You pick who wins our Sandy Koufax autograph

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

We recently found a redemption card for a Sandy Koufax autograph in a pack of 2012 Topps Tier One baseball cards and asked you guys what you would do to win it.

Now, after nearly 150 entries, we want you to pick the winner. We have narrowed it down to three:

Greg Perez, who visited Dodger Stadium and recruited former Dodgers Billy Ashley and Kenny Lofton for their support.

Ryan Kalmoe, who sang a Justin Bieber song for the world to see.

Gregory Zakwin, a diehard Dodgers fan who documented his quest for a Matt Kemp autograph and promised he’d do even more for Koufax.

Perez’s video is above, while the others’ entries are after the jump. Check them out and cast your vote. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Central time on Aug. 7, 2012 — the 40th anniversary of Koufax’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

Who wins the Koufax?

  • Greg Perez, who visited Dodger Stadium seeking support (67%, 231,820 Votes)
  • Gregory Zakwin, the dedicated Dodgers fan (33%, 112,534 Votes)
  • Ryan Kalmoe, who sang Bieber (0%, 1,055 Votes)

Total Voters: 345,411

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Greg Perez wrote:

I have been collecting cards since I was 10 and I have been collecting autographs since I was 18. I am now 31. What would I do for a Sandy Koufax autograph? I would go to spring training and to Dodger games just to try to get him to sign for me. Luck has never been on my side as I’ve never ran into him at either. So I live an hour and a half or so from Dodger Stadium. I would actually go to a Dodger vs. Mets game on June 29 to see if I could get some support so could pick my video that I made at Dodger Stadium. While I did not run into Koufax, I did run into some folks that may sound familiar, Billy Ashley, Kenny Lofton and Fernando Valenzuela. Check out my six-hour stadium visit. Its just a video under three minutes. While I couldn’t get many employees on video, stadium policy I guess, I did get some former players on it. In case you can’t hear who my favorite Dodger is besides Koufax, it’s Andre Ethier because he is very fan-friendly and he decided to stay in L.A.

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Ryan Kalmoe wrote:

What would I do for a Sandy Koufax autograph? The most despicable thing I can possibly imagine: attend every Justin Bieber concert for the remainder of my life.

Now, on to more pleasant things, my favorite Dodger of all times is easily Van Lingle Mungo. Anyone who is as notorious for fighting and drinking as Mungo has to make the top of the list. Being retired Navy, I can deeply appreciate what Mungo was doing and to a lesser degree why. Plus, what a great last name, Mungo!

Challenge accepted. Please find the enclosed link to my YouTube Video where I have taken steps to prove my dedication to what I would do for the Koufax autograph. I’ve even upped the ante: I am now a Bieleber.


Gregory Zakwin wrote:

Ok, I’ll start with the second question. My favorite Dodger is The Bison, Matt Kemp, with Clayton Kershaw a very close second (I’m anxiously awaiting all of Kemp’s autos going live this year). I’ve been extremely fortunate to meet both numerous times, which is more than I can say for the great Sandy Koufax, whom I have never met. But would do a TON to meet.

I would camp out for weeks, nay months, to meet the great Koufax. I once camped out 14 hours to meet Kemp, but Koufax is just on an entirely different stratosphere. I would fight tooth and nail to hold my spot against the hoards of Dodgers fans that cut in line now just to meet guys like Uribe, Loney or Javy Guerra. With Sandy, it would be war. I would miss school, work, and whatever social life I currently have to meet a true living legend and a man with such mass appeal across all walks of life. As a Dodgers fan, fan of baseball history, and Jew, it’s basically the holy grail of athletes.

I would grow a beard during said waiting time in solidarity with my fellow fans. It would be my Dandy Sandy playoff beard. And it would be magnificent. But not nearly as magnificent as the moment when I would get to shake Sandy’s hand, get a picture with the lefty, and politely ask for a sweet-spot signed ball to display on my mantle.

Right next to that beard.

And that’s just what I’d do for an in-person autograph and the experience of a lifetime (next to being trapped on a desert island with Alison Brie, Kate Upton, Erin Hawksworth, and nothing but time on our hands). For a certified autograph on that slick white redemption cardboard that will eventually be produced, well, I would go into vast detail about how I would do the impossible to win a Sandy Signature: follow the rules you’ve laid down to a tee.

I don’t have a video of my campout for Kemp, but I did write about it (link here). And I can assure you a Koufax Campout Post would be a gillyun times more epic.

