Saturday, December 3, 2016

MY COLLECTION - Antique Show Gems

After a week off from work (but still managing to put in a couple days at the office.....ugh) it was time to head to the monthly card show this morning.  It's something I always look forward to - even if it's the same vendors and even if they have (mostly) the same stuff on their tables.  It's a good chance to just relax, chat with other hobbyists and have fun for a couple hours.

I managed to find a couple Lindens for the pc....nothing too extreme to warrant a blog post (especially after what I've got to show today) and a nice gift which I am sending off tomorrow to very generous collector.

It was a quick trip today as I wanted to head down to an antique show I had heard about.  I was hoping that a certain person would be setting up and that he would be bringing some stuff I've seen previously at shows.  Sadly....he was not there this time.

But that doesn't mean I can't still have some fun diggin' around.

And boy did I ever find some gems.

If you were a kid in the early 80' you remember this colouring book?  I certainly do.  But I had all but erased it from my mind until I saw it sitting up against the back of a table.  Everything stopped as I knew I needed to check it out.

This was back when there were just 21 teams in the NHL.....a time period that I know better than probably any other.  This book shot me back to that time period and what a trip.

Ah yes, the colour key chart.  How 'bout them Canucks 'eh?

And I wonder if they would still accept entries to their contest?

The pictures are fantastic.....and most are full page (this book is guess is like 10x14 size).  All are quite in you can tell who they are without needing to check out their name.

And yes, the book is completely clean.  Not a single crayon or marker in sight.

The Great One.....before he was really given the moniker.  This book was released in 1980 I believe.  Why do I say that?  Well I'm from Calgary and I remember being a little ticked when I got the book.

Here's why....
Phil Russell - sans logo.

What the heck???!!!!  My hometown team, not represented.

Well, this book came out shortly after the Flames relocated from Atlanta.  So soon after that a logo didn't even exist.

Did you notice it on the front cover?

That's a whole lotta awesome going on in that pic.

I love the "suggested logo" idea.  I on the other hand decided to draw my own "Flaming C" on Russell's jersey.  And I think I did a good job at the time.

More great pics from the book.  Lafleur minus the helmet is how I remember him the best.

Makes me want to get the pencil crayons out right now.

Poor Washington and Pittsburgh.  They were so terrible that they had to share.....half a page.

And they both would've been awesome full page shots too.

Tony!!!!  When I saw this photo I distinctly remember using this pic for a school project back in the day.  I can even remember what I did.

I cut this photo out (no photocopying back then for me) and traced the outline a few times on different sheets of coloured paper.  I then cut out each one of those and made a little action kaleidoscope.

I'm sure I got a killer mark.

I wish I still had that project.

Sweet.  Tiger Williams.  Cool jersey.

I'm pretty sure this was the first one to get the colouring treatment.

I just can't remember if I did the jersey in black or yellow.  Either one would've been stellar I'm sure.

One last look at the "suggested logo" for the Flames.

Yeah.....let's throw away that orange and get some red out.  Can you imagine it though.

Now, another great find - at the same table - had me doing a little bundling.

Man alive this looks sweet.  I don't remember having one of these as a kid.  But that's ok because I have it now.

Who had a scrapbook like this when they were young?  I remember having a bland, scenic cover one with lame newsprint-type paper in it.

It sucked.

This one would've made me super-popular.  It's got Eddie Giacomin on the front!!

What's interesting is that you can clearly see this product did not have the NHL's endorsement.  No logos.  In fact, what the heck team is Ron Ellis even playing for?  Looks like the Alberta Oilers of the WHA.

Oooooooooooh.........I've got a Property Of.

Untouched.  So good.

Why am I showing off blank pages?  Because these blank pages speak so loud as to how awesome this scrapbook is.  It's just screaming for stuff to be glued into it.  And not with an UHU stick....but with that old school glue I used all the time at school.

Yeah....that's the ticket.  Now we're cookin' with fire.  Or should I say - Now we're gluin' with.........glue.

I don't even know what to do with this book, but I just had to have it.

So the two bucks.....for the pair.  Ka-ching!!  I couldn't get the cash out of my pocket fast enough.

But wait....there's more.

I went back to his table after bombing around the show and I'm so glad I did.

