Sunday, August 25, 2019

Classic 4 sports

The nice thing about holidays is that I have time on my hand.
The problem about holidays, is that I have time on my hand and end up checking Ebay listings and cards on Comc. My new fad (do people still say fad in 2019?) is to buy huge 3000 count lots and have fun with that. I bought some basketball and some football like that and it was pretty cool. I'm staing away from baseball cards though because I don't feel like sorting 89 Donruss for the rest of my life. Plus, commons are nice, but they get boring once you have 50 000 of them.

Anyway, I spent some time looking at cards from the 90s (as always)and figured I might as well check other sports. I collected basketball heavily until 95, so I have no idea what happened after that, and football and hockey for a very short period, around 93-94. Plenty of catching up to do. A certain MJ and very low print runs make late 90s basketball cards impossible to collect, but football and hockey are very affordable.

Let's check out those cards !

Here's an iconic card I've wanted for a while. This copy is in very poor condition, but it's ok and still nice to look at. Plus, it was $5 and usually bad condition cards go for $10. Felt like a bargain.

Just cards I like. Merv Rettenmund is a perfect name.

 I had a sheet just like that one 25 years ago, that I got at Mc Donald's. I remember there were regional issues, I think this is the national one. I might actually still have it somewhere. I don't always make the smartest of purchases.

 Some Carters I was missing. For some reason, I love those You crash the game cards, and those Gold medallions are awesome.

Cruz Jr, Carter and Olerud are my main Blue Jays collections. Cruz Jr because his cards are cheap, even the rarer ones, and he was in a bunch of insert sets from the late 90s. The Flair Showcase for example was seeded one per box. And it's shiny and all pretty.

More PC, with a nice Andruw die-cut, and I've always loved those Bowman previews.

Those remind me of maybe my favorite insert of all time : Slideshow. So I grabbed another cheap one ($1). I'll pick one from time to time to try and complete the set.

Aaaaaaaah. man I love those cards. All acetate, and that Turbo Charged looks amazing. I already had the Mo Vaughn Heading for the hall, so I added another player nobody likes. I'm kind of a cheapstake.

When it's not acetate, it's die-cut ! The Lumber one is kind of silly. There's felt on that Leagues of the nation card, and Deion Sanders on the other side.

 More Die Cut ! I got that A-Rod hitting machines for $2.75, which is a really good price for that set. And 94 Hot gloves isn't as impressive as 96, but it's much, much cheaper...

More inserts I love ! Photo Gallery is a great insert set , I didn't know about Stadium Club Royal court until I saw that very, very nice Piazza, Picture Perfect is also a favorite of mine, and 98 statistical standouts isn't as nice as 96, but I wanted to see one in person.

Now, for something completely different : vintage hockey ! I figured I might as well start vaguely collecting Maple Leafs cards. This is a great design, btw.

I picked up what looked like interesting and fun basketball inserts. I'm not disappointed !

Oops, it's all blurry. But still one of my favorite sets of all time. The golden age of Upper Deck holograms !

I could've picked up sooooo many interesting football cards, but I had to limit myself. But man, just when I thought I'd seen everything there was to see from the 90s, another door opens. Fun times lay ahead !

Monday, June 17, 2019

France and Italy friends again !

Things have been complicated between France and Italy because of, to be precise. We beat them in the World Cup in 98, then in the European Cup finals in 2 000, they beat us in the World Cup Finals in 2006...lots of bad blood ! (aaaah, the joys of sports having an impact on people in the real world. You're supposed to root for a team, not hate the people who root for the others)

Riccardo, from Italian Completist, reached out because we hadn't traded in a while, and because fellow Europeans should stick together when it comes to card collecting ! His approach to collecting is very similar to mine : we just like accumulating cards, maybe because they're so difficult to get here at a decent price, which makes even the slightest 88 Donruss pack enjoyable to rip.

He already sent me a bunch of cards I needed for my collection, but he decided to take it one step further by sending a huge 550 count box my way with a little bit of everything. And I absolutely love a little bit of everything. I told him the sets and years I was looking for, and he complied.

Needless to say, it's always a treat for me to be able to sort that kind of thoughtful box. It cost him $15 to send it accross the border. It would've been 4 times that for an American. That of course is part of the problem for us, but I've been rambling long enough about that for the past 5 years.

The photos don't really do this lot justice, but I simply couldn't scan everything ! Plenty of PC here, with a healthy stack of Blue Jays. That SI Griffey is one of my favorite base cards of his.

My collection really revolves around Upper Deck. Those are the base sets I've been pursuing the most. So it's nice to add some other brands from my beloved 90s . Most early Bowman and Topps Heritage for example are completely absent from my collection, except for some Blue Jays cards. SO it's always nice to see some new ones. 2007 A&G for example was pretty cool. Riccardo must've scored a lot of Ultra Gold medaillions, as he sent me a nice stack of doubles.

More Ultra, some Flair, some Leaf (I've always had a soft spot for Leaf) and even a dozen awesome oddballs !

Thanks a lot Riccardo, it's a great idea you had getting that European connexion going full swing. It helps remind us that even though it's not that simple (well it is, but you just need to overpay) to collect from overseas, the blogging community knows no boundaries and there's generosity everywhere.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Another card in the wall

For those who have sporadically followed me the past five years (I'm pretty sure my 5 year anniversary is coming up this summer, I'll have to check), you know I have my obsessions : Blue jays of course, 90s cards and inserts (93-97 especially), random vintage, Griffey, Gold glovers and Knicks cards. I've been watching hockey again and enjoying it, so I'm wondering if I won't start looking at vintage hockey !

