Sunday, September 27, 2015

HOCKEY POOL - Charity 50/50 Hockey Knockout Pool

UPDATE:  The pool is officially up and running.  If you'd like to join, please go to the Kyle 4or Kids blog and send me a comment with your e-mail address.  The pool begins on the first night of games so you have a little over a week to get your sheet filled out.  Thanks!

I'm going to try something new this year.  I'm going to host a hockey knockout pool with half of the proceeds going to my nephew's fundraising drive.  I was in a similar one last year and think it can be a fun way to get the hockey season going.

I will have more information in the next day or two, but if you like hockey pools (or donating to a charity), this might be a great match for you.

What I can say is that it's not a player draft or anything like that.  In fact, you don't NEED to have a huge hockey knowledge base to participate.

The more entries received, the bigger the winner's pot will be.....and the more that gets donated to the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Stay tuned.


For those of you who have checked out my blog for a while now, you might remember a fundraising quest my nephew and I took on last year.

Well....we are back for another year with loftier goals.

"Kyle 4or Kids" was a blog I created for my nephew Kyle and I to get our message across.  And what is that message?

We are raising funds for the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Ny nephew isn't doing a 5k run or a math olympics (boy...that would be fun), or baking cookies.  No, he's partaking in a huge 24 hour video game marathon on Saturday, November 7, 2015 organized by Extra Life.

Last year we came oh so close in hitting our $500 fundraising goal.  We raised $440 (and a huge THANK YOU to all who donated).  That was a big number in our eyes.  But we're going bigger this year.

$700 is the number set by my nephew.  Can we do it?  Absolutely.

So bear with me as I try and solicit some donations or even just some awareness.  I'll do my best to put on a contest or two to try and entice you as well.

Thank you for your time.

Friday, September 25, 2015

RAISE THE CUP - Eric Staal....And You're Welcome

When I started this "Raise The Cup" project a number of years ago, it was purely for fun.  Finding cards that capture that pinnacle moment in player's career.

At the time I thought there would be some odd inserts and base cards depicting players hoisting The Cup over their head, but I never would have imagined the boom in the evolution of this great concept.

After seeing Panini come out with their sets showcasing Cup winners (and using many photos showing the Cup-raising moment), I got a little excited.  After all, it clearly must have been my project that provided the inspiration.  Ha.

I've seen a good 4 or 5 different subsets or insert sets come out over the years and slowly I thought "Hey, quit cramping my style."  Ok, maybe not...but the project I started began to feel a little different when all of the sudden the market become a little more flooded with Cup-raising cards.

I think that's part of the reason why I've tended to avoid those sets.

Fast forward to this past weekend where I found a card - from a set - that might have just hit the jackpot.

2014/15 Upper Deck Premier
Signature Champions
#SC-ES Eric Staal auto  /99

What can I's a gorgeous card.

Fantastic photo, solid design, hard-signed auto, reasonable numbering.  This card has it all.  In fact, it perfectly parallels an idea I had for a custom TTM project (which I think I'm going to contemplate a little more).

A quick look at the checklist for this set shows that there's some beef to it.

A total of 24 cards, some numbered to /99, some /50, some /25 and the biggies /10.

Guys like Staal can be had for a few dollars while I'm sure the Messier (ugh) or Gretzky will command a whole lot more.

I contemplated building the set....until I looked at the checklist.  While it would be fun to chase, the fun might wain when it comes to the heavy hitters.  So I'm happy with this Staal being the representative in my binder.

And to all the companies that have used the "Raise The Cup"'re welcome.

Current Collection - 121 cards

Thursday, September 24, 2015


There are some cards that hit the market where I think "I'll be able to find this one locally."  It might take a few weeks, a card show or two, maybe a trade night - but I'll find it.

That attitude comes from the refusal to pay double, triple, or even more in shipping costs to secure a low priced Linden for my collection.  I just can't justify it.

It'll show up eventually - right?

Well, sometimes I ask myself if it will ever show up.  And I get more perplexed when I see dozens of other cards in the set....but no Linden.

