Saturday, July 31, 2010

TTM: The Cullen Family Complete

Some vacation time for myself and a TTM success from Betty White earlier in the month was all the inspiration my niece needed to get some more custom Twilight cards made up today.

She is super proud to have cards finished for all seven of the Cullen family members composed, printed and assembled. Even more so, the fact that we have now sent TTM's to all seven actors.

The newest ones turned out fantastic. I ended up modifying my template after realizing that we were spending way too much time doing things over and over that we didn't need to.

A good template can make customs go a whole lot faster....and therefore be a whole lot more fun for a 12-year-old.

Here are the other four to complete the 'set'.

Now I have recently heard that both Nikki Reed and Jackson Rathbone have signed and returned recent TTM requests (and in a reasonable time period).

I have a good feeling that my niece will be heading back to school this fall with at least one (her first) TTM success.

Wish her luck.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

TO THE BIKE SPOKES!!! - Glenn Healy

A while back I posted about goalie cards and how some look good when it is a closeup of a goalie as they take a drink of water. The freeze frame grab of the water splashing and what not can make for a cool looking card.

Here is an example of.....the exact opposite.

1991/92 Bowman
#224 Glenn Healy

I see Glenn Healy....or at least his eye.

He sucks on the waterbottle. Apparently he doesn't like to spill.

I can see the bottom of the Gatorade bottle, underneath his blocker, his chin, his armpit.

The guy doesn't even use a mask. Lame hockey helmet for him. Booooooo.

Again - is this the best possible shot of Glenn that Bowman had? They really needed to take a second look.

Then again, he was a career backup and it very well could have been the only photo in existence that season.

Regardless, it is one of the most unflattering poses I've seen on a card.

For that, Glenn Healy.....



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Article: Enforcers Only

I enjoy writing. I know I'm not the best at it...but over the past year (almost) that I have been building this blog, I have been enjoying getting the thoughts out of my head and on paper (well, actually I type...on a screen).

I also enjoy hearing from others who have a real passion for the hobby. Any hobby for that matter. Cards, sports, music, doesn't matter. The passion and enjoyment the person has keeps me riveted to what is being said.

I've been wanting to do more writing for The Insider's Edge magazine (a collectibles hobby mag), but have found little to no time lately.

Recently though, I did talk to a person who has a strong passion for cards - specifically 'enforcer' cards. I asked if I could interview him and submit the article.

He agreed...and here it is.

Thanks again Richard for your help. I enjoyed the time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

STASHED IN THE CLOSET - Foster Hewitt surprise

Things have been fairly busy is in from Toronto which means a thorough cleaning of my place.

Long time overdue....they need to come over more often.

Summertime is not a huge motivator for me to search down hockey cards and such. It's more of a time to get rid of some stuff taking up space in the basement.

I came across this item which brought back some great memories of when I picked it up.

This 1971 Hockey Hall Of Fame Yearbook was a cool find for me at a booksale that goes on here once a year. Huge boatloads of books are donated and so I scour the sports section and snag a bunch of hockey books.

Great prices too - hardcovers for a buck. Softcovers even less.

It gives a description of those who are currently enshrined in the HHOF. It also gives quick bios of players who are currently having All-Star type seasons.

I'm focusing on Foster Hewitt as he is a bit of an influence on my career. His career was legendary as well as ground-breaking. Guiding hockey fans from the radio days through the birth of television.

He was the voice of one of the most iconic goals ever scored - Paul Henderson in 1972.

So why is Foster a focus of this book?

Well, whadaya autographed inside cover of a Hall Of Fame icon.

For less than a buck. Nice!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


With the summer season in full swing (well, for me it's a few days of sun and then a bunch of rain....but oh well) my 'war chest' of funds for hockey cards is slowly building again after taking a few hits over the winter.

It made me think about the amount of money I spend on hockey cards per trip to the card store, card show, per month and ultimately over the span of a year.

Back in the day, before I became a more focused collector, those thoughts would have sent my head into a spin. There was huge disregard to how much and how often I was spending my money.

I wanted everything and I wanted it now. I wanted to backtrack and get all the sets that came out prior and I wanted to keep up with what was currently coming out.

Yeah....good luck with that. Don't ask how that turned out.

I guess with my more mature age has come some knowledge (maybe just a little) but I think more so it has been a 'learn from your mistakes' situation with me.

I still love cards - all cards. All shapes, sizes, styles and smells. And I have even found a way to enjoy the aspects of every set out there at a reasonable price (see my 'One Sheet, One Set' project).

While my Linden collection has been slow over the past couple of years, there are still times when a card comes up (or a bunch of 'em) and I want to be sure that I have the money available should I want to go after it.

Hence, the budgeting I have set for my collecting.

I try my best to save a certain portion per month and it goes into my 'war chest'. Whatever I have in that chest is what I can spend on cards. It's my choice on what I get and how much of it I want to spend.

It sounds simple, but I find a lot of people can't grasp that concept. They go out of control when a new release comes out or that 'must have' single appears. Many people clearly spend beyond their means. Why is that?