Not one....but two Linden-era Medicine Hat Tigers pucks.

C'est Magnifique!!!!!

Sure the one is a little "used" but I don't care.  You just don't find stuff like this everyday.

And the back of it has some great Memorial Cup memories.  I think it says Memorial Cup Champions and then on the top cup it has 87 and the bottom one is 86.

Frankly, when I saw "Memorial".....I was buying them.

Seller said it was a game-used puck.  Not sure about that....but it sure does look used.  For the five bucks I paid for the pair....they'll make for great stories.

And I'm going to try and get the other one signed by Linden one day.  I think it would look outstanding with this signature on it.  It's a nice, clean unused puck.  So good that I don't think the puck is 30 years old, but instead was a re-issue puck of some sort.

But I don't care.  Don't ruin it for me.  :)

Whew.......what a day.  So much fun.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Pair Of Potent Pickups

To say I was excited to see my COMC order arrive the other day would be an understatement.  If there were two cards that were on the top of the "can't wait" would be these two.

One is a crazy tough parallel that I've been trying to track down for over 15 years and the other is a card that I didn't even know existed until recently.

Both have fun stories so sit back end enjoy.

1998/99 Topps
#NY17 Powerplay Magazine Insert

At first glance this card looks like a simple, boring (but still important) base card.  Nothing to write home about, right?


Let's flip the card over.

You can see the numbering in the top left says NY17....not the normal 117 that the card is usually associated with.

This is (according to what I've discovered...someone correct me if I'm wrong) a magazine insert card that was released on an Islanders game day.

I knew that this card existed, and was even shown a scan of it years ago by a fellow Linden collector.  Having never seen one - and likely never would - I just chalked it up to a card that just wouldn't surface.

So what must I have thought when I saw multiple....MULTIPLE copies of the card on COMC a few months back?  Craziness!!!

Where did they all come from?  Why aren't they listed for a hundred bucks a piece (I might have been crazy enough to spend that kind of dough..........ok, maybe not).  But what the heck???!!!

I quit asking questions and put an offer in on one (hey, why not try to talk the seller down on the price...after all, he has multiples).

It worked.

I am super pumped.  What a great add to my collection.

Now if that wasn't exciting enough, I also picked up a card that was originally never created.  For reals.

2011/12 Panini Limited
Back To The Future Signatures
#7 Ryan Kesler/Trevor Linden dual autograph  /25

Let's start with the front of the card again.  Why Kesler is on the front just makes no sense - even if the whole idea is "back to the future" and there is actually a reason for it.  Me no like.

Anyways, when Panini released it's Limited product in the 2011/12 season, the checklist indicated this dual auto card.  But for months not a single sniff of one.  After a couple years it was determined that the cards were never produced (or so we thought) and that they can come off the master list.

Well, fast forward a few years and a copy of this card pops up on eBay.

I was stunned.  I immediately contacted another Linden collector to try and figure things out.  He was as stumped as I was.  But that didn't stop him from purchasing it.  It wasn't until after that it was revealed that the 25 copies of the Kesler/Linden auto - and the platinum 1/1 parallel - were released straight off the Panini website.  I think it was a product dump as the company was no longer going to be doing hockey cards.

Little did I know that one person picked up all the copies.  Because over the next few months, new copies of this card would constantly be popping up.

So I shifted from "gotta have it" to "I think I'll wait".

Card went from over $60 to $40 to $30 to $25.  Multiple copies have been sitting on COMC with no action on them.


I tried to get the seller to come down below $20 (as he had multiples.....who's going to buy all of them?) but to no avail.  Finally I decided that the few extra bucks were no longer worth it.  It's still a tough card to track down, numbered to just 25 copies and is hard signed.

Good enough for me.

Now that I can see it and touch it in person, I'm thrilled to cross this one off the list.

What a great pair of cards to finish off the year with (I'm assuming these will be the last big pickups of the year that arrive before 2017).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Well my giant COMC order has arrived.  Pretty quick for a Black Friday purchase wouldn't you think?  Sadly, I ordered a full week early and thus missed out on what would have likely been a few discounted cards.

But the gang at COMC was really great and refunded me the shipping discount they provided.  Add to that the fact that the cards themselves were all pretty decent prices and I really can't complain.