Anyway, my latest COMC haul reflects some of that

I wanted a 49 Bowman so I got the cheapest one there was. It's horrifically beat up (and completely ripped on half of the back), but it was $1, and I figured if I'd found it at a card show, I'd probably have rescued it at that price. The seller is certainly still celebrating that sale to this day. And there's also my very first 53 Bowman Color ! Hopefully it won't be my last, but I need to get my hands on a starter's lot.

It took me a while to pull the trigger on that Bo Football Rookie because of the price tag. I like my cards to cost .10 cts. This one is around $8 (yeah I know, not exactly a steep price tag, but I prefer to keep that kind of cash for beat up vintage). But it's iconic and I needed it.

I got the Tim Salmon because I was curious to see that insert in person, as I'm a huge fan of Leaf's Slideshow series. And it didn't disappoint ! It's all acetate and transparent and screams IM FROM THE 90s PLEASE LOVE ME. I also love those Mozaics inserts and the Finest is a refractor. I wonder if there are cheap 93 refractors out there (just went to check, and nothing under $15 on Comc)

Andruw ! And of course all those crazy 90s cards with parallels and die cut and whatnot. I was happy to see he had a second Diamond Kings card available in that Rookie set. Yay.

93 and 94 were great years to collect (then World Champions) Blue jays cards. Olerud, Carter, Alomar, Molitor, Delgado...all were amazing players and regularly present in insert sets. And quite cheap despite HOF status for some of them. I've always loved Fleer inserts from that period, for some reason. Weird that I was missing those, actually.

The Rookie Surge is something...and Team Pinnacle (on the back there's Javy Lopez) is always elegant.

And then there were the weird years...logo changes and the arrival of Jose Cruz Jr. He hit home runs (at first) so he was a huge sensation. Before he wasn't anymore...But that means he was in every conceivable insert set in 98, and I'm not sure my mind has quite understood to this day what happened in card collecting that year...I just know that 20 years ago, when I got the internet, the first thing I did was to trade for cards on AOL and that I'd get Cruz cards aplenty, whom I hadn't heard of because I was still stuck in 94.

 94 Leaf Gold stars is one of my favorite sets of all time. I didn't scan that Get a grip right, but I'm too lazy to start over. There's Bagwell on the front.

 I don't like Clemens. Not just because of...Well, you know...(and I think he should be in the HOF)...but just because he's a jerk. So sometimes I add some of his cards. A little reluctantly, especially considering they're never cheap.

Him I've always loved. A true fan favorite. I actually just printed out a Carter only checklist to focus my Blue Jays collection on him and see what I'm missing.

That's it for now, thanks for reading, I now have the French Open final to tend to !

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Back dans les bacs

yay, I'm alive !

I haven't lost interest in card collecting at all (well, maybe it's toned down at most), but less budget and increased shipping costs means I don't really have anybody left with whom to trade (you know who you are !) and trade bait is harder to come by anyway. As far as boxes go, new products bore me and I'm pretty much caught up with 90s roducts (says the guy who just bought 5 boxes of DOnruss/Leaf 93 to 95 cards), so I'll usually place a couple of orders a year instead of 5 or 6.

I do still pick up cards on Comc, though and cardbarrel, and there's still the box breaks with Matt and Brian (I was too ashamed to show my 2019 flagship box from our last break, since I'm the one who picked it and there were no hits in it. Too bad for the guarantee in 'one hit per box guaranteed'. You can ask them to send one to you, but you need to send the paper wraps and proof of purchase. $15 shipping for a random relic didn't sound too sexy to my ears so I let it go).

Anyway, things are good here in France, despite landmarks bursting in flames !

And today I received my Comc order, so things are even better

You know it's a good day when you add some Carters, Olerud and Delgados to your collection. The Olerud Elite is actually my very first Elite. Those things don't come cheap ! Ok, this one cost $2.5, but to me it's a lot for a non auto. I pulled a Tony Gwynn from my 94 box I received last week, but 99% of cards were ruined due to sticky UV coating. Still nice to pull one from a pack.

A couple of wantlist Rookie cards (maybe I was influenced by the Celtics in the Playoffs) and I definitely do not have enough Kellogg's in my collection

 I'm glad Frank White isn't that popular, it allows me to snatch his RC for dirt cheap. I actually had my eyes on a vintage 53 Bowman Pee Wee Reese because that card is a beauty...just waiting for the right opportunity. In the meantime, a reprint (albeit not a very good one) will do !

I saw that Willie Jones card on a message board and thought it was stunning.

Some PC, with a great Vizquel and a nice acetate Big Hurt.

 I've said it countless times, but collecting Andruw is great because 25 years later, you get to add all those insane mid to late 90s inserts for almost nothing. Unless, of course, he's on a card with Junior...Lots of shiny stuff in there, and of course that protective peel isn't there anymore.

I'm still trying to complete the 93 UD master set (my favorite of all time for nostalgic reasons. My equivalent of Night Owl's 75 Topps), but I'm not sure I can make it happen because of those jumbo only 92 highlights .
That Power brokers insert is insane. I didn't know Topps had that in them.
And of course, that Clemens is iconic and a must have in any collection.

So there you go ! It was nice to be back, I've missed you all !