Monday, January 19, 2015

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (Kevin from The Card Papoy)

Welcome back to another edition of Better Know a Blogger.  I've greatly enjoyed this series and I'm pleased to see how long-running the feature has become!  Today's edition brings us back across the ocean to yet another foreign country!  One of the coolest side effects of this series is seeing exactly how multinational my blog readership is!  Enjoy today's post with a slice of French toast or maybe a French fry...or go French kiss someone special.

Can you figure out the country?

1. Your name (or alias):  Kevin Papoy (one of these two names is real)
2. Your blog website:  The Card Papoy
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
I’m mainly a team collector, as I collect Blue Jays and Knicks cards. But it’s mainly because it gives me something to focus on and a goal to achieve. But all truth be told, I just love cool cards with great photos. I collect Blue Jays cards because my mom’s from Toronto (I’m French and live in France) and Knicks cards because I spent a year in New York back in 89 and grew obsessed with that city (and the Raptors weren’t around when I got into basketball). I also have a crush on Ken Griffey Jr and several others (including your very own Barry Larkin).
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
I don’t collect Panini cards for so many reasons and wouldn’t know where to begin (and not just because of licensing). What they could do is go back to the beginning of the 90s, where inserts were really inserts and where you’d open 15 card packs to try and complete a base set. And they really need to think outside the box. They won’t be able to go with vintage throwback designs forever. I can’t wait for an Archives version of 2001 Archives.
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
I stopped collecting for 16 years and, like many, started again recently out of nostalgia. My favorite parts are the few binders I have that bring me way back. I’ll never grow tired of those little pieces of cardboard that I carefully handpicked to put in 9 pocket pages.
6. Most of us have a favorite song that we like for no good reason – heck, it might even be embarrassing.  Do you have a favorite baseball card that might fit that bill?  
Well, I’m not proud of it, but I love my Barry Bonds RC. Yeah, I know…but it was given to me by one of my best friends, so it’s special in that way (but kids, don’t do drugs, or you’ll end up with a bunch of asterisks).
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
I’d keep the card I’ve had since 1989. I wrote a whole post about it, but it’s a card I found on the street in New York, and back then I had no idea what baseball nor cards were. But I was drawn to it nonetheless and I’ve had it on me ever since. 

Now this is a wallet card!
8. Many of the blogs (including my own at times) seem to decry Topps’ lack of vision and creativity.  Can you think of something creative that could be done for an upcoming card set?  
Simple : they did it by bringing Stadium Club back. Now just do the same but with a 600 card checklist, get rid of autos, I’ll tolerate a First day issue parallel and a Beam Team insert set, don’t even think about putting some memorabilia cards, and we’ve got a winner. We want action shots, more action shots and even more action shots (and some goofy and random ones). They could also go get some of the guys who put together 93 Upper Deck.
9. What is your profession?  How did you end up there?  If you are in school, what do you plan to major in and/or what job do you hope to get after graduating?  
I’m a book-seller. I got there when I was 30 because, well, I read a lot and figured it’d be a cool way to earn a living (it is) and found someone who trusted me enough to give me a chance. I have a major in foreign languages (English and German) and economics.
10. What is your favorite place that you’ve ever visited?  Why?  
Cleveland. It’s ugly, don’t get me wrong, but I spent 4 months in a trailer park when I was 16, with great people, just playing baseball and basketball all day and going to card shops. Best summer ever. (I live just beside Paris, which isn’t too shabby either)
11. Many of us have favorite foods or customs that are somewhat local to where we live.  Do you have any such things that you particularly love?  A website link to specific products would be spectacular.  
Cheese, charcuterie, croissants, baguettes…you name it ! France is a great place for food lovers, though the best food I’ve ever tasted must have been in Italy.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
I buy books. A lot of them.
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
Before I became a book-seller, I used to be into music. I made electro-hip hop and was signed on a record label that put out my album.  I also write a blog in French about my job, and let’s just say that I’m well-known in the industry. But that’s another story !

As always, I must begin with a hearty "thank you" to our latest Better Know a Blogger volunteer.  A couple of days ago, I featured Ryan's Better Know a Blogger entry which was notable because Ryan is in Japan.  Two days later, we travel halfway around the world to France to meet up with Kevin - and you could probably guess this already, but France is another country on my "to visit" list.  To be fair, it's my wife who really wants to visit France but I'd like to go too...especially for the food!

As for Kevin's baseball answers, I am in complete agreement with the notion that Topps did well last year with their Stadium Club set (though the price point was initially way too high given the mostly crappy autographs in the product).  I do love that the focus of the set was on stellar photography - and you could easily collect the base set without having to worry about the parallels (or any short prints - yay!).  

Thanks again to Kevin for volunteering - and stay tuned for a few more Better Know a Blogger posts yet to come.  I'm now up to having all responses that were email to me before December 17, 2014 posted to the blog!  


The Lost Collector said...

Great write up. One of the best newish blogs out there.

Matthew Scott said...

Kevin is a great guy. One of my favorite people to trade with.

JediJeff said...

"...was signed on a record label that put out my album." that ever a Google/YouTube search challenge.

Kevin Papoy said...

thanks guys !
Jeff : this might prove a little tricky, as the name I use here is very, very different from my stage name ! But I'll probably write about it at some point...

Julie Owens said...

Kevin - he's nearly too much fun and one of my fave traders! And yes, i too would like to see him hip-hoppin!

Tony L. said...

One day soon, Kevin will suddenly let us know that his real name is DJ Tiesto.

Tony L. said...

And yes, I know Tiesto is Dutch. :-)

Kevin Papoy said...

I only composed music, I didn't sing or rap (thank god for small favors) ! My Cd was actually distributed in the US, I must have sold at least...pfew...50 copies over there ! a real celebrity

Mark Hoyle said...

Great interview. Kevin is great to trade with

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