Saturday, April 15, 2017

RAISE THE CUP - I Got A Gift......Hoo Boy

Last week at the monthly trade night I was the "fortunate" receiver of a "generous" gift.

There are a number of collectors, vendors, shops and just general hobbyists who know I collect Linden.  I do a pretty good job of subtly plastering that info wherever I go.  Be it me donning my Linden jersey or Canucks hat or maybe they just see my username on a number of online sites - bamlinden.

But there is a smaller group of people who know much about some of my other projects.  Be it my #WalletCard pc, Parkie Project, hard signed Hall Of Famers or my simple Raise The Cup chase.

"Thankfully" there are a few people who know how to really make a guy feel good about his collections....and is "willing" to "help a guy out" anytime he can.

(facepalm)

The look on my face when this card slowly glided over the countertop and into my view must have been spectacular.  In fact, the guy who gave it to me (let's call him "Captain Canuck") went out of his way not to text me a photo of it or share the info ahead of time.  Instead, wanting to get a front row seat at the tirade.

And a glorious tirade I shared.

I have really enjoyed collecting cards of guys enjoying that pinnacle moment in their career - hoisting the Stanley Cup.......but the cards with this guy on it - oh man.  It's hard to crack a smile on these ones (but I'll do my best since it was a "gift").

The worst part about it - and I am reliving it right now as I look at it - this is a really nice card (I just threw up in my mouth).  It's a great photo and the silver foil really makes the design pop (scan again does no justice....in fact I think it makes Messier's teeth more white).

So......I guess a "thank you" is in order.  Or something.

Now into the binder where you can be forgotten.


Current Collection - 157 cards

Friday, April 14, 2017

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - 97/98 Zenith

The long weekend is here - and it couldn't come at a better time.

My first three months of work this year have been unlike any other season for me and the long days (and nights) spent editing have got my brain pretty fried right now.  Some relaxation and time to rejuvinate are most definitely in order.

So I decided to spend some time today......sitting in front of my computer - ha ha.  Yeah, I enjoy spending time sifting though my cards trying to organize them better.  I've also done some scanning so I can share some of my latest pickups (for my next thread).  But a good amount of time this afternoon was spent pondering about a certain card in my collection.

Indulge me if you will as I show off a trio of cards that have sat in a box for a good 15 years.  A couple stories will weave their way in too.

1997/98 Pinnacle Zenith
#73 (base card)

I remember these cards were pretty high end back in the day.  A little thicker card stock, shiny surface and some gold foil always impress (or at least it did 20 years ago).  Love the All-Star Game patch on the shoulder.

I also noticed when I flipped the card over that it was one of the last Linden would show in a Canucks uniform before his trade to New York.  In fact, the transaction had already been completed and was noted by the ever popular (in the 80's) "Traded to Islanders 2/6/98".  Hard to believe it's been almost two decades since that happened.

So why am I showing this card?  Stick with me....you'll see.

In the meantime, let me share a couple Linden stories (as I received a nice request to share my Linden background).

I've been a fan of Trev's even before he was drafted by the Canucks in the late 80's.  I was a Vancouver fan...enjoying their run to the Finals in '82 and LOVING those "Flying V" jerseys.  I lived in Medicine Hat when I was really young and my parents knew the Linden family.  I think my dad worked a bit with his dad.  We would go over to their house every once in a while to visit, have dinners, BBQ outings and such.

I was younger than Trevor and was closer in age to his younger brother Jamie.  But I remember hanging out with Trev a few times.  Following along while he delivered papers in the afternoon (and making a quarter or two every once in a while) and even watching him play pee-wee hockey.

We moved back to Calgary a couple years later but our families still stayed in touch....for a few years.

BTW....there were some great features on Hometown Hockey this year when the crew went to Medicine Hat.  These are great features...

Hometown Hockey Feature 1

Hometown Hockey Feature 2

By the time Linden was playing junior hockey and winning Memorial Cups, I was more of an admirer.  And when he was drafted by the Canucks, I was an excited fan.

In the late-80's I wasn't really collecting hockey cards but found myself getting back into them not too long after.  It took a few years to discover player collecting and I still remember the day I became a Linden collector.

This is the Zenith Z-Silver parallel of the above base card.  Silver foil (doesn't scan well) Pretty easy to track down to this day and doesn't demand much coin.

Anyways, back to my story.

I was at the local, monthly card show probably about 20 years ago (this is the same show I still go to these days).  Linden was maybe not a "superstar" in the world of collecting, but he had some value.  I would go table to table and see guys with monster boxes and dividers with names like Gretzky, Lemieux, Hull, Selanne, Yzerman.......and in some cases - Linden.

I had seen them a few times but never really thought about it.  I was concentrating on my current chases - cheap sets.  Yes, it was the junk wax era and I couldn't get enough of it.  Looking back, I can only cringe at the amount of money I invested into cardboard that wasn't worth the paper the photos were printed on.

I dabbled into vintage for a while but nothing really quenched my thirst.  Nothing was really doing ti for me.

Until one show when I was at a table I regularly checked out (I can still envision it now).  Super long-haired guy.  Lots of boxes.  In one of those boxes were a stack of Linden cards.  Sign on the box said ".10 cents a piece".  I grabbed all the Linden cards to check them out.

There were dozens of them - and they were all different....no doubles.  There were probably 50-60 cards in there so I grabbed them all.  Five, six bucks for all that?  Sounds like a great deal.

And it was.  By the time I got home and looked through them all they had completely motivated me.  Unlike any high dollar card I have ever owned before or since.

I thought to myself "I must have every Linden card ever made"!!  Ha ha.  Not quite.  I looked into it (using a Charlton and Beckett yearly guide) and determined that I had maybe a tenth of his cards.  Yeah, he was already into the 400-500 card range.

But a player collector was born......and I've been enjoying it ever since.


Now....if you've lasted this long - are you crazy????!!!!!!  Ha ha.

Seriously though.  I wanted to share this next card as I received a very hefty offer to sell it today.  It had me thinking long and hard about whether or not I should sell it.

