Friday, March 30, 2018

Miracle March TTM 2018 Edition

My monthly TTM wrap-up post is coming up in two days, but on Monday I got back a return that was so cool I just had to blog about it on it's own.

BAM! A TTM autograph of Filip Chytil!

This was one of the requests I sent out thinking my chances of getting a return were about zero. But I was fortunately proven wrong.

Chytil is a center from the Czech Republic who was drafted by the New York Rangers in the first round (21st overall) last year. Chytil's draft selection was puzzling at first to many but as more details about the type of player he is and who he could one day become came out, the more there was to be excited about him.

Chytil's pre-draft scouting reports indicate that his biggest attribute is his speed and his ability to hold his own when matched up against competitors who are several years older than him. Considering how he was still a teenager back then (he's still a teenager now since he doesn't turn 20 until September in 2019), that is pretty impressive. Most of his other skills are said to be "above-average", except maybe power but give it like five years and he'll probably gain a few more kilos and find himself as a capable forward with power.

Another word that came up al lot when I was looking up his scouting reports was the word "raw". Which is to be expected with any teenage athlete. In baseball terms "raw" is usually code for a player having unteachable skills but never really delivering on them (usually power), hopefully in hockey it means something completely different. And based on what I've read and seen from fans and people who covered the Hartford Wolfpack (the AHL affiliate of the Rangers where Chytil spent most of this past season), Chytil is really starting to add some polish to his game (the results speak for themselves).
With the Rangers in complete rebuild mode for the rest of this season (all five games that remain anyway lol), this is an excellent chance to give Chytil and fellow 2017 first rounder Lias Andersson - both of whom were recalled from Hartford at the same time - a shot to see what they've got as the Rangers sort out who they'll keep around next season. The Rangers have the core to be pretty competitive next season too (with Henrik Lundqvist in the net any team could be), and big strides from Chytil and Andersson would be a huge step forward in the Rangers' Yankees-style five minute rebuild. Hopefully they'll force the issue and show that they're not going back to Hartford, but some more polish in the AHL isn't the worst thing either. The tougher it is for Jeff Gorton to make a decision, the better.
Woof, man, I don't think I've been this excited about a TTM return since... last year when I got a return from Shigeru Sugishita (another March Miracle return). Speaking of which, I guess it's time for a banner pic update...

So yeah, děkuji to Filip Chytil for the awesome autograph.

Big thanks to Brandon Fitzpatrick of the Gotham Sports Network for the awesome Twitter gifs.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wallet Card (2018 Update)

How many of you are still taking part in the wallet card thing? I'm sure the "challenge" or whatever initially set it off has long since ended, but how many of you still have a piece of cardboard in your pocket?

I still do.

That dirty lint-infested chrome card of the patron saint of this blog has been in my wallet for a good three years now (at least).

Gotta hand it to Bowman, the chrome coating on this card has allowed it to stay in tact much longer than it would've if it were your traditional regular glossy card stock.

The front and back have had little damage that didn't involve just being dirty thanks to being roommates with dollar/yen bills that came from who-knows-where and living inside my pocket.

I mean the bottom corners are still as sharp as ever.

The only real damage that the card has suffered is how at the top of the card the face and back is starting to separate. So in recent times I've switched to having the card be in my wallet bottoms up (with the better, still in tact lower half being exposed and on top).

Meanwhile the penny sleeve I've kept this card in, (inside my wallet) has also seen better days. It's basically ripped and unusable lol. But it's the card's official home.

In recent times I've considered switching to a different wallet card. Having another card on my persons at all times (or at least when I'm outside).

The only problem is that I don't think none of the other cards I'd want to use could survive.

Dark Magician Girl? No. I've seen enough wallet card updates with your standard normal paper base cards to know what'll happen to this. I doubt it'd survive even if I put it in the clear window in my wallet where family photos are supposed to go.

I think there was a point where I was actually considering putting in a Torrens certified autograph in, only to realize that it'd be a stupid idea a few seconds later.

