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Thread: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

  1. #1
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/sp...er=rss&emc=rss

    February 16, 2010
    A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card
    By RICHARD SANDOMIR

    For nearly as long as kids, mostly boys, have collected baseball cards, mothers have figured as the culprits in tossing out boxes or drawers full of those pieces of cardboard.

    How many grown-up collectors have taken the rap and cleared their moms?

    The mother excuse, handy, hardy and sometimes true, is at the heart of a new campaign by the Topps Company to give away a million cards — multiples of all 38,000 it has produced — to revive interest among aging boys, now 30 to 60 years old.

    Topps’s slogan: “We’re giving you back the cards your mom threw out.”

    In its 2010 baseball series, Topps has created a subset of reprinted cards titled, “The Cards Your Mother Threw Out.”

    But on Tuesday, Topps will formally announce its Million Card Giveaway. The card sets in the promotion are already on sale.

    Those playing along will find special cards, one placed in every sixth pack in Topps’s sets this year; the cards will have nine-digit computer codes that can be activated at toppsmillion.com. After a person enters the code, a vintage card from 1952 might randomly appear, or perhaps an ordinary one from last year. The cards can be delivered, kept in online Topps accounts to trade for other cards that are unlocked, or used in sweepstakes.

    The rules do not prohibit moms from participating.

    And sticks of stale chewing gum will not be included in the packs.

    Underlying the campaign is the possibility that the code will yield the holiest of Topps cards, the 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card. A mint condition card, issued during Topps’s rookie year (and Mantle’s second), sold in 2001 for $275,000.

    “We have more than one Mantle rookie card in this,” Warren Friss, vice president and general manager of Topps Sports and Entertainment, said last week in the company’s downtown Manhattan office. Later, in the interview, he said, “We have at least three.”

    The giveaway idea was created last year, when Topps became the exclusive card of Major League Baseball, part of its plan to bolster the sagging retail business. In October, it began to acquire and trade for the million-plus cards from dealers, shop owners and collectors. The cache is in a secure, temperature-controlled facility in Delaware; Friss joked that mothers coming within 10 miles of it will be slapped with a restraining order.

    “We didn’t tell them exactly what we were doing,” Friss said, referring to dealers and other outlets. “But it’s not unusual for us go out and buy back cards.” It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2001 by acquiring one of every card and inserting them in random packs.

    Alan Narz, a card shop owner contacted by Topps, said he had dealt with the company in prior buybacks. “This was by far the most in volume,” said Narz, who owns Big League Cards in Casselberry, Fla. He said he had some of what Topps needed in his store and knew where to get the rest. He would not say how much Topps paid him.

    He said that he had already seen the impact of the giveaway campaign. Redemption cards with the card codes are already selling on eBay.

    “The market clearly cares,” he said. “It’s interested.” He said that people inserting a code in the vague hope of getting a ’52 Mantle will probably be disappointed. “How can they not be?” he said. “But they might be quick to enter another code. The real measure of success is entering the codes.”

    Topps has hired Cal Ripken to be the spokesman for the campaign. As a kid, he wanted cards of his favorite Orioles, like Brooks Robinson, but once found himself with two dozen Tom Shopays. “I wanted Brooksie, Boog or Jim Palmer,” he said.

    He said he also collected the cards of the Cincinnati Reds, during their Big Red Machine days.

    “I was a front-runner,” he said.

    Ripken said his collection never got deep-sixed by his mother, Viola. But in describing the Ripken family dynamic, he gave a hint to the relationship between mothers and those little cards with players’ images on them. “In our house, Dad was a hoarder and I’m the same,” he said. “But moms have got to keep things livable.”

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  3. #2
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    My mom didn't throw mine away, I was smitten and gave my first collection to my then girlfriend's little brother. As so much teenage love does, the relationship ended with no return of the collection. Dang!
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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    I redeemed six of these yesterday. Most were terrible 1980s commons, but I also got a 2000 Billy Wagner autograph, so I was pretty happy with that.

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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    I have tons of baseball cards (mom never threw any away) but the problem is they continue to go down in value. Should have sold them all years ago. Funny thing is I just moved my home office from an upstairs bedroom to the basement (to get ready for our second child) and I had to move all my cards from my office closet to the basement. My wife was angling for me to throw some of them away.

    Uh, no way honey! Kept 'em all.

  6. #5
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    I left the hobby in 1992, so I don't know about anything that was produced since then. But I think I can safely say that most of what was produced from the early 80s to the early 90s is pretty-much worthless. Way too much supply for today's demand, and much of that never even opened.

    I'm elated that Topps is the exclusive producer of cards again, though. Hopefully that will reign in some of the proliferation we saw in the 90s and 00s.

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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    Battle Toad Historian thatcoolguy_22's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    I redeemed 3 cards last night:

    1974 Cecil Upshaw
    1980 Future Stars Astros (Baldwin, Ladd, Nicely)
    1989 German Jiminez

    I did not recognize a single name. This is much more interesting to me than pulling out some worthless insert on a 1:6 clip. Well played Topps
    "Last week I helped my friend stay put. It's a lot easier'n helpin' 'em move. I just went over to his house and made sure that he did not start to load **** into a truck."

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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    I bought my first box of Topps this weekend and grabbed a 1966 Gene Oliver. Guess I could have done worse.
    It's a cool idea, but I also like the set and the inserts itself. A few Bench, Frank Robinson and Joe Morgan insert cards in this year's set, so I find it quite cool.

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCinatit View Post
    I bought my first box of Topps this weekend and grabbed a 1966 Gene Oliver. Guess I could have done worse.
    It's a cool idea, but I also like the set and the inserts itself. A few Bench, Frank Robinson and Joe Morgan insert cards in this year's set, so I find it quite cool.
    2010 Topps is definitely a sweet set. It has something for everyone from the advanced collector to the six year old just discovering the joy of busting wax. I think good things are in store with the exclusive MLB license returning to Topps.

  10. #9
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    As one of my birthday presents, my mom and dad bought me a 10 pack box of 2010 Topps baseball cards. I just opened up my fourth pack and guess what I found - A 1973 Johnny Bench card!

    Here's a picture of it:

    Last edited by OnBaseMachine; 03-05-2010 at 08:56 PM.

  11. #10
    Oy Vey! Red in Chicago's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    Great card OBM. Happy B-day.

  12. #11
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    Thanks RIC.

  13. #12
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    Very nice card!

  14. #13
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    That's great, OBM - happy birthday!
    "I can make all the stadiums rock."
    -Air Supply

  15. #14
    Quiet Reverence Vada Pinson Fan's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    Very nice Bench card OBM! I suspect it made your birthday a bit better!
    Did you know Topps was purchased by ex-Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner's Tornante Co and private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC in 2007? It's true. I can hear the jokes now!

  16. #15
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: A Chance to Finally Forgive Mom for Throwing Out That Card

    New Reds card from Topps:



    Paying homage to the 1961 version:



    Pretty neat looking card.

    Rob Neyer weighs in on the card.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/po...-cardboard-god


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