Last weekend I finally crossed one off the list.

2014/15 Upper Deck
#GJ-TL Series I Game Jersey

Took long enough - but I finally gotcha!

I'll start by saying that this might be my favourite design when it comes to the Upper Deck flagship jersey card designs.  Full player shot, vertical aspect and a nice die-cut shape.

I've seen 4 or 5 different color swatches in the dozens and dozens of Linden cards I've passed by on ebay.  Again....not gonna pay $5 on a dollar card.  And I've considered chasing one of each color (I did that a few years back).

But after realizing it's taken nearly a year to secure this Linden, maybe I'll leave it at just that.

One and done.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WALLET CARD - Card Show Pickup

I got excited earlier in the baseball season when I saw tweets showing the great Oscar Gamble signing his Topps Archives cards to be then inserted into the product.  A few more cards on the wantlist and the longshot chance of pack-pulling one of his signatures.  Sweet.

I bought a couple packs when the product came out (yeah....I gave myself no real shot at hitting a Gamble) and was shocked to find a gold border Harold Baines sig /50.  I stopped busting packs after that.

But I heard soon after that a local collector pulled the popular Gamble auto and I knew he sets up at the monthly card show.  Sure enough, it's the first card he mentioned when I saw him on Saturday.

He pulled the card out of one of his boxes and flung it my way.  I was very excited at the chance to land another Oscar Gamble auto locally....but was a little cautious initially.

The card was priced - and priced high.  $25.

Now I'm more than happy to pay a little bit of a premium to secure a card locally or buy off of a person whom I've done many transactions with in the past, but I'm talking a couple bucks.  This card consistently goes for $5 these days on the open market.

I let the card sit for a bit while I checked out his other offerings.  Eventually, I had to ask - "Are you firm on this price?"

To his credit, he immediately went to the trusted interwebs and checked the completed sales on ebay.  He knew quite quickly that he had overpriced his card.

He threw out a new number (which is the same number I had in mind) and the deal was done.  Easy peasy.

2015 Topps Archives
#FFA-OG Fan Favorites Autograph

Awesome card.  Super happy to add it to the growing collection.  But even happier that I was able to pick it up in person.

We chatted about that component of my Oscar Gamble pc.  I told him that Gamble had about 150 cards out there and most were simple base offerings.  If I really wanted to, I could drop $100 and snag the bulk of his cards out there.  But where's the fun in that?

Living in Canada, the card shows here are mostly hockey related, leaving in-person Gamble pickups a tough task.

So I explained that I'm going about things a little slower - and am having a real fun time doing so.  Finding cards locally is so much more fun than "click, click, click, click, click".

Now, will I be able to find the silver or gold parallel of this Topps card?  Not likely.  There will always be a place for the online shopping world in my hobby.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

VOICES OF THE GAME - Mike Lange And Company

One of the benefits of a massive loonie table at the card show is that you never know what you might find.  Case in point, I added three new cards to my 'Voices Of The Game' collection.

I work in the sports media industry and I've always enjoyed good broadcasting and good commentary.  My dream job would be to work for the NHL as an editor, building award-winning documentaries about anything and everything hockey.

So when Panini introduced the Voices Of The Game autographed cards a number of years ago, I thought they were pretty neat.  It took me a few years before I stumbled on the Dick Irvin sig that started it all, but better late than never.

Now I've seen a number of these inserts sitting on tables and posted online, but really, I'm just looking to land a card here and there when the price is stupidly low.  Just for fun.

I mentioned that loonie table right?

Well scratch my back with a hacksaw!

Mike Lange will be forever known for his "Lange-isms" as they're called on the back of this card with the all-time great "Beat him like a rented mule" leading the charge.

I've never really taken a close look at the checklists to any of these sets, but in my eyes, this Lange is one of the must-haves for any broadcasting signature product.

And at just a single (Canadian) dollar, it was yet another no-brainer.  In fact, I snagged both copies I found that day.

But that's not all.  This Randy Moller card is.....Mollery.

What can I say, I don't listen to Florida games and so I didn't even know he was a broadcaster.