This is the Zenith Z Gold parallel.  Limited to just 100 copies, it was a huge hit 20 years ago and is near impossible to find these days.

Gold foil (again...scans like garbage) and boy does it pop.  This copy hasn't seen the light of day in a long time....but boy does it still impress.

Here's the back (since I was asked to share a scan of it).  I see a little chipping on the bottom edge....which I instantly remembered as soon as I flipped the card over.  You can see the Islanders logo which sticks out like a sore thumb and how about those stats.  Clever or clumsy?

Funny thing about this card is I can't for the life of me remember when or where I got it or how much I paid for it.  Usually I have a good story to share about my cards but not in this case.

In all likelihood I picked it up on eBay and paid a decent amount.....but not nearly the price I was offered to sell it for.

Made me think about where the line is and how comfortable I might be about selling pc items.  I've rarely done it before (in the few instances I've moved a pc item, it's been in a trade for something huge).

I had to decline the offer respectfully and he understood.  I collect because I enjoy collecting and not to make a few dollars - especially when it comes to personal items.

And I know I would feel guilty knowing that I got way more than the card is worth.  With 100 copies, I know one will eventually pop up.

So Mika, I hope you enjoyed this post.  And I hope you enjoy collecting Linden as much as I do.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

WALLET CARD - A Nice Surprise Gift

Hoo boy....a couple weeks just flew by now.  I've been a busy guy at work and have had a couple plans throughout the weeks to get me to thinking that I need a vacation or something.

Actually, I've come to realize that I've just got a ton of stuff on my plate and need to shuffle some of it off.  But some of that is hard to do when you're in a bit of a design funk.

Power through....that's the best way to quell "writer's block".

In addition to a few new Linden pickups (which I'll show off in an upcoming post), I was the recipient recently of a very cool gift.  And seeing as today was opening day in the world of baseball....I figured it suited the vibe.

This Oscar Gamble signature came from an autograph collector who follows my #WalletCard twitter feed.  He commented on a couple posts of mine and we had a nice back and forth.  He then indicated that he had a Gamble auto from back in the day and asked me for my address.

Wha?????

Yeah, he just sent it off.....and he lives in the States.  And it arrived in a toploader to boot.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

This auto looks like it came from an autograph book as it has that kind of paper feel to it.  My immediate thought was to create a custom cut card from it (after I do the bazillion other things on my list) but it's a little large for a regular sized card.

But how about an oversized cut auto?

How about an oversized #WalletCard cut auto?

That's right....I'm thinking of creating a custom oversized cut auto using this signature and the iconic '76 Topps Traded card.  I can see it now.........frotastic!!!

This great gift is a reinforcement that doing good things means good things happen.  And to Frank, if you do read this.....thank you very much.  I will think of your kind gesture every time I look at this auto.

Now........back to work.

Monday, March 20, 2017

OPINION - Older Ultra-Pro One Touch Magnetic Holders (UPDATE)

During my holiday break back in December/January I did some closet cleaning.....card closet that is.  But during my tidying up I discovered something that was a bit of a surprise to me.  Many of my older one touch magnetic holders were showing signs of disintegrating magnets.

I was pretty bummed - but more concerned as I have a number of my cards in these holders.  I knew that keeping them in these ticking time bombs might prove detrimental to their condition in the future (I'd hate to see what happens when the magnets completely fall apart and seep into where the card is).

So me being me I decided to contact Ultra-Pro and let them know about the situation.  I asked if they had seen anything like this before.  They asked if I could send a couple samples - which I promptly did, and once they received those, quickly came to the conclusion that replacements would be sent.

They asked for specific numbers (sizes and amounts) as well as what kind of storage conditions I kept the cards in.  After a bit of back and forth with the e-mails I learned that a package had been sent.

It arrived today....

This is what 121 new Ultra-Pro Magnetic One Touches looks like.  And I don't have much to say other than I am completely impressed.  Impressed with the customer service I received and impressed with the promptness of their response and action.  In less than 3 months my concerns of damaged card holders is gone.

I would implore you all to check your one touches (especially if they are the older ones with silver magnets) and to contact Ultra-Pro should you see the same kind of damage I did.  I would hope that they deal with all future concerns the same way they did with me.

Massively impressed!!!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 2016/17 Artifacts Autofacts

While the local card show yesterday might not have been as exciting as one would hope, the mailbox at my house is starting to heat up.

I've taken a few more stabs at cards on eBay and have actually managed to reel in a few bites.  Always nice to add to the main pc, bet even more exciting when those cards come at a reasonable price.

I've been way more patient with my purchasing over the past while and this new habit is resting on me just fine.  I'm really not stressing it when I see a new product release with 20...30...40 new Linden cards to chase.  Most I've come to accept as ones that will never join my collection - just too many cards that are so low numbered.  The math just doesn't add up.

I've seen a few collectors succumb to the demands of being a player completionist and in some instances given up collecting altogether.  I think that's a shame.  Yes, the economy isn't what is used to be and yes, there are many things more important than cards....but to leave the key on the counter as you exit the building just seems like a drastic decision.

For me, I'm keeping my completionist attitude.....just altering the pace at which I chase.  I find a lot of enjoyment in just keeping my master checklist up to date (I know.......boring right?) and landing the odd card here or there just fulfills the collector's urge in me.  I hope it never dies (I don't think it will....I'm too far into this now to bail on it).

Speaking of landing a new card....here's what arrived on Friday.

2016/17 Upper Deck Artifacts
#A-TL Autofacts

I remember back in the day when the Artifacts "parallel hell" wasn't just limited to the base card varieties but the autographed cards too.  I still vividly remember finally finding a tough sig /10 to quell any thoughts of never finding the tough chase.

Now, the signature cards are unnumbered and are categorized by their insertion numbers.  Some are regular issued, some are short printed and some....the dreaded SSP.  This Linden falls into that category (actually....to be completely accurate, it's an SSSP).

Four different categories of autos in the Autofacts set.  Group D is the most commonly inserted (1:111 packs), while the Linden is a Group A (1:1,548 packs).  And that doesn't mean a Linden in every 1,500+ packs....that's just Group A signature cards.

