Friday, April 28, 2017

Hits and run

One month after ordering them, I finally received some cards I had waiting at COMC. Mainly some cards for my trade partners, along with some cards I'd won on Ebay a few months ago. As always, you know the drill, I don't always get cards that truly fit my collection. Rather, I bid on cards that are cheap to complete a package in case I win a card I really want, as there's a $2 minimum fee for cards you send to your mailbox at Comc, and then it's .50ct per card. Which means I might as well get 4 cards for $2 instead of just one (that's just to save from .50ct to 1.5$, so I might as well bid on cheap cards).

Anyway, I thought those looked nice and pretty, so I snatched them, usually for a couple of bucks each.

Here's a card I actually wanted, of a player no longer with the Blue Jays organization. He was born in 93. I was 16, in 93, collecting Upper Deck cards. I feel so old right now...

I'm really happy to see Heyward bounce back from his horrible season last year. So far so good !

I don't have much to say about Wheeler other than I like the Mets and the card

The photo I took doesn't really do this card justice, but it really looks very nice. Topps the Mint has pretty cool cards. Then again, at $600-900 a box for 5 cards, it can look nice. I almost feel bad for the seller who pulled that card and ended up selling it for a hefty $5 to me. Almost.

Monday, April 24, 2017

20 odd years

So apparently, we've had around (if not precisely) 20 transatlantic box breaks with Matt and Brian. Not bad at all ! Like I've often said, I know the hassle (and cost) of international postage, and I'll always be deeply grateful for all of you who allow me to live my hobby fully. It's one thing to buy cards online, all it takes is a credit card and some patience, but  it's another to be part of a community and to be able to trade cards.
Maybe I feel all lyrical because of the French election, I don't know !

Anyway, this time Brian, from HSCA, decided to open a box of 2017 Diamond Kings (PANINI !!). I'm pretty sure those are my first cards from the new season, as I'm always late to that kind of party.

Pretty much what we've come to expect from DK over the past years. Don't know how long they can keep this up, it's really more and more of the same.

I didn't get any hits per se, but there were a couple of numbered parallels, including a #01 (woohoo).

 Those cards confuse me. Apparently there are about 30 base card variations in the set. And I really, really do not see the point there.

Because there was only one Blue Jay card for me in the entire break (the Donaldson), Brian, as always, pimped the package with a bunch of cards for our ongoing trading. He warned me that he'd got my back, and that may just be the understatement of the year. Major haul !

So this is what 2017 flagship looks like ? I'll have to see more to have an opinion though. Some nice high end brands in there too, that I'd never get otherwise !

 Obviously, my first 2017 Heritage and GQ cards. I understand the heritage set is based on one of the least liked Topps sets of all time, but I still think it works well. The GQ design is a major improvement from previous years !

Brian sent me A TON of hits/relics/autos of all sorts. They kept coming and coming.

 So far this season, Bautista has hit 1 HR and has a .132 BA. Not sure about those 500 career Hrs...

Autographs galore ! I don't know what those 2005 Topps Pack wars were. I'll need to look into it. I've always liked Melky, even though he only spent a couple of seasons in Toronto. Happy to add an auto of his. Nice looking Adam Lind card too !

Woohoo, more Delgados ! For some reason, parallel autos annoy me. But I'm happy to add a low numbered one to the collection

A little bit of everything there ! A very cool Baerga and a couple of IP autos (I suppose). It's kinda difficult to obtain Warren Moon autos (ie : too expensive for me), so even if it's unofficial, it came as a great surprise to me ! The Kaat cut signature looks sooooo strange cut up like that. Why not keep the entire 78 topps base card and just frame it ? Ok, it defeats the whole purpose of "cut signature", but still...odd choice. Makes it interesting though !

For obvious reasons (they suck big time), I haven't been adding many Knicks cards lately, so here's a nice clear welcome addition of a player who spent one season in the organization. Very cool card nonetheless.

A little bit of everything, including one for the Mets binder !

90s !! It's fun to see Willie Keller in a Toronto uniform. It appears that the HOFer played one season for the Malple Leafs after retiring...

Oh, and not shown here are a 1978 and 1979 Blue Jays media guide (and a couple of Topps coins) ! I love those things, they're a blast to look at, and filled with stats.

