domenica 28 febbraio 2016

Time to upgrade the blog?

As I regularly do, today I visited Jeroen's blog at The Dutch Card Guy and something I really like about is blog, apart from the beautiful cards he posts, are the high quality scans.

This is an issue I already dealt with, but still haven't managed to implement.

I'm aware that it might take some time and a lot of scanning activites, but taking advantage of this rainy Sunday, I will start this massive scanning and replacing work.

I hope my readers will appreciate this effort to take the blog to the next level.

Once again, thanks Jeroen for the inspiration, and I hope that you don't mind if I quote you every now and then...

Before I end this post and start the new direction of the blog, I'll post a couple more pics taken from COMC of cards I recently picked up.

First is this beautiful 2006 Upper Deck Premier quad patch card of Jeremy Hermida, numbered to 15, and with some of the sickest patches I've ever added to the collection.

Whenever I see a card like this, I really miss Upper Deck and its fantastic products, do you feel the same?

And then a quite anonymous jersey piece, but from a cool set and a player that has become one of the favorites of many collectors and fans, here's a 2013 Topps Tribute to the Stars Relics numbered to 99 of Madison Bumgarner.

Stay tuned and keep your eyes open for the new high-def pictures!

Have a nice Sunday and CIAO!

venerdì 26 febbraio 2016

Any authenticators out there?

In order to diversify my suppliers of Baseball cards, during December I bought a couple of nice cards from Instagram users.

Among others, I picked up a couple of autograped cards, with one being an IP (or in person) auto.

I usually avoid these cards because I trust (maybe I'm one of the last persons to do so) the card companies when they declare an autograph or a relic as being "authentic", and usually tend to doubt the trustworthiness (does this word exist?) of cards without at least a declaration of authenticity (that might as well be wothless).

But the guy's offer was way too invinting for me and for once I decided to take the risk and go for an autographed card, of a great player, not (yet) authenticated.
I say "yet" because the first thing I did after the card reached my mailbox at COMC, was submit it for authentication from BGS.

The player's signature is pretty expensive usually, and the chance of getting one for 10 dollars was way to inviting for me.

So here's the card...

The seller was swearing that he got the card from a close and trusted friend of his that got it signed during some kind of autographing session, so I trusted him.

So far I haven't received the result of the authentication, but a card like this, and with this signature, once slabbed could become easily one of the centerpieces of my in-progress showcase...

Stay tuned for the results (hopefully soon) from BGS!!

Keep collecting!!


giovedì 11 febbraio 2016

I now have a Strata

...and I got it without using tricky Strata-gems...
This joke is so lame that I'm already ashamed and I'm seriously considering to delete it...

But the important thing is that a few hours ago I won an auction that I considered almost impossible to win, especially for the price I set as maximum offer.

Since I would be the first to doubt about someone bragging about how good he's been at snagging a cool card for a ridicolously low price, this time I'm going to show all the proofs of the great new pickup..

As the title clearly suggests, this time I got a nice Topps Strata from 2015, the first I own from this high end set, and I can't wait to discover what's the game in which the player wore the jersey featured in the card.
As far as I understood, the relics in this set are not just the regular "event worn" jerseys, but come with an MLB authentic hologram sticker, that should also help track down the afore mentioned game.

The card has a pretty big jersey piece, with two pinstripes, so no sick patches here, but still I consider it a solid hit. The player is also been pretty popular during the end of the last MLB season.

So without further adue, here's the card, no not only the card, but the eBay window showing the card and the final price as well. I only covered the seller's name for obvious reasons.

2015 Topps Strata Clearly Authentics Relics of Jeff Samardzija

At first I tought that the auction's title had some spelling errors in it, being the name of the player not the easiest around. But no, apparently there weren't many collectors willing to add this card to their collection. And as usual, I'm more than happy to help the seller avoiding the re-listing of a beautiful card!

What do you think about this hit? Do you like the product?

I know I've been posting a lot today, but today I feel incredibly inspired!
So sorry for the spam!

Best regards to all and keep collecting!

Introducing Mr.Cub

I'm pretty sure that you already know who I'm talking about...the one and only Ernie Banks.

This great man and ball player left us almost a year ago.
During his 19 year long career he hit 512 Home Runs, 2.583 Career Hits, been an all-star for 14 times, twice NL MVP and there's a lot more highlights, but probably the most important statistic of them all, the fact that he spent his entire career wearing the Chicago Cubs uniform.

I really like the idea of a player that dedicates his entire career to a single team, because of the bond that creates between himself, the team, and most importantly the fans of the game.

It's becoming rarer as time passes to see players so devoted to a single team, and this is one of the reasons why old timers deserve a lot of respect.

He was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility.

Ernie also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

As an humble hommage to this amazing player I'll show the first signed card I own of him.

