwin Champions line of cards is currently in the market and Kelly’s autograph cards in the set are selling in the $50-$75 range in the secondary market so there seems to be significant interest in them. It will be interesting to see how a more premium signed trading card of Slater’s sell when 2012 Upper Deck All-Time Greats releases this winter.

Will Upper Deck add more surfers to the company’s product line up in the future? We’ll have to continue to asses how stoked the grommets, gremmies and locals are when they pull their Kelly Slater Upper Deck cards showing him ripping it up! Stay tuned.
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2011 Upper Deck Exquisite Launches today! Find the full checklist here:
http://www.cardboardconnection.com/2011-upper-deck-exquisite-football
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A new milestone in the world of golf. Augusta National admits its first two female members since opening in 1932.
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Upper Deck Brings in Professor David Miller to Review Civil War Artifacts in 2012 Goodwin Champions

As Union soldiers raised the Stars and Stripes above their garrison in Tennessee they could have had little inclination of the coveted place their flag would one day hold among treasure hunters – requisitioned not for battle, but for Civil War and history enthusiasts. So too must the over 3.8 million Americans who saw military service in both the Union and Confederate militaries, approximately 11% of the entire population of the United States, have thought little of how popular their buttons, hat insignias, pocket money, or rifle parts would one day become. Even mementos made for sharing like ambrotype portraits, would never have been considered for wide spread public consumption. Rather, historians posit that awash in a sea of mass killing and death, photographs and portraits served to individualize the Civil War in a way that reconciled individual participants to the grim reality surrounding them. During the war, these pictures were personal, just like the countless pieces of weapons, uniforms, and personal artifacts. But that would change.

A public interest in all things Civil War has a long history in the United States. Indeed almost as soon as it ended a public fascination with it began. During the Civil War and in its immediate aftermath most interest took the form of public memorialization as Americans, black and white, North and South, attempted to come to terms with the meaning of the War’s outcome. By the 1880s soldiers’ autobiographies were all the rage and in an increasing cultural movement toward reconciliation, veterans’ units met to exchange stories, return flags and equipment, and generally reflect nostalgically on their battlefield experiences. Over time the Civil War appeared as a subject in more popular forms of culture, particularly as Hollywood burst on the scene after the 1915 release of “Birth of a Nation.” A renewed interest in Civil War artifacts surrounded the 100th anniversary celebrations and by the 1980s, collectors, artists, and re-enactors had become part of a full-fledged nostalgia industry. Interestingly, these market-based forms of Civil War memorialization tended to emphasize Confederate themes and only a select few Union “heroes.” For example, since 1990 the ratio of Confederate subjects to Union in popular art is 2.5 to 1. All told, since Lee’s surrender in 1865, the popularity of the Civil War has grown to become a powerful industry of memorabilia emphasizing the “great leaders,” battlefield experiences and military aspects of the conflict.

What Upper Deck has done with this collection is both a reflection of this long historical trend and a departure from it. They have assembled a truly impressive and unique set of Civil War memorabilia, especially from the point of view of the average, every day soldier. From the Union side we find buttons, brass cavalry and infantry hat insignias, hammers from rifles, and ambrotypes. Each of these items tells a story – a button with a company letter, a regimental insignia, the face of a young man sent off to war. Most impressive perhaps is the center piece of the collection – a Union Flag actually flown on the field of conflict. This flag bore witness to the very personal experiences of some of the War’s participants. In this way, it reflects the common soldier and all complexity of war. At the same time, the flag bears witness to the values for which those men fought, varied as they were. It reminds us that the War meant something to everyone who participated.

And from the Confederate side we find in this collection similar personal effects. There are buttons and insignias – reminders of the units that saw action – as well as actual Confederate money. This currency tells a story in its own right. In the big picture, it reminds us of the economic hardship visited upon most Southerners during the War. The images on these bills reflect the values and goals of the Confederate nation. On a smaller scale, one cannot help but recognize that someone carried, touched, and used this money. Again, in the almost overwhelming scale of the War, it becomes personal again. And finally there is the soldier’s wallet; a piece that remains unidentified but embodies the facelessness and commonality of the partisans – it could be a soldier from either side. It could have been a slave owner’s, used to keep his profits, as much as it could have been a free slave’s, used with pride to hold his first wages.

