Friday, May 31, 2024

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - (Not Mine)...As Things Have Been A Bit Upside Down Lately

Hello again. I can't believe we are on the precipice of June...the true sign of summer. Or, 4 more weeks of Stanley Cup Playoffs. Ha!

Things have been very up and down for me lately. I just wrapped a month of heavy duty volunteer work and it was honestly one of the best few weeks of my year. If you ever are in need of an energy boost...go volunteer. Seriously.

On the flip side, work has been a rocky road for months now. Hopeful and optimistic that things will turn around in June, but as my colleague says..."we need a win". So bring on June!

June's a month I've been anticipating for a while. Tomorrow, my niece is tying the knot. I'm beaming. She has the unique power of making me feel both young and old - often at the same time. This is no different. I'm so incredibly excited for her as she enters this next chapter of her life.

OK...let's get to the Linden card. As I was out running some last minute errands this afternoon, I noticed a post on Twitter (yeah...I still call it that) that made me stop to do a standard player search.

President's Choice Trading Cards, the current work of Dr. Brian Price (of what was In The Game), puts out one-off cards and small sets featuring some high-end memorabilia pieces that are definite eye-catchers. I know for a fact that he has some Linden material as he's released some cards of Trev in the past. And a quick query confirmed a new addition to the wantlist.

2023/24 President's Choice
Jumbo Memorabilia  1/1

What can I say...this is a very nice jumbo piece. Maximum room for the patch piece and I love the fact that they even threw a photo of Trev (proper era) in the corner. Man, I'm a sucker for the orange and yellow of that classic skate logo.

Speaking of...let's take a closer look at the crest. Something about the card just didn't feel right.

Yup...that's what I thought. Do you see it?

My subconscious kicked into gear and left me feeling a little "upside down". Sometimes...you just know.

No question that the patch was accidently placed in the card upside down. I can't see it being a purposeful decision. Unfortunate.

Now, to be fair, I think this would be a very easy mistake to make. The patch used doesn't really provide an obvious "this side up" vibe.

But when the card is being slapped with a $300us price tag...I don't think it's much to ask.

Regardless, at that price, it was out of my range (I've got my eye on another gem right now). I let another Linden collector know about it and within minutes, it was snatched up.

A great looking card, don't get me wrong, but one that I'm perfectly fine not having in my collection. I've got the scan of it and that'll sit nicely as a proxy. It's nice knowing too that it's going to sit in a Linden collection.

Now...on with the bigger business at hand. A definite weekend to remember. 😎


Have you ever come across a pc-potential card that gave you second thoughts because of an upside down patch? How bad is bad?

Friday, May 3, 2024

LINDEN POSTER OF THE WEEK - Patience Pays Off...But You Better Be Quick

How long do you wait for the price to become "right"? What's the switch that flicks to make you all of the sudden go all in on a piece?

Last summer, I was dealt with just those questions...and it led to one of the more striking items to land in my collection, and with it a very cool story of a rarely discussed chapter in Linden's career.

In addition to eBay (the standard go-to for my Linden searches), I also check out some online forums, bulk card sites, Kijiji and more recently, Facebook Marketplace. 

Technically, I'm on Facebook...but I don't post. I don't follow. I buy.

And there have been some cool Linden items to pop up on the site over the past couple of years. And this is without a doubt the most exciting one that I've actually obtained.

Summer 2023 and a pretty stunning Linden poster shows up on the site ready to be sold. It looks amazing and is given a beefy price tag to match. Here's what was cast out into the lake...

How many of you can name all three of the players in this image without going to Google? I knew them right away...because I had seen this item a handful of times, but never locally. It was pretty much off the radar for me as I felt it was just too expensive to justify.

Got your guesses yet? In addition to Linden in the upper right, we have Wendel Clark on the left and Alexandre Daigle (The Chosen One) front and centre. All three wearing their World Junior getup.

Look at how young Trev looks...he was just a 17-year-old when he played in the 1988 junior tournament (the youngest player on that squad). 

And yes...that's an autograph - not a facsimile. All three of these players signed this gem of a poster.

Let's talk about the poster first before I get into how I obtained it and provide a bit of a glimpse into the 1988 tourney.

Steven Houston created this gorgeous item called 'Canadian Tradition' back in 1993. Surprisingly, I have found zero information on the item and the artist (thanks interwebs).

