sabato 3 marzo 2018

...and Santa delivered!

I am happy to say that Santa never disappoints!

Since December 25th I am the proud owner of a nice and very functional Canon scanner.
Obviously the first thing to do when you receive a scanner is scanning stuff right?

And if you know me a little, you already know what I've been scanning in the last weeks..
If you guessed 2013 Tribute WBC then you are totally right!

The proof of it can be found in the section of the blog dedicated to this beautiful set, that still today after almost four years since its release, keeps haunting me.

Hopefully by the time this post is published, I'll also finish scanning all the patch cards that I have in my possession (obviously there are more coming from my mailbox at COMC, but they won't arrive before a month).

Feel free to visit the page dedicated to my (by far) favorite set, and I'll try to post soon again with new and different cards, that I recently received and added to my growing collection!

Have a nice weekend and keep collecting!


mercoledì 25 ottobre 2017

Dear Santa please...

..bring me a scanner for Christmas!!!

For the first time in months, this evening I came home from work hoping to be able to finally update this blog with some high quality (or at least decent) pictures of my cards.
The first bunch of cards that were to be scanned would have been my always growing 2013 Topps Tribute WBC set...
I am using the conditional, since my old, clunky scanner, cannot produce pictures of a quality good enough to replace the many pictures taken from COMC and currently on display.

So hopefully this Christmas I will receive (or probably buy) a nice, modern scanner that will allow a step up in the quality of this blog!

As you may notice, I added a background theme to the blog, and I couldn't think of a more appropriate picture than the logo of the World Baseball Classic 2013, since it has become my "obsession" in  the last months...

As of today, I have 63 patch cards out of the 70 in the checklist (for a total of 166 different cards if I include all the parallels) and 80 out of the 86 autographs available (129 if I count all the parallels I have). This brings the total different cards I have to 295 cards.
What can I say, I am in love with this set!!

I have to admit that the cards listed on ebay (at least those that have a reasonable price) are becoming scarce as months pass, but I still hope to be one day able to fill the empty spots in my checklist and complete it with at least a specimen of every card...

But enough chatting, let's show some cardboard ok?
Again, and hopefully for the last time, I will use the scans kindly offered (even tough I pay for them) by COMC.

The first card is a 2012 Playoff Prime Cuts patch card of Starlin Castro, it's numbered to 25, and it's even cooler considering that it cost me 1 cent... can you believe it? I love eBay whenever I get this kind of steals..

The next card could suggest what's currently on my mind (card wise at least), since it is a 2017 Topps Museum WBC card... and not a random card, but a team Italy relic card, coming from a jersey worn by Gavin Cecchini

Could this set become the next big thing in my collecting habits? We'll see!

The next and last card comes from 2016 Topps Tek, a nice set when it comes to the range and quality of players available, and I bet it is also hard as hell to scan!
My first autograph of Billy Wagner

It's cool to see the old Astros logo, and speaking of Astros, I was really hoping that the Yankees this year could reach the World Series, so I will have to root for the Astros now against the Dodgers...

Thank you very much for the time dedicated to this humble blog, and hopefully we'll meet again soon with some new cards and some decent pictures!

Keep collecting and good night!

giovedì 18 maggio 2017

Still alive and kickin'!

Despite the total absence of posting in the last months, I am still deeply into collecting.

All I've done in the last months was pick up cards from either ebay or comc to beef-up my collection, and when I say "collection" I obviously refer to the set that's been draining all my time (and money) recently... obviously 2013 Topps Tribute WBC!

You can keep track of the progress made in this set in the two dedicated pages...
But obviously the more you have, the more you want, and at the same time the more they cost you, so it's getting tougher everyday to find new cards to add...

So I sometimes picked up new and cool (in my opinion) cards, in some cases depicting old-timers, and in other cases simply eye appealing cards...

Here below are some examples of the cards that arrived recently

Sticking to the theme of WBC, this year Italy started the tournament very well (surprisingly) defeating Mexico... unofrtunately the tournament had not many more satisfactions for the Italian team, but Topps celebrated the epic won match with a dedicated card in the 2017 Topps Now set

That's the only card I have from the Topps Now product, and I have to admit that looks pretty cool

The next card is an old-timer themed card, it depicts one of the Pittsburg Pirates all-time legends, and is the first non-base card I have of him.
Here's a 2003 Donruss Signature Series autographed card of Ralph Kiner

I am not a huge fan of these silver stickers, but since this one comes with an inscription, I am not going to complain! Also the card is numbered to 200!

