Friday, August 11, 2017

Happy Birthday boy

Those who follow me on twitter already know about this, but just as I was whining a couple of months ago about how nobody around me could possibly offer me the perfect baseball-related gift, my girlfriend surprised me with arguably the best present I've ever received :

A signed Ken Griffey Jr baseball. And not just any baseball : one from 91-93 (it's a Bobby Brown American League one), aka my favorite era in baseball and in memory lane. Ballpoint, sweet spot, there's nothing not to like about that signature. I had actually brought home from the US an official baseball just like that one, but it's all faded now and doesn't even have that distinctive baseball smell anymore, so what's the point ? So, yeah, I'll cherish this one for a long time...

And yesterday, my close friends received the gift they'd planned for me :

An official Blue Jays jersey, with my name stitched on the back, along with the big 4-0. Surprisingly enough, I don't own a Blue Jays jersey with their old logo. I only have a white one with Blue Jays written accross it. Nothing too exciting. Needless to say, I love that one ! I might try one day to track down a Candian Day red jersey, but the idea of a 200$ price tag because of shipping and handling is a major, major bump on the road.

None of my friends (nor my girlfriend) will read this, but I'm sure they know I love them. I shall now parade all over Paris amongst all those PSG soccer jerseys (I don't know if you followed, but they just acquired the most expensive player in soccer history : the Brazilian star Meymar, for 222M € (250 M $)) with an encased baseball in my hand.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Back buying on Ebay

Woohooo, I received some cards today ! I bought a few things while on vacation, mainly vintage, but I also shopped around a little for Matt and Brian (and a couple others !). While I was at it, I added cards for my own collection, depending on what the seller had (I only bought from 2 different sellers). I won't have much to show, I'm afraid, as I try to keep the other cards a surprise for my friends, plus I'm scanning those with my phone at work (yeah, the month of August in France is brutal. Everybody's on vacation (we get 5 weeks paid vacation here, might as well use them when it's nice out and all cram at the nearest beaches) where the light is less than perfect.

Ah well.

I'm still happy to post cards ! (I wonder if that can be counted as a vacation pun ?)

Wow, now that's of the few 2017 cards I own, and the second one of Morales. I've lost track of mini parallels, I don't even know how scarce those are...hold on, I'll go check...Ok, those are 1:10. Yay.

The day they started making parallels of inserts was the day everything started going wrong in this hobby. I would've prefered the orange parallel, at least it looks kinda funky. Not a big fan of the design there. They should've done something more along the lines of Ring leaders from the 90s.

Aaaah, throwbacks. I'll never make enough fun of those. I grabbed them because they were cheap and the pack had a couple of Blue Jays in it (silly team collectors...). I saw that there are different degrees of scarcity, Red being the most scarce. There's one of those included. Topps really needs to understand that we do not want to rediscover 80s and 90s Topps (and even less early 2000s). We were already there at the time. Our generation makes the hobby, and our generation has stacks and stacks of those. But hey, there's a stamp on those 2 million cards they inserted. That makes it special.

Finally, some Gold glove relic ! This morning, when I looked at some baseball news on my tablet, it read 'a cat runs on the field and then Yadier crushes..." and the rest of the text didn't appear. I wasn't really awake, so I really thought he had crushed that poor cat, Winfield/Seagull style. Turns out it's a grand slam that he crushed. Oooooh. Much better.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Teammates

This here is a picture of me reading Halberstam's The Teammates in the South of France  (i'm a professionnal, don't try this at home ).

It's a truly wonderful book that most of you already know, but those who don't should pick it up right away. It's sincere and moving and rivetting. I'm far from a Red Sox fan  (spent too much time in NY for that !), but I'm definitely picking up

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

More cards from Brian

Good news, I survived my 40th birthday.
I'll pause for effect.


There's one gift I'll want to show off, but I need to receive it first. One hint : I'm very, very excited about it !

But before that, there's our latest triple break I need to blog about, as once again Brian sent me my share of the break along with a bunch of great cards.

This time, Brian chose a box of 2006 Heritage. Like him, I wasn't collecting during that period, so those cards are all new to me, save for a couple of Blue Jays I already had in my collection. I really love their look and feel, and Vlad is cool on any card and design anyway. Unfortunately, there weren't any hits in the box, but hey, the base cards are still nice enough.

Roger, Roger and more Roger

Woohoo, much needed Blue Jays !

There are some really strange looking cards in the bunch...that Teixeira is actually a little creepy.

More weirdness, this time with the scenery.

And like I said, Brian always pimps his packages with awesome material for my PC :

A couple Kranepools, including a signed one ! I love that 67 also

The Knicks announced today they were parting ways with Phil Jackson. That's great news for any Knicks fan, even though I have mixed feelings considering the tremendous respect I have for the guy. But I have noooo idea whatsoever what he had in mind. Beside a triangle, that is.
The Warren Moon is great, as it works like a sportsflics card, with the back written in spanish. Perfect oddball.

