January 08, 2010

Bringing Sticky Back

Sorry about the lack of images for this first post. Images to join us for the second post. Now then, let's see how many of the guys I get, I can recognize without prompt.

Pack 1 Guesses: Mike Krukow, Rufino Alvarez, nope, Tony Perez, Alfredo Griffin
Pack 1 Actual: Krukow, Chris Chambliss, Rob Wilfong, Perez, Griffin
5/5 NEW!

Here's what's funny about this: I don't think "Rufino Alvarez" is a real person. I think I just made that name up.

Pack 2 Guesses: Fernando Valenzuela, Al Oliver, Larry Dierker, Dave Kingman, Bruce Benedryl
Pack 2 Actual: Valenzuela, Oliver, Art Howe, Kingman, Bruce Benedict
5/5 NEW!

These sticker packs just fall apart like paper. I hope the stickers will stay in the album for more than one day.

Pack 3 Guesses: Nope, Nope, Dave Stieb, Fuck Yeah Dave Winfield, Butch Hobson
Pack 3 Actual: Milt Wilcox, Jim Spencer, Stieb, Winfield, Hobson
5/5 NEW!

I forgot that 1982 would be the first year with Carlton Fisk as a White Sock and that mammoth Angels/Red Sox trade.

Pack 4 Guesses: Mike Torrez, Gorman Thomas, AL All-Star Dwight Evans, AL All-Star Ken Singleton, Butch Wynegar
Pack 4 Actual: All Correct!
5/5 NEW!

The most innovative thing about stickers from the Topps 1980s is the inclusion of gold and silver foil. I think it was really just metallic ink, but man does it look cool.

Pack 5 Guesses: Lou Whitaker, Jose Cruz the First, Nope, Toby Harrah, Jim Sundberg
Pack 5 Actual: Whitaker, Cruz, Doug Corbett, Bill Stein, Sundberg
5/5 NEW!

Who are some of these guys? Were they actually in the major leagues?

Packs 1 through 5 yielded 25 new stickers. Fifteen from the American League; Two AL All-Stars in gold foil; Two highlight stickers; Six from the National League. What's most interesting is that many of the stickers followed each other in the checklist. Art Howe is followed by Jose Cruz, Mike Torrez is followed by Tony Perez, Bill Stein Highlight is followed by Fernando Valenzuela Highlight. Why is this? I opened the first five packs from the box. Was the collation really this bad? Or is it more logical that Topps thought kids would, on average, buy five packs (a dollar's worth), at a time? I don't have answers to any of these questions.

More analysis after Packs 6 through 10.


Casey White said...

Bill Stein is my least favorite baseball player of all time.

When I was in the fourth grade in 1983, my dad got a job in Arlington, Texas. I was absolutely awestruck when we got there to find out that one of my classmates, Jason Stein, was the son of a real life major leaguer Bill Stein. (Who I'd never heard of before, but he was a major league baseball player and I was a baseball nut so that's all that mattered.)

Anyways, sometime in April or May just before school let out, Jason Stein had his birthday party. It was an all-day Saturday affair at Arlington Stadium including getting to go into the locker room and meet the players.

Guess who wasn't invited to the birthday party?

Ever since then, I've had an irrational loathing for Bill Stein. I realize as an adult that he had nothing do with my not being invited to his kid's birthday party, but I can't help it.

A few years ago I was at a Rangers game and they had a bunch of old timers there for some reason. The PA announced all of them before the game started and I got a lot of stares for loudly booing when Bill Stein's name was called.

Captain Easychord said...

hey ben... what's the basis for the guesses? I mean, I know you're looking at collation patterns, but with no initial data (aside from your many years of experience opening packs of cards/stickers from topps), how are you guessing? and do you actually know the first/last sticker in the series to set the baseline on the guesses? (I'm guessing it's the last, based on the pack 3 results)...

also, I initially figured 'bruce benedryl' was this guy instead... oh, and this other guy will either be flattered or not amused by your confusion... just sayin'!

Casey White said...

If I remember right, the 1982 Topps stickers don't have names on the fronts just pictures. The names are on the peel off backs and on the album pages. So I'm assuming he's just guessing who the players are by looking at the pictures.

Ben Henry said...

Casey, you're correct. Player names aren't on the front of the stickers, so this is my lame attempt at guessing.