So when I saw the first few copies pop up on the secondary market, I knew I'd be sitting back.  People can sometimes go crazy on the first wave of new cards.  I'm more than happy to sit back and wait for a price that I'm comfortable with.

That chance occurred a couple weeks ago and I was happy with the price.

After opening up the envelope, I can confidently say that I'm happy with the card too.

Now, speaking of cards that can sometimes go crazy during that first wave....

Fleer Showcase has just been released and part of their inserts include buybacks from the "iconic" 92/93 season....some of which get the autograph treatment (like the Linden....which I stole the scan of off eBay).

I must say that for a card you couldn't give away, Upper Deck certainly has got me excited about chasing this one down.  Slap a serial number on it and a hard signed autograph and all of the sudden this piece of cardboard starts to look pretty good.

Buybacks seem to be a hot insert concept of late.  Upper Deck had some buybacks a couple years ago from their iconic 90/91 set and Score had their Recollection Collection autos.  In The Game purged all of their remaining stock in Final Vault and I've noticed my Oscar Gamble collection has more buybacks out over the past 2-3 years than actual newly released cards.

So what gives?  Why the popularity?  Is it the harkening back to "the good ol' days"?  I can't see cards like these giving a sense of "added value" to a product......it was kindling up until a few weeks ago when the signature got slapped on it.

For me, I like these cards in small doses (this single insertion of Linden into the Fleer Showcase product is fantastic).  A simple, yet attainable, chase.

Not like the parallel hell of Vault and Artifacts.  Irk.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

SIGNATURE CHAMPIONS - Guy Lafleur

It was monthly card show day today and although I didn't come across any new Linden cards to add to the collection, it was really nice to see a bunch of new "stuff" on tables that normally have a bit too much of the "same ol' stuff".  I was tempted to splurge on a couple bigger ticket cards but a recent appointment with my financial guy had me hearing his voice in my head a little louder than normal.  Probably a good thing.

But that doesn't mean I didn't find something to come home with.

First (and most surprising) would be the latest issue of Beckett Hockey.  I can honestly say that I haven't paid for a Beckett mag in years.  It's just turned into too much "price guide" (and I use that term a little loosely) and not enough articles.  But the cover of the most recent issue had me considering an exception.

Alright.....you have me interested.  I'm a sucker for a good list and I guess when it comes to hockey cards, this would be the ultimate one (although I bet I could come up with some pretty sweet lists of my own).

And I love the way the cover looks.  Super simple design but the gold light overlay just really caught my eye.  Very nice.

So I bought it.  I won't divulge anything regarding the items on the list (as I would recommend you go and pick up a copy to check it out) but I will say that there were a number of cards that had me surprised.

I would assume a number of iconic pieces of cardboard be on the list but there were many that I never....NEVER would have considered.  I like that in a good list.  A decision is made, an argument is presented and a list is formed.  Kudos.

Sadly, there wasn't much else in the magazine that caught my eye.  It's just not like it used to be back when the magazine was born in the early 90's.  The "Hot List" made me laugh though.  Every single one of the 20 cards presented were either Young Guns or YG Canvas cards....say for one - and it was a Canvas card.  Boy.....I feel like the hobbyists are predictable these days.

Where's the variety?  Where's the fun?  Are we all just supposed to go and get our Auston Matthews or Patrick Laine YG and just call it a day?  I guess so.

But I digress..... on to the card pickup at hand.  One new add and it was an automatic when I saw it.

This Guy Lafleur Signature Champions card is one I have seen a number of times online but never took a stab at.  His signed stuff feels a little off-kilter to me.  The guy is a legend....but he doesn't seem to have the hobby love that one would expect.  Original Six team, hugely popular in the 70's and early 80's, successful and loved by the fans.  So what gives?

Is it the fact that played second fiddle to Gretzky in the latter portion of his career?  Too many great Habs back in those days?  Outside of Montreal is he even on anybody's radar?

Regardless, I've been waiting for the price to be a reasonable one before I struck.  The price tag on this one today made the decision easy.  Simply put, I paid less for this card than I did for the Chris Chelios one a couple weeks back.

'Nuff said.

My only beef with the card would be that Guy isn't hoisting the Cup over his head.  But I guess that wasn't the big thing to do back in the 70's like it is today.  And the Conn Smythe trophy balanced above The Cup just steals the thunder from what should be a pinnacle moment (actually....the yellow towel does that pretty well too).

One more off the list.  Starting to get to a point where it's the tougher ones left on my list.  But I knew that going in.

I confirmed that in my new Beckett mag tonight.  :)


Current Collection - 9 out of 42  (21%)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - It's......A Card

Alright....the last of my card show pickups has me thinking if it's even worth sharing this one with you all.

After all, I overpaid for it (was part of my 2-card lot with the Chelios Signature Champions) and it really doesn't have much exciting to add.  But maybe I'm being too critical.

I'll let you all decide.

There are cards that I purposefully pass on when I see it pop up online.  I figure that there's a good chance I'll find it locally.  And to me "locally" means cheaper.

Most of the time.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
Game Used Quad Silver
#GU4J-02 (with Hull, Naslund & Roenick)  /55

This is the most common card Linden has in the robust first offering from Leaf back a couple years ago.  Leaf/ITG paired up to release In The Game Used and Trev has a whopping 45 cards in the product.

FORTY-FIVE

And this card /55 is the most common.  You can understand if I didn't go after this list with a great amount of gumption.

I did find a copy of this quad jersey but the price tag was a little cringe-worthy.  Hoping to get the price down I paired it up with the aforementioned Chris Chelios autograph but the discount was only marginal.

So let's not talk about how much I spent on this card.

Instead, let's try to figure out what the heck the connection is between the four players shown on the card.  And "They all play hockey" is not the right answer.

And........go.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

OUTSIDE THE BOX - A Couple Of Legends

Let's go over the list one more time....

Like sifting through boxes looking for gems - CHECK

Sucker for a deal - CHECK

Enjoys a good laugh - CHECK

So when I came across a box full of non-sport priced at three bucks a piece or 2 for $5....I decided to take a few moments.

