San Diego County's Little League World Series champs now have their own big-time trading cards.
Upper Deck scored a public relations coup with some local kids and their families last weekend. The company produced 250 trading cards for each of the members of the 2009 Little League World Series champs, who hail from nearby Chula Vista, California.
The Park View All Stars and their families spent Friday night at the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum in Balboa Park. The event, orchestrated by League President Rod Roberto and the Hall of Champions, was a way for the team to get together after their momentous season to collectively sign a variety of items (photos, caps, baseballs, bats, etc.) for family members and friends who helped support them through their journey to baseball history, which culminated with a championship game victory in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on August 30.
As a way to commemorate the team’s achievement, Upper Deck printed 250 cards of each of the players and coaches that they could share with family and friends. The company presented the kids with their cards at the Friday night gathering.
“It was our pleasure to produce these cards,” said Terry Melia, Upper Deck’s public relations manager who presented the cards to each of the players. “This sort of thing doesn’t happen every year in San Diego, so it was important for us to commemorate it by doing something special. This represents another way for the kids to recall their significant accomplishment.”
On September 10, Upper Deck invited the Park View All-Stars to a private photo session at company headquarters in Carlsbad where they each struck a pose for their individual cards. All 12 players – Luke Ramirez, Bradley Roberto, Oscar Castro, Jensen Peterson, Markus Melin, Isaiah Armenta, Nick Conlin, Andy Rios, Seth Godfrey, Bulla Graft, Daniel Porras Jr., Kiko Garcia and Oscar R. Castro – along with Coach Ric Ramirez and Manager Oscar Castro, were in attendance.
“This is great,” said Andy Rios, the team’s shortstop who was named the LLWS MVP. “People have been asking us for autographs ever since we won, but I never thought we’d get our own Upper Deck trading cards.”
One more stop on the Park View All-Stars’ calendar – “hopefully before Christmas,” according to Roberto – will be a trip to the White House to meet President Barack Obama.