sabato 23 aprile 2016

Completing the task...of a zero balance store credit

In his second part I'll show some more cards I picked up on COMC this week, and briefly describe the sets that will be completed thanks to these additions.
We can argue on whether or not consider one of them as a complete set, but let's start with the cards...

1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team
I could repeat the same description I did for the 1988 set, but it might sound boring, so I'll get to the card that completed this set, ok? Nice mustaches by the way...

# 32 Fernando Valenzuela

2006 Upper Deck National Baseball Card Day - National Pastime
Probably one of the longest names ever for a set, and at the same time one of the smallest sets ever!
This set consists of 3 cards, Kenji Johjima, Nomar Garciaparra and the card I picked up

# IS Ichiro

2006 Upper Deck National Baseball Card Day
Celebrating baseball cards is something we all do, so I felt I had to complete such a special set.
When I previously said that we could argue on a set, I was referring to this one, because it has been produced by two companies, both numbering the cards from 6 to 10, which leads me to think that in 2005 the first five cards were issued. I consider the part issued by UD as a set on its own, as well as the set produced by Topps. So I picked up the last missing card in the UD portion of the issue.

# UD7 Ken Griffey Jr

2006 Upper Deck Future Stars - World Future Stars
Another pretty long name for a set! This one at least consists of 25 cards of players from different national teams, like some sort of Topps WBC set. I needed three cards, so I digged through COMC archive and snagged them! A couple dutch players and a portorican dude...

# 19 Sidney De Jong                                     # 20 Shairon Martis

# 21 Len Picota

So far these cards allowed me to write 4 sets off the checklists, which is very cool!
It's even cooler the fact that I completed also a bigger set, consisting of 220 cards, and issued in 2014 by Bowman...yes you guessed, the 2014 Bowman base set!
This time I was looking for the final 12 cards, and don't worry, I'm not going to show them all, just a couple that might be representative...why not choose two pitchers, one of them being also a rookie for example? Plus, they both play for NYC teams!

# 36 Matt Harvey                                            # 88 Masahiro Tanaka

To complete the lot I also picked up a Sammy Sosa card from 1990 Bowman, and a bunch of 2014 Bowman Prospects, leaving me 5 cards away from completing also that set. Unfortunately some of those cards depict Kris Bryant and Jacob DeGrom, meaning that it will be very hard to get them for a reasonable price!

Thank you very much for reading this second post for today, keep collecting and 

Minimizing the gaps...and store credit

Since I received a refund from COMC after my Ripken auto wasn't authenticated by BGS, I decided to use that amount of money, plus the remainings of my "old" store credit to pick up some singles that could help me to complete sets that were almost finished.

I had a look at all my checklists and decided that I could try to complete some of the sets for which I was missing less than 10 cards, only if the missing cards could be picked up in COMC marketplace for a decent price (between 30 to 50 cents).

Here's what I got, and the sets I was able to finally complete!

2008 SP Authentic
I really like the SP Authentic sets, and to complete this one there was just a single card missing, so I decided it was the right time to write off this set from the list of the "non complete" sets.

# 90 Chieng Ming Wang

2007 SP Authentic
As per the previous, I really like the idea of sets consisting of 100 cards, with a nice design and made of thicker than the average cardboard. There were five cards that eluded me for too long, so they are now part of the collection, and there's already a binder ready for them..

# 10 Carlos Zambrano                                       # 11 Ken Griffey Jr

# 75 Francisco Rodriguez                                  # 81 Derek Jeter

# 100 Frank Thomas

1988 Topps K-Mart
I think these sets were distributed as complete, so you don't have to search for that one particular card missing in your set. That's not my case, since I got to just one card away from completion hand collating the set through blind ebay lots, so the last card could be an easy COMC pickup.

# 10 Dwight Gooden

1996 Upper Deck Hideo Nomo Highlights
Back in 1996 apparently Hideo Nomo was a sensation, and UD dedicated a mini set of 5 cards to the highlights of his career as a Dodger. Despite the small size of the set, there were still 2 cards missing in my checklist, and I'm very happy that I finally checked them!

# 1 Hideo Nomo                                                  # 4 Hideo Nomo

1988 Fleer MVP
Since I never completely worked out the fact that a sealed complete set was in fact not complete, and you can read the story here, I didn't mind the higher than average price of 1,5 USD and picked up the missing card of the set

# 21 Mark Langston

In the same spending and completing effort I picked up some other cards, but I'll save them for the next post, so that this one won't be too long.
I'm very happy for these 5 sets that I now can call "complete", and it is very satisfying how easy and cheap it was to pick up the missing pieces.

Thanks to everybody that's reading this post, have a great weekend!


P.S. I apologize for having said "set" so many times!
Keep collecting!

venerdì 22 aprile 2016

A package full of obsessed cards

During this week I was informed by my parents that a "very small packet" arrived at their doorstep, and that I could pick it up whenever I wanted...

Well, we have a motto in Italy that sounds like "the small barrel contains the good wine"...

Nothing could be more appropriate, because I received a package full of pack fresh 2015 Topps Series One cards from Matt aka card obsessive collector, that sent his part of a trade started some weeks before, and in which I sent his way a bunch Yankees cards, ranging in years and manufacturers...

Here's what he sent me

First of all, the packet wasn't small at all, in fact it was stuffed with exactly 214 cards from the above set, and I'm pretty sure that the guy from Nottingham took the time to look at my checklists ( here ) and cherry picked cards not marked with the infamous "x". Not that the checklist showed many of them, since as at yesterday my 2015 Topps set consisted of exactly 9 cards!
Well, after I finished checking the content of the above package, the count was 222 cards!
Meaning that basically every single card he sent was very much needed, and obviously even more appreciated by me!

