Monday, September 22, 2014

K4K - Putting The Word Out



Hello.  I'm taking a moment to step away from hockey cards to promote a charity event my nephew is taking part in.

Earlier this spring, we were visiting the Horror Convention that came through town.  Cool costumes, fantastic artwork, special guest signers and an all-around fun atmosphere.

While we were waiting for the doors to open, my nephew noticed a table with a video game station set up.  Being big into video games...he was naturally intrigued.

What we both learned was that the table was there to raise awareness for an organization called Extra Life.  Extra Life is an organization which raises money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals around the world...by playing video games.


Not everyone is a runner, not everyone is math guy, not everyone plays music.  Some.....are drawn to gaming.

Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $8 million through donations by people like you and me.  All triggered by the efforts of video gamers.

So how do they raise funds?

On Saturday, October 25, 2014, Extra Life will be the portal to a massive video game marathon.  An annual event that my nephew Kyle Pelletier has decided to participate in.  The goal is simple....play video games for 24 hours straight.  OK, maybe it's not so simple for a kid in Grade 8.  But the idea and spirit of Extra Life is that everyone pull together at the same time to raise awareness as well as funds.  He will be playing on team YYC (Calgary) and raise money for the Alberta Children's Hospital.

My nephew has committed to play 24 hours of video games for this event.  He will do 2 hours a night Monday-Friday leading up to the big day, and then chug through a monstrous 14 hour marathon on Oct. 25th.  His goal is to raise $500.  I hope he crushes that goal into oblivion.

That where my shout out to you comes in.

If you would like to donate towards my nephew's efforts, you can do so by going to his donation page on Extra Life.  It's super simple and your donation is tax deductible.  Bonus!  All proceeds go to help kids in these hospitals.  Double bonus!!

Any amount you can give is very much appreciated.

Getting the word out is equally as helpful.

Lastly, I have started a blog for my nephew and I to share this quest with those who are interested.  We plan on keeping you informed on his progress and to also share in the fun that this video game marathon should be.  You can keep tabs at kyle4orkids.blogspot.ca


THANK YOU very much for taking the time to read this post and consider this cause.

BEHIND THE MASKS - More Masked Men 6

I added a pair of Masked Men 6 cards to my growing mask card collection.  Believe it or not, it came from an insanely exciting Between The Pipes snake draft with Captain Canuck.

Yeah.....not that exciting.

So much so that I'm not even going to scan the rest of the goodies.

But here are the two Masked Men 6 cards.....and my comments.

2013/14 In The Game
Masked Men 6
#MM-43 Tom Barrasso

International masks should not be included in Masked Men sets.


2013/14 In The Game
Masked Men 6
#MM-21 Spencer Martin


Junior masks should not be included in Masked Men sets.


Thank you for your time.


In all seriousness, these two cards do nothing for me.  While the Barrasso mask does have a nice design, the USA treatment just takes away from what I'd like in a 50-card mask set - all NHLers (masks and all).

The Martin mask just should not be included period.  The design is not exciting enough.  I'm more impressed with the artist's detail on the guy's neck hair than I am his two-colored lid.

There are more than enough goalies in the NHL (past and present) to easily fill a 50-card set.  Junior masks and International masks need not be included.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

HHOF AUTOS - Someone Was Left On The Desk

My desk isn't too messy right now, but that's not to say there aren't a few pieces of cardboard sitting around.  This morning is a good time to work on a bit of a tidy.

Early in the spring I spent a bit of time scanning in a few of my traders.  I figured it was about time I try a little harder to turn cards I don't want into ones I do.

Funny enough....it worked.

I've sold a few and have managed to trade for a few.  Some went right back into the trade box, but a few have been added to my projects.

This latest addition to my Hall Of Fame autos is one such card.

Peter Stastny
Inducted in 1998

Peter Stastny will unfortunately always play second fiddle to the explosive Oilers of the early 80's, but there is no doubt that his contribution to the game is massive.

He (and his brothers Marian and Anton) brought a level of excitement to the Quebec Nordiques shortly after the WHA/NHL merger never before seen.

He was the first rookie in NHL history to collect over 100 points in his rookie season (Gretzky had 137 in his first year in the NHL but was not considered a rookie due to his play in the WHA), is one of four players to record 1000 or more points in the decade of the 80's (only outscored by Gretzky) and was the 4th fastest to score 1000 points (682 GP).

He also spent time with the New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues and finished his HOF career with 1239 points in less than 100 games played.

He was also involved in the first IIHF event for Slovakia when the team competed in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.  They finished a very respectable 6th (tying the eventual gold medal winners Sweden and beating the silver medal winning Canadian team in round robin play).

He retired from the NHL in 1995 and since 2004 has served as a Member of the European Parliament for Slovakia.

