I have no idea how to create pages but I'll figure it out eventually godammit

Saturday, July 31, 2010

OK, a little time to discuss Rick Ankiel

Because just like Stale Gum, I haz a noo laptop. In the long run, this will help greatly with posting and doing videos and such, but right now I gotta get it all set up. So I unfortunately have no time to discuss how a hurt Ankiel is still better than Nate McOut. Well, I have time to mention one thing...

Good news, everyone! Jesse Chavez is no longer in the Braves' bullpen!

(So long, Blanco. We hardly knew ye)

Ok, so I found time. Recovery disks take a long time to burn. Here's what I posted on Waxaholic's rant about the trades. In short, I'm not thrilled with the moves, but I do acknowledge that they make the team stronger in the short term.

Allrighty, I've got recovery disks burning, so I've got some time to discuss now.

Yunel would still be here if he had done ANYTHING this year. He was our team MVP last year, but inexplicably regressed to Francoeur levels in 2010. The man completely forgot how to hit and when he nearly got Glaus killed at first with a lollipop throw a couple of weeks ago, that was the last straw, because he obviously wasn't the best defensive shortstop anymore with his mental lapses. He's not a prospect anymore at age 27 and the Braves couldn't wait around for him anymore. Not crazy about Seabass, but the Braves have been stockpiling infielders in the minors for the past few years so we'll see if one pans out. We should really be more mad about Elvis anyway.

Now to the Royals trade. Ankiel is the new center fielder, at least against right handed pitchers. Basically, our outfield is Heyward and four other guys right now. Diaz can hit lefties, Ankiel can hit righties and Melky can now bounce around the outfield (like a 4th outfielder is supposed to do) whenever Hinske isn't filling for an obviously injured Glaus at first. Rick is actually a very good defensive outfielder so that helps. It's not an impact bat, but Liberty Media won't pay for one, so Wren has to patch the best he can. It slightly improves an outfield that was left in shambles by McLouth losing all ability to play baseball.

Losing Blanco right when he figured out how to play baseball sucks, but we replaced him with Wilkin Ramirez, a similar player we got from the Tigers today. He might be good, he might suck, but Frank is at least working to keep the depth in the organization.

Kyle Farnsworth I'm somewhat bewildered by. I thought he turned into a gasoline can since signing with the Yankees, but apparently he's had a decent year with the Royals. The last time he pitched this well was with the Braves in 2005 where he was great in the regular season and SUUUUCKED in the postseason. Luckily, he's going to be the 5th option in that bullpen after Wags, Saito, Moylan and Venters so he adds some really good depth. I still think he's most likely to pull a Leibrandt if the Braves get into the playoffs.

Jesse Chavez sucks. Flat out sucks. Throws up meatball after meatball even if they are pitched fast. He was given a job over Venters out of spring training even though he was awful and didn't earn it and due to injuries ended back up as the last option in the pen (Not counting Kawakami who may as well be in Japan at this point). The guy is not good and will not be missed. Sucks we gave up Soriano for him, but that was another business move by ownership just waiting to sell the team when they are able to do so without taking a tax hit.

I too am disappointed by trading Tim Collins, but look who we didn't trade. We didn't trade Freeman, we didn't trade Minor, we didn't trade Teheran, Vizcaino, Delgado or Hoover, we didn't trade Kimbrel or Hyde, we didn't trade any of the catchers or infielders that are looking good in the minors. If we had gotten an actual impact bat like Fielder or Dunn, or any of the fake impact bats like Hart, Ross or Willingham, we would have had to give up some of those guys and could end up with Teixeira part 2. Wren improved the team (albeit slightly) and kept all the major kids expected to produce for us in the next 5 years. It's not very exciting, but he did a decent job.

Now it's time for the players to step up and get into the playoffs. Chipper needs to step it up or get out of the 3-spot in the lineup. Glaus needs to admit he's injured and sit for a while. Lowe needs to not suck. The whole team needs to stop freezing up whenever the bases are loaded. There is no excuse for not getting more guys home with so many opportunities. And EVERYBODY needs to quit sliding into bases goddamn head first.  Wither that or make the idiots wear mittens when running the bases, first Heyward and now Prado with broken fingers from sliding head first. Damnit.

