Friday, June 29, 2012

2006 Topps Allen & Ginter #51

This guy has made a career of flip-flopping his W-L record.  Following the pattern, you'd think he'd be on track for a 16-win season this year.  He's 4-8 so far.  Oh well.  At least he got a short print card in A&G.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How well do you know Allen & Ginter?

Can you name the 64 players who have appeared in all 6 Topps Allen & Ginter releases (2006-2011)?

Check out my latest Sporcle quiz and find out!

Feel free to report back here with your performance.

2006 Topps Allen & Ginter #50

Card #50 is the first of a string of 10 straight short prints (#50-59).  A-Rod was coming off an MVP in 2005, so it's no surprise he got a premier number in A&G.  It's a very classy looking card, too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Weird-Oh Wednesday #7a

Weird-Ohs #7

I'm pretty sure this guy was Vice President once upon a time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fault, second serve...

Wow, I didn't expect everyone out there to be mathletes, but damn, this was pitiful.  For those of you who entered the contest, I'm giving you a second chance.  If you haven't entered yet, finish reading this, then go here to enter.

The reason I'm giving you a second chance is because nearly everyone completely botched the third question:

How many complete sets will I get?
What card will I get the most of (checklist here)?
How many of that card will I get?
Who will win the Men's Wimbledon tournament this year (draw here)?
Who will win the Women's Wimbledon tournament this year (draw here)?

Maybe it's my fault for leaving you with a math problem, or maybe it's your fault for not recognizing it, but either way, please try again.  Leave a comment on this post with your new answer to question 3.  Or leave it the same and take your chances. By the way...'s a gigantic hint:

The minimum number that the answer could possibly be is 24.  That means only 5 of you were even in the realm of possibility.  However, pretty much no one is in the realm of probability.

How did I conclude 24, you say?  Well, given N complete sets, the number of leftover singles is given by

Lc = 1195 - N * 50 

Now, for the card that occurs most often to be at a minimum, we need to calculate the smallest possible number of incomplete (49/50) sets possible.  Therefore, the minimum number of incomplete sets is given by

ISmin = floor ( Lc / 49 )

with any remainder being leftover cards.  Then, we can add together the number of complete sets and the minimum number of incomplete sets.  If the (Lc/49) has a remainder, we add 1, because the most-occurring card must be in that remainder.  So

If rem ( Lc / 49 ) = 0
     MOmin = Lc + ISmin
     MOmin = Lc + ISmin + 1

Run this algorithm on all possible numbers of sets from 0 to 23, and the answer is either 24 or 25.  For N= 0 to 19 sets, it's 25.  For N= 20 to 23 sets, it's 24.

I told you this would be a gigantic hint.  Here's more hint:

I ran a simulation of 1196 cards 100,000 times and checked to see how often the most-occurring card showed up in each.  Here are some results:

The mean value was 35.5.  Assuming a normal distribution, 99.7% of the time, the value would be between 28 and 43.  The highest answer received so far was 28.   

2006 Topps Allen & Ginter #49

Alou is one of those guys that I will always have an attachment to just because he played so many years of my life.  He is in that Kenny Lofton and Omar Vizquel group for me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tennis, anyone?

It's Wimbledon time, or the best time of year for tennis.  Wimbledon is the king of kings when it comes to tennis tournaments.  I'm completely in the tennis spirit.

So, after selling some items on eBay and browsing the DACardWorld clearance pages, I bought, in addition to my Gint-A-Cuffs box and other items, two cases of these 2007 Ace Authentic Straight Sets retail boxes.

That's right, I went crazy and bought 2 cases.

Each case has 20 blasters, each with 7 packs (4 cards per pack, 1 Material card per box).  I also qualified for some DACardWorld free items, and opted for 6 more boxes.  All together, I will have 46 boxes.

Each box has 4x7=28 cards plus one Material card.  Of the 28 cards, one will be a bronze parallel and one will be an insert.  That leaves 26 base cards.  For 46 boxes, I will end up with 1,196 base cards.  The base set consists of just 50 cards.  

Here's where we get down and nerdy.  I wrote a code that randomly filled 1,196 spots with a number from 1 to 50.  That would simulate a completely random collation of cards.  I then searched the random array to see how many sets of 1-50 I came up with.  I then repeated the process 10,000 times. 

The above histogram shows that the number of sets that occurred most often was 14.  The average value was 13.7.  Assuming a normal distribution (yes, I know this isn't quite a normal distribution), and considering 3 standard deviations, I can assume that there is a 99.7% chance that the number of complete sets I will receive is between 8 and 19.

Consider yourself lucky if you have stuck with this post to this point.  I'm going to give you a chance to win a complete set, and maybe something else.

All you have to do is guess the answers to these 5 questions:

How many complete sets will I get?
What card will I get the most of (checklist here)?
How many of that card will I get?
Who will win the Men's Wimbledon tournament this year (draw here)?
Who will win the Women's Wimbledon tournament this year (draw here)?

Who ever gets the most correct answers wins.  Of course, if you don't win, we can always work a deal for a set, as I will likely have several to trade.  You have until Wednesday night at 5:01 pm to enter. 

2006 Topps Allen & Ginter #48

Khalil Greene is to guys what the 2006 A&G Burnitz is to A&G.  U-G-L-Y.  He ain't got no alibi.  He ugly.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 Topps S2: Clemente loves me!

They're just too easy to throw in the cart.

That Jeter is fantastic.

