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 !