Thursday, November 6, 2014
Baseball in France
Take a minute to imagine what it must be like to collect baseball cards in France.
No running to Target on a whim to pick up a random pack. Paying out the you-know-what for shipping from America. Not much baseball at all, really. You'd have to be quite attached to the hobby to put up with all that.
If you stop and think about it, people like Kevin of the great new blog "The Card Papoy" are the most dedicated of us all. He does, in fact, live in France, and his enthusiasm for cardboard certainly shows in his writing. I see a lot of parallels between our collections.
It just so happened that I received a terrific package from Kevin a couple weeks ago, the first I'd ever gotten from France. Now, I never took a French class in high school and I don't know a lick of the language, so I'll spare both you and Kevin any attempts at the language.
It's nice to find anything for my many player collections in a trade package, but you're sure to earn extra points by throwing any John Olerud-related item my way. Kevin upped the ante by sending along this fantastic disc-shaped issue of the former first baseman.
I don't keep these kinds of cards in binders because, well, I've never seen circular pages, but I still love them all the same.
More hits to a couple of my longest-tenured player collections.
The Grace features perhaps the only cameo you'll find of Jose Bautista, the pitcher.
I guess mini-collections are a thing in France.
These were both welcomed new additions to my throwback theme. Those Oaks duds are right up there among the best retro jerseys ever.
And, while I own a good amount of throwbacks, I can honestly say that the Belle is the first throwback sticker in my collection.
What first grabbed me about this Knoblauch, of course, is the nice double play shot on the front of it.
Whenever that happens, my mind has a tendency to go a little haywire. Alert! Alert! New card for the mini-collection! New card for the mini-collection!
The problem there is that I sometimes forget to check the back of the card in my haste.
That would've been especially shameful with Mr. Knoblauch...
...because the back might actually be better than the front.
It only took about three or four views to finally flip this card over, unveiling this hilariously candid shot.
If you flip through old pictures of me in my friend, there's probably an 80 percent chance that one of us is giving each other the bunny ears. It's what you do when you're ten years old.
Chuck Knoblauch, on the other hand, was thirty when this card was released. Yet here he is giving the ol' bunny ears to a pair of his stone-faced Minnesota Twins teammates.
Maybe we're all just kids after all.
Kevin collects Blue Jays, so I'm guessing these were dups from his own collection.
I'm glad he thought of me, as both Halladay and Bautista were on my quickly dwindling list of 2014 A&G needs.
I'm conflicted about the Halladay. It's great that Topps put him in this year's A&G checklist as a Blue Jay, but he's barely been out of baseball for a full year. Isn't it kind of too soon for a retrospective card of the guy?
I don't know.
From the looks of it, Kevin got his hands on some Panini Cooperstown all the way out in France.
He hooked me up with a few of my needs from the 2013 edition. I'm hoping to finish off the entire list sometime soon.
I've been on board with a lot of Panini's decisions thus far, but the forced extinction of the Cooperstown isn't one of them. It was essentially swapped out for yet another uber-high end product this year. Twelve total cards in a box for the low, low price of 135 bucks.
Cutting the little guy out again.
I guess I'll just have to live through the past glories of Cooperstown from now on.
Kevin made the farewell a little bit softer by including this card of Roy Campanella, one that features a rare shot of him as a Negro Leaguer with the Baltimore Elite Giants.
I've had my eye on tracking down a copy of it since 2013 Cooperstown hit the shelves over a year ago, but hadn't had any luck.
Turns out all I had to do was look to France.
It's good to know that baseball has a presence over there.