In case you haven’t heard, Upper Deck is in the process of releasing the largest baseball trading card set ever assembled surrounding Yankee Stadium, which is in its last year of existence. The rollout will occur over the course of 2008.
The Yankee Stadium Legacy set, a 6,661-card compilation chronicling every single New York Yankees home game ever played at the famous “House That Ruth Built,” began its official debut by being inserted in random packs of Upper Deck’s 2008 Series 1 Baseball release, which hit store shelves in February. Since then, cards from the set have also appeared in Upper Deck’s 2008 Spectrum Baseball.
With the old Yankee Stadium playing out its last regular season this year before the Bronx Bombers move to a new ballpark in 2009, Upper Deck decided it was a terrific opportunity to acknowledge the incredible history and happenings that have occurred at Yankee Stadium since its doors opened in 1923.
Aside from chronicling 85 seasons worth of Yankees home games (this season’s games will be included in Upper Deck’s 2009 UD1 Baseball release next February to complete the set), this enormous compilation will also include some of the most famous sporting events that have taken place at Yankee Stadium. These include:
l Legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne’s famous “Win one for the Gipper” halftime speech inside the Yankees locker room (Nov. 10, 1928)
l Then-Baltimore Colts’ 23-17 overtime victory against the New York Giants in the NFL Championship game, a battle widely noted as the launching point for the NFL’s current popularity (Dec. 28, 1958)
l Muhammad Ali’s title defense against Ken Norton (Sept. 28, 1976).
“Not only is this an ambitious effort by our Product Development Team, it’s a timely tribute to one of the sporting world’s most celebrated franchises ever,” said Kerri Stockholm, Upper Deck’s director of Sports Marketing. “And we’re packing the cards out in a very unique way, as we’ve decided to insert them inside of 10 different Upper Deck baseball product launches throughout the year.”
One for the books
Considered a cultural memorial that pays well-deserved respect and recognition to the awe-inspiring accomplishments of legendary and current ballplayers that have had the opportunity to play on the hallowed grounds, the Yankee Stadium Legacy Set is truly a collection for the record books. According to Upper Deck Baseball brand manager Jason Masherah, the Guinness World Book of Records is ready to recognize the effort as the “largest baseball trading card set ever produced,” but only after each of the 6,600-plus cards pack out.
The remaining nine brands of 2008 Upper Deck baseball products scheduled to include cards from the Yankee Stadium Legacy set are:
Piece of History
Upper Deck Series Two
SP Legendary Cuts (hobby only)
There will also be 42 different Yankee greats featured on game-used memorabilia cards (bats and jerseys), ranging from Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio to Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson and current Yankees captain Derek Jeter.
Autographed cards from Yankee players – past and present – will also be a big component. And finally, Upper Deck has bought back several thousand previously released Yankees autographed and memorabilia cards from earlier Upper Deck launches and inserted them into these various releases as part of the promotion.
According to Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin, “There are no shortprints for the cards in the base set, as we imagine it will be hard enough to complete without that. There will be a few hundred of each card produced so we know there will be collectors who put the set together. Memorabilia cards will vary from set to set in terms of their insert ratio, but they are not really considered part of the main, base set.”
Since there is so much publicity surrounding the closing of the old Yankee Stadium after this season – including playing the 2008 MLB All-Star Game on July 15 – Upper Deck will have several promotions running throughout the year in which it will reward lucky collectors with special prizes.
Some of those prizes include a trip for two to this year’s MLB All-Star Game, a trip for two to the last regular season game in 2008 at Yankee Stadium and a trip for two to the first 2009 regular season game held at the new Yankee Stadium.
To participate, visit www.ownthelegacy.com to enter the alpha-numeric codes found on the back of every card and gain entry into the year-long “Own the Legacy” sweepstakes.