09 October 2013

What eBay Hath Wrought 20: Hit Analysis

There was a quad-relic card featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon kicking around on eBay recently. This is not that card. This is the consolation prize. I chased that other card for a while, but it wound up going for nearly $70.00. That's a little rich for my blood. This card features sheet metal relics from two of my favorite drivers, and at least the relics are all different colors. The relics are inset pretty far back in the little windows, so there is a nice little shadowbox effect going on that is entirely lost in the scan. I do wish the Danica Patrick relic were green, but it at least has a couple of different colors and whatnot going on.

The seller included some cards from the '93 Maxx set, or the days of trucker hats, mullets, and mustaches. Also the days when it was okay for big tobacco to sponsor things. I like it when sellers throw in these oddball things that I wouldn't pick up normally.

I decided not to buy any more packs of Press Pass FanFare Racing. I should have done this beforehand, but I printed off the 'hits' checklist and realized that the bulk of the hits were from drivers that I either don't know or don't care about. When it comes to those premium products that are all about the hits, it makes sense to perform some Hit Analysis to help determine if you're better off staying away. For example, I took the hit checklist for Press Pass Total Memorabilia and found that based on the print run of all the hits, there was nearly a 20% chance that any given hit would feature a driver I wanted to pull cards of, as opposed to the 5% chance in Press Pass FanFare. Unfortunately, it seems that packs of Total Memorabilia aren't as prevalent on the market as packs of FanFare. You can get Hobby boxes, though. I had intended to use a windfall I got recently to try out a box of Total Memorabilia, but I wound up adding a buttload of cards to my 2013 Topps Archives Baseball Gold parallel set instead. Silly me.
I guess I should take a moment to say that my hit analysis isn't really about the money, or that big card that I can sell to pay for the box or pack. It is mostly about the probability of pulling a card that I would want for my own personal collection. I imagine that this would also work for baseball or other sports cards, but the player pool in those cases is so large that it might be more difficult/discouraging to do for those checklists. But it is partially the reason I choose Blue Jays instead of Astros for most box breaks. Allen & Ginter's had something like 1 Astro in the checklist (Jose Altuve), while there were quite a few players from most other teams. There are only about 30 primary drivers in NASCAR, so it's a bit easier to evaluate a racing checklist than a baseball or basketball checklist.

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