Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A box break, some buybacks and a HOFer's auto : Thanks Matt !

Matt sent me what may just well be my last cards of the year (*sob*). I got an awesome package from my friend Julie on Saturday (well, our friend, considering how great she is at trading with everybody (did I just call Julie a trading slut (sorry Julie, it's just that I really like the word "slut". Not for its meaning, but because of how it sounds)? I hope I didn't)), but I'll be showing this one off at a later time.

As is often the case now, Matt included the results from our ongoing box breaks series, this time with a box of Topps Update, along with our usual back and forth trading. And because Matt knows how to make me happy, he was also kind enough to include a couple of One Touch holders, as it's really difficult to find supplies here in France.

First, let's get those idiotic buybacks out of the way. Then again, I have to admit it's pretty cool to get one from 1961. And Wilbur will always be a neat name, especially in an old Astros uniform.

Some parallels.

More parallels, including a black bordered /64

 I got what I believe is the sole hit of the box. Though I can understand how annoying it must be to find a manu-relic instead of a patch or auto, I really kind of like it. Plus, it's Ted Williams. And it's quite hefty.

Plenty of Blue Jays for the PC ! Nice to have Tulo and Donaldson in a Blue Jays uniform. David Price is missing, though. Ah well.

So that's it for the box break. Always nice to add some 2015 Topps to the collection !

Now, for the trading aspect of the package :

 New guard vs old guard ! I really like Topps Tek, for some reason. Maybe because of the acetate feel that reminds me of the 90s. Great on-card autos.

I like Topps Tek, but I do think all the variations are silly. I'm still glad to have a low numbered one of Marcus Stroman ( /75)

More PC, this time with one of my favorite players, and a couple of very nice on-card autos, both numbered !

 I sometimes have a feeling Scott Rolen doesn't get the credit he deserves. Or maybe it's just me. Anyway, this is a nice design, though I suspect there are a ton of those to collect from those years !

And finally, I always know that Matt includes that one card that just blows the rest away. I don't know how he does it. Works each time. Last time around, it was a Cal Ripken Jr auto. This time, we stay with somebody who also played his entire HOF career at third base for the Orioles, albeit a generation before :

I promise never to say another mean thing about PANINI ! This is a great card and awesome addition to my collection. I've wanted a Brooks Robinson auto for a very long time but never pulled the trigger. And I can always count on my friends in the blogosphere to help me with such tasks.

Thanks again Matt, you know how much I enjoy our trades and friendship. Here's to next year !

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gavin : my cardsphere hero

Gavin sent cards my way.

I'll pause for effect.


For those who don't realize the whole extent of that sentence, let's just say that Gavin does not like having to deal with the Post Office. And is very vehement about it. Which means international trading is usually out of the question. It's too bad considering how much I enjoy his blog and that we seem to have the same approach towards the hobby, but I can only respect his issues with the post office ! So it's an understatement to say that I was (very happily) surprised when Gavin approached me about sending some of his famous Christmas giveaways and including me in this year's recipients. I now officially feel like I'm part of the family ! It's never easy having to sit by myself at the foreigners' table eating Brussels sprouts while everybody else enjoys his turkey at the cardsphere (yup, coined by Gavin) table.

Before I get to the cards Gavin sent, and while I'm on the subject of the Post Office, I'm always worried that the packages I send don't make it across the Ocean. If you received your Christmas giveaways I sent at the beginning of the month, could you please raise your hands, that way I'll be reassured ? Thanks !

 Custom cards are the best. And this is the last number, which makes it extra special.

Another custom, this time from the (very) limited Cardsphere heroes set Gavin created. Glad to land one of the Griffey parallels !

A more official Griffey, and a much needed one.

More needed Blue Jays, with plenty of shininess of former great players.

And finally, more of a little bit of everything, including those 91 UD team logos that you can never have enough of !

