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 !

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 !