View Full Version : Thirty Pieces of Hope - CONTEST ENTRY

08-02-2010, 10:34 PM
Tell us about a card which is valuable to you for reasons other than monetary – Does it depict someone you know? Or perhaps someone who has had an influence on your life?

Thirty Pieces of Hope by Tim Viola


There isn’t just one card that is valuable to me, but thirty. Let me explain. In 1996, Denny’s held a promotion where they sold packs of baseball cards that held one holographic card. That summer, my mom and I went several times and I was able to buy a few packs. I really loved the cards. I liked the holographic look of the cards, but I loved that I was able to get them while spending time with my mom and eating at Denny’s. I loved being able to trade the cards with the different employees of Denny’s who were also collecting the cards. As a kid of eight years old, it was the best summer imaginable.

As the summer of 1997 approached, I remember one day my mom reading the newspaper and excitedly telling me that Denny’s would be doing the same promotion. I got so excited and ran around jumping. I immediately began imagining what the cards would look like, feel like, and who would be the players featured. My mom told me that we could go to Denny’s once a week throughout the summer and that I could get a pack each time we went. The first time we went that summer, I was surprised when I was told that there would be a drawing for people who entered and the winner would receive a complete set of the cards. Every time we went to Denny’s, I filled out an entry.

The summer came and went and I had a great time with the cards, my favorite being my Mo Vaughn card, but thought nothing of the contest. That November, I had the shock of my young life (I was in fourth grade at the time) as I was forced to leave my friends I had grown up with and switch schools. I remember how sad I was my last day at the school. When I got in my car and the first thing I began to do was cry. I cried all the way home. It was a feeling that at nine years old I had never really felt before. I could not even process the feelings and emotions. When I got home from school, I remember walking to my room and just sitting on my bed crying. My mom walked in after a few minutes and told me I had mail. Anyone that remembers being young knows that when you got a piece of mail at nine years old, it was a big deal. I immediately opened my envelope and inside was a white box. I opened the box and the first thing I saw was Tim Salmon (the number one card on the checklist) and I was confused. I then sorted through and saw all the cards and realized what had happened. I had won the contest. But more than that, those thirty silly pieces of cardboard were a sign of hope. They were a sign that a nine year old kid would make it through one of the hardest times of his life. They were a sign that there are always silver linings to every dark cloud. I kept those cards close to me for the next few years.

Now that I am twenty-two years old, I still know where those cards are. I have kept them in mint condition all these years and every now and then I will pull them out and slowly look at each and every of the thirty cards in the set. I realize that those cards are not worth much; that the set will probably never be worth anything. But I don’t think I could ever bring myself to sell the set even if it was worth thousands, because each and every time I see those cards, I smile. I smile because I remember the excited feeling every week going to Denny’s and opening one pack. I smile because I remember the nervousness with which I filled out every contest entry. I smile when I remember what it was like to feel deep sadness and loss. But most of all, I smile because those thirty cards reminds me that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and that things will always get better.

08-04-2010, 12:17 AM
Posted! Thanks!