Cal Ripken finally has a way to get back the four shoe boxes full of baseball cards his mother threw away when he was a kid.
The Hall of Famer has teamed up with baseball card manufacturer The Topps Company for its Million Card Giveaway, a promotion designed to revive slumping baseball card sales and bring back interest to the collecters' items.
"It sort of is a throwback [to the] way that people used to collect cards," Ripken said of the program, dubbed the way to get back the cards your mom threw out.
Through the initative, Topps will include one code in every six packs of its baseball cards. If collectors receive a code, they can log onto the contest Web site and enter the nine-digit key to see which card they won.
If it wasn't the one they were hoping for, they can then try to make a trade with other contest winners.
Among the 38,000 varieties of cards are a 1957 Hank Aaron; a 1953 Jackie Robinson; and Ripken's own rookie card, which is valued at around $200, said Warren Friss, vice president and general manager of Topps.
The most valuable card available is the Mickey Mantle rookie card, which has sold at around $250,000 in its vintage form. Though Ripken said this card would be his first pick today, he said that as a kid, his favorite cards were of fellow Oriole Brooks Robinson.
"I collected them, put them in my bike spokes, put them in shoe boxes, put rubber bands around them," he said. "I abused the heck out of them, but we used them as resources."