24 October 2016

Contested Shots 16: A Guessing Game at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary

Back in early October there was a contest on the Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary blog. The task was to make some guesses about the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles, like which team would hit the most home runs, how many total home runs would be hit in the game, and which player would hit the first home run of the game. I got enough answers right to be considered a winner, and the other day a PWE stuffed with cards arrived in the mailbox as my prize.

Up first we have a few cards for various teams that I follow/collect. The Blue Jays, Astros, and Athletics are all represented here. I am torn on whether that Jose Canseco card shows him as a Ranger or a Blue Jay. I am leaning toward Rangers, though, as the pinstripes seem to be the right colors. Someone with more baseball smarts than me could probably tell right away, but my cursory image search didn't turn up much outside of a lot of people wearing pajamas. Either way, I find Canseco's post-baseball antics to be much more entertaining than his on-field exploits.

I had to scan the horizontal cards separately. I don't know how Brian got 12 cards into one PWE. There were extra stamps on it, though, so that probably helped to grease the wheels of post office bureaucracy. My wife and I are currently trying to get our hands on a package that a substitute mail carrier dropped off at a house with the same number on the wrong street. It is not a fast process. I hope the person who got the box is enjoying our bottle of dog mouthwash. I personally don't think mouthwash is going to improve the freshness of my wife's dog's breath anyway, but it's not worth it to me to fight that battle.

If this were a box break, these would be the hits. That shiny card in the upper left is a Gold parallel from 2016 Topps of Athletics pitcher Ryan Madson. He had 30 saves this year, although he wasn't one of those sub-2.00 ERA knockout closers. Carlos Gomez didn't fit well with the Astros and spent the last bit of 2016 playing much better for the Rangers than he did in Houston. It looks like the card is a Platinum parallel from the 2016 Topps Bunt product. I like the design and price point on Bunt, but for whatever reason I didn't pick up any of it this year. I've purchased a lot less baseball stuff this year than in years past. I don't know if that's a permanent change or just how things played out in 2016. Tyler White is a retail-exclusive Black parallel from 2016 Topps Heritage High Number, and George Springer is from one of the cooler releases this year, the Topps Marketside cards that were packaged with Wal-Mart's Marketside pizza and breadsticks for a couple of months.

All around this was a very cool prize package, and I was pretty happy to be a winner, especially in a contest that required guesses. I am going to go ahead and say that it was a contest of skills, and that my skills and training were good enough to propel my guesses to the top of the heap. Thanks, Brian!

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