HeroBlog

Lets Go Bucs

Lets Go Bucs

Raise the Jolly Roger!

 

Hero Decks is thrilled to annouce Pittsburgh Baseball Heroes featuring the 52 greatest players by position and era in Pirates history.  The 2013 Pirates are waking up the echos of Championships past.  For Buccos faithful it has been a long time since "We are Family" and Willie "Pops" Stargell brought a World Series title back home to Pittsburgh.    The Pirates Hero Deck features several 2013 heroes including Russell Martin, Starling Marte, AJ Burnett and Andrew McCutchen.  

 

The 100-plus year history of the Pirates is filled with legendary greats like Honus Wagner and Roberto Clemente.  Hero Decks meticulously selected the greatest Pirates players of all-time for this deck,  its great fun for fans of all ages, we hope you enjoy!

Go Nats - Introducing Washington Baseball Heroes

Go Nats - Introducing Washington Baseball Heroes

Hero Decks is thrilled to announce publication of Washington Baseball Heroes celebrating the rich histroy and tradition of the national pastime in the nation's capital.

 

Washington Baseball Heroes features the 52 greatest players by position and era of all time including Frank " the Capital Punisher" Howard and Early Wynn from the Senators era and Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals era.

 

Washington baseball fans of all ages are sure to enjoy this uniquely illustrated playing card deck.

 

 

 

Eat'em Up Tigers!

Eat'em Up Tigers!

Hero Decks is proud to announce publication of Detroit Baseball Heroes, 2nd Edition, celebrating the rich history of Tiger baseball.

 

Published earlier this month, the unique playing card deck features the 52 greatest players in team history.  From Ty Cobb and Hank Greenberg to Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, the 52 greatest Tigers of all-time is sure to be a home run with fans of all ages. 

 

Originally published in 2007,  the 2nd edition deck has been updated with several new faces including Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer and Prince Fielder.   

 

"The Detroit Baseball Hero Deck is a humorously reverent history of the top players in the storied tradition of Tiger baseball"  said company managing partner David Krikorian.

 

Check out the entire deck roster:  Detroit Baseball

Get yours today and enjoy!

Here come the SPARTANS!!

Here come the SPARTANS!!

 

Hero Decks is proud to announce the release of Hero Deck # 59 celebrating the rich history of Football and Basketball at Michigan State University.  Published in early September 2012, the unique playing deck features the 52 greatest football and basketball players in school history.  From Lorenzo White and Earl Morrall to Ervin "Magic" Johnson and Mateen Cleaves, the 52 greatest Spartan's of all-time is sure to score with MSU fans of all ages.  

 

"The Michigan State Hero Deck is a wonderful pictoral history of the top players in the storied tradition of Michigan State Football and Basketball" said company managing partner" David Krikorian.

 

Check out the entire deck roster here:  MSU roster

 

Follow Hero Decks on Facebook and Twitter!

Follow Hero Decks on Facebook and Twitter!

Hero Decks are excited to announce that we'll be amplifying our presence of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube! We can’t wait to share exclusive, photos, videos, information, discounts, and much, much more. On Facebook, you can find us at:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hero-Decks-Playing-Cards-Collectibles-Puzzles/210159928947

Here, we post exclusive photos, interact with our fans, and do much more. In particular we are promoting our Barack Obama and Mitt Romney Presidential Playing Cards.

 

The Official Barack Obama Cards Facebook Page can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/BarackObamaCards

 

The Official Mitt Romney Cards Facebook Page can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mitt-Romney-Cards/432331470118914

 

On Twitter, you can follow us at: https://twitter.com/HeroDecks

Here, we’ll be posting updates and letting our followers know events we’ll be attending locally and more! Going into the 2012 Presidental Election, Hero Decks will be present at Barack Obama and Mitt Romney rallies, so stay tuned for that information as it becomes available!

All of our Twitter updates post to Facebook, and vice versa, so it’s easier than ever to stay connected with Hero Decks! Thanks again for supporting Hero Decks and Parody Productions. 

 

Black America #1 - Frederick Douglas

Black America #1 - Frederick Douglas

 

Occupation: American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman

Hometown: Talbot County, Maryland

“I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it.”

Were the words found in the first page of the first chapter of Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey’s autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

This man’s humble beginning began with the separation of Douglas from his grandmother and he was sent to Baltimore to Hugh Auld.