Screw it. There's only one wallet card that I've used for years and that'll be the only one I use until the day comes when the card itself finally disintegrates and I need to find a new one.

Day 1, Early 2015

As always thanks for stopping by and take care.

Monday, March 26, 2018


Not too long ago I turned 24. My life is already halfway over!

I'm still going through the peak years of the horrible "wtf am I doing with my life" phase that apparently everyone goes through in their 20's. Even though my age dictates that I should've graduated from college two years ago I'm still full-time student, most of the time I'm not even 50% sure that what I'm studying is something I'll even be able to do (let alone actually make it a career). And of course a lot of the time I wonder if I'm even going to be employable. "What if I won't even get to the interview stage because big data deems that I have no future potential to be unlocked at all? What if that's why I never heard back from even McDonalds?!"

I'm sure my older readers looked at the first paragraph and went "been there, done that. Things'll all work out kid". And I know that that's true. But it doesn't make the uncertainty of what's to come any less scary. At least for now.

Sometimes I do wonder though, for people who eventually do find that job (or jobs) that they chose as their career, how long did it take to find it? Do they feel like they even found it at all?

I know that some people are born with God-given talent and have an eternally burning passion for their craft, but I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about laypeople who didn't know what the heck they wanted to do (and probably still don't) but managed to find something that put food on the table that they didn't necessarily love, but it was something they could do.

The stories I've heard from people in my life all have something in common, in that they moved from job to job before settling on one that fit them pretty nicely. That's great and all, but every story seems to revolve around a "right place, right time" kind of circumstance before they land that one that suites them the best. Not that they didn't put the work/effort in of course, but to me it feels like you need to have a ton of things go into it and some of those things are completely out of your control. A dedicated worker would still power through and keep going regardless. Me? I don't know. I haven't been there yet.

Hopefully in 2038 I can just look back on these thoughts and laugh. Either at how silly I was for worrying so much, or laugh at how naive I was for thinking that it couldn't somehow get even worse. In both scenarios at least I can say my life went somewhere.

Anyway with all of that dumb mid-20's insecurity out of the way, I figure I'd share some of the things I got for myself. My friends and family suck at picking out gifts for me (bless them for trying though) so they've long since given up and just give me cash that I can throw away. What did I throw it away on?

The 2017-18 Upper Deck Hockey Series Two New York Rangers team set (ain't that a mouthful?).

I thought about opening one of those cool retail tins of Series 2 but a quick look at the checklist revealed that there were very few Rangers cards worth chasing. Other than the base set above there were a few inserts of Chytil and that was it. So I just picked up the team set there for the price of a single hobby pack (that includes the shipping fees). Good deal. The photography is really top notch.

And that's all I got.

Well okay I bought some Yu-Gi-Oh! stuff but I know none of you particularly care about those cards (and TBH I don't care to write about them lol), so I won't go into them.

Now I know what you're all thinking. "Dude, that's it? Where are the baseball cards?!"

Here's the funny thing, I've been pretty content with my collection this past month. Outside of a Luis Torrens card that popped up on eBay (that I lost out on because someone outbid me), I didn't feel the need to acquire any baseball cards. I know that a bunch of stuff recently came out like Heritage, Opening Day and Gypsy Queen, but as you're all likely aware, I don't care about those products. I've seen my friends in Japan break those products on Twitter and the more of their breaks I see, the more disinterested I become.

Oh sure there were a lot of things that popped up on my radar that I thought would be nice to have, but nothing that made me go "I need this NAOW!" Especially not when I know that none of the cards I'm interested in now will cost nearly as much in 2038 when I (hopefully) have a steadier income and potentially even more cash to throw away. Also not when my insurance premiums went up (in case you were wondering where the rest of the b-day money went).

I was even less inclined to go after anything following the awesome trade packages I've received in recent times. Although I have started planting the seeds to get some nice pieces for the return packages.

So yeah, thank you for sticking around and reading the ramblings of a typical 20-something who has no idea what he's doing. In the end I've managed to live for 24 years so far, here's to about 24 more. Anything beyond that is anyone's guess.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care.

