I'd be awfully sad if all the lawsuits that Upper Deck are (is?) embroiled in eventually cause the company to file for bankruptcy and stop producing baseball cards. I'm not trying to defend their unscrupulous business practices, but as a Ken Griffey Jr. collector Upper Deck has always played a large role in my collecting. I really believe that collectors will be the ones to suffer if Topps is allowed to monopolize the "licensed" card market, especially since Junior has an exclusive memorabilia/autograph contract with UD. How cool would a Ken Griffey Jr. Allen & Ginter autograph be?
Competition is always a positive force because it requires companies to innovate and make a better product or risk getting left behind by companies that push the envelope (it's hard not to get lazy if there is no one to compete against). I sure hope that Upper Deck and the MLBPA are able to reach some sort of compromise so that collectors can continue to create new memories with both Topps and UD.
Speaking of baseball cards evoking memories, this 1993 Upper Deck Jay Buhner card is very special to me and brings a smile to my face every time I look at it. 1993 Upper Deck was the first pack of baseball cards I ever opened and I remember this being my "first" Ken Griffey Jr. card. Sure the name on the front says Jay Buhner, but the Kid is pictured with his trademark backwards cap, and this card meant the world to me. I can never forget running over to my friend's house and showing this card off; my favorite player, from my favorite team...what six-year old could ask for more?
Upper Deck will always hold a special place in my heart because of cards like this. Let's hope that the young collectors of this generation will be able to say the same thing one day.