Collector pulls rare Topps autograph card during The Top Loaders group break

How do you stifle adrenaline so powerful you want to scream with excitement? How do you stay calm and not run into your bedroom to wake up your sleeping wife so she could share in your thrilling moment? How do you follow up one of the biggest sports card hits of your life?

Matt Wintner has experience with all of those emotions. “I couldn’t go to sleep, I had this adrenaline rush. I thought if I stared at my wife she might wake up and I could tell her what happened,’ Wintner stated during a recent interview with thetoploaders.com. ‘I remained shockingly calm and waited until morning to tell her.’

The next morning Wintner could finally share with his wife the incredible news of what he pulled during a 12 Box Baseball Mixer Break with thetoploaders.com’s Adam Vinson. The hit left all of the viewers and even Vinson, in total shock. It was a Topps Archives Signature Active Player Series 1/1 autographed Mike Trout card.

As Vinson opened the box Wintner knew something great was happening, “I saw his reaction and I was like who could it be? Is it Mike Trout? Then it hits me as soon as he says Mike Trout – O.M. blanking G. — I’m assuming this is huge —Forgive me for being naive but how great is this card?”

Photo courtesy of Matt Wintner

The white whale of cards 

The card, as one person described on Twitter, is the white whale of baseball cards. A card, so rare that the odds of getting it are astounding. 

“This card sat in my home for weeks, as we tried to sell spots in the Baseball Mixer Break,” Vinson shared. “I couldn’t believe we pulled something so valuable and rare during the break and Matt bought one of the last spots in the break. Talk about random.” 

Life is random

Wintner’s random decision to join the break speaks to a life perspective that led him to a friendship with Jason La Canfora, an NFL Insider with CBSSports

“There’s complete randomness to life, where you move, who you work with, who you sit next too, who your roommate is, there’s such a level of randomness that brings people together or tears them apart,” Wintner explained. “From the 8 shuffles of teams to the 8 shuffles of names in the random drawing of the break, somehow I aligned with the Angels. Randomness is a big thing in life.” 

Friends & Collectors 

Wintner and La Canfora have been work colleagues and close friends for years. Despite being separated by hundreds of miles, they still chat daily via text and phone which led to a text invite to join a break. 

“Jason is picking up his daughter and shoots me a text about this live break happening later that evening. I’ve never done a break before. I’ve always been a collector and used to break boxes after we saved up our money to buy a box for $35,” Wintner recalled. “I’d heard Jason talk about box breaks. Since there are no sports on TV, I’m bored out of my mind I agree to join Jason in the break.” 

Wintner dropped $49.99 to join the break and entered the live stream with 30 other collectors from across the country, including La Canfora who was just as excited about the Trout hit as Wintner and Vinson were.  

La Canfora shared in the live stream just how awesome the pull is for Wintner “I pulled him into the break. His first break ever. Unreal. Great dude, a cancer survivor. So pumped for him!” 

As the congratulations for Wintner and La Canfora rolled into the live chat, La Canfora summed up perfectly the breaking world “When I was explaining the concept to Matt he was like ‘Sounds like that could be addictive.’ I was like ‘Take the ‘could’ out of it.”

What happens next

Wintner’s wife responded to his story much like the rest of the collecting world would ‘That’s great, so are you selling it? His response: “No, I’m not selling it.” 

Sometimes it’s about having something no one else has. 

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