Unofrtunately I am no longer able to update this blog from work, since blogspot has been added to the banned websites, and the last months have also been very busy and stressful at work, so here's explained the lack of posts.

After several months of serching everywhere in Italy, I picked up (from a US seller on ebay) a bundle of 25 monster boxes to slowly re-organize my collection, that has been slowly coming back from the garage to the "man cave".
I also bought from the same seller a case of 100 magnetics (130 pt thick) to properly store all my patch cards from 2013 Tribute WBC.
The next step would be finding a case of mags also for the autographed cards, but I think they look well also in the current toploaders...

I'll try to post more often in the coming months, promise!

Also, in August I'll spend a couple weeks in NYC and I plan to visit at least twice the White Plains card show, as well as the city LCS, so my collection will hopefully grow in size and quality, so stay tuned!

Keep collecting!

domenica 6 novembre 2016

Trick or Treat!

So last week it was Halloween, not the most traditional Holiday here in Italy, but I decided nevertheless to "treat" myself a little with some ebay pickups...

Since there were no interesting 2013 Tribute Wbc ending during the festivities, I focused on other cards that were either from cool sets or that depict players I like.

And here below are some of the latest additions to the collection!

First, I'd like to proudly show a pickup that I made just a handful of hours before game 7 started (and we all know how it ended). It's the first card I ever bought from one of the highest-end products out there...I am talking about Topps Dynasty! And the player on this card turned out to be one of the leaders in the Cubs winning game's Jason Heyward

2015 Topps Dynasty - AP JH2

Please forgive the quality of the picture, but it's taken directly from the auction I won... but I can say that the card is absolutely gorgeous! It comes from a beautiful set, it is limited to ten, it features a sick piece of camo patch, and the player on it is one of the team leaders of the 2016 World Series Champions!
Btw the price on this card was also pretty reasonable, considering all the attributes listed above, so that's why I offered until the very last minute for it.

And since I broke the Dynasty taboo, why not try to win a second card from this product?
The next card has a less sick patch, and most importantly the player depicted is not very beloved after the PED scandal he was involved in. Probably PED is now a synonim for this player's name, so without further adue, here's the second Dynasty I recently picked up.

2014 Topps Dynasty - Ryan Braun

The price on this one ended up to be fair as well, and lower than the Heyward, so now I proudly own not one but two Topps Dynasty cards!

Another thing that I've been wanting from quite a long time was a Playoff Prime Cuts card.
So I decided to offer on a bunch of cards from the set, all of them were Hall Of Famers or very big names in the history of the game, and I ended up winning three cards!

2004 Playoff Prime Cuts - MLB22 Jim Palmer #'ed to 25

2004 Playoff Prime Cuts - MLB22 Jim Palmer #'ed to 50

2004 Playoff Prime Cuts - MLB49 Steve Carlton #'ed to 50

First of all, I love these cards!
Second, the old time patches are super cool!
Third I've been wanting a Jim Palmer auto for a long time and at the end of my Halloween spree I own two (at least two I should say)!
Fourth I don't understand why an autographed card should have a lower print run than a card that is both signed and comes with a cool patch!

I am extremely happy of these cards, and considering the very low price they cost me, I am even more happy!

So far I showed only encased cards, so to end this post I will show three more cards that I won during the "Holiday"...

2015 Panini Cooperstown HOF Induction - Jim Palmer

2012 Playoff Prime Cuts Century Gold - Josh Hamilton #ed to 25

2015 Topps Museum Auto Relic - Evan Gattis

Now this is a complete post! It has autos, patches, Hall Of Famers, High-end products (and three autographs of Jim Palmer)!

This Halloween feels like a Christmas to me, so it's definitely a treat for me!
I hope you like this last post, and the cards in it, and that you had a great Halloween!

Keep collecting and CIAO!

giovedì 3 novembre 2016

The wait is over!

