June 26, 2007

Regional Bias in Card Distribution?

I've always been one to put stock in conspiracy theories, no matter how vast and improbable. All I need is a little outside encouragement to one of my hare-brained schemes and I'm off. That's why writing this post was the next logical step after receiving the following email this afternoon from Anthony in Houston, Texas:

"I currently live in Houston but am originally from San Diego, therefore a Padres fan. My son's newfound interest in baseball cards has us buying a pack or two (Topps or Upper Deck) every few weeks. I don't know how many packs it has been by now, maybe 20, but I cannot get a Peavy or Hoffman or any other Padre of relevance for the life of me! We have at least 3 team cards and recently got 1 Marcus Giles and Josh Bard. In the meanwhile we must have collected 4 Griffey Jr's! Of the last 30, only 3 were from teams west of the Mississippi.

This has me wondering: are cards sold in a regionalized fashion or not? I am thinking of having someone ship me some cards from California just to see if there is a difference."

My response? Funny you should ask... I'm in the boat (whether it's a raft or a cruise ship, I'm not sure) that believes card companies heavy up distribution of the local teams when they know where the boxes are going to be sold. You know, now that I see those words in print, it doesn't really make sense that Topps or Upper Deck would go to such lengths...does it?

I mean, there has to be another reason why I've opened more than my fair share of this year's Topps (Series 1 & 2) and have pulled two Jeter stunt cards but no Daisuke Matsuzaka rookies, right? It can't possibly be because I live in New York, surrounded by Mets and Yankees fans who don't want to be reminded of the Red Sox, can it?


Menachem Mendel said...

The Daisuke Matsuzaka rookie cards do exist, my son got one from a card store in the Bronx of all places.

Jeff said...

I'm up in Austin, buy mostly Topps Heritage but have gotten two Trevor Hoffmans in the few packs of Topps 2007 I've opened this year.

dayf said...

20 packs is too small a sample size to determine bias, lack of Padres is probably just bad luck. With 30 teams and an average of 10 cards a pack, you're looking at about a 1 in 3 chance of getting a player from your favorite team. Less than that if it's a small market team without a lot of stars. Plus with the sets being broken down into series, Peavy and Hoffman might not even be in that series at all.

I know how you feel Ben, I've opened a bunch of Topps this year also and only have 1 Jeter and no Daisukes to show for it. I'm not getting more than my share of Chippers and Smoltzes down here in Atlanta either (although I have been plagued with Craig Wilsons for some reason). You'd probably have to find someone who cracks open case after case to determine if there really is a regional distribution, or even a short-shipped player or players to frustrate set building. Then again, weren't the '06 Alex Gordons mostly found in boxes in the Midwest? Hmmm... Maybe there is something to this after all.

Voltaire said...

No. I live in northern Ohio, and can't get an Indian to save my life. I get very few Reds. It's just coincidence.

anthony said...

Thats funny I live in New York and bought 3 boxes of 2007 baseball and did not get one Daisuke Rookie card. Im not a die hard Red Sox fan but I did want one of Daisuke cards and got none out of 3 hooby boxes.

Sharky said...

I'm here in Kentucky and I can't seem to pull any Cincy cards for anything.

I may get one REDS card per box, if that much...I use to think that they kept the home team cards away from the home team locations, that way you would buy more packs to get your favorite players, to build a team set or get them online.


Daniel said...

My dad grew up in New York in the 1950s and tells me he never was able to get a Mickey Mantle card.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Hey bud, there are THOUSANDS of Red Sox fans here in NYC, and we're growing in numbers. In the immortal words of the legendary Blue World Order:


And I'm sure there are plenty of Daisuke cards out there in NY.


Thanks, Jere...

bobby said...

I Bought a BOX of BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL.... No Autograph in the Box, a REDMEMPTION CARD!!! So I send my Redemption in and WAIT 2 MONTHS, Autograph Card finally comes and it has a HUGH SCRATCH ACROSS THE FACE OF THE CARD. Im NEVER BUYING BOWMAN OR TOPPS AGAIN!!!