Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mama said knock you out

Ok, so where was I ?
Oh yeah...less money blablabla less time to blog blablabla less trades blablabla still enjoying the hobby very much though etc etc.

I did however manage to grab a few cards off ebay (mainly for trades) to avoid collapsing from withdrawal. Be warned though, this isn't going to be very exciting !

I wasn't really around when the whole parallels craze came about in the late 90s, but I do understand that those certified gold were a pain to find (1:299 if my memory serves me right, and I'm just too lazy to check right now (God I hope nobody reads that blog to learn anything)). This is the very first of my collection, and at .99 ct I'm sure it's still a bargain 20 years after its release. And yeah, I did peel it off.

Shawn Green has been signing a lot of cards lately, which is fine by me as I've always liked him even if he's probably better known for his Dodgers playing days.

Yes, absolutely, that card is definitely ugly. But I've always wanted a Byron Scott auto in my collection. I don't know why. Probably because I've watched my Back to Back VHS hundreds of times (it came with a subscription to a basketball magazine and is the tale of their back to back championships from 88-89). I'll probably never own a Magic auto, but James Worthy is next on my list.

So there you go, three very random cards for a random post !
I'll be back.
I promise.
Don't forget about me. We're still friends.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Making a pause during the Olympics to show off cards

Things have been very slow lately card-wise at Papoy HQ in France. No new cards added in July (I was away most of the time on vacation instead of gorging myself in 90s cardboard like I usually do in the summer) and I haven't received a trade package since the month of May. I definitely need to address that issue and start packing cards to send out to my fellow bloggers !

Before going to Britanny, I did however have Comc send a few cards I had accumulated from a couple ebay dealers the previous weeks. This allowed me to see that they increased shipping from $3 to $5. Ah well. Still way worth it and a great all around service.

Woohoo, one of my main PC guy's first auto ! There are many Vizquel autos available out there, but I was just waiting for the right card, I suppose, and decided this was it. Got it for $11 I think , and it's nice and on-card.

This one seller had those two cards with BIN options. I made an offer ($6 each) which was accepted, and that's pretty normal since those are not encased. And man, I love that collection. So much that I then realized I already had the Dave Stieb (forgot to put it in my spreadsheet, so that had me fooled). I now have 2 mustache-less Dave Stieb autos in my collection. On the other hand, this is my first Jimmy Key auto, who was really underrated in his Blue Jays days.

 The good thing about a player being assigned to the minors is that his cards (usually) stay cheap. I'm hoping he gets called up next season despite a so-so season at AAA.

Those two shouldn't be reassigned any time soon. I liked those cards, and even more the fact that they were .99ct each. Not that they're really worth more

A couple of real nice quad Museum Collection relics. Unless I get completely mad, I'll never open one of those high end boxes, so cherry picking cards here and there ($5 each) is a nice option. I especially like that red fabric on the Donaldson. Maybe it's from Canada Day.

And finally, a random card of a random player. A good player, mind you (out for the season apparently), but random to me. But I picked it up because I thought the patch was very purty and I like my cards to be pretty, even when they're of Cardinals players.

So there, finally some cards to show off here ! Hope everybody's having a nice summer, I'll go back to watching the Olympics 10 hours per day !

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The numbers game

I stink at maths. I always have. Mainly because I decided around 14 years old, when it started getting more complicated at school, that I simply didn't understand it. The truth was more that I just didn't want to study maths and completely forgot to make any effort. It was very convenient.

But the truth is that I love baseball because I love statistics. Same reason why I got into poker (like everybody else) some 12 years ago. I wouldn't do the maths in my head (because I'm not that smart), but I did know every probability possible depending on every configuration possible. All I had to do then was calculate pot odds, which is in my ballpark.

As for baseball statistics, I'd never be able to devise any (again, not that smart), but I love looking at all those numbers. I remember looking very closely at box scores in the paper when I first learned about the game. Much more interesting than basketball or football stats.

So when I heard about that book, I knew I needed it right away. And I received it today. I'm psyched. Can't wait to read it !

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dealing with dampness

I don't know if you've heard, but a few weeks ago there were major floodings in France in general and in the Paris area in particular. The Seine was very very high because of non-stop rain for 30 hours which had a lot of people panicking and subways shut down. It finally stopped raining before chaos ensued and we could all go back to our lives.

