With our powers combined…

No, I’m not Captain Planet. However I am a Captain level spreadsheet user, so that’s gotta count for something, right? I’ve kept up with recent releases in their spreadsheets – (Topps, Panini) – namely Topps Update, Topps Limited, Bowman Hitek, Topps Archives Snapshots, and Panini Contenders Draft Picks. However, I recently found how to add everything together and combine teams and players. Some might find the top ten surprising. For Topps’ players:

Kris Bryant 258
Mike Trout 240
Carlos Correa 230
Noah Syndergaard 218
Bryce Harper 208
Manny Machado 200
Corey Seager 196
Francisco Lindor 193
Anthony Rizzo 192
Clayton Kershaw 180

…and here’s Panini’s most represented players:

Yoan Moncada 43
Mike Trout 37
Andrew Benintendi 34
Kris Bryant 34
Corey Seager 33
Dansby Swanson 32
Ken Griffey Jr. 32
Aaron Judge 28
Alex Bregman 28
Alex Reyes 28

Of course, I did the same with teams, because I’m a data masochist apparently… Topps, with World Baseball Classic on the right:

Cubs 1428 USA 41
Red Sox 1399 Japan 38
Yankees 1269 Dominican Republic 23
Dodgers 1208 Venezuela 23
Astros 1122 Puerto Rico 19
Mets 1113 Netherlands 8
Cardinals 877 Italy 3
Braves 869 Mexico 3
Indians 755
Rockies 745
Orioles 738
Nationals 721
Mariners 698
Tigers 663
Pirates 660
Athletics 625
White Sox 622
Giants 610
Reds 595
Blue Jays 570
Rangers 527
Angels 517
Phillies 502
Royals 485
Marlins 457
Brewers 440
Twins 429
Padres 390
Diamondbacks 385
Rays 367
Expos 40

…and Panini* with an asterisk, as they’ve got the Team USA license there’s an extra chart. :D.

Yankees 290 Collegiate 391
Cubs 253 18U 236
Red Sox 240 14U 141
Cardinals 180 15U 120
Dodgers 179 17U 117
Pirates 168 USA 3
White Sox 165 16U 1
Astros 162
Rockies 139
Indians 137
Mets 134
Athletics 117
Nationals 114
Padres 112
Rangers 110
Braves 109
Orioles 108
Mariners 104
Tigers 96
Phillies 90
Reds 89
Angels 88
Blue Jays 85
Twins 85
Giants 83
Brewers 82
Royals 77
Diamondbacks 71
Marlins 53
Rays 45
Expos 14

Combine them, you say? What am I some kind of trained code monkey? *sigh* Fine. :P. Players:

Kris Bryant 292
Mike Trout 277
Carlos Correa 239
Noah Syndergaard 233
Corey Seager 229
Bryce Harper 224
Manny Machado 222
Francisco Lindor 216
Anthony Rizzo 213
Jose Altuve 201

Not much changes here, as Panini had practically the same distribution of teams, they just produced less(~3800 vs. ~22,000). Combined teams:

Cubs 1681
Red Sox 1639
Yankees 1559
Dodgers 1387
Astros 1284
Mets 1247
Cardinals 1057
Braves 978
Indians 892
Rockies 884
Orioles 846
Nationals 835
Pirates 828
Mariners 802
White Sox 787
Tigers 759
Athletics 742
Giants 693
Reds 684
Blue Jays 655
Rangers 637
Angels 605
Phillies 592
Royals 562
Brewers 522
Twins 514
Marlins 510
Padres 502
Diamondbacks 456
Rays 412
Expos 54

So there, I’m not sure what to do with this, but the data is yours!


Panini Maths.

In fairness, I also threw together a spreadsheet containing all of Panini’s baseball sets this year: Panini Donruss, Panini Donruss Optic, Panini Immaculate, Panini Diamond Kings, Panini Stars & Stripes, and Panini Contenders. There’s less sets issued from Panini this year compared to Topps’ 25 sets, so naturally there’s less math. As with Topps Pro Debut, the most difficult problem with Panini’s sets was a mixed collegiate/pros set, as with Contenders Draft Picks. The reason being most checklists will list their collegiate team not their drafted pro team. :(.

Umpteenth Google searches later… I’ve got your grand total team representation from Panini. Any guesses as to who are the most and least represented teams? Pro-tip, Expos.


