One of the great things about having a hobby is that it is usually devoid of the customary hassles of everyday existence. You rarely run into any of life's "big questions" in card collecting, unless you're the self-analysis type, which by the way, I am.
But I had never encountered a moral test in my hobby until yesterday.
And, unfortunately, when faced with the decision, I took the low road.
I'm a bad, bad man.
Here is the deal.
A little over four months ago, I received some cards in the mail from Chris of Nachos Grande. They included some very cool items. One of the items that he sent was a redemption for a Matt Kemp Allen & Ginter framed autograph card. You see the very redemption card here in this post.
I instantly redeemed the card, and Topps told me that I would receive the Kemp auto by December 18th.
Much to my surprise, it didn't take until December to receive my card. It took two weeks. Here it is:
OK, now, fast-foward to the very recent past, specifically the weekend that just ended.
On Sunday, one day after December 18th, I received an email from Topps. It was a "late notify" email. I'm sure you're all familiar with them by now.
"This email is to inform you that the Topps Company is currently beyond the 15 week processing time allocated for the following redemption card ...
"Our staff is working diligently to process and ship your redemption card as soon as possible. Please continue to check your Online Redemption account for updates regarding the status of your card.
If you no longer wish to wait for the redemption card, please contact our Consumer Relations team in order to place a substitution request for a card of equal Beckett value."
The card that they were notifying me that was late was none other than the Matt Kemp A&G framed autograph, a card that I had received from them four months ago.
It took me awhile to figure this out. I kept staring at it thinking I was due some OTHER Kemp autograph card. Then I assumed that I didn't receive the Kemp autograph card, because why would Topps be sending me an email otherwise?
But I went and checked, and, sure enough, I have it already.
So, here comes the question:
What would you do?
I know what I did. I told Topps that I would like a substitute card of equal Beckett value.
I know. I know. I'm terrible. What's wrong with me?
I keep telling myself that it's for the good of the blog. It's an experiment to find out what happens when an autograph card that you shouldn't really have falls off the Topps autograph truck, and lands in your hands.
I hope that the experiment ends in me ending up with an A&G autograph, because if it does, I will be offering it up in a contest. I can't let that thing sit in my possession, not with my guilty conscience.
It's possible that I will get a response from Topps in two days that says, "we re-checked and we already sent you that card, dumb-ass. What are you trying to pull?"
Plus, I may have blown my cover already if Topps ever reads this thing and can connect the dots. And if that's the case, well, I had it coming. I guess Topps is never hiring me.
But the question remains:
What would you do?