Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Thrill of Topps’ Ultimate Chase? Postseason tickets
Posted Jan 22, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 09:33 PM
For collectors who love to chase big ticket items, Topps is ready with a big challenge. It’s almost as difficult as winning the World Series, but the rewards are almost as satisfying.
Topps’ flagship baseball product will be released during the last week of January, and a theme throughout the season will be Baseball’s Chase. Series 1 will kick it off, starting with cards that will celebrate and recall some great record chases and the players who did the chasing. Nolan Ryan, Henry Aaron and even Rays third baseman Evan Longoria will be some of the players with signed cards in the Chasing History subset. There also will be signed cards of the late Stan Musial, who passed away over the weekend.
Here is the challenge. To celebrate the chase, Topps has randomly inserted 10 Ultimate Chase Tickets in hobby boxes of Series 1. If you find such a ticket, you will win an authentic autographed bat signed by five current and/or retired players.
Collectors must return their tickets to Topps by Aug. 13, 2013. One of those tickets will be drawn for an Ultimate Chase Pass. This pass enables the holder to chase one team in the 2013 major-league baseball playoffs.
Here’s how the grand prize works. On Sept. 1, Topps will hold a random drawing of the eligible tickets received by Aug. 15. When the regular season ends, the winner of the drawing will choose one playoff team. He or she will receive two tickets for every postseason game the team plays — that’s home and away. Potentially, a collector could watch up to 19 games if each series is extended to the limit (or, 20 if he or she picks a team that advanced from the wild-card round all the way to the World Series).
I’ve read the instructions, and while the winners will receive free tickets, it looks like the winners also will have to provide their own lodging and transportation. So if your team goes deep into the playoffs, it could be exciting; and possibly, very expensive after factoring in air travel and motel expense. Of course, if say, the Rays reach the playoffs and you want to follow them, you know that at least some of the games would be played at Tropicana Field.
The rules can be found at www.topps.com. I believe that if I won such an Ultimate Chase Pass, I’d find a way to get to those venues. After all, the face value of the tickets can be pretty steep, too. And there is something about playoff baseball and the World Series that is so memorable. As a fan, I have been to one World Series — Game 1 of the 1993 clash between the Yankees and the Marlins at Yankee Stadium. And even though New York lost, it was a tremendous experience.
The Ultimate Chase Pass could provide a similar thrill for a lucky collector.