If you already haven't, you must immediately stop reading this post and browse to its blog, because it could lead to very interesting trades like the one that I just commented.

Thank you very very much Matt, I really appreciate the cards you sent, and even more the fact that our European Baseball card community it's starting to grow.
Or at least I should say that every collector that tought he (or she) was the only one having this beautiful hobby is starting to gain awareness of many others like him (her).

I'm looking forward to future trades with you all and by now I wish a great weekend to everybody, and remember to keep collecting!


sabato 16 aprile 2016


This is just a quick update on a card that I presented in a previous post, right here to be precise.

The card was submitted to BGS early January, and after more than three months of silence and no updates, I decided to ask for some assistance to the COMC assistance service.
What I discovered left me very disappointed at first, but then I realized it's not really that bad.

They informed me that since the card did not have an "authenticated" or "guaranteed" autograph on it, then BGS wouldn't :

- grade it;
- authenticate the signature

So I thought, what did I pay 12 dollars for?

I submitted the card exactly for that reason (have the signature authenticated).

Apparently, for COMC internal rules, a user should not be allowed to submit for grading a card that doesn't come with an authentication or guarantee already provided by the card manufacturer.
Since in my case the card was submitted the same, I received a total refund, so no big deal in the end.
Maybe I didn't fully understand what kind of service was provided there, or it wasn't explained clearly enough for a non english speaking user like I am, but again, it all was solved without problems.

If anyone of you uses the COMC mailbox (and I know for sure that someone does), be aware that an in person autograph, or something obtained TTM will not be submitted for grading.

I'm very happy that COMC acted so correctly and refunded me, and I'm going to keep recommending their mailbox service for sure.

Now, what should I do with the Ripken auto?

Only solution that comes to my mind is to keep it until I'll be able to visit a card show in the US (and I'm afraid it won't be soon) and have it (hopefully) certified there by PSA.

If you read my rant so far, thanks a bunch.

Have a great weekend and keep on collecting!


lunedì 4 aprile 2016

Show and tell - Lesson 2

Before I start this new lesson of the Show and Tell themed series, I'd like to highlight that two weeks ago a great ball player and probably even greater broadcaster passed away, and he was also linked to Peanuts.

He was mentioned in several strips, and even written the foreword to a collection of Penauts strips all focusing on our favorite game (baseball) called Sandlot Peanuts.
I'm not going to show cards of this player though, but I tought it was right to pay a small hommage to this guy.

Something I really love about Upper Deck and still don't like that much about Topps is the quality of the patches and relics. UD issued some historic products with beautiful patches like UD Premier and UD Black, and in this post I'll show some cards from 2008 Upper Deck Premier!

If you're interested in some more infos about the product you can read this article

I just found that a pack of this product, containing seven cards, could be easily picked up on the internet for 300 I guess we can consider it a high-end product!
Maybe the price is connected to the possibility of pulling a redemption card that can be turned into an Historic  Autograph card? These cards, despite not been strictly baseball related, are very cool, because they carry a cut autograph of one of the Presidents of the United States.

But let's stick to the ball game, ok?

Among the many subsets this release had, the ones that I like the most, and I've been able to snag from eBay so far, are the Premier Patches and Premier Swatches subsets.
The sets feature beautiful patches, that could be two or three, but as you're about to see, they never disappoint!

Premier Patches 2 (# to 75)

PP2-EB Erik Bedard dual patch numbered to 75

Due to the "higher" numbering of the cards, apparently UD had to reduce the amount of patchness in the cards, but I don't feel like complaining, would you?

Premier Patches 2 (# to 65)

PP2-TS Takashi Saito dual patch numbered to 65

I wasn't able to find many informations about this variant numbered to 65, as well as the next two numberings, but still a very cool selection of patches, great job UD!

Premier Patches 2 (# to 57)

PP2-JS Johan Santana dual patch numbered to 57

This time, together with the numbering of the card, also the background color switched to a sort of emerald green..very cool indeed

Premier Patches 2 (# to 50)

PP2-TH Todd Helton dual patch numbered to 50

What more can I say? Except that the last two cards have the golden foil logos and impressions, while the previouses had them in silver...

Premier Swatches Silver (# to 50)

Feel free to correct the checklist references if you have more detailed informations, but due to scarcity of pictures in the websites I visited, this is the best information I can provide! Next time I'll do my homeworks before start posting!

PS-BR Brian Roberts triple patch numbered to 50

PS-BS Ben Sheets triple patch numbered to 50

PS-FS Freddy Sanchez triple patch numbered to 50

This subset went even beyond the beautiful patches seen before, by adding a third swatch to the card, man I really love this product!!

But wait, because 2008 UD Premier had also some nice jersey card sets, featuring great players and Hall of Famers, just have a look at the following card!

Premier Remnants Blue Silver (# to 75)

PR3-RJ Reggie Jackson Triple Jersey numbered to 75

It might not be a sick triple patch, but a triple jersey card of Mr October himself is something I'd pick up everyday...

Premier Penmanship Autographs (# to 50)

PP-JM John Maine autograph numbered to 50

Only autograph card I own from the 2008 UD Premier issue, but a very cool item if you ask me!

This is it for this very long post, I hope you liked it!
Please let me know if I should keep posting this kind of detailed posts, or if you prefer something more smartphone-friendly!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read until now, keep collecting, please do it for me!