Always outspoken and honest with his comments, Peter Stastny remains one of the top players in my mind from my childhood.  I discovered the NHL in the early 80's and guys like Bossy, Gretzky and Stastny were paramount in my excitement towards the game.

And you can't deny how slick those Nordiques jerseys looked (this coming from a Canucks' sweater lover).

The card I traded for is from a great set put out by Panini....Prime.  Their Prime Signatures cards are very popular.  Too bad they couldn't prep the cards properly.  The marker bubbling is a definite turnoff.

But I decided to pick it up anyways.  I'll keep it in the collection for a while and then eventually upgrade it.

He does have a nice looking signature though.


Current Collection - 60 HOF cards

Saturday, September 20, 2014

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 2014/15 O-Pee-Chee

It was an interesting summer for my Trevor Linden collection.  When I decided to go on my hiatus, I was curious to see the Linden landscape upon my return.  How many new cards would I have to chase?  How many rare pulls would have come and gone?  How long would it take just to get my list updated?

Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a bit of a lull had occurred with new Linden cards.  Getting back on track took next to no time.

There were no In The Game additions over the summer.  It looks like ITG took the summer off too.  I've heard that they merged with Leaf and will be releasing products via a team effort.  I'm very interested to see what they come up with moving forward.  ITG has been a definite love/hate relationship but I can never complain about not having some great looking Linden cards to chase.

Panini, in their final months of releasing hockey products (before Upper Deck begins its exclusive deal with the NHL) didn't provide much until their final push - National Treasures.  I'm adding one card from Playoff Contenders (/499) and four (non 1/1) cards from NT.  A very reasonable chase.

Upper Deck, who normally leaves Linden out of their products (except for The Cup it seems recently), added him into their Ultimate Collection checklist (a nice hard-signed autograph card) and then the ever-popular O-Pee-Chee release.

I've enjoyed the OPC releases for years now.  I think the overall look and build of the product for its price point is one of the best on the market.  A big, beefy base checklist, some simple short-print cards, inserts, parallels and the odd big hit make this a fun break for all levels of collectors.

With Linden in the mix, there are six new cards added to my wantlist.  I landed the first one a couple weeks ago.

2014/15 O-Pee-Chee
#563 Marquee Legend

They aren't breaking any new ground with the design this year, but I do enjoy the look of this card.  I would have loved a photo of him in the yellow, orange and black but what can you do.

There are five parallels of this card still on the list.  A blank back, Rainbow, Rainbow Black (/100), Red and (what I'm looking forward to most) Retro.

I don't see any of those cards breaking the bank (although the blank back could be a tough find....I'm still looking for one from the 08/09 product).

While I was updating my list this morning I decided to scan the other two cards I picked up this summer.  My little cheat from the hiatus if you will.

2012/13 In The Game
History Of Hockey
#3439 ITG Buyback 2002/03 BAP Signature Series

These slabbed ITG History Of Hockey cards have always intrigued me.  Such a low-end card in a high-end product.  They never took off the way I think some anticipated they would.  I never really saw any huge appeal or big dollar value to them....so I stayed away for the most part.

I did pick up his slabbed OPC rookie card (as there are only 7 copies of it) and one other buyback auto (the 10/11 Decades 80's...which by my numbering is the only one they made of it).

This 02/03 Signature Series auto has 6 copies in three different numbering designations.  Please note...I'm still trying to figure out the whole checklist for this.  It's quite confusing.  And I've seen the card pop up numerous times over the months since it hit the open market.

It wasn't until it dropped to under $10 that I decided to pull the trigger.  Heck, just slabbing the card itself costs that much.  I thought it was finally the right price.

2013/14 In The Game
In The Game Used
#CC-10 Captain C Gold

Another release that had me patiently wait for prices to ease back down, this Captain C Gold version (limited to 10 copies) was in no rush to hit my collection.

When the card first came out it would've gone for $40-50.  I paid $15 for my copy (which was just a little more than the regular Silver version).  Patience pays off.


So that's it.  My Linden collection is back up to date.  A few more cards on the list, but all in all a very manageable climb.

What I have noticed though is how passive I have been with ebay since the start of September.  I see cards that I normally would have struck at, but right now the aggressiveness just isn't there.  Have I become too patient?

Let's check back on that in a month or so.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A TRIUMPHANT RETURN!!! (aka...I'm Back)

Hello everybody!!!

It's been nearly three months since I last posted and I can't believe how fast the summer has come and gone.  I knew it was going to happen since the summer months are by far the busiest at work.

Last Sunday was the end of a hectic season at work and now it's the quick sprint to Christmas.  Yes...it's true - it'll be here soon.

So what did I do during my hiatus from the hobby?  Well, other than work there was the odd round of golf (one of my better years in a while).  I've caught up with some friends, spent some time with my niece and nephew and just really took advantage of my down time.

