Apr 20, 2011
"We do not honor expired redemptions" intones the Topps customer service rep in a cheerfully, ominous voice.
"But it's such a rare pull, can't I at least tell you the story and see what can be done?", I say.
"Sure, but we don't honor expired redemptions"
No two words that grace a card engender such distress....expiration date. This is expired, it is no more, it has ceased to exist....it is a dead card.
"I was opening a box of 2001 Topps Series 1 this week and the redemption said congratulations, you have just won a 1963 Topps 537 featuring Pete Rose. Can I give you the authentication number and see if anything can be done?"
"We probably don't have this card in stock or probably gave it out in one of our giveaways. Anyway, we don't honor expired redemptions."
"Is it possible to verify if it's in stock?"
"I'm sorry, we don't honor expired redemptions."
Yes, this redemption expired 4/25/2002. It does state explicitly on the back of the card about being received no later than the expiration date.
The redemption card is false hope, whether in 2001 or 2011. The redemption card says you can get something, but you better have had the foresight to know to get it before the arbitrary date we set.
Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is 200/200, or in this case a 1963 Topps Pete Rose.
I am discouraged by the reams of expired redemption cards littering the tapestry of the hobby. Tantalizing enticing and dreams of a received mail package burst. Visions of the value of the pack lottery wither.
The redemption is expired; you may not return to former glory.