I came to a quick halt when I saw this gem....

Ha ha ha......who loves ya' baby!

I have no idea what possessed...............oh yeah right.  I'm a sucker.

Get it!!!  I'm starting to show my age.

The back of the card has some great info on Mr. Savalas (I just can't call him Telly)....

"Telly Savalas ranks among the most recognizable actors of the 20th century.  A veteran of World War II, Savages was nominated for an Academy Award in 1963 for Birdman of Alcatraz.  Of course, his most famous role came as Lt. Theo Kojak on Kojak.  Who loves ya' baby!"

Very cool.

Anyways, I confirmed with the seller 2 for $5 and began digging for card #2.

It was a non-sport box but found this equally impressive legend....

The King.......Richard Petty.  Race Used Firesuit.  Look at that photo!!

That was good enough for me.

These two cards for a measly five bucks.  All.....day.....long.

Friday, March 10, 2017

RAISE THE CUP - 2007 Ducks Authentic Moment

Another benefit to hunting and digging through numerous boxes looking for cards....you tend to find stuff you weren't even looking for.

In fact, I can't even claim to have found this card in particular.

Leave it to fellow collector, digger and frugal-minded collector Captain Canuck for finding this little offering for me.

Great eye!  This is a super shot of the "Big Three"??? posing for Polaroids after their big win in 2007.  Getzlaf, Perry and........some other guy.  Oh yeah - Dustin Penner.  Whatever happened to him?

Anyways, it was a solid pickup and I guess I have Captain Canuck to thank (although I'm sure I would've seen this one when I eventually went through that same box....it was just inevitable).

Adding another card to the ever growing binder tonight and I had a chance to flip through the pages.  I like when a project such as this starts showing some teeth.  A fun, inexpensive collection.

And that's what the hobby is all about.

(oh......and helping people)

For the record, Dustin Penner - a TWO TIME Stanley Cup Champion....ugh - last played in the NHL in 2014 and was last seen being unceremoniously booted from TSN's Trade Deadline team after tweeting some "insensitive stuff".  I think we will leave things at that.  Yikes.

Current Collection - 156 cards

Thursday, March 9, 2017

VOICES OF THE GAME - Charlie Simmer

I like digging.  Digging through huge monster boxes of cards.  Not base cards but inserts.  Jersey cards and autos that have been sitting for far too long in a closet.....with blowout prices on them.

I like that.

The recent card show had me sifting through a couple tables worth of boxes and I managed to find a few diamonds in the rough.

I made the decision to not go overboard and buy stuff for my trade box.....but that didn't last long.  Some Masked Men I and II card for .50 cents each killed that goal.  I'm a sucker for a good deal.

Looking back I wonder if that was a good deal??  Ha ha.

Anyways, on to one of the cards I found through my hours of digging.

2010/11 Panini Crown Royale
Voices Of The Game
#1 Charlie Simmer

This is a very small collection I have passively been building.  Working in the world of television and media I thought it would be fun to go after these cards.  Especially when you start the collection off with a legend like Dick Irvin.  As my nephew would say....noice.

Charlie used to do color commentary for the local Flames games for a few seasons back before the huge Sportsnet NHL bid.  He wasn't too bad to listen to......but I'll admit I like his signature better.

Simmer has a real nice auto and it fills the card out well.  He seems to be sporting a Kings jersey in the photo...likely from a night honouring him - or a teammate.

For just a few bucks I'm happy to add it to the meek collection.

Oh.......and in case you were wondering......Bob Cole does have a signature card (or two).  It's officially on the radar.


Current Collection - 8 cards

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SIGNATURE CHAMPIONS - Chris Chelios

Let's keep the show & tell posts from my card show haul going.

I may not have picked much up, but what I did get I'm happy to add to the various pc's in my hobby world.

I've said it a few times.....the 2014/15 Upper Deck Premier Signature Champions set might be one of the nicest auto sets I've seen.  As you all know I'm a sucker for the Stanley Cup shots and the hard signed autos make this a great build.

Some tough cards to chase, but I'm in no rush.  I added an easier one from the show.

This Chris Chelios comes from his days as a Detroit Red Wing (would've preferred him in a Habs jersey) but boy does this photo ever look good.  Look at all the action behind him....everyone clamouring for the best shot.  Looks like the photog who took this pic got "the one".

It's numbered to 99 copies (one of the easier to chase in the set) but the asking price was a little more than I wanted to spend.  I think I caved because I had just sold a card a few minutes beforehand and had some extra cash in my pocket.  A dangerous mix.

And of course a quick check on completed eBay sales confirm that I paid too much.  Hate to say it....but this is just not a $20 card.

Except to me.  But I guess it could be worse.

Not huge buyer's remorse.....but a little.

In the end I'm glad to cross another one off the list from this set.  It's coming along nicely.


Current Collection - 8 of 42  (19%)

Monday, March 6, 2017

LINDEN uh.....MINI FIGURE OF THE WEEK - Card Show Gold!!!

So the big card show in town happened this past weekend and I was rarin' to go.  I was excited to see some of the guys that I've come to know over my many years of collecting and check out some of the dealers who have come in from out of town....it's always nice to see some new stuff on tables.

The show was great.  A good number of tables, decent variety, some good deals to be had and just a really positive vibe.  A great way to kill and afternoon.

I'll spend some time sharing some of my finds over the next few posts but there were two things that were the main takeaways from the show.

First.....I seem to have much better luck finding stuff for other people.  A diehard Sedin collector (who has a pretty tiny wantlist) has been a great friend to me in this hobby.  Enthusiastic about collecting, selfless and genuine.  I've made a point to keep an eye out for him at the local shows here and couldn't believe when I found not one...but two cards on his wantlist.  An Artifacts dual stick /8 and an UD Contours gold /10.  Unbelievable.  I can't wait to send them his way.

Second.....the price of an item is absolutely not related in any way, shape or form to the enjoyment one can get from it.

Case in point.....

I am THRILLED to have found this sitting in a big Rubbermaid container on the ground to the side of a guy's table.

