Late Monday night, well past closing time, I got an email from Charlie DiPietro, the longtime owner of Sports Cards Plus in San Antonio, regarding one of his loyal customers who had just accomplished a most daunting task: Assembling a master set of 2010 Contenders Football. But as you're about to discover, overcoming tough odds is nothing new for U.S. Army veteran Benjamin Breckheimer.
With the latest installment of the legendary Contenders Football brand burning up the collecting marketplace right now, we found the timing of an email we received earlier this week from Charlie DiPietro, the longtime owner of Sports Cards Plus in San Antonio, to be absolutely impeccable. It came late Monday night, well past closing time, and detailed the mission-completed accomplishment of loyal customer Benjamin Breckheimer.
But as you’re about to discover, overcoming tough odds — in this case assembling a master set of 2010 Contenders Football — is nothing new for Breckheimer, a veteran U.S. Army Cavalry Scout. Thanks to the deft journalistic abilities of DiPietro, you can read Breckheimer’s story and see some of his sweet cards after the jump.
By Charlie DiPietro
SAN ANTONIO — Benjamin Breckheimer is a collector with a purpose. About 13 months ago he set out to complete a set of 2010 Contenders Football autographs and today, I believe you’ll agree he is 100 percent successful. Breckheimer is a Cavalry Scout in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Sam Army Base in San Antonio. For more than two years he has been busy with several surgeries and rehabilitation, having been wounded in action on September 13, 2009, in Afghanistan. Breckheimer also served in Iraq from 2005 to 2006.
Ben started his project by busting 2010 Contenders Football boxes at Sports Cards Plus, trading his extras with other collectors at our store until he decided he needed to search outside the San Antonio area. He found searching the Internet for missing pieces of his 2010 Contenders Football project rewarding. Now, about 13 months after he started the project, Breckheimer can say, “Mission complete.”
Breckheimer’s 2010 Contenders Football project includes the base set, all of the base insert sets and the complete Rookie Ticket autograph subset with both variation poses of each player. He also has completed the Rookie Ink insert. Breckheimer says he is especially proud of the fact that he has completed six of the eight known Tim Tebow inscription autos, missing only the “25th Pick” inscription auto and the “06/08 Champs” inscription auto. Breckheimer also has secured the base Aaron Hernandez autographs along with three different inscriptions.