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


  1. joe
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I did not watch his clip because I am under doctors orders. But, any grown man who would willing listen too let alone memorize any Justine Bieber songs should get this card.

  2. Kevin
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    It was close between the two Gregs, but I chose Zakwin due to his attempts to get such an autograph. Celebs don’t impress me enough.

    As far as the other guy, I just don’t believe he would go to every Bieber concert for life. Anyone can make a video singing his songs, but if I believed he would actually go see Bieber, repeatedly, I would have voted for him.

  3. Cory Furlong
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Ryan gets my vote as uncomfortable as it was it was to watch. Good luck to all.

  4. chuck
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    vote for Gregory Zakwin he cares the bieber guy was obviusly reading the song off the computer screen witch shows no dedication he could at least memerize it and i would sing it better and the Greg Perez said his favorite player was Eithier so let him get him and let Gregory Zakwin get his Super Athlete auto Sandy Koufax

  5. Bleeds Dodger Blue
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Vote Zawkin!! Vote often!! I endured the campout with him for Matt Kemp’s autograph!! He’s a great, crazy guy and he deserves this auto!!

  6. Posted July 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I will say that I know Greg Zakwin and, of course, I am biased toward him. So he gets my vote. That being said, I don’t have a problem with Greg Perez either, because they both, in my opinion, really put some work in for their respective projects. Zakwin documented just how far he would go to get an autograph from one of his favorite Dodgers, and Perez went out to Dodger Stadium and put together a video package about his quest. The one thing those two have in common, apart from their first names, is that their project DIRECTLY relate to the Dodgers, and their love for the team. Ryan, though, just sang a Justin Bieber song. Now, it may have been painful for him to do, and for the rest of us to watch, but in my opinion, it doesn’t tie in directly with the Dodgers. Making fun of a Canadian kid’s music may get you hits on YouTube, but it doesn’t identify you as a die-hard Dodgers fan any more than me singing Celine Dion hits into my webcam identifies me as a die-hard Cubs fan. (Hey, whatever I do in my own free time is MY business. Don’t judge.)

    That being said, VOTE FOR ZAKWIN!!!

  7. Ryan Kalmoe
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Haters gonna hate. Contest wasn’t “Are you a diehard Dodger’s fan?” it was “What would you do for a Koufax autograph?” So if you’re voting for the diehard Dodger’s fan, vote for one of the other guys. I’ll be the first to tell you that I am a Twins fan. Didn’t know that excluded you from contests open to everyone.

    That being said, you’re right, singing Bieber doesn’t tie into the Dodgers at all. Doesn’t have to. That wasn’t the point. The point was of the 150 people that entered, no one else had the cojones to do something ridiculous, off the wall, or embarrassing and put it up on the web for all to see. I’ve invited Chris Olds to come to a Bieber concert with me. He’s respectfully declined. If anyone wants to go with me on the 20th of October, the Biebs himself will be at the Target Center. I’ll film myself going to that and post it up if I have to. All you have to do is Bielieve.

    I’m glad the two Gregs have a lot of support. It should be fun to see how the voting turns out. I for one had fun with the contest, so I guess I’ve already won.

  8. Kevin
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Greg Z for the win!!!

    I have known Greg of about a year and he is a solid dude and a MASIVE Dodgers fan and collector. The Koufax will be cared for like a young baby child in his hands.

  9. Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to thank Chris Olds and Beckett for the opportunity and wish my two fellow contestants good luck! And Ryan, I think you have every right to be in the contest.

    But I think the fact that you’re legitimately buying votes is in really poor taste.

    Just my two cents.

  10. Kevin
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Well Ryan, when you pay people to make multiple votes for you, I’m sure you will win anyway.


  11. Kevin
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, Ryan is a fellow Twins fan!?

    Now I am torn

  12. Arno
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Bieber boy is buying votes. You going to stand for that, Olds? Oh wait, of course you will. Show that you and Beckett have some credibility for once.

  13. Posted July 9, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I’d like to vote for Greg Z, but I can’t find where to vote.

  14. Jason Jones
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    what kind of contest is this. I thought it was to reply and see who your favorite player. not to show videos of people who actualy have a chance to win…… what kind of contest is this…… not fair.

  15. chrisolds
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    It wouldn’t be a collector contest without a dose of complaints and mud-slinging allegations, right?

    Hopefully, someday, we’ll all realize how we sometimes collectively sound on the Web.

