Thursday, October 22, 2015

Buying blind

I love buying cards on justcommons. They're my own virtual dime boxes and offer great shipping prices. Today, I received 300 cards I hand picked during the last months (I started adding 93 UD cards in May, I think).
Unlike Ebay or Comc, when I shop on justcommons, I have no idea what the cards look like. I'll usually use my carddatabase checklist, choose a few years (I'll focus on the 90s at first) and check to see if they have some Blue Jays I need. I try not to purchase cards that are over .30 cts, except for very high end commons that I know I won't find in lots or on Comc.

I won't bore you with my Blue Jays purchases (for now). I'd rather bore you with other sets that were included with my order :

93 UD inserts ! and one of the better looking ones. I'm now only  missing 5 out of the 20 that comprise the set. And yeah, they chip easily because of the black border, but I don't really care about the condition of my cards, to tell the truth.

First, UD Masterpieces ! 2007 and 2008. I love that set (who doesn't ?). I tried finding complete sets at a decent price, but no luck there (especially when you factor in the shipping charges). So I just added cards randomly, not even looking at what they looked like on comc before. I'm crazy that way.

Ok, for 1973 Topps, I didn't buy them blindly. I looked on comc first and picked up whatever action shots I could find for cheap (less than .20cts I think). I'm happy with the result !

So there you go....I love blind trades so much that I'm even doing it with my own purchases...

Monday, October 19, 2015

150 years and counting

While I try to understand why the Blue Jays insist on losing their first two games in each playoff series, here are some cards I got off the same Ebay seller the other day. Those are completely random, as always when I shop around at the same place and try to minimize shipping costs.

But hey, random is fun. I think.

Not as heralded as the die-cut 94 version, I still really like the design

I remembered that insert set from back in the day, and I thought it was pretty fun. FOr those who don't know, Big Unit is an avid photographer, and he took about 15 pictures of fellow big leaguers. This one isn't the most fun (you should check some of the others), but the design and photo work well together. Plus, it's a 90s insert !

Another favorite of mine, though I largely prefer the original Slideshow insert. It's transparent acetate this time. There's a second Griffey from that set, I'll have to grab it at some point.

I seem to understand that the signatures tend to fade away, on Sweet spot. I still like the idea though.

Another Sweet Spot, with a very clean signature (the blurry aspect is my fault) of a Gold glove favorite. If I had to be someone's supercollector (sounds weird, like saying 'if I had to be someone's sugar daddy'), I'd probably chose Scott Rolen. He played for the Blue Jays, he was incredible at 3rd base and there are tons and tons of his cards out there. And all are very affordable (this one cost me $3 for example). Or maybe Andruw Jones. I'll think about it.

And finally, a completely random 56 Topps of a player I'd never heard of (who played 9 years and had a couple very decent seasons). But it's '56 Topps, so I grab them when I see them for cheap (99 cts here). Maybe I'll complete the set. In about 10 years.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jump around

Last night's game was absolutely amazing.
I was very excited about that game 5, and felt they were in the right momentum. Plus, with Stroman on the mound, despite his young age, I really felt good about the Blue Jays' chances. The game started at 10 pm for me and ended at 2 am. The 7th inning alone (one that will go down in history) lasted 53 minutes. I was in such a frantic state of excitement that there was no way I could go to bed anyway.

There I was, alone at my place (nobody wants to watch baseball with me, it's non-negociable. "not even a 5 hour 14 inning thriller ?", I ask. And no one answers in all of France), jumping up and down, watching live on MLB tv and sometimes looking at the gameday feed because I knew there was a one pitch delay between both and I just couldn't take the suspense (ok, I only did this for the 9th inning, but they were KILLING ME).

I actually felt scared when the Rangers scored at the top of the 7th on that improbable play. Good thing they won, it would've been tough for Martin to recover from that.
And endorphines swarmed all throughout my brain when Bautista hit his HR. Who can blame him for staring a little as the ball soared, or for the bat flip ? He wasn't showing them off. He was just reacting to the incredible tension and electricity there must have been in the stadium. My friend Rich was at the game (no, he did not throw any beer) and he told me the intensity was palpable and everything went wild. Thank God for smart phones, because how can you expect to understand what's going on simply by looking at what's happening on the field, after what looked like batter's interference ?

I hadn't felt like that because of sports since the 98 World Cup final (France won against Brazil 3-0, in France).I did have a similar rush watching Jordan win all those championships live in the middle of the night. That amazing feeling you have where you're smiling so hard you can't possibly get to sleep. It must be strange for you to read this, as the game was at 4 pm for you...

But yeah, the toughest part was not having anyone to talk to about the game. A friend of mine was sharing my anxiety on social media, but I didn't want to bore her with the specifics of the game and why the 7th inning was craziness impersonated. So I sent an email to Matt. Who offered to jump up and down too. Out of solidarity.

What a game.

And this has better be next year's Stadium Club picture for Jose's card !

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mets vintage travel overseas : a Mark Hoyle trade package

Mark and I have been exchanging a lot of cards in the past year, as I'll be sending him some modern Red Sox and Celtics, and he'll reply with some nice vintage baseball and basketball. But since there are no pre-1977 Blue Jays cards (obviously), I asked him if he wouldn't have any Mets laying around (at least, if the Blue Jays are eliminated tonight or tomorrow, I'll still have some hope for my second favorite team - sorry Night Owl).