What I'm really excited about though is the plethora of #WalletCard cardboard I can cross off the list.  Twelve cards in total....without question the biggest Oscar haul I've had since I started collecting him.

So let's cut the chit chat and get to some pics.

2004 Upper Deck
#48 Yankees Classics Gold  /30

I was teetering a bit back and forth on this low-numbered parallel.  I guess $7 ended up being a tipping point for me.  But since I needed to get to 20 cards for my free shipping I thought what the heck.

Glad to have it but I wouldn't be surprised if I find the next one that pops up to be a little cheaper.

What really catches my eye is how the gold lettering and band at the bottom just give the photo some warmth that the silver does not have.

Weird.  It's as if Upper Deck doctored the gold version to bring out the yellows and golds in the photo.

But what do I know.

2016 Topps Archives
#106 Jumbo 5x7  /49

This was a neat card to pull out of the envelope.  It's the spitting image of it's smaller 2.5x3.5 counterpart say for the serial numbering in the bottom left.

Released as an online exclusive through the Topps website, I was a little concerned at first how quickly these would get snatched up and then never see the light of day.  My nerves were calmed pretty quick as these can be found pretty easily on the secondary market.  Even the gold version (limited to just 10 copies) has a couple auctions up on eBay.  I'm just waiting for the price to come down even more.

2013 Panini America's Pastime
#BS-OG Boys Of Summer Autograph  /125

This base version of the Boys Of Summer signature will go nicely with the Gold (/25) and Red (/10) versions I have already picked up.  With there being 125 copies of this card out there I wasn't really in a rush to pick this one up.  Again, the COMC sale had me grabbing a couple cheapies to fill out my order.

For three'll do.

2015 Topps Original Buybacks
#74 1976 Topps

I'll admit, I'm a sucker for these buyback cards.  I have no idea why (and it goes against my hatred of them for my Linden collection).  Maybe the market hasn't been oversaturated with Oscar buybacks yet.

I love this photo.  What a great half-fro.

2015 Topps Original Buybacks
#390 1978 Topps

Second verse, same as the first.  This one caps off an 11-card buyback party.  I now own a copy of every Oscar Gamble buyback I've actually seen.  I'm sure there are others out there, but they don't go on the list until I've actually seen a copy of it.

Killer Padres cap.

(you thought I was going to say fro)

2014 Donruss
#11 Donruss Signatures

Sticker auto.  Cheap.  That's about it.

2013 Panini Hometown Heroes
#HSOG Hometown Signatures

This card truly finishes off the auto rainbow from this set.  As many of you know, I recently picked up the black 1/1 card (my first 1/1 #WalletCard) and so I felt the need to complete the triple.

Another inexpensive signature card (less than $3) so it was a no-brainer.

1993 Keebler
#156 Rangers Keebler

I'm not presenting these in any particular order, but this one might have the nicest afro.

Too bad the photo isn't in color as that would've just added to the awesomeness.

1975 Topps
#213 Topps Mini & Regular

I take that back....THIS is the best Oscar afro of the lot.

What a great card design.  The 1975 Topps might be one of my favourites.  The crazy colours and the throwback photos.  Terrific.

And the mini is in fantastic condition.  I couldn't believe it when I took it out of the penny sleeve.  Incredible to think it's a 40-year-old card.

Love it.

2013 Panini Hometown Heroes
#184 State

It took me a while to clue in to what the "State" and "Zip Code" cards were from this set.  There's nothing more than foil stamps indicating the player's state and zip code (fancy that).

Made this 0.70 cent purchase an easy one.

1992 Yankees WIZ
#51 Yankees WIZ 70's

This was another one of those "let's just pick this up to get my order to 20 cards".  It goes well with my Yankees WIZ 80's card I picked up earlier in the year.

Well, that's all the Oscar Gamble goodness I've got to share for now.  I'm really pleased with how the collection is growing - and it's not costing me an arm and a leg.

One of the best hobby decisions I've made in a long time.  Now....time to check COMC for any new adds.

BOX BREAK - 2016 Topps Archives Signatures

There are times when I get a little caught up in the world of box breaking.  Not too much and not that often, but every once in a while it surfaces.

