Cameron Davis admits that as a youth he was a sports trading card junkie.
“I had over 1,000 of them — baseball and basketball,” he says.
His affinity for trading cards has led to one of the most unusual promotions ever in the Rim Country.
As Payson’s director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, it is his job to help sponsor the upcoming FLW bass fishing tournament on Sept. 22 to 25 at Roosevelt Lake and the FLW Day in Payson event on Sept. 18 at Green Valley Park.
Since the title sponsor of the FLW Day is Del Taco, Davis huddled last week with the Payson store general manager trying to come up with a unique way to spread the word about the event.
What the two came up with, believe it or not, is sports trading cards that honor the professional bass fishermen who will compete in the tournament and be in attendance on FLW Day.
Each card will picture a pro angler along with his hometown, tournament winnings and biography on the reverse side.
The cards will be very similar to the vintage Topps trading cards that many collected during their childhood years and often traded with friends.
Think back, remember that treasured 1958 Topps 62 Jim Brown rookie card that you wanted so badly but your best buddy wouldn’t part with no matter what you offered?
The pro angler cards being offered by Del Taco will be very similar.
Davis anticipates that there will be cards of about 20 to 25 professionals available.
The cards will be distributed soon to customers of the Payson Del Taco store.
“One will be placed in each bag of food sold,” said Davis. “That’s the way will get them out to the public.”
Some also will be given away during the FLW Day at GVP.
Davis says once the cards are collected, owners may take them to FLW Day where the pro fishermen will be available to personally autograph them.
Among those who will be featured on the cards and will be at GVP to autograph them is Payson’s hometown pro Clifford Pirch and Buddy Randall of Pine.
Some others are Brent Ehrler, Brett Hite, John Murray, Tim Klinger, Roy Hawk, Cody Meyer and Gary Dobyns.
In that crew, Ehrler is among the most successful having won the Forrest Wood Cup in 2006, finishing second in the FLW Series Western Division Angler of the Year competition and pocketing over $1 million in prize money.
Also at GVP to sign autographs will be a trio of college FLW anglers — Mark Walker, Joey Jarrell and Craig Carroll.
With the FLW Day and the tournament just over the horizon, Davis is urging professional fishing fans to accumulate as many of the trading cards as possible and attend the festivities at GVP to have them autographed.
Not only will they make a treasured keepsake, they can be passed down from generation to generation.