Thursday, May 10, 2018


As I mentioned yesterday, I got a box of 2018 Opening Day. Simply because a French (well, THE French) online dealer had a box for $30, and it's always nice not to pay customs and shipping fees. I like this year's design. It wouldn't make me want to buy a box of flagship, but it's a major improvement compared to the past couple of years.

I actually did quite well, as far as that product goes. I just wanted to add a few cards to my various Pcs and check out some players in their new uniforms along with their stats from last year (yeah, I tend to get my baseball knowledge off the backs of cards, it keeps me from spending way too much time on Fangraphs), but ended up getting a tad more.

The one semi-annoying thing is that for some weird reason I got 199 out of 200 cards from the base set. I'm only missing card #1, and that's Kershaw. Weird collation technique.

It doesn't look too impressive like that, but it's actually a really tough pull, as the odds are 1:4951. 3 times scarcer than a mascot auto. But way less sought after, of course. Still a fun card to have, though looking at the card, I have no idea what part of the fabric it is.

Those are seeded 1:9, and it's always nice to get a Trout and a Seager. The Encarnacion National Anthem is also somewhat tougher to pull than the usual OD inserts, at 1:286

Yay, mascots !

And finally, of course, this year's poster boy. I've watch him pitch a few times and have to admit that he's pretty exciting (and seems like a likeable guy). I do not, at all, understand how his cards can fetch such high prices (supply and demand, I know, but in that case people seem to speculate when prices are at the highest. Just seems weird to me. I guess it shows how we react to consumerism when we want something right now). This opening day card, for example, sells for $6 to $10. The base card. Of Opening Day. This is way beyond crazy. But hey, it gets people talking about the hobby and maybe card makers can get creative again.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Straight from the 70s to the 90s

Last week I received my cardbarrel order (I won't be showing it because I'm lazy, but I added a bunch of Baerga and Beltre cards to my collection, so that made me happy), and today it was my Comc order's turn to show up in my mailbox (plus a box of 2018 Opening day I got from a French retailer for $30, which is very cheap by my standards). I've got to say that even though I was disappointed that their rates for their mailbox service have gone through the roof, I have to admit that they've been much faster at sending out international packages. I used to have to wait 4 to 6 weeks, and now it's only about a two week wait. 

I concentrated on 3 topics : 70's cards picked from Night Owl's top 100, Blue Jays inserts from the mid 90s and 93 UD inserts to try and complete the master set.

What a perfect group of 7 cards. The Pat Corrales card informs me that he was included in the trade for Luis Aparicio, another one of my PC. Everything comes together. Those last 3 cards are all majestic in their own very special way.

 Turns out I already had the Will Clark and Justice 5th Anniversary. I really need to get my act together. I completed the base set (except for the Jeter RC, but that can wait) and am only missing a dozen inserts (including a bunch of checklist and header cards I don't care that much for) along of course with those very tough to find Highlight cards.

I'm starting to have a very solid Joe Carter collection. I can't be missing that many of his cards, besides impossible to find parallels and very scarce inserts. All of those here look great (someone, somewhere, actually spent more than 3 minutes thinking them up, unlike what we see today), and that Leaf is a preview.

Robbie ! Pacific!!

Those Hot Gloves inserts are impossible not to love. I also really like that Heading for the Hall insert, which is the most expensive card in the lot along with the Reggie Jackson (ie around 2$). Molitor was, indeed, headed for the hall, but not in a Blue Jays uniform.

Aaaah, the (in)famous Leaf signature series cards. This has to be my tenth of the series. Great to be able to pick those obscure names for cheap twenty years later.

I like adding Cruz Jr cards because they remind me of how popular he was around 1998, when I got the Internet for the first time and started trading on AOL. He didn't stay popular very long...But at least, like another favorite of mine, Andrew Jones, I can find him in all the cool late 90s inserts and get them at fair prices now.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Dodgers Redeem-Team

I don't remember if I wrote about this (I'm inexorably getting old), but I pulled a redemption card from 2016 Stadium Club a few months ago. Nothing fancy, but it was still my very first redemption card pulled, so that's always a little bit special. I had purchased a Charles Oakley Panini redemption card a couple of years ago, but after a year, I got tired of waiting and they sent a replacement (a Drummond auto, it turns out). This time, it all went as planned and I only waited two months for my card. They send it by Fedex, which is always a pain when you aren't home, but it turns out today s my off day from work (aren't you all glad to know all those small bits of information ?). It must cost them a fortune to send overseas, but at least the service gets done !

