Prior to winning the ALDS in 2015, the Blue Jays hadn't won a post-season series of any kind since 1993. That's 22 years between "wins". There have been other, longer dry spells in sports, but as I Jays fan, I've been counting the years.
On a much smaller stage, in a moment completely devoid of any bat flip whatsoever, I ended a 22-year winless drought of my own. It started with a 1994 Collector's Choice Series 1 Jumbo box that arrived at my house a few days ago.
If that picture hasn't given it away yet, that there is an instant win card out of the box. These game cards were seeded the same as the gold parallels (one per box), I believe, so I expected to get one. Which is good, because I wanted one to accompany the actual set that I won -- and redeemed -- 22 years ago. It's the only 1994 Collector's Choice stuff I still had, Blue Jays cards excluded. And because I expected the card to be expired, there were no beer cans thrown and no need for extra security to be brought in after I confirmed my assumption. The card expired in May of 1994. Oh, and just so there is no confusion: When the Blue Jays won Game 5 of the ALDS this past fall, I was at the game, and did not throw anything on the field, nor did I do anything else requiring security to visit my section.
So the prize here, is an 8-card "Home Run All-Stars" insert set. The back is pretty plain, so I'm not showing that. But the fronts are pretty awesome. Brick wall, hologram of the player, inset with another picture of the player and a gold signature over that inset. I remember being absolutely pumped, not only when the winning card came out of the pack, but again when the cards arrived in the mail. I've kept these cards all these years not only on the chance that I might want them for a set build, but because there is a certain sentimental value they hold.
As I type this, I have a couple wax boxes headed my way (one of each series) to not only take a chunk out of series 2, but to help build up the silver signatures. I expect that I'll pull two more of these winning game cards out -- but it does have me wondering. That card says "8th Prize Winner". I've heard rumblings of there being prizes consisting of complete gold and silver signature sets, and even a prize to appear on Griffey's card in the 1995 set, but what are the other 4 prizes then?
Thanks for reading.
Update: After posting this I took a look at the back of that instant win game card. Sure enough, it says right on the back, in a font that is so small I had to scan the card and zoom in to read it.
Here's what the prizes were:
Grand Prize (1): Your picture on Ken Griffey Jr.'s 1995 Official Upper Deck Collector's Choice baseball card. Odds of winning 1:37,831,200.
First Prize (2): You will be the honorary team manager for the Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball Game at the 1994 All Star Game. Odds of winning 1:18,915,600.
Second Prize (2): A $10,000 US Savings Bond - Series EE (Maturity of 18 years from purchase date). Odds of winning 1:18,915,600.
Third Prize (3): A complete 320-card Gold Signature insert set and a 320-card Silver Signature set. Odds of winning 1:12,610,400.
Fourth Prize (5): A Complete 320-card Gold Signature insert set. Odds of winning 1:7,566,240.
Fifth Prize (10): A complete 320-card Silvert Signature insert set. Odds of winning 1:3,783,120.
Sixth Prize (10,000): An Upper Deck baseball cap. Odds of winning 1:3,783.
Seventh Prize (10,000): An Upper Deck T-Shirt. Odds 1:3783.
Eighth Prize (1,019,300): 8-card 1993 Home Run Hologram Set. Odds 1:37.
Overall odds of winning a prize: 1:36.