Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Set in review

Every 100 cards, I conducted an update of the 1975 Topps set. From the time I was a kid, there were always elements about the set that I wanted to quantify, and this blog was the perfect opportunity to do that:

Which border color combinations appeared the most? Which appeared the least? How many dudes looked like ladies?

That sort of stuff.

So this is my chance to put all those questions to rest. Here is the final tally for a lot of the categories that I mentioned throughout the blog and a couple others:


In the end, there was a five-way tie for the lead among the color combinations. The green-light green, green-purple, orange-brown, pink-yellow and purple-pink combinations each finished with 55 cards apiece. If we're going by the define-the-design names selected for those combinations, the "lime design," "Incredible Hulk design," "candy corn design," "marshmallow peeps design," and "My Little Pony design" finished at the top of the heap. But here is the full 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. Brown-tan: 22
15. Red-blue: 22
16. Red-yellow: 22
17. Tan-light blue: 22
18: Yellow-green: 22

Of course, I omitted the yellow-red borders of the all-star cards every time I ranked the border combinations. But if I combined the yellow-red All-Star card borders with the other yellow-red cards, then the yellow-red border would be the overall winner with 56 cards total.


There were a whopping 83 players wearing powder blue in this set. I'd be willing to guess that the total was even higher in the 1976 or 1977 Topps set. Maybe even 1978 with the first real appearance of the Blue Jays.

(EDIT: When including rookie prospects, league leaders, etc., the powder-blue uniform total grows to 95. The totals were a bit higher for '76-'78 but not as high as 1983 which has 204.


There are 29 players looking up in this set. I imagine that if you total this category up in 1960s sets, it's a lot bigger.


A grand total of 12 players that I thought looked like ladies when I was a kid. Here they all are together:

Buddy Bell, Ted Simmons, Jim Mason, Steve Arlin, Rich Coggins, Fred Beene, Dave LaRoche, Ellie Rodriguez, Ken Sanders, Dick Pole, Dave Roberts and Tom Veryzer.


Unfortunately, this is a category that will continue to grow. Right now, there are 64 players in this set that are deceased.


A disappointing four players in this set are displaying a chaw. I really thought there would have been more. Players had disgusting habits back then.


Thirty-two players in this set had at least one child who also played in the majors. This total surprised me. I am aware of the many MLB families in baseball. I just never knew how MUCH of a family sport major league baseball was.


Here is the rookie cup team one more time:

1B - Mike Hargrove
2B - Larry Milbourne
3B - Bill Madlock
SS - Bucky Dent
OF - Bake McBride
OF - Greg Gross
OF - Claudell Washington
C - Barry Foote
P - Frank Tanana


Here are the All-Star cards one more time:


1B - Dick Allen
2B - Rod Carew
3B - Brooks Robinson
SS - Bert Campaneris
OF - Bobby Murcer
OF - Jeff Burroughs
OF -
C - Carlton Fisk
P - Gaylord Perry


1B - Steve Garvey
2B - Joe Morgan
3B - Ron Cey
SS - Larry Bowa
OF - Hank Aaron
OF - Pete Rose
OF - Jim Wynn
C - Johnny Bench
P - Andy Messersmith

Poor Reggie is still missing.


Jim is the most popular name in the set, appearing 30 times. Dave/David and Tom/Tommy appear 26 times.


I have 124 cards in the set in mini form. That's 18.8% of the set. I plan to get to work on improving that percentage in the months ahead.


There are 65 cards of players who have been airbrushed into different uniforms. As a kid, I missed probably 60 of those.


Nolan Ryan has four cards in the set. Two highlights, one leader card, and his base card.


The first card in the set -- the Hank Aaron Highlight card -- is far-and-away the most clicked-on post. Here, I'll show you:

That's how close it is.

Now that the other Hank Aaron card has been posted on this blog, I expect the No. 1 Aaron card to have a little competition.

All right, that's the rundown on the set. Hope you enjoyed.

Oh, one other thing:

Other blog stuff: I have a surprise for tomorrow that I think you'll enjoy. Well, mostly I will enjoy it. But I'll let you ride along. You won't want to miss it. It's so good that I'll be posting it on both blogs. So stay tuned.


Play at the Plate said...

As a person who can appreciate the stats, it's nice to see the breakdown. Congrats again and nice tease with the surprise.

Chris Stufflestreet said...

Still a little bummed that this is getting near the end. I have gotten into the habit of checking this blog before signing off for the night.

In a way, it has helped me focus on my own set-specific blog, which I'm rolling out at a slower pace but am still about a third of the way through.

I'll still be reading your other blog, despite its broadsides against my favorite team and all. And I'm also curious to see what your "surprise" is.

Matthew Glidden said...

Bake McBride is still my favorite 70s player name. Glad to see he got a rookie cup in 1975.

Jim said...

Great stuff. Thanks again for this blog and the walk down memory lane.

Johngy said...

Do you have a want list on the mini cards? Let me know and I am sure I can shave off a chunk of it. Consider it my payment for the enjoyment of reading your fine blog.

steelehere said...

Any chance, we're looking at the "surprise" at the top of the this post? It would be kind of cool to see what's inside of the pack as well as get your thoughts while you open it.

Anonymous said...

So it seems clear that this set was printed with 11 cards per row on the sheets, though I'm curious just how they got it to 56 of that one combo.

MCT said...

I think the 56 must be wrong; it has to be 55. IINM, Topps sets from this era were printed on sheets of 132 cards. 55 + 33 + 22 = 132. six color combinations of 55 (330) + six color combinations of 33 (198) + six color combinations of 22 (132) = 660.

It's funny, it never ocurred to me that there was any logic to the distribution of color combinations in this set. They always seemed so random....

night owl said...

I found the error:

MCT said...

I just realized that the first part of what I posted previously is wrong...55 + 33 + 22 does not equal 132. You get the point, though; this set is constructed of various combinations of building blocks that are divisible by 11, so it had to be 55, not 56.