Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thanks a million

I'm gonna do something that you don't see many bloggers do. I'm going to tell Topps "thanks."

The Million Card Giveaway thing is over -- at least in its 2010 form -- and I am not ashamed to say that I had a ball with that thing.

Sure, I didn't use the trade function as rabidly as some. Sure the "free" cards weren't really free. Sure, there was a case here and there of glitches and bitches. But aside from the opening few days when Topps was really trying to prevent anyone from using its new creation, I enjoyed it. Obviously, others did, too, or else Topps wouldn't be resurrecting it in the form of the Diamond Giveaway site.

I ordered cards from the MCG three separate times. Each time no complaints. Maybe I'm lucky. Maybe I'm not that picky. But all the cards have looked cool to me.

Just to illustrate -- either my nonpickiness or my gullibleness (both of those are not real words) -- I'm going to show the MCG cards I received in the mail yesterday. And I'm going to compare them to the photo of the card that Topps presented when I redeemed the card. This is not in order to rip Topps, or claim false advertising, or rail against the evil monopolist. This is simply a fun little exercise for me. I get a kick out of it, and that's all that matters. I am not the Lorax. I do not speak for the trees.

First card:

George C. Scott. But you can call him Boomer (instead of that other hosebag with the nicknames). This is a fee-NOM-i-nale card. But this is just the photo of my redeemed card. Here is the real thing:

OK, we've got some smearage -- which is an official printing term -- along the "W" in "Brewers" that continues down through the left side of Scott's helmet. There is also a bent upper right corner and the card is miscut in the opposite fashion as the Topps redemption photo.

Do I care?

HELL no. It's a full-frontal view of Scott wearing his necklace of second basemen's teeth. I could never be mad at this card.

Second card:

It's Ed Kirkpatrick, who sadly was involved in an accident that paralyzed him for life and recently passed away. I love his look of disdain amid the puffy clouds.

Here is the actual card. Other than a hint of a smudge at top left, this card is perfect. A perfect 1972 Topps card, sent to me by Topps. Awesome. Yeah, there were shipping costs. But I also pay too much to buy a candy bar in the vending machine at work, and you don't see me writing blog posts about it. (Oops, I just did).

Third card:

Here is the second '72 I received. You have to enjoy the In Action cards, especially since this photo was taken the instant before Glenn Beckert crumpled to the ground because he dislocated his right shoulder on a practice swing.

This is the card I received. It took more of a beating than the others. It's off-center (although not as off-center as the scan shows). There is a bent corner at the top left and soft corners all around. A little scuffed up. But really, would you want your '72 any other way?

Fourth card:

Here is the card that received more trade action than any other card I had in my portfolio. Gibson did not have much of a major league career. If you look at all five Topps cards that he had, four of them shows him in this exact same position ('68 and '69 are the same photo with the '69 picture cropped). Not exciting material.

But I received so many stupid trade requests for this card that I started dismissing even semi-sane ones just because I was determined to get this card of someone I never knew existed before the MCG. No you CAN'T have my card of that, um, guy, you know that guy, with the, um, mitt.

Anyway, the actual card:

Absolutely nothing wrong with this card. Even the corners are sharp, which still throws me off when I see that on cards from the '60s.

Fifth card:

This is the card that I looked forward to receiving the most, because it's a Dodger and it has that groovy yellow rookie star. You'll note that the Topps image is off-center on the left.

That's the actual card. The worst part about it is my inept scanning ability. Otherwise, it's severely off-center, but on the right side, instead of the left. Considering everything else that could be wrong with a card from the wood panel set, it's really not bad at all.

Those are all the cards I ordered. It's still killing me that I left a few 1979 Topps in the till, but I might end up getting them before everything expires.

But if I don't, I'm satisfied. Three orders, no complaints. And, best of all, it was fun playing the MCG game. That's the part of the whole thing that I think got overlooked.

So, thanks, Topps for a little bit a fun.

But don't get all smug about it. I mean more smug than you're already are. There are plenty of people out there willing to cut you down to size. And sometimes I join them.


  1. I loved the MCG and I look forward to start trading in the Diamond version. The condition of the cards were secondary to me. My cards ranged from 1954 to 1986 and I was pleased with every single one that I redeemed or traded for.
    Thanks Topps!

  2. I had fun with it, too, especially after I set a goal and then started trading more.

    How much did it cost to get five cards shipped to you?

  3. $5.04

    In the right situation, I probably could have gotten them for cheaper on my own, but that's not the point.

  4. I'm making one last ditch effort to trade my rejects for a 1979 card I need. I'll probably order mine on Saturday. I'm hoping the total is under twenty bucks.

  5. Night Owl,
    I'm not as on top of the blogs as you are. Do you know if anyone has written about where Topps sourced the cards for the MCG site?
    I've heard a few rumors that they went with familiar card dealers (i.e. Kit Young, Burbank Sportscards, Dave and Adam's) but I haven't seen anything concrete to prove it.

  6. I've heard the same thing about the source of the cards. I'm with you Owl, I had a lot of fun with the MCG site. I haven't ordered any of my cards yet, but I will be soon.

  7. I had fun with the site also. After I redeemed my first 50s card I checked it every day for weeks to see if anyone accepted my trade proposals for a 50s Red Sox that I needed. I am in no way worried about what kind of shape they are in when they get here. I only had 2 cards shipped a 57 and a 72. If you saw what kind of shape all the 57s and 72s I already have are in you will understand why the condition doesn't matter.