In a effort to get my hands on some recent baseball releases I contacted Panini. Panini America will not deliver to the UK. International postage is limited to Canada only. So I contacted Panini directly. Firstly in Tunbridge Wells England, that's Royal Tunbridge Wells, a very posh place. Spoke to a nice lady and explained that I was hoping to get hold of a recent baseball release called 'Triple Play'.
She advised that I should contact Panini Europe, in Modena Italy, which I did.
My local newsagents in Westgate-on-Sea is up to its armpits in Panini stickers and has even had Panini basketball cards for goodness sake.
So what did Panini Europe advise, after I had explained my dilemma?
I'm afraid their only advise, if I really wanted to get hold of these cards, is to look online and see if there are any collectors that could sell them to me.
In other words look on e-bay or somewhere like DAcardworld who will charge $24.00 for a $24.00 box of cards. That doesn't include being hit by the friendly people at UK customs and excise.
Which leads nicely to the importance that trading has for UK collectors.
One of the small band of UK collectors is Martyn from Abitrary Crap. He is holding a contest at the moment, so take a look. (I'm sure the stadium picture is in the UK, definitely not Fenway!)
Martyn sent a whole host of cards including the mother lode of Jacoby Ellsbury relic cards, which is great - I very rarely pull him from a pack. The red All-Star game worn is intriguing because it is not the usual white.
A Big Papi, when he was a littler Papi, game used bat.
And the worlds thickest base cards from the ridiculously expensive 2007 Upper Deck Exquisite. Which, if I remember correctly was selling for about $300 for a 6 card pack. Although each pack contained at least 5 autographs, one of them being a 1of 1 card. The 100 card base set was limited to 99 of each card, imagine trying to collect the base set?
These two cards are part of the parallel set numbered to 75.