Upper Deck Signs Mike Tyson
The year that Upper Deck introduced pack-inserted autographs to the world, Mike Tyson was the biggest star in sports hands down. He was 25 years old, undefeated, and held every Heavyweight Championship belt. By February of the same year, 1990, he would lose for the very first time, ironically making him an even bigger star. If Upper Deck had put his autograph into their product or at any point before “Iron Mike” burnt out, it would have been huge. Unfortunately for them, Topps Company beat them to the punch. So did Leaf, Sportskings, and Ringside Boxing.
Due to all those releases, Mike’s autograph has begun to lose its luster. Sure, a certified autograph card of his can still demand big bucks but give it a few more months of Tyson appearing at card shows and Upper Deck’s card hitting the Hobby and they will start dropping to Pete Rose levels. Not to mention that it’s been 9 years since Mike’s last boxing victory and over 15 since he was a big name in his sport. Sure, he’s a nice guy now, has a big following on Twitter, and appears in movies and TV, but that’s still not enough to make Upper Deck’s signing a big deal, especially considering they lost Ken Griffey Jr. and just last week were sued for not paying their NFL guys for autographs.
As for the card below, it’s one of the nicest, new Tyson certified autographs and comes from Leaf. It features a prime Mike Tyson before the excessive losses and ridiculous face tattoo. It’s not the most valuable or sought-after, that honor goes to Topps’ Allen and Ginter release, but it’s just another example of how Upper Deck is way behind in a race they were winning for so many years.