Joy of a completed Page - Sort of

My recently acquired Alvin Dark filled up another page in my 1953 Topps binder.

Well, sort of. Look closely at John Antonelli. Look a little off? That's because I scanned the one in my Braves binder and printed it out to fill the hole in the page. It's one thing to collect two cards of a player from about the 1970's onward if you want one for the base set and one for the team set. That's overkill for sets from the '50s in my opinion. It displays well enough and I scanned front and back so it looks good from both sides. I went way overboard with this binder though as you can see from this next page of High numbers.

For cards I didn't have I found a decent scan on eBay. pasted them all in a word document and edited the images to print the proper size. Then I printed the document out in black & white, cut out the 'cards' and placed them in my binder as a filler until I can get the actual card. You'll notice that Carlos and Bill are black & white while Willie is in color.that's was a judgment call on my part. There are several cards in this set I will probably never track down in my price range and the high numbered short printed (yes there are short prints in the high numbers)of Willie Freaking Mays is one I will probably not come across in a bargain bin. So I cheated and printed it out in color and pasted it on card stock.

Before you think I'm a madman, so far I've only done this for my '53 Topps set and some of the teams in my vintage Braves binder.  I might do it with my '56 Topps binder next though, if I can ever find the time to do anything ever again.

By the way, one of these cards in the high-numbered page is one I got at the card show on Thursday. Can you guess which one?

Friday, July 30, 2010

1953 Topps Alvin Dark

Here's the first of my card show pickups. I'm going to show 'em all off over the nest few weeks, possibly days if I am desperate for cheap posts. This card here is one of the very, very few true common cards I needed from the low numbered set. I'm quickly getting to the point where the only cards I need are high numbers and superstars. Mickey and Yogi and Mays, oh my! I would have bet money that I had this card already because I've seen this picture a thousand times in eBay auctions and Archives cards. If it wasn't on the wantist I would have passed it up. Always carry a want list! And keep it current!

Alvin was one of the first old-time players I had ever heard of. I read Peanuts paperback books like mad when I was a kid and one of the Sunday strips showed the locker room of the San Francisco Giants (Sparky's favorite team) in the throwaway panel. The names on the top of the locker included Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Alvin Dark. I knew exactly who Mays and McCovey were but didn't know about Alvin Dark. From that point on, I figured he was another superstar like the Willies. Turns out he was the manager, which is a different kind of superstar.

My National was today

Everyone's all geeked up for The National, but I got my card show fix earlier today at a Roger Neufeldt mini-show at the Courtyard Marriott on Delk Road in Atlanta. Any vintage card lovers in Atlanta this weekend should check it out, this is that show I posted about a long time ago. I almost missed this one, I either didn't get or misplaced the usual green postcard that announces his shows for people on the mailing list. BP Sports bailed me out when I got an e-mail from them on Wednesday advertising the show. It pays to be on mailing lists...

I unfortunately had even less time to look than last time, plus I had the kids in tow. Thank the Maker for Nintendo DS. The good news is I actually had some cash this time and I managed to pick up 40 cards off my 1953-1956 Topps wantlists. I also met an old friend of mine that I traded cards with in elementary school that I hadn't seen in at least a couple of decades. A pretty dang good day if you ask me!

I'm going to show off the baseball cards in good time, but you know I can't go to this show without picking up a few old non-sports cards. Here's the three I picked out from the bargain bin. 

1954 Scoops 1939 World's Fair

This was the one card I new I had to leave the show with even if I got no other cards at all. I've heard a lot about the 1939 World's Fair. My grandfather was the maître d' at the restaurant at the British pavilion, which was a nice trick for an Italian kid from Chester, Pennsylvania to pull off. I think he even served the Queen, if I am remembering his numerous stories correctly. The fair introduced the world to color photography and air conditioning, and indirectly inspired a TV show.

This is my first Scoops card and I'm still not entirely sure how the Winnipeg Free Press ended up being featured on the back. The scene on the front appears to be the Communications building according to the postcard here and a photo here. The painting puts the two towers behind the building unlike the photo which has them up front. Odd, but charming. Topps had to commission a painting of the scene back then instead of ganking images off of Wikipedia like they do today.