I was just minding my own business and noticed one of these mini McFarlane dual cases.  Ryan Smyth and Mark....ugh Messier.  I decided to take a closer look as they are not that easy to find.

I noticed the small 16 on the sleeve of another figure down at the bottom of the bin.  I crossed my fingers as I pulled the package out.

I couldn't believe it.

Now, I already have one in my collection (and I remember paying a stupid amount - the shipping from the States was gross) but had to ask what the asking price was on this one.

"Four bucks".

I couldn't get the money out of my pocket fast enough.

Why did I want this mini figure so badly?

So I could do this.

All of my other Linden McFarlanes are still nicely in their cases (except the one exclusive to the Canucks store....I bought two when I went to Linden's jersey retirement ceremony and opened one).  I was like a little kid as I tore into this one.

I must say, I'm really impressed with the way these look.  Pretty good detail.

Ok.....maybe the face needs a little bit of work, but the logos, numbers, stick and "wrinkles" all really make this little dude come to life.

The back of his jersey looks equally impressive.  The name and number just feel right.

I can't wait to take this one to work.....be bugged again about my hobby enjoyment, and add this to my little shrine on my shelf.  It'll sit proud....free from it's plastic case.

Four bucks well spent in my opinion.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

MY COLLECTION - More Medicine Hat Tigers Pucks

I've been sitting here tonight watching Hometown Hockey on Sportsnet...the Canucks vs. the Ducks.  They are set up in Medicine Hat, Alberta - home of the Tigers (and Trevor Linden) and so my interest in the show was definitely a little higher than normal.

I had to PVR the pregame as I was at the Flames afternoon tilt against the Islanders but have watched both intermissions where Trev's parents came out (and maybe embarrassed their son a bit) and featured play-by-play legend Bob Ridley.  I haven't seen so much 80's Tigers Cooperalls in a long, long time.  Great stuff.

Made me want to share the rest of my antique show find from a couple weeks ago.


Back in December I hit gold at an antique show.  In addition to a vintage hockey colouring book and scrapbook I found a couple nice Medicine Hat Tigers pucks from the Linden/Memorial Cup era.  I was on cloud nine.

So you could only imagine my reaction when I went to the most recent antique sale and found these...

Holy cow.........what the heck???!!!!!

My go to when I get to this show is the back corner and the sports guy.  He tends to have some goodies.  And this time it was hockey pucks - lots of them.  He had 70's era game pucks with logos from the Leafs, Blues, Penguins, Bruins, Barons (oh yeah) just to name a few.

He must have had about 40 or so pucks just overflowing a box on the table and as I was digging the smile on my face just got bigger.

Five Medicine Hat Tigers pucks.  Sure, I have one of them already...but the condition pales in comparison to these.  It was a no brainer for me to ask prices.  He fired off a fair number and I guess my hesitation  made him balk.  He dropped his offer by ten bucks and we had ourselves a deal.

Now......what the heck era is that gem in the upper left?  That one has me super curious.

I'm definitely going to have to get one of these signed in the future.

I feel like I'm slowly building a bit of a Medicine Hat Tigers collection.  I like that.

Now....if I could just find a late 80's era jersey.  :)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

OUTSIDE THE BOX - 1975 Topps Minis

There's an antique show that runs in my city every six months that has slowly become a staple for me, my mom and my niece (and sometimes nephew) to check out.  I love the fact that there's an event out there where three generations of people can go and enjoy a day out and maybe find some treasures.

I am always keeping an eye out for one seller in particular who always seems to have some neat sports stuff.  He used to work for the local media here in town and has things like photo sheets, slides, yearbooks, media guides and posters.  This past show he had a box full of gorgeous hockey pucks - game issued from the late 1970's.  Oh....if I only had the money, I would have bought them all.

But he did have something that I couldn't stop thinking about and finally decided to take a chance on.

1975 Topps Minis........about 300 of them.

Man is this set ever beautiful.  The colours, fonts and crisp looking backs make this one of the all-time great sets.

I was ho-humming about snagging them because....well, simply put I just don't know a lot about them. What's a good price?

So I tried my best to do a little research.  Sometimes not knowing is best.....you can make a little lower offer and just say "Hey......I'm taking a flyer on this".

I think this will pay off though.

BAM!!  What a great card.  Sure it's no George Brett rookie card.....but a Gary Carter is no slouch.

Man does he ever look young in that pic.  I guess that's why they called him "The Kid".

It's in decent shape and I'm just thrilled to have found this in the lot.

How about a Nolan Ryan?  Dude is just legendary.

This one again is in really nice shape.  Great colours and the backs are just spot on.

Ryan's highlight card is a little more rough.  Way miscut and a little softer on the edges.

But still......it's Nolan.

Reggie!  Reggie!  Reggie!

I love this card.  The batting helmet, the green and gold, the colours on the card - awesome.

Another one that is in really nice shape.

Johnny Bench is a player I wish I got to see play in his prime.  I don't think I fully have come to appreciate just how good he was.  He's like the Bobby Orr of baseball for me.  Just a few years before I was aware of him.

Look at that background.  Man they don't make cards like this anymore.

I really like the shot of this Steve Carlton too.  Empty seats galore.  Makes me laugh because where I work, using any sort of footage with empty seats is such a no-no.

I just realized the facsimile autos on these (yeah....I'm slow).  These look even better now.

Checklists might be boring....but not unmarked ones from the 70's.

This one is a little diamond cut but is still in solid shape.

Second verse same as the first.  I like this one even more to be honest.

So.......what's a good price on the lot?

I paid $40cdn for all of them.  Did I do good?  I feel as though I'll be able to make a little on them down the road.  For now, I'm happy to just have them part of my collection.


Oh....I almost forgot.

The best find of the day at the antique show....

You might have to be my age or older to be impressed by this.

An Archie Bunker Grandson doll.

Who's buying this?  I don't know how many 5-year-old girls would be watching All In The Family back in the day.

"Physically Correct Male"????  Ok.

