Is There a Comeback 'In the Cards' for Former Celebs? Upper Deck's New Baseball Card Set Includes Autograph Inserts Featuring Barry Williams, Todd Bridges, Corey Feldman, Tiffany
Apr 11, 2007
LOS ANGELES (April 11, 2007) -- Trade you Padres pitcher Greg Maddux for Greg Brady? Marlins all-star Dontrelle Willis for that guy who used to answer to "What you talkin' about, Willis?"?
This week, 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 -- 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. Among those involved: Barry Williams ("The Brady Bunch"), Todd Bridges ("Diff'rent Strokes"), Corey Feldman ("Goonies") and singer Tiffany.
"Better than a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the cards are a way to recognize their achievements, highlight what they've given us over the years -- while, at the same time, helping them personally connect with a new generation of fans," said Greg Kohn, baseball product manager for Upper Deck.
Some included in the set have taken this personal connection to another level, recalling in writing memorable scenes and character names. Lou Gossett, Jr. has written "May-o-naise!" next to some of his signatures, the nickname his "An Officer and a Gentleman" drill sergeant gave recruit Richard Gere. Williams signed the names of his alter egos "Johnny Bravo" and "Greg Brady."
Scotty Schwartz: From 'The Toy' to Selling Toys
According to Kohn, the idea and impetus for the cards came from an unlikely source: 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."
Partial 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, Katy Segal and David Faustino ("Married...With Children"), Ernie Hudson ("Ghostbusters," "The Crow"), Linda Blair ("The Exorcist"), Anthony Michael Hall ("Sixteen Candles," "Dead Zone"), Tony Burton ("Rocky") and Mia St. John (boxer).
About the Upper Deck Company
Founded in 1988, The Upper Deck Co. is a premier global sports and entertainment-publishing company that delivers a portfolio of relevant, innovative and multi-dimensional product experiences to collectors, sports and entertainment enthusiasts.