This may disappoint some people, but I had a chance to get my very first Mars Attacks! card today and I passed it up. It was #29 Death in the Shelter, and I just didn't like that card. You know, if I am going to spend money on a Mars Attacks card, I want a dadgum alien on the thing, not a giant bug chomping Ward Cleaver's neck. I think I should probably just hold out and save up for #21 Prize Captive which is quite possibly the greatest non-sports card ever printed. Don't worry, I brought home horror and gore nonetheless.

1962 Topps Civil War News #72 The Cannon's Victim

Boom goes the cannonball! This is from Topps' other shockingly graphic card set, Civil War News. The censors could squawk all they wanted about murderous aliens, this was history! This one's pretty horrible too - check out #5... and 21... and 23... and 65... and about 3 dozen others.... the difference is that while the Mars Attacks! set depicted horrific scenes of gore and violence from a fictional story, this set depicted atrocities that actually happened to real, living human beings, making it perfectly acceptable for children.

Besides the Mythbusters appeal of the big boom on the front, I had to get this for the Atlanta angle. I can sneak this into my vintage Braves binder along with my '33 Goudey Atlanta Cracker and Indian Gum card. The Battle of Peachtree Creek was a nice bloody useless futile battle in a war chock full of 'em. The battleground is now an upscale part of town where you can get utterly pershnockered at one of their many bars and quite possibly shot. As you can tell, I'm lukewarm at best about the Civil War despite my home state's seeming adoration of the whole thing, but boy, I do love my violence. The card goes in the 'cool' binder until I decide whether I sneak it in with my '62 Braves set or not.

1950 Topps Bring 'Em Back Alive 
#73 Terror of the Jungle

If you haven't noticed, every time I go to this show I have to bring back a card with a crazed tiger locked in a death battle with some other critter. Today was no different, and I chose this card of a tiger totally PWNING some hapless water buffalo. Steak for dinner tonight!

What the deuce?! BUFFALO ROPE A DOPED THE TIGER! I guess that bull had some hap left after all. Tiger will get him in the rematch!

Monday, July 26, 2010

What I did this weekend instead of blogging

Aww yeah, minor league baseball. We were planning to go to the Rome Braves game, but had to head down to downtown Atlanta after the game, so Gwinnett was a little closer. They played the Louisville Bats, the Reds' Triple-A team. I thouhg t Louisville was the Redbirds, but I guess that name doesn't work too well when you're no longer the Cardinals' affiliate.

Woooo! A free program! We have the Braves' Triple-A All Stars on the cover. Wes Timmons I know nothing about, Barbaro Canizares got a cup of coffee last year with the Braves and now is hopelessly behind Freddie Freeman in the organizational depth chart and Mike Dunn is up with the big squad likely as an audition for potential trade partners.

Here's the inside of the program, notice anything missing?

So... what's Joe Thurston's uniform number? Or Mike Minor's? If #36 is on the mound pitching, who exactly would that be? You'll never know, because there's no names on the back of the jerseys and no uniform numbers printed in the specially printed program for the next three home series. Did Richmond fans have to put up with this nonsense? I'm beginning to wonder about the Gwinnett organization.

The Braves got spanked by the Bats 8-3, but it's minor league baseball so who cares. I got to see a few prospects, hang out in the sun and participate in minor league promotional shenanigans such as throwing tennis balls at kiddie pools in the infield for the chance to win tickets.

I got a team set of the G-Braves for ten bucks. Note to Strasburg collectors: he's in the International League Prospect set. Also ten bucks. I didn't get one because I do not care if Strasburg lives or dies. Here's some players from my team set that contributed in the game:

Freddie Freeman, AKA the guy we're calling up as soon as Troy Glaus' knees go. He looked pretty good out there today. Not Jason Heyward good like the last G-Braves game I saw but solid. He smacked a long solo homer off of Jason Isringhausen to right field. Well, now we know he can hit Major League pitching, even if it's former Major league pitching.

