Monday, February 15, 2010

Cards on Cards Wins the Day

Well, Redemption Day (also known as Presidents' Day in some parts) came and went today and a lot of people apparently spent a lot of time mashing buttons and clicking on things in futility until something went their way. I do have to admit to checking the Topps website for the new Million Card Giveaway thing last night around midnight EST and then again around midnight PST. I didn't lose sleep over it, of course, and as I got ready for work this morning I read that the madness had begun and people were slowly starting to redeem their codes. For my part, I only had 2 codes which came from purchasing a grand total of 10 regular retail packs plus a jumbo rack pack. And as you may have read elsewhere, this didn't go so well to start with.

Once I got to work, however, things got a bit more interesting. I was starting to see some of the more interesting cards (way more vintage than I expected) that others were getting when I got an e-mail from Chris Olds of Beckett fame. For the most part I have avoided the whole Beckett issue on this blog as they tend to be a very polarizing entity. For full disclosure, I used to buy the magazines religiously when I was a teenager and was particularly obsessed with the price guide. While I don't feel that it ever completely drove my collecting habits (I was never a "prospector"
and couldn't have afforded to be one anyway) I did use the pricing as a starting point for trading with people and judging the quality of my card shop/card show purchases. Beckett was gospel back in the day.

Today I am a Beckett subscriber. I only pay for the baseball online price guide, and I do so primarily because of its reference data and checklists. It's certainly not without its flaws, and don't get me started on how frustrated I get with all of the downtime (scheduled and unscheduled) with the site since they redesigned it, but it's there and I use it. This doesn't mean that other sites do not have their place. I certainly would love for more competition to be out there and I do use Zistle to catalog my player collections (well, one so far.) I've never been to their forums and likely never will, but I did start hearing about their Free Stuff Friday contests. Last Friday, I entered a few of them just for the heck of it as they required little-to-no work, and filed the experience way in the back of my mind - somewhere near the phone numbers of people that I instantly forgot as soon as I started using a cell phone.

And then, this afternoon, this happened:

Most of last Friday's contests were sponsored by Panini (basketball cards! icky!) and I apparently ended up with some sort of high end "box" containing a "pack" containing 5 "cards". Okay, I should probably calm down on the quotation marks. Cool-headed logic would seem to dictate that I should probably sell the thing the moment it hits my door, but I can see myself opening it up because it's exciting and I don't usually win stuff. I could always sell the cards themselves, right? And I'll definitely keep my fingers crossed and hope for a Blazers card.

Eventually, I finally managed to get one of my Topps codes to get through after trying for hours just to sign up for an account, and that's when I ended up with Mr. Smith up at the top of the post. The second code proved to be much, much trickier to enter. I probably tried a grand total of 20 times, each time getting a blank white screen, until I finally got a message that stated that my code had already been used. I then went to look at my collection and then...

Wow! What in the world is this? After showing it to Erin, she was quick to point out that the card is not actually a 2001 card but is a 2002 card as you can see by the logo. Secondly, although I had heard rumors of autographs and other such prizes being part of this larger contest, I had no idea that Topps would stray from straight up regular base cards in the codes that you can redeem right away and would then go ahead and give out a certified autograph from a non-base set. Aparicio is a Hall of Famer, of course, so this is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Part of me thinks this was just my lucky day (in the trading cards world, anyway) although the cynic in me thinks that something wacky and unpleasant will end up happening with this redemption. The same cynic also wonders if I was selected as a winner in the Beckett giveaway not just out of sheer luck or lack of other entrants, but that I was handpicked because I had never entered a contest before or posted on the forums and might be more apt to promote Beckett to others in the future because of this. I mean, there's zero visibility in how people are selected for these things, right?

Then again, maybe I should just shut up and take the cards.


White Sox Cards said...

Damn! Nice redemption!!

It's nice to see people getting some top notch cards out of this giveaway.

Play at the Plate said...

Way to go...that is a nice one! Congrats on winning the prize as well.

Bud (First Day Issue) said...

I saw that on the Beckett blog and was excited for you and now even more so with the sweet autograph. What a day for the birds!

BTW: You have to open the box. Is there anyway to resist the temptation?

camclow said...

Dang, that beats my 73 topps heinemann haha, that's pretty sweet. congrats

madding said...

Thanks for all the congrats!

I'm sure I'll end up opening the box. In fact, it didn't even occur to me to not open the box until I started feeling like Topps was threatening to steal from my wallet with all of the temptation to go back and buy more packs just because of this giveaway. I have a feeling the 2010 base set marketplace will end up being extremely saturated, which is why I'm trying to get rid of as many base cards as I can as soon as I get them and just focus on the Cardinals and Cardinals inserts.

deal said...

might be the best million dollar card I have seen so far.

the sewingmachineguy said...

That definitely beats my 1985 Kevin Bass.

Joe said...

any interest in my 87 Ozzie i got?