Stars & Stripes throws a wrench into the Donruss mix with the USA 14U development team, 15U, 16U, 17U, 18U, and collegiate teams. Also in the set were a few alumni on the USA National Team. I’ve included Serials here only because in Donruss, a few of the insert sets don’t have a non-serial #/d parallel. It felt a little off not to include them. Onto AL/NL.

Sorry Ryan, not much Expos love here to be found here. All columns are sorted by Total’s % low to high. All of Panini’s cards this year account for about 1/3 of Topps. Unfortunately the Twins are equally represented by the local card producer – 21st in just base cards(includes Expos), and 22nd overall(ditto). :(. Naturally you’ll find the red hot Yankees(fuck ’em. #NotBitter), Red Sox, Cubs, Cardinals and Dodgers near the top, but a surprise – the White Sox 7th best represented.

To save dragging out the maths more, I combined Panini and Topps’ percentage of team representation – dividing by the two companies – and produced the below results:


My main criticism that brought all of this about was feeling that certain teams are vastly under-represented, even in base sets. I understand that the company has to sell the product so you’ll always have a lot of Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, etc. however, my other main criticism is that in 100 card sets(for example…) each team should be represented at least once. Discounting Contenders Draft Picks(25 card set with a few veterans) and Stars & Stripes(several under draft age) – so with Donruss, Optic, Immaculate, and my personal favorite Diamond Kings – Panini has done a much better job with admittedly less product. Only the Phillies and Padres didn’t have an Immaculate base card – however that’s the only set to exclude any of the 30 MLB teams.

*shrugs* Make of this what you will. Link to maths here.

If you made it this far with my rambling, check this out. :).

The National, breaks edition.

For the first time in the three years(well Ang’s fourth show) we’ve attended The National, the 2017 show is the first where we didn’t purchase any new boxes in the first few days. Until Saturday that is…

We met up with Loot Locker’s Joel and he mentioned really wanting to break open a box of Diamond Kings with us. After going to a vendor(BlowOut, maybe?) the three of us had a box of 2017 Diamond Kings. Well, Joel wanted us to select his box – I guess we’re lucky with the product? Lol.

We knocked several off our checklist, and Joel’s a generous trader so that helped with our want list as well. We pointed out which cards were short-printed and parallels in his box and we all seemed to have lucky boxes as you’ll see below.

Joel’s Diamond Kings hits:

Adrian Gonzalez dual relic.

It’s a shame this wasn’t a Boston Red Sox card – Joel’s team. Adrian’s done well in his career though with a few All-Star Game appearances, 300 home runs, nearly 1200 RBIs, and he just passed 2000 hits on August 22nd. I have a few of these designs for other players, the best of which are Ken Griffey Jr. and Tony Gwynn. I love the artsy ‘deco’ style featured on these… For his second hit, Joel borrowed some of our Diamond Kings mojo:

Noah Syndergaard dual relic, auto #/15!!!

A New York hit probably isn’t what a Boston fan wants, but at least it’s the Mets? Lol. “Thor”‘s auto, dual relic graces the front of this “Limited Lithos” card. I’m pretty sure when it comes to Diamond Kings Joel’ll let us pick his box again. #TWSS. ;). I seem to remember him pulling two Ben Nintendo base/SPs – redemption for no Boston hits?

Angela’s Diamond Kings:

Chris Sale dual relic – with pinstripe!
Tommy Lasorda Auto/Relic #/20.

Not surprised to see Chris Sale jersey cut to shreds. ;). Jokes aside, Joel’s apparently very high on Chris’ love of Boston and the charity work he’s done in the area – props to Mr. Sale for that.

As for her second hit, she turned to us and asked who’s this “Tom Lasorda” guy? I’m sure Night Owl will be internally cringing when he reads this… Tommy* Lasorda, as we all know him, might be the most recognizable face of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise – if not for Vin Scully. Quoting his Hall of Fame page:

After the 1960 season, Lasorda ended his playing career in pro ball and became a scout for the Dodgers until 1965. He managed in the minor leagues from 1966-72, and in 1973 Tommy made his way back to the big leagues as a third base coach for the L.A. Dodgers under another future Hall of Fame manager – Walter Alston. Alston retired in 1976 after 23 years with the Dodgers, and Lasorda took the reins.

By 1978, he had led the Dodgers to two straight National League championships, and became the first NL manager to win pennants in their first two seasons. After losing to the Yankees in both the 1977 and 1978 World Series, the Dodgers went on to win the World Series over the Yankees in 1981. They defeated the A’s in 1988 to give Lasorda his second World Series title.