Todd Redmond started the game. He was half dominant (struck out the side in one inning) and getting shelled (homers right and left).  Not sure if you'll be seeing him in the bigs any time soon.

Georgia Bulldog alum Clint Sammons pinch hit in the 7th and bopped another solo homer. He stayed in the game as a third baseman, which I thought was interesting. Maybe they're trying to find him another position since there's a bunch of good catchers coming up in the system. Or maybe the organization is desperate for a third base prospect.

Craig Kimbrel is supposed to take over for Wagner as closer next year. Someone needs to get Wagner to pitch one more year because he didn't look that great. Juan Francisco (Remember the scary guy in National Chicle whose face covered the entire card? That guy) hit a MONSTER homer off the dude. There were a lot of surprising names in this game, see for yourself. Dinged Corners' favorite Micah Owings started the game for the Bats and I had no clue. Thanks shoddy Gwinnett program!

Jair pitched yesterday against the F#%$ing Fish and also got a card in the team set for pitching some rehab games here. They announced that the game was tied in the 8th during the G-Braves game. I figured out a few innings later that the Braves must have lost when they never had a follow up announcement.

It was still a nice day at the ballpark kand you gotta love the '87 Topps ripoff minor league team set.

The Joy of a Completed Page #24

Picked up a few packs of Heritage on a whim. There seems to be a ton of the stuff out there right now, especially at Targets. The packs did not turn out well, both short prints were doubles as was most of the base cards. The Miggy in the Middle finished off one more page though, which pretty much saved the packs. This is a pretty sold page as long as you don't look to hard at the bottom row.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Allen Ginter Project : Card #30 - N21 Quadrupeds





Needed something silly for a Saturday. This one has what is probably my favorite title text of all the A&G sets. Something about that Q50 gets me. Pretty decent art on the front too. Not sure if the mighty badger made it into this year's National Animals set, but if Topps uses the idea again for the states we've got a candidate for Wisconsin right here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

2010 Allen & Ginter Box Break Part 5: Packs 13-16

THIS POST ONLY: snarky comments on all 64 cards pulled out of these four packs.

Man, it's been a while since I did the last Gint-a-Cuffs post. Sorry, I got totally distracted by blasters.

Pack 13:
130 Area 51 +1
Only Topps could make something as interesting as Area 51 the most boring card in the set. At least the Suez Canal card was vaguely filthy if you squinted.

237 Kevin Millwood
Good pitcher, rotten team. What would his career have looked like had he stayed with the Braves?

251 Chase Headley Lamarr
Now go DO... That VOODOO... That YOU DO... So weeeeeeeell!

289 Loafer Ramirez +2
Thanks for the new manager you lazy oaf!

66 Orlando Hudson
Exhibit A on why the current free agent draft pick compensation system is broken.

150 Grady Sizemore +2
So who else picked this guy early in your fantasy drafts?

MM4 Clever Girl +3
Randall Munroe's favorite trading card I reckon.

TDH69 Alexei Ramirez TDIH +1
The Sox are pulling off a bigger Houdini act than the Braves this year. Braves vs. White Sox World Series, mickeyfickeys!

Pack 14:
129 Steve Gutenberg +1
The inventor of the formulaic cop comedy that is awful, yet entertaining.

213 Mark Reynolds
Apparently striking out 200 times a season is acceptable now. Who'd a thunk it?

263 Ruben Tejada RC
Now I want a pastrami sandwich with kraut and thousand island on grilled rye. No, not want... NEED.

4 Princess Fielder
The Brewers are doing a remake of Midnight Cowboy with Ryan Braun playing a gigolo and Fielder in the role of Fatso Rizzo. Oscars all around, baby.

202 Aramis Ramirez
A miserable season by Aramis is barely noticed in the swirling vortex of Fail up on the North side.

310 Enrico Palazzo SP +2
And the rocket's red glare... buncha bombs in the air... gave proof to the night... that we still had a flag...

NA30 Koi Japan +1
Fishies! I like this set. Much more civilized than showing off crooked politicians.

TDH57 Miguel Tejada TDIH +1
Honestly, I've pulled so many Miguel Tejada cards on this blog, I've totally run out of jokes for the guy.

