EXCLUSIVE: Topps adds Darvish, Cespedes autos to Golden Giveaway


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The Topps Golden Giveaway just got a little more lustrous.

The company announced on Thursday that the code cards found in packs of 2012 Topps can now unlock cards of two of the most talked-about rookies in MLB so far this season — Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

And not only that, they are autographed.


Darvish, a star in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and ace of Team Japan in the most recent World Baseball Classic, is 1-0 with a 7.94 ERA after this first start. Meanwhile, Cespedes, who was a star for Cuba in the WBC, is batting .273 with three home runs and seven RBI after his first seven games. (Need a Darvish checklist or OPG? Click here. Want Cespedes? Click here.)

Both players will be added as standard cards in the program effective immediately and there will be 25 signed copies of each player’s card to be found as well as collectors await both players’ official Rookie Card debuts in Topps products that are forthcoming. (Darvish presently has autograph redemption cards that are strong sellers and will appear on the next Beckett Baseball Hot List.)

The Golden Giveaway code cards are found one per HTA jumbo pack of Series 1 Topps, six per hobby box as well as in retail packs. They can unlock unsigned diecut cards like these two, 24-karat gold cards or virtual coins that can be amassed for other prizes.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. RJ51 12 April, 2012 at 11:25

    30 codes entered and 1 card card unlocked. It’s not worth it this year. I liked the first two promotions a whole lot better than this one.

  2. Shad 12 April, 2012 at 13:01

    I like how they wait until after the buzz has died down to add new and better prizes to try and get people to start buying more product.

    I’ve had decent luck getting Jim Palmer and Duke Snider cards out of maybe 15-20 codes

  3. Keith S 12 April, 2012 at 16:52

    60+ codes entered and 3 cards. Luckily able to trade for cards I wanted. Definitely not as much interest in this promotion as last two. Got some decent low condition cards out of the million card giveaway. Got a diamond card (common) out of diamond giveaway. Was able to trade for lots of cards that I wanted to add to my collection and minimally pay for shipping due to prizes being redeemed and the like. Digital coins don’t do it for me, knowing that all they are really good for is taking up my time and nothing tangible comes out of it. I’ll probably redeem the codes that I do get the rest of the year but I won’t be going out of my way to purchase extra product or more codes.

    Honestly, anyone could see something like this coming. Remember the Strasburg card. I would bet that there will be 2-3 more of these “surprise” cards over the next 6 months and maybe more.

  4. Ben 12 April, 2012 at 22:42

    Just an awful promotion this year. What really pisses me off is that unlike the Prime 9 cards, the Golden Giveaway code cards count as one of the included cards in the pack. I know Topps’ excuse is that they have numbers on them so they’re a “collectible” set but that’s BS. At least the last couple of years’ code card promotions gave you something for your code but this year’s is just virtual junk. Real money paid for virtual junk.

  5. Back in the Game 13 April, 2012 at 21:00

    I’ve been out of the card collecting game for almost 20 years. A few weeks ago after scouring through my parents basement, I found all of my old cards from the 80’s and 90’s. I decided to try it out again, and bought a few value boxes of 2012 Topps. I just entered 1 of 13 codes…….and won a Yu Darvish auto! I’m sure there are several collectors out there who don’t like the online promo, but Topps just added a returning collector!

  6. JDN 13 April, 2012 at 22:38

    NO BS I just redeemed one. It is suppose to come in 9-12 biz days. I bought my first 2012 Topps Hobby box and I just started punching in my GG codes. Next thing I know I’m trading in 3 Player Coins for a prize and it ends up being the Yoenis Cespedes Auto. I usually pull whatever Auto’s from Hobby boxes. I guess I finally got lucky this time. BTW I’ve only punched in 9 GG codes so far…

  7. frank 1 May, 2012 at 18:04

    2012 topps was garbage i have been a topps fan for over 30 years this year was horrible i pulled nothing worth more than $15 and got nothing for my 200 plus code cards it will be the last time it should be at least achieveable. online crap got 13 cards out of well over 200 codes on topp of that mailed in hundreds of wrappers only to be told supplies are exhausted. I really feel i got scammed for the first time i expect it from other card companies not topps they are supposed to be the trend setters. they should be ashamed i had $ 2000 put up for series 2 cases forget it ill just buy the cards i want on ebay i get to pick and choose.
    i will say the 2012 ring set is amazing i have entire set good investement. one good thing from topps im sure i can save over $1200 for series 2 and still get cards i want. im done with topps boxes.

  8. chris 25 July, 2012 at 20:15

    I requested delivery of my two Darvish cards (not autographed, at least I think so) on July 12; both envelopes came today, and to my utter astonishment, Topps substituted Cespedes for both, with zero explanation. This means one of two things: either my order was sent to someone else or Topps has a surprise for me, but again, there was no explanation for the substitution. Phone call to Topps in the morning….

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