Packs of Topps and Upper Deck baseball cards created exclusively for "National Baseball Card Day" will be distributed for free to fans at Toys "R" Us outlets and participating trading card shops around the country tomorrow. MLB Clubhouse Shops and MLB.com, Major League Baseball's Web site, will also be offering the special cards.
Each pack contains six Topps and six Upper Deck cards, seeded with high-profile stars such as David Ortiz, Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter, as well as up-and-coming players. The giveaway is primarily aimed at the youngest baseball fans. "It's one of the first touchpoints for kids on getting to know the teams and the players," says Colin Hagen, vp of licensing for MLB Properties.
MLB Properties has seen a 20% rise in card sales over each of the last two seasons. Hagen says designating Topps and Upper Deck as its sole official licensees two years ago, and jettisoning relationships with other card makers solidified the business.