It looks to be watercolor and it's stamped and signed by the artist (along with the signatures of the aforementioned players).

It's also numbered to 1500 copies and is double matted and framed very nicely for show.

It's a stunner of a piece and one that I knew I had to have if I could just be patient.

It was posted with a $150 price tag.

Zero interest at that price - even with the signatures...even with the framing.

It didn't take long before the price was reduced to $100. Now my radar is full on. If the guy was willing to drop the price that much, that quick...he had to be a motivated seller.

I told myself "Fifty bucks". When it hits $50, I'll reach out to him.

Well, I'd have to wait a few weeks for the $75 tier. It was a pretty niche item so I didn't think anyone would be chasing it.

$60...no takers. I almost buckled, but held firm. And then....

$40!!

I was shocked to wake up one morning to find that the price had been reduced to just a pair of twenty dollar bills. I near panicked as I scrambled to touch base with the seller expressing my interest.

"Across the city you say?"....I guess I'm going on a trip. 

I could not get there fast enough and whipped the forty bucks out of my pocket with not a single thought of bartering. It was more than a fair price. He simply said that he didn't want it taking up space in his house anymore.

Thank you and good night.

I had a massive grin on my face the whole way home as this piece is mint. It looked like it'd been sitting in a dust-proof box never seeing the light of day. I was floating on air.

So why Linden? Why was he chosen to be on this junior hockey print? I have no idea. He wasn't hardly a factor at all in the '88 tournament (scoring just a single goal). The team he played for was stacked with future NHLers...Sakic, Recchi, Graves, Desjardins, Fleury just to name a few. It was the year after the infamous "Punch-Up in Piestany" (again...homework time for you youngsters) and Team Canada was on a mission for gold...one they achieved.

Do I know why he was chosen to be on the print?...nope. And I could care less. I just love that he is. 

A neat side note...

In 2007, a Team Canada World Junior dvd box set was released featuring full broadcast games from seven different Team Canada offerings....including, you guessed it, the 1988 gold medal winning match. 

So I have the game that Trev played in that's featured on this poster. I think that's a pretty cool tie-in on all of it.

Now...recap. Patience is good, but when the time comes to strike - move real quick (and have cash ready to rock).


What's the longest you've waited for an item to get to your comfy place dollar-wise? Have you ever missed the boat by waiting too long? (I know I have)

Friday, April 26, 2024

LINDEN STUB OF THE WEEK - An Awesome Oddball Ticket Stub

I love oddball Linden items. Maybe it's because there's just not as many cards I'm able to find in my budgeting wheelhouse.

Or maybe because these odd relics are just super-cool.

This one popped up on ebay and I did a triple take. It looked awesome...the price was fantastic...so what's the catch?

Sometimes, there is none. That's a win for me.

This gem of a ticket stub comes from the 1991 Buffalo Sabres season. I don't know when teams started putting player images on tickets...but this has got to be a very early iteration. I love that it's beat up...probably shoved in a pocket back in the day. The fact that someone kept it all these years and is now selling it - that's all the better for me.

With the Smythe division rarely playing the Adams division (you young folks can now do some homework on what I'm talking about), it was pretty easy to figure out exactly what game this stub came from.

March 10th, 1991. Linden was just a kid back then. He didn't even have the captaincy at this point. Look at that photo...outstanding! And can I geek out for just a second...Section 16. C'mon.

This was an easy item to justify ringing up. Really love having a unique piece like this in with the rest of my collection.

The other thing I love about it...it's a little taller than a tobacco card so it fits nicely into a penny sleeve and toploader. Right into the early section of my Linden cards it goes.

I like when items can live in amongst my cards. Much of my oddball stuff I have to put in separate boxes so it messes with the overall mojo.

Oh...as for the game itself. It was a 7-5 win for the Canucks (typical early 90's hockey). Linden with a goal and assist in the first period. Troy Gamble kept it together long enough for the win. Good times.


What's the coolest oddball item in your collection? What's an item that lives within your card collection that "just fits" in with them? 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

MY COLLECTION - Hilarious Panini Redemption

One of the more humorous hobby days I've had this past year was when I received an e-mail from Panini regarding a redemption that had shipped.

That's right....a Panini hockey redemption. A sport they no longer produce. Thing is...I haven't redeemed anything from that company is many, many years.