Thanks again Brian, that was one amazing trade package !

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Various packs of various things

Last Christmas (I gave you my heart) I received a special collated box from Dave & Adams, with 20 packs of sets that were mainly new to me. The price was right so I put it on my list (I'm not a difficult person). Nothing too exciting came out of those packs, but they were fun to bust, as the designs and player selections are solid. It's typically the kind of product I would've picked up at the time, one pack at a time, had I not France and away from the hobby.

It looks like a mess, but I really like what they did with 2008 Timeline. You have the 100 card base set (the first 2 cards shown, and I suppose the Thome is a parallel), and then so-called SPs, using designs from previous years (mainly SP - No pun intended). I love seeing the 93 and 94 SP designs used again.

I got 2 numbered hits, so wooohooo. Not sure many people chased those, though. Maybe they were trying to compete with A&G, and don't know...still kinda fun.

Whoever thought that set up probably didn't spend enough time brainstorming the idea. So if I understand correctly, that Derek Jeter black parallel card is numbered out of 25 (the base cards are SN 150). Seems pretty cool and I should put it in a safe until 2020. Except there are 25 cards of hit #40 out of 214, celebrated by that card. You really need to be one hard core Jeter fanatic to try and collect 214 cards, one for each hit.

But at least it means it's very easy to get low numbered parallels, and even 1/1s. I wonder if that person still works for Topps...

Finally, some SP Rookie edition. The veteran's design reminds me somewhat of Select. Then again, anything horizontal with the nameplate on the right would remind me of Select.

I really like those (for the SP reasons mentioned earlier in that post). Not a bad rookie class...

So like I said, nothing really mind blowing, but still nice cards to put in binders here and there !

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mug shot

Like many of you (we wouldn't collect cardboard otherwise), I'm very attached to objects. They remind me of my teenage years and bring back a ton of great memories. Don't get me wrong, I don't make a habit of living in the past (I love my present too much), b ut they're a good reminder of where I come from and what my obsessions have been.

I've lived in France my entire life (save for a year in Mexico when I was 5 and a year in New York when I was 11), which didn't make being a fan of American sports very easy in the 90s. Team apparel was outrageously expensive when you could find it, for example, and I feel like I've given my ample share of engrossing huge companies enough as it is.

In 1993, during a trip to Cleveland, I brought back a ton of stuff. As much as a couple of hundred dollars allowance could buy me, that is, my priority being baseball cards (those Jordans could wait). There was a Cleveland Cavs clock that I still have, and a Blue Jays mug. I love that mug. I consider it my lucky mug, although it' s never brought a World Series championship to Toronto since. I'll drink most of my coffees in it, and ALL of them when the Blue Jays are playing (you never know) and I'm watching the game.

But after 23 years, the colors have completely faded and you can hardly make out the logo. A mug is a mug, it doesn't really matter, but time took its toll, and when looking on ebay, I couldn't find a mug that felt good enough to replace it with. You don't replace an old friend just like that.

This morning, my girlfriend surprised me with the exact same mug. Brand new. It's the exact same model (the bar-code is the same), and I'm so used to seeing it all faded and almost blank that I'd forgotten how bright that blue was. It's the best gift ever. One that revives memories and gives the illusion that time hasn't been a factor after all.

I'm definitely ready for the season to begin !

try guessing which is the new one and which is the old one ?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

More mustaches !

Richard, of collecting Blue Jays (among others) is my official supplier of Blue Jays oddballs and semi-vintage mustaches (semi, since the Blue Jays' first season was in 1977...). He surprised me yet again by testing the postal service's efficiency (5 days this time) and sending out cards off my wantlist, knocking off a bunch of set needs.

Gotta love those early SPs...I can't imagine how that's possible, but that Alomar 93 UD checklist has been eluding me for 24 years. I don't know if it was worth the wait, but that's one less 93 UD on my list ! I'm now missing about 40 of the base cards. Getting closer to completion !

Richard is trying to put together the entire 94 CC signatures parallels. Gold and silver. I really understand the appeal, it's one of the best parallels ever thought up. He told me he pulled that Alomar from a pack. All I ever pull are Giants and Dodgers gold signatures...I need to at least complete the team set, I only have a couple of those gold signatures.