A bunch of Blue Jays from this year's batches. I'm definitely not a big fan of the 2017 topps design. I do like the OD blue parallel though (Morales shown here)

Love that Big Hurt, and it's not something you'll read often here, but that Panini Donruss looks actually pretty good. Always a treat anyway to get a Donaldson relic in a trade

How cool a selection is that ? Amazing Deion foldout, incredible Griffey holograms/oddballs (perfect combo !), a fancy Mattingly, some Yadiers, a cool Bo. Wow ! (yes, I get very excited about base cards)

And finally, more Blue Jays goodness, including a couple of autos (woohooo), some 90s inserts (gotta love those Ultra inserts) and a nice RC of a promising pitcher

Thanks a lot Brian, as always !

Monday, June 19, 2017

40 man roster by myself : a birthday post

(sorry, but those who clicked wishing for a contest will be disappointed : this post is all about me)

In a few days, I hit a major personal milestone that happens to most of us : I turn forty. I figured I might as well write something now, as I have a party to plan for this week-end and some binders to put away before everybody comes to tell me how great (and old) I am.

Speaking of old, I finally decided to tackle something I've been wanted to do for a long time : put all my 93 UD in a binder, leaving empty spaces for the cards I'm missing. So I went to get the cards in the boxes I'd put them into, and was mildly happy to see that some had stuck together.

This is just a sample, I'd say about 50 cards are concerned. Ah well, it's one of the (many) downfalls of collecting cards from the 90s and of not being careful as to how I store them. I'll check my duplicates to find replacements, but I doubt there will be any, as those were my stacks of newly added 93s.

I suppose you've all been there, but people around me have started wondering what to get me for my birthday. And trust me, it's difficult enough as it is to find something for someone whose hobby is so particular, but imagine doing this AND being French. My friends have no idea what cards are, and baseball even less. And even if they did, they wouldn't know who my favorite player is (Griffey Jr). They know about the Blue Jays though, so that's a start. But it's close to impossible to surprise me with the perfect gift. My girlfriend earlier today told me that she was officially lost. That she asked my best friends, but they are clueless. Their thing is basketball, not baseball, and I've grown bored of basketball for 20 years. So I told her the perfect gift would be something signed by Griffey (and I hate giving out clues, the whole idea behind a gift is for the others to figure it out, I don't need them to do the equivalent of giving me money for something they'd just buy for me out of a list). Of course, she has no idea who that is. And then I have to explain the whole "fake signatures" part, to make sure there's a COA, and even with that, you aren't sure it's real, so buy from someone with good rep. Or a signed card. But not on a sticker. And not in a Reds uniform. How can I expect her to understand anything to the business ? When you add that she should have the card sent to my COMC address and not to France, to avoid paying $20 S&H for a single card...I might as well find it myself.

Same thing for jerseys. Official, Replica, stitched, colors etc. Too many variations.

Of course, it'd be cool to find a nice signed 8x10, or something from Topps vault or a signed helmet by Bo Jackson, but this will never happen unless I make the purchase myself. And it's fine like that, I'm the only one to blame.

I just hope nobody buys me any ties. I'd have to ask them to leave their BBQ'd hamburger and the party on the spot.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Some packs of 2016 Stadium Club

Yeah, I know, I'm late to the party (always am), but I finally got my hands on some 2016 Stadium Club. boxes are a little too expensive for my taste (especially considering the hits you get, despite the amazing base cards), so I went for some hanger boxes that were on sale on Dave and Adam's. Better yet, they sent 3 instead of 2, so yay, that's 24 packs for $30 !

your usual parallels and inserts

Your cool die cut inserts (that aren't that easy to come by in hanger boxes)

I was lucky enough to get a couple autos. I knew of Olivera because of his suspension for domestic violence (he's no longer in MLB), but I had to research Refsnyder. Apparently he's a pretty good Yankees prospect. They seem to be having a few of those around lately...

Some Blue Jays I needed. All pretty cool, even though it looks like Bautista is performing on Broadway.

I love how they dig out great photos of past legends

Some of my favorite horizontals.

And other cards I like.

so There you go, nothing very fancy, but it's an amazing set nonetheless. I'll probably keep on picking up packs if I see some at a reasonable price.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

cARRHds from Matt

This time, for our usual Transatlantic triple break, Matt picked a box of 2016 Finest. Typically the kind of box I'd never bust on my own, so I'm happy about that choice. That said, there wasn't much in it for me in terms of hits (and not many cards altogether in the box, as is often the case with semi high end cards), but the cards are still very cool, so thanks Matt for the break !

The Carrasco is actually a little shinier than the others. I wonder if it's a refractor ? I remember how tough it was to tell a refractor from a normal card at the very beginning in the 90s. At least, now they write it at the back.

Some shiny inserts of Franchise finest no longer with said franchises. Ah well.

One less Blue Jays card to chase !

