Sports Illustrated took a look back at Upper Deck and isn’t too optimistic about the future of card collecting. Tucked into this ____ (what’s the word for when a newspaper prints an obituary before someone is dead?) are a few interesting facts about Upper Deck like:
The image of Griffey that became part of collecting lore, with his blue turtleneck and ‘fro-mullet tucked beneath his cap, was doctored. In his home office in Corona, Calif., 75 miles north of Upper Deck’s headquarters, Tom Geideman hands me a Polaroid that had been sitting atop a binder of Griffey cards and says, “Thisâ€”it’s cut off a little bitâ€”but this is the original photo.” Griffey’s wearing the navy-blue hat of Seattle’s Class A affiliate, the San Bernardino Spirit, whose logo is a silver S over a red star. The picture was taken by the late V.J. Lovero, an Angels team photographer who shot Griffey and his father for a Sports Illustrated feature in 1988. Lovero sold one of his extras to Upper Deck, which airbrushed the hat royal blue, erased the star, made the S yellow andâ€”ta-da!â€”completed the makeover.
And then there’s this ‘doth protest too much’ rebuttal from the Upper Deck Blog. Though it seems some of the facts in the SI article were incorrect (and not checked for some reason), calling the article a ‘hatchet job’ is a little much. However, if you want to read 10 reasons the author of the Upper Deck Blog knows that card collecting is not dead, or see several comments from folks operating card shops, that’s the link you’d click.