I've watched a number of solid sport docs and am still on the lookout for more.  Reading was a little lighter than I wanted.  Still trying to finished my latest book (it's been a few weeks since I turned a page).  That said, I went to the library today and on a whim took out the next book I'm going to read.  Seems like this time of year is a popular one for new releases.

Listened to some new music, bought a few cd's (yes...I still buy cd's) and even managed a concert.  Overall, I just wanted to enjoy the things I like.

Which is why it was a little tough to stay completely away from the sportscard hobby.

I'll admit - I caved.

I was good for the first 6 weeks or so.  No real anxious twitches to search ebay or lurk on the hobby boards.  But around the end of July I decided to do a quick Linden search on ebay...just to see what all was new out there.  To my surprise - very little.  Just one new card (numbered to 499). The hiatus timed perfectly with a Linden lull in the hobby.

My "one time" search lasted about a week until I searched again.  Then a couple days later.  Then....

Let me begin this story by saying that my Linden wantlist is organized chronologically (the earliest card at the top and the newest releases at the bottom).  Those cards near the top of my page have been there for a while.  Some well over a decade.

Wouldn't you know it....the card that popped up on ebay was the first card on my list.  A 15-year-old card that I have never seen a copy of.  Until I decide to go on hiatus.

Well....that went out the window pretty quickly.  I made the decision to bid and bid big.  To my enjoyment...the card went for less than half what I was willing to pay.  I was thrilled.

The card arrived about a week later and I can say that I had zero remorse about going back on my hiatus.

1998-99 Topps Gold Label
#42 Class 3 Red  /25

The first year of Topps Gold Label holds a special place in my heart.  It's the product that ruined my dream of owning one of every copy of a Linden card in existence (there are 9 different 1/1 cards) but it did supply me with my first ever 1/1 Linden.

I have been on the lookout for this card year after year and have never seen it.  With only 25 copies, I was reserved to the fact that I'd never cross it off my list.

You can see the faint embossing of the serial number along the right side (12/25).  There are three different color levels (gold, black, red) and each color has three "classes" (one, two and three).  And then each of the nine cards has a 1/1 version.  Back in 1998, I hated this concept.  To be honest, I still do.

But other than the 1/1's, this Class 3 Red is the rarest in the product, and clearly the toughest to find.

So what's on the top of the list now?  The 1999/00 Be A Player Millennium Emerald /10.  Another one that may never pop it's head out of the ground.

So after grabbing this gem, I decided to take a closer look at the Linden cards on ebay.  I did cave and buy two more....the prices were just too good to pass on.  But you know what - that's it.

Three Linden cards.  That's all I've picked up since completing the Nameplate in June.  I'd say that's a pretty successful hiatus.

But with any good hiatus, the return can be equally as fun.  So stay tuned as I've got a few goodies to show off and a special surprise for one lucky reader.

I hope you all had a great summer!

Friday, June 20, 2014

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Gimmie and 'L'...

It's been a little while since I have posted anything....and was done on purpose.

I decided last month that after The Card Show at the end of May I would take a little summer hiatus.

But I wanted to wait for the announcement until I could share this unlikely little collection.

A while back I picked up a letter from the In The Game Used product.  I believe it was a 'D'.  At the time I thought it would represent a letter from the product.  I had a letter from the Decades 90s product too.

Never did I think what would happen.....would happen.

But over the weeks, it was a letter here and a letter there popping up on ebay.

I talked to another Linden collector asking if he was chasing any of them. He said no.  That got me even a little more motivated.

One turned to two, turned to three, and all of the sudden I thought that this little pipe dream was becoming a bit more of a reality.

But still....the likelihood...nah!

I saw one more card pop up on ebay with a higher Buy It Now than I was willing to pay.  Finally.....the bubble had burst.

I even sent the seller a message asking if he was firm on the price.

He was.

Well, it was fun while it lasted.  I could now relax as the chase was over.

But then last month at The Card Show I was stunned to find the letter 'I' sitting in a showcase.

Seeing one of the letters locally at a show was completely unexpected.  Especially when it represented the fifth out of six letters.

I didn't mince words and cut right to the chase.  I made a very fair offer and the seller took it.

That meant just one more card.

So how much more for a card would you pay if it meant completing a set?

To me, there are still limits.  I wasn't going to pay the asking price of the final card online.  But a fellow Linden collector who knew where I was sitting with this project (once again) helped me out.

He was placing an order with the store that had the card and made a deal for less than what the card was listed for.

The final piece arrived in the mail today and the unthinkable is complete.

I never would have imagined that these six letters would all be sitting side by side in my possession.



And with that, I'm now back on my break.

I decided that I'm taking the summer off.  Completely.  As of right now.

No Lindens.

No ebay.

No hobby boards.

No blogging.