After retiring in 1996, Lasorda stayed busy working in baseball. In 2000, he managed the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team to a gold medal in the Sydney games.

Onto my box…

Ryon Healy dual relic #/25

Another gorgeous looking card pulled of the Athletics rookie Ryon Healy. This is one of the things I love about Diamond Kings, they try to select great relic pieces for the higher end hits in the product. So much better than a “plain Jane” white relic piece on a #/d 25 card!

Pee Wee Reese #/10!!!

You didn’t think I would be outdone by Thor or Lasorda, did you? Pee Wee Reese #/d 10! Boom. Pee Wee’s a real “Jersey King”, 10x All-Star, 1955 World Series winner, WW-II veteran, and inducted by the Veteran’s Committee in 1984. One of the best defensive shortstops in the game – decades before Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel laced up their cleats and took the field.

Daily Twins:

1999 Fleer/Skybox Autographics Matt Lawton.

Not the greatest sharpie on that signature unfortunately. Matt Lawton, Marty Cordova, and Chuck Knoblauch(pre-“hot dog” incident – #3 here) brought a lot of false hope in those post-1991 World Series years. That miracle 2001 team closed the books on a near decade of misery – sadly Lawton was traded away that season and wouldn’t see our more competitive years in 2002-2006.

Upcoming, I’ve got another National post(covering the weekend), and perhaps a few Unsolved Mysteries to post soon.

Topps Maths.

I said in the last post that I compiled all of Topps’ checklists for the year and automagically counted for each team. This mini project came about when I noticed the Twins weren’t getting much recognition this year in Topps sets. As you can see above, we’re one of the least represented this year. I sorted the columns by Total % FWIW, and by AL/NL. Below are the Expos, cards of MLB officials/Negro Leagues/MLB Network as MLB, and World Baseball Classic teams.

I started with the checklists provided on their website threw them into a spreadsheet and used a few formula strings to count everything. Namely:

=SUM((SUMPRODUCT(Sheet.Range:Sheet.Range=TeamHere))) which counts all the teams on a separate sheet in the given range. As well as:

=TRIM(Playercolumn&” “&PlayerColumn) – which combines two cells with a space between them so I can reduce the amount of columns into one. This one comes into play when constructing the sheet. The easiest way to copy from checklist PDFs to spreadsheet is to create new columns from the pasted data by spaces between text – naturally you’ll end up with mostly two columns(Ichiro, Jose de Leon, Alejandro de Aza aside…).

For the main sheet, I then improved it as the original only had the base cards. A note on the SPs outlier, the Red Sox had ten David Ortiz SP cards in Series One.

Naturally a few of the bigger sets have more representation(Heritage, S1, S2), however it’s the complete lack in Bowman(100 cards), Museum Collection(100 cards), and Platinum(100 cards) that disappoint me. Topps Chrome is equally disappointing with three Twins in the entire product(#/d parallels aside)! Less disappointing than the Twins game play the other night. :(. As I said at their National Q&A – I’m not sure how in a 100 card count set – with 30 MLB teams – there’s such a disparity. Seems logical that there would be three-ish cards per team, no? What do I know… Donruss, Topps Now results to follow in a future post.

Spreadsheet view-able here. You can find other teams here, searchable by team name – ctrl+f is your friend. :).

I did the math.

On twitter I joined a discussion with Mike, and Frank on perceived under the radar guys – players who are great at their job but don’t get the national attention they deserve. Where if they were on the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, etc., they would have endorsement deals with all the major brands, be on the cover of sports games and card boxes, etc. Established players so, not your Aaron Judge, Rhys Hopkins, Andrew Benintendi types.

It’s far from a conclusion but we agreed that Jose Abreu, Nolan Arenado, Ian Happ, Jose Altuve would be far more popular if they were on either of the coasts. I had a similar question for Topps at the National. I’d noticed a trend with their releases this year that the Twins were getting stiffed. For example, in the base set of Museum Collection there’s no Twins. In Bowman, outside of the prospects ‘insert’ set, there’s no Twins – something that hasn’t happened since the first release of Bowman in 1948! I just don’t see how in for example a 100 card set, with the 30 MLB teams any of them get 0. Sure, mistakes happen but routinely canning teams on the midwest? I’ll get off my soapbox, but if I wanted to spend money with them, Panini’s looking greener and greener for this collector. Their response was essentially that that’s an area we need to work on. Pfft.

