Thursday, March 31, 2016

40th ANNIVERSARY: April 1 1976 - Apple Incorporated

The first day of April marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Apple - well the incorporating of Apple anyway.

2015 Topps Baseball History #9A Apple Founded

Interesting that Topps chose to have Steve Wozniak for the Apple photo rather than Steve Jobs. It appears that Jobs was actually cropped out of a larger photo. It should also be noted that the photo was from an event on April 24 1984 when a new generation Apple IIc was released. A third Apple exec John Scully stands between Wozniak and Jobs in the original photo. A power struggle between Scutlly and Jobs would lead to Jobs leaving Apple later in 1984.

Regardless I am happy with Wozniak getting top billing here, partially because he is often seen as the sidekick and partially because he just seems like a cooler dude.

2015 Topps Baseball History #9A Apple Founded (b-side)

Wozniak may be on the front of the card, but Topps leads off with Jobs on the back. In addition to mentioning the 1976 incorporation of Apple Topps also notes the 1984 MacIntosh release, perhaps a nod to the photo on the front.

April 2 1976
In 1976 I am pretty sure nobody in Silicon Valley or the Bay Area noticed the founding of Apple. If they did they likely had their attention diverted a day later when Reggie Jackson was traded by the Oakland A's to the Baltimore Orioles. The trade is the subject of the Baseball History #9B card which is related to the Apple Card. It is one of the few cards to feature the Hall of Fame slugger as an Oriole.  

Sources and Links
Cardboard Connection
Check out My Cards
New York Daily News


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

All-Stars aren't the only players relegated to Short Print Hi# cards in 2016 Heritage

On Tuesday night we mentioned all the All-Stars that are part of 2016 Heritage, but have their cards relegated to the harder to find Hi Number series. With 31 of the 75 Hi#s dedicated to the ASG participants there remains 44 slots for other players.

2016 Heritage #498 Odubel Herrera

I fortunately did not have to look for this Hi# long, We pulled Odubel in our first pack of Heritage. 

Decent spring training shot, nice to see the palm trees in the background. The card and picture definitely evoke the feel of the original 1967 Topps. 

Odubel Herrera resides at card #498 in Heritage and bears no connection to the player on the original card, Larry Dierker.

I didn't have to go through the checkers comparing this info, I waited long enough for the Good Folks over at the Phillies Room to do it for me...

2016 Heritage Checker

2016 Topps Heritage Phillies Team Checklist vs 1967 Topps Checklist

The above chart is a comparative of the original 1967 Topps with this years Heritage set. This will come in handy if I ever decide to fill out the team set. There are 18 cards on the team checker. Herrera is one of two Hi#s, the other is Maikel Franco at #473.

I will take another turn at reprimanding Topps here. Out of the Phillies players awarded Heritage cards the top-3 in 2015 WAR were Herrera, Aaron Nola, and Franco. Two of the three have been banished to the High set.

More SPs
2016 Heritage #448 Tyson Ross

Yeah I will never find a reason to post a pix of this SP of Tyson Ross, but figured I would give it some life here, just in case we never see the card again.

For what it's worth the #448 card was occupied by Harry "the Hat" Walker - a card that according to Cardboard Connection was DOUBLE-PRINTED.

Sources and Links
2016 Topps Heritage Index
The Phillies Room
Cardboard Connection

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Does Topps Really Short Print all the SuperStars in Heritage?

I am not here to debate the merits/issues of Short Printed cards, not tonight anyway.

But I would like to discuss the number of Star players that are among the Short Printed Cards

2016 Topps Heritage #479 Lorenzo Cain

It has been mentioned that there are a disproportionately large number of stars among 2016T Heritage cards which run from #426-500 and can only be found at a rate of 1:3 packs.

If your favorite player is Mike Trout and he is in the SP range, you may be upset at how hard his card is to find. That doesn’t necessarily mean that more stars are short printed.

While there are many Stars in the high range there are plenty in the base set, Andrew McCutchen, Adam Jones, Jose Bautista and Kris Bryant among them.

How do we go about figuring out if the Stars are backloaded into the Short Print Range?

What is a Star?

For purposes of our study we picked the 2015 All-Star teams.

I admit the way the All-Star team is composed is a complicated process subject to the whims of a popularity contest. Regardless, every player that makes the squad is a star at some level, even if it is because of strong public persona or due to the mandatory rep for each team clause.

The 2015 All-Star teams gave us a sample of 76 players that were chosen for the two squads. Of those players 74 were issued 2016 Topps Heritage cards. The retired AJ Burnett was skipped which makes sense, but I have no idea why Alex Gordon was omitted (perhaps it was an allusion to the 2006 Topps debacle)

How many Star Players should be Short Printed?


Why Twelve? You may want to check my math on this one - here goes: there are 75 SP cards 2016 Heritage. This makes up 15% of the 500 card set (75/500 = 0.15)

There are 74 All-Stars in Heritage and 15% of 74 = 11.1

To give Topps some extra room we rounded up.