I've had some decent success at times too.  Be it my CFL box break a few months back, my nephew's good luck in picking a box of ITGU or the sheer joy in a half case of ITG Canadiana.  There's something so basic and fun when it comes to opening packs.  I truly believe it's the essence of this hobby....and I hope I never see a day where I no longer have the ability to bust boxes and open packs.

Recently, I've had an itchy trigger finger when it comes to baseball - especially the single hit autograph boxes.

At the most recent trade night I had my eye on a box for most of the night...and was good enough not to cave for most of the evening.  But the temptation got the better of me in the end.

AKA.....I caved.  (again)

So how did I do?

2016 Topps Archives Signatures
Edgar Martinez 1/1

I'd say pretty good.

To me, Edgar Martinez will be one of two things - a Seattle Mariner and a Calgary Cannon.

I remember the days of heading down to Foothills Stadium and watching the Calgary Cannons play in the PCL.  They were the triple-A farm team for the Mariners and we got to see some great ball for a few years.

Martinez was always a fan fave and he was an incredible hitter.  Not a power hitter....but boy could he hit for average.

Always exciting to watch, I was happy to see him break into the bigs and make a name for himself.  Even in the large shadow of a guy named Griffey.

So will Edgar end up in the Hall Of Fame?  I hope so.  I think he has the resume but the fact that he was predominantly a DH might make the road a little bumpier.

Regardless, I'm thrilled to have pulled this card and am looking forward to having it in my trade box and hopefully working it towards a pc item.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

WALLET CARD - Sometimes It's Just Black & White

With the year almost complete, I've had a chance to reflect on my collecting over the past year.  And while I have definitely slowed down when it comes to pickups (especially bigger ticket items) I can say with great confidence that I've made really good progress on my #WalletCard project.

For two years my Oscar Gamble collection has grown considerably.  Keeping in mind that I'm not rushing to get everything all in one fell swoop.  I could very easily hit up COMC or Sportlots and snag the bulk of Oscar's cards out there.  But where would the fun be in that?

Instead, I've been pacing myself nicely....hoping to land a few cards locally (which I have) and taking a stab at some of the tougher or rarer cards when they show up.

You've all seen my first true Oscar Gamble 1/1 and I'm hoping that it won't be the last.  The card I'm sharing today is another tough find and I'm really happy to have landed it as well.

2016 Topps Archives Snapshots
#AS-OG Black & White Autograph  /10

One of the newest #WalletCard releases is Topps Archives Snapshots.  A simple design (and a pretty good photo of Oscar's days with Cleveland) with a handful of parallels.  This one is the tougher Black & White autograph limited to just 10 copies.

Once again, I reached out to a fellow collector who has (numerous times) helped me save some shipping as he has a US address.  Thanks Kevin!!

I had let an even tougher parallel pass a couple months back and was kind of kicking myself about it.  I'm glad to have hit this one at a fair price.

With this pickup, I have officially hit the 50-card mark (out of a listed 162 cards) with another 10 incoming from COMC...likely before the end of the year.

Not bad for a fun little project.

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Very Big Fish Is In The Pond

There are very few cards that really get my juices flowing these days.  With all the boring re-usages of design and photos, with the uninspired creativity in products and the over saturation of parallels, I've grown pretty immune to what is out there.

Sure, there are cards that really look good or I'm excited about because they've taken a decade to surface, but when it comes to the newer word - boring.

Well, take a look at the beauty that just showed up on the open market last week.

2013/14 Upper Deck The Cup
#PO-TL Property Of  1/1

Now THIS is how you do a stickpiece.

Remember about a year ago when I shared the abysmal Nameplate attempt by Leaf?  Here's a refresher...

Absolutely brutal.

Now, what this Cup piece has is a very clean design with a lot of "name recognition" to those who chase the Property Of cards.

So what will this piece of cardboard (and stick) end up going for?  My guess is that it will be the highest priced Linden card to come around in a good 5-6 years.  That said, I don't think it will come close to the $1000 price that the Leaf version was tagged with.  Let's hope that a big dose of reality sits in to the owner of that one once he sees this auction end.

So will I bid on it?  Time will tell.  But I'm seriously considering it.

