Why are there Redemption cards?

Busting packs of baseball, hockey, football or any other card is exciting on it’s own but seeing a redemption card in a pack is awesome. I saw awesome because you really don’t know what the redemption card will be and of course I think positive and hope for a Bryce Harper, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Cam Newton, RGIII or any other big name card.

I used to wonder why companies include redemption cards and I had to ask my local hobby store www.wiserscollectables.com why they existed. For those of you that aren’t sure here’s what I was told. When card manufactures like Topps, www.topps.com Panini, www.paniniamerica.net or Upper Deck, upperdeck.com to name just a few go into production they are not always able to get the athletes or celebrities to autograph cards in time. The reason’s vary when it comes to why the celebrities or athletes haven’t gotten them signed but I can understand that getting the cards out is a time sensitive game, and probably not easy.

Some of the cards I have blogged about are redemptions I have received and as a collector I’m kind of embarrassed that I haven’t always kept the redemption cards I have pulled but below are a couple I have redeemed and 1, a 2012 Bowman Chrome baseball Yu Darvish Rookie autograph.


Yu Darvish Bowman 2012 Chrome Redemption Autograph

A drawback as a collector is that when a redemption card is sent in (you can do it all on line now) you still never know when the card will arrive. I have read about collectors that have waited years for a redemption to be fulfilled and have been told there is no ETA on when it will arrive. I can only speak for myself when I say that my experience with redemption cards has not always been great.

There was a redemption I pulled from a 2011 Topps Chrome hobby box that said it was for a “set” of 2011 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team refractor autograph cards. I looked up the cards and there was a total of 20 plus cards and I was blown away that I pulled such an amazing card. I sent it in and thought I would look up the set to see what the cards looked like. To my surprise I came across some blogs saying there was a mistake when the redemption card was issued and it should have read the redemption was for a “Pack” not a “set”.


2011 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Redemption card

I did contact Topps cards and explained that I was disappointed to hear I would not get the set and although coming to a resolution took a while in the end I was happy with what I was given. I won’t got into what I did receive from Topps but I will tell you that in the end they did, in my opinion, take care of a collector.

Another interesting twist with redemption cards is you don’t always know what player or players autographs you will get. For example, I purchased some 2011-12 Panini Past & Present  basketball and received a redemption card that said it was good for an autographed draft pick. As it turns out  the card is for an Isaiah Thomas Rookie Card, that is cool with me. I’m not sure when I will receive the card but at least I will have a surprising mail day when I least expect it.


Panini Past & Present Basketball Isaiah Thomas Redemption card

Here are a few more Redemption cards I have pulled. Despite a few problems I’ve had I still think redemption cards are just a part of collecting and should be looked at as an exciting and unique aspect to the hobby we love. Could the process of redeeming be improved? I think every card company would say there is always room for improvement but for me I am always excited to see the edge of a redemption card as I bust open a pack.


Panini baseball Redemption card


Bowman Chrome Prospect Redemption card


Bowman Black Autograph Redemption card, Kes Carter


2012 Bowman Platinum redemption of Telvin Nash


2011/12 Donruss Elite redemption of Erik Gudbranson


2012 Bowman Chrome Blue redemption of Richie Shaffer

Maybe one day the redemption will be something really amazing like this last one. It’s not my redemption but It’s a great example of a card any collector would like to pull. http://www.ebay.ca/itm/1-1-2012-BOWMAN-CHROME-YU-DARVISH-ROOKIE-SUPERFRACTOR-REFRACTOR-AUTO-REDEMPTION-/150947699446?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item23252f1af6&_uhb=1#ht_2449wt_953

If you have a redemption card you’d like to share just let me know and I can post it with the story behind it. Cheers, Mike

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