Tadah, there it is ! I have since of course removed the sticker, but I left it in the scanner just to prove that I wasn't lying, that it was indeed a redemption and not just your usual inserted autograph. I wouldn't want you to feel cheated.

Things have been exceptionally slow on the card front. All of my cards are sorted and put in corresponding binders and boxes, which never happens. Which is why I quickly placed an order with COMC and Cardbarrels. No boxes for now, because nothing's really caught my attention. I should probably wait for all that Ohtani craziness to cool down anyway (and still be very excited in front of my TV each time he shows up).

More to come very soon !

Monday, March 19, 2018

All in all, another card in the wall

I've been wanting to do this in a while, and I finally got my lazy ass moving for once. I picked about 60 cards, after looking at all my binders and top loaders, so I suppose those would be my all time favorites (besides my 56 Ted Williams and 1960 Mantle, and all my autos). I'll just make sure they don't get exposed to direct sunlight, as I don't have duplicates for 95% of them.

This shows a few things : I like Griffey, I like Blue Jays, and I'm definitely a 90s guy. I don't even think there's anything from the last 15 years besides that Topps Now card.

I still need to put everything in place and add some Minis on the side to complete the project, and tadah, up on the wall it goes !

Edit : here's the finished project \o/

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

More COMC randomness

I've been having a lot of fun rounding up cards on Comc lately. I tended to stay away from it because I don't like spending .50cts for common or base cards (and I know it's because of fees, but still), but it's great for late 70s beat up cards and for 90's inserts. But since I don't use Ebay anymore because of growing basic fees from Comc for their mailbox service, it leaves me some budget to spend on cards I like (this just may be ironic).

Anyway, I received the order I passed in January, and as usual, there's a little bit of everything, depending on my current obsessions.

I tend to forget things (I'm getting old), but I'm pretty sure those are from NO's Top 100 70's cards. That Fisk card is a beauty indeed.

I love those Deckle cards. And more cheap Aparicio cards for the PC. I still need 57 through 59 and 63 through 65, and I won't find those for cheap on COMC.

The Ty Cobb is an insert from the Ted Williams card company. I liked those cards, I remember buying a couple of packs at the time. The 90's Dominators is, for some reason, one of my favorite inserts design of all time. Go figure...I have no idea why I collect Frank Thomas cards. He was a major force at the time, of course, but not that spectacular. Maybe it's his calm demeanor, or the fact he played a few months for the Blue Jays, or just that he was omnipresent in baseball card guides when I was collecting heavily.

Of course, there had to be Blue Jays cards in the mix. I went for 93 and 94 inserts I was missing. It doesn't get much uglier than those pro vision cards, but they're impossible not to love (I really need the Ozzie Smith from that set)

Those Gold Leaf stars were very popular, and it's a beautiful Molitor card numbered to...10 000. And inserted at a rate of 1:90, it gives an idea of (over) production figures.

I've said it before : I know I'll never be able to get as many Griffey cards as I'd like, so I'll focus on his base cards of major brands. It's weird that I didn't have that Fleer RC, and that Ultra and that Skybox or really sharp.

 I grabbed a few early 90s affordable inserts, including that Diamond Kings. As cheezy as they are (c'mon, DK cards ARE cheezy), you gotta love them. So much color on that 94 edition !

What were Fleer thinking on that last card ?

  Ultra ! Thanks to that shipment, I'm now only missing about a dozen base cards of flagship products. One baby step at a time...

Big Hurt, Griffey, Bo...I'm such a collector's clichΓ©. But still, reading about his heroics in French magazines (well, magazine singular, really, there were 3 magazines covering basketball but only one writing about the other american sports) made me buy his (very poorly written) biography, and now here I am, collecting his cards...I like adding football cards to my collection because I know close to nothing about them, which means I'm always discovering new designs.

Finally, here are older Knicks cards. A couple fan favorites in Monroe and Frazier, my first 80-81 card (I have no idea who Larry Demic is, but he was with Kareem so I picked this one up. Always cheaper than the Magic/Bird RC combo). Those are also my first 86-87 famous Fleer issue. Simple design made iconic because of all those (Jordan anyone ?) RCs and XRCs inserted.

