Well. After a summer’s-worth of entries pouring in via e-mail, online and in just good old-fashioned mail, we’ve finally closed out the sweepstakes held in conjunction with the Topps Proof Series of articles, and pulled the names out of a hat to award the prizes.
For those of you scoring at home, I concede I am a couple of weeks late in picking out the names. No good excuse, except the crush of other matters that kept us from getting to the project. Finally, on the morning of Sept. 16, we huddled up and did the deed.
We had, I believe, more than 700 entries, which is a spectacular number in that we asked our readers to include comments on a wide array of hobby topics as part of the sweepstakes. Our subscribers, as devoted a group of readers as you’ll ever find, outdid themselves in providing thoughtful observations on everything from their own collections to telling stories about their best or worst autograph experiences and their greatest finds in the hobby.
So without further ado, here are the prize winners, listed in descending order and ending with the grand-prize winner of the Topps Proof “Rarest Reggie” plaque created by Ernie Montella of the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society. The (2) Topps factory sets and (2) boxes of 2008 Topps Heritage were provided courtesy of the Topps Co.; the 1957 Pete Retzlaff photo used to create his Topps card, 1970 Topps Baseball point-of-purchase advertising display piece and the 1993 Nolan Ryan-signed card contract were provided courtesy of the Topps Vault.
10 Bob Feller single-signed baseball
James Baurle, Rome, N.Y.
9 2007 Topps Baseball Factory set
Eric Carlson, Smethport, Pa.
8 2002 Topps Baseball Factory set
Ed Ash, Hudon, N.Y.
7 2008 Topps Heritage unopened box
Mark Stirneman, Benton, Ill.
6 2008 Topps Heritage unopened box
Eric Hillman, Exeter, N.H.
5 Billy Martin 1979 Mitchell & Ness jersey
Darrell Comstock, Monroe, N.C.
4 1957 Topps Pete Retzlaff photograph
David Barnes, Schenectady, N.Y.
3 1970 Topps POP advertising display piece
Kermit Tanzey, Bartlesville, Okla.
2 1993 Topps Nolan Ryan signed card contract
Timothy Pulcifer, Pasadena, Calif.
1 “Rarest Reggie” Topps Proof Series plaque
Chuck Heyman, Weston, Fla.
Congratulations to the winners and our thanks to everybody who took part. I didn't dawdle on this one: the stuff was mailed out Wednesday (Sept. 17).