Thursday, February 18, 2021

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Few Recent Pickups

I've been thinking about my Linden collection quite a bit recently...for a number of reasons.

I've thought about how much I've invested into my PC these days - a far cry from the weekly snags a number of years ago (or multiple cards in a week). I've been going through some of my old Paypal receipts...yes, I keep those, and for good reason, and I'm shocked at how much cash I've dished out. I'm thankful that I've realized I can still thoroughly enjoy this hobby without destroying the bank account.

I've thought about it because I've thought about the stolen Linden collection from 2017. Some good news on the horizon with that story. Stay tuned.

I've also thought about my collection with regards to how I want to share it on social media. I've started a personal website (more for work reasons) and I want it to reflect who it is I am.  This hobby is without a doubt part of who I am, but will I potentially turn people away if I start bombarding it with cardboard content? Same holds true for Twitter or Instagram.

I plan on sharing, but I don't think it will be the foundation of my content.  This blog, however, will be a place to come for all things hockey cards.

So let's show off some of my most recent acquisitions.

2002/03 Pacific
#379 SHOW Pacific Nights  /10

For those who know what these are...know how absolutely jacked I was when I saw this.

I've been chasing this impossible to find show card for....well, almost 20 years. I had to do a double-take when I saw it land on ebay last November. Yes, it's a show stamped card, but that doesn't take away how desirable a piece of cardboard like this is for a completist like me.

What gave me the confidence to go hard on this one was the fact that my Linden purchasing last year was quite minimal. I knew that I could splurge....I was a good boy in 2020.

To my surprise, I landed it for about half of what I thought I'd end up paying...even better.

Limited to just 10 copies, I would be very surprised if I saw another copy of this hit the open market.

Now that said, I've seen an absurd amount of early 2000's show cards pop up on ebay of late. Somebody has stacks and stacks of them...but they're pricey. 

I'm kicking myself for leaving a couple a little too long - it seems the ones I needed were the first to sell.

Figures.

2019/20 President's Choice
#NN Game Used Fight Strap  /3

I haven't dabbled too much in the world of President's Choice. Dr. Brian Price (from the In The Game days) has ventured out into this smaller-production, direct purchase landscape. He knows his stuff and the response has been really strong over the past few years.

Linden has had a few really nice cards get created - many of them 1/1s, and the price tag to boot. Like I said, they're nice...but I just can't drop the coin like I used to.

I saw this fight strap card pop up on ebay with a decent price attached.  It went quick and so I headed over to the doctor's website to see if either of the other two copies were still available. There was one left.

I bit my tongue and bought it. Make no mistake, it's a really nice card and I'm thrilled to have it in the collection. Check out the way the snap pops out of the card...

Seriously...that's how it's done.

I laugh when I look at it now because about a week after I bought the card, there was a site-wide sale on products. Serves me right not to pay attention to things like Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday or what have you.

No regrets on this one. It's a toughie at just 3 copies. Glad to have it.

2020/21 Upper Deck
#67 Synergy Legend Red "error" blank front

OK....this one is both cool to own and a huge question mark.

I'm a fan of the oddball stuff. Error cards, misprints, I'm all over that...but only if it's inexpensive. After all, these are not official checklist-type stuff. So when I saw this card pop up on ebay, I was immediately intrigued - and with a ton of questions.

I've seen guys try to do some funky stuff with cards to sell them as "errors". Peeling the foil front and calling it a "proof", taking the eraser to the ol' early-90s Upper Deck cards. I've seen my fair share of fakes.

But this was the only copy of this Linden I had seen pop up (and to this date it's still the only copy like this I've seen). It looked pretty clean, so I threw a minimum bid on it. It ended up winning. I think I paid more for the shipping than I did the card.

Not a few days after I have the card in hand and I see a couple more of these "error" cards pop up by the same seller. Now something smells fishy. On the same day, I see some posts on social media showing peeling along the bottom of some of these cards. Now I feel like I've been duped.

I reached out to the seller and asked. He claims to have bought the cards from another guy. Is that really the case? I dunno. But I've let it slide and am tossing this on my master checklist. It was a couple bucks. No harm, no foul.

