Monday, August 31, 2015

A Griffey here, a Griffey there, Griffeys everywhere

A few weeks ago, I showed that incredible package TJ, from The Junior Junkie, sent overseas. I won't get into details, but money was exchanged, the post-office got much richer, and my Griffey collection took a major giant leap (I basically doubled it). There was no way i could find anything to send TJ in exchange for some of the Griffey doubles he was looking to move, which is why I offered to buy some off him. And of course, he cut me an amazing deal, and sent 450 different, hand-picked, penny-sleeved Griffeys just for me.

The ones I'll be showing here are the ones that were new to me and that made their way to my Griffey binder (this is already the fourth "Griffey" in that blog post). If there are any GRiffey (5) collectors out there, don't hesitate to contact me, I have a lot of Griffey (6) duplicates to trade.

This here is an exception. I already own this card. But this just may be my favorite insert set of all time, so it's a pleasure to scan and show it again !

But before I get to Griffey (7), TJ being one of the greatest trade partners out there, he also included some extras.

Papoys ! Yeah, because of the movie, we're all sick of Minions, granted. But they're still very funny.

TJ knows how much I love holograms ! I'll never have enough of them. Any sport. Any player. I'm pretty sure that holograms secretly hold the real meaning of life, if we look at them long enough.

Archives autos are the best , followed closely by in person autos. I do wonder where it came from though.

2015 Stadium Club, including this great shot of Donaldson (I can't believe this is September and the Blue Jays are very well in contention).

And now, back to our regular programm...I'll show them by brand. Just because that's what I decided. TJ only sent me inserts, subsets, parallels, oddballs and otherwise tougher to find base cards of unconventional brands. Enjoy !


Shiny bowmans. And yeah, same outfit, but a few more pounds separate those mid-90s from that sunset card.


There was something about those Dominator cards that really appealed to me back in the days. I already had the other one from that set (and a couple Blue Jays), and wouldn't mind completing the set.


Fleer has sure always loved box sets and checklists

And inserts. I really loved opening packs of 94 Fleer because I knew there'd be a ton of inserts in them. I wonder if you can still call them inserts, at that point... The All star one, with the American flag in the background was one I especially liked.

Ultras !

That EX on the right side looks kind of tacky, but it's actually real cool in person. And nothing beats the Metal weirdness.

I wasn't around to witness Sports Illustrated cards, but the few I've come across really seem interesting. Or is it just me ? Skybox, Circa, Thunder etc were bad ideas.

And then, all of a sudden, Fleer became a very, very confusing brand. I'm still trying to make sense of what they were trying to do at the beginning of the millennium. Survive, I suppose. And they failed.


"The Leaf set". How cool is that ? Very.

I'm also a big fan of what they did in 97 and 98.

I had the Blue Jays ones from that metal (literally) collection. I like those a lot, even though they probably aren't good for my 9 pocket pages, considering how heavy they are. Ah well.

Is it me, or did Leaf kind of lose it after 98 ? That 3 year hiatus didn't help, I suppose, and Playoff isn't Pinnacle...Speaking of which :


The Team 2000 insert is a very well designed one

Maybe Pïnnacle experimented just a little too much...(that Zenith card is awesome)


Those 92 Score All Star cards sure are something. Something ugly, of course, but still something

I've always had a soft spot for those Gold Rush cards. Can't explain why. Especially considering how parallel cards annoy the heck out of me these days.

And finally, some Select Griffeys (8)

So there you go for the first up : Topps, Upper Deck, and an incredible bunch of oddballs !

Monday, August 24, 2015

Box Break : 1997 Upper Deck

I wasn't collecting much in 1997, so I didn't have a chance to realize how great a set 97 Upper Deck really is. The Junior Junkie wrote a great piece (centered around Griffey, naturally) about it already, and if there's one thing I'm not, it's thorough, so I'll just show a few things that caught my eye and made me smile.

Because I'm all about smiles.

I could'nt put together a complete set just with the box, but since I'm only missing something like 16 cards for the Series 2 set, I'll probably put a want list up. Someday. Maybe. If I'm ever done sorting the tons of cards coming my way each month.

