Two well-known names from the sports collectible industry are joining forces.
Upper Deck and Hunt Auctions, two powerhouses in the sports memorabilia business, have announced a new partnership agreement that will bring vintage items to Upper Deck’s online catalog and new retail store in southern California.
Upper Deck has been producing trading cards for 20 years and had a presence in the memorabilia market for the past 16 years, but will now spread its interest more deeply into vintage sports memorabilia in cooperation with Exton, PA-based Hunt Auctions.
The agreement provides “the ultimate marketplace for high-end vintage sports memorabilia,” according to Dan Schmidt, Upper Deck’s auctions manager.
“This is an exciting partnership of two great companies,” said Tim Muret, Upper Deck’s vice president of Sports Cards and Memorabilia. “And the greatest beneficiaries of this will be the vintage sports memorabilia fans. We’re excited about exposing our regular collector base to these high-end, cherished pieces, some of which go back to the turn of the twentieth century.”
Hunt Auctions conducts live and online sports memorabilia auctions, including the annual Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum sale and the All Star Fan Fest auction, scheduled this year in New York. Hunt has sold several six-figure pieces of baseball memorabilia in recent years including Babe Ruth’s inaugural 1933 All-Star Game home run baseball ($805,000), Lou Gehrig’s game-worn Yankees uniform from the 1938 World Series ($402,000), Joe DiMaggio’s 1947 AL Most Valuable Player Award plaque ($281,750) and Ty Cobb’s 1928 Philadelphia Athletics autographed game-worn home jersey ($236,000).
“We are enhancing the hallmark of Upper Deck’s longstanding reputation for guaranteed authenticity through the addition of Hunt Auctions,” said Schmidt. “The combination of the Upper Deck brand with the expertise and reputation of Hunt Auctions provides for an unequalled presence within the industry. We’re doing the legwork for the consumer. What we’re selling is real and you can trust us.”
Particulars of the arrangement are still being worked out, but Hunt will continue to conduct live and online sports memorabilia and card auctions. However, Hunt will apparently turn over enough vintage items to allow Upper Deck to radically increase the amount of those items available in the company’s UpperDeckStore.com online retail store and its soon-to-be-opened storefront location in Huntington Beach, California.
“We are very much looking forward to this incredible union of two industry leaders,” said David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions. “I feel confident that the synergy between the Upper Deck brand and its reputation for excellence with Hunt Auctions and its tradition of integrity and quality is a natural fit. There is no question that this unique combination promises to further both Upper Deck and Hunt Auctions respective leadership within the industry.”
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