Classic!!!!  An no.....I did not buy it.  (although I wonder if I should have)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

OUTSIDE THE BOX - Have A Drink On Me

It's been a very hectic week both at work and away from it.  I still feel like I'm trying to get my year started (as I had a bit of a hiccup due to having to buy a new vehicle last month).  But in spite of all the  busy hours I still managed to find some time today to go to the antique show with my mom and nephew.

I could go to this show with a completely empty wallet and have a blast.  I love the window shopping - and spending time with my mom and nephew is just flat out fun.  We had a great time and saw some neat stuff.  I'll share that with you all another time.

Tonight, I got home and was doing a little tidying up in my office and decided to pull out a collection that hardly ever gets any of my time anymore.  It's likely the most passive of pc's I have and the best part is that I don't have to spend a penny on it.

When I pulled the collection out of the closet I immediately saw a set that shot me back at least 2 decades.

Would anybody care for a refreshment?

Who remembers these Molson Canadian NHL beer coasters from the (I want to say) 1994 season?  I certainly do.

I was out of high school and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  I spent a lot of time hanging out with buddies at Don Cheery's Sports Bar in Calgary.  It was the first sports bar I went to on a regular basis and watched many....many hockey games there.

These beer coasters were released and I remember looking like a fool going from table to table, bar to bar at Don Cherry's looking to complete the 26-coaster set.

Took me just one evening to get them all.

It was the start of what has become a fun, inexpensive hobby for me....

Beer coasters.

I tend to snag a coaster at every bar or restaurant that has one (and normally grab two just in case the flip side is nice).  It's a great reminder of the places I've been and horrible beer I used to drink....Molson Dry was my beer back in the day.  Ouch.

After a number of years I decided to pick some coasters up when I saw them cheap at a garage sale or antique show (so I can't claim that this is a completely free excursion) but rarely do so now as it really isn't worth it.

That said, I keep an eye out when I'm at a place or event that might have them.  I definitely take advantage of it if the situation presents itself.

I did a count tonight (as it's been a few years since I organized them) and have 578 unique coasters.  I have an additional 196 doubles/extras for a grand total of 774 beer mats.

I remember seeing a cool bartop long ago....I can't remember where (some pub) and it had a glass top.  Underneath were what looked like hundreds of different coasters.  I thought it was a cool idea and still envision a final end spot for all of these.

Maybe one day.

Until then, I'll continue to have fun with this collection.

Now, let's take a closer look at some of these team logos.

Gotta start with my Canucks.  Oh do I ever remember those wonderful days in the mid-90's.  So many great memories.

Yeah.....this is one that takes me back.  Love this logo and wished the team never moved to Carolina.

Another iconic logo from days gone by.  This was just prior to the move to Colorado.

This Senators logo looks so old now.  But I remember when the team came into the league....and the Alexandre Daigle experiment.

Who can forget that??

Don't really need to say anything here.

The best of things never get old.

I never really cared for this Penguins logo.  I'm glad they didn't stick with it for too long.

That said, this logo definitely reminds me of their early 90's dominance.  Hard to forget that.

Hoo boy.....another great early version of a logo.

Those new logos at the time (Ottawa, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Florida) just seemed so out there in comparison to the simple 21-team league I grew up with as a kid.

Jets......version 1.0......awesome.

Having this set in my collection (hockey and beer coaster) really gives me great satisfaction - and a lot of great memories.  And at the end of the day, that's what these little nuggets of stuff we pick up or buy should do.

Spending time tonight going through all those old beer coasters really jolted my brain and got me pretty nostalgic.  Good stuff.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - You Never Know What You'll Come Across

It was local card show day today....and it just so happened to land on National Hockey Card Day.  I hope you all got your free pack of cards and are enjoying putting the set together.

I was hoping to find a few new Linden cards for the collection as it had been a couple months since making the trek out to the rec centre.  I was on the lookout for the new UD Series II Canvas card of his (I don't know why but I'm really excited about it) but no luck....nobody had one.  I feel though that it's a card I will be able to find locally.  There's a bigger show in a couple weeks that should up my chances.

While I didn't come home empty-handed I kept the buying to a minimum....just playing the patience card.  There were some nice cards that would look good in the trade box - but I've been playing that game a few times recently....I want some stuff I can shove into a box and store in the closet forever.

Speaking of....

When I got home this afternoon I decided to do a little organizing and documenting of things related to my collections.  So I pulled out a monster box of Lindens....

Now imagine holding onto this box and then dropping it.  Sucks eh?  Now imagine dropping it in a way where it's a slow, painful process....not a quick, fixer-upper.

Cards.....everywhere on the closet floor.  It was spectacular (and not in a good way).

The curse words were a flyin'.....I still know how to let the expletives roll it seems.

The photo above is the after photo.......as in after THREE HOURS of checking for damage, replacing some toploaders and re-organizing.  I blew my afternoon.

But such is life.  I guess it could have been worse.  I could've damaged some of my cards (which thankfully I did not).

So......on with the show.


Only one Linden card was found on my card show spree today.  I went to a guy who knows I collect Linden (ok.....they ALL know I collect Linden) and he talked about how he was emptying some boxes to store some base cards.  You know....junky, not-going-to-get-anything-for-your-dollar cards.  And what do you think he finds?

2014/15 Upper Deck Artifacts
#TS-TL Treasured Swatches

It's not numbered, it's a couple years old - but I still needed it.

He let out a laugh when I told him.  He thought for sure I would have picked it up already.  I said that cards like these are best to find locally since the shipping normally outweighs the cost of the card itself.

Well.....almost (in this case).  He got very....very fair value on the card but I was happy to pay.  Nice to knock this off the list and with a pair of non-white jersey pieces to boot.


This next card is a pretty special one (and one that I will enjoy in my collection for many.....many years to come).

A few years ago In The Game released a product called Superlative III.  For some reason I was really excited about the release and there are some incredible looking cards in the product.  I decided to pursue it aggressively.

With 1/1s, there are 20 Linden cards to be had (not counting any show cards and such).  Many of them low numbered (9 or less).  I lucked out on a few pickups and was pretty reckless on others.  But after the initial wave of cards on the secondary market passed I was left with a good portion of the 20 cards in my collection.

