Thursday, July 2, 2009

So They Were Spared the Agony and Have Been Awarded a License to Produce Baseball Cards.

The four-year contract agreed upon between MLB Properties and both Topps and Upper Deck is soon going to expire (the deal was set in place for the 2006-2009 seasons). That means that some time soon, an announcement will be made regarding the future of baseball cards.

I'm sure by now it's made the rounds that Upper Deck was awarded an MLBPA card license by MLB Properties. Funny how "they" decided to make the announcement instead of letting MLB Properties do it. I say this only because Topps (or any other company for that matter) has not made any announcements yet, nor has MLB Properties (other than the comment by Evan Kaplan on UD's press release) done so either.

The thing that gets me is the rush UD placed to get this out into the "press." In this day of 24-hour on-demand news, I'm not surprised. It gives them a sense of validity and if anything, they can claim that they got their license first. I going to guess that even after all the stunts they've pulled (the Razor thing, the OPC fiasco, the lawsuits between the companies started by both them and Topps) that they (UD) have to be thanking their lucky stars that they got one. Because if The Sports Card File guy was right, UD was oh-so-close to have been thrown out of the baseball card market.

In the end, we're only hearing from one side of the spectrum. It's pretty safe to say that there will be more than one company making licensed baseball cards in 2010. Otherwise, I'm sure the press release would have had the word "exclusive" and "only card licensee" writen all over it. Competition is a good thing, and in this market, there should be. It's a shame that the NBA and NHL have either decided against it, or are going to soon (there will be Topps products in the 2009-2010 season).

The questions now become...

Who else is getting a license? Is it Topps? Is it Panini? Will it be both?
When will MLBPA make the official announcement?
What restrictions will be added or removed?
Will the Rookie Card program continue?
What about unlicensed cards? The use of minor leaguers in products like Bowman? Will UD or another company be able to create similar products too?

All this and more when an OFFICIAL word from MLBPA comes regarding this matter.


JayBee Anama


Nachos Grande said...

I'm not always impressed with both companies, but I wouldn't be nearly as active in this hobby if it were only Topps or only Upper Deck for options.

GOGOSOX60 said...

I was a happy camper collecting Topps from 1974 until 1981, and I again would be the same if only Topps made baseball cards...however I stopped buying UD cards along time