## Archive for **May 2011**

## Why does Cal Ripken look like a black dude in this painting on the 1997 Baseball Card Price Guide by The Confident Collector?

## Beckett Nostalgia – May 1993

Found some of my old Becketts while visiting my parents this past Sunday.

I think I picked up Beckett for well over 3-4 years. Never subscribing but picking it up when I could. Back then there was no other way to “price” your cards so you had to make sure that you kept up to date with the current prices.

I only picked up a few of them from the house, I’m pretty sure I recycled some while others are lying around the house. The ones I picked up were #98 May ’93 #100 July ’93, #119, #120, #122, #125 from 1995.

The #98 May’93 Beckett with Maddux on the cover was probably the one I scoured over and poured through the longest mainly because in June that year I went over to Taiwan for the summer. Since I had no idea if Beckett was distributed in Taiwan I took #98 and some older issues to tide me over.

Anyways the reason I even bring this up was the May ’93 issue had an ad in its calendar section. It was for the 1993 Anaheim Sports Expo April 16-18. Don Drysdale was going to be signing on the Sunday for $11, Bats $35. I really wanted to go but as a kid I couldn’t afford to go anywhere without my parents. $5/day or $10 for all 3 days and my parents weren’t going to spend all that money to watch me buy more cards that cost money.

So it was really sad when I saw that and realized that he passed away the same year. July 3rd to be exact. As a kid, I had no idea that he had died, so I was really confused when Rick Monday replaced him on the Dodgers broadcast. Usually they would take Vin Scully out after he had broadcasted a few innings and then the second announcer would come on. It took me a while before I realized that Rick Monday was permanently replacing the previous guy. And it took even longer for me to realize who he had replaced.

It would have been amazing to have met him before he passed.

## 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen correct insert ratios or is Topps trying to be deceptive?

**Update:** I’ve written a new post about this, “Part 2”

**If you do not want to read all of this: The insert ratios that Topps has printed on packs of Gypsy Queen Hobby do not display the likelihood of pulling the insert card over the entire number of Hobby packs produced (which is 1350 cases * 10 boxes/case * 24 packs/box = 324,000 packs). Given known print counts of specific inserts, we can see the ratio to pull said card does not relate to the total pool of 324,000 packs in Gypsy Queen Hobby.**

## This is a long post and it could be I am way off with my math and my understanding of how Topps displays its ratios on its pack wrappers, but I have been looking through them and a lot of the ratios seem to be very off.

Since we only know the exact numbers for Hobby, (1,350 cases) we can figure out whether they get the ratio is correct or not for inserts that are Hobby only. Since they don’t really announce the number of Rack Pack, Blasters and 24/boxes for Retail, it is hard to figure out what Retail Numbers should really be.

Lets start out with ones that are correct. Mini Variations, Mini Home Run Heroes, Mini Great Ones, Mini Future Stars. You receive one card of all 4 types per Hobby box so all their numbers should equal 13,500 (1350 cases * 10 boxes)

Mini Variations:100 cards * 135 each, Mini HRH 25*540, Mini GO 30*450, Mini FS 20*675All of those add up correctly: 13500. Now let’s go through all the inserts that are Hobby only.

Leather Minis:350 cards in the set, limited number to 10. Total # is 3500, Ratio to pull says 1 per 75 packs, however assuming it is 1350 cases of Hobby that have the Leather Minis, the ratio to pull should be 1 per 92.57 packs, or 1:93.

State Stamp Parallels:Has the same run as Leather Minis, and you can see they are in both Hobby and Retail packs. Look at the # for Hobby: It is 1:93! In fact, the ratios to get State Stamp Parallels should be lower than the Leather Minis since Topps redistributed some into Retail, so the number should be much higher than 1 in 93 packs. It is hard to tell since we don’t have an exact pack count for Retail.

Framed Printing PlatesandFramed Mini Printing Plateshave the same # of cards (350base * 4 plates) yet their pack ratios for Hobby are different? How is this accurate? If a normal framed printing plate is 1:144 packs, that means there should be 2250.0 of these. The correct ratio seems to be 1:232 or 1:231

Insert Printing Plates:75 *4 = 300 cards, Ratio says pull 1 per 651 packs. At that ratio there should be 497-498 of said cards. Correct ratio looks to be 1 per 1080 packs (1:1080)

60th Anniversary autographs:5 * 60 = 300 cards, Ratio says pull 1:1447, Correct Ratio should be 1:1080.

Original Art Patches:50*1 = 50 cards, Ratio says 1:5426, at that ratio it should be 59-60 cards 1:6480Also if the number of minis of any kind is supposed to be 1 per pack, what are the correct ratio of mini pulls? A base mini can’t be 1:1 unless you get a base mini and then another mini parallel inserted at the correct ratio. But according to the sell sheet you are only supposed to receive one mini of any type per pack.