I picked up any others I could find and was soon down to basically the tougher pieces of cardboard to add.

Two of the biggest (literally) were the Jumbo Patch cards (a silver /4 and the gold 1/1).  It took some effort - and some help from fellow hobbyists but I knocked them both off the list.  They're two of the top pieces in my collection.

Jumbo Silver

Jumbo Gold

And yes....they look just as good (even better) in person.

It was very soon after landing these cards that I decided to take a run at the complete rainbow....all 20 cards.

But there were some 1/1s that went places I was sure never to see again.  That was until late last year.

I was doing my hourly search of Linden stuff on eBay and saw not one....but two Linden 1/1 cards from the Superlative III set.

It.  Was.  On.

I let a couple Linden guys know that I was going to go after them pretty hard.  I was excited to see the auctions ending on a weekday afternoon (who does that?) which normally lends to a lower final price.  I was on red alert with just a few minutes left in the auctions (I like to bid live as opposed to using a sniping program) and was shocked to see what was happening.

The cards were skyrocketing in price.

I thought they'd go for a fair chunk....but 2x, 3x as much?  No way.

I was out before I was even in.

So I was a little bummed.....but such is life.  You can't win them all.

The a couple months back I got an e-mail from a fellow Linden collector letting me know that one of the cards found its way into his hands.  He knew I would immediately be interested.  And I was.

He sent it over last week.

2012/13 In The Game Superlative III
#SAP-TL Superlative Auto Plus Number Gold  1/1

This is a tremendous 4-color piece from a classic (in Linden terms) Canucks jersey.  A hard-signed auto to boot.....looks great.

I had been asking what would make a fair trade to land it and simply said he was looking for nothing in return.

Wow!!  I was floored.

We fired off a couple e-mails back and forth and I couldn't help but have a huge smile on my face.  Not because I had this wonderful card in my hand but because I just genuinely enjoyed (and always have) the great rapport I have had with this individual.

Make no mistake though.....there will be reciprocation.  I already know what I'm sending.  :)

Kevin.....a huge thank you - for everything.  This card will sit proudly (and with a great story) in my collection.  Cheers!


ps.  I'm down to just 3 cards for the rainbow.....all 1/1s.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

OPINION - Camaraderie

So I was just wrapping up watching a movie tonight - decided to skip the Grammy's - and decided to check out the hobby boards I attach myself to.  In there was a private message from a fellow hobbyist who just wanted to take the time to say how much he's enjoyed looking at some of the cards in my Trevor Linden collection.

I can't lie......it made me feel pretty good.

It also made me think about the long journey I've taken to build my Linden collection up from a handful of base cards back 20 years ago to where it is now.  The thought of that spurred on many memories of the great stories and episodes that I've encountered to obtain some of the cards.  But mostly I've thought about the great people I've dealt with and gotten to know over the years.

Camaraderie is a big part of my collecting world.

It's easy to find those who have a bone to pick or a chip on their shoulder or a sense of entitlement when it comes to cards.  I feel sorry for those who feel the need to spew negativity on a regular basis. It's not difficult to find them....but often hard to ignore.

So it's refreshing to hear some positive words....a simple compliment, maybe the start of a back and forth dialogue.

In this era of online buying, webcast box breaks and cutthroat competition for the rarest of the rares out there, it feels good to just sit back and chat or head over to the card shop and shoot the "preverbal poo" with others or shake hands with someone I haven't seen in a while at a show.

At the end of the day, we all collect - and shouldn't we feel free to celebrate that, scream at the top of our lungs about it (ok....maybe that's taking it a little too far), you get my drift.

But I also think part of that camaraderie is listening.  Hearing what the person across from you has to say about his/her collecting world and taking a genuine interest in them.  Sure, some of it might be nothing more than "filler" for discussion....being courteous, but I like to think that if I'm really interested in what the other person is up to.....I'll be the one asking more questions than he is.

At the end of the day, this hobby is about having fun and relieving some stresses in our lives.  I see a number of people who look like card collecting is just adding to their frustration.

Camaraderie can help that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 16/17 Trilogy Signature Puck

Over the past few weeks I've seen a number of new Trevor Linden cards pop up on the secondary market.  Black Diamond autos and manufactured patches, SP Game Used Draft Day Letter Marks and Trilogy Signature Pucks.  What do all of these cards have in common?

They are all Upper Deck releases.

For the past couple years Upper Deck has inserted Linden in to more of their products than the decade prior.  I must say that I quite enjoy the new adds.  Yes, there are some tough parallels in there but there are also some new looking cards or new looking concepts that Linden has finally been added into.  Upper Deck is really quenching my thirst for something exciting.

Now that said.....I'm not firing off shots at everything and anything new.  I'm staying pretty passive at hitting some of these cards.  I think that's just the new approach I'm taking these days.  In fact, it's funny to hear other saying that the Linden market has chilled off.

That makes me smile.  Cheaper is better.

But not every card has been going low.  Some of the Draft Day Letter Marks (a manufactured patch numbered to 10) have fetched more money than the actual game used Linden letters I chased a few years ago - and they were 1/1s.  Wow.

It goes to the popularity of the Upper Deck brand and them having the license to use logos and such.  You can't argue their success.  Money talks.

The card I'm sharing tonight is one that I snagged from a nice Buy It Now discovery.  I like the new look of these cards and the Linden offering is pretty wild.

2016/17 Upper Deck Trilogy
#SP-TL Signature Pucks Team Logo  /17

This hand numbered signature puck is the third time Linden has had these auto pucks in Trilogy.  Each time I have captured the retro auto.  But the 16/17 version is fresh, blue (in signature too) and uses the true retro logo that I've come to love.

They are a really sharp looking card.  In addition to the regular version (which has no team logo) there is an always difficult NHL shield logo /3.  Not holding my breath there.

But Upper Deck decided to up their game this year by adding dual autos on the puck.  Linden gets (once again) teamed up with the Russian Rocket, Pavel Bure.  As with the single autos there are three versions.  The toughest.....a 1/1, has already surfaced and has found a new home.  Sadly, not mine.

The price on that one was WAY over what I was looking to spend.  I know the new owner will be happy with it.