My town (30 miles from Paris) was also touched, with several streets with 5 feet of water in them. My book store was far from all that so no damage there, and so is my apartment. However, I did notice that it was way damper than usual. Nothing major, nothing that would make cardboard rot, but I was putting some of my stacks of cards in boxes earlier on and noticed that they were a little damp.

And I like my cards fresh and crisp !

I was wondering if anyone had any experience dealing with dampened (is that even a word ?) cards ? Will they stay that way ? Once again, it's noticeable but nothing severe and nor marks on the cards themselves. They just feel a little softer than they should. Are they ruined ? Is there anything I can do ? SHould I hire people to blow on them 24/7 ?

Close call

Phew, that was I received my 2014 Bowman Chrome box, that I picked for our transatlantic box break. Another day and it'd marked the first time since I came back into the collecting world that I did not add any cards to my collection in a whole month.

I'm slipping.

There was a good deal on that box on a French website (the lone website here that sells cards, actually), as it was $80 instead of the 110/120 you find on the Internet. That's what happens I suppose when there's a possibility (very remote) of finding a Bryant auto.

I'm very happy I didn't pay over $100 for it. It was a fun box to break, though I'm not used to 4 card packs, but the cards are shiny, the refractors too and the inserts are crazy. Plus, there were 2 on card autos guaranteed per box, which made it a good candidate for us.

The autos look nice, but they're basically of nobodys (Kenny might confirm). The great hit in the box was that Solarte printing plate. First time ever I've gotten a printing plate in a pack, so that's exciting ! His stint as a Yankee was very short, but it's still on my pile, as I had the AL East. I also get the O'Neill auto.

Refractors and inserts ! The Trumbo is numbered out of 75 and is also mine (very sorry guys, I wish the box had been a little more balanced). Bowman sure went all in with the die-cutting there, and I won't be one to complain.

I hardly ever buy Bowman products because I don't know squat about prospects, but I have to admit the experience wasn't that bad ! But at close to $1 per card, I'll definitely wait for deals to come up before I commit

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Today is my birthday (yay me ! (thank you, thank you)). Which of course, always reminds me of my oh my how time flies and how 20 years ago I was graduating from high-school and slowly getting out of the hobby (and into women, but I have no idea if those are related).

Slowly sipping my orange juice this morning, I realized I don't really have a dream card. The Holy Grail I'd do anything to have in my collection. There are some truly iconic cards I wouldn't mind having, of course (pre-war stars, 52 Mantle etc.), but nothing I dream about. I'm a product of the 90s, which probably explains it. I love vintage cards, as you know, but grew up looking at the little arrows in Beckett on modern cards and wondering if I'd ever be able to get a Griffey UD RC (I did, thanks to Wes and Matt). That was my dream card.

I don't even know what I'd pick if I had to choose just one card, admitting that all cards are equal in value. I shouldn't write this, but I find the Mantle/Griffey from UD actually ugly, so this one wouldn't make the cut.

I'd probably go for sentimental value. To bring me back to my daydreaming days.


Here's what I'd pick :

But without the plastic case.
You can't put a plastic case in  a wallet.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Supertrading high five : crunching numbers

This post is a double thank you (two is an easy number to crunch). First off, to Wes for once again hooking me up with great Blue Jays cards. All the ones I'll be showing here are cards that I needed for my collection, which says a lot ! My second thank you goes out to my friend Matt (Bob Walk the plank, of course), who's been serving as a port transit which allows me to be part of the Supertrading experience. This type of solidarity, coupled with everybody's generosity, really means a lot to me and shows how special and unique the blogging community is. We are all such beautiful nerds...

Anyway, Wes sent one of his trademark packages, ie filled with numbered parallels and inserts, autos and, well, just a little bit of everything wrapped in awesomeness.

Not one...not two...not three...not four...but yes, absolutely, six different autos. This would be perfect for a Sesame Street segment.

 All parallels, (almost) all numbered. Always great to add some Big Hurt as a Blue Jays.

