When Upper Deck announced earlier this month that it would be producing a 6,500-card insert set to commemorate the history of Yankee Stadium, there were bound to be a few ambitious collectors who would attempt to pursue every card on a very lengthy checklist.
One such pursuit will actually be a group effort by the regulars who frequent the trading boards on the website www.thebenchtrading.com. The website, known by regulars as “The Bench,” will be relying on its visitors to band together to assemble one of the first “complete sets” of the new UD product. When that mission is accomplished, the plan is to auction the cards off together through Sotheby’s with the proceeds going to the V Foundation for cancer research. The effort has been dubbed “fighting cancer one card at a time.”
“This is a monster set, a historical set – not only for baseball, but for pop culture and American sports in general. And there will be a lot of Yankee fans out there who will probably be interested in this,” said Tim Danielson, PR director for the website. “A lot of our members collect sets from all the major manufacturers and enjoy the thrill of the hunt – tracking down those last few cards. I’m sure a lot of them will be helping us chase and hunt down those cards – which is part of the fun of collecting cards.”
The Yankee Stadium Legacy set will feature cards spotlighting every baseball game ever played at Yankee Stadium in the past 85 seasons, along with some of the most memorable non-baseball events, including heavyweight title fights.
Danielson noted The Bench has more than 6,000 members and that some of the collectors were already contemplating chasing the set on their own. Some may still be doing so, but they have also been willing to supply cards to the group effort.
Perhaps the biggest gray area at the moment, according to Danielsen, is whether the “complete set” the group is assembling will include the 42 game-used memorabilia cards (bats and jerseys) that will include cards featuring Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter and others.
“That might be icing on the cake, if we get any of those,” he said. “We’re hoping the national publicity we’re starting to get rolling in will get people not only on our site donating cards, but (collectors) at shops around the country.”