But points to me for knowing that he did play in the NHL in the 80's (Quebec I believe).  So there's that.

But that's about it.

Joe Beninati.

I might have overpaid on this one.

Three more autos for the collection and I've almost doubled the size of this project in one short, inexpensive day.

Current Collection - 7 cards

Monday, September 21, 2015

OUTSIDE THE BOX - Card Show Find Of The Year

When I go to any card show, I (obviously) am on the lookout for anything that might fit into one of my collecting projects.  Linden cards, goalie mask cards, Cup raisers, Oscar Gamble, goofy looking cards, you name it.  Sometimes I don't even know I'm looking for it until I find it.

But I also keep a keen eye on what might be the proverbial diamond in the rough.  Something that might be priced way too good to be true, or have some sentimental hook to it.

And then there's just the flat out cool.  Normally that stuff commands a pretty high price tag.  But cool can also mean "old school".

I saw a few boxes of "old school" on a seller's table at last weekend's card show and stopped everything that I was doing to investigate.

Have I got your attention?

This is a box of 1980 Topps oversize baseball.

Living in Canada, I've never seen one of these before.  I remember the OPC hockey oversized cards that came out around the same time.  I even had a set at one point (sold it.....stupid, stupid, stupid).  This is the same idea.

There were about a dozen or so of these boxes stacked with a $10 price tag attached to each one.  The boxes were not sealed so I cracked one open to take a look.

Yeah......I'm buying this.

Raise your hand if you love the "helmet over the cap" look?

What!!!????  Nobody?

Still, it's Willie Stargell.  Done.

A quick scan of the box and I discovered that it was a complete set.  I went back a few minutes later and bought a second one.  Heck, I seriously considered buying about 5 or 6 of them.  But 2 will suffice.  One for me and one for sale/trade.

I took the time to scan a few of my faves (actually, all 60 cards are hard to beat).  Here are some of the sweet selects.

I'll use the George Brett to show you the comparison in size to a regular baseball card.

Looks like the photos could've been taken on the same day.

Geroge looks like he's gnawing on the pine tar he's about to use on his bat.  What a great moment.

If Oscar Gamble is "King Of The Afro", George Foster is definitely the master of the sideburns.  Those chops are deadly.

Take a moment to look at the entire photo - on all of these shots.  There are some great signs of the time to be ingested.

Keith Hernandez - pre-Mets, pre-Seinfeld.

Great jersey.

My name is Phil.  I'm an athlete and a pro ball player.

Holy spectacular!!!

That jersey.  That cap.  That hair!!!!

Now this is a pitcher.

Shame that you can't see more of these spectacular Astros jerseys of the day.  As a Vancouver Canucks fan, I can definitely appreciate a good lookin' jersey.

note: the JR Richard later in the set gives you a good look.  Sweet!

This is the same guy that's managing the Giants?


Hey, A cleanly shaven Bruce Sutter.


Pill box!!!!!!

Kent Tekulve is rockin' the shades in what is one of the all-time great baseball looks.



I forgot that San Francisco donned these gems as well.  Spectacular.

And another great jersey.

Agenda for the day...

Get dressed
Go to the ballpark
Get photo taken
Wake up
Cancel barber appointment
Play ball

My name is Gorman.

It really doesn't get much better than this does it?

It does.

Now THAT is a batter's helmet.

It's all good in this photo.

Oh my.

I kid you breath was literally taken away when I uncovered this card.

Take a moment to look at this photo.

The youth and enthusiasm in his eyes.  The darting smile.  The perfect signature.  The clear blue sky.  The Expos colors.


A tremendous card.

Now me being a good Canadian boy, I was curious to see not just the Expos offerings, but the Blue Jays.

So who do you think got the call for this set?


How about Rick Bosetti.


Career batting average of .250 with 17 home runs and 133 RBIs.

To be fair, he did play in all 162 games in 1979 and must have made an impact with his league leading assists mark.  He did also lead the league in errors that year.


Well, there's gotta be a couple of these in every product.  Overall though this is one heck of a spectacular find.  Worth every single moment.