    As for the allegations, i say this. It’s one thing to say it, it’s another thing to prove it. (If it’s happening, I don’t like it. If this is a smear campaign against someone, I don’t like it.)

    No matter what happens, the contest will end on Aug. 7.

  16. Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Chris, I can assure you I’m not smearing Ryan and I’m not singling mud, simply bringing up something I think is wrong. As I mentioned above, I have no problem with Ryan’s entry, and do truly wish him and my fellow Greg luck. I would never accuse someone of something like that without proof. I’ll send you what I have in a bit via Twitter.

  17. chrisolds
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Next time, I will save everyone the hassles and just pick the winner.

  18. Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I actually do like the format of the contest. Anyways, I’ll leave on that note and go back to garnering support. Thanks again for the opportunity.

  19. Kevin
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    That is probably a much better way, Mr. Olds.

  20. Jason
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    maybe you should open the contest back up. and see if kids get involved. i think i rather see a kid win a matt kemp then some old man.

  21. chrisolds
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    The contest will stand as is with the card going to the leading vote-getter at the end.

    (Ever wonder why I stopped doing contests? The incessant complaints and angling against whatever result occurred really, really get old on this end.)

  22. Jonathan Gaudlitz
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Too bad I wasn’t chosen for the top 3. Good luck to the 3 finalists!

  23. Ryan Kalmoe
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I’ve spent the rest of the afternoon at work giving great thought on to a reply to Mr. Zakwin. I’ll do my best to keep it succinct. Mr. Zakwin is absolutely correct, I bribed exactly two people with the mighty sum of a single penny to vote for me a single time each. I am absolutely a fan of transparency, and I will gladly disclose this misstep of judgment.

    I would, however, point out that Mr. Zakwin was in fact the first to come up with this idea. On his blog, he posted the following: “To spread the word, I’ve decided to hold a contest of my own to entice you wonderful people to pimp for me and vote for me. The prize is TBD but I’ve pulled a few cool cards and set them aside, and I’ll surely send the winner something that fits into his or her collection somehow.”

    Now, you’ll have to ask yourself whether bribing people with cards or bribing them with pennies are the same thing. I think they are. In one way or another, you are promising a reward to your constituents for voting for you.

    Those that have studied Game Theory may be familiar with the Prisoner’s Dilemma. I won’t go into details, but the most successful strategy is called Tit for Tat. Basically, when you play on fair terms with your opponent until they sell you out/cheat. This has been a classic exercise of this principle. Mr. Zakwin buys votes with his contest, and to maintain fairness I had no choice, mathematically, but to do the same.

    However, I gave this considerably thought and I cannot rely on logic and reason to excuse my actions. Instead, I asked myself the best question I could in this situation:

    “What would Koufax do?”

    Yes, this is a contest centered around Mr. Koufax at it’s core. I don’t believe he would be holding contests to buy votes, or sending pennies to third world countries for votes, and he CERTAINLY would not encourage people to vote multiple times as Mr. Zakwin has done.

    Back to the idea of Tit for Tat, as Mr. Zakwin has in fact encouraged his constituents to, and I quote from his blog again, “The contest runs until the end of August the 7th, and you can vote from different browsers and vote each and every day of said month.” I personally don’t know how this is possible as my wife has been unable to vote for me except for the very first vote on the first day. So, instead of continuing the cycle of cheating, I’m going to put an end to it. I have already removed my offer this afternoon so my illegitimate votes in this contest will stand at 2. I’m not going to encourage anyone to vote more than once using a different browser, or any other way of gaming the system that Mr. Zakwin has undoubtedly figured out.

    I’m guessing all three of us have something to be ashamed of regarding our conduct in this contest. But Mr. Zakwin and his friends who keep bragging on his blog about “knocking me down a notch” keep calling the kettle black, or throwing rocks amidst their glass house, or whatever cliche you want to use, I would propose you consider that in your evaluation of his character.

    Remember, it takes a man with giant testosterone-producing organs to sing Bieber on the internet. It takes the man with the biggest giant testosterone-producing organs to admit that he was wrong and to be the first to correct his campaign in accordance with what Mr. Koufax would do.

    And remember, Don’t Stop Bieliebin’.

  24. Bored With Adults Acting Like Kids
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    No, you’re a cheater… no, YOU’RE a cheater… wahhhhhhh… seriously people, I know it’s a high dollar card and all, but come one… I wish Olds would have picked 3 5-year-olds (if they had entered) and just left it up to something like who has the cutest picture of a puppy for us to vote for… this is ridiculous… Chris, I agree, doing contests this way would get old really quickly. I say from now on, just give them away randomly… but even then I’m sure someone would complain…

  25. Ryan Kalmoe
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Bored With Adults,

    I’m with you on this one. Random is better. Or have the Beckett staff (or other third completely independent party that is limited in numbers) vote. I’m exhausted of this and it’s what, day 2?