Of course no Civil War collection can be exhaustive – the diversity of participants, the range of ideologies, and the scope of the engagements makes that unlikely. But in this set you see a spectrum of personal items from both armies that to my mind identify the individual soldier as much as represent the faceless millions who served. In this sense, it personalizes what was truly a conflict of immense scale. You too can have a piece of that history and as such, these cards are a must have for any Civil War or History enthusiast.

David Miller, Ph.D. has been with the University of San Diego since 2005. His research focus is the social and cultural history of the nineteenth-century United States and he offers courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction. He can be reached at davidmiller@sandiego.edu

Look for 2012 Goodwin Champions available in stores now.
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Here's the latest from The CardBoard Connection regarding the newly released Goodwin Champions. Take a look.
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Collect the Best Los Angeles Lakers Rookie Cards of Kobe, Nash, Artest, Pau & Dwight Howard

Just like that, the Lakers have completely reloaded and now boast one of the most extraordinary line-ups in the NBA. It’s not a “Big Three” situation like we have seen in Boston and Miami, but rather a “Big Five.” And the crazy thing is, that had David Stern and the NBA not vetoed the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers, this may have never happened.

Now it is important to come to terms with the fact that these fives starters are all amazing, but they are older. They will certainly challenge for a title for the next couple years, but sooner or later the Lakers will need to reload again. After what we have seen the Lakers front office do recently, you’ve got to anticipate that they will have no problem doing that. So for now why don’t we just enjoy watching this “Dream Team” of superstars playing together on a collision course to meet up with the Thunder and eventually the Heat in the playoffs? And for you Los Angeles Lakers super fans out there, maybe you should collect some of the best cards of this “Fab Five.”

Here are some of the best out there in the market:

Kobe Bryant – Kobe’s rookie cards debuted in the 1996-97 season and while he had great rookie cards for Fleer and some other brands, probably one of the best is the SP Authentic rookie card. These won’t break your bank selling for anywhere from $15-$25.

Steve Nash – Like Kobe, Nash has a lot of rookies out there with some of the best coming from Fleer. He does have a good one from SP Authentic similar to Kobe’s, but for my money I think his Holoview rookie from that set may be the best. These are a little more pricey due to rarity trading for about $100 per card.

Ron Artest – For your money, you are not going to find a much better rookie card for Artest than his 1999-00 SPx card. It is limited to 2500 copies and also features his authentic autograph. You can usually snatch these up for about $30.

Pau Gasol – The Spaniard has a variety of rookie cards from the 2001-02 season that are worth checking out, but one of the most unique is his Upper Deck Sweet Shot rookie. It was one of the first seasons where we added a jersey swatch to rookie cards, a trend that has been increasingly popular with premium releases. This one was also limited to just 600 copies. These are pretty inexpensive at about $20 per card.

Dwight Howard – The newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers is believed to make the biggest impact for the team and perhaps that is the reason why his 2004-05 rookie cards are also the most expensive. It is also because his rookie cards came out during a time when super-premium trading card releases became the norm. So if you want his best rookie cards from brands like Exquisite Collection, Ultimate Collection, SP Authentic and SPx, you are going to have to open your wallet. With a talent like Dwight however, who has the potential to score a couple championships for LA, these could end up being a very wise investment. Especially considering that given Dwight Howard’s relatively young age, this could one day become “his” team.
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Congrats to Team USA Basketball on a historic showing at the Olympics. LeBron James who recorded the first triple double in Olympic Basketball History now joins Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen as the 3rd player to win an NBA Championship and Olympic Gold in the same year. Kevin Durant became the first to record 30 points in a Gold Medal game.
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USA Basketball 107 - Spain 100 (18 photos)
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