30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, September 6, 2014

UD Random Act of Kindness

Last month, I sent Chris Carlin and the Upper Deck customer service department an email commending them on their decision to include professional surfers in their Goodwin Champions products over the past few years.  I've had a lot of fun collecting all of their autographs, because I've always been a fan of the sport.

No... I've never surfed in my life.  But I have a lot of family in Hawaii and I spent plenty warm summers watching my cousins surf, while I stuck to boogie boarding and body surfing.

In short... I'm a poser or wannabe.  Maybe one day I'll add surfing lessons to my bucket list... but until then... I'm content on collecting cards of surfers.

However there's one iconic surfer that's currently missing from my collection.  His name is Eddie Aikau.

Mr. Aikau was a legendary surfer who was lost at sea in the late 70's.  He was a crew member on a double hulled canoe that was on a 28 day voyage going from Hawaii to Tahiti.  Within 12 hours of leaving Honolulu, the canoe capsized leaving all 16 crew members clinging to the canoe.  Eddie asked the captain if he could paddle on his surfboard to get help.  After being denied several times, the captain eventually gave in and Eddie set off to find help.

A passing plane spotted the capsized canoe and everyone was rescued.  Everyone except Eddie... who was never to be seen again.  Today he's a local hero and honored with a surfing event in his name.

Anyways... getting back to my email to Upper Deck, I inquired about whether or not they had ever considered creating a card of Eddie Aikau.

Chris responded a week later and informed me that they had tweeted out my original surfer post on this blog from back in 2012.  They also told me that creating cards of Mr. Aikau might be tricky since he's no longer available to sign autographs and obtaining memorabilia might be a little difficult to obtain from the family.  However, he assured me that he'd pass on the message to the Goodwin product manager.

As you can imagine... I was more than pleased with their response.  The fact that they actually took the time to read my email, check out my blog post, and pass it on to their followers was an amazing gesture... and one I'll always appreciate.

Fast forward to a few days ago... when this padded envelope arrived at my place:

It was a Random Act of Kindness package that included this handwritten postcard:

And this amazing on-card autograph of 11x ASP World Tour Champion... Kelly Slater:

2012 UD All-Time Greats Signatures #KS4 (#'d 6/35)

Thanks Mr. Carlin and the people over at Upper Deck!  I promise to give Mr. Slater a nice home as he gets comfortable in my Surfer PC.

And if you ever decide to create a card of Eddie... I assure you he'll be welcomed too.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. Awesome collection, and a great gesture from UD. It's nice to read something positive about a card company's customer service for a change.

  2. What a phenomenal story, Fuji. Good on you for going out of your way and writing to UD to commend them on printing a series you've passionately collected.

    That Slater gold auto for a gift from UD is almost too awesome for this life-long surfer to comprehend.

    ...and I don't have even one surf card in my collection, anywhere! Argh!

  3. That is awesome! Like Mark said, I'm glad something positive came out of the customer service experience.

  4. Oh wow Fuji, that's really sweet. Congrats!!

  5. I love that UD read your blog, retweeted what you said, and then made it better by sending you a card of a surfer that even *I* have heard of!

  6. Boy - I better start saying nice things about Upper Deck on my blog.

  7. Daaaam. Nice addition! And good on UD.

  8. That is a great card, I have been looking to pick up a Slater auto for some time.

    People have ripped UD about their questionable tactics over the years but there is one thing that people forget and that is Upper Deck is all about the collectors. They listen to the people who buy their cards and produce some amazing sets. I have had some positive interactions with them before though never received such an awesome surprise.

  9. Fantastic stuff!! Great post Fuji, thank you for sharing!