And of course, he did.

But not before he sent some modern cards by his standards, and those are much needed :

You'll notice an Aaron Sanchez mini 2015 A&G. It so happens that it's my first card from that set.

I love that '71 Agee, and I'm also a big fan of the In Action subset.

More 72s !

First time I've ever run into that set, so I had to do a little research, as the backs don't tell much (it appears to be some kind of game). Turns out that those are 72 Milton Bradley cards, and that you play the game with a couple of dice.

 One day, when I'm really deep into my Blue Jays collection and there are no commons (or 90s) cards left to chase, I might tackle 1973 Topps. Maybe. I'll add this to the list entitled 'Yeah right'. Always nice to add a Yogi card, even as a manager.

And finally, we round this out with some 74 Topps !

Thanks a lot Mark for that very nice selection of 70s cardboard ! You gave my vintage Mets collection a nice kickstart.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Como se dice vintage, in Spanish ?

Yeah, it's going to be another one of those 'hey look I got new cards' kind of post. Then again, it's pretty much all I've got in stock, I'm afraid. But I still try to make them somewhat entertaining. Sometimes.

I've been posting a little less lately, mainly because I haven't been adding that many cards to my collection (but I've been very active on ebay for the past couple of weeks, plus I've finally pulled the trigger on my justcommons order that's been waiting patiently in the online cart for 5 months), but also because of something else I wanted to share with you guys : I'm trying to write a novel. Yup, absolutely, everybody and their grand-mothers have written novels in their lives (how can so many people have so much to write about and think that others want to read them ?), but what can I say, I think I'm special. Anyway, I've been on and off about it for 3 or 4 years now, and this time I'm fully committed. I have the idea, and all it's really about is hard work and trying to find a few hours each day to write. So far I have 20 000 words written in a month, and I'll use the energy  and perseverance of Nanowrimo to write 50 000 more by the end of November.

So woohoo, I'm excited about that. And of course, I'm writing in French, rest assured, I won't be botching your lovely language.

Anyway, here are some nice cards I received today :

This one should help for the playoff push

When I left the hobby, Jose Cruz Jr was a major star, with cards carrying a premium. I got this one for .99cts.

I bought those 3 cards as fillers for the one right underneath. Because you pay $2 fees minimum with Comc no matter how many cards you have shipped to your mailbox. And it's .50 ct per card. So the math wizz that I am figured he might as well try and get at least 4 cards shipped. Quite the smart guy, Mr Papoy. I got Pirates and Twins because of my trade partners, but it's still a great looking set.

I paid $17 for that card, and I'm very happy I did. The overall condition isn't that bad (of course, there's a mark and a slight crease on the top right), but I've always said it's not really a factor. All I wanted was to be able to say that yes, absolutely, I do have a 65 Clemente in my collection, sure, oh ok, my place or your place ?

But maybe I'm just daydreaming...

Sunday, October 4, 2015

3 x 2 x 3 PWE

It's not everyday that I receive PWEs. Mainly because you can't really trust a feeble envelope to make it safely across the ocean. But one thing's for sure, it's a great way to save a few precious dollars on shipping, as the USPS is clearly brutal with their international fees. A couple of forever (international) stamps later, and here I am with an envelope filled with goodies (you can send about 25 cards that way) sent over by Jeff, at 2x3 heroes. Jeff is one of the funniest guys out there and it's always a treat to read his blog. Especially when he was offering to send that card out to me :

I suppose you need to be a Blue Jays fan to know who Devon Travis is, especially since he's been injured since the end of July. He was named Rookie of the month for April and was having a very solid year. Let's hope his shoulder surgery goes well. It's still a very nice chrome on card auto, so thanks for thinking of me Jeff !

As a White Sox collector, he also has some Big Hurt extras for my collection :

One less card to find for my 93 UD master set project. And one of the better inserts, too.

The Spirit of the game insert is also a favorite of mine. And yes, this is (former Blue Jay great) George Bell...but lookie here :

Ooooooooh. There he iiiiiiiiiiis !

I opened a box of 93 Leaf recently, so I have a few of those. But I didn't have INTENSE Frank. Great looking insert too (ah, the 90s...).

The greatest invention since French bread : holograms !

I only have something like 100 Frank Thomas cards, which means I'm missing a ton of base cards. Including those. You know I haven't been collecting someone very seriously when I'm missing Upper Deck base cards of his.

I love that Fleer card !

Jeff noticed that I added pre 1977 Mets cards to my PC, so he included that 1964 topps card. I love vintage. As a matter of fact, I've just won a major significant card on Ebay. I'll be showing it in a month or so, the time for it to make it to COMC and then to me. But I am psyched !

And finally, some Gold Glovers

Thanks a lot Jeff, I needed the vast majority of what you sent. A return package will be headed your way soon !

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Finally !

Woohoo !

In 1993, I missed the World Series because, well, I was living in France. I couldn't even see a single footage, a single video, hardly even photos. There were no broadcasts, and forget about hearing it on the news.

Here we are, 22 years later, and I can finally watch meaningful baseball in September. I won't even have to sweat through a Wild card game, and that's a major plus ! I've watched as many Blue Jays games as I could thanks to, including yesterday's clincher, even though it was a blowout.

Man am I psyched !

So psyched I'm not even planning on showing a single baseball card to illustrate it.

I'm going rogue !