Upper Deck will forge ahead with baseball products beginning this fall, featuring autograph and memorabilia cards of Roberto Clemente.
Upper Deck has reached a deal with the estate of Roberto Clemente to include trading cards of the late Hall of Famer in its upcoming baseball sets. It’s also apparent that losing MLB licensed status won’t slow the company’s production of baseball card sets.
Clemente cards featuring autographs and game-worn memorabilia will begin appearing this December in Upper Deck’s 2009 Ultimate Collection Baseball. Upper Deck says Clemente will appear in "at least six" of the company’s 2010 baseball releases.
“In looking at names of players to add to our future products, Roberto Clemente is a name that we’re thrilled about bringing to our customers,” said Gabriel Garcia, Upper Deck brand manager for baseball. “He is a legend in every sense of the word and we anticipate collectors will be ecstatic if they find his cards in Upper Deck Baseball products in 2009 and 2010.”
In his eighteen seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Clemente made 12 All-Star teams and was considered one of the era’s best players. However, he remains a baseball icon, especially in Latin America for his tireless charity work in third world countries.
Clemente died in a plane crash in December of 1972 while on a mission to deliver supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua.