2014-09-16

Superbowl XLIX Projection, Week 2, Final

Houston over Carolina

Since I don't really root for any team but the Rams, when there's an AFC-NFC matchup, I always root for the AFC team, to weaken the wildcard pool in the NFC. So, last night the Philadelphia comeback over Indianapolis was not what I was hoping for. Every other AFC team's playoff chances went up slightly, and every other NFC team's went down.

With the narrow victory, Philadelphia didn't increase their chances enough to overtake Carolina as the NFC favorite, so today's projection remains the same as yesterday's.

TEAMRecordStrengthDivPlyffWCQtrSemiChamp
HOU2-00.55362.29173.23755.57329.86615.9778.524
CAR2-00.55063.49674.22557.03930.69916.4288.643
CIN2-00.54450.90167.08249.80126.19213.6767.167
WAS1-10.54229.98047.67532.89617.3369.0974.713
BUF2-00.54249.41765.92448.73625.55113.2886.932
PHI2-00.53143.63760.23343.46422.43311.5435.858
BAL1-10.53122.44142.25627.47313.9637.0863.618
ARI2-00.52844.84162.48145.50623.31911.8825.984
DEN2-00.52654.22966.74847.51423.94811.9866.060
NE1-10.52019.61336.27523.24011.5365.7212.856
SEA1-10.51923.05741.39027.30413.6856.8393.381
SD1-10.51731.29345.00229.06414.3437.0503.496
MIN1-10.51227.02240.32626.36212.9776.3803.113
DAL1-10.51121.30835.79822.80111.2385.5252.691
CHI1-10.51027.26940.70326.59813.0496.3853.107
DET1-10.50926.53538.46024.38911.9295.8262.821
SF1-10.50621.45137.08223.58611.4785.5822.694
TEN1-10.50022.03537.09322.85010.8615.1732.489
CLE1-10.49815.08829.01917.6418.3603.9641.898
NYJ1-10.49616.63632.35619.9099.3764.4202.103
NO0-20.4929.10517.1429.8734.6732.2161.036
MIA1-10.48814.33330.10617.8238.2623.8361.800
IND0-20.4849.86516.6949.2434.2531.9610.911
ATL1-10.48119.90832.91719.7859.1204.2221.937
TB0-20.4807.49113.9767.7043.5441.6340.744
GB1-10.47819.17427.71016.4337.5253.4331.564
PIT1-10.46811.57024.00613.6066.0232.6691.191
OAK0-20.4588.03212.0496.1792.6641.1510.506
KC0-20.4556.44711.2525.7782.4751.0640.461
STL1-10.45110.65120.63511.4874.9432.1250.908
NYG0-20.4495.0769.2464.7732.0520.8840.377
JAC0-20.4435.80810.9005.5712.3290.9790.415



[Week 1]
[Week 2, Thursday]
[Week 2, Sunday]

2014-09-15

Superbowl XLIX Projection, Week 2, Sunday

Houston over Carolina

With decent-sized wins, Houston and Carolina take over their conference leads.

The Rams pulled off a yawner of a victory due to a 10 second runoff, but I'll take it. They have climbed to 1-1, but unfortunately it was only a 2 point win, so their Superbowl chances actually dropped, to below 1%. Still, for now I can claim to have a better team than Jacksonville and New York, and to have better odds than Kansas City, Oakland, and Tampa

TEAMRecordStrengthDivPlyffWCQtrSemiChamp
HOU2-00.55359.79171.94354.61829.35115.6748.380
CAR2-00.55063.55474.59757.70331.15216.7128.787
CIN2-00.54450.89166.74249.51026.05613.6237.156
WAS1-10.54233.73449.44234.38318.1449.5484.944
BUF2-00.54249.37765.58148.45425.40413.2086.911
BAL1-10.53122.40841.79827.16313.8067.0173.595
ARI2-00.52844.82862.99046.14323.69912.0876.091
DEN2-00.52554.23966.54647.36123.88711.9766.072
PHI1-00.52436.05651.13835.51518.0689.1664.585
NE1-10.52019.59135.83922.97311.4145.6632.838
SEA1-10.51923.05041.97827.80813.9626.9963.463
SD1-10.51731.25144.67328.85314.2287.0023.488
MIN1-10.51226.97740.71626.74713.2096.5053.173
DAL1-10.51124.19437.46023.98211.8525.8522.851
CHI1-10.51027.25341.10226.98613.2656.5073.164
DET1-10.50926.51438.82424.77612.1455.9392.879
SF1-10.50621.46337.61724.07511.7415.7192.754
TEN1-10.50020.90636.05222.24110.5805.0422.429
CLE1-10.49815.10728.72017.4568.2873.9391.889
NYJ1-10.49616.66032.04619.7399.3084.3852.093
NO0-20.4929.07717.41810.0914.7862.2741.065
IND0-10.48913.91823.05513.3536.2062.8891.358
MIA1-10.48814.37229.80717.6598.1763.7901.780
ATL1-10.48119.90333.31320.1319.3064.3121.971
TB0-20.4807.46714.1747.8673.6271.6770.763
GB1-10.47819.25628.16916.8287.7203.5401.610
PIT1-10.46811.59423.72413.4435.9592.6451.189
OAK0-20.4588.04911.9246.1182.6441.1460.504
KC0-20.4556.46011.1165.7082.4511.0560.462
STL1-10.45110.65821.04311.7905.0932.2020.942
NYG0-20.4496.01610.0185.1722.2320.9650.411
JAC0-20.4435.38510.4355.3522.2440.9440.401



[Week 1]

2014-09-14

NCAA Football Power Rankings, Week 3

My rankings tend to shuffle around near the top, and this week was no exception. LSU dropped from #1 to #4, and UCLA dropped from #2 to #8, despite both winning. Cincinnati finally played a game, so all 127 teams are now in the rankings. Massachusetts stayed at the bottom, because almosts don't count in my rankings. They very nearly won against Vanderbilt, but lost to go 0-3 and stay at the bottom. Vanderbilt, previously at #123, jumped all the way up to #115

Missouri held steady at #19, having beat a team that is now only 0-2.

1Oklahoma3-0
2Alabama3-0
3Washington3-0
4LSU3-0
5Oregon3-0
6Pittsburgh3-0
7Arizona3-0
8UCLA3-0
9Texas A&M3-0
10North Carolina State3-0
10Mississippi State3-0
12Ole Miss3-0
13Northern Illinois3-0
14Penn State3-0
15Georgia Tech3-0
16Notre Dame3-0
17BYU3-0
18Nebraska3-0
19Missouri3-0
20Baylor3-0
21Duke3-0
22Arizona State3-0
23Marshall3-0
24Virginia2-1
25Wyoming2-1
26South Carolina2-1
27Tennessee2-1
28Syracuse2-0
29Illinois2-1
30East Carolina2-1
31Boise State2-1
32Kansas State2-0
33Virginia Tech2-1
34Auburn2-0
35TCU2-0
36Oklahoma State2-1
37Louisville2-1
38North Carolina2-0
39Maryland2-1
40Texas Tech2-1
41Florida2-0
42West Virginia2-1
43Florida State2-0
44Stanford2-1
45Navy2-1
46USC2-1
47California2-0
48Arkansas2-1
49UTEP2-1
50Utah State2-1
51Minnesota2-1
52Rutgers2-1
53Louisiana Tech2-1
54Colorado State2-1
55Boston College2-1
56Ohio State2-1
57Central Michigan2-1
58Oregon State2-0
59Bowling Green2-1
60Miami (FL)2-1
61Utah2-0
62Michigan2-1
63Nevada2-1
64Kentucky2-1
65Middle Tennessee2-1
66Louisiana-Monroe2-1
67Air Force2-1
68New Mexico State2-1
69UAB2-1
70Iowa2-1
71Wisconsin1-1
72Southern Miss1-2
73South Florida1-2
74Indiana1-1
75San Diego State1-1
76Arkansas State1-2
77Western Kentucky1-2
77Florida Atlantic1-2
79Iowa State1-2
80Georgia1-1
81Cincinnati1-0
82Michigan State1-1
83Army1-1
84Akron1-1
85Tulane1-2
86Connecticut1-2
87Kansas1-1
88Tulsa1-2
89UNLV1-2
90Texas1-2
91Texas State1-1
92UTSA1-2
93Temple1-1
94San Jose State1-1
95Purdue1-2
96Louisiana-Lafayette1-2
97Florida International1-2
98Washington State1-2
99Clemson1-1
100Eastern Michigan1-2
101Buffalo1-2
102Memphis1-1
103South Alabama1-1
104Wake Forest1-2
105Appalachian State1-1
106Georgia Southern1-2
107Toledo1-2
108Hawaii1-2
109Georgia State1-2
110Colorado1-2
111Ohio1-2
112Western Michigan1-1
113North Texas1-2
114Houston1-2
115Vanderbilt1-2
116Ball State1-2
117Rice0-2
118UCF0-2
119Northwestern0-2
120New Mexico0-2
121Miami (OH)0-3
122Fresno State0-3
123SMU0-2
124Idaho0-2
125Troy0-3
126Kent State0-3
127Massachusetts0-3


2014 History

2014-09-12

Superbowl XLIX Projection, Week 2, Thursday

Minnesota over Tennessee

I'm not sure that Baltimore and Pittsburgh are really the best and worst teams, respectively, but that's one hitch in my system. They've played twice as many games as all other teams, so their projected winning percentage is exaggerated twice as far from .500 as all other teams, for right now. This effect will lessen each week, and will only possibly be noticeable when one of the top teams plays Thursday or Monday. 

Even with their slight strength edge, Baltimore's week 1 loss has them behind Tennessee (and Houston, Miami, Cincinnati, New York, and Denver) for the AFC favorite.

For two days, and probably not again for the rest of this season, I can gloat to my friend the Steelers fan that the Rams are the better team...at least by these numbers.

TEAMRecordStrengthDivPlyffWCQtrSemiChamp
BAL1-10.53129.64644.99430.50715.9718.3494.343
MIN1-00.53138.30755.79140.12721.01510.9895.720
HOU1-00.52937.59253.59438.32719.98310.4105.392
TEN1-00.52836.92854.53639.12120.36310.5925.476
DET1-00.52736.46953.82138.36119.93810.3505.355
SEA1-00.52633.02353.50638.09719.75510.2135.263
PHI1-00.52449.13858.36440.92821.08910.8305.566
MIA1-00.52033.17851.29636.07318.4719.4224.791
SF1-00.52031.59051.50136.18318.4919.4314.801
CIN1-00.51540.25053.53837.36118.9319.5754.830
CAR1-00.51537.54451.30935.36717.9179.0414.563
NYJ1-00.51330.04248.63933.78817.0488.5824.314
DEN1-00.51142.61253.62437.08518.6009.2984.654
BUF1-00.50627.39244.24730.03914.9387.4083.670
ATL1-00.50434.91548.71432.81916.2067.9813.938
ARI1-00.50325.82943.83329.48214.5237.1453.516
SD0-10.49721.68530.79719.2109.3434.5382.209
NO0-10.49614.48025.00815.3127.4323.6061.753
CLE0-10.49514.68124.33014.9727.2673.5291.710
CHI0-10.49414.17725.56115.8377.6533.7031.791
IND0-10.48913.97723.76014.4636.9233.3191.586
OAK0-10.48718.92426.18315.6357.4353.5331.681
TB0-10.48513.06022.85113.6416.4613.0601.451
DAL0-10.48018.02825.23014.7026.8833.2231.514
NE0-10.4809.38719.83211.8285.5562.6101.225
JAC0-10.47611.50421.40212.8165.9712.7841.294
GB0-10.47411.04618.98711.1585.1772.4051.115
NYG0-10.47316.62523.17713.3036.1292.8221.306
KC0-10.47216.77923.20113.4326.1872.8461.314
WAS0-10.47116.20923.81913.8726.3732.9311.352
STL0-10.4699.55918.52610.8124.9572.2701.041
PIT1-10.46815.42226.02715.3427.0113.2061.466

2014-09-09

Superbowl XLIX Projection, Week 1

Minnesota over Tennessee

Each year I project the Superbowl match-up after each day of games. The method is not of my own design, but the implementation is. Each team's strength is determined based on points scored and points allowed, and scaled to make the average team .500. Then, the remainder of the season and playoffs are simulated millions of times, and I report to you the chances of each team reaching each round of the playoffs. It's had mixed results in the past, but that's the nature of taking 1 weighted random sample out of millions of potential outcomes.

I could pretty much copy and paste from last year's week 1 notes, swapping in the correct teams
In week 1, the team with the biggest win is always atop the projections, and Kansas City Minnesota benefited from a complete domination of Jacksonville St Louis :( 
Philadelphia is right behind Minnesota for NFC champ, even though Seattle and Detroit are, for now, better teams. That's likely due to the losses by the rest of the NFC East, putting Philadelphia in a good starting position.

As for the Rams, I'd say it's time to put in Austin Davis and see what he's got, or make a zany trade for a proven QB. They currently sit in last place with the lowest chances of anyone of winning the Superbowl, barely over 1%.

TEAMRecordStrengthDivPlyffWCQtrSemiChamp
MIN1-00.53138.30955.75840.10321.00310.9845.735
HOU1-00.52937.60053.71738.39820.07510.4895.432
TEN1-00.52836.93954.65739.19920.46310.6815.519
DET1-00.52736.48253.81538.35519.94010.3495.366
SEA1-00.52633.03053.48938.08019.74310.2075.280
PHI1-00.52449.15358.35840.92421.08510.8265.581
MIA1-00.52033.88752.09736.68818.8299.6374.902
SF1-00.52031.60351.48136.16918.4899.4324.819
CIN1-00.51538.49152.49736.46618.5339.3944.739
CAR1-00.51537.55451.40035.45417.9569.0644.588
NYJ1-00.51329.45848.00533.23616.8218.4994.272
DEN1-00.51142.56753.58936.98318.6069.3344.672
BUF1-00.50627.31544.19529.94814.9277.4363.684
PIT1-00.50534.88949.01733.21116.4958.1794.039
ATL1-00.50434.90848.78332.87416.2317.9893.956
ARI1-00.50325.81643.80429.45914.5107.1403.526
SD0-10.49722.18531.43419.6249.5674.6612.268
NO0-10.49614.47725.06915.3497.4483.6141.761
CLE0-10.49514.29324.85415.2307.4103.6051.746
CHI0-10.49414.17425.53415.8217.6523.7031.798
IND0-10.48913.96923.82414.4966.9603.3441.598
OAK0-10.48718.86326.13215.5757.4283.5371.683
TB0-10.48513.06022.89513.6716.4733.0631.459
BAL0-10.48512.32722.00813.1776.2652.9791.412
DAL0-10.48018.02125.20314.6766.8693.2181.517
NE0-10.4809.33919.78011.7745.5452.6121.228
JAC0-10.47611.49221.45712.8466.0032.8081.303
GB0-10.47411.03518.95311.1335.1632.3961.115
NYG0-10.47316.62223.15513.2876.1222.8211.309
KC0-10.47216.38622.73713.1466.0742.8061.295
WAS0-10.47116.20423.79313.8486.3672.9251.352
STL0-10.4699.55118.50910.7994.9502.2701.046

2014-09-07

NCAA Football Power Rankings, Week 2

I'm always surprised when the teams separate enough in week 2 for me to actually have a distinct #1 and #2. In fact, there are very few ties through the ranks. There are 2-0 teams, 1-1 teams, 0-2 teams, 1-0 teams, and 0-1 teams, and I guess enough combinations of strengths of schedule to differentiate all these teams. On to the second-silliest rankings of the year: Week 2!

1LSU2-0
2UCLA2-0
3Oklahoma2-0
4Maryland2-0
5Oregon2-0
6Virginia Tech2-0
7Tennessee2-0
8Arizona2-0
9BYU2-0
10Texas A&M2-0
11Mississippi State2-0
12Washington2-0
13Auburn2-0
14North Carolina2-0
14Illinois2-0
16Notre Dame2-0
17Florida State2-0
18USC2-0
19Missouri2-0
20Louisville2-0
21Wyoming2-0
22Texas Tech2-0
23North Carolina State2-0
24Iowa2-0
25Oregon State2-0
26Louisiana-Monroe2-0
27Northern Illinois2-0
28Ole Miss2-0
29Penn State2-0
30Pittsburgh2-0
31Minnesota2-0
32California2-0
33Alabama2-0
34Kansas State2-0
35Nebraska2-0
36Marshall2-0
37Nevada2-0
38Central Michigan2-0
39Kentucky2-0
40New Mexico State2-0
41Georgia Tech2-0
42Duke2-0
43Utah2-0
44Arizona State2-0
45Rutgers2-0
46Baylor2-0
47Syracuse1-0
48Georgia1-0
49Indiana1-0
50Virginia1-1
51Louisiana Tech1-1
52Ohio State1-1
53South Carolina1-1
54Boise State1-1
55Clemson1-1
56Texas State1-0
56Kansas1-0
58South Florida1-1
59Arkansas State1-1
60Michigan State1-1
61Wisconsin1-1
62Army1-0
63Texas1-1
63Florida1-0
65Southern Miss1-1
66San Jose State1-1
67UTSA1-1
68Western Kentucky1-1
68Stanford1-1
70Michigan1-1
71San Diego State1-1
72Oklahoma State1-1
73TCU1-0
74Louisiana-Lafayette1-1
75East Carolina1-1
76Florida International1-1
77Navy1-1
78Colorado State1-1
79Memphis1-1
80UNLV1-1
81Toledo1-1
82Tulsa1-1
83Connecticut1-1
83Ball State1-1
85Utah State1-1
86UAB1-1
87South Alabama1-0
88Purdue1-1
89Miami (FL)1-1
90UTEP1-1
91Wake Forest1-1
92Arkansas1-1
93Akron1-1
94Air Force1-1
95Georgia Southern1-1
96Middle Tennessee1-1
97West Virginia1-1
98Boston College1-1
99Ohio1-1
100Georgia State1-1
101North Texas1-1
102Appalachian State1-1
102Bowling Green1-1
104Buffalo1-1
105Eastern Michigan1-1
106Houston1-1
107Temple1-1
108Colorado1-1
109Rice0-1
110Idaho0-1
111UCF0-1
112Hawaii0-2
113Northwestern0-2
114Fresno State0-2
115Florida Atlantic0-2
116Iowa State0-2
117Miami (OH)0-2
118Washington State0-2
119Western Michigan0-1
120Tulane0-2
121Troy0-2
122New Mexico0-2
123Vanderbilt0-2
124SMU0-2
125Kent State0-2
126Massachusetts0-2

2014 History

2014-09-05

eBay Wins #141

Today I've got the 1990 Donruss and Score cards from my giant pile of eBay penny cards. It's nothing against Dion James, but I didn't really want to feature him in his own post next time.

1990 Donruss
#2 Steve Sax
#46 Kelly Mann
#93 Jeffrey Leonard
#263 Andres Thomas
#308 Tom Browning
#387 Dave West
#497 Jim Presley
1990 Score
#514 Dion James
I have an attachment to 1990 Donruss, because it was the first set I realistically thought I could complete by buying packs, when I bought a dirt cheap box from either my LCS or a Flea Market, I forget which, around 1994. I know some people think it's ugly, but I like it for sentimental reasons, not aesthetic. Somehow, even with that box and all the collecting I've done through the years, I'm still a little short of the full set. One day I'll go on a COMC or similar spending spree of a buck or two, and it will be mine.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3202
Total Spent$50.55
Per Card1.579 cents
Change-0.001 cents

2014-09-03

Zistle Trade #9

These cards cost me some Thomes, some Cabreras, some Ortizes, and a couple of Ichiros. But I got a few Cardinal managers, and closer to completing 2012 Update. It's win/win, like any trade should be.

1987 Topps #68 Tony La Russa
1988 Topps #344 Tony La Russa
1988 Topps #744 Whitey Herzog
2012 Topps Update #US3 Adam Kennedy
2012 Topps Update #US26 Santiago Casilla
2012 Topps Update #US27 Cesar Izturis
Several of the Update cards happened to be Cardinals too, including Adam Kennedy and Cesar Izturis.

2012 Topps Update
#US58 Manny Acosta
#US69 Brett Jackson
#US80 Jered Weaver
#US92 Chone Figgins
#US102 Brandon League
#US115 Jason Grilli
#US121 Johnny Damon
#US141 R.A. Dickey

2012 Topps Update
#US162 Yu Darvish
#US169 Steve Cishek
#US205 Travis Ishikawa
#US219 Brian Fuentes
#US235 Marc Rzepczynski
#US279 Ryan Cook
#US289 Prince Fielder
#US302 Lucas Harrell
The sportscasters here liked to call Rzepczynski "Scrabble". I don't know if that nickname predated his time here, or just reflects our relatively low Polish population.

2012 Topps Update
#US17 Joe Smith
#US170 Jerry Hairston
#US238 Shawn Camp
#US294 Sergio Santos
#US316 Ryan Theriot
Finally I got one more Cardinal middle infielder, short-timer Ryan Theriot.

If my Zistle want list is to be believed - and it usually is - I still need over 70 cards to finish the Update set. But, this knocked out about a quarter of the list.

2014-09-01

NCAA Football Power Rankings, Week 1

I like to refine my explanation of this just slightly each year, so below is copied, pasted, and slightly cleaned up from last year's week 1 post.

A few years ago, I thought to myself, "I could do a better job than some of the BCS computers".  As I recall, at the time I felt Mizzou was underrated.  The BCS rules stated margin of victory cannot be used, so I thought I'd stick to that.  I put together a convergence algorithm, in which I initially rank the teams by record (so all the undefeated teams start tied at #1), then calculate each team's strength of schedule based on the current rankings of its opponents, and re-sort based on that strength.  I run through this process until 2 consecutive iterations give the same result, or there is a loop.  So, if iteration 10,002 gives the same rankings as iteration 10,000, then each subsequent iteration would fluctuate between the rankings in 10,000 and 10,001.  I average those rankings to come up with the final rankings.  It is still possible - but generally unlikely - that teams can tie for a final ranking. Now that the BCS is dead, I'll just consider these rankings my advice on #1 to #4 to the College Football Playoff committee.

Due to most teams playing other teams in lower divisions at times, and a lack of desire on my part to delve so deeply that I have to track down NAIA schedules, I've decided to count all games listed on ESPN's college football site, which includes all FBS, FCS, and Division II and III schedules, and any of their lower-tier opponents, but only when those opponents play at least a Division III team.  I then filter the final results to only the 127 FBS schools.

In week 1, there are only 2 possible situations for a team. First is to be 1-0, having defeated an 0-1 team. Second is, unsurprisingly, to be a 0-1 team, having lost to a 1-0 team. For this reason, in week 1, all 1-0 teams will be tied for #1, and the rest tied at N+1, where N is the number of #1 teams. Did your team choose to beat up on an FCS (aka, Division 1-AA) team? Congrats, you're #1 this week!

This year there are 2 new FBS teams, for a total of 127:
Appalachian State
Georgia Southern

Last year, I apparently left Georgia State off of my list. It didn't affect the relative rankings, since all games listed get counted. It simply means Georgia State should have been inserted into the list, likely at #124 or #125 at the end of the year, since they finished with an 0-12 record like #124 Miami of Ohio.

Let's get to the silliest rankings of the year, week 1!


1Georgia State1-0
1Texas A&M1-0
1Louisiana-Monroe1-0
1Minnesota1-0
1Akron1-0
1Northern Illinois1-0
1Central Michigan1-0
1Utah1-0
1Ole Miss1-0
1New Mexico State1-0
1Tulsa1-0
1Rutgers1-0
1San Jose State1-0
1Arizona State1-0
1Temple1-0
1Michigan State1-0
1Syracuse1-0
1Western Kentucky1-0
1Colorado State1-0
1UTSA1-0
1Arizona1-0
1Penn State1-0
1Ohio State1-0
1UCLA1-0
1Pittsburgh1-0
1Michigan1-0
1Illinois1-0
1Indiana1-0
1Iowa1-0
1Purdue1-0
1UAB1-0
1Kentucky1-0
1Georgia Tech1-0
1North Carolina State1-0
1Ball State1-0
1Air Force1-0
1Nevada1-0
1Boston College1-0
1Alabama1-0
1Notre Dame1-0
1Nebraska1-0
1Missouri1-0
1Maryland1-0
1California1-0
1Buffalo1-0
1Marshall1-0
1Auburn1-0
1Stanford1-0
1Wyoming1-0
1Oregon State1-0
1Virginia Tech1-0
1Georgia1-0
1North Carolina1-0
1Duke1-0
1Ohio1-0
1Eastern Michigan1-0
1Oklahoma1-0
1Arkansas State1-0
1Louisiana-Lafayette1-0
1Texas State1-0
1Toledo1-0
1Middle Tennessee1-0
1San Diego State1-0
1Memphis1-0
1South Florida1-0
1TCU1-0
1Texas Tech1-0
1Kansas State1-0
1USC1-0
1Mississippi State1-0
1Florida State1-0
1UTEP1-0
1Texas1-0
1East Carolina1-0
1LSU1-0
1Oregon1-0
1Washington1-0
1Tennessee1-0
1Baylor1-0
1Louisville1-0
81Colorado0-1
81Miami (OH)0-1
81Arkansas0-1
81Houston0-1
81UNLV0-1
81Boise State0-1
81UCF0-1
81Wake Forest0-1
81Navy0-1
81Clemson0-1
81Virginia0-1
81Kent State0-1
81Appalachian State0-1
81Iowa State0-1
81Louisiana Tech0-1
81Western Michigan0-1
81Tulane0-1
81Troy0-1
81Washington State0-1
81Georgia Southern0-1
81South Carolina0-1
81Florida International0-1
81Vanderbilt0-1
81Fresno State0-1
81Southern Miss0-1
81Massachusetts0-1
81Oklahoma State0-1
81Connecticut0-1
81West Virginia0-1
81New Mexico0-1
81Rice0-1
81North Texas0-1
81Florida Atlantic0-1
81Wisconsin0-1
81Hawaii0-1
81Utah State0-1
81Northwestern0-1
81Bowling Green0-1
81Miami (FL)0-1

2014-08-30

eBay Wins #140

Today I have the set I generally consider the ultimate Topps junk wax set, 1989. This might not beat 88 or 89 Donruss for the overall junk set champion. But, with the 25th anniversary parallels in 2014 flagship bearing the 1989 design, maybe now is the best time to sell. I bet I could get twice my money back! "My money" was just 60 cents for 60 cards, of course.

1989 Topps
#5 Orel Hershiser
#8 Dave Eiland
#30 Doc Gooden
#42 Jim Eppard
#44 Jim Snyder
#45 Kal Daniels
#80 Cory Snyder
#89 Dave LaPoint (x2)
Two Daves don't make a right, right? At least that's what I always told my two friends named Dave in college.


1989 Topps
#105 Ron Darling
#110 Paul Monitor
#129 Terry Clark
#131 Dave Otto
#139 Mike Flanagan
#190 Mike Witt
#196 Denny Walling
#197 Neal Heaton
#200 George Brett
Fun fact, which is only relevant to this particular arrangement of cards: George Brett's first Hall of Fame Ballot was also Mike Witt's. Brett got 98.2% of the vote. Witt got 0.

1989 Topps
#206 Roberto Alomar
#209 Jeff Bittiger
#210 Dale Murphy
#253 Jose Alvarez
#267 Jeff Robinson
#275 Danny Tartabull (x2)
#330 Eric Davis
#339 Scott Bailes

1989 Topps
#340 Kirk Gibson
#367 Johnny Paredes (x2)
#387 Ryne Sandberg (x3)
#390 Darryl Strawberry
#408 Greg Walker (x3)
As a Cardinals fan, I feel like I'm supposed to have this hatred for the Cubs, but I just can't muster it. I think part of the reason is that when I was first starting to watch baseball, the daycare I attended would let us turn on WGN in the afternoons and watch the Cubs day games. I got to know several of their players well, especially Ryne Sandberg. So this Three-of-a-kind of Sandberg isn't cringe inducing to me, as it might be to some St. Louis fans.


1989 Topps
#410 Jack Clark
#427 Eric Show
#449 Carmelo Martinez
#485 Hubie Brooks
#488 Kevin Coffman
#502 Duane Ward
#527 Dave Henderson
#531 Dave Hengel
#536 Joel Skinner
Jack Clark is all over these late 80s/early 90s posts.

1989 Topps
#571 Billy Ripken (x2)
#584 Randy Velarde
#588 Luis Alicea
#604 Paul O'Neill
#624 Jack McKeon
#651 Tom Niedenfuer
#693 Pat Borders
#704 Carlos Quintana
Here we have a decidedly unfamous Billy Ripken card, relatively speaking, and a Jack McKeon's magnificent mustache. Also a former, current, and future Cardinal as of the printing time of these cards, Tom Niedenfuer, Luis Alicea, and Pat Borders.


1989 Topps
#736 Jeff Hamilton
#744 Roger Craig
#750 Bret Saberhagen
#751 Ken Oberkfell
#579 Astros Leaders
#669 Dodgers Leaders
This last scan is brought to you by laziness and miscounting, but it worked out alright in the end. I thought I only had 59 cards and thus would have a row of vertical and a row of horizontal cards for the last scan. Thanks to the miscount, I discovered my scanner is almost exactly (2 card widths + 1 card length) wide.

Right now I would need about 2000 cards for $1.47 to get my average to 1 cent per card. That's not a particular goal of mine, but that is an interesting round number to help put the change values into perspective.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3194
Total Spent$50.47
Per Card1.58 cents
Change-0.011 cents

2014-08-28

Another Sports Card Info Contest Win

I've won a few contests from Sports Card Info in the past, though my wins so far have been hockey cards - with some bonus football cards thrown in on top of the main prize - and football Teenymates. Today I have my first baseball contest win.

2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970's
Game Bat #B-GM Garry Maddox
I never heard of this set before this contest, partially because it hit during my collecting lull of about 2000 to 2009. I'm no graphic designer or art critic, but I'd say the designers definitely captures the 70s aesthetic with these cards.

I just want to say thanks to Sports Card Info, and go check it out for more contests, because there's usually 1 or even more each week.

2014-08-26

eBay Wins #139

Today it's 1989 Bowman, the junk wax cards that always seems to have bent tops or bottoms due to the slightly elongated size compared to 99+% of other cards. These actually weren't bad, despite being shipped with other regular sized cards.

1989 Bowman
#305 Rob Dibble
#432 Joe Magrane
#450 Dennis Rasmussen

Since 1989 is still prior to my baseball-watching days, I did have to flip these cards over to the back to verify that I read the signatures correctly. I'd recognize Joe Magrane anywhere, and I would even have a decent chance at spotting Rob Dibble, but I don't think I could pick Dennis Rasmussen out of a lineup.


eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3134
Total Spent$49.87
Per Card1.591 cents
Change-0.001 cents

2014-08-24

Mystery Contest Winnings

I'm going to ask for some help here, if you fancy yourself a Bowman expert. Read on...

Sport Card Collectors held a contest to pick the results of 6 different games on a Sunday in July, and I got all 6 correct. The tiebreaker was total runs scored. I went with 46, and the total was 47, earning me first prize. 2 of the prizes were pick-your-favorite-sport surprises, and I, of course, went with baseball. I had no idea what would show up in the mail.

The big prize turned out to be this Adrian Gonzalez relic from Upper Deck's last-gasp 2010 set. I appreciate a player like Adrian, who mocked the Cardinals for calling the Dodgers' celebrations "Mickey Mouse" by putting up mouse ears during a home run trot in the 2013 NLCS. That's how baseball should be, a bunch of guys having fun and giving each other trouble. Let's drop the unwritten rule stuff, and the "I'm offended" beanballs.
2010 Upper Deck
UD Game Jersey #UDGJ-GO Adrian Gonzalez

The rest of the prize was 2 retail packs of 2014 Bowman Platinum. Here's where I need help. I really like Bowman cards, until I go to enter them in my checklist and see the massive numbers of parallels. It's been this way since at least 1995, which I know for a fact because I have a 1995 Bowman card sitting on my desk, waiting for me to get the time to investigate whether or not it's a parallel. I may have to resort to buying some more from that set just to have something in my hand to judge it against.

Anyway, onto the help. If I've miscategorized any of these, please leave me a comment, and you can even call me whatever bad name you want for being unable to decipher parallels.

2014 Bowman Platinum
#49 Freddie Freeman
#100 Alex Guerrero
So far, so good. I believe these are both plain old base cards.


2014 Bowman Platinum - Prospects
#BPP61 Billy McKinney
#BPP81 Jake Barrett
Here's the first confusing part of Bowman, the prospects "base" set. But again, I think I've nailed these down. The background appears the same as the Freeman and Guerrero under the light.


2014 Bowman Platinum
Prospects Chrome Refractor #BPCP83 Trevor Story
Prospects X-Fractor #BPCP14 Mason Williams
Now, I realize trying to see a chrome coating on a scanned image is nearly an impossibility, but maybe you've scanned some of your chrome parallels and can see the similarities. The pattern on the background of the X-Fractor, at least I assume that's what it is, is easier to see. Neither of these had any serial numbering, leading me to believe these are the proper insert sets.



2014 Bowman Platinum
Top Prospects #TP-AB Archie Bradley
Cutting Edge Stars #CES-YD Yu Darvish
Almost as if these packs knew I was confused, they dropped this Top Prospects card on me. There's also a Top Prospects Die Cut Refractor set. This card is Die Cut. Logically, this is a Top Prospects Die Cut Refractor, right? Wrong. The Die Cut Refractor set is numbered to 25, and this has no numbering. Thus, it's just a Top Prospects card. At least the final Yu Darvish card was less confusing. The only other Cutting Edge Stars set (as far as I can tell) is a relic set, so this one's place in the checklist is plainly visible.

I want to reiterate to make very clear that I like Bowman cards. I get excited to open them, or get them in trades, or win them as prizes. It's when I then attempt to fulfill my desire to catalog every card I have, that I start to get a headache from the inscrutable checklist. Maybe I should just have one big Bowman box, a free for all of cards sorted by team and then shininess. Everyone loves shininess.

Thank you to Sport Card Collectors, and go check them out for more monthly/weekly contests.

2014-08-22

eBay Wins #138

Today I have one binder page worth of 1990 Fleer. That is, if I kept my cards in binders. It's a little bit Padres-heavy for some reason, but it includes the Alomar brothers.

1990 Fleer
#52 Jeff Brantley
#149 Roberto Alomar
#150 Sandy Alomar, Jr.
#152 Jack Clark
#169 Eric Show
#279 Eric Hetzel
#335 Jerry Reuss
#430 Jose Rijo
#502 Cory Snyder
3 of these guys were Cardinals, and they all lined up in the left column when sorted numerically. It's like one of those math-oriented playing-card tricks, except one where Jerry Reuss is also a little creased


eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3131
Total Spent$49.84
Per Card1.592 cents
Change-0.002 cents

2014-08-20

2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #10

It's the final pack in my quest at the full run of 990 cards in 2013 Topps.

A fan of the other Missouri baseball team gave me trouble about all the Cardinals in Pack 9, but he was the only one to comment, so I shall reward him with all of the Royals in Pack 10.

2013 Topps Update
#US40 Tim Collins
#US75 Ty Wigginton
Emerald Parallel #US141 Chris Carter
Franchise Forerunners #FF-8 Nolan Ryan/Yu Darvish
Gold Parallel #US166 Kevin Gregg #0845/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-28 Nick Franklin
Well, as far as base cards go, this pack had one Cardinal, and one Royal. I don't really know much about Tim Collins, but I do know this is my first card of Ty Wigginton in a Cardinal uniform. He didn't last very long here, but I'll still collect his cards. That Nolan Ryan guy down on the left isn't bad either.

2013 Topps Update
Chasing History #CH-108 Shelby Miller
1971 Topps Mini #TM-25 Shelby Miller
This pack had not one, but two Shelby Miller insert cards, modeling both the home and road jerseys, I think. Maybe the mini is just poorly lit.

After the last pack, I still had 45 cards to go, or so I thought. All 44 of the base cards in this pack were new, according to my list. That left one card, #109. I looked in the already sorted pile from the previous 9 packs, and sure enough, there was a #109 in there. I must have just misclicked when entering my cards into Zistle.

Also, I mentioned back in Pack 3 that I had a dinged up Wilson Betemit card. I did get an additional copy of that one along the way, so I have a full, undamaged set. All in all, I think my decision to get a Jumbo box of Update was a good one. I will probably do the same for 2014. As for Series 1 and 2 this year, I'm still a little on the fence, so it might come down to the price I find for Jumbo boxes and the factory set.

Update Series Completion: 330/330 (100.0%)

2014-08-18

eBay Wins #137

In my eventually-ending quest to run through all my eBay penny cards, I'm up to 1989. True, I already posted some from 1990 the other day, but this pile was big and I felt lazy. Today's lot has 21 cards, and the return of Clarkmania™.

1989 Fleer
#97 Jim Rice
#169 Ron Robinson
#174 Frank Williams
#212 Dave LaPoint
#252 Jack Clark
#253 Richard Dotson
#291 Bret Saberhagen
#299 Roberto Alomar
#321 Ed Whitson
This is the first card of Dave LaPoint I've ever posted, though I did receive his 1990 Score card in a trade a few years ago. Clearly I flipped through those cards too quickly and didn't realize I missed a Cardinal. Not only was he a Cardinal, but he played for the team in 1982, and pitched in 2 games of the World Series they won over the Brewers.

1989 Fleer
# 325 Will Clark
#342 Don Robinson
#355 Glenn Davis
#366 Craig Reynolds
#510 Jerry Reuss
#526 Chad Kreuter
#542 Jay Buhner (x2)
#549 Erik Hanson
What is Jerry Reuss doing with a bat in 1989 (likely 1988 in the photo)? He never came to the plate in 1988-89 with the White Sox and Brewers. You see, kids, back in '89, the Brewers were in the AL, and there was no interleague play, so AL pitchers didn't ever bat unless they made the World Series, unless there was a weird injury/double-switch/crazy-like-a-fox-manager situation.

Also, I might be able to let one Jay Buhner card go without doing this, but I simply can't show 2 Jay Buhner cards without this video:



1989 Fleer
#655 Checklist (Twins/Tigers)
#642 Prospects: Brad Pounders/Jerald Clark
World Series #2 Rookie Start Series (Tim Belcher)
Rounding things out are 3 oddballs of the lot: A checklist, a horizontal card, and an insert. That would make for a terrible Carnac bit. Brad Pounders is one of the grayest looking prospects I've ever seen, but I looked him up, and he was born in 1963, so he was a reasonable, though slightly older than usual, age for a prospect in 1989. The World Series card is nice, but now it makes me want to chase a 25-year-old insert set to pick up the other 11 cards, which include Eckersley and McGwire.


eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3122
Total Spent$49.75
Per Card1.594 cents
Change-0.004 cents

2014-08-16

2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #9

Does anyone actually read blog posts that are posted on a Saturday night? I guess maybe for some folks reading the blog roll is the modern equivalent of reading of the Sunday paper, so maybe some of your are reading this over your morning coffee.

2013 Topps Update
#US55 Pete Kozma
#US152 Randy Choate
#US168 Michael Wacha
#US213 Matt Adams
Emerald Parallel #US118 Joe Blanton
Gold Parallel #US61 Rafael Soriano #0185/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-46 Hyun-Jin Ryu
Postseason Heroes #PH-9 Mariano Rivera
Not all of them were new, but I had 4 Cardinal base cards in this pack, and they're all in Cardinal uniforms, and they're all still Cardinals to this day (barring some sort of cleared-waivers trade between writing up and posting this pack). I also had 2 Mariano Rivera base cards to go with this Postseason Heroes insert.


2013 Topps Update
Chasing History #CH-127 Prince Fielder
1971 Topps Mini #TM-21 Ian Kinsler
The final two inserts in this pack, I grouped together because I had 8 vertical regular-sized cards, and these. Only after I scanned them did it hit me that I've got 2 guys just about as connected as two non-teammates can be, since they were traded for each other last November.

Well this is slightly concerning. Every base card in this pack was a duplicate. That leaves 45 more to go still, with just 1 pack left, and I haven't seen a pack with 45 base cards in it yet. It's possible I mis-clicked somewhere along the way and messed up my checklist, but if not, it's not looking good for completing the set.

Update Series Completion: 285/330 (86.4%)

2014-08-14

eBay Wins #136

Today's pseudo-lot consists of just 3 penny cards from 1990 Upper Deck. I really appreciated that Upper deck put the set year right on the front of the card for a few years, since many of their yearly design changes were subtle. It always helped me sort through the piles of commons more efficiently.

1990 Upper Deck
#616 Don Robinson
#646 Jaime Navarro
#787 Matt Young
Just today, I learned that the Seattle Pilots became the Milwaukee Brewers right before the season began in 1970, and the Brewers had very little time to get ready. That's apparently why the Brewers started with Blue and Yellow uniforms - because they had actually re-purposed as much Pilots gear as they could. When the Mariners came along, they stuck with the same color scheme, as is so coincidentally illustrated by the two side-by-side Brewers and Mariners cards today.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3101
Total Spent$49.54
Per Card1.598 cents
Change0 cents

2014-08-12

2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #8

I'm coming into the home stretch in the metaphorical horse race that is this Jumbo box. Man, I should enter that terrible writing contest.

2013 Topps Update
#US22 Carlos Beltran
#US221 Allen Craig
#US282 Brock Peterson
These 3 Cardinals are now members of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers. Brock Peterson got called up at the age of 29 in mid-2013, and played just 23 games, which I guess is enough to get a card in Update.


2013 Topps Update
Emerald Parallel #US182 Luis Valbuena
Gold Parallel #US155 J.B. Shuck #0251/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-48 Craig Kimbrel
Postseason Heroes #PH-7 Reggie Jackson
There were no particularly flashy inserts in this pack. I think my favorite of this group is the Reggie Jackson.


