Before baseball was integrated in 1947, African American baseball players played in the Negro leagues. In 1990, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) was founded in Kansas City, Missouri, and is dedicated to preserving the history of Negro League baseball in America.
Now, the United States Playing Card Company (USPC) has debuted the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum playing cards. And USPC, the makers of Bicycle Playing Cards, has high hopes for the new cards. “Based on customer and media feedback, we have high expectations for sales of this deck which in turn benefits the Negro Leagues Museum with our donation from each deck sold,” Roy Gifford, VP of Marketing for The United States Playing Card Company. Bicycle Playing Cards has partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum by donating $0.15 per deck sold.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Playing Card Deck is just one of similar other partnerships USPC has made in the past. “We have partnered with several non-profit organizations in the past (Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, etc.), and these partnerships allow us to do a couple of things,” Gifford explains. “First, we are able to support very worthwhile organizations by contributing money for every deck sold.”
According to Gifford, he thinks the deck will also educate many about the Negro Leagues. “In the case of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, our contribution to the museum will help to share the story of the Negro Leagues for generations to come. Second, we are able to get card players excited about showing their connection with important causes by using a deck of cards that displays that organization's artwork and logos. In the case of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. we were able to use 24 beautiful team logos and images from the NLBM archives that we would otherwise never have access to,” he explains.
Similar to baseball cards, playing cards can eventually become collector items. Vintage playing cards are often in demand by collectors. “The playing card category definitely has its collectors,” says Gifford. “Although it is hard to say which decks will really take off as a collector's item, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum deck definitely has some unique artwork that we feel makes it a very attractive deck.”