The card comes from the beautiful 1999 Hillshire Farms Home Run Heroes Autographs, and it has a sharp signature of Mr. it is.

I might even look for other cards of the set, but so far I'm very pleased of having this one.
I hope you enjoyed this post, please let me know what you think about the card, the set, and also the great Mr Cub!


Am I a baseball card elitist?

I think not.

At least, not anymore....

Let me explain, since my collecting is based (mainly) on big lots picked up off eBay, you usually don't know what kind of cards you will find inside the boxes, which is also the fun part of this system.
Being it sort of a lottery, you can find some really nice / rare / valuable stuff, as well as "Junk Wax era" cards, ot just regular modern mass-produced cards.

But what you can also find inside those boxes can sometimes differ from all the above categories.

When I was going through my first lots, I wasn't very happy of finding these cards, because I (stupid me) considered them as "less noteworthy" compared to the major brands as Topps or Upper Deck.
But as time (and lots) passed, I started looking at them from a different perspective.

I started thinking "Wow, who knows what happened to this minor league unknown (to me) player?", "Where could be found these cards at the time they were issued?", or "This guy looks really awful on this pic!". But the idea that most frequently comes to my mind is "Wow, this is a very cool piece of cardboard".

I'm talking about cards like the ones that follow, cards that I really enjoy nowadays, and that I'd like to know more about, and obviously have more of them!

This beautiful picure of the great Wagner comes from 1991 Sporting News Conlon Collection set, a set that continued until 1995 and that comprises the total incredible number of 1.430 cards! All the cards I've seen from this set have black and white pictures, and have the black border on the front.
I also have a bunch of cards from what appears to be a subset, focusing on Babe Ruth, and the cards have a blue border on front.

The next card comes from 1990 CMC, a set featuring the players from 27 teams of that time playing in the minor league system. This beautiful card depicts Tino Martinez from the days when he played for the Calgary Cannons.
It's amazing the number of players that soon after this year became more know by playing in the MLB, to name a few there are Dave Justice (playing for the Richmond Braves), Andy Stankiewicz (who a couple years later was playing for the Yankees) and Kevin Maas (another soon to be Yankee).

This is just a small preview of all the great cards that were almost unknown to me, and maybe to some of you reading this post...the best thing about them is that there's still so many brands and teams and players out there, waiting to be discovered again and reunited to the rest of the respective sets!

I'll post some more cards, as soon as I'll get the chance to scan them! These pictures came directly from google.images, but I guarantee I have the phisical copies of both cards!

Thanks for reading and CIAO!!!

Remember to keep collecting!!

Complete or not complete...

...this is the question!

In my quest for completeness I've always been well aware of the fact that sooner or later the completion of a set must pass through one or more very scarce or expensive cards.

In this specific case though, I'm not even sure whether to consider a card as part of set or not!

If you read my older posts, you probably already understood that what's puzzling my mind today is the famous Topps 2006 Alex Gordon Rookie card.
That's the only missing piece in the 2006 660 cards set, and it really rattles me seeing a 99.9% completion rate on that set!

So what should I do? Search for a card that usually sells for 30+ dollars (in the best case scenario, which means less attractive card), or apply the definition of the Standard Catalog of Baseball cards, that doesn't consider this as a part of the set?

In case you don't know the card I'm referring to, the infamous #297 card comes in the following "variations".

The standard "complete" 2006 Topps card. You'll understand why I'm using the word complete in a second. This is (correct me if I'm wrong) the most expensive and rare version, since it is the player's rookie card as it was intended to be. (image taken from

Then there's this silly version. (picture taken from
To be noted that the card has not been vandalized by some stupid kid, but this is the actual condition in which the card could be found inside the 2006 Topps packs. The image of Alex Gordon has been cut out from the card directly by Topps!
I've never seen this version on eBay auction, but I'm pretty sure it has shown up...

This could probably been considered a "good compromise" between the first two versions.
This card sold on ebay a couple months ago (maybe even less), and for a reasonable price (around 30 bucks).
Credits for the picture go to

I'm not aware of other variants for this card, but if there's any, I don't think I'm brave enough to even imagine how they could look!

So, what should I do with this elusive card? Ignore it and consider the set complete without it, or pay some good cash to have a 100% complete set, and also add an odd piece to the collection?
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this post, as usual KEEP COLLECTING!!!

martedì 9 febbraio 2016

Cards that aren't checklisted

Despite the huge effort that brought to the posting of the set of checklists (you can find them right here), there are some cards that I haven't included in the fancy excel files...


Because they belong to sets of which I have maybe just that particular card , an example is the case of refractors.

But there's a very (so far) limited list of cards that are excluded from the checklists because they're way too old, and represent the only specimen of that set that I (so far) own.

In this post I'll show some old or maybe even ancient cardboard, coming from the past century (the 1900s) and in a  case from two centuries ago (1800s), but it won't be baseball themed.