Today is a great day for every baseball fan, maybe some fans are happier than other, but it is always a great feeling when a team is crowned World Series Champion am I right?
The title of this post refers both to the long time the Cubs fans had to wait before having the opportunity to celebrate their team on the top of the baseball world, as well as to the long time that passed (again) since my last post...

I know, I just published a new post Set fails pt1 , but that's something I worked on over several weeks, so it doesn't feel like something recently produced, but rather something that I kept aside until I had the chance to scan the last card and post the whole thing.

I feel like this post is the first in a pretty long time, and what better chance to post a new post than take advantage of the great assist (in the soccer meaning of the word) provided by the recently ended 2016 World Series?

This post could be the first of new series of posts (I know I keep starting new series that apparently are abandoned immediately after they are posted, but it's hard to put hands on new "material" to feature), because I will try to show all the relics/autos cards I have from the players that won the World Series less than 24 hours ago.
There will be obviously several players (probably the majority of them) without a card in this post, but maybe someday I will own a card of every player that ever played the game (wow that would be a dream). Also, please be kind if some of the players are featured in a uniform different from the cubs'blue, but that's the best I can do!

First, the pitcher that won the final game of the series, one of my favorite pitchers, and honestly I don't regret the fact that he left the Yankees to join the team that won the championship, so here we start with the Cuban Missle....Aroldis Chapman!

2015 Topps Triple Threads

2011 Bowman Chrome Auto

2016 Topps Museum Primary Pieces

2014 Topps Tribute Forever Young Relic

2015 Topps Tribute Relic

2015 Diamond Kings Mini relic

2012 Topps Triple Threads Relic Auto

It's nice to notice that 5 cards from the above selection have the exact same pose/picture...come on Topps! Some variety in the pictures selection could be much more appreciated than ultra sick one of one patch auto printing plates (or not?).

The second player featured in this post is a "paisan" of mine, and I'm very proud that an Italian player will wear the ring of the World Series Champion.... I'm obviously talking about Anthony Rizzo!

2014 Topps Triple Threads Unity Jumbo relics

2013 Topps Tribute WBC Auto

2013 Topps Tribute WBC Auto

I wish I had more cards of this young (and Italian) player, and hopefully after all the hype following yesterday's game I will be able to pick some more up!

The next player has been named MVP of the World Series, so he definitely deserves a spot in this's Ben Zobrist

2014 Topps Tribute to the Pastime Auto

Well, that's all for the MVP...I know he is not even wearing the Cubs uniform, but what can I do?

From now on, I will list all the cards I have of other players of the World Series winning Chicago Cubs!

Jason Hammel
2005 Donruss Elite

Chris Coghlan
2011 Topps Triple Threads Relic Auto

Chris Coghlan
2012 Topps Golden Moments Auto

Dexter Fowler
2012 Topps Triple Threads Relic Auto

Jason Heyward
2015 Topps Tier One relic

Jason Heyward
2015 Topps Tier One New Guard Autographs Bronze

Tommy La Stella
2014 Topps Supreme Simply Supreme

Miguel Montero
2013 Topps Tribute WBC Autograph

Miguel Montero
2013 Topps Tribute WBC Prime Patches Green

Miguel Montero
2013 Topps Tribute WBC Prime Patches Blue

Miguel Montero
2013 Topps Tribute WBC Prime Patches Base

....and that's all I have! I wish I had cards of Kris Bryant, Addison Russel and Kyle Schwarber, but unfortunately so far they were out of reach, and probably it will be even tougher in the coming months...

I hope you liked this long and very crowded post, I am pretty sad because there won't be any more baseball games until April, but I will do my best to use the coming baseball-less months to improve my collection, so stay tuned, keep collecting, and congrats to the 2016 Chicago Cubs!!!


Set fails pt.1

What's set fails?

Basically a review of some of the sets that I consider to have failed in the collectors market or community.
The concept of failure in this case is basically derived from the lack of reference to these sets in the blogs I read, the scarcity of cards posted on Instagram (where I'm a very active member) and even the difficulties a collector will face in tracking down the cards comprised in these sets.

The best part of it, is that I will show the cards I own from these sets (like I do in the show and tell series of posts), to prove that at least I gave these sets a try....

For the first episode of this new section, I picked up a product issued by Topps in 2011, and that had no further issues, apparently because the market didn't received it very positively, or maybe because it was replaced by a similar product, that proved to be more successful (in my opinion it's been replaced by Museum Collection).

