Saturday, October 1, 2011
Tying up loose ends on the '75 blog
As most of you know, I finished off my blog dedicated to the 1975 Topps set this week. I had a lot of fun with that blog and it's sad to see it end. But I've said my final goodbyes and everything, so it's not like I can turn the airplane around.
Yet, here I am still writing about the '75 set -- and I plan to be doing so for as long as this blog is operating.
Since I can't add any more posts to the '75 blog, I have to tie up some loose ends here.
For example, the issue of the border colors.
On the other blog, I added up all the border colors and it came down to a nice neat list:
1. Green-light green: 55
2. Green-purple: 55
3. Orange-brown: 55
4. Pink-yellow: 55
5. Purple-pink: 55
6. Yellow-red: 39
7. Brown-orange: 33
8. Green-yellow: 33
9. Light blue-green: 33
10. Orange-yellow: 33
11. Red-orange: 33
12. Yellow-light blue: 33
13. Blue-orange: 22
14. Blue-tan: 22
15. Red-blue: 22
16. Red-yellow: 22
17. Tan-light blue: 22
18. Yellow-green: 22
As several readers said, it was interesting to see such a tidy list come out of what seemed to be nothing more than a random arrangement of brightly colored borders.
Some readers who are more numerically inclined than I found a logical pattern in those numbers. Since almost all of the above numbers are divisible by 11, reader 1967ers surmised that each sheet of 1975 Topps cards contained 11 columns. Reader MCT said that Topps sets at the time had 132 cards. That means each sheet was 12 rows deep (11x12=132). And that means there were five sheets altogether (132x5=660).
Reader Jim Q figured that Topps used its most common color combinations (the ones that appeared 55 times each) 50 percent of the time, the second-most common color combinations (the ones that appeared 33 times each) 30 percent of the time, and the least-used color combinations (the ones that appeared 22 times each) 20 percent of the time.
But there was a sticking point. If you noticed the color combinations, there is one number that is not divisible by 11. The yellow-red combination appears 39 times in the set.
However, the All-Star cards in the set also have yellow-red borders. So, adding the 17 All-Star cards in the set, I came up with 56 total yellow-red cards.
But 56 isn't divisible by 11 either.
There must've been an error somewhere. I noticed that. Several readers noticed that.
But I checked for two days -- when I had time -- and I couldn't find one. I searched all the yellow-red cards to see if I somehow mistakenly attributed a card that was NOT yellow-red as having a yellow-red border. But I didn't.
Even though I'm not a statistical analysis/combinations/permutations guy (I was scarred severely by this subject matter in college), this was starting to annoy me.
As reader MCT mentioned, the 56 total MUST be 55, because if it is, then there are six color combinations with 55 cards, which adds up to 330. And then there are six color combinations with 33 cards, which adds up to 198. And then there are six color combinations with 22 cards, which adds up to 132. And 330+198+132=660.
So I searched again. I searched all the All-Star cards this time. I searched and searched until the end (or is it the beginning?) of the blog. And I found the culprit:
Card No. 1.
Hank, you sneaky bastard.
I was assuming that all the All-Star cards had yellow-red borders! I forgot that one of them had an orange-brown border!
That means there are only 16 yellow-red All-Star cards. Add that 16 to the other 39 yellow-red cards and you get:
And yellow-red is now the sixth color combination with 55 cards.
So it all fits.
And if you're not mathematically inclined, just trust me.
It all fits.
I'm so happy that's off my mind.
As a reward for reading through all of that, here are my favorite cartoons from 1975 Topps -- as selected by the 9-year-old in me. I intended to list these on the '75 blog and I forgot.
These were my favorites when I was collecting the set back then. There are no numbers here. Just drawings and mindless commentary from a 9-year-old me:
Hee-hee. The mean man has a gun and a bat.
Cool! The ball went through his HAND!
Ebbets Field had a gingerbread roof?
Cool. The base is one fire!
Cool! Skulls! Poison!
(It's a wonder I emerged out of childhood in one piece).
I like TV, too!
Hee-Hee! The guy looks funny staring at the soap bubble!
That guy hid behind the gas station pumps and caught the ball!
There's a dragon monster at the ballpark!
Hee-hee. The tiny ball is making his hand big!
Thanks again to those of you who read the blog over there. And to those of you too young to know what collecting was about in the '70s, check it out sometime.
It was far out.