How many Stars are SP in 2016T Heritage?



That is just a shy of 42% close to Three-Times the expected number. Among the first 425 cards 43 are Stars just a tad more often than 1 in 10. The final 75 cards include 31 Stars, that is more than 1 in 3.  

The Numbers
The Chart below lists all of the 2015 All-Stars in Topps Heritage Numerical Order. The red notes the High Numbers that start at card 426 - Clayton Kershaw. 
2016 Heritage2015 All StarTeam
7Alcides Escobar (1)Kansas City Royals
11Francisco Rodriguez (6)Milwaukee Brewers
14Jhonny Peralta (3)St. Louis Cardinals
30J.D. Martinez (1)Detroit Tigers
36Carlos Martinez (1)St. Louis Cardinals
38Adrian Gonzalez (1)Los Angeles Dodgers
70Kris Bryant (1)Chicago Cubs
73Jonathan Papelbon (6)Philadelphia Phillies
74Brock Holt (1)Boston Red Sox
79Jose Iglesias (1)Detroit Tigers
80Aroldis Chapman (4)Cincinnati Reds
84Yasmani Grandal (1)Los Angeles Dodgers
89Trevor Rosenthal (1)St. Louis Cardinals
90Sonny Gray (1)Oakland Athletics
100Adam Jones (5)Baltimore Orioles
125Zach Britton (1)Kansas City Royals
128Mike Moustakas (1)Kansas City Royals
130Zack Greinke (3)Los Angeles Dodgers
131Russell Martin (4)Toronto Blue Jays
146Kelvin Herrera (1)Kansas City Royals
156Mark Melancon (2)Pittsburgh Pirates
157Manny Machado (1)Baltimore Orioles
160Joc Pederson (1)Los Angeles Dodgers
195Nolan Arenado (1)Colorado Rockies
210Michael Wacha (1)St. Louis Cardinals
247Hector Santiago (1)Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
251Yadier Molina (7)St. Louis Cardinals
254Dee Gordon (2)Miami Marlins
293Wade Davis (1)Kansas City Royals
297Joe Panik (1)San Francisco Giants
300Glen Perkins (3)Minnesota Twins
302Salvador Perez (3)Kansas City Royals
310Chris Sale (4)Chicago White Sox
320Madison Bumgarner (3)San Francisco Giants
322Giancarlo Stanton (3)Miami Marlins
325Matt Holliday (7)St. Louis Cardinals
331Brad Boxberger (1)Tampa Bay Rays
339Darren O'Day (1)Baltimore Orioles
340Mark Teixeira (3)New York Yankees
382Brett Gardner (1)New York Yankees
400Andrew McCutchen (5)Pittsburgh Pirates
419DJ LeMahieu (1)Colorado Rockies
425Gerrit Cole (1)Pittsburgh Pirates
426Clayton Kershaw (5)Los Angeles Dodgers
427Brian Dozier (1)Minnesota Twins
430Dallas Keuchel (1)Houston Astros
431Jose Bautista (6)Toronto Blue Jays
433Prince Fielder (6)Texas Rangers
435Chris Archer (1)Tampa Bay Rays
444Anthony Rizzo (2)Chicago Cubs
445Justin Upton (3)San Diego Padres
446Troy Tulowitzki (5)Colorado Rockies
447Brandon Crawford (1)San Francisco Giants
450Bryce Harper (3)Washington Nationals
451Stephen Vogt (1)Oakland Athletics
457Nelson Cruz (4)Seattle Mariners
458Jason Kipnis (2)Cleveland Indians
459Max Scherzer (3)Washington Nationals
460Buster Posey (3)San Francisco Giants
461Felix Hernandez (6)Seattle Mariners
462Dellin Betances (2)New York Yankees
464Shelby Miller (1)Atlanta Braves
465Paul Goldschmidt (3)Arizona Diamondbacks
466A.J. Pollock (1)Arizona Diamondbacks
470Jose Altuve (3)Houston Astros
472Todd Frazier (2)Cincinnati Reds
477David Price (5)Detroit Tigers
478Miguel Cabrera (10)Detroit Tigers
479Lorenzo Cain (1)Kansas City Royals
481Albert Pujols (10)Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
483Josh Donaldson (2)Toronto Blue Jays
495Jacob deGrom (1)New York Mets
496Ryan Braun (6)Milwaukee Brewers
500Mike Trout (4)Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
naAlex Gordon (3)Kansas City Royals
naA.J. Burnett (1)Pittsburgh Pirates

Exploring these numbers a bit further uncovers greater violations.

The parenthetical numbers associated with the player names indicate the number of times the player has been an All-Star. The total number of games for Hi-Numbers 104 versus 98 for Base. Yes among last years All-Stars the 31 players that fall among the 75 short prints account for more All-Star appearances than the 43 that fall in the first 425 cards.

Sources and Links
2016 Heritage/1967 Topps Index
Baseball Almanac
Sports Collectors Daily

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