Topps (possibly) piles on Upper Deck, Yankee Stadium Legacy cards

17 06 2008

If this report on the Beckett message boards is true, Upper Deck could be in some serious trouble this year. A poster there says he’s received word from two different distributors that Upper Deck series 2 has been added to the Topps lawsuit against Upper Deck, which (in case you’ve been asleep or in Ireland the last few days) accuses Upper Deck of wrongfully using images and names from players that Topps bought exclusive rights to back in March from CMG Worldwide in their Upper Deck Legendary Cuts release.

Topps (supposedly) is taking issue with the fact that Johnny Mize, one of the players covered in the CMG agreement, appears in Upper Deck’s series 2 boxes as part of the “Yankee Stadium Legacy” set.  Thurman Munson and Lou Gehrig also appear in the set and are covered by the Topps-CMG agreement, so they may be inserted in the series 2 boxes as well. Both Gehrig and Munson are featured on relic cards that Upper Deck claims are randomly inserted among 8 releases, including Legendary Cuts and Upper Deck series 2.

Depending on the outcome of the lawsuit and the seeding of these cards, Upper Deck may have further problems with future releases Sp Authentic, SPx, UDx and UD Masterpieces, all of which are part of the Yankee Stadium Legacy program.

Upper Deck’s Yankee Stadium Legacy website is still up. You can see two of the memorabilia cards featuring Munson and Gehrig in the gallery shown on the right side of the page here. They are cards 08 (Munson) and 09 (Gehrig). Gehrig also appears on card 20 in the gallery.

You’ll remember Upper Deck had to scrub references to Legendary Cuts as a requirement of the initial suit, so if the Yankee Stadium Legacy site goes down or references to cards featuring Munson, Gehrig, and Mize are removed, it could be a sign that the rumor above is true.

Stay tuned.

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