It took the last collector nearly ten months, but his work makes three complete Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy sets now registered.
That’s 19,000 cards if you’re scoring at home.
With time winding down on Upper Deck’s Yankee Stadium Legacy (YSL) Collection contest, a third collector has managed to compete the enormous, 6,600-card set and send it to Upper Deck headquarters for verification. Kent Hayes of Sacramento, Calif., joins Tommy Baxter of Little Rock, Ark., and Chuck Sauter of Pensacola, Fla., as the only people who have pieced together the entire set of insert cards which chronicles every single home game ever played at the original Yankee Stadium since its doors opened on April 18, 1923.
“I went to my very first game at Yankee Stadium last year,” said Hayes, when asked about the inspiration behind his challenging pursuit. “I had to get one game in before they closed the old stadium and while I was there, I saw some marketing materials regarding the set and thought, ‘Why not?’ I started collecting my first cards in July and finished the set in March.”
While thousands of card collectors have tried putting together the entire set, which first began packing out in Upper Deck’s 2008 Series One baseball product more than a year ago last February, only three pain-staking people have managed to complete the assignment. Each is rewarded with a two-night, all-expense-paid trip with a friend to New York City in June during which time they will take in a Yankees-vs.-Nationals game at the new Yankee Stadium, watch batting practice from the field and have lunch with none other than Yankees Team Captain Derek Jeter. There are two more spots still open, but the April 30 deadline for completing the set is approaching.
“This has been a lot of fun to watch,” said Terry Melia, Upper Deck’s public relations manager. “To have the first person complete the set was exciting in its own right, but to have three people on board at this point is just incredible. If two more collectors are able to finish their sets and send them in before the end of April, it would truly be remarkable.”
The YSL insert cards were sprinkled into 10 different Upper Deck baseball products during the course of 2008. They fell at a ratio, on average, of one in every four packs. For Hayes to have only started collecting the cards in July – a full six months after many other collectors – and to have completed the task is a true testament of his determination. He recorded each of the YSL cards online at a special website Upper Deck debuted in early 2008.
Born and raised an Oakland A’s fan, Hayes used the internet and traded with fellow collectors throughout his YSL quest. “I even had a simple software program built that tracked the set and analyzed lots on eBay to tell me how many I needed from particular lots,” he said. “It’s not something I really talked about with my family. They’d probably think I’m crazy.”
Hayes says he will take his son with him on the trip to New York.
Yankee Stadium Legacy cards