Yay, 90's basketball ! those all look great. I especially like that Team MVP UD that I was never able to secure 25 years ago.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Matt, Brian and Kevin walk in a Gallery

Brian had a box of 2017 Topps Gallery just waiting to be opened for one of our breaks, which explains why it follows Matt's break so closely (I suppose it's my turn now !). This time, I didn't get all the hits, but there was an auto in there for me. My hot streak continues !

Some nice inserts and the usual (insanely boring) parallels. That Trout is a very nice card, and I had to look up who Arroyo is...

Hooray for Blue Jays ! The Alomar is a very nice insert. I like the overall design and card stock, but there's still a little something missing (more action ?) to make that a memorable set.

thanks for the break, Brian !

And as always, some bonus cards for my collection !

I used to think those were the ugliest cards ever, but now I absolutely love them. A great couple of vintage tv set cards for my NY Giants collection.

The Guerrero Jr is a parallel, and something tells me I'll have a hard time finding his cards..I'll stick to base cards for the moment ! The Devon Travis was the only one missing to complete the 2015 Heritage team set, so thanks for spotting that SP ! And finally, a very cool on card Stroman auto. Arbitration was tough, apparently, but it looks like he'll be on track for this season.

More Blue Jays cards I needed ! First time I've seen those Holiday cards. Not sure what Topps is trying to do, there...Can't wait for 2020 and the end of their monopoly. Let's hope the league allows new blood in the mix. I thought the system in the 90s (well, early 90s...) was good, with each brand allowed what, 5 products ? I understand the market isn't what it used to be, with far less people buying, but a little competition won't hurt. That Pat Hentgen is from a box set from 97 Stadium Club I had no idea existed. It's not even in the tcdb. Well done !

Thanks to Brian, I now own 9 different Kiermaier cards. My collection is impressive !

And finally, more PC? including a couple of Knicks cards (and that Ewing that I did not have. And I have a LOT of 90s Ewing cards...)

Thanks again Brian, can't wait for the next break !

Sunday, February 25, 2018

I'll be Judge and jury for that transatlantic triple break

It was Matt's turn to chose a box for our box break, and after much debate with himself, he picked a box of Panini Chronicles. The card Gods were with me this time especially, as I ended up with the box's 4 guaranteed hits. I actually felt kinda bad about it, I prefer when our boxes are more balanced, but ah well, still nice to be lucky and I know my friends don't mind the least !

I'm pretty sure I already ot a David Dahl auto in one of our previous breaks. I have no idea who Andrew Toles is, but it's a very low numbered auto of a major franchise, so that always makes good trade bait !

I wasn't impressed with the base cards (and even less with their gold parallels), but as I looked at them closer, they grew on me. Why not, after all, at least some thought went into those cards.

 Here's the third hit of the box : a (ok, boring, but still) swatch of Mister Tony Gwynn. Always a cool addition.

And finally, the kind of pull we always hope for in a box break but hardly ever happens. Matt jokingly wrote in the email presenting the box he picked that he hoped there would be 4 Aaron Judge autos. There was one. We'll take it ! It's a sticker auto on a Panini product, so it won't reach amazing heights in terms of value, but you can hardly dream of a better pull, and it's all mine, MINE ! Well, if they do send the card to me one day, but I don't think that will be a problem.

The package Matt sent me was also loaded with a few more blasts that he always so carefully choses, thanks to his great knowledge of sports and of everybody's collecting needs :

 Sometimes, I think Matt can perfectly read my mind. Alomar was at the very top of my list of desired autos, and eventhough there are quite a few available now (maybe he needs the money...), I never actually pulled the trigger because they were all out of my price range, or I'd always lose the betting on ebay. It's a gorgeous card with an amazing on card auto. I love it !

More from Immaculate, this time with a very nice Encarnacion swatch.

And finally, I never ever thought I'd receive a Carmelo auto in a trade with my baseball budies one day, and yet there it is ! I wasn't exactly sad to see him leave New York for OKC, but he's still a major NY player from the past (ugly) years and a major addition to my collection.

I'm once more baffled

thanks a lot Matt for the break (wooohoooo, Judge auto !!!) and for the incredible extras !