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More News, Notes: Card Burglar, Panini Player of the Day, Tom Brady Finally Gets Chili’s Auto

Police in Oak Brook, Ill., say jewelry and vintage baseball cards valued at $50,040 were stolen from a home on the 1100 block of N. Euclid Avenue by a thief who used brute force to open a rear door between 11:30 a.m. and 3:10 p.m. Sept. 13.  Rooms were ransacked and a safe containing the valuable items was stolen.  Local reports say a witness observed two men put the safe into a van and detectives say they may have some leads.

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The Panini America NFL Player of the Day promotion returns this season for the 12thconsecutive year with participation from more than 500 hobby shops across the U.S.

Hobby shops will have until November 30 to complete the month-long promotion. For a list of participating shops in your area, visit the official promotion website.

The centerpiece of the promotion is a poster featuring 34 player card images – one player from each team plus two Wild Cards (top 2011 rookies Cam Newton and Mark Ingram).  Each day during the promotion, one player plus the Wild Cards are designated as the Panini America NFL Player of the Day. If a collector opens a pack of Panini America NFL trading cards and pulls one of these cards, they win a prize.Four times during the promotion, the hobby shop selects a “weekly winner” from the daily winners to award a larger prize.  At the end of the month-long promotion, one collector is randomly selected as the Grand Prize winner and receives an exclusive Panini America NFL POD autographed card. Each store winner is then entered into the national sweepstakes for a chance to win additional prizes.

In addition to awarding more than 100,000 prizes in stores, hobby shops are also invited to enter their winner into the national sweepstakes for additional prizes, including autographed cards and footballs. The grand prize will reward one lucky collector with a $250 shopping spree and the chance to “spend a day” with an NFL player at a private party in the collector’s home and a free autograph session for the community at their local hobby shop.

Last year, Nathan Foster of Albany,La., spent the day with Saints running back Pierre Thomas at Foster’s home and at his favorite hobby shop, Chuck’s Field of Dreams.

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We sometimes forget that players were once fans, too.  Most grew up as big fans, idolizing players just like the rest of us amateurs.  Tom Brady grew up in the Bay Area, going to Giants baseball games.

He once told a story about getting a chance to see some of his baseball heroes up close, but getting rebuffed by Chili Davis. He says it set the tone for how he planned to deal with fans in the future.

Davis recently read about the experience of the young Brady and made arrangements to honor that request.  ESPN.com has the full read.

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