I still think it's a really cool looking card....but my mind has to say "it was a misprint" for me to think that.  Ha ha.

2020/21 Topps
#13 Skate! Disco Series 3

Well, I might have found the first digital Linden card that has me cringing.

I've been a big fan of the Topps Skate! app for a couple of years now. Great fun opening virtual packs - and it hasn't cost me a single penny. I've added a number of nice Linden cards to the collection - and yes, they go on the master checklist too.

This disco card though...yikes. I'm giving it a single John Travolta shimmy out of five.

2020/21 Topps
#13 Skate! Disco Series 3 Signature

Oh...and he has a digital signature parallel as well. This must be the online equivalent of a sticker autograph.

Oh well, they're in the collection and without too much of a fuss. I've got to credit Paul over at Card Boarded for tipping me off that Trev was included in this set.  Much thanks.


Well...that's it for now. Boy that was fun. I promise to do this more often.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - UD Chronology II Red Auto...And Some Announcements

Well hello again!

It's been a while...hope everyone is well and hanging in there as we kick and scream into 2021.  :)

I've been busy with a number of things (I'll share those in a few minutes), but am going to try and find more time this year to share all things hobby in my world.  I won't lie, I miss blogging on a regular basis.  But I also recognize that the landscape for sharing cardboard content has changed drastically since 2009 when I launched this site.

So let's start with a card.  It's the latest to come in for my Linden collection...and I really like the looks of it.


2019/20 Upper Deck Chronology II
#CA-TL Canvas Auto Red

I was really excited to see Linden added in the second volume of Chronology.  The cards look real sharp, new photos to drool over and (for the most part) hard signed autos.  I think this is the first gold pen auto in my collection and is the tougher of the two canvas auto cards he has in the mix (not including the 1/1).

I am however trying to figure out why a card like this warrants being on a 180pt cardstock?  Is it supposed to make the card feel more important?  Is thicker better?

Anyways..........

It's a nice start to the collecting year as Trev has cards in Chronology, Synergy and Leaf Lumber Kings to keep me busy.  But really, I've been keeping my eye out on some older, rarer show cards (remember those?).  There have been a number of them popping up of late - actually, an insane number of cards (like the guy has full sets of show card runs).  Unfortunately, his asking price is far too steep for me at this time.  At least I know these cards actually exist.


So now let's get to some other orders of business.

I ain't goin' anywhere.

I love this hobby as much as ever and I enjoy checking out other collections and in particular, seeing how they share their wares.  Many continue to blog, some post on Twitter or Instagram and others have taken to YouTube to host absurdly long hobby shows.  :)

There is so much hobby content out there....and a ton of it is a real positive vibe.  I love it.

I love to share my thoughts, my collection and my ideas on what I'd like to do and where I'd like to go with my PC's.  But over the past few months, I've spent more time developing a new arsenal of social content platforms.

Late last year I built my own website.

I started a Twitter feed to compliment it.

And a week ago I added an Instagram page.

These outlets are more than just hobby related - they are all things creative.  I work in a creative world (video production) and I feel that to build towards the next step in my career, I need to develop the skills needed in each of these disciplines.  I also want to explore, meet and enjoy the greater world of creatives.  

So feel free to follow along.  I promise, it'll be fun.  I'll be trying things (often for the first time), so cheer me on as I stumble through the learning curves.


So is this the end of My Hockey Card Obsession....the blog?

The short answer is no.  I probably won't be as active as I was in my heyday, but I do hope to be more active than the past couple years have shown.  But I will be putting the focus on my other sites.

Where I will be sure to share more hobby content.

Cheers!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

MY COLLECTION - Where Things Are Sitting These Days

Wow.  I won't lie......this feels a little foreign.

For the past 2-3 years, my focus on hockey card blogging has drifted.  It's not that I don't have a lot to say...I just am trying to wrap my head around what it is I'd like to do with my time in this hobby, what I'd like to do with my writing, and (in a bigger sense) what I'd like to do career-wise.

It's a rare Saturday afternoon where I don't have something staring at me on the plate.  I don't have to go into work, I've not set up any plans with people today and I don't have any huge tasks that need immediate attention.