And just like that, I'm now only missing one Silver signature for the complete team set. Woohooo ! Very happy to land that Carter, too. Those bring back a ton of great memories from what it was like to collect in the 90s.

Finally, Richard included a lot (and I mean a lot) of Donruss set needs (most of my needs, actually). The quality of the photo is terrible, and I apologize, but I absolutely love that 84 design. Panini should take a closer look at those early designs !

Thanks a lot Richard ! It'll probably take some research for me to find some cards to send in return, but I'll find a way !

Friday, March 17, 2017

I poo poo on your Juju (don't worry, just the name of a music album)

Julie is great, I think we can all agree on that. And I'm not saying this just because she has the same sense of humor I do, nor because she always sends the most amazing packages filled with surprises. Ok, maybe those facts help a little. But she also has one of the most enjoyable blogs to read, and that's saying a lot considering the talent out there.

So of course, I was ecstatic when Julie came back to blogging, and started to really jump up and down when a package arrived at my door a few weeks ago.

She's back.
And this means a bunch of cards to sort out that fit perfectly my collection ! Here's a sample of what Julie sent, all cards that are new to me.

Oh, and sorry about the poor scanning job, I'm still using my phone, and the results aren't always great...but then again, I'm pretty sure you know what cards look like irl.

 Impossible not to love minis. Especially parallel minis, as is the case with the last one on the bottom right

Ichiros ! Those canvas collection look great in person.

 I'm missing a bunch, obviously, but it's not that easy to find a Griffey I don't have. So 4 new ones is a great score ! That Classic card is one of those cards that have been on my mental wantlist for 20 years and that I'd forgotten about.

Just like Baerga, Vlad is one of those players I don't officially collect but am always happy to add cards of. Which actually probably means I collect them...

Them I officially collect ! Great looking card of Bo, btw.

A couple of Blue Jays autos, including an IP one (or TTM, I have no idea !)

A couple of gorgeous Delgados ! 90s power !

Speaking of power...

Speaking of 90s...those O Pee Chee portraits sure are something. Maybe they should've stuck to Topps...

There's nothing I don't love here. Museum (!!!), shiny mid-90s topps and sample cards. Perfect combo

 Like many, here's the grayer area of my collection : 2000-2010, including an insane amount of parallel cards. And a very bad Toronto team...(except for Doc, obviously)

Some shiny Bowmans ! I think the Donaldson may be a refractor or something, I need to research that. Thor played a couple of seasons in Toronto's farm system before being included in the trade that brought RA Dickey...not sure about that move...

Some very nice high end and real thick  numbered cards

I have to admit : the more I see Panini products, the more I come to like them. Except for Prizm and Donruss, of course...Still need them, though !

Still love those framed Gypsy cards. It's also SN 499

Gotta love SC, and they did a nice job with those National Baseball card day cards. They have a 90s feel to them design wise. Alongside something Upper Deck could've come up with. Before seeing that Lawrie card, I had no idea he had a variation in that set (he has 3, actually). Variation cards annoy me...

A big thank you to you, Julie, and also for the wacky cards packs you sent (and for the T shirt). Your packages always bring a huge smile this side of the Atlantic !

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

All the news that's fit to print(ing plate)

pfew, I'm finally all moved in. We ended up moving under rain and snow, but all in all, it went well, and, most important of all, no cards were lost in the process ! I'll now try and be more consistent in my blogging and organize the trade packages I receive a little better.

That said, Brian sent me a bunch of very cool 90s cards a few months back that I meant to show, but they kinda got lost in a 300 card box, and I just can't seem to remember which was which. I'm awfully sorry (especially considering how much I love showing off 90s cards and trades in general), but I'll only be showing one card that particularly stood out. Brian actually pulled it from a pack (oldschool style !), and that makes it even more special !

Tadah ! Brett Cecil yellow printing plate. Can't get much better. I used to pest against one of ones 20 years ago, but now that they're affordable and that there are plenty out there, I find them incredibly cool. I'm just very glad I'm not a super collector, those must drive them crazy. But printing plates make for great trade bait and are always fun to pull from packs.

I'll  now prepare mentally for the new season ahead by watching utterly meaningless spring training baseball (well, unless you're curious to see Tebow play, that is).