Hugh’s wife, Sophia, started teaching Douglas the alphabet at the tender age of twelve.  This was actually an illegal practice as it is against the law to teach slaves to read.  When Hugh discovered what his wife was doing, he immediately voiced his disapproval. He stated that if a slave learned to read, then he would become dissatisfied with his life and desire freedom.  Douglas took this as a challenge and continued to learn to read from the white children in the neighborhood.  Then Mrs. Auld found out, and told him that education and slavery were incompatible with each other.  Challenge accepted!  Eventually he began teaching other slaves.  But this was not enough, the more he learned, the more he wanted freedom.

In 1837, Douglas met and fell in love with Anna Murray, a free black from Baltimore.  The idea of her being free strengthened his resolve in gaining his own freedom.  He finally obtained his goal by dressing in a sailor’s uniform and boarded a train to make a long journey until he reached New York.

Once he finally gained his freedom, he did not stop there he also fought for women’s rights!  He claimed that he could not accept the right to vote if women could not.

"In this denial of the right to participate in government, not merely the degradation of woman and the perpetuation of a great injustice happens, but the maiming and repudiation of one-half of the moral and intellectual power of the government of the world."

All in all, this man knew no boundaries.  After years of people putting obstacles in his ways and telling what he could not do.  He looked at each hurdle with the same mind set: Challenge accepted!

 

Marine Heroes #9 - Kenneth L. Reusser

Marine Heroes #9 - Kenneth L. Reusser

Rank: Colonel

Hometown:  Cloverdale, Oregon

 

Captain Kenneth L. Reusser and his wingman Robert R. Klingman were flying their stripped-down F4U-4 Corsairs on a routine mission.  It was May 10, 1945, near Okinawa, and the American fleet was preparing to invade Japan.

 

Their special fighter planes were customized for a speedy ascent above the clouds.  Suddenly, Capt. Reusser spotted a Japanese Kawasaki “Dragon Killer,” an observation plane, taking pictures of America’s invasion fleet.  Reusser realized that he must destroy that plane before it can report on American positions.

 

Reusser and Klingman climbed to 40,000 feet, nearly double the optimal altitude.  They chased the Dragon Killer for over 150 miles before they can get close enough to fire their machine guns.  The enemy dropped to 38,000 feet.  It’s hit, but still flying.  Reusser closed in for the kill… the cold air had jammed his guns!

 

His fuel was running low and he made a quick decision.  He pushed the Corsair closer and closer to the Dragon Killer.  Using his Corsair’s giant propeller, Reusser chewed away the tail of the enemy spy plane.  His wingman followed his lead.  The Dragon Killer was sent into the Pacific Ocean with its precious cargo of film.

 

That might have been the highlight of any Marine aviator’s career, but not for Kenneth Reusser. He was the only veteran to fly over 259 combat missions in three wars:  World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.  He was shot down five times, at least once in each war.  He remained one of the most decorated pilots in the history of the Marine Corps.

 

Colonel Reusser retired after 28 years, with two Navy Crosses for valor plus five Purple Hearts for injuries in battle, and 42 other decorations.  He lived with his wife near Portland, Oregon until 2009.

 

 

HeroDecks would like you to check out the Thank You Foundation, a charitable organization that seeks to support our veterans, active service members, and their families.  Please give them your support at http://thethankyoufoundation.org/ , thank you.

 

Marine Heroes #8 - Raymond Davis

Marine Heroes #8 - Raymond Davis

 

 

Rank: General

Hometown: Fitzgerald, GA

 

 

Bright flashes and loud explosions burst all around the First Battalion of the Seventh Marines as they marched up a narrow gravel trail, hardly suitable for even the local ox-carts.  They were up 3,000 feet in the frigid North Korean mountains with sniper bullets coming from every direction.  

 

Lt. Colonel Raymond Davis suddenly fell to the ground as a shell struck his helmet.  His thick winter clothing had already been pierced by two bullets, but Davis got back to his feet to lead his men.

 

A company of Marine riflemen were trapped by a Chinese surprise attack at the Chosin Reservoir.  He and his men fought as they climbed three ridges, traversed the narrow path for eight miles, and dug through the frozen snow in temperatures as low as -35°F, the coldest Korean winter in 100 years.

