Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thorzul's 2010 Topps Experiment

"Because it's there."
-George Mallory, English mountain climber, responding to being asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest

"Because there's so damn much of it."
-Thorzul, explaining the reasoning behind his particular approach to collecting 2010 Topps

As a card collector, it's an exciting time of year, with the 2010 flagship set having been released within the last week or so. With so many choices before each of us, one must be selective when considering what to collect during the course of a given year. This being the climate of the hobby, I thought it would be fun to try out an experiment. A socioeconomic experiment, as it were.

Dig through any repack box or dime bin and you're bound to find a veritable Nebraska silo's worth of... say... 2007 Topps cards. Everywhere you go, you can find packs with David Ortiz on the front, just daring you to find a couple bucks lost in the lining of your spring windbreaker, dollars that you would later regret parting with. Why is this the case? Why are there pallets of unsold repack boxes sitting near the entrance of every Jo-Ann Fabric and PetSmart? Why is this exaggeration hitting a little too close to the truth? Well, I guess it's because they turn those printing presses on, lock the doors, then come back three months later.

While fun at the time, collecting the Topps base sets the last few years has lost its luster for me. I even gave up on 2009 Heritage, and have managed to hold true for nearly a full year. "But Thorzul," you shout, "you are a set builder by trade! Whatever will you do if you don't obsessively collect every card in 2010 Topps?" The answer, friends, is simple. I'm going to let you do it for me.

You heard me right. This is my first (well, second, if you count the Bipping) Baseball Card Collecting Community (BCCC) experiment. I am, first and foremost, a man of science. Accordingly, we will use the Scientific Method. Our point of inquiry will begin here: "Can someone collect the entire 2010 Topps baseball card set (Series 1 and 2) without buying any cards, and if so, how long will it take?"

Here's where you come in. When you're frantically piecing together your 2010 Topps set, I'd like you to set aside any cards you have doubles of, can't trade away, or just plain don't want. At your convenience, send them to me. Just the base cards, so no inserts, please, unless you have a Cards Your Mom Threw Away Robin Yount. For the first stages of this experiment, I will just take blind donations of any cards in the set at all. As I start to chip away, I'll post a current need list. You will also be able to check a running counter in the sidebar to see how long this is taking. Perhaps it will take years, who knows? (Oh, and once (if) this set gets completed, I will be holding a drawing for all of the extra cards.)

Alright, let's get this started. Here's where you can send your doubles:
Bill Boehm
1916 N. 52nd St.
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Can it be done? Only time will tell.


SpastikMooss said...

amazing. I bet you can do it dude.

RWH said...

Judging by the generosity of card bloggers, I'm willing to bet you make this set faster through donations, than I do through pack buying.

gritz76 said...

It takes real balls to invent "The Bip" and then post your address for everyone to see. Let me know how that turns out for ya. And yeah, I'll send you whatever I have extra of.

Quinton said...

Count me in. I enjoy your website and already have a sizable stack of doubles ready for you.... I think on the back of the packs it should say "Approximate Odds of Finding the Same Juan Uribe card over and over 10:1".

PunkRockPaint said...

My first pack of 2010 Topps contained a 1982 Paul Molitor "Yo' Mama" card. I thought of you immediately. So I stuck the opened pack in my glove compartment and immediately forgot about it. If I am thinking about it when I'm in my car, I will grab that pack.

Am I the first to call them "Yo' Mama" cards? Coining phrases... that's what I do.

dayf said...

Dayf, the three years running winner of the Gummie Award for Best Blogger, self appointed King Lord of the Cardblogosphere and all around miserable pain in the ass hereby decrees that PunkRockPaint has indeed coined the 2010 Topps "Cards Your Mother Threw Away" set or whatever the smeg it's called the "Yo' Mama" set and this terminology shall be forever used throughout my Kingdom and all who fail to heed their Master shall be Bipped Unmercifully with a stack of Todd Heltons the size of Dubuque. For his contribution to Card Lore, PRP shall be granted the official title of "Righteous Dude".


I've bought two packs of Stinkin' Topps and gotten ONE Brave and that was Garrett Anderson.


dayf said...

Arg, make that twenty packs. Topps has me so mad I can't add anymore.


Anonymous said...

I nod my cap at you, sir. A wholesome endeavor! A challenge! Nay! A struggle!

Or something.

Anonymous said...

Good post and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you on your information.

dgreen1899 said...

I am in! Two packs from Target to me to you (less the cards I liked). 16 cards coming your way. BTW I was double super secretly Bipped by Beardy...but I can't tell you how, it would betray his trust. I like your blog and I am adding it to my blog roll. Check mine out if you get a chance (shameless plug)

Howard Bagby said...

I put a package in the mail to you yesterday.

Anonymous said...

got extras of matt hollliday, fernando martinez and erik aybar in 3 packs!!

in 2 packs i got a blank hite card with a circuit board looking thing?

what is that?

got a mini mantle and hornsby are those what you experts call turkey reds?