Thanks a lot Gavin for including me in the mix, I'll make sure to send cards back your way ! (my post office lady is a very nice person who always makes me pay very low fares)

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and that your stockings were filled with cards. As for myself, I did get a couple of boxes, but the nincompoop that I am made an error in his spreadsheet, and I asked for a box (99 Stadium Club series 2) that I had already had previously, and I wasn't missing that many cards for the set. A well !

Monday, December 21, 2015

Crooked redemption card

I'll make this one quick, mainly because well, it's basketball and a single card post, which means absolutely nobody is going to read this. Plus, I haven't bought a single card in over a month, so I desperately need to at least go see what's going on on Ebay and Comc (still have a whopping $3 to take off shipping before the end of the year). I had a bunch of cards saved in my cart on Comc, and for some strange reason, I decided to clean out my cookies folder on my computer. Not a very smart move.

Anyway, exactly a year ago, I bought a redemption card on Ebay. For a Charles Oakley autograph for my Knicks PC. I got tired of waiting (seems to me that a year is a reasonable amount of time to officially start complaining), so I sent an email to Panini. A few minutes later, I had an answer. A couple of hours after that, they told me what card they were going to send in its place. And the following day, they'd sent it in the mail. Not bad. Not bad at all. If they didn't often make such ugly cards, I may just consider to start being friends with Panini.

For those still around and who don't follow the NBA, Drummond is having a very good year so far, leading the league in rebounds, and averaging close to 20 points per game for a much improved Detroit Pistons team. I paid the redemption $5 at the time, and I can't say I feel cheated by the replacement card Panini sent my way.

Despite its shape.

And the fact that it scans crooked.
Ah well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Too $hort

Today, I'll keep it nice and short. I'll just show off a couple of cards that were sent to me, out of pure kindness, by fellow bloggers.

This was sent by Adam, from Cardboard Clubhouse, as a Christmas giveaway, along with several other cards for my PC. But this one really stands out. Impossible not to love Casey Stengel cards. Even (especially) in a Mets uniform.

I claimed that card a few weeks ago and Tony (offhiatus, of course) was nice enough to send it to me via Matt (thanks !). I never thought I'd own a Sadaharu Oh card one day (Ok, I never really thought about it), and this is a 1987 Play Ball Japan card, from a 42 card set. This looks to be a manager card. Which would make sense since he retired in 1980 and this is the Yomiuri Giants logo. I'm such a great card detective...I should definitely try to add one from his playing days, now !

thanks a lot guys, those are very appreciated ! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Cribs : the French edition

Before I start working non stop until Christmas (today is my only day off in a span of 17 days), and after sending out my last holiday packages (Matt, Julie, Brian and TJ, your names are called out), I figured it could be fun to show you all the part of my collection that's displayed. I don't have much room as I can only afford a small apartment, but since I live alone, at least I get to act like a teenager if I want to. Why else would I be back into the collecting world ?

So there you go, here's my little French nest.

You will notice that you will see more books than cards. Just the way things are at home...

 This is where I display my favorite cards, so that I can see them as much as possible. Ok, not so much my favorite as those that can stand on their own and that I put in one touch holders. And below, in front of my Bukowski books, some nice Banks and Clementes.

On a top shelf, mainly booklets. A pain to store, but hella easy to display. Feel free to judge me on my dvds. And yes, Flintstones in French is Pierrafeux.

Oops, the flash went off right on Mr Ripken. Ah well. And yes, The Wire, in French, is Sur Ecoute.

I sell comic books for a living. This is one of my shelves. I don't have that many, actually (maybe 400), as I stopped buying some when I started working as a book seller. You can see my sole original A&G on the left.

The flash again did some damage, this time to Mr Starks. Too bad for him. That's the basketball portion of the display.

A couple of Griffeys, including my only GU. I got it when I started collecting again, and didn't really know what I was doing. I'd probably go for a different card today. The Beltre was sent to me by Matt. And on the left, there's a Frank Black autograph (leader of the Pixies).