The set I'm about to present is 2011 Topps Marquee!

This product was sold in boxes containing 4 mini boxes, each one with a single pack inside (first resemblance with Museum collection), and every pack offered 5 cards.
So far nothing strange.
As far as I know, this was the first Topps product to feature metal framed cards (second aspect recycled in Museum).
The set offered a wide range of signed and relic cards, the most notable probably being the "Titanic Threads Patch relic".

But don't worry, I won't show cards from this sick subset, instead I'll show 5 cards, that's all I have... I think this might be useful to have a flavor of what the subsets were like...

2011 Topps Marquee Monumental Markings Autographs

MM-BWA Brett Wallace #ed to 570

MM-DS Drew Stubbs #ed to 570

MM-JT Jose Tabata #ed to 570

2011 Topps Marquee Gametime Mementos

GMQR-46 Nelson Cruz #ed to 199

GMQR-5 Mark Teixeira #ed to 199

That's everything I have from this sometimes forgotten and sometimes obscure set.
I am very well aware that is not a ton of cards, but probably even if I showed more the fate of this product wouldn't change.

Maybe in the future I'll try to find some more cards from Topps Marquee, but now it's time to end this short but at the same time veeeery long post (it took me several weeks to complete it due to a long list of reasons), and focus on what could be the next set to feature in this new series... Set fails!

Keep collecting and see you soon!

sabato 3 settembre 2016

Big Papoy hits a Homerun!

Last week I was informed by my parents that two packages arrived at their home.
I was waiting for a small package from Amazon, but I wasn't able to figure out what the second package could be.

Then I realized that Kevin aka The Card Papoy sent me a package the week before and I was immediately hooked by curiosity train and couln't wait to see the content.

First I apologize if it took me a whole week to post about this lot, but work is back in my life and today is the first day so far that I can invest on cards and blogging.

Then, I'd like to thank Kevin for the generous package, filled with more than 60 cards from a wide variety of sets, many of them totally new to me.

So here are some of the cards he sent to the other side of the Alps...

2015 Topps Gypsy Queen Christian Yelich

A Yelich Relic! I really like cards like this, and I mean thick relics featured in mini cards displayed in bigger frame-like cards...I think that Gypsy Queen and A&G are the best in this type of cards. Recently also Panini tried to imitate them in the Diamond Kings sets, but I prefer Topps better.

1986 Topps Quacker Chewy Don Mattingly

Let's admit it, it's not the best shot of Donnie Baseball around, first of all no iconic moustches, then the look on his face could be perfect for a Tori Amos album cover, but hey I love baseball cards, and this odd ball set is something totally new to me, so I am very happy to add this card to my collection.

1994 Collector's choice Michael Jordan

This card is self-explaining in my opinion. A basketball player will keep playing his game even when he should be playing baseball. But it's an iconic card from one of the biggest names in sports, so thank you very much Kevin for providing this piece of history.

2011 Topps Lineage Mickey Mantle

This is in my opinion a very nice product, a set that features both players from the past and stars from (then) today, without the old timers being extremely rare or shortprinted cards. This was a cool set, that obviously Topps decided to stop producing after one year. I might even consider to buy a box of this product to see if I can complete the base set. Together with this nice Mick card were also Hammerin' Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. 

2013 Topps Chrome Close Connection Jose Reyes

2014 Bowman Chrome Fire Die Cut Jonathan Gray

These last two cards are new to me, I mean I saw pulling some of the Bowman die cuts in youtube videos, but these two are actually the first specimens of their kind I hold in my hands.... and I must say that they are very cool!
I had some troubles in putting the Reyes into the penny sleeve but apart from that, I want to thank Kevin so very much for his act of colecting kindness. Obviously I will continue my Saturday morning by searching cards to send his way.

One last info for European collectors that were afraid that team bags and toploaders were nowhere to be found in our continent, I am very happy to inform them that I recently picked up both the products from Amazon! So no more buying them from US ebay sellers and wait weeks to receive them, without speaking about the insanely high costs!

Thank you very much Kevin for the cards, you made my return from holidays much sweeter!

Have a nice weekend everybody and Keep Collecting!