sabato 9 maggio 2020

Quarantine Diary

Hello people and kind readers out there!
I've never thought I would experience something like these past two months, and the fact itself that already two months have passed is still hard to fully digest.

Living in one of the hardest hit countries hasn't been easy, especially in the earliest days if the outbreak. I know that there are countries and people saying the Italians exported the virus in other places (i.e. in the US), so that's another great burden to carry for future generations, already in charge of those nice things like Mafia and despicable stuff like that...

I've been lucky enough so far, since no one I know has died from this terrible virus, but I can say for sure that several of my colleagues had it, in a stronger or lighter form, so this thing is close to each and everyone of us, one way of another.

I hope everybody is safe, and respectful of the guidelines on safety and hygiene, this virus is not something we should underestimate or mess with.

That said, I've spent some hours recently counting all the cards in my collection (I know this could sound pointless or even stupid), I think is useful to take some time every now and then and draw a line about where the collection is, in the same time you have the opportunity to see a bunch of cool cards you didn't see in a long time, and maybe even re-organize some sets in new rows or even different boxes. Ok now I am sounding also a bit OCD, but that's how I like to collect.

Considering the outlook for the next months, and specifically summer, isn't very encouraging, I've decided to invest some money in a HUGE (and it really is huge) lot of baseball cards from a US ebay auction. The lot I will receive consists of 30.000 cards, or at least it was listed as such.

I can't wait to receive it, that will keep me busy for sure for the coming months.
Hopefullly I'll be able to complete some sets, or at least fill some (hopefully many) gaps in my checklists!

The counting and organizing of the current collection is also aimed at having a clear and updated starting point for when this giant load of cardboard will arrive, the estimated delivery date is May 23rd, so pretty soon...

Unfortunately this summer's HOF induction ceremony won't take place, and that's understandable.
So, in order to add some images to a post that otherwise would only consist of words, I'll post below some pictures of players in the 2020 HOF class, nothing extremely rare or valuable, just some cards I found while organizing...

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my ramblings, I hope you and your close ones are safe.


sabato 6 luglio 2019

The Italian-French Connection

Hello people and card collectors,

today I am posting about the huge box filled with cards that Kevin, The Card Papoy, sent my way.
This is the result of a partnership that started several years ago, but that was not resulting in trades since way too long.
So we started exchanging emails again some weeks ago and that led to the trade I received last week.

Kevin of course received his end of the deal as well, as you can read here.

First of all, some numbers related to this lot, since I spend my days working with numbers, and since it gives an interesting representation of what I received.
Inside the box, I counted 524 cards (which is already impressive), and after checking each one of them with my checklist (I really love this activity), I ended up adding 351 cards to my collection!

This is an exceptional rate of need/have cards, especially considering that this was a blind trade, so the cards I received were selected by Kevin based uniquely on his taste.

I have to admit that I am Always a bit scared, especially when buying big lots on ebay, because I think my collection is pretty big already (passed the 88,500 cards mark thanks to Kevin), and the chances of finding a lot of doubles is behind every corner.

I am very happy to say that with this trade, I am pleased and surprise of the results!

Among them, there were at least three cards that I consider absolutely iconic, and definitely turn the whole trade level up a notch, here they are.

A 1990 Bowman Rookie card of Frank Thomas ?!? Seriously?
I didn't have this card, and honestly never expected to receive it as part of a trade! Now I only miss the checklist cards from 1990 Bowman set to complete it! I knew that Big Hurt is one of the main focuses of Kevin's collecting, but he's been way too generous by trading such an iconic card!

Let's follow the RC theme a bit more, shall we?

Wow that's again something you don't receive very often in a trade…
A Greg Maddux Rookie card from 1987 Donruss!! Kevin, you're making the cards I sent your way look like garbage by comparison! Needless to say (but I'll say it), I was missing this card, so welcome to my collection Greg!

One last piece that I'd like to show, also to support the fact that trading with an European buddy like Kevin is amazing, and that I'll put much more effort in collating the future trades with him.

A Chipper Jones rookie card from 1991 Upper Deck!
Ok this time I am bit disappointed, honestly, after those first two picks that I showed, I was expecting at least a Topps Desert Shield…
Just kidding of course! I am very happy to own this card, and again, it's has been checked off my wantlists, so one card less away from completion!

To wrap up this (fairly) long post (at least for my standards), I'd like to thank Kevin for the amazing lot he sent, and the exceptional cards he added, going well beyond the average lots you can buy on ebay, or the usual contents of a blind trade.

Please check out his blog at thecardpapoy, and support our small but passionate European baseball card community!

Enjoy your weekend and keep collecting


domenica 21 aprile 2019

Still here, still collecting!

Hello people,

just a quick post today since it has been way too long since the last time I posted anything on here, exept obviously updates to the 2013 WBC Patches "catalog".

I haven't quit collecting, no sir!
I am still actively chasing cards to complete my favorite sets, especially the one mentioned above, and I am always discovering new beatiful cards, and whenever the price is right (you know me) I try to snag them.

One of the most satisfying pickups in the recent past has been the first 1/1 from WBC Patches set, it looked way to good to me when I found the auction, and it even wasn't a crazy priced buy it now, but rather a regular auction! I couldn't believe I got it for less than 20 dollars!

So now I have at least a specimen of all the variants in the set.
Also, I was finally able to find the elusive Atsunori Inaba patch card, so now I am only a Maeda away from having at least a card from every player in the Patches set!

A very good news and surprise is that finally Amazon in Italy started selling baseball cards!
I picked up some boxes for the past Christmas, and even received a complete 2018 Topps Set!
I have to admit that receiving a complete set is not satisfying as putting it together slowly and card by card, but at the same time saves you a lot of effort and time, and saves funds for other purchases.

This post won't have pictures in it, but it's just aimed at letting you (if anybody is reading this) know that my hiatus from the blog does not represent my leaving the hobby, not at all!

The passion for baseball cards collecting is stronger than ever, and I really hope to be able to post frequent updates of my collection and pickups on here!

Thank you very much for the time in reading this, and have a nice day!

CIAO and keep collecting!

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!