Pack 15:
11 Wade Davis RC
Other than Heyward, I have not recognized a single rookie so far. Apparently this guy doesn't suck from what I've heard.

288 Bobby Jenks
Not a great picture job by Topps on this one, it looks like he has mold growing on his chin.

256 Rick Porcello
I know damn well I've seen this picture before.

265 Kendry Morales
Lice looking photo on this one though. Shame about the injury.



AGR-AE Andre Ethier Jersey +8

Yessss! There are Dodger fans in the Gint-A-Cuffs! And their favorite players are... Kershaw and Kemp. #@$%!!! Oh well this is a sight better than Smarjzdjiajadjizjiadiza.

122 Yadier Molina mini +2

An actual base mini card! Can it really be.....

Nope. Another A&G back. Yadi make the set?


A 2006 mini of Brad Penny is in his spot. 2006 minis are scarce in my set and must be preserved.

TDH 36 Hanley Ramirez TDIH +2

I make fun of Hanley's defensive loafing, but this year Yunel Escobar has had just as many mental lapses as HanRam only without the hitting. Crumbs. Now I'm sad. Just so you know how long it took me to get this post together, Escobar was still on the Braves when I wrote about this card.

Pack 16:
156 Cameron Maybin
Think the Fish would like Cabrera back?

291 Ron Teasley +2
Yay! My first Negro League player! Wayne played for the New York Cubans and was in the Dodgers' minor league system.

119 Dan Uggla
Speaking as a Braves fan, this guy is a colossal pain in the ass.

167 Dan Haren
Can you say trade bait? This guy is dealt every three years like clockwork. 

252 Matt Garza
I think the Rays steal the division this year. Don't know how, I just think they will. 

AGHS9 Jimmy Rollins Sketch +3
I am mildly bemused by the plethora of articles floating around written by sports wonks who are utterly shocked and horrified that the Phillies are seven games back.  However, I do not think they will be seven games back all year long, and the Braves and Phils play each other a LOT in September. This season is long from over.

WGW54 Miguel De Cervantes Wordsmiths +4
When you come to think about it, card bloggers ranting and raving about monopolies and licenses and gimmicks high end travesties and a certain publisher/grader/industry lobbyist/propaganda machine is just a lot of tilting at windmills, ya know?

TDH37 Ichiro TDIH +1
All Ichiro cards are good Ichiro cards. No exceptions. I dare someone to show me a bad Ichiro card. I'm waiting.

Most interesting non-scoring card:

All the interesting cards scored points this round.

Coolest This Date In History:
John Scopes Is Indicted For Teaching the Theory of Evolution

Three out of four historical events on these cards had to do with horror, war and death. I chose this one because Inherit the Wind is a damn fine film. Rent or stream or torrent this sucker whenever you get a chance, you won't be disappointed.

Gint-A-Cuffs total:
Box Topper: 8 points
Pack 1: ???
Pack 2: 3 points
Pack 3: 15 points
Pack 4: 8 points
Pack 5: 3 points
Pack 6: 7 points
Pack 7: 4 points
Pack 8: 10 points
Pack 9: 3 points
Pack 10: bupkis
Pack 11: 7 points
Pack 12: 7 points
Pack 13: ???
Pack 14: ???
Pack 15: ???
Pack 16: ???
TOTAL: 75 points + Pack 1, 13, 14, 15, 16's points

I had time to either upload the images or calculate the Gint-a-Cuffs points this morning, but not both. I think I chose wisely.

Thursday, July 22, 2010



Playing Games

Anyone remember these?

Cadaco All-Star baseball discs! This one here is pretty high-falootin' what with a picture on the front and...

STATS on the back! My first game had blank yellow discs with a name and a circle of random numbers and we liked it. Stick the disc in the spinner, and spin! Then... spin again, it was on a line. Oh hell naw Mike Schmidt didn't just strike out (nudge) double! That's more like it.