So it was an intriguing headline for me to click on in my e-mail inbox to say the least.

Hey...I remember that card! I remember opening a pack of Titanium back in the day and pulling that redemption. And I remember going to the website and typing in all my info.

That was well over a decade ago!

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

My interest was very high as I awaited this very important and special package to arrive. Took just a few days, but when I opened the bubble mailer...I got my second chuckle.


This is not the card I had redeemed. I guess it never got made (no kidding...it's been 13 years since the product came out). So they sent me a replacement. Apparently, the Flyers are a comparable choice.

Nice hard-signed card...of a guy I have zero interest in. Not that I was overly looking forward to a Zuccarello jersey/auto either. To the trade box it goes!!

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

It gets better.

Here's another Flyer card. I've never heard of this guy.

For Panini to decide after over 12 years that these two cards would be good enough as a replacement...sure, why not. Dump the leftover product at this point.

I had given up hope years ago that I'd get anything. So something is better than nothing.

Right?......RIGHT??

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!


So, what's the longest you've ever waited for a redemption? What's the longest you've ever waited for one to actually be dealt with?

(I feel like I've set some sort of record)  Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2024

PARKIE PROJECT - I cracked a couple this past year

My absolute favourite slow burn project has grown by two over the past year.

The iconic 1951/52 Parkhurst build is a true beast. Arguably, this set is seen as the birth of the modern hockey card. 105 cards in total - with a whopping 98 of them recognized as rookie cards, and it's an all-time who's who of legends. Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Terry Sawchuk, Doug Harvey and Boom Boom Geoffrion to name just a few first cards.

This is a life build for me...something I don't plan on finishing for many, many years. My goal is to add a couple cards each year (if the price is right). In 2023, I did just that, but with a slight twist.

I'm building what is called a raw set - ungraded. Loose...like they would've been back in the day. This set has countless examples of graded cards. Understandable, as they are ripe for counterfitting. I do my best to buy from people and places that I feel comfortable with, but at the end of the day, I just can't say for sure. 

With the two new cards I picked up, I feel pretty sure. They were both graded copies. Low grades, but still authenticated. So I did what anybody needing consistency in their set would do - I cracked them out of their cases. Sadly, I took no photos of them in their casing (headshake). Oh well.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#84 Sid Smith RC

First up, Leafs rookie Sid Smith. I like the action shot of him skating (there are a lot of cards with guys just looking like they’re floating in a stationary pose). This card has the rounded corners that I’ve come to expect with the condition I’m looking for. It's got a few blemishes on the front and back, but overall - it's clean. And no creases...something that I really strive for. Fits in the set quite well.

Sid played 12 seasons in the NHL - all with Toronto, and was their captain in 1955 and 56. He amassed 601 career games (a pretty cool achievement considering this was the Original Six era) and scored 20 or more goals in 6 consecutive campaigns...one of just a handful of players ever to do that (at that time).

Sid Smith is a 3-time Stanley Cup champion, was an All-Star on 3 occasions and won the Lady Byng trophy twice. Quite the resume for a guy not commonly known in the hockey world. I certainly didn't know this much about him.

When he retied in the 57/58 season, only 3 active players had scored more goals...Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard and Ted Lindsay. Now that's good company.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#95 Paul Ronty RC

Another Parkie RC, this time of Rangers centre, Paul Ronty. This card was also graded (can't remember what it received), but was quickly removed from it's clear plastic casing. Another nice action shot of Paul skating behind the net (in my eyes anyways) and I love the fine details in the photo - even if it's far from a clear picture. The tie on the sweater, the seemingly lack of padding being worn, the gloves, the skates, the flat stick blade, and blonde locks. What a great photo.

Paul Ronty was born in Toronto in 1928 after his parents immigrated to Canada from Finland in 1920. He was never a top student (he didn't learn English until he entered elementary school), but excelled on the ice. Ronty cracked the Boston Bruins lineup as a 19-year-old and was a standout for 4 years before moving on to New York where he continued his success with the Rangers for 4 more campaigns.

Paul was a top scorer in the league (he finished sixth in league scoring 3 times during his decade in the league) and was known for his stick-handling and play-making abilities. He was also a 4-time NHL All-Star. Not bad for a kid who learned to skate on a pair of "hand-me-down" figure skates from his older sister.

