Thursday, April 4, 2024

I'll help you downsize

I used to wonder why in heavens anyone would ever downsize their collection.

As I've grown older, and started to realize the very real concerns of finding space for all these pieces of cardboard, I get it. I'm not really in a place now where I could imagine downsizing my own collection, but every once in a while I'll look around my room and go where did all this stuff come from? And I never have a great answer.

A lot of you probably know by now that our longtime friend Kenny (aka "Zippy Zappy") of "Torren' Up Cards" drastically slashed the scope of his collection recently, and he's bombarded a lucky few of us with the remnants of his task.

Unannounced packages & PWEs from Kenny have been regularly showing up in my mailbox for the last few months, so this post will be a catch-all for those generous mailings. The first package I received had a particularly thrilling item inside - an unopened pack of Sega Card-Gen! 

Kenny asks: Do you open this or leave this sealed? You probably know what my answer was...OF COURSE I'M OPENING IT!

And somehow, I managed to pull this Jason Giambi - one of the extreme few Sega Card-Gens I already had.

Even weirder is the fact that our resident Night Owl pulled the very same card from his Card-Gen pack from Kenny - is this a Deep State conspiracy to flood the American market with Jason Giambi cards?

I have Kenny to thank for the overwhelming majority of Japanese cards in my collection, and selfishly I'm glad he's downsizing because that means I get more!

I don't know if I'd even be aware of Sega Card-Gens without him, but I'm sure glad I do because they're wonderful cards - also always happy to welcome "gaijins" like Ryan Glynn into my collection.

Kenny also provided a rare first for Dime Boxedonia - my first superfractor!

Superfractors have never been anywhere near a top priority, but I've often entertained the idea of owning one. And while I've never heard of Austin Kubitza (he never made it above Double-A) I'm glad I can check this off my collecting to-do list.

Couple that with a rare Topps Now position-player-pitching card of Luis Torrens - the legend himself! - and you already have a wow-worthy assortment of cards here.

But Kenny couldn't stop there - he sent me yet another unopened pack of Japanese cards(!), this time from the 2023 Bowman NPB set that I must admit I had no idea existed in the first place.

I was fully ready to pull a mix of cool cards of guys I'd sadly never heard of here in America...and then our old friend Masahiro Tanaka appeared!

Tanaka kinda fell off my radar a few years ago, and I was wondering what'd happened to him - I once again show my lack of non-MLB knowledge here by admitting I didn't even know he went back to play in Japan.

One of the packages Kenny sent had a bit of weight to it, which confused me until a couple books fell out.

I take it as a point of pride to be the unofficial "book guy" here on the blogs - I've often said that reading and baseball are my two passions in life. Sadly, the bookstore I currently work at doesn't have a huge sports section (though I've convinced my bosses to bring in a few more baseball books) so I hadn't seen this David Cone autobiography before.

I'm not a huge reader of baseball biographies/autobiographies - I tend to gravitate toward books that deal with broader subjects and time periods - but from what I know about Cone I'm sure he has quite a story to tell.

A quick flip to the title page revealed another surprise - the book was signed by Cone and co-author Jack Curry!

Here's a rare example of a book I can't read but feel proud to own - as per Kenny's note, this is Hiroki Kuroda's autobiography (in Japanese, obviously).

Coupled with the books was this massively neat cabinet card of Masanori Murakami, the man who was notably the first Japanese player to play in the MLB when he broke in with the Giants in 1964.

Believe me when I tell you the goodies just kept coming and coming out of these packages.

I've discussed my love affair with MLB Showdown cards as a kid many times on this blog, but I'd never seen a signed one before Kenny sent that Cone my way (I'm thinking Cone must be a fairly prolific signer?).

Kenny's always good for a few random Japanese cards - I love these for many reasons, perhaps the simple of which is that there's something irresistible about hoarding cards that crossed a continent to get here.

(That's former White Sox prospect Dayan Viciedo at top-left, which talk about a guy I hadn't thought about in a long time.)

MLB needs more stuffed animals.

Japanese cards really do come in all shapes and sizes - and we're really going all over the world with that Team Italia WBC card of fellow "paisan" Francisco Cervelli!

Even with all the other wonderful randomness, I admit that every time something shows up from Kenny, my first thought is Ooh, I hope there's some Sega Card-Gen in here!

Thankfully, that prayer always seems to be answered.

Kenny's Jack Chesbro collection appears to have gotten the axe in his downsizing, and I was lucky enough to collect a few of the scraps.

I actually was the one who sent Kenny that Highlanders oddball in the bottom-left - it was a small concession given that he sent me a gosh-darn T206 Hal Chase! - but the selfish collector in me is once again happy to have that card back in my binders.

And so this tour of superfractors, books, Japanese issues and other insanity somehow comes to its similarly insane end - with a Wee Willie Keeler printing plate!

You can count the number of printing plates I own on one hand, and while they're not a huge priority in my collection, a plate of a dead-ball star has to be one of the cooler examples you'll see.

I can't even begin to thank Kenny for thinking of me with all these cast-offs from his own collection - selfishly, I have to say that if this is the kind of stuff that needs a home, then by all means let me help you downsize.


The Diamond King said...

Dang great stuff! I gotta get more friends like Kenny...

Mike said...

Wow,sooo many cool cards here!

And as my spirit animal (the "poster guy" from Antiques Roadshow) Nicholas Lowry says of his collections, "there's always room for something else!"

night owl said...

Looks like Sega CardGen is shooting for Topps' collation tactics.

Jimetal7212 said...

I'll join you on the sentiment, I'll help someone downsize too. Room to move in your residence...overrated.

Zippy Zappy said...

Glad you enjoyed the cards and thanks for taking them on. The one thing I always appreciate is that no matter what I decide to part with, I'm 100% sure it's going to a great home when I send it to you.

Mark Zentkovich said...


Fuji said...

That Murakami cabinet card is so cool! So are those unopened packs. It's always fun and exciting to see what kind of stuff Kenny ships out.

CardBoredom said...

This is quite the mail day package. Good on you for opening the Sega pack.