Saturday, March 24, 2018







こちらはFruit Roll-Upsという甘いグミのような(グミを紙のように平ペッタクしたものと言ったほうが正確かも)お菓子でして、一箱につき一パックが付録として貰えるというキャンペーンが現在行われているのです。どうやら昔にも一度こういうキャンペーンが行われたようです。













Friday, March 23, 2018

Pivoting to Video

For those you that were worried that I was scrapping this blog and moving to video, don't worry, I'm not.

But, I have had a few stray thoughts over the years where I shoot and edit an entire video based on baseball cards. But how? Or rather, what?

Well the foremost obvious answer would be videos focused on opening packs/boxes/entire cases.
I think we've all seen at least one box break video in our lives. Whether it's one of those live stream group break videos or just some vlogger ripping into a blaster from Wal-Mart. For the most part they're all very bad in terms of entertainment value. Never mind the stuff the people pull in the video, a great hit doesn't guarantee a great video. You don't watch those videos to be entertained, you watch them to see if the team slot you purchased gets you something good.

I mean let's face it. Most of the box breakers aren't entertainers or people who make a living performing. They're probably laypeople who work as lawyers (because apparently lawyers make up 60% of all baseball card collectors). That's not their fault, nor is it a sin or anything. But it just means that you're going to end up watching a very lackluster 10 minute video of a guy sitting in front of a web-cam (or right behind it) with a bad mic. All part of a very long continuous shot with little edits, nothing in terms of a music soundtrack, and unless you have something invested in the video (ie you're part of the group break) you're probably going to click out of the video.

I mean I guess that's to be expected for live streaming since I guess it's the closest you're going to be able to get to having the participants see the pulls in real time and confirm for themselves that the operation wasn't rigged.

But what if it's not a live stream? What if it's just a recap video of sorts? What if the point of the video isn't even about opening something? Do you take the same "one and done approach"? Based on YouTube searches the answer is a resounding yes because people are lazy. And no I do not blame them. As mentioned before, I'm lazy too.

BUT, every now and then you do have videos that can make it a little bit more interesting.

I recently came across this video where the plot revolves around the opening of two boxes of Upper Deck Christina Aguilera cards, created by online filmmaker SBN3. It's very entertaining and can be enjoyed by basically anybody regardless of if they're a collector or not.

The next section contains *spoilers*, so watch the video first if you care to.

Now granted, this isn't a "traditional" box break video. There are edits, there are production values, there are puppets. We don't even know if the autograph was pulled or if it was bought. But you know what? I don't care, I really enjoyed it. The video doesn't exist to show us what was in the boxes (in fact it clearly doesn't give a shit what was inside), it shows us a relatable and familiar situation of a collector who is desperate for a good pull. I'm sure a lot of us can relate to a lot of moments in the video. Like questioning the legitimacy of the "autographs", having concerns about the boxes being tampered with beforehand, being friends with condiments, complaining about the same pictures used over & over again, and praying to Jesus Christina Aguilera for a good luck. Don't lie to me or yourself, we've all been there.

It'd be pretty greedy of me to say that this is the kind of content and creativity I want from card videos, but this is totally the kind of content and creativity I want from card videos. So much so that I've considered making one on-and-off for years. All amounting to nothing.

Just a notch below that work of genius is this, an SB Nation original video production brought to you by Jon Bois and Ryan Nanni. They open packs in their quest to find the worst sports card ever. It's no Pretty Good (SB Nation's best video series), but it's fine. It gives pack openings a clear objective and a fun way of presenting their findings to us.

I suppose there is also having former players/personalities open cards and comment on them. Every now and then you get some great personal stories but for the most part the statements are often bland "oh this guy was a great guy and a heck of a player" types of PR speak we've heard millions of times. You're never going to get anything good like "oh this guy was a shit head" from anybody, not even if you gave Michael Barrett a pack filled with AJ Pierzynski's.

