Card Counting: Examining Topps’ Distribution By Team: American League Edition


I am a dork.  I admit it. I do a lot of dorky things like collect baseball cards. I have done a lot of dorky things with baseball cards, but let me tell you this might take the prize as the dorkiest.

I have always been skeptical of the card companies. I have suspected that they put in less of my favorite team in packs they sent to my area, so I’d buy more to get my favorite players. I was certain I was getting less Minnesota Twins cards and I was wrong.

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I have bought three different packs of cards in the 2015 season, the $20 collector’s box, $10 box and the $5 36-card pack. I threw them all together and split them up by team to see what Topps was giving me. It’s a fair share of Twins.

Note: these are just the regular base cards, plus the gold-platted or holographic versions. League Leader, First Home Run, Free Agent cards are not included. I received a total of 35 in that category.

I just counted the American League for this half of the experiment, the National League will come later, but there a couple observations to be made:

  • It’s weird that every division has a clear-cut leader in the amount of cards. Detroit leads for the Central, Red Sox lead for the East and the Rangers lead for the West.
  • I only got one card for two teams: White Sox and Indians. Which is impressive in a 79 card total, in which if teams were equaled I should get at least five from each team.
  • By my math, I got the exact right amount of Twins cards. An amount when looked at without counting seemed low.
  • Only two teams, that I have more than one card from, got away with no doubles. When you take out doubles, I only have 55.5 original cards.
  • The .5 card comes from a gold-plated Red Sox card. I got the same card three times, but one was gold-platted.
  • Twins cards I got: two Brian Duensing, two Eduardo Escobar and a Brian Dozier. Still searching for the Kennys Vargas masterpiece.

This is just a smallish sample, but the findings are that the distribution of team is fairly equal. Ten teams fall in the 3-6 card range which is in the average range of 5.3 cards per team.

Later we will look at the distribution for the teams in the National League.

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