This first pair of cards (I might have already posted them, and in case I apologize, but I forgot about it), come from 1949 and were produced by Bowman.
For the first time since the beginning of the blog, I'll show both front and back of the card, as you're supposed to de when showing Tobacco cards (even if these are not Tobacco cards).

Card # 97 of the "Gray back" issue - Danny Litwhiler
Card # 48 of the "White back" issue - Willard Marshall
Apparently the parallels craze started way before Topps introduced the complete palette parallel versions of each card.
Next card come directly from 1936, and it's amazingly well preserved, in my non professional grader opinion. 
Card # JOCO - Joe Coscarart
This card is really big compared to modern size cards, and even bigger compared to the old squared cards from the 40s. It's almost the size of a postcard, and made of very thin paper. The set it 1936 Goudey Wide Pens Premiums R314.
The next card is also the last baseball-related for this post.
It's the most recent among the cards in this post, since it comes directly from 1950.
The set is the beautiful 1950 Bowman set, the card appears in very good condition and the player on it is Charlie Keller of the Detroit Tigers.
Card # 211 - Charlie Keller
I'm really starting to consider these sets as a cool alternative to modern gray-jersey cards...
The last card will turn 127 this year! This means that was issued in 1889! The oldest card I own...
Duke's Flags & Costumes Tobacco N109
The set also includes a card for Italy, which might be interesting to pair with this one, representing China.
What do you readers think abount more than vintage cards? You like to collect them or avoid them due to scarcity or lack of chromage?
Keep collecting and CIAO!!

sabato 6 febbraio 2016

Some honorable mentions part 2

In this series of posts I'm presenting some cool sets of relics or autographs that might be interesting to actively chase. In the first episode (you can find it here ) I presented 2014 Panini Immaculate as a set that offers several subsets with nice relics, despite missing the MLB rights (as pointed out by Matt).
In the meantime I snagged a couple more cards from those sets, but I'm still very far from any idea of completing them, as well as from focusing on every card that appears on ebay and try to get it...

In this post I'm presenting another set that I really like, in which every card should feature a nice piece of patch, as the name of the set suggests, and that has been issued by Topps in 2009.

I'm talking about 2009 Topps Unique Prime Time Patches!

Very cool set, but also very large, since it consists of 120 cards! I cannot even imagine having all of them, especially because some of them are reaching pretty high prices on a regular basis. The set includes big names as A-ROD (who haves 2 cards), Albert Pujols (also with 2 cards), Chipper Jones (with 3 cards) and much more.
To be noted that Lance Berkman has 4 different cards in the set, while Jim Thome holds the record with 5 different cards!

So far I've put together a very small part of the set, having 7 cards, but I have to say that almost all of them display very nice patches! Also, every card is serially numbered, to 50, 75 or to 99 as far as I know.

Here below I'm showing some of the most recent pickups, currently stored in my mailbox at COMC.

Card # PTP81 - Andrew Miller numbered to 50 

That's probably not the best example of the patches that these cards feature, but still I find it very cool.

The next one is numbered  to 75, and I think that the fabric hosted in it is a patch and not just a coloured jersey piece.

Card # PTP29 - JJ Hardy numbered to 75

The next card has the best patch, among those showed, and here it is!

Card # PTP11 - Brad Lidge numbered to 99

What do you readers think? Is it a set worthy collecting?

Keep collecting folks!!!

Meet Tommy the Ace!

Growing up I wasn't very aware of baseball, but as a kid I was very into cartoons...
But there's one that I never watched, but nevertheless that very cartoon is now inspiring this post..

I'm talking about a cartoon that shows the life of a young Japanese baseball player, who aims at becoming a professional player for the Tokyo Giants, like his dad before him.

When you'll see the cover of the DVD edition of this cartoon, you'll immediately understand the way in which it is connected to my card collecting obsession, and also understand the reason for the title

The title of the series could translate into something like "Tommy the Ace of the Giants", but in the Italian version "Tommy la stella dei Giants" resembles a lot a player that has nothing to do with Japanese baseball teams, but rather with the Atlanta Braves.

In case you haven't guessed the player I'm referring to, here's a picture of a recent card of him that I bought.

It's a 2014 Topps Supreme Simply Supreme Autographs of Tommy La Stella!!!

It's an incredible coincidence, but now I do have a card signed by a cartoon character! How cool is that?

The card is also numbered to 50 and happens to be the player's rookie card.

That's all for today, but before I go, I'd like to welcome to the Blogosphere Matthew, aka Gotta-get-them-all , who is a UK based collector, with whom I already traded some welcome Matt!!
Be sure to pay a visit at his blog, that has a very catchy look, and a background much cooler than mine (not very hard task)...

Keep collecting and CIAO!!