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Baseball card collecting makes dreams come true for California teen

Lucky uncle's winning card gives Tyler James Wolf, 13, of Imperial, CA, chance to hang with MLB All-Stars at historic Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK -- Avid baseball card collector Tyler Wolf, 13, of Imperial, Calif., will be traveling to New York City next week for a baseball lover's thrill of a lifetime, courtesy of the Major League Baseball Players Association, The Topps Company, The Upper Deck Company and a lucky uncle who won the "Be the MVP in NYC" baseball card sweepstakes.

Wolf's uncle, Bryan Smith, 34, of Sparks, Nev., also a devoted baseball card collector, purchased a lucky pack of baseball cards at the Wal-Mart of Pyramid Way in Sparks and pulled the "Be the MVP in NYC" instant-win card - giving him the Grand Prize trip for four to New York City for the 2008 Home Run Derby and All-Star game.

The "Be the MVP in NYC" baseball card sweepstakes began last June, as specially marked packs of Topps Series 2, Upper Deck Series 2 and Fleer Ultra baseball cards offered game card inserts containing codes for an on-line entry and a chance to win the Grand Prize trip.

As part of the Grand Prize package, prior to Monday night's Home Run Derby, Wolf will receive a once in a lifetime opportunity as he gets to walk the grounds of Yankee Stadium, meet the All-Stars during their on-field workouts as well as watch them take batting practice first-hand.

Smith will also be taking his sister, Kimberly Lynne Hansen, 37, of Imperial Beach, Calif., and Kimberly's daughter, Madisyn Ellyse Carter, 6.

The Major League Baseball Players Association, The Topps Company, The Upper Deck Company and Major League Baseball sponsored the "Be the MVP in NYC" sweepstakes to connect kids with their favorite Major League players through the fun of collecting baseball cards. Other prizes included Xbox 360 video game consoles, Major League Baseball 2K7 video games, officially licensed baseball caps, 2007 Backyard Baseball video games and autographed baseballs. The Major League Baseball Players Association is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League Baseball teams and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and Players Choice Awards, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players.