My First Redemption, in Hand
December 21st, 2010 by slangon

You may remember a week or two ago I had written about how I was looking on Topps Redemption Tracking Interwebatory Home Page ThingieĀ© and saw that one of the 2 redemptions that I redeemed had been shipped. Well, fast forward a few days and I find a small manilla envelope in my mailbox, mixed in with all the random bills and Christmas cards.

(By the way, can people please stop sending holiday cards that are covered with glitter. That crap gets everywhere and there’s nothing more embarrassing than for a dude to go to the beer store and have the lady behind the counter tell you “By the way, do you know that you have glitter all over your face?”)

But I digress. Initially I was a little confused as to what it was since 1) I forgot about the redemption cards, 2) I hadn’t ordered any other cards so I wasn’t expecting any packages, and 3) the return address was for a place called Tristar Fulfillment Services or some such thing. Obviously, being a card collector, when I see a manilla envelope, I immediately think cards, and when I see something called Tristar Fulfillment Services, I immediately think of Tristar. So considering that although I do own a handful of Tristar cards, I’ve never actually bought a pack of their product. I’ve gotten all my Tristar cards either via trade or eBay or someone just giving them to me.

But once again, I digress. So there I am, standing in my kitchen with this envelope in my hand, trying to figure out what the hell it could be. After un-bundling the little boy (which if you have a 2 year, you know how long that can take, especially what with the temperatures being what they have been in the northeast these days), eating dinner, putting said little boy to bed, and settling down in front of the boob tube with a frosty cold beverage, I set about to find out just what the hell Tristar Fulfillment Services sent my way.

Turns out, it was the Red Hot Rookie Redemption that I got in the box of 2010 Topps Series 2 that I busted over the summer. Right after I pulled the redemption card, I was pretty excited. I had never pulled a redemption card before, and even though I’ve read more nightmare stories about dealing with redemptions than I have good stories, I thought it was pretty cool. Also at the time that I pulled it, I don’t think that Topps had announced what players would make up the Red Hot Rookies set, so I had it in my head that maybe it could be Ike Davis, which would be awesome. After I realized that Ike had a rookie redemption in 2010 Finest, that balloon was burst. The thought did cross my mind that it could be Stephen “The Next Coming of Christ” Strasburg, but that still didn’t do much for me. I never did catch the Strasburg fever. As a matter of fact, all the hoopla has kind of soured me on him. Long story short, once I realized that there was zero chance of the card being Ike, I kind of stopped checking who the redemptions were and put the whole thing out of my head.

God-dammit. I’ve digressed again. Here’s what was in the envelope.

2010 Topps Red Hot Rookie Redemptions #4 Mike Stanton

It’s Florida Marlins rookie outfielder extraordinaire Giancarlo Cruz Michael “Mike” Stanton. Although it’s not Ike and I’ve grown to hate the Marlins over the last few seasons, I suppose I could’ve done worse. I actually really like the photo on the front of the card. I like the way that everyone is watching the trajectory of the ball that Mike just launched presumably over the wall. Assuming that that ball did leave the yard, I’d have to say that this photo was from July 7, 2010. That’s pretty clearly a Dodger behind the plate and Stanton is in his road greys. Mike hit 2 dingers against the Dodgers, both of which were at Dodger Stadium, both of which were hit to left field. On July 6, he hit one off of Vicente Padilla. On July 7, he hit one off of Hiroki Kuroda. I though I could narrow it down by seeing who was the home plate umpire those 2 games and seeing what number they wear. That didn’t work out because on the 6th, Ed Hickox was the home plate ump, and he wears #15. The next night, Fieldin Culbreth was behind home, and he wears #25. What clinched was looking at photos of those 2 games. On the 6th, the Marlins were wearing black tops with grey pants, whereas on the 7th, they wore all grey. Mystery solved. I love playing that game.

Anyway, as you can see, apart from the fancy rainbow border up front and the RHR numbering, the design is the standard 2010 Topps design. It’s not my favorite design ever, but it’s also not the worst. One complaint I do have, and this is more a general complaint than specifically about this card, is that they could’ve used a different picture on the back. It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mind when they recycle the same picture, especially in this day and age of digital photography where you have 100’s of pictures to choose from. I mean, how much cooler would this card have been if the front had the very cool picture of Mike watching the ball sail over the left field wall and the back was a picture of him high fiving his teammates after circling the bases?

So there you have it. My very first redemption card. If there’s any Fish fans out there looking to unload an Ike Davis card, give a holler.

By the way, what were you doing at age 17?

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