Upper Deck have always been great at designing inserts. They're never really flashy or mind-blowing, but always elegant and interesting. It's the case here, with a nice canvas-like background. (Vlady is reaaaaaaaaally skinny on that card)

More inserts of somewhat forgotten stars.

I like the Predictor concept. And I like even more the fact that I pulled a Griffey. As for the others, well, I'm very scared to scratch those predictions, just in case they might be right. Bonds, Caminiti, may not like what the future holds for you.

 They used a lot (and I mean, a lot) of paper foil for their subsets. So much so that you can't even read the card, sometimes. But at least, you get another skinny Vlady ! The name Chouinard cracks me could translate it by 'crybaby'. You don't want to be called that growing up.

Gold foil does give a small touch of class to a card.

Those are part of the base set, but are SPs (those are the only 4 that I pulled out of 10. Which means that 6 of the 16 cards I'm missing for the set are actually from the Griffey Hot List Sps). They look really great !

The one thing that stands out, of course, is the time stamp. You know exactly when the picture was taken and what the context was. Even the backs of the cards are interesting. If I'd been a kid in 97, I'd probably have spent a lot of time reading those cards again and again, maybe even playing with the timelines. I don't know. I had a lot of free time, as a kid...

UD sure love their multi exposure shots. The Chad Curtis one is an awesome idea, yet simple.

More foil, this time with those bronze, unreadable stamps. Nice fish. And great shot of Jeter.

 World Series cards, and you don't even need to create a subset for them !

And finally, the usual perfect photography used by Upper Deck.

So there you go, a very short analysis of 97 UD II. And I'm sure I could uncover some real gems by taking the time to look at each card carefully.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

European Connection : a surprise package

The Dutch card guy surprised me yesterday with a few awesome cards that perfectly fit my collection

A couple of neat on card 2015 SC autos. I already have the Sanchez auto, which means I need the Donaldson (too expensive for me) and the Pompey. Stroman should be back from surgery next year, and Norris (#1 Blue Jays prospect) was shipped to Detroit in the David Price deal.

Donruss shouldn't exist, but those Diamon Kings sure look (and feel) nice !
Thanks a lot for surprising me with those cards, Jeroen, I'll make sure to hit you back. Maybe not with Glavines, as your collection is way too impressive for that !

On an unrelated note, I've decided on a new collection (yeah, I know, yet another one...but I just can't focus, what can I say...). Since the Blue Jays came around at the same time I did (in 1977), this means that there are no vintage cards to collect. And I love vintage, and any excuse to add some to my collection is welcome. Hence my new collection : vintage New York Mets. The Mets are my second favorite team, having lived in Queens a looooong time ago. So if you have any Mets cards from 62 to 77, I'd be happy to trade for them ! I'll put a pin on the Ryan/Koosman rookie for now...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A box of 94 Pinnacle series 2

One of my secret projects (please don't tell anybody) is to try and collect as many cards from 93 and 94 as possible. Ideally, every set and inserts from the main brands (let's forget about parallels such as 93 refractors, shall we). I chose those years because, of course, those are the years I was the most active in the hobby (spent 2 summers in the US in 93 and 94, and even though I still subscribed to Beckett and tried to acquire cards here and there after that, it was close to impossible without the advent of the Internet, which I got in 98, and my interest was already waning).

Anyway, I might as well start somewhere, and 94 Pinnacle is as good a place as any. I already have a complete series 1 set, so here comes (Johnny) series 2.

A couple of Tribute inserts, including one for my Big Hurt PC. And another one for my 'PED users nobody likes anymore' binder.

 The lone Artist's proof of the box. I could've done better.

Dufeeeeeeeeeeeeex. As a 90s hobby enthousiast, there's no way I can't absolutely love those.

There were quite a few Blue Jays I was missing, including those sweet ones (the Dave Stewart is pretty cool)

The mandatory Walt Weiss, for my pal Matt.

They used the same photo as the classic 93 UD for Alicea. Though it's not quite the same photo, as the angle is different. The UD one is actually a better one, I think, less out of focus on the bat.

As for the rest, I'll let the picture do the talking (or writing)

And finally, a couple of great cards of great soon to be retired players.

The one thing I love about Pinnacle is that it takes the best from Stadium Club with a little UD in it. The perfect mix. I'm glad I rediscovered those 20 years later.