Created by major leaguer Ethan Allen, the game was sold for over 50 years before royalties and marketing made it unprofitable, and therefore gone even though it was one of the most well known baseball games of all time. Hmmm... I wonder why children don't care about baseball any more. Couuldn't be because the MLB chose greed over building a fan base. The game is still well remembered by old geezers like me and thanks to the interwebs you can find lots of neat info on the discs. You can even buy up to date teams! Or if $250 is a pit pricey for a season set, get creative and make your own. I wish I knew what I did with my set. I miss my Babe Ruth disk with the 1 section the size of a Buick.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ginter Code was cracked

By Nick Jacoby once again! You can see just how he done it here. Nice job, Nick! I have to admit that Topps was quite clever this time. After having to examine a bunch of confusing parallels last year, a code breaker didn't really need to look at a single card this year. The code, a checklist and Baseball-Reference would suffice. In honor of this feat, I'm going to hold a special contest just for Topps. Introducing...


Here are the instructions: All Topps has to do is crack my special near-impossible-to-decipher code, follow the instructions in the code and they win! The prize: A bunch of boxes of junk wax doubles I've got cluttering up my basement. Topps can try to build their own set of 1989 Topps, or they can give them away on the Transmogrifier! Topps will have to earn it though. Ok, don't look now, but.... HERE'S THE CODE





Get crackin' Topps... you'll need your finest minds working on this one...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Minis from Thorzul

Thorzul hates trade posts, but I'm pissed at the Brewers right now, so nyaaaah. I don't strictly consider this a trade post anyway because Thorzul and I don't so much as trade as send each other random junk out of the blue every so often. The package consisted of two Topps Unique rookies who might get their own post one day, a small pile of Braves that immediately went into a pile to send another blogger and three minis. One of which is my...


I like everything about this card. The flag, the dog, the fonts, the gold border, the forest down at the bottom, the kudzu running up the sides, the text on the back, the horizontal orientation of the photo, the card stock, the slight glossiness on the front, the ink. There is nothing bad about this card.

In addition to the magnificent canine card, Thorzul sent a couple of minis destined to be placed in my 2006-2010 Allen & Ginter combination mini FrankenSet. I place cards in the set based on strict criteria. Best player/subject, black borders, SPs, A&G backs and Braves all get preferential treatment. These two minis stack high in the rankings.

Here's Tommy Black Border looking like a painting in the Louvre. Nothing could possibly keep this card out of my FrankenSet. Or so I thought.

No freaking way I'm bumping Albert Einstein. Tommy will have to settle for going in my Braves mini collection instead.

Here's Nate McLouth, fresh off the DL. Nate is a high numbered short print so he should get in the set easy, right? Uh uh.

Pwned by Cap Anson. I'm honestly as surprised as anyone that these two got left out of the set. I'm tempted to scratch out the number on Hanson's card and change it to 17 so I can bump Jhonny Peralta from the binder. The FrankenSet is serious business however and must remain pure. Thanks to Thorzul for the swag. Someone out there should honor such a noble collector and blogger and help him finish off his Series two Topps set.

Joy of a Completed Page - 2006 Allen & Ginter

2006: when Champion base cards were all huddled together at the end of the set and the short prints were sprinkled randomly throughout. I wish Topps hadn't given up on the tiny picture indicating the sport at the bottom these oddball subjects, they're both authentic to the original set and pretty nifty looking. All of these cards are interesting in their own way but I have no idea why Topps chose to put a surfer in a tuxedo on his card.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Screw the Brew, Go Bobby

I was getting pretty worked up about Bobby Cox and Jonny Venters getting suspended for failing to not hit Princess Fielder's big fat ass this past weekend. Ken Macha whines to Bob Watson and Bobby and Venters get suspended for hitting a player after a warning was given on Saturday, meanwhile Ken and David Riske skate for doing the exact same thing to Heyward and Glaus on Sunday. Venters I couldn't care less about, he's a rookie reliever who honestly could use a little rest to keep that inning count down. Suspending Cox for that garbage in his final season is crap and I was pissed. I want Bobby to finish his career with 2500 wins and a BS suspension is one less game he has to hit that milestone.

