The Beckett Blog

Geeking Out on the Topps Gridiron Giveaway by Tracy Hackler
September 3, 2010, 4:46 pm
Filed under: Beckett Media, NFL, Topps | Tags: , ,

It’s about time.

I finally had the opportunity this afternoon to spend some quality time with the ballyhooed football card phenomenon known as the Topps Gridiron Giveaway. I’m a better man – and collector – for having done so.

The promotion, a direct descendant of the wildly popular Million Card Giveaway that debuted in 2010 Topps Baseball earlier this year, made its pigskin premiere last week inside packs of 2010 Topps Football.

Equal parts nostalgia and new media, the program is backed by a failsafe concept – not to mention an easy-to-use website – that seems universally embraceable: Free Topps football cards.

For those who don’t know how the program works, here’s a little background: Gridiron Giveaway code cards are seeded one in six packs of 2010 Topps Football. Each of those cards includes a unique alphanumeric number on the back and is guaranteed to be a winner.

Once you’ve created an account at (literally, the sign-up process  takes less than a minute), you can enter the codes from your Giveaway cards to reveal an original Topps football card – potentially any Topps football card – from the last 55 years. That card is then stashed into your account where you can keep it, trade it to other Giveaway participants or, in a few weeks, have it physically delivered to you (at your cost).

Although this particular 36-pack box was shorted one code card, I was borderline giddy when Beckett Hockey finally was put to bed this afternoon so I could enter the five codes I did have. In a matter of minutes I wash awash in vivid flashbacks, buoyed by a five-card haul that included . . .

  • 1982 Topps #182 Richard Todd In Action
  • 1983 Topps Mike Pruitt #255
  • 1988 Topps Mike Munchak #110
  • 1994 Topps Mark Carrier #172
  • 1997 Topps Mel Gray #112

Obviously, there are more glamorous cards and more glitzy prizes to be found in the Gridiron Giveaway, like a 1965 Joe Namath RC or an autographed helmet. In fact, the combined high Beckett book value of my five cards is just $1.60.

But you can’t put a price on how enjoyable the whole experience was for me. Perhaps I need to get out more often; perhaps the novelty will wear off over time. I’m going to buy another box on the way home tonight, just to find out.

Stay tuned.

Tracy Hackler is the editorial director for Beckett Media. Have a comment or question? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The giveaway promotion is a small stroke of genius. I think, though,, that it would make for a better user experience to seed the codes one in every ten packs or so and eliminate a lot of the post-1980 commons. Who’s paying to redeem those or successfully trading them for better ones? There would be a greater, sustainable buzz if the majority of cards being pulled were worth sending for.

Comment by Rich Mueller

I wish there was a much lower quantity of code cards so they could have each one be worth something DECENT. Take a guess on how disappointed I was to get a QUITE LAME 2008 card, from packs that are heavily discounted in many non-hobby stores, even in a small one-stoplight town like mine in Oregon. It’s not worth the stamp they’d use to send it. I’d rather have the stamp. tsk tsk…

Comment by OneGratefulDad

Unlike Baseball, most of these cards are going to be front the Junk Wax era 1987-1994 – there are just more Baseball cards on the market than football (for Topps to buy back)

Comment by John Bateman

After entering over 165 codes the seeding for an autograph of any sort must be very near impossible. A few decent cards mostly Garbage. And to top it off pulled 5 code cards to find out they had been used. Called and was told topps wasn’t responsible for tampered codes. Was given 2 subsequent codes but how can someone tamper with codes sealed in packs? And two replacement codes is not 5

Comment by Scoot G

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