Back before the playoffs started, when every moment was filled with possibility and baseball occupied my daily planner, I entered a World Series contest.
It was called the "3rd Annual Almost Easiest World Series Contest On The Web," and it's a good thing it was because I don't really enter anything willingly anymore unless some derivation of the word "easy" is in the title somewhere.
Even a contest, where I can win free CARDS, isn't incentive enough for me. I've actually read about contests to win free cards in which all I have to do is enter my name, and I click off the post and do not enter. I don't know why I do that. Sometimes I just can't be bothered with someone saying they're going to give me free cards. The nerve of that person.
So, Collector's Crack put up his Almost All-Time Easiest Postseason contest and I made the most feeble entry attempt in recorded contest history. Entrants were supposed to guess which two teams would reach the World Series, how many games it would last, and then some sort of tiebreaker. I think it was number of commercial breaks containing an ad for Cialis.
At that early stage of the postseason, I already figured the Red Sox would be one of the two teams. And my guess for the other team was probably the Cardinals. Maaaaaaaaybe the Dodgers, but they're my team and you know how much confidence I have in them. But instead of picking "Red Sox and Dodgers" or ... um, the thing that actually happened, Red Sox and Cardinals, I picked:
I honestly don't know what's wrong with me.
So, the Indians were wasted in no time and the Pirates put up a struggle, but honestly who really thought they had a legitimate shot? And I was out of that contest almost instantly without even putting up the slightest fraction of a fight.
The contest continued on without me. And a few weeks later it was time to declare a winner. I read the post enough to see that a Red Sox fan who picked the Red Sox won the contest and I noted the appropriateness of that and I was on my way.
A few days later, I wrote a post about repacks and Mark, the operator of the Easiest Playoff Contest On Earth, left the following comment on it:
I stared and stared at that comment as if it was written in Tibetan. "Contest? What is he talking about? I didn't win any contest."
It didn't register for a long time until that mention of '69 Topps finally tripped a wire in my deteriorating brain. I went back to his "contest winner" post and this time READ THE WHOLE THING LIKE I WANT MY READERS TO DO WITH MY POSTS JEEEZ YOU STUPID HYPOCRITE OWL!
And there it was:
I was the door prize winner. Even though I didn't pimp the contest -- I told you I didn't try on this thing -- I won anyway. Even though I picked the Indians and the Pirates, I won anyway. I couldn't even go to the effort of figuring out I won. Someone had to tell me. And even THEN, I wasn't sure. But I won anyway.
That, readerites, is how to win a contest without trying.
So let's see the goodies:
First the 1969s that alerted me to a fact that I had won a contest. These are great because I have about 60 or so '69s, and a number of others have passed in and out of my hands over the years, but all of these are new to my possession.
The Marshall card is especially great because -- speaking of no effort -- he may have done the least ever to get a rookie trophy on his card.
Here are his stats for the 1968 season. Keep in mind he is an outfielder:
Bob Gibson was making a laughing-stock out of even the rookie trophy in 1968.
The rest of the cards were some very welcome Dodgers. Here are two from this year's Update. Uribe just hit Nolasco's pitch a long way.
These are even better 2013 cards. Minis of Ellis and Koufax. Weeeeeeee! I started feeling a little guilty about the lack of A&G I've purchased this year, so I got myself a blaster tonight. It was pretty horrible.
This makes me feel much better about that blaster. This is my first relic of Adrian Gonzalez. It will receive a place of honor, even though I still don't understand why there are 3 or 4 different looks to relics in A&G this year.
Mark didn't just stop at 2013 Dodgers. Here is the invisible man Chad Billingsley facing off against the journeyman Jake Peavy from two teams ago.
These are from some sort of 1994 Pinnacle boxed side set called "Power Surge." I hate it when people ask me to remember '90s cards. I feel like everyone around me is letting out a nostalgic sigh while I say, "wait a minute, 1994 Pinnacle had a boxed insert set?"
But I'm so happy I never had to waste a moment's worth of "I DON'T HAVE THESE" on these cards.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is my first autographed card of any kind of a football player.
Cavil played just a single year for the Bills in 2000, but as a Buffalo fan, I do remember him. That's enough to be happy to have an autograph of his, even though he doesn't seem to want to write out "Kwame."
So, that was a pretty cool bunch of cards that I received from Mark.
I sure do appreciate them and as thanks I finally got a package out to him this afternoon!
Given what I did for this contest, these cards are really more than he should have done.
I actually should have been punished for my behavior in that contest not rewarded.
I should have been given a booby prize of some sort. Sixty different cards of Joe Oliver, or a bunch of expired lottery tickets, or several dozen shredded Walmart circulars, or a few packs of some old junk wax set like ... I don't know ... maybe 1990 Fleer ...