Inside the Topps Million Card Giveaway …

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So Topps launched its Million Card Giveaway on Monday at www.toppsmillion.com, where slowly but surely collectors who found one of the contest cards in packs of 2010 Topps baseball cards could enter their code and win a card from the past.

Beckett Media‘s Box Busters review box yielded six of these contest cards, so armed with their trusty codes I ventured forth into the wild frontier of redeeming them … what did Beckett receive?

Card No. 1 … 1988  John Tudor

Card No. 2 … 2005  Ichiro Suzuki

Card No. 3 … 1966  Bob Shaw

Card No. 4 … 1976  Bob Coluccio

Card No. 5 … 1993 Mark McLemore

Card No. 6 …  1998  Francisco Cordova season highlights card

What a haul. They’re sitting in the Beckett account where they can be requested for delivery (for a fee), traded or … sit.

I got caught up in code-entering mania and launched my own personal account to see what I got from my pair of cards … a 2000 Orlando Cabrera and a 1972 Reggie Cleveland.

And then, once the time-out issues on the site subsided (it’s been a busy day there), I started poking around to see what others have found … and it appears some collectors have found plenty…

Since you can offer trades for cards that others have found, that means one can search for cards. Anyone with an account can search for any player or set — which yields some interesting results.

As of 7:30 p.m. Central time, five Mickey Mantle cards — four vintage — had been pulled. A 1956, two 1958 All-Stars and a 1962 highlights card. Seven Hank Aarons — a 1962, a 1970 All-Star, a 1971, two 1972s (standard, plus in action), a 1973 and a 1975.

How ’bout Willie Mays? One 1962, two 1962 All-Stars and a pair of 1973s.

Ted Williams? How about a 1954! Along with a 1969, a 1970 and a 1971.

But what about Pete Rose, who has been banished from an MLB Properties-licensed set since 1989? He’s been found 170-plus times — though most of those appear to be cards from 1987. (Though one 1966 card has been found.)

How about cards from the famed 1952 set? So far, 78 cards have been pulled … the most notable being an Eddie Mathews, a George Kell, Larry Doby, Roy Campanella. Not some bad hauls there… Mathews is a $10,000 RC, while the Campy is a mere $2,500.

This sounds like a promotion that will be sparking some interest, doesn’t it?

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

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13 comments

  1. Don 17 February, 2010 at 06:04

    this morning i registered and tried to enter my 8 codes for the Million Card Givaway. I enterd the first 5 with no problems. However, my last three codes gave this response:

    Invalid Code

    Sorry, this code has already been used.

    Now, I know the codes must be valid because i got them in was packs
    from Target and until this morning, I never attempted to enter them in the promotion. Also, they codes were entered correctly.

  2. SEAN 17 June, 2010 at 16:02

    This started off as a great promotion and a way for Topps to re-connect with collectors it lost in last 15+ years.
    When I learned that the codes aren’t tied to specific cards but random I was disappointed. Then when they included the Strasburg card I thought how disingenious; I’m pretty sure my Mom didn’t throw away the 2010 Strasburg card nor ANYONE’s Mom.
    Maybe ppl @ Topps are just bipolar or forgetful; I’m pretty sure the tagline is “the cards you’re mom threw away”
    Cheers to Topps for brainstorming & executing a cool promotion
    Jeers to Topps for adding the Strasburg card
    ToppsMillion.com barely works anyway how hard would it be to create another poorly constructed website for a Strasburg promo.

  3. Jeff 7 January, 2011 at 16:41

    I had them mail me a few cards that I got through the Million Card Giveaway from the mid and late 1950’s. Kind of bummed since they are all in miserable shape. Several bent or folded badly. Anyone else have this issue?

  4. Kristofer Benham 29 July, 2019 at 10:31

    I wish I would have known this article was here back in 2010. I believe the Larry Doby you mentioned was mine. Like many collectors, I was waiting for the website issues to clear up to keep punching in codes as soon as possible, and I landed that card early. I was extremely happy, with it being a 1952, as it allowed my entire order to be shipped for free. Once I knew that, I sandbagged as many cards as I could, trading the newer cards for older cards as I went along. I was extremely happy with the condition of the cards that I got that first year. The later years of this program saw a drastic decrease in quality of the vintage cards for me, but I did land a 1952 Bill Howerton in 2011, so I had a pretty good experience with this promotion overall.

    I am actually holding that Doby in my hand, finally getting it ready for Ebay 9 years later. As I was doing research for the program to refresh my memory, I stumbled upon this article, and figured I would comment to give a “what are they doing now” style of testimony. Lol.

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