Now I'll be the first to admit that there are still times when my budget goes right out the window and I splurge on stuff. But what was once a monthly (or weekly) thing has now become a one a year type fiasco. I can handle that.

I think the big reason for excessive spending is nowadays, buying wax packs is more like buying a lottery ticket. For your $5, $50 or $300 per pack, you might end up with a gem that will pay for your purchase ten fold.

Most of the time though, the cards are quickly mulled over, popped into a traders box and eventually sold off at a fraction of what you paid for them. The thought of getting the 'big hit' in a box (or case nowadays) of cards keeps people coming back for more.

That can do a ton of damage to you financial health, and you attitude towards the hobby.

A good grasp on your financial position when it comes to cards is equally (if not more) important than the type off collection you have.

Don't spend more than you can handle! It truly is not worth it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TTM SUCCESS - Betty White

It's been a week of exciting maildays.

Today, I got home and noticed that I received my first TTM autograph request return envelope in my mailbox.

I was thrilled to find that my Betty White 'FA Authentic' card made it there and back relatively unscathed.

BETTY WHITE - Actress (The Golden Girls)
Date Sent: May 11, 2010
Items Sent: 2 custom cards (FA Authentic)
Date Received: July 19, 2010
Notes: both cards signed and returned; not well packaged in return and ended up slightly damaged

The only part that mildly bummed me out was that the packaging was not used properly. I had the cards in a snap case and then in a team bag. She tried to put the cards in the team bag and then the snap case.

She couldn't get it closed, so she used elastic bands to keep it secure.

Sadly, both cards arrived with creases on the one side. Not terrible as they can be carefully bent back into shape, but it's something I will have to look into for future TTM's.

I scanned only the one card as it is the better signature of the two.

Pretty exciting stuff. Now I'll need to find some more time to do more customs (as it has been pretty much non-existant lately).

Thanks Betty!

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 2001/02 BAP Signature Beckett Promo

Alright! This weekend brought with it a Linden card that I honestly never thought I'd be able to track down.

It's almost 10 years now since it's release and this is the first copy for it I have ever seen.

As well, this card epitomizes one of the big reasons I love to collect Linden cards.

2001/02 Be A Player Signature
#125 Beckett Promo

To those not in the know, this card looks like every other base card in the set. Nothing special, nothing to write home about.

But wait, let's take a look at the back of the card.

Well, well. It seems these seven little letters 'BECKETT' have created a card that is much desirable to me.

This card was an insert in Beckett magazines and in fact, the ebay auction that I won was for the card still in the magazine. I was struggling with whether or not to remove it from the magazine. I chose to only because that odds of finding another are slim to none in my books.

How I missed this promotion back in 2002 is beyond me. I thought I had a good grasp on my collection at that point. Apparently not.

The nice thing is I was able to pick up the card (and the magazine) for a whopping 99 cents. I honestly was expecting to pay around $20 for it (and would have gladly).

I was thrilled and excited when I saw the envelope in my mailbox on Friday.

It just goes to show that a simple 99 cent promo card can have as much of a hobby impact on my collection as a high-end jersey card.

I am very glad to knock this one off the list!

Friday, July 16, 2010

TO THE BIKE SPOKES!!! - Jim Sandlak

Well, after nearly two months of long work days, weekend tournaments and a neglect of pretty much everything in my house (I'm doing laundry right now....because I HAVE to), things have calmed to a point where it's a 3-day weekend for me.

3-in-a-row....I am so much looking forward to this.

So it's another trip to the golf course today (hopefully the weather will co-operate) where I'm not predicting a score. I've been trying to break 90 for 3 years and my last round was a disastrous 111. Ouch.

Let's get to the topic at hand. This card was discovered when going through all of my old cheap base cards that I've finally packed up for the last time. If I can't get rid of them by Christmas...they will be donated.

I had to pull this card out because it just looked odd every time I came across it.

1994/95 Parkhurst
#91 Jim Sandlak

Still looks odd.

To me, it looks like a two-headed, four-legged, monsterjersey two-sticked defenceman.

Maybe Hartford was trying something different. After all, it would be something to see a creature like this out on the ice patrolling the zone.

Yup, still odd.

Still trying to figure out how 'they' decide to use this photo out of all the others to put on the front of a hockey card.

The photo on the back of the card looks nice. It shows Sandlak throwing a pretty solid check on Marty McSorley.

Yup, still odd.

With that...Jim Sandlak (and the head of Brad McCrimmon), I only have one thing left to say...



(yup..........still odd).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Well, I had some time tonight so I thought I'd share one of my favorite hockey photos bar none.

This card is more of a tribute to the photo (as I remember it more seeing it in magazines and books) than it is a great hockey card.

1990-91 Pro Set
#343 Terry Sawchuk

Yes, a Pro Set card has made the ranks of elite cardboard photography. Believe it.

The back of the card says "Terry Sawchuk....The True Mr. Zero". Such was the case back in 1990. Martin Brodeur was just beginning his assault on the shutout record. No other goalie had the aura and mystery quite like Sawchuk had.