So I checked his Baseball-Reference page and felt better when I saw he only needs 33 more wins for 2500. I'm pretty sure the the Braves have a decent chance of going at least 33-47 the rest of the way. I also saw something very interesting. Check out the number of Braves wins Cox has after whooping up on the Brew Crew on Sunday.

Kickass! Rush!

Now I am happy again knowing that Bobby will likely still hit that 2500 milestone and has a good shot to make the playoffs while Princess and Macha watch at home. I shall celebrate with bee-yoo-tee-fool music:

Bobby will be skulking in the tunnel managing the game on the sly tomorrow anyway...

I did the math

And it was hard.

I am not good at math. I have never been good at math. In school, by the time I actually grokked whatever math concept we were learning, the class was already three chapters ahead of me. However, I am smart enough to know I don't know math, and am stubborn enough to think that I can force my way through it if I use enough formulas and such if I really, really have to know the answer to a math-related question.

This is one of those times when my curiosity, stubbornness and ineptitude join forces and combine to brute force a simple task.

I have to know the exact odds of pulling a non-short-printed 2010 Allen & Ginter base mini card OR I WILL GO COMPLETELY INSANE.

After a hobby box and several blasters I have noticed that base minis are few and far between. This is not quite enough to get me obsessed with finding out the ratio. What has pushed me over the edge is that damn Strasburg mini. You know, the one that drops at the same ratio as normal garden variety minis? Yeah, that one.


That's actually a good question, what the hell are the odds of pulling a base mini from a pack of A&G? There are plenty of odds listed for all the other flavors of mini cards, but none for the base minis. You shouldn't have to post odds for the base minis, should you? Those are the most common ones, right? Base minis are the water that the parallel sugar and the insert Kool-Aid packet goes into right? Well they don't seem so common this year to me, so I gotta find the odds. Here are the odds for all the other minis as listed on a retail pack:

Base SP - 1:13
A&G back - 1:5
A&G back SP - 1:65
Black border - 1:10
Black border SP - 1:130
No Number - 1:188
Bazooka - 1:376

National Animals - 1:8
Lords of Olympus - 1:12
Monsters of the Mesozoic - 1:12
World's Biggest - 1:12
Wordsmiths - 1:24
Sailors of the Seven Seas - 1:24
Creatures of Legend, Myth and Joy - 1:128

Did I miss any? Those are just the ones we have odds for, I don't even know about the Salty Sailors and Zodiac stealth inserts. Seems like an awful lot of inserts to me, in your average 24 pack box you're looking at pulling 10 of the common inserts. This is not counting the tough inserts or ANY parallels. So have base minis been squeezed out of the set altogether? 

I slept though the lecture on probability (and didn't understand a damn thing in the book anyway) so I'm going to break this down the best I can. I know that if I have 10 marbles, and the odds of a red marble is 1:5, then I can determine the number of marbles that aren't red, but figuring out the number of red marbles and subtracting form 10. 
So there are 8 marbles that are not red. Easy peasy. Now I'm going to do this with these damned A&G inserts. 

So I can do this without having to deal with messy fractions, I need to find the least common multiple of all these odds. That seems like a lot of odds, but there are only four numbers I really have to deal with to make this all even.
24 - is divisible by 8, 12 and 24
130 - is divisible by 5, 10, 13 and 65
376 - is divisible by 188
128 - is divisible by none of these other numbers
Finding the least common multiple of those three numbers will allow me to divide that number by all those odds without getting a fraction. Then I can add all those numbers up, subtract that total from the least common multiple, and then divide the least common multiple by that number to get the odds of pulling a base card from a pack of A&G. I know, you're confused. So am I. The only thing I do worse than math is explain how to do math. It should work out fine assuming I don't make a simple calculating error. Odds of that are about 1:3, but we don't need those odds.

I can't manage to do the simplest math, but I'm going to find the least common multiple of four large numbers? No! I'm not! The internet to the rescue! I just need to go to this site and plug in all the numbers. The least common multiple is:


Ok, that's a lot of cards. That's almost forty-nine thousand boxes. I don't think that many A&G minis were printed. It will work with the math at any rate, so let's go for it.