2013 Topps Update
Chasing History #CH-138 David Ortiz
1971 Topps Mini #TM-46 George Brett
I grew up liking the Royals moderately, since they're Missouri's other team. That changed a little when interleague play began, and they were our yearly rival. Still, I appreciate a good hall of famer card, especially a mini like this George Brett.

I had another perfect pack, 44 for 44 new cards. That hardly seemed possible at this point, except for the fact that packs are obviously not exactly random groupings of cards. My last 2 packs just need to finish off 45 base cards total. 44 is the highest base card total I've seen, I think, so I double checked to see if any were variation SPs. As far as I can tell none were, but I'll give the set a once-over after pack 10 and report the results.

Update Series Completion: 285/330 (86.4%)

2014-08-10

eBay Wins #135

Today's eBay lot covers a set nearly as synonymous with junk as my last post. Like 1988, 1989 Donruss cards seem to show up everywhere. Among the piles of penny cards I bought, I had 16 of them.


1989 Donruss
#22 Gerald Perry
#47 Alex Sanchez
#182 Kirby Puckett
#401 Mickey Tettleton
#445 Paul Gibson
#527 Tom Prince
#536 Ken Hill
#544 Norm Charlton
I can distinctly remember having that Tom Prince card when I was a kid, because the picture seemed so odd. He's got on a black jersey, which isn't unusual these days, but you didn't see much at that time except for in batting practice. He also has a forward facing helmet with no flaps, something else that was rare at that time. In this case I assume that's his catching helmet, not a batting helmet, since he has a glove on. Also, he looks utterly confused. This first scan has both of the Cardinals from the bunch, Gerald Perry and Ken Hill.


1989 Donruss
#556 Bud Black
#595 Lloyd McClendon
#623 Keith Miller
#637 Mike Schooler
#638 Rick Leach
#651 Bob Milacki
#654 Paul Mirabella
#658 Kevin Blankenship
Part of the fun of these cards years later is seeing how many of the guys became managers, or did something notable after the card was initially issued. In this case I got 2 current managers, Bud Black and Lloyd McClendon, back when he was still listed as a catcher instead of OF/1B.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3098
Total Spent$49.51
Per Card1.598 cents
Change-0.003 cents

2014-08-08

2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #7

Some say 7 is lucky, but I've never really found that to be the case. Let's see how Pack #7 works out

2013 Topps Update
#US171 Nick Punto
#US201 Adam Ottavino
#US253 Shelby Miller
#US261 Skip Schumaker
#US270 Edwin Jackson
Emerald Parallel #US Dylan Axelrod
Gold Parallel #US40 Tim Collins #1277/2013
Black Parallel #US278 Jose Alvarez #61/62
Believe it or not (and why wouldn't you, really?), these are the first cards of Nick Punto and Adam Ottavino I've ever shown on my blog. I would have figured their cards would have come up before. On another note, I pulled another black parallel from this pack, numbered to 62.

2013 Topps Update
#US189 Kyle Lohse
Chasing History #CH-144 Yasiel Puig
This pack had quite the rogues' gallery of former Cardinals, with 4 in the first scan, and Kyle Lohse in the horizontal section. Along with him I have another card of this Puig fellow who seems to be showing up a lot.

2013 Topps Update
Franchise Forerunners #FF-2 Yasiel Puig/Matt Kemp
Making Their Mark #MM-39 Kevin Gausman
1971 Topps Mini #TM-2 Babe Ruth
And here I have yet another Puig along with Matt Kemp. It must be good to be a Puig collector these days, unless you're a completist. Then I'd guess it gets a little pricey.

This pack had the full 43 base cards after subtracting out the "standard" inserts. 30 of them were new, keeping me ahead of the pace to finish the set; with 70% of the packs busted, 73% of the set is complete.

Update Series Completion: 241/330 (73.0%)

2014-08-06

eBay Wins #134

Today I have a pile of 1988 Donruss, a set you're likely to encounter a lot when you buy "random" cards for a penny each.

1988 Donruss
#8 Devon White
#46 Eddie Williams
#66 Kevin Mitchell
#74 Jim Clancy
#93 Dave Righetti
#96 Bret Saberhagen
#174 Ellis Burks
#183 Jack Clark
#184 Glenn Davis
Sorted by numbers, there was just one Cardinal in the first bunch: Jack Clark, my favorite River City Rascal (that's a local minor league team he managed, not a lame nickname I gave him).


1988 Donruss
#188 Sid Bream
#202 Ken Griffey
#204 Will Clark
#211 Harold Baines
#216 Dwight Evans
#249 Paul Molitor
#254 Joe Carter
#258 Brian Downing
When typing "Ken Griffey", my hands instinctively start to type ", Jr." afterwards. That's why pencils have erasers, or keyboards have backspaces. This bunch also had 1 Cardinal (by my rules), Will Clark. It's Clarkmania™.

1988 Donruss
#305 Bob Boone
#313 Chili Davis
#340 Claudell Washington
#350 Cory Snyder
#369 Eric Davis
#388 Dave Parker
#399 Jim Rice
#407 Don Sutton
If only Chili Davis and/or Glenn Davis from the first scan had also been Cardinals, it would also be Davismania™. But only one surname can rule the day, and only Eric of these three Davises was a Cardinal.

1988 Donruss
#462 Oil Can Boyd
#463 Dan Pasqua
#471 Dan Quisenberry
#560 Ted Simmons
#626 Pat Perry
#640 David Wells
#656 George Bell
#657 Gregg Jefferies
I'm a little skeptical of this fact, but it seems to check out. This is the first card of Pat Perry, and the first card of Dan Quisenberry that I have shown on my blog. I know I have many Perry cards, and at least a few Quisenberry cards (Quisenberries?). I guess it's possible I acquired them all long ago, and none since the inception of this blog. Among these cards, Ted Simmons and Gregg Jefferies also played for St. Louis. Jefferies was one of the few bright spots for the early 90s Cardinals, making the All Star team in 1993 and 1994, along with Lee Smith and Ozzie Smith once each.

I lowered my per-card average a little bit more, and I'm getting close to cracking the 1.6 cents barrier. At that point... I'll probably just shoot for 1.5 and keep going.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3082
Total Spent$49.35
Per Card1.601 cents
Change-0.007 cents