Thursday, May 31, 2012

A little blog cleaning starts with a good...


Most of the time, sweeping the worst team in baseball (Sorry Marcus!) isn't something to get all excited about. But when your team gets swept in 4 consecutive series to make for a 12 game losing streak, there probably isn't a whole lot to get excited about anyway. I wasn't able to watch yesterday's Cubs game (stupid CSN, more games on WGN please!) but I followed the game log online while doing a few other things. These days, I'll take any victory and the come from behind walk-off variety makes it that much sweeter. 

I've been fiddling with some other custom card designs and a great photo from yesterday's game inspired this newspaper-ish one:


I originally had it all black and white but it looked a little too blah so I kept Darwin Barney in color. The design was loosely based on this old Ernie Banks card although I'm not a big fan of the red lettering: 

(Ernie Banks 1961 Nu Card, photo courtesy of Wrigley Wax)

I would love to hear any feedback, suggestions and even critiques. 

On to the housecleaning...

I went through my list of those following my blog and if I wasn't following their blog(s) yet, I am now. If I missed you or know of one I should be following, let me know because I'm always looking for more. 

So after I mentioned the other day that I regretted selling someone a couple of teams from the Case Break at a cheaper price just to be rid of them and that it may have unintentionally given them an edge on winning anything randomized, that said someone felt besmirched. That was not my intent! I explained that I didn't realize the possible implications and was merely disappointed in myself for not seeing it. He explained his team had already been selected, he was merely looking for trade bait and that anything extra would have been just that, extra.

Well, we hugged it out (email wise) and decided to dissolve our transaction. I refunded the money, no hard feelings, no backroom deal shenanigans or collusion (as alluded to in a separate email by a third party). Maybe this only worked out because I didn't pull anything worth randomizing but I wanted to air everything out and put it to bed now. Learn something new every time I do a break.

That said, I now have a couple of teams available for trade bait of my own from the break. Willing to move these as team lots or pick and choose to help fill your sets:

Angels - Jered Weaver x7, Dan Haren x8, Albert Pujols x9, Ervin Santana x6, Jordan Walden x9, Torii Hunter x6, Mark Trumbo x8, Howie Kendrick x6

Indians - Grady Sizemore x7, Shin-Soo Choo x8, Justin Masterson x7, Ubaldo Jimenez x9, Carlos Santana x8, Asdrubal Cabrera x6, Lonnie Chisenhall x8, Casey Kotchman x8

Mets - Tom Seaver x6, Johan Santana x7, Darryl Strawberry x7, Ike Davis x7, RA Dickey x6, Lucas Duda x9, David Wright x9, Gary Carter x7

Rays - Matt Moore x6, Jeremy Hellickson x8, BJ Upton x6, Desmond Jennings x6, Evan Longoria x8, Ben Zobrist x8, David Price x8, James Shields x9

Rockies - Drew Pomeranz x6, Troy Tulowitski x6, Todd Helton x8, Marco Scutaro x7, Carlos Gonzalez x9

Twins - Joe Mauer x7, Justin Morneau x6

I could probably be persuaded to part with some of the Cubs and Nationals team sets as well.

Also, my Want List has been updated for Archives. I'm in the middle of some trades for GQ and Bowman so those lists are completely up to date just yet. Thanks for any help!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5 Pack of ATCRCS

It's been less than a week since I did a non-Archives post but it feels like a month. What a long week! The packages are out and once I update my Want and Trade Lists, I'll be done with it. Hopefully both lists will be updated for tomorrow's post.

I'm going to post a few of the ATCRCS cards I have posted over on Facebook in the last week or so for those who haven't been clicking the link at the bottom of my posts. I thought posting on Facebook would be a fun way to interact with more collectors but it hasn't gone very well. Is anybody even clicking over? Does anybody miss seeing the backs?

I know it is a pretty specific niche but now I have to decide whether to hold a contest to drum up some readers/followers or just abandon ship. I can take it or leave it, just some thing I thought would be some good cross-promotion. Should I make a separate post later in the day to feature the ATCRCS card of the day? Thoughts?

I realized I was posting a lot of newer guys, 1980's-present, so I'll try to work on adding some of older guys.

Vance Law, the Long Arm of the Law

Doug Dascenzo, Outfielder and Emergency Backup Pitcher

Ralph Kiner, Hall of Famer...for the Pirates.

Joe Garagiola...from the Today Show?

Hobie Landrith, journeyman Catcher spent one season with the Cubs.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Archives by the Numbers - Part 2

Don't forget to vote in the poll to the right regarding the next break. Go ahead, I'll wait...

Ok, now that everything's packaged up I thought I'd throw one last Archives post out there. This one will break down the team distributions so everyone will kind of get a glimpse of what their package will entail. Obviously with a set like Archives, some fared better than others.

