It's been a year of highs and lows for Darwin Day of Grand Prairie, Texas. The year has been singed by the sadness of the death of Day's brother earlier this year from cancer, which caused the 70-year old to do some soul searching. It also got him to do some house cleaning, both metaphoric and true life. And it was this true life house cleaning that paid off for Day, who entered a near 60-year old contest, which he won.

After the death of his brother, Day was left to clean out his brother's home. This prompted Darwin to do some house cleaning of his own, and when he cleaned out his own Grand Prairie home, one of the things he found was a complete set of Topps baseball cards from 1957 and 1958. These cards were included in packs of Bazooka bubble gum at the time. A complete set of these cards is values at about $225, but it was one card in the set in particular that stood out to Day. It was the card that announced a contest; "Win These Swell Prizes in the 4th Bazooka Baseball Contest" it teased. All the card owner had to do was correctly enter the scores to games from July 19, 1957 between the Milwaukee Braves and New York Giants and the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Athletics.

But Darwin noticed something about the contest. While the card did tell the holder he had to remit the card before April 26th, it didn't give the holder a year the card had to be submitted. So as a joke, Day found the scores of the games and sent the card into the Topps Company,  the parent company of Bazooka Bubble Gum, 59 years later. He says the hardest part of entering the contest was finding five Bazooka Bubble Gum wrappers, also a requirement of the entry form. But he found a local store that still sold the confection, and off he sent his entry.

photo from video courtesy of Dallas Morning News

Tony Jacobs, global general manager of the Topps Confectionery Brands received Day's entry addressed directly to him, and didn't quite know what to make of it. The entry was complete, and correct, and it also included a second card from the set. It was of St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Anthony Jacobs. Topps' Jacobs had heard stories of the player he shared a name with, and says he was always on the look-out for a card of the pitcher, but they weren't easy to come by, seeing as the right-handed pitcher spent parts of only two seasons in the big leagues. Now Topp's Jacobs had his card.

And now Darwin Day, a life-long baseball fan who conducts tours of Arlington's Globe Life Park where the Texas Rangers play their home games, has his prize. Seeing as that the contest never legally ended, Topps' marketing company Rogers & Cowan presented Day with the advertised prize: a brand new Louisville Slugger baseball glove. His prize package also included t-shirts a 'Bazooka Joe' pillow and gum. Lots of Gum. But there was something else he received...a new friend. Jacobs and Day are now friends, communicating regularly. And Jacobs is even planning a trip to Arlington to take in a Ranger's game with his new found friend.

So kids, when mom tells you those baseball cards you've collected are worthless, tell her "who knows" someday they might just bring people together.

photo from video courtesy of Dallas Morning Newslambert-new-album-details/