Thursday, May 15, 2014

Uh one, uh two, uh three ... uh thirteen

As the resident card blogging owl, I've known how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop since the mid-1970s.

But one thing this wise old owl has never known is how many blasters it takes to complete a set.

I don't have the kind of money required to buy a bunch of boxes at once, and I don't have the dedication to chart how many boxes I've bought when my set is finished.

So when I had the opportunity to buy $2.98 boxes of 2013 Opening Day, I figured this was my chance. They were cheap enough that I thought I could get the whole set in just a couple of shopping sprees. And the set is only 220 cards, so it seemed extra manageable.

So after buying those six blasters I wrote about a couple days ago, I went back and grabbed the six remaining ones.

Including the one blaster that I bought when I first discovered they were so cheap, that was 13 Opening Day blasters in three days.

Would that be enough to complete the set?

Well, when I had a minute to myself I started sorting and cataloging, and I'm proud to say that I have completed a set in three days time. That's a record for me.

Still curiosity got the best of me and shortly after I figured out I had the full set, I went about figuring out which cards appeared the most often in my blasters and which ones appeared the least often.

The cards that appeared the most often appeared eight times. The ones that showed up the most frequently included Jacoby Ellsbury, Desmond Jennings, Kendrys Morales and Doug Fister.

The cards that appeared the least often appeared only one time. There were 13 of them. Here they are:

Those 13 cards let me know that I needed all 13 blasters to finish off the set.

(Does this mean out of the above cards a different one was in each of the blasters? That sounds too lucky to be true).

It was a bit discouraging that there were 13 cards that I pulled only once because I was hoping to have a second full set that I could give away here on the blog.

I also felt sorry for folks trying to complete the set in this manner as they probably paid the full price of $10.99 per blaster. I managed to complete this task for $38.74. But I know I would have never attempted it if I knew I had to throw 143 bucks, if not more, at the project (I don't know how much a hobby box of Opening Day went for in 2013 or if you able to complete the set in one hobby box).

It's also annoying as hell to pull things like this:

The four Manny Machado's on the left are an insert. The one Manny Machado on the right is a base card.

Isn't an insert supposed to be more difficult to pull than a base card? Not four times as easy?

And then there's this:

The two white-bordered Axfords on the top are the base versions. The blue-bordered Axfords on the bottom are the parallels, and supposedly there are only 2,013 of them.

But yet I pulled the same amount of blue bordered Axfords as I did regular old base card Axfords.

I suppose some of this is luck of the draw and I'm not about to go into a probability study because it was classes like that in school that made me want to avoid math forever. But collation like this sucks.

When I was a kid I never thought there was a rhyme or reason to certain cards appearing more frequently. Then I learned about double-printing and the like.

And now we've graduated all the way to inserts appearing at four times the rate as a base card. For me that gets a big ...

But anyway, I should be focusing on the positive. I'm glad I could still complete a modern set with really not much effort -- just a whole lot of luck.

I'll be adding this set to the "Sets I've Completed" page, and I'll be proud to say I completed an Opening Day set, even after all the dismissive posts I've compiled about the brand.

Also, I've divided up the cards that were requested by several collectors and will be shipping them out over the next few weeks. I tried to be as fair as I could and recognize the "first-come, first-serve" tradition. And I have PLENTY of base cards if anyone needs any. Just not the 13 that I mentioned above.

And, I would like to say, that even after 13 blasters, I am STILL missing the Matt Kemp Superstar Celebrations insert.

That's modern set-collecting for ya.

Said the ever-learning wise old owl.


  1. I would gladly take any extra unclaimed Reds off your hands.

    JT, The Writer's Journey

  2. I know AdamE claimed the Redsox. I'll take any leftovers. Congrats on completing on so little money

  3. I just need #37 to finish my set, Profar I think, if you have a 3rd or 4th spare. And I'd be interested in any of the Cubs blue parallels.

    1. I believe I have a spare Profar -- he was one of the cards that didn't show up often.

      Didn't pull any Cub blues, sorry.

  4. If you have an overabundance of those Ballpark Fun cards, I would love to put a page of those together.

  5. Let's get this straight. You bought 13 blaster boxes for a little under $39? You lucky bum! Why do you insist on rubbing this bargain in my face? By the way... congratulations on completing the set in a three day period.

  6. Dammit! Now I have to go into Wal-Mart and look for these... I hate going into Wal-Mart.

    I went looking for the Tootsie Pop commercial, and I was surprised to find there's a long version with a cow and a fox in addition to the turtle and owl I've seen thousands of times...