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).

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Books and Boxes

I needed to find some trade bait on Ebay for my usual trade partners, and as always, I figured I might as well grab a few cards for my own collection, mainly to attenuate the shipping charges to France. Hence a variety of cards I wouldn't have bought otherwise, but that seemed interesting enough to get anyhow ! I don't have that many to show since most will be shipped out, but ah well...

On a side note, we found a new place and are moving out in a couple of weeks. Needless to say, it's an absolute mess right now at my apartment ! I have way, way too many books. Cards are actually the least of my concern, even though I bought three 5000 card monster boxes to help me sort everything out and make things easier. I'm excited to put all my cards in a new place and reorganize everything, but it's soooo much work. But as long as they're able to hook me up to the Internet the day I move in, it'll be all good. Mainly because I'll finally have ultra high speed Internet, which means I'll finally be able to watch MLB games in HD. Major improvement in my life !

 Yeah, I know, it's basketball, but it's impossible not to love those 'By the letter' autos. Amazing looking cards (and the players aren't that shabby, actually)

 I was curious to have a Strate auto, as I've always been a sucker for acetate. I have no idea who Tyson Ross is, and his auto is less than impressive, but it was .99ct, so it was good enough for me.

I've always liked the Big Cat, probably because I followed the 93 and 94 seasons closer than any other ones and he had great stats then and even gold gloves despite being on the heavy side. Nice on card auto too !

And finally, I bought this lot of 2016 High Tek, mainly because there were 2 Blue Jays and Vlad. Figuring Tek out brings me headaches as always.

Ok, back to my boxes !

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Another Transatlantic triple break (part 45379)

It's time for a new presentation of my favorite game show : Transatlantic Triple Break with Matt and Brian !

The participants this time were a box of 2004 Bowman and one of 2000 Finest. I didn't own any Blue Jays from those sets, so it was a great choice for me.

I had no idea inserts existed also in a refractor version. Pretty cool. I'll never get used to Boggs in that uniform...

More inserts, and a couple base cards. I've always liked Finest, even if it's a little over the top sometimes.

Speaking of which, that box topper is also mine ! Supersized Pedro is always scarier.

And finally, some much needed Blue Jays for my collection. I'm reading David Well's biography right now...and it's quite something !

Onto Bowman, with its combination of chrome, base and parallels. Here are the Blue Jays

The people at Bowman wanted to make sure I got as many variations of Youkilis as possible. Base, chrome, gold and refractor.

Now, for the trade portion of the package !

I don't know if that auto was IP or TTM, but it's definitely legit. And I love the choice of the card also.

Brian sent me some great cards once again, but this one is my favorite : 1969 Aparicio !

A great variety of PC players !

I love that Moon card. It's acetate, which allows you to have a great view of my table underneath it.

And finally, some modern Blue Jays (and a very cool Ultra insert feat Jose Cruz jr), including my first taste of 2016 Bowman's Best. I should have a closer look at that set, actually, I like what they did with the base cards.

Thanks again Brian, can't wait to see what you pick next !

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Box Break : 95 SC (here comes the Ring leader)

Like many of you, Stadium Club is one of my favorite sets to collect. I don't think there's been a single mistake in any of the SC sets across the years, including their debut set (remember that big Kodak logo ? Nobody remembers Kodak anymore...). Which shows that the people at Topps know exactly what great uncropped photography should look like...

Anyway, I got a box of 1995 SC a few months ago packed with everything I love about Stadium Club !

Nice clear acetate of one of my favorite players from that era. Pretty cool insert.

Another great looking insert (I showed the Joe Carter the other day). Griffey would've been a better pull though !

Ooooooh, coooool, 3 units ! I must find a phone in the US and try this out. Those are actually very tough pulls, so I was lucky to get it. 20 years too late, sure....I wonder if this counts as a Blue Jays card ?

And of course, SC as I said is all about original and crisp photography. Here's proof !

There may be a future HOF in that bunch

And probably not in this one...

Another fun 90s box to break !