Saturday, January 9, 2016

O Happy Jays...Collector!

Late last year a new collector joined Zistle and messaged me to talk cards. Joe Carter specifically, as it turns out, we both collect them fairly extensively. Put simply, CasEjonz has a massive Joe Carter collection. Seriously, you should check it out. I thought I was doing well to be closing in on 500 cards at the time. He's surpassed 900 Carter cards in his Zistle collection and says there's more to come.

Unprompted, he asked for my mailing address and said he had some doubles of cards I needed. Fast forward to this week and low and behold if a brick of cards hasn't made it's way to my doorstep. The suspense of opening it was a struggle, but you know how it is with family, and chores and all that. Eventually I managed to sneak away from my responsibilities (yes, I'm a grown man and I still don't *want* to do the dishes) to open it. I was blown away.

Inside this box was a LOT of cards. My eye was immediately drawn to one holder. I wasted no time separating it from the group. My jaw dropped. And since I wasted no time looking at it, I'm not going to waste any time letting you see it. Scanned to your right -- yep, 2009 Upper Deck Goudey Sports Royalty Autographs Joe Carter. Seriously, that's how this starts. What a cool card. And it brings my certified Carter autograph tally to an even 12.

If it stopped here, I think people would agree that this surprise parcel has already been awesome. But it doesn't stop here, there's more. Like this 2003 Fleer Rookies and Greats Naturals card, complete with a chip from a game used bat. There are a bunch of additional variations of this card, including 2 that are autographed. This is a great card. It's numbered to 250 and yes, the blue in Carter's helmet is actually that blue when you're holding the card in your hand.

Want to see more? Like some Topps Laser? Or 1996 Upper Deck Diamond Dynasty? This is the first time I've ever owned a card from either set. Man are they cool. I think the scan accurately shows the "die-cutedness" (for sure that's a real word) of the Laser, but you can't tell that the Carter bust in the circle on the Dynasty is actually kinda translucent. For anyone that doesn't have a card from either set in their collection, get one. Or some. Actually, the Topps Laser caught my young son's attention. Probably the first baseball card he's cared about. He liked the die-cut edge, the baseball on fire, and the fact that we could hold it up to the light and it'd shine through so many spots on the card. And then I showed him that he could look through the circle on the Diamond Dynasty. That prompted him to ask if we could flip through the entire Carter binder. (Spoiler alert: hell yes!)

And it turned out to be a lot of fun. I'm not sure if this is a faux pas to most people, but I let him handle my cards. I want him to be engaged in things we do. Admittedly, I'm careful not to let him anywhere near anything that he could damage, but as far as I'm concerned anything in the binder is fair game (there are no autos/relics in there). And I won't say I wasn't nervous at times, but it really is just cardboard at the end of the day.  If a card caught his eye and he asked to hold it. I let him. If I thought he'd find one neat, I'd ask if he wanted to hold it. It was good fun. He handled shiny ones, holograms, die cuts, and really had fun trying to look through some of them (like 1994 Leaf Gold Series Stars). And to top it off, he's been intrigued lately by being able to stick magnets to yes, we pulled out the Leaf Steel cards and tested if they were magnetic. And whether they were magnetic through the binder pages. And whether we could then use the magnet to turn the page, and then turn it back again. He actually made it through the entire binder, which surprised me. After we were done he turned to playing with play-doh and probably forgot about the entire experience, but it was cool.

Okay, I need to pick up the pace. I've talked about all of 4 cards and have barely scratched the surface. Let's just cut to some images of some of the awesome cards inside this box, shall we? All-in there were close to 100 cards in the box. If my math is right (not usually), I was able to add over 80 of them to my collection. I'm still trying to make sense of some of the parallels (what on earth is going on with 1998 Leaf Fractals?!), but suffice it to say this was an incredible parcel.

"Mr. Jonz", you are the man. There's no other way to say it. See how happy ol' Joe looks on that SI cover card? I have had a similar grin on my face all week from sorting through these cards. Kevin will tell you -- it was difficult enough before finding cards I needed. I am hoping to break the 1000-Carter mark in 2016 (don't confuse that as a New Year's resolution, mind you) and acting single-handed, you took care of about a quarter of the work. Sincerely, thank you.

It's going to take me some time, and some effort, but this is just getting started. Your wantlist has some vulnerabilities. The kind of vulnerabilities that somebody with access to Canadian regionals and oddballs just might be able to exploit. Just sayin' ...

Thanks for reading!



  1. Well, you were able to help me out a lot. Originally being from Northern Ontario we had access to Hockey.. Very little baseball.

  2. C'mon... None of us WANT to do the dishes.