Thursday, February 19, 2015

What's old is new again, relatively speaking.

My collecting pursuits boil down to two things: A prewar player collection and Toronto Blue Jays cards. Depending on my mood and how much loose change I can dig up in the couch, I will add cards that fit into one of these two groups in waves. The nice thing about collecting Toronto Blue Jays cards is that they are readily available and quite a bit cheaper than prewar stuff. The cool thing about prewar stuff though is, well, much if it is 100-years-old.

2006 Allen & Ginter
Though I do have original T205s and T206s in my collection, and have, at times, owned original Cracker Jacks, Turkey Reds and Old Judges, my bankroll couldn't support my habit if I was buying those cards every time I needed to scratch the collecting itch. Thankfully, Topps has been looking out for me. Bringing back these issues in an updated Topps-ified format featuring present-day Blue Jays is exactly the solution to the problem. Now, admittedly, they aren't all great, and in some cases, they've reused a brand to the point where the novelty has been lost, but honestly, some of these sets are absolutely awesome. The 2006 Allen & Ginter issue shown to the right, for example, awesome. I've never owned any original Allen & Ginter cards, but I do think the art on them is great. And I think Topps captured it quite well with this white background, and borderless image. I still need Bengie Molina from the '06 set to complete my team; I look forward to bindering that once it's 'in the books', so to speak.

2004 Cracker Jack
Another issue that was extremely well executed, in my opinion, is the 2004 Cracker Jack issue. It's one of my favourites. If you're not a fan of red, you probably won't appreciate these cards (or the originals), but to me, they just pop. That red hits you instantly, and yet, as you try to look at the photo on the card, it drops to the background nicely providing contrast to the text across the top and the player shown in the foreground. Topps did their homework on this set. If you have some time and are not familiar with 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jacks, you really should check them out. The images are great, the player selection is awesome and they will make short work of your bank account if that appeals to you ;) I've already started to binder this team set (despite still needing three), and they look great all side-by-side.

2005 Turkey Red
While this Topps lovefest continues, I may as well mention the 2005 Turkey Reds, too. If you've never seen/held an original Turkey Red, listen to me when I say these things are HUGE. They are on an incredibly thick cardboard stock (especially when compared to the paper-thin Cracker Jacks) and measure to almost 6" x 8". But the art on them is incredible. The Topps versions aren't as massive, but they nailed the artwork. The sunset and shadows in the Hinske example to the right are accurate. Many collectors believe the art in T3s are among the best ever committed to cardboard.

If memory serves, all this vintage stuff started with a Topps T206 issue in 2002. I have but a couple of these in my collection, but am very familiar with the original issue. Actually, in a perfect cross-section of my collecting habits, my prewar PC contains a "T206 buyback" issued in 2002. What I will say here, is that of all of the sets I've mentioned, I think 2002 T206 has the best Jays player representation for me. That's not to say the other sets are lacking, but 8 of the 10 Jays in the set are names most Jays fans will instantly recognize (some will also recognize Felipe Lopez). Of course, of this set I have two. The 2 (of 10) that most people won't recognize, but hey, nothing against Rich Thompson ;)

As I start to shrink my 1977-1994 Blue Jays want list, I am starting to look a little more closely at some of these Topps novelties. I realize that as some of these series experience success, Topps issues them in subsequent years, but I'm generally drawn to the earlier year versions. In time, I'll probably collect some of the later versions, but I prefer the older newer stuff more.

If anyone knows of any good vintage/heritage re-issues that Topps (or others have done), let me know. I am a big fan of these kinds of issues, and would love to dedicate a binder to these kind of Jays Team sets.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I'm one step closer to winning $1,000,000!

If you look at when my last blog post was you'll quickly see that I've been neglecting this thing. This isn't to say I haven't been around, or that I'm not actively collecting, as I am, and I have been. I've been spending a lot of time organizing my collection and that hardly seems worth blogging about. In the time that's past since my last post, I have started to load my collection (wantlist and tradelist specifically) into Zistle and execute a few trades. It's a pretty slick site. My wantlist is current on there, but I have hours of work ahead of me loading my tradelist in.

But I digress.

The purpose of my post today is to send a shout out to Kevin over at Not only does he do a hell of a job with his blog (seriously entertaining stuff!). Months ago I mentioned to Kevin that I was pondering starting a Joe Carter player collection and he didn't forget. Though I haven't officially announced it, I have started that collection and today I arrived home to find an out-of-the-blue package in the mailbox chock full with awesome Joe Carter cards! This number is so low it's almost embarrassing, but Kevin's kindness puts me at 222 different Joe Carter cards.

It also put me one step closer to winning a $1,000,000:

I'm lazy.
Okay, that was weak. But weak is what this blog is all about, otherwise I'd post more frequently, with better content and would actually dedicate time to providing my own scans.

Instead, I pull other people's scans from Google Images that are close enough to the ones I'm talking about.

The 1997/98 Fleer Million Dollar Moments set was one of about two dozen different Joe Carter cards that Kevin sent me and it is hugely appreciated. My wife couldn't comprehend a random envelope of cards showing up all the way from Europe. "It's nice, it just seems weird." Roll with it hon, I am a grown man that collects baseball cards. We lost sight of normal years ago ;) What I didn't know until I went fishing for that scan is that there is also a version of this card with the caption 'This is not an official game card'. Interesting.

Anyway, Kevin, thanks a million! Sweet enough that this is a 4-day week because of a stat holiday yesterday, but to find unsolicited cards in the mailbox to boot is even better!

Thanks for reading!