Base SP - 1:13 - 1173120/13 =  90240 cards
A&G back - 1:5 - 1173120/5 = 234624 cards
A&G back SP - 1:65 - 1173120/65 = 18048 cards
Black border - 1:10 - 1173120/10 = 117312 cards
Black border SP - 1:130 - 1173120/130 = 9024 cards
No Number - 1:188 - 1173120/188 = 6240 cards
Bazooka - 1:376 - 1173120/376 = 3120 cards

National Animals - 1:8 - 1173120/8 = 146640 cards
Lords of Olympus - 1:12 - 1173120/12 = 97760 cards
Monsters of the Mesozoic - 1:12 - 1173120/12 = 97760 cards
World's Biggest - 1:12 - 1173120/12 = 97760 cards
Wordsmiths - 1:24 - 1173120/24 = 48880 cards
Sailors of the Seven Seas - 1:24 - 1173120/24 = 48880 cards
Creatures of Legend, Myth and Joy - 1:128 - 1173120/128 = 9165 cards

These are not the total number of cards out there (although you could calculate that using the Bazooka minis - but that's another post) but it will give us an idea of how many minis are not parallels or inserts. First, we add the totals together:

90240 cards
+ 234624 cards
+ 18048 cards
+ 117312 cards
+ 9024 cards
+ 6240 cards
+ 3120 cards
+ 146640 cards
+ 97760 cards
+ 97760 cards
+ 97760 cards
+ 48880 cards
+ 48880 cards
+ 9165 cards
1025453 non-base mini cards

To find the total number of base minis, subtract:

147667 base mini cards

Ok! We've got the total number of cards and the total number of base minis. Divide these two numbers and we have the odds for a base mini.


Let's just round this off to account for any stalth Zodiac Sailor inserts that may be floating around out there and the odds for a base mini in 2010 Allen & Ginter is....

1:8 packs

Now about that Strasburg...
If a base mini falls at one per eight packs... and there are 301 base minis available... the odds of pulling the Strasburg out of a retail pack of 2010 Allen & Ginter is.............

1:301 blasters


just over 1:100 24 pack retail boxes.

To put this in perspective, assuming my math is correct, it is easier to pull a Rip card out of a hobby pack than to pull a Strasburg out of a blaster. Of course the odds are the same for pulling an Eric Byrnes base mini out of a blaster so there's some small consolation if you actually do so. These numbers are for retail only, Hobby odds are slightly different and I don't have time to calculate them right now. If anyone feels ambitious, knock yourself out and let me know what you find.

Well, Topps didn't completely squeeze base minis out of the set, but just add one more insert set and they can still pull it off in 2011. So when you're out there in that shop or on eBay looking for Allen & Ginter minis, remember that A&G minis are the 'commons' in 2010 and that if you really want a Strasburg, you're probably better off just buying it at whatever inflated price it's going for instead of trying to rip packs until you find one.

Early A&G Blasters are loaded

I've gone a tad goofy over A&G. As usual. I ripped my fourth blaster last night  thanks to an old gift card left over from Christmas I never used. I have had pretty good luck so far to say the least. Out of four blasters I've gotten three relics:

The Jersey i already showed off...

A bat from a Braves killer...

And this nifty card of a dog and its favorite toy.

I think there's game used tooth marks on the disc too which is nifty. Three relics in four boxes is pretty good. If I remember correctly this happened last year or the year before as well. I could just be a lucky bastige, but I'm getting a lot of decent stuff so far in retail.

One thing I'm not getting a lot of is base minis. You remember, this is the mini series that contains the mini Strasburg Holy Grail. Well, out of 32 retail packs, here are all the base non-SP mini's I've pulled:

That's right, two. Two in four blasters. This is a pretty small sample size, but if the odds hold a normal, ordinary, garden variety base mini card falls one per sixteen packs. That can't possibly be right, can it? I've been collecting A&G minis and there ain't no way that the base minis (1:16) are really more scarce than the SP minis (1:13), can they? I'm starting to get obsessed over these minis now. Someone who has broken several cases or who has superior math skills please tell me I'm just on a ridiculous hot streak and that Topps didn't short print the base mini cards. Please? Anyone?