So it should mean if you add up all the ratios of the minis you should get a number close to 1 because that means you are getting 1 of one of those types per pack (like the sell sheet says).

Base Mini + SP Mini + GQ Red Back Mini + Black Mini + Sepia Mini + Leather Mini ~= 1 … but

1 + (1/24) + (1/6) + (1/12) + (1/44) + (1/75) ~= 1.32What that means is that the correct base mini ratio should be something to 1:1.5 or 2 every 3 packs.

Now it could be that Topps changed the sell sheet and really has it as 1 base mini guaranteed per pack + another type of mini at their insert ratios. I don’t remember if I pulled any packs from my box that had both a base mini and a parallel/insert mini so if anyone can clear this part up for me that would be nice.

I am pretty sure my numbers/math is right but maybe its wrong or there is another explanation. I would appreciate if someone could explain why the numbers are so off.

Also, if you look at the autograph ratios for Autographs A-E: [(1/47)+(1/57)+(1/1064)+(1/605)+(1/1422)] autos/pack * 24 packs/box = 1 auto/box

Of course the only reply I get is from someone who obviously didn’t read through my post.

Why are you making it so hard on yourself? It is a fact that there are only 48 sketch cards. So…

48 sketch cards * 5426 (1 in 5426 packs to pull) = 260,448 packs or 10,852 boxes or 1,085 cases produced

Obviously there is only 48 sketch cards but since he is using the ratios published by Topps, that means it’s stating that only 1085 cases were produced of Hobby. How can there are only 1085 cases when Topps has provided the number of cases to be at 1350? Also Mini Insert Parallels of Home Run Heroes, Great Ones and Future Stars and the Mini Variations all come in at 13500 (or 10 per case), or one of each insert per box.

Just look at both the Printing Plate and the Mini Printing Plate ratio. They both have the same number of total plates (350*4) yet they come in at different ratios?

If you assume the ratio is based on how many cases they were inserted into (then multiplied by 240 to get the pack count of the box), how is that not **deceptive**? If I insert a 1/1 card into a production of 10 cases with 10 boxes and 24 packs per, can I really say your ability to pull that card is 1:240 (since it only shows up in one case and one case has 240 packs)? No, because your correction ratio is 1:2400 (10 cases * 10 boxes * 24 packs = 2400 packs), or a ten fold increase in your likelihood to pull ratio for said card.

## I’m not “dead”

Just busy collating my collection.

Right now I’m pretty much buying lots of Gypsy Queen minis on eBay. Actually really hard to win stuff and the S&H is really killing some of these deals. There was actually some talk earlier on Twitter about rating sellers who charge $3-$5 for shipping. Personally I don’t mind the shipping as long as I feel I’m getting a good deal on the cards and that there is actually something going into the shipping. If they’re just using penny sleeves and a bubble mailer, I’m not sure they should be charging me $3 for it. But in reading the description of some of the deals some include a toploader and I think overall if you want the cards to be safe (and I do) I’d pay an extra 50 cents to a buck to make sure they arrive to me unbent.

Still trying to get some motivation to do more writeups but its hard to when you don’t have a scanner to scan the cards you’re talking about. There’s actually a bigger subject I want to cover, which is the inclusion of, “The Box” that increased my collection nearly threefold and added Basketball, Hockey and Football to my mix of cards as well as some really weird oddity/one-off cards. I’m still doing a little bit of research for it but hopefully I’ll have something up in the coming days.

## Gypsy Queen Adrian Beltre 1/10

I was sleeving and casing my Gypsy Queen minis tonight when I noticed that I had gotten a repeat Adrian Beltre base mini. Then I noticed that one of them was actually the “mini leather” version.

Turn it around and it looks like its the 1/10! Nice number IMO. (Sorry for the bad picture)

## Topps sent me back my cards

Okay so what I don’t get is why they considered the A-Rod Home Run Heroes, worthy of a toploader while the Jose Bautista auto just gets a penny sleeve? Granted Topps wrapped the package very well, (several thick cardboard cards wrapped around the 2 cards, along with mailing in a bubble wrapper.) but should the auto be protected more than a standard insert? Maybe because A-Rod is the bigger name.

## How long will it take for Topps to return my cards?

Sent out an envelope on Wednesday to get my missing 2011 Gypsy Queen autograph and to also get a replacement HR Heroes A-Rod. Since I don’t care too much for A-Rod, I wanted to get a version without creases/bends since it’s pretty likely that I’ll eventually trade it away.