Baylor sends potential Robert Griffin III collectibles to Heisman Trophy voters

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

Colleges and universities have interesting ways of promoting their athletes. Usually, they put out press releases on feel-good stories or how their players helped a charity.

I’ve seen billboards touting football players looking for attention for a Heisman candidate.

This method was new to me.

At the start of the college football season, I got a letter at work. While the return address said Baylor University, the envelope felt familiar in my hands. I could immediately tell there was a top loader inside the white envelope – I was OK with the plain-white-envelope treatment since I didn’t order a card from eBay.

Baylor sent me a trading card of Robert Griffin III. This was just the first of five the school would send me – and I’m assuming other Heisman voters got them throughout the year, too.

The cards read like most trading cards. A nice picture on front with a few statistics or more on the back. The second card in the series features pull-out quotes from various media entities talking about RG3.

“Allow me to introduce the Heisman voters to Robert Griffin III,” reads one quote from Trey Wingo.

The funny thing is that when I got these, I was more excited by the top loader and penny sleeve than the actual card. I took the cards out of the envelope, threw them in a drawer and forgot about them.

Until Thursday.

I went back to the office after being out for several days. I go to my mailbox and there are two more envelopes addressed from Baylor. Inside were two more cards, including “The Third’s line of defense” beauty.

Honestly, I didn’t even think about the cards while voting for the Heisman, but RG3 got my first-place vote.

I went back into my junk drawer at work and found two more cards. I remember throwing one of them away earlier this year when I needed to use the top loader it came in.

Now, I have four cards from what I believe is a five-card set.

I’ve had schools send me other types of pieces to “help” voters in their choices. Anything from 8×11 ads to notebooks with the player’s face on the front.

If Griffin wins the Heisman on Saturday night, how collectible do these cards become? I believe they were only sent out to Heisman voters. Does that mean there are only 700 or so in existence?

So far, I haven’t seen any of these pop up on eBay, but I’ll be watching when the winner is announced in New York City.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.


  1. Dave Elkjar
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    You threw one of the cards away? Are you sure you’re a collector Susan? I have every promo card or freebie that I ever got, dating back to the early 80’s when I got back into the hobby. Nothing gets thrown out.


  2. David Johnson
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe you would throw one of these cards away because you needed the top loader. That seems pretty foolish when you consider how rare these cards probably are and how much they might go for if put up for auction (especially as a complete set). There were probably plenty of other media people that threw the cards out, so the cards might be even more limited than you think.

  3. chrisolds
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    To some people, collectibles.

    To other people, junk mail.

  4. Dave Elkjar
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Well, last time I looked Chris, Susan writes a blog about sports cards and other collectibles, not a piece for Good Housekeeping, so throwing the card away makes no sense at all. No matter what the reason.


  5. chipper
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    trent richardson deserves the award and will win it.

  6. Greg
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    This is why women should not be allowed to leave the house!

  7. chrisolds
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Dave & Greg: Really? Stay classy …

  8. Susan Lulgjuraj
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    If this were a piece for Good Housekeeping, I would have written about how I could use the cards to make a nice planter.

  9. Dave Elkjar
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    If you had used the cards to make a nice planter Susan at least you would have put to them to some use, as opposed to throwing one away. The idea that you thought it was of no value and deserved to be thrown out is what bugs me. You write articles for a sports card collecting hobby publication yet you throw out an example of the very topic you write about? So really, it is just a piece of garbage that deserves to be trashed? I don’t think you really believe that and would hope given a second chance you’d keep the card instead. The parents of a generation ago who threw out their child’s cards were operating from an uninformed position; that should no longer be the case.


  10. A_P
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry about it, Susan. The article is fine, and no one can tell you to do with your property. Really, not everything with a player’s picture is collectible. These things are snail mail SPAM and should have all been thrown out. I also don’t figure comments about what women “should be doing” belong here – much less considering those dispensing them have much experience on the subject.

  11. kevin hurt
    Posted December 11, 2011 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    dang dave there just base cards that they made tons of Ill bet. love RG3 though so I would have kept them in hopes of getting an auto on them. This kid beat ou and texas hands down hopes hes as good in the nfl.

  12. Posted December 11, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    The “parents of a generation ago” were operating out of a deep sense of responsibility to future generations of collectors, well beyond your narrow, myopic, selfish motives Mr.Elkjar. They had a vision of the collecting landscape that was far beyond what anyone could comprehend at that time, let alone today. Had they not sacrificed pounds and pounds of pulp and paper, had they not selflessly fallen on the sword of eventual scorn from from their children, had they not undertaken this task of Billeticide, the word “scarcity” would not exist in the lexicon of collectors.
    I put forth to you that Ms.Lulgjuraj is such a visionary. I put forth that Ms.Lulgjuraj has been tasked with a responsibility that, quite convincingly displayed by yourself, is not left to mere humans. From the moment Sy Berger sent case after case of his personally designed Mickey Mantle rookie cards to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, the “Knights Templar” of Baseball Card Collecting have been tasked with ensuring our cards are scarce.
    Mr.Elkjar, scorn not those whose burden we cannot comprehend. Simply extend your hand to the bill of your cap and offer up a salute and a “Pip,pip!!” to Ms.Lulgjuraj. Guarantor of “Future Value”.

  13. chipper
    Posted December 11, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    cut her some slack, she’s from new jersey

  14. tom
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    hey Susan can you send me a couple or Chris.Hey matters not to me. I guess being at Beckett this stuff might pile up occasionaly so hey guys pass it along to me. I’m always avalible to take the load off. see my email
    thanks tom w

  15. Steven Cutbirth
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Your missing the first, and in my opinion, the best of the cards. Oh and it ended up being a 6 card set.

  16. pam konigsberg
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I want to get my grandson a memnto of RG# a t-shirt copy of jersey waterbottle something poster?

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