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Tivo32
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

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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.

WilyWestbrook0
08-04-2010, 12:17 AM
Posted! Thanks!

http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/2010/08/thirty-pieces-of-hope/