1989 Fleer Cello: Beating the Odds

1989 Fleer Baseball Cards Cello Pack
1989 Fleer Baseball Cards Cello Pack

1989 Fleer Cello packs contain 36 cards. A Cello box contains 24 packs. The 1989 Fleer set contains 660 cards. I found this very impressive unopened 1989 Cello pack recently and thought I’d share it with you. This particular pack has Ken Griffey Jr.s RC showing as the first card!

When I first saw this pack, it was actually flipped over. As some of you might know, I’ve spent the summer selling an extensive Jose Canseco collection on eBay. Working through this collection, I’ve discovered many odd ball inserts, high-end, patched, magazines, stickers, signed memorabilia and over 150 unopened packs with Canseco showing in so way, front or back. Within the mess of unopened packs, I uncovered this pack. You might be asking yourself, “why the heck is he featuring this pack, Canseco isn’t showing?” The answer, his card is showing on the back of the package! Griffey’s RC showing on the front and Canseco showing on the back! This package still leaves me speechless.

As I stared at this package for a moment, I got to thinking about statistics again. My mind was running with numbers. It was kinda mysterious. After pondering, I found myself wondering, “what are the odds of these two cards making it into these Cello packs in this particular order?” The order being Griffey on front, Canseco on back. I knew that the odds didn’t matter per say, I just enjoy considering them because I believe that it provides me with a whole different perspective on collection and at the end of the day, collecting is all about enjoyment.

1989 Fleer Baseball Cards Cello Pack
1989 Fleer Baseball Cards Cello Pack

My goal here was to uncover the odds of finding a pack with this particular arrangement. With a little help, here is what I discovered:

The number of possible packs with this particular arrangement: Griffey front, Canseco back is (660)^34. The total number of possible packs with any given arrangement is (660)^36. By dividing the first equation by the second equation, our probability comes to:

(660)^{-2} = .000002295.

What we are looking for here is how many packs it would take to stumble upon this particular arrangement. What we will do is take 1 and divide it by .000002295. So our formula now looks like this:

(1/.000002295) = 435729.85

Odds of finding an ’89 Cello pack which depicts Griffey on the front and Canseco on back = 1:435,730

What this means is that in order to find this particular arrangement, I would have to buy 435,729.85, or 435,730 packs of 1989 Cello. This comes to 435,730/24 = 18,155.42, or 18,156 boxes of ’89 Fleer Cello.

A box of ’89 Fleer Cello cost around $11. Each box contains 24 packs. Each pack comes to $0.46. Cost of pulling this arrangement will set you back = $217,865!

I don’t suggest spending this kind of green on ’89 anything but I thought that this analysis would provide you with a different perspective when shopping 1989 Fleer Cello packs, heck any pack where cards are visible (or even invisible!).

To see what’s currently on eBay from 1989 Fleer, click here.


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