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Old 02-08-2008, 12:11 PM   #1
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Default Upper Deck Gets Political

Upper Deck Gets Political

You know we're in the midst of one of the most stirring national primary seasons in American history when it starts sending ripples throughout even the baseball card industry.

Earlier this week we reported on the eTopps Presidential Hopefuls set and base-brand Topps' inclusion of a card featuring former Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani, a diehard Yankees fan, presumably celebrating a World Series title with the Boston Red Sox.

Now comes word from Upper Deck of its Presidential Predictors insert set featured in UD Series I that released Wednesday. The entertaining nine-card set features illustrated parodies tying several presidential candidates to pivotal moments or personalities from baseball's rich history. Some of the highlights include Democratic hopeful Barack Obama and Jermaine Dye, Republican frontrunner John McCain and Ted Williams, Giuliani playing the role of Jeffrey Maier and Republican Mitt Romney striking a classic Carlton Fisk home run pose.

Beginning Feb. 25, collectors holding these cards can enter their unique card-back codes through Upper Deck's website for a chance to act quite presidential and throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a 2009 MLB game.

"This was a unique concept developed to bring some timely and very topical humor to our first baseball card product of the season," says Kerri Stockholm, Upper Deck's Director of Sports Marketing. "We think the cards are entertaining and we're hopeful that the candidates will also get a kick out of their cards."

One candidate who might not is current Democratic delegate leader Hillary Clinton, whose parody in the set was supposed to be pulled from production due to an illustration that was considered to be "somewhat controversial, and could possibly be deemed inappropriate," according to Louise Curcio, Upper Deck's VP of marketing.

Turns out at least one of the Clinton cards made it into a pack . . . and it surfaced on Thursday afternoon.

The allegedly inappropriate card in question features Clinton playing the role of Morganna The Kissing Bandit attempting to plant yet another smooch on a rather generic-looking Cincinnati Reds hitter (hey, could that be . . . nah.).

"We literally had to go back to the hoppers on the floor and start pulling the Hillary cards out manually," says one UD official. "We thought we got them all."

While no one at Upper Deck knows for sure just how many Clinton cards made it into packs, this much is certain: The company plans on producing another Clinton card for inclusion in Upper Deck Series II that ships in May, when it's likely that at least the Democratic party will still be without a presidential candidate in a neck-and-neck race between Clinton and Obama that promises to go down to the wire.
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