Sunday, May 27, 2012

Archives by the Numbers

Be warned. It's about to get a little nerdy in here. I'm no mathematician but I really enjoy numbers and statistics.  So when I had the chance to dissect a whole case of baseball cards and analyze the collation? For fun? I jumped at the chance! Nothing too deep, just a breakdown of everything. I mentioned earlier that this was my biggest purchase of cards so this was definitely a new experience for me.

If you've seen any of the videos from the break yet, you'll know I was thrown for a loop regarding the Padres. I had found what I thought was a comprehensive checklist of the set but when I opened the packs, things didn't match up. So I'm going to stay away from analyzing team collation.

Strictly going by numbers, the collation for inserts was perfect for every box. Not just the case on average, but each box itself. I pulled the exact number of each insert at the listed per pack ratio. Of the 10 boxes, 8 of them produced 170 base cards. Box #3 had 167 because it had the jersey card so apparently a relic is equivalent to 3 base cards. And box #10 had 169 base cards because of the printing plate I pulled. I'm happy that those bonus inserts came at the expense of base cards rather than an insert.

When I was collecting cards as a kid in the '80s and early '90s, "commons" were players that were essentially considered scrubs. It had nothing to do with how rare or over abundant the card was. It was a statement about the player, not necessarily the card. They were utility players. Journeymen. Cup of coffee type guys. I know it takes an incredible amount of talent to play minor league baseball, let alone making a Major League roster but that was the lingo. The players listed below are commons in the truest sense of the word, at least according to my case break. Each of these players appeared in every box I opened. Ten boxes, ten copies of each card.

At least one was a Cub!
6 Paul Goldschmidt
17 Mat Latos
28 Melky Cabrera
37 Jose Valverde
39 Jackie Robinson
55 Jesus Montero
78 Miguel Montero
87 Clay Buchholz
89 Lou Gehrig
106 Alex Gordon
130 Mike Stanton
139 Ivan Nova
154 Starlin Castro
157 Carlos Gonzalez
187 Nolan Ryan
199 Mark Reynolds

The least amount I pulled of any base card was 7 (80 different players) so the case yielded 7 complete base sets. Twenty players were represented 8 times and 84 players appeared 9 times to go along with the 16 perfect 10's listed above.

There are 40 high numbered short print cards card inserted at a 1:4 packs ratio. I pulled 60, one of each, duplicates of half. No triplicates and no SSP Bryce Harper, card #241. So the case produced 1 full set, cards 1-240.

The Cloth Insert card set has a 25 card checklist. I pulled 40 for the correct 1:6 packs ratio. I received at least one of each and duplicates of 15. No triplicates.

The 3D card set had a 15 card checklist. I pulled 30 for a 1:3 packs ratio. I pulled at least one of each, singles of 3, duplicates of 9, and triplicates of 3. The trips of Utley, Mantle and Kaline all apeared in the same boxes together. Votto, Cabrera and Cruz were together twice as was Pedroia, Hernandez, Upton and Ruth, Clemente and Mays. 

The checklist for the floating head stickers listed 25 players and I pulled 30. There were 14 singles, 8 with dupes and 3 I didn't get (Jeter, Hamilton & Verlander)

I pulled 20 of the Deckled Edge cards out of the checklist of 15. I got 8 singles, 6 with dupes but the Yastrzemski was the only one that evaded me.

The reprints checklist contains 50 cards and there were 60 in the box. I got dupes of 17 but missed out on 7.  

Of the 200 possible Gold base parallels, I pulled 20 different cards. Would need to buy at least 10 cases to complete the set through packs. I've seen a lot of hate on these but I'd be surprised if they don't draw some decent prices just because of the rarity. I'll just be looking for the 2 Cubs I didn't get.

So while this case had the numbers to produce a Master set of every non-relic and autograph, the collation was slightly off. If I had purchased a case for that intent, I would have been 12 cards shy, 13 if you count the SSP Harper.

I'll be out and about most of the day so I may not post video links right away. Check my channel through the other links as they'll be available once they are uploaded. 


  1. Is it true the Harper SSP is only falling about 1:15 cases? That's ridiculous. I might just post about it.

  2. I hadn't heard that number specifically, but that kind of stinks if its true. Oh well.