It was a match made in mylar.
Will you marry me? It’s a simple question asked by tens of thousands of people every year. But for Mike DeRose of Chandler, Ariz., the age-old question needed an unusual delivery. You see, he and his longtime girlfriend, Julia Carvell, love to open up packs of Upper Deck baseball cards. It’s something they’re both passionate about. So Mike decided to combine their favorite pursuit within his well-thought-out proposal to the woman he loves.
“I had been talking to Chris (Carlin, Upper Deck’s hobby marketing manager) about this for over a year,” said DeRose, who sought out a brand of cards he felt could accommodate the diamond ring for his high school sweetheart. “I wanted to propose close to Christmas time, so Chris told me my two choices were Upper Deck’s Sweet Spot or Ultimate Collection. I chose the latter because it just sounded so perfect.”
The 23-year-old DeRose, an office manager for a medical device company, and Carvell, a 24-year-old preschool teacher, have been dating since their freshman year at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale. DeRose, a lifelong Yankees fan, and Carvell, a diehard Cubs follower, are not necessarily a baseball match made in heaven. But their affinity toward cracking Upper Deck baseball card packs has always helped smooth over any rough patches. Said DeRose: “I mean, it’s not like I could ever be as disappointed as a Cubs fan, right?”
To facilitate Mike’s request of inserting the diamond ring for Julia into a pack of baseball cards, Carlin and Upper Deck’s Operations Team went to work. After comparing various options, it was determined that they would utilize a very thick fold-out card that opened like a book. A portion of the inside was hallowed out to hold the ring, which would be revealed once she opened the unique card. The outside flap of the fold-out card boasted: “The Ultimate Proposal,” while the top inside flap read: “Will You Marry Me?” Timing it with the actual in-store arrival date of Ultimate Collection, the Operations Team then shrink-wrapped the box to make it appear as if it came directly from the company’s manufacturing facility.
Next up was where would Mike and Julia open up the ring-filled pack? Their local hobby shop – Pete Liu’s “Showtime Sports Cards” in Tempe – was the most logical spot. So yesterday, following a two-night stay in Las Vegas, that’s where Mike drove his sweetie. Under the guise that they were just opening up more packs, Mike and Pete watched as Julia opened two packs of 2008 Ultimate Collection before she cracked the loaded one.
“She was blown away,” said DeRose. “She never saw it coming.” Added Julia: “It definitely was ‘The Ultimate Proposal.’ I love him so much. And I think it was pretty cool of Upper Deck to do something like this. They must really love their customers.”
Video of the big moment was captured and is now available here.
Even Liu, who caught the proposal on camera, was blown away by the whole scene. "When she opened up that third pack, and it said ‘The Ultimate Proposal’ on the card, she actually started shaking," he said. "It gave me goose bumps. They are such a nice couple."
2008 Upper Deck baseball products for sale