And as always, Matt sent some amazingly incredible cards to go with the box break. Let's look at them, one punch at a time :

First major blow : that Mattingly auto (sorry about the poor quality of the photo, I guess I was trembling with excitement), straight from Matt's collection. At first, I thought it was a Leaf card, because of the logo on the top right. But it's actually a Panini Limited Greats. Goes to show that I'd hardly noticed the absence of pinstripes and logo. As long as the mustache is there...

Catchers seem to make Panini's job easier, and that's a gorgeous card of Yadier. Not sure what that green jersey is all about though.

Nice two color swatch . It's SN 11/25 (almost a Christmas card for Gavin)

The 3 biggest stars from the team on one single great looking card (I really like Immaculate). Great to see that there's some blue in there and not just white, which adds to it !

The type of card I'd never chase, because there are two major stars on it (and Harper is killing it this year). Wow !

For good measure, Matt included a pack of 2010 Topps series 2. Because I can never get enough packs to bust ! Saltalamacchia was 1 for 25 this year before being released. Slightly under the overall BA for the Blue Jays so far.

Thanks Matt, I'm always floored by your generosity and how you always hand pick the cards you send me. A lot of my favorite cards from my collection come from Morgantown !

Monday, May 1, 2017

93 UD State of the Union

Since I had a pending shipment from COMC, I figured I might as well add a few cards to the cart. I therefore inched a little closer to my 93 UD set completion with some new blood. It's always a pain to pay more than a few cents for mainstream 90s cards, but I'll do it for select cards from the main set, and of course for inserts. And those that I can't add for less than $1 can just wait...Which explains why I don't have any Highlights cards.

Maybe it's because I've seen it so much, but I was surprised to see I was missing the Javy RC. Then again, The Jeter has always eluded me, despite busting a lot of packs...

My favorite insert with Then & Now holograms ! Still missing a couple of those

Another insert I love, mainly because I've looked at the Griffey many, many times (I had a t shirt with the card on it, actually). Gonzalez was the last card I needed from the set, except for the checklist and header card.

I really like the On deck insert set, but it doesn't strike as much a chord as the other ones, as I never pulled any from packs back in the day. They were inserted in Jumbo packs only, as were the HR Heroes that I'm showing next. Canseco, Van Slyke, Clemens, Strawberry...and Abbott. Sorry man, can't really put you in the same group as these "gentlemen" !

You can tell by the checklist that those are not the cards that were very high on my wantlist

I'm almost there ! I just need a little help with the commons from flagship, before I pick up the last inserts left, even if it means dishing a few dollars more than they are worth !

Here are the cards I'm still missing :

25 Tim Salmon
70 Derek Lilliquist
370 Gary Gaetti
449 Derek Jeter
471 Barry Bonds/Will stars
478 Dante Bichette / stars
531 Franck Bolick
536 Kevin Young
554 Jim Abbott
566 Mark Mcgwire
599 Steve Cooke
630 Roger Clemens CL
649 Dan Pasqua
665 Dwight Gooden
698 Jimmy Jones
707 Steve Howe
718 Craig Leffert
723 Bryn Smith
724 Greg Harris
726 Cris Carpenter
727 Chico Walker
732 Freddie Benavides
733 Jeff Reboulet
742 Joey Cora
808 Bob Ojeda
809 Dave Burba
814 Dennis Eckersley Team CL
818 Greg Jefferies team cl
820 Darryl Strawberry team cl
822 Robby Thompson team cl
830 Jay Bell team cl
831 Juan Gonzalez team cl
832 Andre Dawson team cl
839 Danny Tartabull team cl

thanks !

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Trade round up : Brett Cooper, Zippy, The lost Collector

Matt forwarded a bunch of trade packages for me in his various envelopes that have been French-bound the past few months. I won't lie, it's really convenient for me (thanks again Matt !) and allows me to stay in the (waning but still a great idea) Supertrader group.

First, the Nationals representative : Brett Cooper

I was really  psyched about that card, as I didn't have it yet in my collection (for some reason). Just like Danny Ainge, can't say he made a bad choice by choosing another sport...

A little bit of everything, including a nice Sprewell from his T-Wolves days. The least we can say is that he left a mark in NY ! Thanks Brett for thinking of me !

You know you've been Zippy Zapped when you receive a Torrens custom card ! Especially since it says so on the back.

You also know there might just be a few Japanese cards in the mix. I love those Kellogg's UD oddballs

Surprising card to find in a trade package, but it's still a very cool 1971 fleer  World series Laughlin, before they got their official license for current players.

As always with Kenny, it's all about prospects

My first taste of Topps Bunt ! Doesn't really make you want to buy a whole box, but I applaud the concept.

Sorry, Rangers fans, but I'll never grow tired of that bat flip. The Lawrie die cut is real nice too

Finally, AJ (The lost collector) recently had Matt forward cards to me :

Always nice to add a Delgado insert/relic, especially from my favorite brand

Blue Jays cards from recent years, including a Perspectives insert and some 2017 Heritage I needed

And some from my main collecting years, that always bring back a ton of memories !
Thanks AJ !