Sticker autos maybe. Crappy designs, crappier customer service departments, horrible collation. They all do their part to take just a bit of the joy out of this hobby, but I think redemption cards are right at the top of the list.
You bust open that sweet "wax" pack hoping for a card or two of your favorite player or team and there it is...a "hit". But it's not really a hit. It's a card that takes the place of your hit. A card you have to "redeem" to hopefully, maybe, one day a month or a year from now, have sent to you.
You get a card of "equal" value because the company couldn't follow through and get the card you were supposed to get.
In the old days (back in 2000 or so), you actually had to MAIL in your redemption card. Snail mail! I know!! The humanity of it all!
Here is where my Redemption Card Nightmare begins...and ends. If you've read my story from the beginning (click here if not) then you know about my problem back in the early 2000s.
When you spend that much money on cards, you're bound to get a redemption or 14. My problem...my nightmare...well, that occurred when the smoke cleared and I started going back through all those cards. I started finding redemption cards. Lots of them. All expired.
I tried to send a few in, but they all came back because they had expired.
Today, I'll share my nightmare with you.
You may remember that in my free-spending days, I bought everything.
This is a 2001 Topps Draft Pick #5 redemption. It turns out it was Jason Richardson. Not a great loss now, as you'll see with most of these.
How about a few hockey redemptions? This was from 2001-2002 Bowman Hockey and was for a Mike Comrie autographed puck. How cool is that? I think we need more redemption for actual "stuff" and not just cards.
I'm not a hockey guy. I want the Dallas Stars to do well, I know who some of the big names are in hockey history, but I don't know who Brad Park is and maybe I should. This redemption is from 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game. If anyone out there collects the New York Rangers, I'll be happy to send you this card. It won't get you anything, but it's sort of a neat collectible and there probably aren't many around.
This 2001/2002 SPX Rookie Redemption would have garnered me a 2001/2002 or 2002/2003 Montreal Canadien rookie #d to 1250. Yawn....
Are you ready for some football? Yea, me neither. This is one of two 2000 UD Encore redemptions I got. The funny thing is this is supposed to be THE card that's autographed because that's what is says on the back, but UD just stuck this sticker on the front since they couldn't get the cards signed. This Kwame Cavil by the way. What, you've never heard of him? Me neither.
The other Encore redemption was for Mike Anderson. I have heard of him.
I didn't know until 5 minutes ago who was the player on this 2002 Donruss Elite "Turn of the Century" autograph redemption. Drumroll please..........Card #131 belongs to Demontray Carter!!!! Yea!!! Wait, who? Never mind. I didn't redeem it so it doesn't matter. If it had been for card #125, I'd be really sad. That is one Mr. Adrian Peterson.
How about a couple of bobbleheads? First up is a 2002 Pacific Football Tom Brady redemption. These were "limited" to 1000. I searched Ebay, but I couldn't find one of these.
This one could have made me some money locally when I found it. It's for a 2002 Heads Up Football Emmitt Smith bobblehead. I did find these on Ebay and only one had sold for the whopping price of $7.99. If you read the fine print on the card, you'll see you had to mail in $7.95 to cover shipping so that's a profit of $0.04. Sweet!
Let's move on to a little baseball.
I promise you until I was editing the scan of this card a few minutes ago, I thought this was a 2000 Fleer Focus Tim Salmon redemption. I thought that from the time I pulled it. It's actually Troy Glaus.
Here we have a 2001 Fleer Showcase Bobby Abreu Sweet Sigs redemption card. That would have made some good trade bait.
I'm keeping this one for my Rangers collection even though I think Alex Rodriguez cards are toxic. What I can't understand is how on earth do you need a redemption for a bat relic card? Seriously?? This was from 2002 Fleer Maximum by the way. Not that it matters.
Finally, we come to the two redemptions I most regret leaving unredeemed.
2002 Upper Deck had these Upper Deck Authenticated redemptions for a variety of items. I pulled this nice Dave Winfield signed 5X7 photo redemption. I kick myself for not redeeming this one, but not as hard as I kick myself for this last one...
That's right. I could have had a Ken Griffey Jr. signed baseball. Sweet spot and everything. Even though he punished my Rangers over the years, I would certainly like to have something like this from one of my favorite non-Rangers. I saw him play numerous times early in his career when I lived near Seattle and I have to say, I wish more young players played the way he did.
I did look up a UDA Griffey Jr. ball and they sell for about $65 on Ebay.
So there you have it. My redemption nightmare. Time has proven that most of these items aren't worth much, but at the time, they could have been hot stuff. Unfortunately, I never bothered to find out.
Until it was too late.