What I really enjoy about this Parkie set is it's a wonderful capsule of an era of hockey that I am pretty unfamiliar with. Sure, we all know the big names (and I've listed them above), but it's the guys like Smith and Ronty that really make this a fun build. These guys were the top one percent of players in the world at the time. Six teams...not nearly the bolstered rosters you see today. To crack the lineup actually meant something.

I'll continue with my trek this year. Maybe I'll add another one, two, who knows. Maybe I'll pull the trigger on a bigger name. There's plenty of time to get them all...and I'm still not quite a third of the way there.


Current Collection: 31 cards

Friday, April 19, 2024

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 23/24 Tim Horton's Greatest Duos

Happy Friday everyone. Here's a quick post on my most recent Trevor Linden pickup...a fun, inexpensive addition to the master collection. And one that's also unique to the PC.

Every April for the past decade, Tim Horton's has produced a basic hockey set that caters to all fans of the fastest game on ice - collectors or not. It's featured stars of that era and paid homage to superstars of the past. 

It is a wonderfully budget-friendly set to build, has great inserts, fantastic player selection and even provides some chase cards for those who want to go all in. Wildly popular on the product release calendar for a quite a while.

It took nine whole years for Trev to finally get a card in one of these sets (the 2022/23 offering) and I was really excited to add it to the collection. This year, he's back...and he decided to bring a friend.

2023/24 Tim Horton's Greatest Duos
#60 Trevor Linden/Markus Naslund

It's a pretty sharp-looking design this season - nothing earth-shattering. Borderless, no foil (which is a rarity) and really lets the photo shine through.

What's not too sharp on this Linden is the photo itself...it's got the blurries. Unfortunate, as I'm always up for a card with a new pic of Trev, but this just doesn't quite cut it.

Still...look at the positives. It's a new Linden for the collection and at a solid price point (traded for it). This one though doesn't have any stats on the back.

That's right, it's fellow Canucks legend (and retired jersey teammate) Markus Naslund.

I'm jealous. He's sporting the skate jersey. Would've loved that on the Linden. But, Trev gets the "front of the card" brag, so let's call it a wash.

The photo of Naslund is noticeably sharper...again, bummer for Trev. But it's the first time that these two 'mates have featured on a front & back card.

It's Timmy's. I'm just happy to have found one without having to buy 15-20 double-doubles. 


Does your player feature in the latest Tim Horton's set? What's your favourite food-issue release?

Thursday, April 18, 2024

LINDEN 'ITEM' OF THE WEEK - Book Sale Find...From A Year Ago

(BIG WAVE)

Hey everybody! Hope you are all doing well. As I take a quick look at my blogging stats over the past year, I can see that there's been a whopping 4 posts I've shared over the past 365 days. And you know what...I'm perfectly cool with that.

Life has dealt me some ups and downs over the past 12 months. Nothing that should induce a level of panic, just changes. Some good, some...providing a few challenges. But overall, I'm throwing out a hearty "Life is good" because you know what...it is. I'm very grateful for where I'm at, what I have, who I know and the opportunities that are in front of me.

So blogging has been pretty much on the back burner for quite a while. Just didn't feel the vibe for it. That doesn't mean I've been away from the hobby. I still do my daily (or hourly) Linden searches online and have been excited that he still gets tossed in new products. I don't chase like I used to, but throw the darts when the time is right.

I think the big hobby love for me over the past number of months is just the people out there on blogs and social media (and at shows and trade nights) that have a real air of positivity. It's something I am strongly drawn to these days and see it in a lot of my favourite people. To them...THANK YOU! I see you and appreciate you.

So, on this final day of regular season hockey, I'm sitting down at the laptop ready to do a photo dump from my phone and build some posts to get me a little more up-to-date with where my collecting world has taken me and share some good stories.

Enjoy.

This first post will be from a year ago (time.....it flies). I volunteer at a huge used book sale in the city (raising funds for early literacy) and am always on the lookout for cool sports books.

I was shocked when I saw this title stare up at me from the table.

I had no idea my guy was on the cover of this instructional read. It was in pretty good shape too for being a 1997 release.

What's interesting is that there's an alternate cover - with Trev in his skate jersey. Needless to say, that's on the wantlist. :)

There have been a few oddball items that I've crossed paths with over the past year. I'm finding them to be my more favourite pickups. Especially when it's something I've not seen before.


Do you have any fun oddball items in your collection? What are they?