Sweet Delgado patch ! And an encased Pristine numbered card. Encased cards always look nice. But only when they come with that Topps seal. Otherwise they're just silly with their grades, just like in school. And I hate to think that my cards can have low self esteems just because the teacher gave them a 3 or a 4 simply because they had fun instead of staying locked up all their lives.

 Cards from that era right here right now. The Reyes is numbered /50, and that Topps Romero up there looks very weird without the name plate. I'll add it to my binder and label it an error !

More numbered cards, including the Wells, except it's on the back. You'll just have to trust me on that one.

Oooooh, 90s ! Yay ! I love those Press Proof parallels. It's funny, but it's easy for me to hate Clemens, but not Canseco. Canseco is just too lovable.

And finally, some 80s oddballs, and one of those gorgeous 84 Donruss.

Another package from Wes, another great bunch of cards to sort and have fun with. Thanks again !

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Subjective part of the triple break

I believe Brian showed those on his blog already, but it's always nice to remind the world what a nice thing we've got going, Matt, Brian and I, and how much fun those box breaks are. And I'm not saying this because I often end up with very nice cards !

Never heard of Robertson, but it's still a numbered ( /99) green parallel !

 Ooooh, a nice dual auto just for me ! And it's numbered out of /50, which is always a plus. I don't know if it's its real worth, but there's one on Ebay that sold recently for $80. Not bad at all.

The usual Blue Jays suspects and prospects. Pretty cool dual Guerreros.

As always, Brian was his usual very cool self and included something extra just for my pretty eyes.

 Fan favorites on amazing 90s cards. I really love that PInnacle card, I'm sure I could perfect my tan just by looking at it.

Can't go wrong with orange parallels and with Sports Illustrated cards. I really wish I could open a box of that product one day (at a reasonable price, I mean). And yeah, that Delgado card reads 'New York Mets' and the patch islikely from a NY uniform, but 1/ it's Delgado so I don't care and 2/ he's in a Blue Jays uniform on the picture, so it still counts as PC !

That first Griffey is absolute perfection. Like many, I also have a soft spot for Leaf numbered inserts, and Total bases has always been a favorite of mine. I just love the way they feel.

We close out that very nice and well rounded trade package with more SI goodness and....a basketball card ! Not every day I get some of those.

Thanks a lot Brian !

Monday, May 30, 2016

A day to remember (bad pun intended)

Yeah, I'm making a crack at a National Holiday pun, I'm not sure I should...ah well...I've got immunity.

Today I received a few trade packages courtesy of my good friend Matt, from Bob Walk the Plank. He forwarded nice packages from Supertrader guru Wes and from Doug (thanks guys !), but more on those another day. Right now I'll focus on the results from our Transatlantic triple break, as this time Matt chose 2016 PANINI Dk. We had a lot of fun opening a couple of boxes of the strong 2015 effort, so I was excited about seeing this year's collection.

Framed parallels, including the Winfield (PC !), numbered to 99, and a certain Mike Trout.

I've been quite lucky with our box breaks, and this time again I got the main hit. A nice low numbered (/25) Mookie Betts auto. Yay ! (sorry guys !)

 Some really cool inserts, and I especially like the two on the right. Considering the year Prince Fielder is having, it's fitting to have him on a mini card.

 And finally, the Blue Jays base cards, and a Bautista (I can hear your booing from here) insert.

I liked the base card design from last year better, but it's never easy to repeat such a success, and PANINI didn't do too bad of a job (for once).

Parallel to our box breaks, we can't help it but we just need to send each other some cards. Just the way our relationship goes. And boy oh boy does Matt know how to round up a nice trade package. And that's the understatement of the year.

I absolutely love those silver framed cards. I pulled one from a pack last year and they're nice and hefty and impressive. Plus, it's the first number ! Wow.

Another set that I love : the A&G mini framed autos. A simple brilliant idea. Edwin is having a slow year so far (as most of the Blue Jays, that is), let's hope his stats pick up at some point.

PANINI did a great job also with those National Treasures cards.  Great looking affordable memorabilia cards, that come with on-card autos. A real beauty !

Great looking on card auto on a high end set from the Blue Jays closer (he was born in 1995...this is depressing).