But it just really injects a fun, challenging element to my Linden collecting that I haven't felt in a number of months.  And even though I may not be crossing as many off the list as I maybe could be....I know that the ones I do snag will be at a price I'm happy with and a quality that I'll be thrilled to add to the collection.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

HHOF AUTOS - A Killer Addition

It's been almost 3 years to the day since I started my hard-signed Hall Of Fame autograph project.  While things may have slowed down a bit a lot in acquiring cards (only added 2 cards in 2016), my quest for sigs hasn't diminished.

This past week at one of the local trade nights I was able to pull the trigger on another signer and I'm excited to add this one to the lot.

Doug Gilmour
(Inducted in 2011)

"Killer" has been on the radar more than many as he was a big part of my hockey youth and hometown excitement as he was a key cog in the Flames' Stanley Cup win in 1989.  It was especially nice to get a card of his in a Calgary Flames uniform.

Many (or most) of you equate Gilmour with the Leafs of the early 90's and who can blame you.  Those were equally incredible times for a franchise that has struggled with any sort of post season success for decades.  The Flames sit in that same boat.

The trade I made was fair I felt but only time will tell if I pulled the right trigger.....it cost me a William Nylander Trilogy Ice Scripts.

Some new names have hit the list and one of those should be pretty easy to track down.  I know I've seen Rogie Vachon autos roaming the shows and on eBay and could be plucked for fairly little.  Sergei Makarov.....does he even have an auto?  Eric Lindros.....he's another tier up (didn't sign much early on).  Pat Quinn.....shame to see him get the call after he passed away...should've been there years earlier.

With this Gilmour card I've hit the 70% mark.  Not bad at all.  There's no doubt that getting to 100 cards will be an easy task as there are many names that should come with little resistance (Phil Housley, Adam Oates, Dino Ceccarelli, even Guy Lafleur is an easier auto to find).  Still having fun with this one.

Current Collection - 70 HOF Autos

Saturday, January 28, 2017

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 2013/14 ITGU Quad Captain C Gold

A few cards have managed to hit my mailbox over the past month.  Not many...but enough.  One card though decided to take its own sweet time in getting here - no thanks to the guy who sent it.

Back in December I noticed one of the final cards on my 2013/14 ITG Used wantlist appeared on eBay.  It was decently priced but it did have a Best Offer option.  I noticed the shipping was a little higher than I'd like it to be so worked the seller down a bit to get the price where I was comfortable.

Well the shipping was high because it included tracking.  So I was patiently waiting to be given my tracking number.

You can guess where I'm going with this.

After the Christmas season passed I contacted the seller and asked for the tracking number (as the card had not yet arrived and it was past the "determined arrival date").

Excuse, excuse and excuse had me both concerned and frustrated.  After a while I stopped receiving communication.  The story he was giving me just wasn't adding up and I started calling him on it.

Long story short, I asked eBay to intervene - at first to try and get the tracking number....then to just get a refund and be done with it.  I was disappointed that a tough card to find (especially at the price I paid) was seemingly slipping through the cracks.

Well....a couple weeks after that debacle look what hit my mailbox...

2013/14 In The Game Used
#QCC-08 ITGU Quad Captain C Gold  (limited to 10)

Nicely packaged in a bubble envelope.....with just a simple stamp on it.  No tracking number.  No real care to do so.

I could have just easily sat back and enjoyed my newest Linden acquisition but I needed to share the news with the seller.

So I told him it showed up.  And I told him that I was disappointed not to see tracking on it.  But I did offer to pay for the card (and only the card) as it did arrive (albeit late) and didn't seem to be damaged.

Much to my surprise....the seller said that I could keep the card for free and apologized for the poor communication.

Well.......I'm not going to argue with him.  I'm just glad the transaction can finally be closed.

Now....finally looking at this ca.......WHAT THE HECK????!!!!!!!  Messier????  In a Canucks jersey???

Crap.

BEHIND THE MASKS - Leaf Enters The Mask World

Since their inception a couple decades back, I've been a big fan of the goalie mask insert sets that have been produced and released by numerous companies.

When Pinnacle set the bar in the 90's with their iconic Masks sets, I wasn't just blown away...I was hooked.  I still stop in my tracks when I see one of those great cards at a show or in a trade box.  In The Game did a really nice job of reviving the theme in numerous Between The Pipes products....and even when ITG no longer had an NHL license they did an admirable job of building solid mask sets.  Panini didn't really have much of a say with their goalie mask offerings but they too put out some cards with their Masked Marvels offerings.

It's been a couple years since a real robust mask checklist has been made but the new kids on the hockey block - Leaf, has decided to take a stab at an all-goalie product.

When I first heard rumblings last fall of this product I got a little excited, especially when I saw some of the mockups....say for one little feature...

It's amazing what a little white line (or lack of) can do to change the complexion of a photo.

One of the nice things about being a part of an online hobby community is that some of the company representatives are a part of it and even take the time to promote and communicate new products.  When this Patrick Roy card showed up...many people (including me) began asking if the final product would include airbrushing.

Straight from the VP of Product Development for Leaf...

"we will be using non airbrushed photos for the mask insert"

That was fantastic news and I was really excited for the release in the new year.

Fast forward to tonight when I saw some new pics on Leaf's official twitter page...

Well alright....that looks like a sharp looking card.  And I like that Leaf kept their word.

Or did they?

It didn't take long for the taste in my mouth to become a little sour.

Airbrushed chin.

Airbrushed earhole.

Airbrushed chin.

Airbrushed............everything!!

I mean really...why even include this in a product??

Oh, I know....because there are a couple diehard Barrasso collectors out there and will gobble these up regardless.

OK....this isn't even a mask!!!  It's a helmet.

For the record - Chris Osgood should never be included in a goalie mask set - ever.  Period.

I guess Leaf fed us collectors a little bit of....what do they call it??  Alternative Facts?

Now there are some decent looking vintage fibreglass mask cards on their feed and not everything is a loss (shiny cards are fun...right?), but my excitement for the product went way, WAAAAAYYYY down tonight.