    Oh well, no matter what happens nobody is going to be happy because there will be 1 winner and 2 losers. Unless you’re Charlie Sheen and you’re Bi-WINNING!

  26. chrisolds
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    For posterity: If the poll closes with a tie, I will choose a winner.

  27. greg perez
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    This is Greg Perez. I have yet to comment on anything, but I am all for a 3 way tie on this. If Ryan and Gregory both agree I would prefer that Beckett do the voting themselves among the staff. If Chris chooses a winner that would be fine with me on my part as well. I honestly just enjoyed making the video and getting a little creative when I was trying to get some in person autographs. The reason I entered is because I would never pay that much for any particular autograph since I find the thrill of actually working to obtain them in person is the most rewarding. The stories, memories, and most importantly the friends I have made by getting signatures in person are the reason I collect cards and love the game of baseball. The positive on this is that I have been connecting and emailing friends that I haven’t chatted with in a while. This whole voting thing until Aug. 7th is crazy. So Ryan and Gregory, I’m all up for keeping this a 3 way tie and letting the staff @ Beckett decide who gets this card since it is theirs to begin with.

  28. chrisolds
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Channeling my inner Jimmy Dugan/Tom Hanks: “There’s no tying in baseball!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    If it ends in a tie, I know who I’d pick. We’ll see what happens.

  29. SFC Jimenez
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Greg P, I am having All Soldiers in Afghanistan and people I know from other units vote for ya. No one is going to top our Military support, USA Baby!!!! Go ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES


  30. Posted July 10, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Just put it on eBay or auction it off with 100% of the proceeds going to charity. At this point, the contest has been drained of fun. It’s not even a contest anymore. Nearly 1500 votes for one person in an hour or so, illogical and inaccurate name-calling….

    Or Beckett’s staff or members can pick a winner based on the merit of our original entries.

  31. SSG Hernandez
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I just read through some of your guys comments, I would have voted for the guy who said he would join the military for a Koufax card. But since none of you said it, I voted for Greg P since he at least made an effort in his video. A written statement and at home video is not creative out all, I’ll get my marine brothers to vote for Greg, plus the Sergeant here in Balad said he’s an alright guy. You support us, we support you

  32. J
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Looks like Facebook is a powerful asset for getting votes. its more of a who has more friends contest. Networking is everything, I dont even know the guy I voted for, Funny

  33. Posted July 10, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Go Greg Z!

  34. Posted July 10, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    One last thing I’d like to say about this:

    Ryan claimed he only did what I did when he said “Mr. Zakwin buys votes with his contest, and to maintain fairness I had no choice, mathematically, but to do the same.”

    The crux of his argument is in fact a lie, as his ad to buy votes went up on Saturday. My contest to thank my friends for spreading the word wasn’t announced until Sunday. Check the post dates.

    I don’t appreciate being slandered.

    Good luck to Greg P. and Ryan, and thanks again for the opportunity Beckett.

  35. Ryan Kalmoe
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Greg Z, I offer you my sincerest apologies and hope you will forgive me if you feel I have slandered you. My recollection of the events that transpired weren’t clear and I should have gotten my facts straight.

    I think we can all agree though that the crux of the argument is that everyone has used illegitimate and unfair methods to obtain votes. Period.

    And all of this “Voting via the Military”? Are you kidding me? That’s your guise for obtaining 1500 votes in an hour? You DO know that the military doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of cohesion and certainly not that kind of speed. There are around 300 people on most Navy ships (DDG’s, CG’s, LSD’s, LPD’s, i.e. the small ones). So 5 whole ships were all awake and had enough computers to vote in a single hour? It’s not even funny how impossible that is. I would say improbable, since anything COULD be possible, but with the military there are plenty of things that are simply impossible, this being one of them. Between people on watch, the limited size and reach of any given unit, time zones… no way. Maybe over the course of all 30 days, *maybe*, but in an hour? You tipped your hand, my friend. And I do not appreciate people using the military as their reason, it falls under pretending to be a Navy SEAL, or claiming medals that aren’t on your DD214 (or on your classified write-up).

