(not the actual scratch-off ticket)
Back in December, our company held its annual Christmas party at which time one of our employees was recognized for hitting a landmark number- surpassing the previous high for someone in sales. To show her gratitude for those who helped her achieve her success was a gift: a scratch-off lottery ticket.
I can't remember if she told me how many tickets she bought to hand out, but I do know that I was the lone winner. Five bucks! That ought to buy me a pack of something, or a few singles. Thanks for the cards, lady!
I didn't rush out and immediately buy something. No, I held on to my winnings, waiting for just the right card(s). I didn't really have anything in particular in mind, but I knew that when I saw it that it would be pretty obvious.
Then, about two weeks ago, I found it.
1998 Virginia Lottery Baseball Legends Phil Niekro
This, this was the card to purchase. I had never been so sure of anything in my time as a collector. It was poetic.
So, I spent $2.99 on it- leaving me with $2.01 left over (which I still haven't spent).
Anyway, I received the card yesterday, which, as I mentioned earlier, was the same day I published the article on the lottery tickets at Denny's. Once again, pure poetry.
The Niekro card is part of a 4-card set (8 cards, if you count the autographed versions of each) that includes fellow Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Willie McCovey and Duke Snider. According to the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, the cards were one of the consolation prizes in the Virginia lottery and contained photos that were also used on some of the actual lottery tickets. The Niekro card just so happens to feature a photo from the 1989 Pacific Legends set. Sans logos, of course. Heck, if our state did something like this, I'd have to re-think my policy on buying scratch offs!
While I'm not crazy about the color scheme and the use of the stripes, I do like the fonts that were used. I really like the Virginia lottery logo. Very smart incorporating the crossed fingers in the 'V'
It should be noted, also, that each of the players spent time playing in the commonwealth of Virginia.
Card backs are what to expect for an odd-ball set. And while stats are included, they're not the typical MLB career stats, but those for the time each player spent while in Virginia. Very cool use of a stat line, if you ask me.
I guess some guys do have all the luck. It just takes some of us longer to find what we're looking for.