Meanwhile Topps is hosting a contest on their website to decide who will end up #1 in next year’s Series One. I saw it when Ryan posted it shared it – among the candidates were Jose Altuve, Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, Clayton Kershaw, Francisco Lindor, Buster Posey, Chris Sale, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, and Adrian Beltre. A few players that would fall into the original conversation, but several of the usual suspects – Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, etc. I’m all for Ryan’s idea, using the write-in ballot to vote for Bartolo Colon. Not only because that would guarantee at least one Twins card in Series One and Ryan gets another Ex-Expos card to collect, but to spite the major market teams. :D.

It’s not quite ready, but I’ve put together a spreadsheet with everything Topps has released this year. Base, inserts, hits, the whole shebang. Originally it was just the base sets, but since they provide everything on their checklists, what’s the harm? I’ll have that post out soon – seeing which TEAMS get undervalued and yes, I did the math. ;).

Daily Twin:

2014 Bowman Ryan Eades black printing plate.

Edit: Yes, in fairness, I do intend to create a 2017 spreadsheet for Panini as well.



Contra. Street Fighter. The Legend of Zelda. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. Mega Man. Final Fantasy(Japan only).

All legendary titles worthy of play even today, but that’s not all they share in common – 1987. The initial releases of these iconic gaming franchises share the same year. There have obviously been newer, arguably better received releases in each franchise, but the first game usually defines while they refine and polish. Especially when comparing 8-bit to current gen games.

But that’s not all they share in common – aside from both being my interests – the Twins won the World Series that October. That would’ve been a great time to be a Twins fan, with them winning the Commissioner’s Trophy just a few years later in 1991.

Oh, and I was born on this day, that year – something Grant Green shares with me. :). Hopefully my 30s are as great as the first two decades were, I hear all your aches and pains suddenly disappear and get better with age.

Another Twitter mail day.

The other day I found a surprise mail day from Nick. A few of these were expected, but surprise mail days usually have surprises, and this one did!

These metal-looking 3D Upper Deck produced cards are impossible to take a photo of properly – at least without powering up my scanner. However these weren’t sent because they’re Twins cards – that’s the Tigers’ Cecil Fielder – but because they’re mis-cut or mis-printed.

Not sure the year, but this looks like a mid-80s sticker from Panini/Topps? The place was a dump for baseball and football, but it was OUR dump! I kinda miss the baggie-dome. :(.

Is that Early Wynn in an Indians uniform? Senators? White Sox? Kinda impossible to know with this poor, blurry photo(#ThanksTCMA). Early did call Washington home for 8 of his 23 seasons however, making his MLB debut in 1939, returning in 1941 and aside from a year of military service in 1945, didn’t retire until 1963! The 1972 Hall of Fame inductee went in as a Cleveland Indians pitcher, probably due to his 12 seasons in “The Land”.  I love this excerpt from his Hall of Fame biography:

After nine seasons with mediocre Washington teams, in which he had a 72-87 mark, Wynn was traded with first baseman Mickey Vernon to the Indians prior to 1949.

“We were roommates and good friends,” Vernon would recall years later. “After I was traded back to Washington, I got four hits off him the first time I faced him, the last one knocking the glove off his hand. When I got to first base, he was steaming. He looked over and said, ‘Roommate or not, you’ve got to go in the dirt seat next time I see you.’ Sure enough, the next time I faced him, the first pitch was up over my head – to let me know he hadn’t forgotten.”

The next two cards are a real gift.

1987 Topps Mike Birkbeck, and John Henry Johnson.

They look like nothing special, centering aside, however when compared to the previous “standard” sized Early Wynn from earlier(hah.) you’ll see why these birth year cards are special:

Just a tad short there in the cutting process Topps. As an aside, based on his photos on cards, I always associate John Henry with Little House On The Prairie rather than on a major league team. It’s just that 80s appearance, ya know? Finally, a few Vikings oddball cards to show off.

An all-time favorite Vikings, super aggressive, extreme personality, with one of my all-time favorite songs. The design reminds me of Goosebumps, mid-90s Scholastic book fairs, with a side order of corporate love affair.

Now that’s a gorgeous looking card! If I didn’t already have a vintage Vikings card in the spine of my team binder, this would definitely be there! The colors are vibrant, the details on the back are depressing, all that’s missing is “Purple People Eaters” – this could not be MORE of a Vikings card.

So that wraps up Nick’s surprise PWE. As he was in the last few posts contest, he’ll have something headed his way soon. If you’ve got mis-printed or oddball Vikings/Twins, feel free to send them my way! :D.