Now don't get me wrong - I've got dozens of things that I need to do.  But this afternoon I am taking some time to recharge the batteries.  It's been a long, challenging year.

So what did I do for an hour or so today?  Opened hockey and baseball packs - digitally.

Yup......I've been converted.

A few years ago I was flip-flopping at the thought of digital trading cards and I can honestly say that these days it has become a daily ritual.  I enjoy the few moments where I go, open a couple of digital packs and enjoy collecting.

The baseball front has really appealed to me due to the way they present their sets and products.  It's so well put together for those wanting to build base sets.  I'm having a lot of fun opening packs and even trading to complete my sets.  I am hoping they do something similar on the hockey front.

So do I normally spend an hour at a time on the apps?  No.

Today, I discovered that Trevor Linden has yet another digital card - three new ones actually.  The chase, was once again on.

But let's step back for a second.  I had hunted and traded for the six Linden offerings that were available when I joined Topps Skate!  It took a while, but it was a lot of fun.  And it was that stretch of time that I really became enamoured with digital trading cards.

2017/18 Topps Skate!
#18 Alumni Chase Signature

The final card of the six was a Linden "autograph".  Landing that card really gave me the same type of feeling that could come from a big ebay win or a sweet find at the local show.  And I was very aware of that feeling.  

As I mentioned, Topps Bunt really has impressed me with it's depth, organization and just simply gorgeous looking cards. 

Of course, it helps when you open packs that have these inside them...



Amazing.  And hopefully good tradebait.  Back to Linden now.

Today, I learned of new Linden cards to add to the wantlist (and they are full-blown, legit additions to the list).  I've already landed the regular version in a trade...

2019/20 Topps Skate!
#4 Five Star Dual Signatures (with Bo Horvat)

What can I say.  It's a nice card.  If only with it existed in real life.  It would arguably be one of the top pieces of cardboard for me to chase in the 2019/20 product release season.

There's a gold version /25 and a Superfractor 1/1 (Linden's first digital 1/1).

I'm kind of snickering right now at the thought of what I've written.  I never would have imagined that digital trading cards would have made me come out of the shell for a few minutes on a fall afternoon...but it did.

And it feels good.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

MY COLLECTION - Profile Time

For those of you who are interested, Aaron over at Beyond The Crease reached out to me to ask me a few questions about the hobby and my collections.

You can read the full article here.

Thanks Aaron for reaching out and letting me share my story.

Cheers!

Friday, April 10, 2020

AN ANNIVERSARY OF SORTS

Hello everyone.

I hope all is well with you out there.  Not much more I can say there.

It's an anniversary of sorts for me this week - it's been an entire year since my last blog post.  On one hand, it's incredible to think, on the other, it's been a bit by design.

I'm still knee deep in the collecting world - and Linden cards, but things have just been a lot different for me over the past 12 months.  I love going to card shows, trade nights and scouring eBay for the new and needed...I just don't pick up as many new pieces of cardboard as I have previously.  My pocketbook thanks me.

So what has changed?

My work has been pretty intensive lately - and now more than ever as we laid off about 80% of our staff...leaving me to tend to a lot on the table with little assistance.  But I am extremely grateful to be working and doing something that I love for a living.  I do not take that for granted for a second.

Second, I find I don't have as much to say.  Or maybe....I feel the need to say it a little differently.

Over the holiday break last December, I started looking at outlets for showcasing my creative work in a bit more of a grander scale - call it a "living resume".  It's been a goal I've been working towards (website, blog, social media, etc) and have spent a great deal of time planning....to a fault.

I'm an obsessive planner - but it has cost me over the years as I tend not to act as quickly.  I've seen it in previous projects I've worked on, even with simple blog posts.  I have seen a lot of people post first and think later.  It's an attitude I'm trying to execute on a little more.

I'm hoping that I will have things to share over the summer months that can kickstart some things for the year.  I've started with LinkedIn and have posted a few blog articles there.  Next will be a website of my own.

