Richard McWilliam, Upper Deck CEO and Co-Founder, Passes Away

Richard McWilliam, Upper Deck CEO and Co-Founder, Passes Away

Upper Deck has announced that their chairman and CEO Richard McWilliam passed away on Saturday at his home in California. He was the company's co-founder and helped fuel the evolution of the hobby into what it is today. McWilliam is survived by his wife and three children. He was 59.

McWilliam was  one of the hobby's biggest innovators in the industry from Upper Deck's inception in 1989 through the turn of the century. However the last several years saw him embroiled at the center of a seemingly endless procession of legal battles and controversy - much of which was covered in detail in Paul Lesko's Law of Cards Column.

Jason Masherah has been named the company's president.

"[He] built a company with a strong management team, a focus on quality, and an expanding array of successful products," said Masherah. "Upper Deck is well positioned to continue its growth and success, and I am honored to have been chosen to lead the company."

McWilliam's family has asked donations be made to Rady’s Children’s Hospital Foundation in San Diego in lieu of any flowers.

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Mike Smeth is the CEO and Founder of The Cardboard Connection. After collecting baseball cards as a child, he took a 12-year hiatus from the hobby. One muggy summer day in 2006 he unexpectedly came across his childhood card collection while packing up for a move. He began sorting through them so he could sell them on Craigslist. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th box, he rediscovered his passion for collecting and hasn't looked back since. You can find Mike on Google+ and Twitter @mikesmethcc.

User Comments

  1. Only 59, wonder what happen? Was He
    sick?

  2. Lee C » I strongly suspect that I know what happened, but out of respect for his family I think its best just to leave it up to them (or Upper Deck) to address it if they choose do so.

  3. Yes it is sad news and I feel for those he left behind. On the other hand I cannot believe the incorrect information that has been published surrounding Richard’s passing. The company was not founded in 1989 – it was 1988. I was hird as VP of sales 9/15/88. To my way of thinking there were three founders of UD Bill Hemrick, Paul Sumner and Dwayne Buice. Richard came in a bit later and was the financial guy , did provide a bunch of early money and was a tremendous leader when were were floundering with the early production. He raelly had nothing to do with the creative process – that was all Sumner and Hemrick. Buice helped secure the MLB license through his agent.

  4. No one in Conroe, TX is shedding a tear over this, believe me. I’ll leave it at that.

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