Three Panini inserts and an Upper Deck insert in Topps packs?  Topps, a monopoly means you can produce whatever the hell you want.  Why would you chose to model your cards after other companies? That Career Day cards is horrendous.

Ok, you have partially redeemed yourself.  The golds are nice, the die cuts are nice and the minis have been quite popular.

Speaking of disappointment.  The Golden Giveaway is the bastard child of the Million Card/Diamond Giveaway and a made-up website called e-Pogs.  I really don't need virtual coins.  I tried to transfer them to my bank account, and the customer support rep laughed at me.  Regardless, I am a pawn to the addiction, so I entered my code.

Wait a minute, that's not a coin!  So, in my first Gypsy Queen packs, I got the Clemente photo variation.  In my first Archives packs, I got the Clemente deckle edge.  In my first Topps S2 packs, I get a code that yields a Clemente die cut.  Too cool!  Don't hate me, but this was actually just my third code entered.  My first two sucked, and I didn't buy much more Series 1.  I watched trade offers roll in, and pretty quickly traded Clemente for this:

Score 1 for Spankee!

Sunday Sketch #12 of 30

Lance Berkman just plain looks better as an Astro.  I'm sure someone agrees with me.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

2008 Upper Deck X: 16 packs

I don't get all the hate for this set.  Sure, the base set is pretty boring, but the Die Cuts are great, and 1 per pack makes the set attainable.  The Die Cut Gold parallels are really rare, but they make a great looking binder page. The relics and autos leave something to be desired, though the Griffey, Jeter and Longoria autos are sick.

Ok, still not convinced?  Well, UDX did have one undeniably fantastic feature.  The Xponential inserts.  They were every bit the fantastic promise that UDX was built on.  They are some of the best inserts of the 2000s.  I think UDX would have been a much bigger hit if each pack yielded an X1 and an X2,3or4.  Regardless, these packs are great pickups for under $2.

Ok, so maybe you don't agree with any of that.  Oh well, I do.  I have a sickness.  I love 2008 UDX.  Here are 16 packs I opened over the past couple of months:

The two golds and the Verlander were the ones I was happiest to see.

X1s and X2s for my sets... well as X3s and an X4.

I'm still debating chasing the relic and auto sets.  The autos wouldn't be bad at all other than the Griffey, Jeter and Longo.  The relic set is doable.


Friday, June 22, 2012

2012 Topps Archives: My first(ish) taste

Though Nick sent me some of the players I wanted from Archives, I hadn't posted any packs.  These were my first few packs:

Eh.  Not doing much for me, but not bad.

Eh. A little better, but still not really getting it.

Eh.  Not feeling it.

Eh. Meh.

Eh. I'm just not that big on reprints.

All that, and I only get two cards worth talking about.  The deckle edge is pretty neat, and I like the blue signature.  It at least feels like there was some effort put into it.  The cloth stickers are great.  I'm a fan of alternative textures.

Speaking of textures, the card stock on Archives sucks bigtime.  As thin as this crap is, you should get AT LEAST 15 cards in a $3 pack.

2006 Topps Allen & Ginter #47

In 6 years of Allen & Ginter, there have been 2,100 base cards.  I don't know for certain, but this may be the ugliest of all of them.  There is nothing good about this card.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nick-el and Dime-ing

Oh gosh am I funny.  These cards were sent to me a while back by Nick at Dimeboxes.

Gotta love that the first Topps Archives cards I've shown came from a trade and not packs.  Getting the cards I want in the mail definitely helps me cut back on purchases.

Thanks, Nick!!!!

2006 Topps Allen & Ginter #46

Woohoo, Gint-A-Cuffs is ON baby!  If you don't know what it is, and you regularly purchase a box of Allen & Ginter, go check it out.  It's a great time!

Abreu is batting .302 through 40 games with the Dodgers this season.  That brings me to my next point: When the F did he join the Dodgers? ...yeah, yeah...I know...40 games ago.  I would have bet money that he was retired.

Weird-Oh Wednesday #6b

Yet another missed post.  Oh well.  I at least had a legit excuse for Wednesday.

Weird-Ohs Baseball #6

A left fielder with a ton of solo homeruns and a wooden head.  I'll go with Barry Bonds, who played 2000+ games in left field, hit 450 solo homeruns and could have had his gigantic head pecked on by a woodpecker without knowing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My favorite vintage card...

Fuji asked, so I'm answering. My favorite vintage card is my 1959 Topps Buzz Nutter.  There are so many fantastic things about this card.  The alternating red-blue lettering and the super-clashing pink background are just the beginning.

As for '90s inserts, my favorite is the 1992 Fleer Nolan Ryan Pro View:

That is one badass card. I guess it's not technically an insert, but close enough.

2006 Topps Allen & Ginter #45

Dan Haren is a career .223 hitter.  I'll bet you didn't know that. He's also card #45, the 5th short print in the set.

Monday, June 18, 2012

2006 Topps Allen & Ginter #44

I'm pretty sure I had Floyd on every XBOX and PlayStation baseball team I ever had. He was one of those great filler players that could do a little bit of everything.

You should own this card

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces #32 Justin Verlander

Personally, I feel like everyone should own a set of 2007 and 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces.  But, you should at least, without a doubt, own this card.  

This card shows Verlander just after throwing the last pitch of a no-hitter.  The angle of the shot with the scoreboard in the background is just incredible.  It is easily one of the most beautiful cards ever crafted.