Regardless, it's an exciting card to see surface and it will be a gem in anyone's collection.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

OUSIDE THE BOX - A Pack Of Cards From Guatemala

After a couple of busy weeks at work I'm excited about some upcoming time off.  This year however I won't have to wait until our holiday break in mid-December.  I've got the whole next week off....and I am absolutely loving it.

It'll be a chance to get some stuff done around my place, maybe get my Christmas shopping done (ha....I openly laughed at that one), get some long...LONG overdue custom card work done and even take some time to blog.

So where to start?

Well, I have some new Oscar Gamble cards to show off, a couple new Lindens and even some box breaks.  But that will all come in time.  Today I wanted to share a really cool gift I received from my co-worker.

I've been at my current workplace for almost 8 years now and one constant has been my co-worker.  He is a terrific person.  Really critical and opinionated when need be, a real team player, willing to take a hit on a roadtrip call or early arrival to work.  He's a hard worker and we have a really great rapport.  His strengths offset my weaknesses and vice-versa.

But more importantly, he's a really good person.  Honest, ethical and with strong ideals.  I can say without hesitation that my becoming more involved in charity work is due to his example.

Recently, he (and some of his family) travelled to Guatemala as part of an organization that helps local children learn and stay healthy.  These kids would likely have fallen through the cracks of their environment and who knows what might have happened to them.  This organization is run by a local family and has done so much with just hard work and dedication to success.  In fact, while my co-worker was down there it was announced that a couple of the students had been awarded full scholarships to US colleges (they both won what are called Walton Scholarships).  It was an amazing moment.

Anyways, I was involved months back in their fundraiser to raise money to go to the medial building and school.  It was really exciting to be a part of something that I was able to see the direct results of.

As a bit of a "thank you", my co-worker wanted to get something for me while he was down there.  He knows I'm a collector and when he saw this on the shelf in one of the stores he knew his search was over.

So I guess firecrackers are a big thing in Guatemala and somebody decided to take all of the different wrappers and create a collectible pack of them.


There are 20 cards in total and they are slightly bigger than a regular trading card (3.5x4.5 inches).  They are printed on flimsy cardboard and are blank on the back.

I think my co-worker was as excited as I was to tear into them to check out the different cards.

The top card, Rambo, is really an eye-catcher.  It even looks like Sly Stallone.

My co-worker felt bad about the corner being bent on this one.  Please....I'm sure I'm not going to get these graded any time soon.

The hummingbird......and kids throwing rocks at it.


We got some good chuckles at these as we were flipping though.

This one stumped me.  Some Cabbage Patch Kid with an arm sling and firecrackers going off in his crotch.

Why not.

The cobra.

A you can see with all of these, they have the firecrackers as a prevalent part of the picture.

The great dane.  Go fetch!!

The artwork on some of these are really quite good.  They remind me of slick looking beer labels or something.

I can only imagine myself buying a pack of "bee bombs".

Godzilla.  Cool.

Looks like th firecrackers are getting the better of him.

You'll notice some volcanoes in the background of some of these pictures.  I was told that there are some in the area of Guatemala where they were staying and I guess they are very popular.

Alright then.

Next slide.

I think this is supposed to be the Lone Ranger.

That's what I'm telling myself anyways.

The mermaid......with some dude setting off firecrackers on land.

That always impresses the ladies.

I'm not sure how much to read into these pictures...but a parrot holding onto the firecrackers can't end well.

The rooster.

I was told that my co-worker's brother-in-law was nicknamed "Gallo" because he had red hair and talked a lot.


Not sure what the farmer in the background has to do with this picture.

Boy, there must be a lot of creepy crawlers in Guatemala.

I like this one.  I was born in April so I'm a Taurus...the bull.

But this dude is looking a little too oddly at the swans in the lake.

Really cool artwork on this one.

So nice, they did it twice.

Uh........alright.  We will wrap things up with Super Dog.

I must be losing something in the translation.

All in all a fantastic gift and I really appreciated the gesture.  I was following along with their time in Guatemala through Instagram and really felt privileged to be a part of the trip - even though I was not physically there.

I'm looking forward to the work towards their next trip which will likely take place in 2018.

Thanks so much Joel (although you will probably not see this post).  This was really the perfect gift.

For those who are interested in seeing more or learning about the organization, you can go to