I didn't really check to see if there were other types of card videos out there but I assume that they'd be more of the same, vlogger type of card show hauls or autograph hauls or something like that.

My point is that there is effort put into these videos that makes them worth watching multiple times. If I ever do make a video, I'd want it to be like them. A little video made to entertain rather than just being another show and tell presentation. With scripts, with editing, with sound mixing, everything. Easier said than done I know, but hey, where there's a will there's a way. Who knows, maybe in the future we might Clone Breaks in video format ;). Although stop motion is not easy. And mics are not cheap. And camera phones aren't good enough. Ugh.

So anyway what do you think of videos about cards? Do you agree that they can be spruced up and less vloggy? Or do you like them just the way they already are because they're serving their purpose? Or do you think that both can be true like most rational humans would?

As always thanks for stopping by and take care.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sick Stick

So I recently engaged in another trade with Robert from $30 a Week Habit. It was a small one where I wanted to get another J.T. Miller base card from 2017-18 Upper Deck Hockey Series 1 for my team set (since my copy has his autograph on it). But Robert, being the trader that he is, sent along a bonus item. Two of them actually.

One of them was this Masked Men 5 insert of Mike Richter. Richter is a goaltending legend who played his whole NHL career with the Rangers. Richter was an integral part of the 1994 Rangers during their Stanley Cup run, and put up new team milestones and team records with the Rangers. Richter's since retired and had his jersey number retired by the Rangers. He remains a fan favorite to this day. Naturally you'd think he'd be the best goaltender in Rangers history right? Well here in 2018 that's up for debate. Who could possibly go up against someone like Richter you ask? Well that man was also in the package from Robert.

The King himself, Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist has basically carried the Rangers on his back for his entire career. Even a total newbie like me can see why everyone calls him a brick wall. Earlier this month Lundqvist recorded back to back 50-save games (gotta love that Rangers defense), and to date Lundqvist has broken a lot of the records and milestones Richter put up involving counting stats. With advanced stats coming into hockey there's probably a smarter way to compare the two, but I barely know the standard stats and I'll leave that debate up to people who actually know hockey.

What I do know is that between Richter and Lundqvist, the Rangers have had an embarrassment of riches at the between the posts for basically the last three (at least) decades. Kind of similar to the Yankees and their catchers (although it took a lot longer for the baton to get from Jorge Posada to Gary Sanchez than for Richter-to-Lundqvist).

I also really dig that stick relic in the upper window. It's super cool. The bottom window has your standard jersey cloth relic, which is also cool.

It could just be the novelty/newness factor that may (read: will) ware off in a bit, or it could also just be because Robert sent me a dual relic card of Henrik fucking Lundqvist(!), but I was pretty hyped when I asked me if I wanted this lol. I owe him big time. He does have an Ichiro collection now, and I do have friends in Japan, so...

Anyway between this and the Filip Chytil relic I got from Stealing Home, and the J.T. Miller jersey auto I picked up, I don't think it's a stretch to say that my Rangers relic card collection is FAR superior to my Yankees relic card ensemble. At least in terms of overall quality since every card packs a wallop.

Seriously, you could hear the fart noise sound effect the minute you saw this sad collection of cards. Then again, relics and game used equipment is not my forte.

What's not sad is the completed (again) Rangers team set from Series 1. Woof!

So big thanks to Robert for the awesome cards. Expect a mini-Zapping in the meantime as I wait for more pieces for the main Zapping.

And as always thank you (the readers) for stopping by.

Take care :).

Monday, March 19, 2018

Blogging vs Tweeting

So in my last post I included a small blurb about how interacting with social media isn't quite the same as blogging. Keen readers like Night Owl and Tony caught onto that and agreed. Today I thought I'd expand on that a little more. Weighing the pros and cons of both and comparing the apples and oranges. Not to see which is better, but to show that both have different roles to play.