I think the columns are pretty self explanatory but here's a breakdown in case its not:
Team = Team (duh!)
Base = Total numbers of base cards
Different = Number of different base cards
Inserts = Total number of inserts
Different = Number of different insert cards
Total = Total number of base cards and inserts (cards in your package)
Total different = Number of different base cards and inserts

A few things I noticed.

  • 8 cards X 24 packs X 10 boxes = 1920, so why 1918 total cards? The Gallardo jersey card was the equivalent of 3 base cards in the pack it came in.
  • The Yankees had more base cards (146) than the lowest 8 teams combined (142).
  • I pulled more Yankees insert cards (34) than total cards of 4 teams (Padres, Astros, Twins, White Sox) and tied the Orioles.
  •  The Yankees also had more different insert cards (24) than 28 other teams had total different cards (Phillies had 25 total different cards). I should have sold that team for half the case amount! (Debunked later, see below)
  • The Padres and the Pirates had more total inserts (4 and 19 respectively) than total base cards (0 and 17).
  • Half of the teams had more different insert cards than different base cards.
  • The Padres had 0 base cards.
  • The White Sox had 0 inserts, although I believe there were potential autographs that I didn't pull.

I debated on posting the following information. It will probably disappoint some but others may feel like they got a got deal. Thems the breaks of a break, I guess. The chart below reflects each teams total distribution, regardless of whether the card was an insert or a base card. The column labeled "% Distrib." is the total number of cards pulled from that team divided by 1918 (total number of cards pulled). So as you can see, the Yankees represented 9.385% of the cards in the box. The third column is that percentage multiplied by what I paid for the case plus an average of $3.00 shipping and insurance. So, in theory, hindsight being 20/20, this columns represents the amount I should have charged per team, assuming every card had an equal value.

Keep in mind, this does not account for an increase in value for things like the Castro printing plate, Gallardo jersey card or any of the autographs. These are straight, every card has the same value figures. You'll see the Pirates towards the bottom of this list and if you remember, I pulled 3 autographs and a total of 19 inserts vs 17 base cards for them.

One of the things I love about numbers is that they are cold hard facts, yet can be manipulated to be what you'd like to see. In my case, I'd like everyone to feel they got their money's worth!

Today's ATCRCS Card of the Day on Facebook:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Updates, New Box Break?

*Sorry for all the following words with no accompanying pictures! Not doing this post from my regular computer.*

So I wasn't at home nearly as much you may have believed this weekend. I did the break and scanned the cards pretty early Saturday morning. I wrote the posts, which if you look closely, they were templated so I just cut and paste, switched out names and photos and then scheduled them for hourly publishing. Meanwhile I was uploading the videos to Youtube. Not to say it wasn't a lot of work, it was. Just that it was a whole lot of work in a couple of hours. Why the rush?

I went on a Boy Scout campout this weekend, from Saturday afternoon to early Sunday evening. I did see most of the comments and questions this weekend from my phone but it's a pain to answer that way so I will try to respond to everyone sometime today. I also have to finish packaging up everybody's cards so they can be dropped off on my to work tomorrow.

I'll admit, I took a bit of financial hit with this break. It wasn't the smartest set to try to break as a case. Several teams were heavily favored in the checklist and even though I staggered the prices to try make it more balanced, the incomplete checklist didn't help. I did sell a couple of teams in the last couple of days at a discounted price to avoid a larger financial hit but looking back, I kind of regret that. I should have first offered to those already involved the break because it gave that person an unfair advantage for anything that would possibly be randomized. I learn something new each time I do a break. So if its a lot of work and a lot of upfront money I might not get back, why keep doing it?

It's fun! I love opening packs. It's been great getting to know more people through my blog and recently as I've opened packs for myself, I've found myself thinking I know who would like that card when I pull a good one. My two previous breaks were done almost exclusively through Now that I've been blogging very consistently for several weeks, I'd like to open it up to this new community of friends. I'm not offering it up just yet, but I'd like to put out some feelers to see it there is enough interest in doing a 3 Hobby Box break of 2012 Topps Series 2. I believe this checklist is a lot more evenly distributed so I will set the prices regardless of team. 

Check out the poll on the right which closes Friday at noon, EST. Release date is Wednesday the 6th, with the break happening that upcoming weekend. Would operate much the same as this one, update posts, video links once they're done, etc. Just trying to find a fair way to distribute teams. Majority rules. 

Please answer the poll but if you have any comments or questions that don't involve laying claim to a team, feel free to leave them. Let me know!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

2012 Topps Archives Case Break All Videos

The link below is to a playlist that plays all 10 videos in sequence. It's listed as 1 hour and 35 minutes. Please let me know if any of the videos don't work as they seem to work fine for me.

