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Press Release

06/15/2006 12:44 PM ET
MLBP, MLBPA launch National Baseball Card Day
More than 500,000 exclusive baseball card packs will be given away during June 17 inaugural event

Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), in conjunction with licensees Topps and Upper Deck, today announced that the first ever National Baseball Card Day will be held on Saturday, June 17. On this day, more than 500,000 exclusive baseball card packs will be given away to kids, collectors and fans as part of this celebration. These exclusively-created packs of baseball cards will be distributed by participating trading card hobby shops and retailers nationwide, including Olympia Sports, Dicks Sporting Goods, BC Sports stores, MLB Clubhouse shops and, the official Web site of Major League Baseball. Major League Clubs playing at home on National Baseball Card Day, as well as the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants, will also take part by promoting the giveaways in their Team Clubhouse shops. Collectors and fans can call (877) CARD-MLB to find the nearest participating retailer or hobby card shop.

National Baseball Card Day is part of a comprehensive effort to promote the baseball card category to kids and new collectors. MLBP, MLBPA, and industry leaders Topps and Upper Deck have both individually and collectively worked to develop baseball card products that appeal to fans of all ages; encouraging them to trade for their favorite players and to build their own complete sets. Season-long marketing efforts include a television campaign, consumer print advertising, grassroots promotions and in-stadium programs with all 30 MLB Clubs. In addition, MLBP and the MLBPA have introduced a new industry-wide standard for the designation of "rookie cards" in the baseball card category. The centerpiece of these guidelines is a new "Rookie Card" logo which incorporates the MLB silhouetted batter logo. Under these new guidelines, licensees Topps and Upper Deck are allowed to produce Rookie Cards only after a player has been officially placed on a Club's active 25-man roster. These new rules are designed to remove any uncertainty as to what constitutes a player's Rookie Card, while the new distinctive logo will help fans and collectors easily identify an official "Rookie Card."

"We are extremely excited to partner with the MLBPA, Topps and Upper Deck for the first annual National Baseball Card Day," said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball Properties. "This event will give hundreds of thousands of people the chance to own an exclusive set of baseball cards and engage in one of the most time-honored traditions of the game. The obvious enthusiasm of our retail partners and hobby shops reflects the continued popularity of the baseball card category."

"Collecting baseball cards is a fun and interactive way for fans--especially kids--to connect with their favorite players," said Evan Kaplan, Category Director, Trading Cards and Collectibles for the Major League Baseball Players Association. "National Baseball Card Day is geared to help spread the excitement of baseball cards to the next generation of baseball fans."

The 13-card sets will include some of today's best in the Major Leagues, and will be comprised of five cards from both Topps and Upper Deck, two insert cards and an informational card. The five Topps cards will be of Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals), Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees), Mark Teixeira (Texas Rangers), David Wright (New York Mets) and Miguel Cabrera (Florida Marlins); the five Upper Deck cards will be of Derek Jeter (New York Yankees), Ken Griffey Jr. (Cincinnati Reds), Dontrelle Willis (Florida Marlins), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) and Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox). The insert cards from Topps will be of Vladimir Guerrero (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Mickey Mantle (Hall of Famer) or Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals); the three insert cards from Upper Deck will be of Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle Mariners), Nomar Garciaparra (Los Angeles Dodgers) or Kenji Johjima (Seattle Mariners).

National Baseball Card Day will be supported by a television and radio campaign along with targeted print advertising in SI for Kids, Nickelodeon, the Sporting News and a variety of hobby publications.