Now when I say Twitter, you could really replace it with any of the big social media sites. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Discord, LinkedIn, Mixi, Myspace, VK, it's all the same. In the end they're all sites that save and sell your personal info and use big data to try to manipulate you. But we use them anyway because you might as well be cast off on an island if you don't have a social media presence in this day and age.

Before we start, let me just say that these are based on my experiences with both being a blogger and a Tweeter. They'll probably differ from yours depending on how different your usage of your blog and Twitter accounts are from the way I use mine.

Unrelated Scan 1

So I think we should start with things that blogging and Twitter have in common, as well as what they don't have in common and see where things go from there.

The first thing they have in common is that both offer you a platform (of sorts) to say whatever is on your mind. Want to blog/tweet about baseball card backs of certain obscure cards? Sure, go ahead. Want to blog/tweet about things that have absolutely nothing to do with baseball or sports? Sounds great.

That said this brings up the first major difference between the two. Exactly how much you can say. I don't mean that as in you need to censor what you want to say (although you should really think through what you put out there on the internet, it's your inescapable permanent record). I mean it in terms of literal limits placed on Twitter not allowing you to use more than 280 characters.

With Blogger or WordPress or whatever the fuck people want to use, anyone could write entire novels about any topic they want. With Twitter you have to keep it to 280 characters. Of course you could create long Twitter threads but if it exceeds more than three chain tweets, the average Twitter user will tune out and think you're a moron for not just starting a blog.

This is why I think Twitter is better suited for hot takes and mundane thoughts that don't have enough meat on them to sustain their own blogpost. I mean I'm sure a lot of us with both blogs and Twitter accounts have had random thoughts pop up in our heads related to baseball cards, but we know that they could never carry an entire blogpost so we just put them up on Twitter. Granted maybe some of those thoughts get incorporated later into bigger blogposts, but the point remains that Twitter is better suited for being a wall where you fling shit against it and see what sticks. Whatever sticks may end up being able to beef up another blogpost.

Unrelated Scan 2

Another thing that blogging and Twitter have in common is that you can be a part of some really nice small communities.

We all have our own little collecting hub here on our corner of the blogosphere. Chances are we all have something similar on Twitter. The internet connects us to so many people now that it's very scary and overwhelming, but it can be fun if everyone plays their proper part. I think the blogging community here is as close as it's going to get to a good online community comprised of strangers with only one hobby being what connects them. It's not perfect but compared to the online card communities I've seen on message boards, yeah this is as good as it gets lol.

With Twitter, chances are the community will be a bit bigger. After all it's one of the biggest social media sites ever and not every collector out there has a card blog. That has it's benefits as you have more people to talk to and engage in conversation with (maybe trade/buy/sell some stuff you all need). But it also has its drawbacks because you're going to be dealing with a lot more people who only have a Twitter profile as a frame of reference. Can you really trust that person? Not just with your cards but with your address and personal info in general? This is where you have to use your brain, put on your adult pants and make adult decisions about who to interact with and who to stay far far away from.

Although once that's done you usually find yourself in part of a little clique. Whether it's with fellow collectors or just people who happen to share your interests. For reference, the people I interact with on Twitter the most are people who don't collect baseball cards at all. When I do interact with fellow traders it's usually about things that aren't cards at all (just ask Stealing Home). Card related matters usually either just end up being private Twitter DMs or just tweets telling people that their packages arrived so they don't have to worry.

Or at least that's just me. I don't use Twitter as a hub for my collecting life (that's what this blog is for). I use Twitter to keep up with #LuisTorrens news, Yankees news, news in general (I'm not proud of that but Facebook's algorithms keep screwing up my timeline) and various other things that interest me. Hence why my own Twitter feed is littered with garbage Yankees takes and Dark Magician Girl gifs more often than anything card related.

Unrelated Scan 3

I'm sure you folks can come up with even more similarities and differences between blogging and engaging in social media. For me it all just comes down to how much you can get out there with every push of a Publish/Tweet button, and the type of company you'll find yourself in.

Got any of your own stories about blogging and tweeting? Why not write a post or tweet about it?