10 Video Playlist


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. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

2012 Topps Archives Case Break Videos - Boxes 1-3

These have been uploading ALL DAY. Very frustrating. Here are the videos for the first 3 boxes.

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

I will let my computer keep uploading through the night and post links when they're done. Hopefully they'll finish over night. Tomorrow I will post a review/statistical analysis of the case. I'll let you know how many complete base sets I was able to complete. Did the case yield a complete set with SPs? Was I able to complete any/all of the insert sets? Answers to these questions and more in tomorrow's post, so come back then!

Thanks again to everybody who participated and followed throughout the day.

2012 Topps Archives Case Break Box 10 - Printing Plate

High Numbered Short Prints (1:4 packs):

Bill Buckner (Cubs), Bill Madlock (Pirates), Jim Abbott (Angels)
Lance Parrish (Tigers), Jose Oquendo (Cardinals), Von Hayes (Phillies)

Deckled Edge (1:12 packs)
Gold Parallel (1:12 packs)

Joe Mauer (Twins), Mike Napoli (Rangers)
Daniel Hudson (D-Backs), Chris Young (D-Backs)

1977 Topps Cloth (1:6 packs)

Johnny Bench (Reds), Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins)
Starlin Castro (Cubs), Willie Stargell (Pirates)

1968 Topps 3D (1:8 packs)
1967 Topps Stickers (1:8 packs)

Al Kaline (Tigers), Mickey Mantle (Yankees), Chase Utley (Phillies)
Mariano Rivera (Yankees), Mark Teixeira (Yankees), Ryan Braun (Brewers)

Reprints (1:4 packs)

Ralph Kiner (Pirates), Willie Mays (Giants), Gary Carter (Expos)
Ferguson Jenkins (Cubs), Joe Morgan (Astros), Jim Hunter (A's)

Autographs (2 per box)

Carney Lansford (A's), Ed Kranepool (Mets)

Now this may be anticlimactic for some of you but let me tell you. After opening 200+ packs, this made the whole thing worth it for me. Finally....the pièce de résistance...after the jump...

2012 Topps Archives Case Break Box 09

High Numbered Short Prints (1:4 packs):

Brett Butler (Dodgers), Cecil Fielder (Tigers), Roger McDowell (Mets)
Ed Kranepool (Mets), Chili Davis (Angels), Robin Ventura (Mets)

Deckled Edge (1:12 packs)
Gold Parallel (1:12 packs)

Harmon Killebrew (Twins), Evan Longoria (Rays)
Alex Gordon (Royals), Justin Verlander (Tigers)

1977 Topps Cloth (1:6 packs)

Curtis Granderson (Yankees), Catfish Hunter (Yankees)
Joe Morgan (Reds), Rod Carew (Twins)

1968 Topps 3D (1:8 packs)
1967 Topps Stickers (1:8 packs)

Al Kaline (Tigers), Mickey Mantle (Yankees), Chase Utley (Phillies)
Ichiro (Mariners), Tim Lincecum (Giants), Troy Tulowitski (Rockies)

Reprints (1:4 packs)

George Brett (Royals), Rod Carew (Twins), Ozzie Smith (Padres)
Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox), Juan Marichal (Giants), Cal Ripken (Orioles)

Autographs (2 per box)

Brett Butler (Dodgers), Jack Clark (Cardinals)

2012 Topps Archives Case Break Box 08

High Numbered Short Prints (1:4 packs):

Mike Scott (Astros), Jay Buhner (Mariners), Shawon Dunston (Cubs)
Ed Kranepool (Mets), Chili Davis (Angels), Sid Bream (Braves)

Deckled Edge (1:12 packs)
Gold Parallel (1:12 packs)

Jose Batista (Blue Jays), Ichiro (Mariners)
Jacoby Ellsbury (Red Sox), Jayson Werth (Nationals)

1977 Topps Cloth (1:6 packs)

Curtis Granderson (Yankees), Josh Hamilton (Rangers)
Joe Morgan (Reds), Rod Carew (Twins)

1968 Topps 3D (1:8 packs)
1967 Topps Stickers (1:8 packs)

Roberto Clemente (Pirates), Willie Mays (Giants), Babe Ruth (Yankees)
Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox), Jose Bautista (Blue Jays), Ian Kennedy (D-Backs)

Reprints (1:4 packs)

Monte Irvin (Giants), Yogi Berra (Yankees), Duke Snider (Dodgers)
Roberto Clemente (Pirates), George Anderson (Phillies), Eddie Murray (Orioles)

Autographs (2 per box)

Jimmy Key (Yankees), Andy Van Slyke (Pirates)

2012 Topps Archives Case Break Box 07

High Numbered Short Prints (1:4 packs):

Vida Blue (A's), Will Clark (Giants), Dave Righetti (Yankees)
Ken Griffey Jr. (Mariners), John Olreud (Blue Jays), George Bell (Blue Jays)