I was able to buy this long box a few weeks ago. A European vendor carried some (well, they had one, actually), which means I could acquire one without paying $20 shipping. So yay. This is where I store all my GU and autos.

Let's head over to my bedroom. The Mattingly auto Matt sent me for my birthday, and the Indians autographs I got in person at the ballpark 22 years ago. And no, Albert Belle did not sign. Of course he didn't. The pile on the right is a bunch of old Becketts (and a Tuff Stuff).

Mr Brooks Robinson. And some books.

Various greats, and more books.

 A little more of the same.

The Muppets stuffed animal, I got at a Mc Donald's in New York in 1988. I'm a hoarder. It proudly shows off my 1960 Mays though. I really need to get it un-slabbed. I also bought that cereal 1996 Topps box set at the time. I don't know why. I liked the concept, I guess. Because I hate factory sets, I don't see where's the fun in them. The Giants helmet is signed by Phil Simms. Can't say I'm a huge Simms fan, but I wanted a Giants mini-helmet, and having a signed one was almost the same price as unsigned.

No cards, but my collection of sports books. And a Bobby Bonilla Starting lineup. Don't ask...

Of course, I have a bunch of binders.

And my collection is mainly stored in boxes that I receive in trades or when I order online. Very convenient since, once again, I can't buy supplies here.

So there you go, now you know everything about my place ! It's really not impressive, but it's enough to make me happy. I guess that'll do for now...

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ready for takeoff

Well, this took forever to sort and put together, but they're ready to leave the country for better homes.

I still need a few addresses from those who claimed lots, so check your emails, I need to go to the post-office tomorrow, because after this I'm working non-stop until Christmas !

If anybody else is interested in some of the lots I have to offer, don't hesitate, they're up for grabs until I wake up tomorrow !

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Various PWE Masterpieces

Jeff from 2x3 heroes surprised me again with an unexpected (obviously) PWE this week. I haven't been very active on the trading front lately (very busy at work and otherwise) so trade packages have been few and far between, which means this one was very welcome.

As always, Jeff sent a variety of cards from my various collecting wants and needs, and showed he was paying attention, which makes me always feel very fuzzy inside. I also suspect he thought it'd be a great time to send me some comfort cards after the Paris attacks, and if that's the case, I really appreciate it even more.

Vintage Mets ! And it's in great shape too

I don't mean to send ungrateful, but Prizm base cards are still ugly. Needed those though, so in the binders they go !

A couple of parallels (Wall mart black, target red, or maybe it's the other way around) and a brand new shiny chrome

And finally, I expressed my love for UD Masterpieces (like everybody) and just like that, Jeff dug out a few to add to my small but growing stack !

Such beauties (especially the Clemente). Don, I hope you enjoyed your 15 minutes. Though ok, those 15 minutes are lasting a lifetime

Thanks again Jeff, I'll make sure to send some extras with my Christmas giveaway. And in case you guys don't know, I'm sending out free cards, so don't hesitate to claim a lot !

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Free cards : claim your lots !

Ok, so I started looking at what exactly I had to give away.

Looking at my piles, I feel bad actually asking for money for such cards, even if it's just for postage. So here's what we'll do : you can claim any lot (or even several team lots). Yup, just like that, because it's Christmas. I would love to make new trades, so if you feel like sending cards back my way, that'd be great (anything from my Gold Glovers collection or other PC there on the right other than Blue Jays or Griffey base cards). If not, that's ok, I'm happy to just offer some cards that are taking up space.

I should probably take pictures of the lots to spike interest, but quite frankly, I'm too lazy to organize them properly just right now. But what I have to give away is pretty basic, so text will be enough !

I'll do this on a first come first served basis for obvious reasons. All lots come with no duplicates and include at least 50 cards, I'd say.

