State of the Giveaway Address
February 24th, 2010 by slangon

Now that the Million Card Giveaway has been up and running for over a week, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on my impressions of it, questions that have been answered, questions that have been raised, and what I think to expect going forward.

One of the biggest questions I had once this thing started was how exactly the codes were paired up with cards. Was each code predetermined which card it would redeem or was that decided at the moment of redemption? I guess it really doen’t matter too much, but I was just curious about it. If you’ve gone onto the site in the last few days, you probably know that over the weekend it seemed like they were giving away ’73 and ’75 cards almost exclusively. Now it seems like they’ve switched over to ’79 and ’80 cards. This all leads me to believe that the codes are determined at the time that you redeem them, unless it’s just a giant coincidence that everyone happened to be redeeming ’73 and ’75 codes over the last few days. It further leads me to believe that Topps is able to whisper in the ear of the Randomizer Robot that assigns cards to codes. How else would it know to give out nothing but early to mid 70’s cards for days on end? It has also pretty much made up my mind that any new code cards I get will not be getting redeemed until they go on a 50’s and 60’s spree.

I’ve also gotten a couple of trades under my belt. One of the original cards I unlocked was a 1966 Ken Harrelson card that I probably would’ve kept if it weren’t for the fact that I happened to already have it. As a matter of fact, I’ve owned that particular card since I was 11 or 12. It was one of the very first vintage cards I ever got. Luckily, I was able to work out a trade for a 1967 Ken Boyer that I needed for my ’67 Mets team set. I was also able to trade an ’85 Gary Redus for an ’85 Rafael Santana that I needed for my ’85 Mets team set, but I’m not convinced that I’ll actually be claiming that one when all is said and done. I still have a few early 70’s cards that I wouldn’t mind keeping, but also wouldn’t mind trading them out for some early 70’s Mets cards. The only one that I unlocked that I have a bad feeling will remain in my possession until Judgement Day is a 1988 Astros Team Leaders. I have offered it up for some late 80’s Mets scrubs who have managed to elude me so far, and I must say I actually felt a little bad offering it just because it’s such a bad card. But hey, maybe there’s a big Kevin Bass fan out there who happens to need it.

As I was making trade offers for that lousy Astros card, an idea planted itself in my head. I was wondering, if you had the patience, would it be possible to trade that card for something really cool, like a 50’s card, or even a 60’s or 70’s card of a star player? Obviously, no one in their right mind would trade that straight up, but could you trade that Astros card for something a little bit better, like an ’88 Jim Rice Turn Back the Clock? Then trade that for an ’86 Ozzie Smith. Then trade that for an ’84 Keith Hernandez. I guess you see where I’m going with this. It would be interesting to try, but I don’t think I have the patience to try it. I also can’t realistically see anyone wanting to trade anything for that card.

I’m very much starting to look at this whole giveaway as a marathon, not a sprint. Coming into it, I figured I’d unlock a couple of cards, get some clunkers, get some keepers, and then just get the one I wanted shipped to me, end of story. Wham bam, thank you ma’am. I’m starting to look at it as a more long term thing though, which could be fun.

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