Deckled Edge (1:12 packs)
Gold Parallel (1:12 packs)

Roberto Clemente (Pirates), Bob Gibson (Cardinals)
Curtis Granderson (Yankees), Ian Kinsler (Rangers)

1977 Topps Cloth (1:6 packs)

Eric Hosmer (Royals), Gary Carter (Expos)
Jim Rice (Red Sox), Steve Carlton (Phillies)

1968 Topps 3D (1:8 packs)
1967 Topps Stickers (1:8 packs)

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Nelson Cruz (Rangers), Joey Votto (Reds)
Joe Mauer (Twins), Mickey Mantle (Yankees), Tim Lincecum (Giants)

Reprints (1:4 packs)

George Brett (Royals), Rod Carew (Twins), Tom Seaver (Reds)
Robin Yount (Brewers), WillieStargell (Pirates), Brooks Robinson (Orioles)

Autographs (2 per box)

Bob Boone (Phillies), Steve Rogers (Expos)

2012 Topps Archives Case Break Box 06

High Numbered Short Prints (1:4 packs):

Willie Mays (Giants), Sandy Koufax (Dodgers), Andy Van Slyke (Pirates)
Bake McBride (Phillies), Cecil Cooper (Brewers), Ken Griffey (Reds)

Deckled Edge (1:12 packs)
Gold Parallel (1:12 packs)

Orlando Cepeda (Braves), Bob Gibson (Cardinals)
Tom Seaver (Mets), Jesus Montero (Mariners)

1977 Topps Cloth (1:6 packs)

Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), Chris Carpenter (Cardinals)
Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox), Robin Yount (Brewers)

1968 Topps 3D (1:8 packs)
1967 Topps Stickers (1:8 packs)

Roberto Clemente (Pirates), Willie Mays (Giants), Babe Ruth (Yankees)
Joe Mauer (Twins), Mickey Mantle (Yankees), Mariano Rivera (Yankees)

Reprints (1:4 packs)

Tom Seaver (Reds), Robin Yount (Brewers), Willie Mays (Giants)
Joe Morgan (Astros), Willie Stargell (Pirates), Brooks Robinson (Orioles)

Autographs (2 per box)

Bill Madlock (Pirates), Bobby Richardson (Yankees)

2012 Topps Archives Case Break Box 05

High Numbered Short Prints (1:4 packs):

Will Clark (Giants), Bill Madlock (Pirates),  Ken Griffey Jr. (Mariners)
Jim Abbott(Angels), Lance Parrish (Tigers), Von Hayes (Phillies)

Deckled Edge (1:12 packs)
Gold Parallel (1:12 packs)

Juan Marichal (Giants), Joe Mauer (Twins)
Dee Gordon (Dodgers),  CC Sabathia (Yankees)

1977 Topps Cloth (1:6 packs)

Gary Carter (Expos), Jim Rice (Red Sox)
Steve Carlton (Phillies), Starlin Castro (Cubs)

1968 Topps 3D (1:8 packs)
1967 Topps Stickers (1:8 packs)

Felix Hernandez (Mariners), Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox), Justin Upton (D-Backs)
Carl Yastrzemski, (Red Sox), Jim Palmer (Orioles), Willie Mays (Giants)

Reprints (1:4 packs)

Reggie Jackson (A's), Whitey Ford (Yankees), George Brett (Royals)
Larry Doby (Indians), Juan Marichal (Giants), Tony Gwynn (Padres)

Autographs (2 per box)

Von Hayes (Phillies), Amos Otis (Royals)

2012 Topps Archives Case Break Box 04

High Numbered Short Prints (1:4 packs):

Willie Mays (Giants), Bake McBride (Phillies), Cecil Cooper (Brewers)
Terry Pendleton (Braves), Ken Griffey (Reds), Oscar Gamble (Yankees)

Deckled Edge (1:12 packs)
Gold Parallel (1:12 packs)

Orlando Cepeda (Braves), Evan Longoria (Rays)
Tommy Hanson (Braves), Brandon Phillips (Reds)

1977 Topps Cloth (1:6 packs)

Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), George Brett (Royals)
Roy Halladay (Phillies), Reggie Jackson (Yankees)

1968 Topps 3D (1:8 packs)
1967 Topps Stickers (1:8 packs)

Felix Hernandez (Mariners), Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox), Justin Upton (D-Backs)
Ichiro (Mariners), Pablo Sandoval (Giants), Troy Tulowitski (Rockies)

Reprints (1:4 packs)

Ozzie Smith (Padres), Reggie Jackson (A's), Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox)
Juan Marichal (Giants), Cal Ripken Jr. (Orioles), Dave Winfield (Padres)

Autographs (2 per box)

Ken Singleton (Orioles), Dave Righetti (Yankees)