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Friday, March 16, 2018

Why I Blog

Recently there's been a bat blog around spreading everywhere where you discuss what your current collecting projects are/what you collect. Well here on this blog, we opt for blog arounds that were created long before this blog was even around (or even before the writer behind this blog even cared about baseball cards) and get around to current blog bat around topics a good nine years after they're published.

So today I figure I'd tackle an old Bat Blog Around Night Owl did back in 2009, about why one blogs. I'd recommend you read Night Owl's post for yourself as it's very good (NO does write for a living after all).

I suppose for me I should begin with why I started to blog back on the very last day of 2013.

Before my blog was launched, I was an anonymous collector who was just known for sending people Sega Card Gens. I had just come back to the states and I had yet to really decide what kind of collector I was. Obviously I had a thing for prospects but the Yankees farmsystem back then wasn't teeming with fun prospects like it is today. So instead I was opting for entire teams like the Staten Island Yankees and I was actually trying to go the super-vintage (downright ancient actually) route too by building the T-206 NY Highlanders team set at one point.

I figured that I'd go after a reclamation project with a high ceiling (Dellin Betances) and an injury prone catcher (Francisco Cervelli) in the hopes of building very solid player collections. By the time I had decided to pull the trigger and press the "Publish" button, I was also thinking that I could set up this blog to serve as a log for my potential super collection of a certain up-and-coming Yankees stud I met in the minors who could really be the first prospect I go all in on as a supercollector.

Eric Jagielo.

Obviously none of that ever happened.

Even though Jagielo was the subject of my first ever blogpost, that PC never went anywhere and by the end of the 2014 I dropped him along with Betances who blossomed into a star after his bullpen transition proved successful, and Cervelli who eventually got traded to Pittsburgh.

Instead this blog turned into a hub for what eventually did turn into the supercollection that I would build for years to come...

...mi Luis Torrens colectión!

And I've never looked back since.

Along the way I've adopted new players and teams that I collect. Some have been dropped (remember Takuya Kinoshita? lol), while others just remain dormant due to the sheer lack of cards (#SummerOfThairo), but through it all I've had a solid core of people at the center of it.

This blog has also kept track of my TTM's, IP's and whatever I decide to do on a whim (my Clone Breaks, New York Rangers, occasional forays into Yu-Gi-Oh!, etc...). Which is an added bonus.

So that's why I started blogging and why I keep blogging. To serve as a log of where I've been as a collector and where I'm going.

I also keep blogging because this blog really connects me to all of the collecting friends I've made over the years. My blogroll here is where I catch up on all of the posts I've missed out during the day. Sure a lot of you can find me and contact me on Twitter or email but it's not quite the same.

I'm gonna go on a tangent here but I've found that there is an added benefit of blogging where people will think of you/your blog based on who you bring up the most, and you in turn also think of players that you know other bloggers like. Admit it, you all thought of a certain someone when you saw that card above. I know I sure did.

Even if the bloggers aren't outright super player collectors, they still can find themselves being represented by who they've said on record to be their favorite. The more obscure the better. Off the top of my head I can recall the following...

P-Town Tom - Dan Vogelbach
Night Owl Cards - Ron Cey
The Lost Collector - Tino Martinez
Bob Walk The Plank - Jason Bay
San Jose Fuji - Kurt Suzuki
JayBarkerFan- Josh Willingham
Collecting Cutch - Andrew McCutchen
Drew - Luis Severino
Once A Cub - Tony Campana
Dan - Paul Goldschmidt
Ryan G. - Buck Farmer
Brian - Kennys Vargas
The Junior Junkie - Ken Griffey Jr.
Off Hiatus Tony - Robin Yount
Dutch Card Guy - Bert Blyleven
Play At The Plate - Ivan Rodriguez
My Cardboard Habit - Matt Harrison
Metallattorney - Jason Varitek
Raz - R.A. Dickey
Tim Wallach Collector - Tim Wallach
Johnny - John Elway
Kin - Russ Davis
$30 A Week - Joe Sakic
DefGav - Hoyt Wilhelm
Nick The Dime Box King - Hoyt Wilhelm (CHC era)
JediJeff - Hoyt Wilhelm (CWS era)
ARPSmith - Hoyt Wilhelm (NYG era)
Snorting Bull - Hoyt Wilhelm (STL era)
Tony Burbs - Hoyt Wilhelm (CHC era)
Stealing Home - Hoyt Wilhelm (LAD era)
Angels In Order - Hoyt Wilhelm (LAA era)
The Card Papoy - Hoyt Wilhelm
Nachos Grande - Hoyt Wilhelm
Mark Hoyle - Hoyt Wilhelm
Most other bloggers - Hoyt Wilhelm

