Monday, August 22, 2011

Code cracked ... but will it win anyone anything?

I am hoping that no one cracks the Allen & Ginter code this year, that the fad has died out, and next year we will be able to open our A&G without parallel cards with little butterflies or hieroglyphics on them.

That probably won't happen, but it does tell you what side I am on when it comes to codes. I don't care, I don't have the time and, again, I don't care.

So, why did I offer up the following code in my contest?

Because I know there are some people who like this stuff, and instead of offering a contest where you can win in the laziest way possible -- by simply entering -- I thought a few people might want a reward after a job well done.

Unfortunately, as I said before, when it comes to cracking codes, I don't care. So I determined that the randomizer would be the ultimate decider of who wins the contest. If the randomizer chose someone who cracked the code, then they would get some extra cards. If the randomizer did not choose a code cracker, then those cards would go back into my collection.

It turns out that out of the 54 entrants in the contest, just nine made an attempt to crack the code. That's probably because everyone has lives. I understand totally. But it was good to see people showing an interest in, and a knowledge of, different baseball card designs.

Five entrants cracked the code. They found the correct baseball card set for every letter on the above message.

Well, actually, no one picked every letter correctly. That's because I made a typo on one of the sets listed, which threw everyone off. The "W" in Owl was supposed to say 1996 Stadium Club, not 1997 Stadium Club. That's why people were stumped. Therefore, I automatically gave everyone a pass on that letter. I was waiting for someone to say "That's 1996 Stadium Club, dumb-ass!" and I would've given that person something special. But it never happened.

Here are the folks that picked all of the letters correctly with allowance for the '96 Stadium Club error:

The Lost Collector
Ryan H
Steve D.
Play at the Plate

A note about The Lost Collector. He made a couple of typos in his contest entry that made it appear as if he made some incorrect decisions. However, he also sent me an email showing how he arrived at his answers and he had the correct answers on all of those letters. Therefore, I included him with the winners. This is why math teachers told you to "show your work" in school.

I figured for the benefit of those who tried the code, I would show the cards that featured the letters in the code. Here we go:


C-2009 Topps Career Best Legends

R-1991 Swell

A- 1992 Triple Play

C- 1989 Fleer

K- 2005 Topps Chrome


T- 1996 Sportflix

H- 2008 Topps Heritage

I- 1981 Donruss

S- 1987 Topps


C- 1983 Topps

O- 1990 Bowman

D- 2008 UD Documentary

E- 1999 Fleer Ultra

H- 1966 Topps

E- 1982 Topps

A- 1974 Topps

D- 1964 Topps


L- 2001 Topps

O- 2011 Heritage Rookie Parade

V- 1989 Score

E- 1998 Bowman's Best (I'm a little freaked out that PATP guessed exactly which card it was -- did he send this to me?)


N- 1972 Topps In Action

I- 1986 Topps

G- 2006 Topps Chrome

H- 1993 Topps

T- 1997 Finest (the other stumper)


O- 2004 Topps

W- 1996 Stadium Club (not '97 SC, oops)

L- 1989 Topps Big

Phew! The best part of that is almost all of these cards came out of my draft folder and I can now clear them out!

Of course, there were many, many more of you who did not attempt to crack the code and just went for the Group 1 prizes. You and the folks who tried cracking the code are all at the whims of the randomizer, which shall be put into action now.

Remember, I said that whoever ends up on top after five turns of the randomizer is the winner.

So here you are:

Randomizing once:

Randomizing twice:

Randomizing thrice:

Randomizing four times:

And the winner is ...


Hey, a Pirates fan won something!

Congrats, PTR, here are your winnings:

Please send me an email with your address and I'll send these out as soon as I can.

Unfortunately, PTR wasn't one of the entrants who cracked the code. So the Group 2 cards will go back in my collection.

Except the Vladimir Guerrero relic, which I have a feeling will be sucked into a current trade going on with Play at the Plate.

And that brings me to something else.

I know a few of you, like PATP, worked through lunch trying to crack the code, and I really hate to see that kind of effort go unrewarded. So for all of you who entered Group 2 of the contest and submitted a code guess, I will send you a small selection of cards.

I think I already have addresses for some of you, but others I don't. I will be sending cards (eventually) to The Lost Collector, Slangon, Morgan, Ryan H, Don, Steve D., Ryan G., Play at the Plate, and yes, even you, John Bateman. So please send me an email with your address and collecting interests.

Thanks to everyone for playing. I vow to make the next contest much simpler.


  1. Thanks for the cool contest and the consolation prize!

  2. "That's 1996 Stadium Club, dumb-ass!"

    come on, didn't you see that one coming!!! Truth will out, I ran out of time and did not find answers for all of them before your deadline, but want to check my guesses against the answers tomorrow when I get to work. Thanks for a great contest, I did have some fun working on the code, even though I was unable to finish in time. Have a GReat night!!

  3. Thanks for the contest. I sent you an email with my address. I started to work on the code, but it was too time consuming with my current work load. Thanks again for the contest.

  4. I knew I recognized that letter, and I knew for a fact it didn't come from '97 SC. I need to figure out where I went wrong and why, just for the fun of it (I think I switched a couple things around).

    Anyway, that was fun, winner or not. And thanks for the goodies!

  5. That is a much cooler contest than the Ginter code. But, like the Ginter code, it would be way too much work for me. I got tired at about the sportflics one - and that's just reading the answers!

    BTW, I'm watching the Pirates (MLB extra innings) - and they are actually winning something! They started beating the snot out of Zach Greinke and co in the 7th inning. And the Pirates TV announcers have me convinced that it's because of a make-shift sun dial that Ryan Ludwick created on a bench in the dugout.

  6. Great contest! I win anyway if I get the Vlad relic in our trade.