The card back further states "Often regarded as the finest goaltender of all time, Terry Sawchuk spent 21 seasons in the NHL, registering a career GGA of 2.52 and recording 103 shutouts, the all-time mark for professional netminders. He was awarded the Calder Trophy while with the Detroit Red Wings in 1950-51. He registered four shutouts in eight games in the 1952 playoffs as the Wings took their fourth Stanley Cup. A four-time Vezina Trophy winner, Sawchuk had a major role in the Toronto Maple Leafs' Cup-winning season in 1967."

Yup....he was one of the most dominant goalies ever. I remember teammate Alex Delvecchio once saying that Terry would crouch in his net preparing for a shot with a confidence and swagger that basically said 'I dare you to put the puck by me'.

The card photo is just a gorgeous snapshot of an era gone by. The perfect framing and the perfect timing for the photo. The puck just crates that 'frozen in time' feeling.

Take a look at the pads Sawchuk is wearing, or the stick and gloves of the player behind him. You get a bit of a glimpse of the blocker and catcher and the fact that Terry is without a mask is insane by today's standards. But the photo would not have had nearly the effect if he was donning a face guard.

To top it off, the sepia tone of the photo just sells the card even more to me.

Like I said, a gorgeous snapshot in time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Well, it was a mailday for me coming home from work today.

I had forgotten about picking these up from ebay. Actually, I missed bidding on the item, but noticed in the auction that the seller had two sets. I inquired about the other and bought them....for less than what the auction for the first set went for. Love it.

2006 BC Lottery Corporation
Trevor Linden
oversized lottery ticket tab

This item was on the radar the moment I saw it. I had never seen one before and had no clue they existed.

The set (or at least the 4 cards I picked up) consisted of the Linden, Mattias Ohlund, Daniel Sedin (with Roberto Luongo on the reverse) and Henrik Sedin (with Markus Naslund on the flip side).

This item would have come out at the time that I really thought the 'Nucks would have made a real push for the Cup. Some great players that never quite meshed. It's too bad. I would have loved to have seen Trev finally get his hands on the elusive trophy.

Another item to add to the slowly growing list of Linden items I have.

A cool oddball item if you ask me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bob Probert

For those who have not heard, this afternoon former Detroit Red Wings forward Bob Probert passed away of an apparent heart attack at the age of 45.

Comments from teammates, coaches and players have been pouring in, a testament to the impact Probert had on the game and the type of person he was off the ice.

"He was one of your ultimate team guys," Clark said. "That's why he played and lasted as a tough guy for so many years. He was a teammate, a competitor. Everybody off the ice loved Bobby. That's what made his career what it was - because of the team person that he was."

Those sentiments were echoed by several NHL personalities who encountered Probert over the years.

“This is a very sad day for Red Wings fans as we have lost one of the toughest players, best power forwards and all-around great guys who ever wore the Winged Wheel.'' former Red Wing and teammate Joe Kocur said in a statement. ''My favorite memory of Bob would be sitting down before a game, going over the opposing lineup and picking and choosing who would go first and if the goalie would be safe or not. It was great to be able to go out on the ice knowing that he had my back and I had his. He was like the brother I never had."

I remember the epic battles with Domi, McSorley, Coxe and Clark just to name a few. I also remember that he was more than just a fighter. In his 16 seasons in the NHL, he scored 20 or more goals twice and even made an appearance in an All-Star game.

Many of today's enforcers don't have the broad 'utility-type' talent that Probert had.

This is probably the best Probert card I have in my collection...

2006/07 Parkhurst
#101 Bob Probert autograph

I picked it up at the big show here a couple months back. It was more of a 'throw-in' at the time as I liked the Parkhurst autos from that year.

I heard that a lot of his auto cards are going quick on ebay. That leaves me feeling odd.

One other thing leaves me feeling odd. I just finished writing an article for a trade magazine about a 'super-collector' whose collection revolves around enforcers. Probert is at the top of his list and the bulk of the interview revolves around him. I took a look at it this evening and the article reads so differently to me now.

In closing, I'd like to take a moment to think about the family Bob Probert has left behind, and to remember the good times he gave a lot of hockey fans. He will definitely be remembered not just by my generation, but by future generations.

Here's a glimpse of one of his most memorable tilts. Keep an eye out for the respect paid ny both at the end of the fight. That's what's missing in the league these days.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


So it's to the golf course I go.

Work continues to be a busy one. It's been 6-7 days a week for most of June. July will be equally as busy. As such, when I do get a day off (and the weather is as nice as it is today), it's a trip to the golf course.

It's been a slow go for my collections. No new goalie mask cards, my 1 vs 100 is at a bit of a standstill and I've got only one Linden card coming in (actually, it's one I've been looking for a while to get and have never actually seen I'm pretty excited about it).

My custom card creating has been nil for a bit. I've got some great cards to build, but it'll have to wait until August at the earliest...maybe even the fall.

In the end though, I am happy with where my collecting is at, where my blog is at and where I hope to go with it. In less than a year, I feel I've really got my collections in much better order, and this blog has really helped me focus my cards down.

Get out there and enjoy the day. Today, I'm breaking 90!