This is helpful and can add a bit of a boost to our collecting lives for when we come across cards of these players.

Do the collectors need it? "Probably not but it's cheap/I already own it so I can fill up their next trade package!" This has often saved many a bargain bin dive or pack for me where normally it'd just be a waste of time/money but it offered me filler cards I can send to whoever I know is a fan of the person on it.

Dupes are a first world problem in the hobby for sure but when it's your favorite player then it's also one of those "good problems to have" where you're going to appreciate every copy that you receive for free. If you won't take my word for it, ask any of the bloggers I mentioned above. Even the ones who say they're not hardcore player collectors.

This face of the blogchise effect has helped me more than I could've ever imagined.

This purple On Fire diecut auto came to me from Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown. Get this, the card is limited to 25 copies (don't worry it's not he X-Mas card or else it'd be back in Gav's hands). Still, 25!

This On Fire printing plate came to me from The Card Papoy. From France! A plate! A 1/1!

This black On Fire diecut auto came to me from Bob Walk The Plank. This one is numbered to five. FIVE!

An Update printing plate from Wes aka JayBarkerFan from Willinghammer Rising. Another 1/1!

And the very first Luis Torrens autograph card I had ever obtained, courtesy of Raz of the Raz Card File. Little did either of us know that this blog would be changed forever shortly after this became mine.

Along with countless other cool items I've received over the years. Torrens or otherwise.

I don't blog to get stuff, but this community is as nice as it is cozy and with a surprisingly wide net cast all over the country world, there's a good chance someone is going to find something and offer a big helping hand. In turn I also try to do the best I could to make an impact on everyone else's collections. Even though I usually end up failing miserably in the process.

So a quick and long overdue thanks to all of you you've made blogging and collecting in general a much funner experience than I could've hoped for. One way or another, you're all a reason why I keep blogging.

It's been a fun four years to date, here's to many more in the future.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Of all of the autographs I acquired two winters ago, the one I didn't think I'd ever get was of the Dragons mascot, Doala.

Doala is a koala bear whose name is a mix of the ド(Do) in ドラゴン(the Japanese spelling/pronunciation of Dragon) and Oala part of koala. The team picked him to be a koala because the koala exhibit was the most popular attraction at the local zoo in Nagoya at the time.

Doala has been the Dragons mascot since his debut in 1994 and as such his jersey number is also 1994. He's the Dragons' most popular mascot and is often seen at official Dragons backed events and every home game in the season.

Part of Doala's shtick is how he does a mid air somersault during the seven inning stretch. Namely because around this time the crowd is either bored or fired up. The common joke is that if the Dragons go on to win, it's because Doala managed to land the somersault. If the Dragons lost, it's because Doala didn't manage to make the landing. Of course that's not true, but it's fun stuff for casual fans who just wanted to watch a game for whatever reason on a summer evening.

The Dragons actually have two more mascots named Paolon and Shaolon, both of whom are based on actual dragons, but because they're plump and have tails that keep them from making somersaults, Doala gets top billing. Those two have autographs as well so we'll explore their stories in another post.

Anyway this is the first (and to date) only mascot autograph in my collection.

It was actually a gift from a collector named RA12 (a Roberto Alomar supercollector) who knew that I was on a Chunichi kick. What a thoughtful gift.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).