And BAM ! Just when I thought I couldn't take anymore great cards, Matt surprises me with a certified Big Hurt auto. Just like that. That's the kind of card you never expect to receive in a trade. But I've learned to expect anything from my trading friends in general. I'm speechless (well almost, because PSA/DNA always cracks me up, the DNA part has me wondering if they have CSI experts there).

Thanks a lot Matt, you know how much I appreciate all of those. Now I definitely need to do some shopping...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Card from the Junior Bayou

I don't even know if there are any bayous near New Orleans...ah well.

Before I start with that trade post, I need to make a sincere apology. I received several great trade packages, but I won't be able to show them off because, as I said in an earlier post, the stack fell down and everything got shuffled. Over 100 cards are concerned, and it'd just feel silly to make another giant post without properly thanking the right person. According to my spreadsheet, those should be cards from Adam (Infield fly rule), P-Town Tom and Mike Matson. I'm truly very sorry, I hate not showing off cards that are sent to me, especially considering overseas costs and the time it took to put those together. But do know they are greatly appreciated and the cards will find a way in my binders.Won't happen again !

Junior Junkie's stack was put somewhere else, so it was safe from my madness and remained intact. Here's a sample of what TJ sent me, as we all know he never makes a trip to the Post Office for nothing.

Awesome custom card ! and a nice summary of America.

Look at that un-punched, smooth baby face (love that deckle insert though). I won't comment on the other day's incidents, simply because I choose not to care about overpaid grown men fighting with caps and hats on because of dumb unwritten rules (oh wait, I did comment after all). I hope we aren't done with Evolution just yet.

Always a treat to add new Delgado cards ! I really like those Etchings cards, with that little piece of wood on them. Even if it's with that logo that reminds blue jays fans of dire times. Thames has a very lazy signature and only had a short stint with the Blue Jays, but is now having a great career in the Korean League. Plus, he plays for a team called the Dinos. Doesn't get much better than that.

 there aren't many Alomars from his playing days that I'm missing, but here's one ! And I love how that 1988 sticker has the old Panini logo on it. Reminds me of when I'd collect them. Except there were'nt any baseball albums, just Smurfs and soccer.

 More modern cards ! Ok, I have to admit I had no idea Jayson Werth ever played for the Blue Jays. Apparently he played in 40 games over a couple of years. I'll have to check, but I don't think I have any card of his in a Blue Jays uniform. Don't know if any exist (quick, to the BatComcmobile)

Collecting hell wouldn't be complete without modern parallels...and that Dickey card is very special : it's a Panini Pinnacle card that I do not hate. They don't come around that often. Cool clear acetate card.

And finally, since I'm French, TJ figures I must like soccer. Well, he's right. There's even a French player in there !

Thanks a lot for thinking of me in your giant mailday, TJ ! I hand picked some Griffeys for you that I know you already received, but I'll be on the lookout for more to make up for your fantastic trade packages !

Sunday, May 8, 2016

1993 Flash cards

Sorting through my 93 Topps cards from that giant cello box I opened, I suddenly remembered something.

Of course, I already mentioned that those were my very first baseball cards (I'd pick them up when the sole place in all of France to carry baseball cards, ie a book store with very little choice, did not have any Upper Deck), which means it brings back a lot of memories of opening packs in the Paris subway with my best friend. The thing is that I knew nothing about baseball. I didn't know any players, hardly any teams and only the very basic rules. As I've said before, there was (and still is) no baseball on French tv, no newspaper coverage, no mention of the World Series. Baseball is non-existent here. And of course, since those were the early nineties, I didn't even know the existence of that thing we call the Internet.

And since I was fascinated by those 2 x 3 cardboard pieces, I wanted to know everything there was to know about the sport and its players (I did the same with Hockey a couple years later, but only for a short time).

What I had forgotten was how it was made possible thanks to 93 Topps. Here's why :

League leaders in red and italic, and ties have that little diamond beside (I suppose the asterisk is too connoted). All I had to do afterwards was compare stats and players to each other. It then became apparent that 20 wins, 200 Ks, 40 saves, an ERA around 3, 40 HR, 100 RBIs, 200 hits, a .300 avg etc. was what I was looking for to know which players were above the others. Thank God this wasn't a sabermetrics era, as there's no way I would've figured anything out ! (yeah, I'm not that smart, don't let my French accent fool you).

