In another exclusive announcement, Upper Deck has announced today that they have signed an exclusive deal with Roberto Clemente’s estate giving them the rights to produce Clemente related products. He is expected to appear in at least 6 Upper Deck products in 2010 with his first release being the Upper Deck 2009 Ultimate Collection, which is scheduled for release in December of this year.
Roberto Clemente had an amazing 18-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates where he played in almost 2500 games, batted .317 with 240 HRs. He also won the World Series Championship twice. Even though he played for 18 years his career was cut short when he died in a place crash while attempting to deliver emergency relief packages to Nicaragua following an earthquake.
Upper Deck has the MLBPA rights as well as various agreements with players like Griffey and Jeter, could this exclusive Clemente contract be the first step in picking up the rights to retired and deceased players? That could give them plenty of options to continue producing baseball related products.