Thursday, July 10, 2014


It's time to play everyone's favorite baseball card blog game show, Flip The Bip!

Let's meet our contestants:

"Team D-B-C-A-F-E"
JediJeff (64)
aprsmith (58)

"Team B-D-C-F-A-E"
Cailtin (15)

"Team D-C-B-F-A-E"
Dennis (58)
Greg Zakwin (39)
Shane Kroeker (39)
Kyle Wong (40)
hiflew (60)
Tree (34)
buckstorecards (42)
phoenix_nange (43)

"Team D-B-A-F-C-E"
P-town Tom (47)

"Team D-B-F-A-C-E"
Nick (28)
Alex Markle (42)
the bowl cut kit (69)
Red Cardboard (20)
Cardman99 (34)
Robert (67)

"Team B-C-D-A-F-E"
Jafronius (76)

"Team D-B-A-C-F-E"
Mets Cardboard (24)
irondequoit36 (33)

"Team D-C-A-B-F-E"
petethan (87)

So as you can see, we've got a couple big teams, and a few smaller underdogs.

Now let's refresh everyone of the game board:

Here are the rules: The object of the game is to list the 6 cards in ascending order of scarcity. The tiebreaker numbers will come into play if a team with multiple players gets it right: The winning number is the sum of the serial numbers (numerators). The number closest without going over wins. If multiple people pick the same number, only the 1st player to choose that number gets it. If all tiebreaker numbers in a winning team are over, the number least over wins. If no teams correctly guess A-F, then the tiebreaker numbers will decide the winner.

And now let's... (everybody yell along) Flip! The! BIPPPPPP!

Show me Card A!

It's the Sapphire Parallel (or "blue parallel" in layman's terms), #'d 5/5. This is the rarest of the non-1/1 parallels. I lucked out and got this card cheap because the eBay seller listed it as if it were a base auto, with no mention at all of a serial number or anything.

Now onto Card B. This one was tricky since it looks nearly identical to Card D.

Flip the Bip!

OH! It's the Silver Parallel, #'d 15/25, though from the front, you'd be hard pressed to tell. Seems pretty lazy on Topps' part.. "Silver" apparently means throwing an ever-so-slight grey hue on the photo's background.

Next is Card C. No, it's not your cataracts playing tricks on you, there is a yellow hue over most of the card.

Go on and Flip that Bip!

Yep, it's the Gold Parallel, #'d 13/50. It's the most-abundant of the numbered parallels, though strangely enough they seem to pop up on eBay less frequently that some of the other parallels. Go figure. You'll notice I had to settle for the "unlucky" number 13, a serial number I generally try to avoid because I'm a weak-minded fool who lets things like that bug him sometimes. Oh well. Perhaps someday I'll upgrade to a better number if I see one cheap. Anyways, with this being the least-rare parallel, that means everybody who didn't pick "C" as their 2nd letter have been eliminated, sending home about half of our contestants!

And now onto Card D. The vast majority of our contestants selected this are the least-scare card (the base auto). Were they correct? Only one way to find out. Flip the Bip!

Yep, the lack of a serial number indicates this is the base auto. Note the error which all of these cards seem to have: The card states Bip was drafted in 1992, but of course that should actually read 1982.

Next, Card E was a "gimmie".. obviously a 1/1 printing plate, and all our contestants correctly picked it last in their guesses. But let's Flip the Bip regardless.

Ah yes, the magenta printing plate that I've showed off before. Thanks again, ARPSmith, for the trade. Note this card is number FFA-BRO, which sounds like something you might overhear at a frathouse or something.
"Did'ja score wit dat chick last night?"
"Ffa, bro."

Finally, Card F looks a bit similar to Card A, but a tad more violet in hue. Let's flip it.

Yep, it's the Purple Parallel, #'d 09/10. This is another parallel I got cheap thanks in part to the eBay seller not making any note of it being numbered or anything special.

And so, that gives us the winning combination to the game:


Since Team D-C-B-F-A-E has multiple players, it's all going to come down to the tiebreaker number to decide it.

Let's flip the Bip-- er, I mean do the math!

1+5+9+13+15 = 43

I didn't figure it out beforehand, so I didn't know off the top of my head what the number would be, but coincidentally enough the winner is the last person who entered, mysterious newcomer phoenix_nange. Wow, a last-minute hail mary!

Congrats, phoenix_nange! Let me know which auto lot you want and give me your shipping address. (By the Tigers logo avatar, I'm gonna guess you want the Miggy, but maybe the Kirk Gibson Tigers card will sway you since the Cabrera is a Marlins card.)

Big thanks to all our contestants.

By the way, there are a few more 2014 Topps Archives Bip Roberts cards somewhere out there that I'd love to add to my rainbow someday:
- Black printing plate 1/1
- Cyan printing plate 1/1
- Yellow printing plate 1/1
- Ruby Red parallel 1/1
- Silver parallel 12/25 ("Christmas Card")
If you have any of these or stumble upon them somewhere online, please let me know!

Again, congrats to phoenix_nange and thanks to everybody else for playing!

Take heart, those who didn't win; Contest season here at Baseball Card Breakdown is still in full swing, and we'll be giving away another auto lot in another contest very soon! And as a parting gift, everyone who played Flip the Bip will get a bonus entry into the next contest.


  1. Woo! Thanks Gavin! Seems like I just made it in time. I'll send an email to the email listed on the right side of your blog with my address.

    This is a really tough choice - so many good choices to pick from. I'm considering the Miggy, Gibson, Drysdale, Banks, Weaver and one you may not expect - the Fergie Jenkins (Fellow Ontarian). I want them all! ;) But as a Tigers fan, and a more recent fan and collector, I will take the Miggy auto lot since I know a whole lot more about him than any of the other players available, and do not yet own his autograph.

    One last thing - I noticed something strange about the printing plate. Shouldn't everything on the card face the other way, since when it is pressed down, it would print the backwards image to that? Sorry, I didn't explain that well, but I hope you know what I mean.

    Thanks again!

  2. Thanks for the contest. I may have been a loser, but at least I was in a class by myself...

  3. Aw man, a couple numbers off!

    'Grats to Phoenix, if you ever want to trade that Cabrera auto please email me.

    And thanks for hosting another great contest Gavin!