And when I went to Cleveland in the summer of 93, I made some friends there with whom to play baseball, and they explained to me what those stats actually meant. And I was even more hooked.

So yay, UD made me love baseball cards, but Topps made me love baseball.

Oh, and looky what I pulled :

Woohoo !

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The day after

Well, it's official, I had a ton of fun. It took me something like 3 hours to open everything, and today I'm planning on sorting everything out, weeding out doubles, and turn back the clock 23 years. Of course, I didn't hit anything major. Then again, except maybe an elusive Jerry West autograph (has anybody ever found one of those ?) or a Jordan First day issue, there wasn't much to hope for in terms of *cough* value.

The glue they used on Fun cards fold outs is of course all dried up, which means I can't open them without ripping them up. Ah well. I have enough doubles to rip some and keep others ! And I had almost forgotten how it was pretty common back then to have duplicates right in a pack. Ah, I miss those days...

I will now send 93 Topps commons to all Supertraders ! Yay ! I hope you like Walt Weiss...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Well, this should be fun !
So many worthless 90s cards. Boy oh boy. And a couple of A&G and Heritage blasters.
(the 91-92 UD box is the very first one I ever openend, back in 92. Takes me way, way back !)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

How do I love thee, 90's inserts, let me count the ways

Since I had some cards that I had won on Ebay transiting through Comc, I figured I might as well do a little shopping there too. And the one thing I love to use Comc for, is to get inserts I can't have on justcommons or that would be too expensive to buy on ebay if you add shipping charges.
It's no mystery that I'm a 90s guy. I collect modern cards out of curiosity, but they don't get my heart beating as fast as those good ol' crazy inserts from back in the day. As a matter of fact, I've even added '90's inserts' to my PC. It's getting tougher for me to receive Blue Jays common cards that I don't already have, whereas I'm missing a ton of 90s inserts. From any player, any team. I'll never be able to get enough !

Before I get to the heart of the subject, a few cards I need to show off

 My very first 1955 Topps (amazingly enough, this year had escaped me). I figured I might as well get a New York Giants player. The Murray RC was on my wantlist, even in a beaten shape !

 I've fallen in love with Topps Gallery, and they did a good job with those on card autos

Ok, now let's have a close look at those 90s :

 Leaf really put their thinking caps on from 94 onward (see what I did there ? thinking caps....hats off insert...). They had a ton of great ideas, including of course an entire set made of signatures. I had never seen one of those Hats off cards in person and was curious to see how that felt would feel. And it'"s great ! I want more of those. Oh, and adding serial numbers wasn't a bad move either...

 Not as great looking as the 94 Slideshow, but nice acetate nevertheless

More Leaf, this time with plenty of foil and die-cutting. I got it because you have Roger Clemens on the other side with a Blue Jays logo.

 Another great set with plenty of gold foil. Those crazy kids...

Speaking of crazy, Pacific are in a league of their own. Here's their famous Gold Crown insert

Joe ! The Summit is a parallel, in case you were wondering. I didn't even know they existed. I really like that insert in the middle, but then again, there isn't much I don't like from Upper Deck from that era.

 Another marquee insert set, Leaf's Heading for the hall. Not as impressive as the one from the year before, but still very cool and shiny. And numbered to 3 500.
 Yeah, I know, Alomar is in an Orioles uniform, but it's still a very classy card from Score. I don't know if you can tell from the scan, but it's nicely embossed.

And then 98 came around and so did Jose Cruz Jr. He was everywhere, which is very nice for me because this means picking up some cool inserts for cheap (because yeah, spoiler alert, Jose didn't have a stellar career).
 Now THAT'S color ! Then again, it's Circa...

I love that UD Blue Chip Prospects card. It uses the same technique as the 94 Leaf Slideshow. The Statistical Standouts card is far from as impressive as those from the past 3 years, but it still looks pretty nice.

More random cards from 98, this time with a complete lack of foil or coating.

And finally, a pure product of the late 90s. I wasn't collecting then, which means I have many to discover, but this one is just pure...well...either it's genius, or it's a fine example of what happens when you overthink it ! The chair unfolds, of course...

So yeah, I definitely have the 90's bug....can't wait for my next Comc order !