Upper Deck’s latest set brings baseball cards together with autographed insert cards from celebs and musicians from the 1970s and 80s.
Upper Deck is launching its latest sports trading card set, Spectrum Baseball 2007. In those packs along with cards featuring Major League Baseball stars: autographed inserts of celebrities from the 1970s and ’80s, actors and musicians whose fame — like the speed of a Maddux fastball, despite his continued greatness — has arguably faded in recent years.
But all have hope that there’s a comeback in the cards for them with this latest outreach to a new fan base, people that might be too young to remember their classic TV shows, movies or songs. Among those involved: Barry Williams ("The Brady Bunch"), Todd Bridges ("Diff’rent Strokes"), and reality television star, Corey Feldman ("Goonies").
"Each of these actors and musicians represent an exciting piece of Americana and pop culture," said Gregg Kohn, Upper Deck’s baseball product manager. "Many of my fondest childhood memories were of watching them on television and in movies or hearing them on the radio. Each actor and singer helped in their little way to bring smiles to faces and define an era for many of today’s adults."
Some celebrities included in the set have chosen to take this personal connection to another level, recalling in writing memorable scenes and lyrics that for many were the laugh track and soundtrack to their lives years ago. For example, Oscar(TM)-award winner Lou Gossett, Jr. has written "May-o-naise!" next to some of his signatures, the nickname his hard-nosed drill-sergeant character in "An Officer and a Gentleman" gave basic-training recruit Richard Gere.
Satellite radio host Barry Williams signed ‘Johnny Bravo’ and ‘Greg Brady’. Not all stars included are from yesteryear. The set ($6.99 a pack; two autographs and two memorabilia cards per box; available at hobby shops nationwide) features two in-the-now Hollywood A-listers, Josh Duhamel ("Las Vegas," "Transformers") as well as Black Eyed Peas frontwoman, "Grindhouse" actress — and former ’80s child star ("Kids Incorporated") — Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson.
According to Kohn, the idea and impetus for the cards came from an unlikely source: another former child actor, and current San Fernando Valley sports trading card shop owner, Scotty Schwartz ("The Toy," "A Christmas Story").
"Scotty’s hobby shop has been one of Upper Deck’s best retailers for years," said Kohn. "He knows the ins and outs of the collectibles business, he knows what’s hot, what customers will buy. "And: he has access to these celebrities. When he came to us with the concept, there was no need to double-dog dare us: we truly believed this idea would stick."
Throughout the past few months, Schwartz has spearheaded the signings in his shop and at the homes of the celebrities, taking photos of each in action to verify that indeed these autographs are the real deal. Autographing clear plastic labels, the signatures were then transferred to cards at Upper Deck’s Carlsbad, Calif. facility, located 70 miles south of Hollywood.
Kohn concluded: "With the success of such shows as ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ ‘The Surreal Life’ and ‘Celebrity Fit Club,’ the demographic and excitement surrounding these starts is already built in," Kohn continued. "People love to see a comeback story; and we hope these cards are the vehicle to help them to make it back to the top."
Celebrity Checklist for Upper Deck’s Spectrum Baseball 2007 Set:
Disco-era singer and teen heartthrob Leif Garret, Kristy McNichol ("Family"), Lori Petty ("A League of Their Own"), Jeff Conaway ("Taxi," "Grease"), Catherine Bach ("The Dukes of Hazard"), Ed O’Neill "Al Bundy" (Married With Children), Ernie Hudson ("Ghostbusters," "The Crow"), Michael Anthony Hall ("Sixteen Candles" and Dead Zone), Tony Burton ("Rocky") and Mia St. John (boxer).