That doesn't mean that I'm going away or have become tired with the hobby.  I still very much love collecting cards.  I just need to focus my time during the summer on other things.

Work is extremely busy and I'd like to try and get a round or two of golf in (if it ever stops raining).  Plus, I have a massive list of books I want to read (not that I'm going to finish many over the summer months).

I think the time away will be good.  Recharge the battery so to speak.  And my wallet will like me a little more too.

So thanks for reading and I hope you'll check out some new content in a couple months.

Happy Summer!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - The Card Show Edition

Uh oh....I think my scanner is crapping out.  Maybe it's taking revenge for the bad things I said about those autos a couple days ago.

I'm due for a new one though......but that doesn't mean I want to go out and buy one.  Why can't things last 15-20 years like they used to?  I'm in a good 10 - and kaput!!!

So forgive the weird scanning contrasts (I scanned on two different days).  You'll still get the idea of what wonderful Linden cards I have landed over the past week.

Sorry....did I say wonderful?  Messier - ugh!  I really hope the Habs can rally and knock off the Rangers in 7.  I don't think I'll be able to stand Messier and crew being paraded around during the Finals.  After all, it's the 20th Anniversary of what I consider to be the best Finals series I've ever watched (and the worst outcome ever).

I didn't cringe too much in picking up this card though.  Since it came in a trade (along with some HOF autos).  So Messier doesn't cost me any money.  Ha!

I did shell out for this one though.  Drat!

I was laughing a couple times over the weekend when I mentioned that I was glad (for one) that Linden had never won a Cup.  When I saw that In The Game was releasing a Stanley Cup themed product, I thought for sure I was safe for at least one release.

Nope.  He's got 4 cards.  A dual (with Messier), a quad (with Messier) and a pair of gold parallels.

At least he isn't in Between The Pipes.

He's not in Between The Pipes right?

This  Panini Playbook AutoBIOGRAPHY card came in a solid trade with Dylan at the weekend show.  He had shown it off to me a few months ago when he pulled the card at a local shop.  It hung around in his collection long enough for me to swing a sweet deal.

I picked up this Linden and the Michel Goulet auto card I showed a couple days back.  Can't go wrong with that pair.  The two cards going back his way were newer to my trade box, but I was happy to see them go his way.

A very fair trade in my opinion.  Win-win!!  Thanks Dylan.


Just a quick aside.....notice the sticker auto on this Linden card.  Now remember the Cournoyer auto from a couple days ago?  That one is hard signed.  What gives?  This Linden would have been spectacular as a hard signed offering.

An observation.

This card is one that I already have, but was gifted to me and I'm happy to add it into the collection.

It bounced between a couple of show/trade night regulars before hitting my hands and it took all of about 10 seconds when I walked in on Saturday.

I love when Linden cards just up and slap me in the face.  Thanks guys!

Hoo boy....another Messier.  This time in Vancouver garb.  To see him on a Franchise card makes my skin crawl.  No wonder this one didn't scan well.

With this silver version I now have all three versions (black, silver, gold).  Into the box they go....never to be seen again.

Or maybe I just put a sticker on the toploader covering up Messier.  Ha ha!

A nice triple card from the In The Game Used product.  I picked this up as a throw in on another card I landed (which I will show off down the road).

Free is good.

This one was not free.  But I was happy with the price I paid for it.

The gold parallel out of 10 was a nice addition to the collection.  I had won it on ebay but the seller was local so I was able to pick it up at the show.  No shipping charges either. Sweet!

A couple of pretty nice pieces on the card too (a little foreshadowing).

In The Game offered up some Spring Expo redemption cards this year and this Team ITG piece was one of them.  Limited to just 9 copies, I knew that if I wanted one I'd have to play my cards right.

Luckly I snagged this one at the right time.  Got it for less than what other had gone for.  Can't beat that.

And a nice two color piece on the Linden....bonus.

And as a bonus....how about the gold 1/1 parallel.  I was shown this at the card show on Saturday but the price tag was more than I was willing to spend (for a redemption).  But I could understand why the price was where it was.

Just look at the piece on that Linden!!!

Yeah...you're not seeing things.  It's identical to the silver version.

Now compare the Bure.

Night and day.

That Bure piece is literally bursting out of the card and easily makes this a must-have for a Bure collector.  I knew that if I wanted the card I'd have to bite the bullet.

So Sunday when I went back for round two, I decided to make a cash & trade offer.  I do feel like I overpaid for the card, but with the amount of $$$ I shelled out on the transaction being a lot less than the price tag, I was ok with it.  It is after all a 1/1.

Well not really....the Linden piece is the same.

So that concludes my Linden pickups over the past week.  Say for one.

There was one card that trumped 'em all.  But I'm holding off on showing that one because as awesome as it is....it might become even more awesome if the stars align.

Stay tuned!!