Lastly, I've taken a lot more time for myself - reading, taking classes, enjoying time with family and friends.  Time is such a precious commodity...and when work ends, I want to spend time unwinding, relaxing and recharging.  One thing I've learned over the past few months is that I love work...I'm passionate about the creative outlet I'm fortunate enough to pursue for a living.  And I love to invest in it.  But on the flip side, when work is done....I want that time to be for me.

This blog will always be here for me - and I love that.  I love that there are no rules, no expectations and no timelines.  I might come back to it in a more dedicated form at a later time....but for now, it's a nice (call it) pause.

Make no mistake, I still think this is the greatest hobby in the world - and I am a lifer when it comes to sports cards, but I get to call the pace.  Right now....it's a gentle stroll.

Enjoy the weekend...enjoy the summer....talk to you all soon.

Be well.

Cheers!

Monday, April 8, 2019

PARKIE PROJECT - Edmonton Summit Pickups

A busy month on the work front and a slow collecting month changed drastically when I made the last minute decision to make the trek up to Edmonton for the Summit Card Show - the biggest sports card show in Western Canada.  I went last year (after a number of years away) and absolutely loved the environment.

I was unsure if I was going to go because.....y'know.....work.  But I ran into another collector on the Thursday prior and he really made the point that I should go.  Spending some time to unwind and enjoy the collecting world is an important part of the hobby.  After all, if you're not partaking in the hobby....it's not much of one.

So I jumped in the car early on Saturday to make the three hour drive.  It was actually a really nice trip.  Great weather, not too busy on the roads and some good tunes to keep me company.  I arrived just in time to get in line for the big auto snag of the trip (more on that in a bit).  But first, a pair of Parkie pickups.

1952/52 Parkhurst
#68 - Rene Marcel Pronovost

There were a few tables that had Parkies, many of them were either in really bad shape, overpriced or slabbed.  I'm looking for decent condition, nicely entered raw cards.  I finally found a dealer that had a number of them - and for a decent price.

This Pronovost was one I selected because of the name.  I really like the aesthetics of the cardboard and it has just a hint of a surface crease.  But I'm more than happy with it.

Again, it was all about the name.  Pronovost isn't the superstar that others in the set are but it's nice to cross off a name like this.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#12 - Floyd 'Busher' Curry

Another well centered offering that has really nice colour and pretty solid corners (all things considering).  I went with this one because he's Montreal.  I feel like those players just have an artificial premium on them (I could be totally out to lunch on this).

Clean backs on both (clean enough for me) make these a dynamite pair.  Like I said, I could've gone overboard and grabbed another 5-10 cards but I held off.  There was a beautiful Terry Sawchuk RC that was ungraded and I seriously considered it.  It was priced at $1200 but would've been 20% off.  Wasn't planning on a big purchase like that but I'll wonder if I left a good deal on the table in Edmonton.

This puts me at just over 20% of the set.  Of course there are a ton of big names on the wantlist.


Next up.....Joe Carter.

Who remembers where they were when THAT homer was smacked?  I do.  It's still one of the pinnacle sporting moments I've ever seen - and I bet Joe Carter has been asked about it every day since.  EVERY.  DAY.

I'm sure he doesn't mind though.

My co-worker, whom I've worked with for a decade, and I have taken sports many times and I remember a number of years ago him saying that he has a Toronto Blue Jays magazine with Joe Carter on the cover that he'd love to get signed one day.  He's not a collector or anything, but this would be the exception.

For some reason I kept that little nugget of info in my brain and was thrilled to see Carter's name on the signing list for the show.  I though briefly about seeing if I could snag the magazine without him knowing but it was too much of a logistical challenge.  So I did the next best thing.

I went to Edmonton and got a nice 11x14 signed by the man himself......and personalized to my co-worker.

It's a great going-away gift as he's moving in a month or so to BC.  I'm pretty thrilled for him as he pursues the next chapter of his life with his family.  But I can't help but be devastated at the same time as he's been one of the best co-workers a guy could ask for.

He's really opened my eyes with regards to non-profits, charity and the act of giving without expecting anything in return.  He's been a huge influence on me and it'll be one thing that will last long after he's moved.