    I’m with Greg Z on this one, I’m out. I may have paid for two votes, but I’m not going to run up the score in some crazy fashion and say I sent the link off to my friends on active duty. Thanks Beckett, and enjoy your card Greg P.

    Greg Z, if you’re ever in Minnesota, I’ll take you to a Twins game and buy you a beer. Seriously. You’ve got my twitter handle if you ever want to set it up. And I do hope you forgive me for any of the nastiness involved with this contest.

  36. Ryan Kalmoe
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I would also just like to add that I am not directly accusing Greg P. of anything relating to his massive “military” gain. I am sorry, Greg P., if you felt as though this was indeed the case.

  37. Alfred Godinez
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Greg Perez , This is Alfred from Monster , we all love your vid here and since the Military guy is using our troops to vote for you , i am contacting ALL our people international and here at good old USA to support you !! We love and support our troops but now you have support from us !!! The big bad Monster Army!!!!! Hope you get it man , Adriana told me what a die hard baseball fan in general you are and the ” Biggest Dodger fan” the card will go in good hands!!!! good luck man!

  38. greg perez
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink


    Thanks for all the support Alfred. Adriana told told me that you got everyone @ Monster to vote. That was cool of everyone. I am a huge baseball fan in general. I attend more than 120 games a year between Angels, Dodgers, Padres, and the California League. I’m always getting autographs everywhere. I have over 40,000 in person autographs, but none of the great Sandy Koufax. Thanks to everyone who voted. I didn’t know Facebook could be such a powerful tool. I am old school and only check it once a week or so. I was shocked today when I saw the votes. Thanks again for everyone’s support.

  39. 1stLt Marshall
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Greg P,

    Glad to support you! You’ve got some brass behind you now, too. I forwarded the instructions on to everyone in my command and they’re all voting at least a dozen times for you each! I hope you get it, figuring out how to clear the cookies to vote as many times as you want was a brilliant idea!

    -1stLt Marshall

  40. Posted July 11, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Don’t sweat it Ryan. Stuff happens. The meshuge of it all just needs to abate.

  41. Adriana Venegas
    Posted July 11, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    As a good Friend of Greg Pérez, all I got to say is ….. Keep Hating cuz he’s in first place. He didn’t have to bribe anyone for votes. He just has a lot of good friends n family willing to spread the word n get him some votes! He has his military friends that helped him out as well as all my fellow coworkers from Monster Energy. His almost 2000 votes in just over n hour came with the help of his friend Jesse, other friends n family n Monster, which includes all of our domestic and international offices, buyers, suppliers, n Monster Army……… So yea believe it or not we can get all those votes. Good luck Greg P, me n my boyfriend will continue to show some support n spread the word.

  42. Thomas Culver
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    100,000 votes? That doesn’t even seem possible.

  43. J
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    90,000 votes in one night, somebody has hacked your voting poll. Beckett needs to report this to Federal Law enforcement, a crime has just been committed against your server.

  44. Posted July 15, 2012 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    Well, Greg Zakwin has the Dodgers blogosphere behind him and I put him on reddit yesterday, but 90,000 seems a tad over expectations.

  45. chrisolds
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Just keeps getting classier by the day, doesn’t it?

  46. Toby
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    @ Chris Olds…
    if you wanted classy, you shouldn’t have included Zwakin in the first place. He sounds like a thug in his letter. The Dodgers have enough fans that “go to war” to support their team. (In fact, just ask Brian Stow’s family about violent Dodger fans.) Zwakin’s language takes the issue a bit too far.

    At least the other two participants do something interesting to make their case, and stay respectful to the game and other fans.

    My two cents,
    Toby Johnson

  47. chrisolds
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of what happens between now and Aug. 7, as I said before: The contest will stand as is with the card going to the leading vote-getter at the end.

  48. Cory Furlong
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Its amazing to me how many jerks come out of the wall over a baseball card giveaway contest. Stay classy people.

  49. Randi
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Cheating from all three camps. Wether it’s paying for votes, 600 votes in 5 minutes ar 90,000 votes overnight it’s still cheating! The card should go to a charity chosen by Sandy Koufax and all three entrants should gbe disqualified.

  50. Posted July 16, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Toby Johnson wins the award for the most ridiculous and asinine comment of the week.

  51. chrisolds
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I am now closing the comments on this one. And please do not email me on this matter.

    I’ll think over what we will do with this contest and decide on Aug. 7.

    I’m hoping that whomever the winner will be will enjoy the card, despite how this has all looked.