 

Lt. Colonel Davis and his First Battalion saved those riflemen, and fought to hold the narrow mountain pass for another dozen days as two Marine regiments escaped destruction.  The withdrawal, the longest in American military history, would take 13 days and cost many lives.

 

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 when nearly one hundred thousand soldiers from the North crossed the 38th parallel that divided South Korea from the Communist North Korea.  Unprepared and overwhelmed, the South Korean army was almost destroyed and the South's capitol city of Seoul fell to the invaders within days.

 

The tide of the war dramatically turned on September 15th when General Douglas McArthur led his forces through the dramatic landing at Inchon.  Victory was swift and decisive until the Americans and British forces neared the border with China.  The North Koreans were devastated.

 

The Chinese had warned the United Nations forces not to cross the 38th parallel, and in November 1950, about 8,000 Americans, mostly Marines, were stealthily surrounded by 100,000 experienced Chinese soldiers.  At that moment, Raymond Davis was sent to rescue the Marines who had been cut-off.

 

Lt. Colonel Davis was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Truman for that bitter cold, valiant mission in the mountains of Korea.   During his long career he also received the Navy Cross in World War II, two Distinguish Service Medals, 2 Silver Stars, 2 Legion of Merits, Bronze Star , a Purple Heart, 5 Presidential Unit Citations, 3 NUCs.

 

Over three decades, Raymond Davis also filled every possible staff and command assignment. During his military career, he has commanded every level of combat from platoon to Division. He was Executive Officer of the 7th Marines in Korea. Lieutenant Colonel Davis was also in 14 Campaigns, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam and has been awarded Seven Foreign Awards.  He retired in 1972 as a full four-star General.

 

Raymond Davis is a true American hero.

 

 

HeroDecks would like you to check out the Thank You Foundation, a charitable organization that seeks to support our veterans, active service members, and their families.  Please give them your support at http://thethankyoufoundation.org/ , thank you.


 

Marine Heroes #7 - Alfred M. Gray

Marine Heroes #7 - Alfred M. Gray

 

 

Rank: Lieutenant General

Hometown: Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

 

There have been thirty-four Commandants of the US Marine Corps.  Thirty-three of their pictures show Marines in their formal dress uniforms with rows of ribbons, but no so for Lt. General Alfred Gray.  As a reminder that “the primary role of every Marine is a rifleman”, he had his official photograph taken in the Camouflage Utility Uniform. 

 

It was a dark and difficult year for the US Marine Corps in 1987.  Still recovering from the 1983 bombing of the Beirut barracks, several Marines were accused of espionage at the US embassy in Moscow, and Lt. Col. Oliver North appeared daily in uniform to answer charges of illegal activities before a Congressional committee. 

 

Nobody thought Gray had a chance at the job. After all, he spent most of his career outside Washington and, according to one source he "lacks the smooth edges you normally see in Washington."

 

Gray had risen from private to four-star general. Enlisting in the Marines in 1950, he achieved the rank of sergeant before being selected for officer training and being commissioned a second lieutenant in 1952. By definition, serving in the enlisted ranks prior to becoming an officer makes Gray a "mustang," which generally commands more respect in the Corps due to the combination of officer smarts and enlisted practicality.  

 

Then Secretary of the Navy James Webb must have thought some rough edges were needed. He nominated Alfred M. Gray to be the twenty-ninth Commandant of the Marine Corps. After confirmation by the Senate, General Gray assumed his post on July 1, 1987. 

 

Less than a month later, he gave a speech to an audience of Marines. There was no doubt what the new Commandant wanted. He said that Americans saw the Marines as an elite force. They expected excellence from Marines. "I don't think we're that good," he told the officers, "But we're going to be."

 

Lt. General Alfred M. Gray"I warn you, the basics mean a lot to me."

 

Widely considered a visionary at the development of warfare, he is associated both with stimulating the intellectual growth of the Marines while simultaneously emphasizing the Marine culture as warriors.

 

Gray thought that the Marines had lost focus on their mission and on the values embedded in their tradition. He wrote that the Marine Corps should be "organized for warfighting and adapted for peacetime, rather than vice versa." 