Anyways.....enough of me blabbering.  On to the final - and I must say, stunning item I picked up from the trip.

It was at the same table that had the Parkie cards, just a few items in bins labelled "50% off".  I don't need much more of an invitation than that.

There were a lot of programs and some neat, older items.  It was one in particular that had me doing a double take.

It doesn't look like much upon first glance, but it was the covering that was protecting it that had me take a second look.

This is a book entitled Down The Ice, written by the iconic hockey broadcaster Foster Hewitt.

For those that might not know the name, Hewitt is THE MAN when it comes to play-by-play historically in the NHL.  He introduced Canada to the game first over the radio airwaves and then eventually on television.  He was the voice of hockey for a generation.

And I'm a sucker for broadcasting items.

This book is a first edition from 1934, so yeah....like 85 years old.  It's in pretty great shape for an item that old.

But what really got me going was on the page prior.....

One of the nicest signatures I have ever laid eyes on.  This is a beautiful fountain pen example that just flows across the page.  You don't see the guys these days with penmanship like this.

I was quick to snag this item and thrilled to show it off at the show - with more than one gawk and a few asking which table it came from.

Funny thing.....this wasn't my first encounter with Foster and his signature.  A number of years ago I found his autograph in a Hall Of Fame book that I picked up at a used book sale.  It's neat to see just how different the two signatures are.  Clearly one is from his earlier days and the other is from after retirement (that's my guess anyways).

Regardless, I'm over the moon at these pickups....and the fact that I made the trip to the show.  It's a great reminder to me that I need to take some time every once in a while to enjoy things and stop to smell the hobby roses.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

HHOF AUTOS - Two New And An Upgrade

When I started my hard-signed HHOF auto project a few years back, I knew that the element of 'trading only' would make this a fun challenge.  These days it's so easy to just click a few buttons and purchase your way to a collection or head to the store, bust a few boxes and walk away with a handful of cards.  But the art of the trade is something that is sorely lacking in this hobby.  It's hard these days though...most transactions happen online and there are few outlets available to make successful one-on-one transactions.

But I'm very fortunate to have a couple of shops in my city that run trade nights.  And while I tend to bring the same ol' stuff, there's always a chance that I will walk away with something new - without having to drop a ton of coin.  And I did just that last month.

Rod Gilbert
(Inducted in 1982)

A perfect addition to my collection.  Great card set, solid signature, and a guy that doesn't really command top dollar.  This was an easy one to trade for.

Obtaining this card has made me want to take a look at the variety of my cards.  I like that I have a good mixture of product types and that there are no real stretches of redundancy.

Let's keep that up.

Found some interesting info when I was researching Rod.  I had no idea that he broke his back just as he was being called up from junior to play with the Rangers.  Tripped over some debris thrown onto the ice and fell into the boards.  Doctors took a bone from his leg to bind three vertebras in his back.  And this was back in the 60's.  That's nuts.

As well, I noticed he was putting up a point-a-game stats right up until his abrupt retirement.  Seems he had a bit of a dispute with then GM John Ferguson.  Pretty much killed his career.

Sergei Fedorov
(Inducted in 2015)

Boy either my camera sucks or my computer monitor needs a reset.  This card looks blue - and it's not.  But let's look beyond my lack of proper editing on the pic.  Another offering that is unique to the collection.  Cool autograph.  Maybe could've been a bit better photo....but I'm not picky.  I managed to get rid of stuff I don't want for something I do.

Gotta say that's a win in my book.

It's so weird seeing guys inducted into the HOF that I followed from day one.  Makes me feel old.

The one thing this card makes me aware of (and you'll see it in my next offering) is that I'd like to consider getting the players in a jersey that best represents them.

Like this one.  When I hear the name Pat LaFontaine, I think New York Islanders.  I think epic long overtime.  To me he is linked to the Long Island jersey forever.  This card replaces the one I had in my collection for some time.

It's a nice card and all, good signature, great card design, but he's not Buffalo to me.

Just like Fedorov isn't a Duck.  I know I'll be upgrading that one down the road.  I can sense it now.

But for now, it's one step closer to the goal.


Current Collection - 80 HOF Autos