And if it turns out that nobody loves me, I'll just do what us French people do : drink wine, eat cheese and complain about everything.

Lot 1 : team lots with a little bit of everything. Mainly mid 90s base cards, but stars and semi-stars included. About 50 to 100 cards each.  You can pick up to 3 teams.
Teams already claimed : Reds, Braves. Yankees. Rays. Dodgers. Astros. Red Sox. Giants. Pirates. Mets

Lot 2 : 2013 Allen & Ginter's + 2013 Heritage (about 50 cards) CLAIMED

Lot 3 : PANINI ! Half 2013 Home town Heroes, half 2015 Diamond Kings (about 50 cards) CLAIMED

Lot 4 : 94 + 95 Pinnacle + 94 Select

Lot 5 : 93 Leaf. 3 of those should be available

Lot 6 : Stadium Club. Some 1991, some 97, some 2002, some 2003 (150 cards)

Lot 7 : 95 Upper Deck

Lot 8 : 93 Fleer Ultra (2 lots available)

Lot 9 : 96 + 97 Upper Deck

Lot 10 : 92 Stadium Club (2 lots available)

Lot 11 : Misc Upper Deck: 2005 Pros & Prospects, 2001, 2009, 2007 (100 cards)

Lot 12 : 94 Stadium Club

Lot 13: 2012 Topps (2 lots available)

Lot 14 : 2014 Topps (Series 1)

Lot 15 : 94 Upper Deck CLAIMED

Lot 16 : 1999 Upper Deck MVP + 1995 Collector's choice SE (3 lots available)

Lot 17 : 1993 Upper Deck (4 or 5 lots available)

Lot 18 : Griffey Jr lot

Lot 19 : Mattingly lot

Lot 20 : Bo Jackson + Deion Sanders lot CLAIMED

And that about covers it.
Also, if there are Blue Jays players you collect, don't hesitate to let me know, I have a ton of each.
Let the claiming begin !

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Card giveaway, the transatlantic edition (yes, free cards, absolutely)

Ok, so the month of November is finally over. For those who remember (or actually care), I spent the last month working on my novel. And I'm very happy to announce that I managed to accomplish the impossible to me feat of writing 50 000 words in 30 days. Despite a ton of work and various events you may have heard of that happened in France, I sat behind my computer and wrote and wrote and wrote again. I finished my 50 000 words 1 hour before the deadline. That was close ! But yeah, I'm very proud. I only have something like 30 pages or so to write and I should be done. Then I'll work on being famous.

Anyway, enough about me.
Not that I have a little more time for my card collection (actually, I don't really, as I now have to work on my music album, due out at the beginning of the year), I figured I might as well use the whole Christmas spirit to offer to send out some cards.

But first, I'll be testing the waters to see if anybody's interested.

Here's what I have in mind : as most of you know, I'm mainly a 90s type of guy (mid-90s, so no junk wax in my piles. Well, hardly any), but I also open boxes of a little bit of everything. Nothing high-end, though, just cards I think are nice. I probably have about 5 000 cards I wish to divide up in lots (probably of about 100 cards each). Team, players, sets etc.  Since most of you are team collectors, I'll mainly be focusing on dispatching them that way. Obviously, I have plenty of duplicates of my own PC, and those will be included, as I don't keep doubles.

Shipping isn't cheap, and even though I feel generous and I want to spread a little French love upon you all, I also have some gifts to buy to my family and friends, so I can't just go out and spend all my money on stamps. For those who simply want to claim a lot, just send $6 by paypal and I'll send it out, no strings attached (such a package will cost me about $9 to send, but that's ok). Those who wish to trade will get their lots for free. Send back whatever you think is fair, I'm not too picky (just avoid Blue Jays base cards, those are covered). It'll also be a great way to make new trade partners.

Anyway, before I start organizing everything, is this something you people might be interested in ? I figure I need at least 10 participants to make this worthwhile, so don't hesitate to comment !