 

So Marines quit running in jogging suits and went back to running the obstacle course in full combat gear.  Gray told his officers to listen to the people in their units so they don't miss the good ideas that will "bubble up." To walk that particular talk, Gray spent a lot of time out of Washington, talking with Marines of all ranks. 

 

In 1988, Gray established the Commandant's Reading list, the first service head to make such recommendations for all Marines. He created a research center (that bears his name) where officers were to look ahead a decade or two.  He emphasized that learning was intrinsic to being a Marine.

 

He currently serves on numerous corporate, non-profit, and governmental advisory boards.  Now over 80 years old, he still finds time to visit the library at the Alfred M. Gray Research Center to donate the latest books he’s read.

 

 

HeroDecks would like you to check out the Thank You Foundation, a charitable organization that seeks to support our veterans, active service members, and their families.  Please give them your support at http://thethankyoufoundation.org/ , thank you.

 

 

Marine Heroes #6 - Guy Gabaldon

Marine Heroes #6 - Guy Gabaldon

Rank: Private First Class

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

 

The Marine reconnaissance team was bone-tired as they started their dawn patrol of Saipan. They had just weathered the largest Japanese bonzai charge of World War II. For over 15 hours, endless waves of Japanese soldiers and civilians attacked the US Marines with suicidal courage. It had been the longest night of their young lives, and now their commander sent them on this dangerous mission to map out the new Japanese frontlines.

 

At first light, they could hardly believe their eyes. At the top of a cliff was a single American Marine surrounded by hundreds of Japanese troops, many of them still armed. They first thought that this Marine was experiencing his last moments alive. But as the wide-eyed scouts looked on, it became apparent that the lone Marine was actually ordering his hundreds of prisoners into smaller groups, even as more Japanese streamed quietly up from their sea-side caves. Eventually, 800 Japanese soldiers and civilians surrendered on this one morning, an astonishing number considering Japanese tradition.

 

That lone Marine was Private Guy Gabaldon, the "Pied Piper of Saipan" and he was already famous on the island for his amazing ability to persuade Japanese troops to surrender. As a young Mexican-American boy, he had learned how to survive by his wits in the mean streets of East Los Angeles. He was one of seven children, but he moved out on his own at the age of 12. A Japanese family in the neighborhood took him in and educated him in their language and culture. When Gabaldon turned 18, he quickly enlisted with the US Marines as an interpreter. He landed on the shores of Saipan with 8,000 Marines under heavy fire on June 15, 1944, just nine days after D-Day in Europe.

 

"The first night I was on Saipan, I went out on my own," said Gabaldon, "I always worked on my own, and brought back two prisoners using my backstreet Japanese.”

 

His superior officers were not impressed at first, they promptly reprimanded Private Gabaldon and threatened him with a court-martial if ever left his post again. But he was undeterred, the next morning he returned with 50 prisoners. As a result, Gabaldon was permitted to act as a "lone wolf" by his commanding officer.


Guy Gabaldon on movie set of Hell to EternityHis technique was simple. He would carefully make his way to the mouth of Saipan’s many caves. He would shoot the guards and shout into the cave in Japanese: "You're surrounded and have no choice but to surrender. Come out, and you will not be killed! I assure you will be well-treated. We do not want to kill you!"

 

And so it was on July 7, 1944 that PFC Guy Gabaldon, after spending a night near Saipan's northern cliffs, heard thousands of Japanese troops and civilians preparing for a large "banzai charge." The attack was unsuccessful and the surviving Japanese returned to their positions. The next day, Gabaldon captured two guards and convinced one of them to return to the cave with an offering of surrender. Shortly after, a Japanese officer showed up and after speaking to Gabaldon accepted the conditions of surrender. Over eight hundred soldiers and civilians surrendered to Gabaldon and were turned over to the United States military authorities.

 

Private Gabaldon single-handedly captured over 1,500 enemy personnel before being ambushed and wounded by machine gun fire. He was recommended for the Medal of Honor by his commanding 

officer, Capt. John Schwabe, but received a Silver Star that was later upgraded to the second highest military decoration: a Navy Cross Medal. His exploits were portrayed in the 1960 Hollywood film Hell to Eternity. He was also honored by the Los Angeles City Council, several civic and Latino organizations, and by veterans everywhere for his courageous contribution to the Pacific war effort
.

[Photo: Guy Gabaldon (seated) in 1959 on the movie set of Hell to Eternity