Friday, October 6, 2023

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Not Something I See Everyday

Hello again. I hope everyone had a fantastic summer. I'm in complete denial that we are into October already (but the Jays being bounced from the playoffs would say it is so).

It's been a unique past few months to say the least. I have moved into a freelance working position that has me working from home these days - and loving it. But, as with many new working situations, there are some hiccups. I'm hoping that they iron out before the end of the year. I think they will...I trust the process.

From a collecting standpoint, I've had another quiet year for the most part. I type that as I look at a pile of cards that have built up over the summer. A nice handful of blogposts is what I see. We'll see how the next few months go, maybe I'll find the urge to post a little more (I bet when the puck drops on a new NHL season I'll find that energy).

But I did want to post something this week as it is the 14th anniversary of my blog. And I'll let that sink in for a bit.

My collecting habits have taking a huge rollercoaster ride in that time, but I can confidently say that I'm in a fantastic place hobby-wise, I still pay attention to it on a daily basis (even if it's just checking what's new on eBay) and I see so many instances of positive mindsets and attitudes that it just reinforces how much I love collecting hockey cards. It's so good.

The card I'll share's an example of a Linden that I've probably seen only one or two other times ever. It's that rare. Not so much in serial number scarcity, but in the circumstances of how I obtained it.

2021/22 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection
#USR-TL 2000-01 Ultimate Signatures Retro

Yeah, it's just an autograph card (but a real nice looking one at that). I happened to come across this one at the monthly local trade night just a couple days ago. Pulled straight from a pack that I was watching being opened live.

As soon as the card revealed itself, everyone turned their heads towards me - shocker. Ha ha. I thought it was the nicest looking card in the case...still think that. Everyone else dismissed it pretty quickly. 

It was the shop that had opened the pack and so I knew pretty quick that I was going to be walking home with it. They had helped me out on a couple other things earlier in the evening and so I just left it to them to set the price. There word was as good as gold to me. I appreciated that they gave me a fair price and I'm thrilled to add this one to the master collection.

I can really think of only two other times I've seen a Linden pulled in-store...maybe three. In all cases, I do know that I've walked out with the card. Always makes for a great story.

I've seen numerous occasions over the past number of months of great stories revealing themselves when it comes to my Linden cards. I think it adds a massive layer of depth to my collection - even if it's just me who feels that way.

So here's to another 14 years (or more). I know for a fact I'll still be collecting Linden, so I guess I'll see you then. And, of course, in the meantime as well.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Simple Cup Base... Or Is It?

It's been a whirlwind past couple of months.

I was very fortunate to immerse myself in some volunteer work during the May month and rewarded my efforts with a little golf trip to BC. The start of June brought with it a focus on finding a new job and I'm happy to say that I start a new gig on Monday. Very excited with how the year has turned out so far and am very optimistic with the path ahead.

My Linden collecting has been pretty quiet as a result, but was thrilled to land an elusive piece at the last monthly card show of the season.

2014/15 Upper Deck The Cup
#86 Base Card  /249

Yes, this may just look like a simple base card to many of you, but to me it epitomizes how I've approached my PC over the past decade.

First, let's enjoy this piece of cardboard. I really like the photo used. It's got a hint of action (as opposed to the stale "coast while watching the play" pose or "I'm gliding to the left" style seen on many offerings. The crop on the pic is tight - fills the frame - and I love it. Gives more weight to the card in my opinion. The border, silver foil, overall design and thick 180pt card stock gives this piece the high-end look that The Cup is known for.

High end base cards...not something I chase too aggressively. Why? The pricing on these can (at times) be ridiculous. I get that these cards come out of packs that can exceed $1000. But these base cards are not the place to try and recoup your losses.

I've only seen a handful of copies of this card on ebay (none recently)...and the ask has just been too high - especially when you factor in shipping. This is just not a $30+ card in my eyes.

I've become a patient guy.

Patience paid off yesterday when I found this card hiding deep in a box labelled "Make Me An Offer". I had to snicker because I knew that my offer was going to make the vendor's eyes widen. But I knew as soon as I saw the Linden that it was one I wanted and felt we could work something out. After all...what are the odds anyone else at the show is remotely interested in a decade-old base card of Trevor Linden?

I thought about hitting him with my max price right off the bat (which would likely have been lower than he'd like to get for it), but decided to go a little lower to start the haggling. After all, the box did say to make an offer.

"Ten bucks" I said, which if you take a step back and look, isn't a terrible offer. Again, this is a base card out of 249 of a player that most people would just walk by. I could tell it came across as a borderline lowball offer, but he had no real research on the card. I know what I've paid for Cup base cards of my guy in the past and I knew where my max was.

He countered with $25 and I immediately shot that down. I knew I could be patient and I'd find another copy down the road for far less than that. He asked what my max was and I said $15. Reluctant, he took the offer. 

We both shared our experience with The Cup and prices and everything revolving around trying to recoup one's money and I appreciated his transparency. I hope he felt the same way about me. 

In the end, I paid slightly more than I had hoped and I know he got less that he wanted, but I feel that it was a fair price. After all, it's a real bonus to land a Linden card for the PC at a local show. And I'm convinced he wouldn't get more than that if he were to hang on to it.

This card really made me think about - and appreciate - the approach I take when chasing cards for my collection these days. It's not that I'm cheap...I know how to drop the dollars when I've had to, but I'm listening to my wallet a lot more than I used to. A base card is something I can be quite passive about.

But it feels great to knock this one off the list.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - He's Finally In Tim's

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing and I am stunned at what I've seen so far in this first round. What drama and excitement. It'll be a fun ride this spring in crowning a champion.

My Linden collection grew by a single new card last week...courtesy of Tim Horton's. I am very excited to see my guy finally crack the lineup in this iconic yearly product release.

2022/23 Upper Deck
#63 Tim Horton's Legends

Tim Horton's has been pushing out a yearly hockey product for quite a while now and have really developed a nice niche collectible set. A smaller checklist, reasonable price point and some good insert sets. This season, however, Upper Deck has upped the game.

UD decided to go with a Legends product this time around and have built a really solid checklist. Players from all eras are a part of the base set. 

But the real eye-catchers are the inserts. Some fantastic photos and really nice designs. Go check 'em out if you have the time.

Back to my Linden card though. This is a real looker. I love the gold shiny base for the card...even has some embossed texture elements. Very sharp. Happy with the photo selection (all of the Tim's card use basic full body poses) but would've loved a skate logo era pic. I mean...who wouldn't??

This is a simple pickup in terms of price (I was gifted this one...but it runs a whole 0.25 cents). But this card really represents that it's not about the price of the card, it's about the look of it and the story that comes with it.

Thrilled to knock this one off the list and finally see Trev in the Timmy's set.

Time for a donut and a double-double.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

OPINION - Trevor Linden Digital Cards (Part 3)

It was a little over a year ago that I shared my thoughts and updates on Trevor Linden digital cards. I still peruse the Topps Skate app (though not as often) and enjoy the free offerings it provides. I maintain that if Topps were ever to physically produce some of the designs they come up with...the hockey card collecting world would really benefit from it. Gorgeous pieces of cardbo....oh wait, they're still just digital images.  :)

I had laid out my disappointment back then about the newest Linden cards released...patch cards that were only available as a bonus for finishing the tough-to-build insert set. Thankfully, these bonus cards can be traded for...and I'm a patient guy.

I said back then that the iconic and legendary cards (tougher to hit "classes" of cards) would likely be hit in the free packs about once a year...if you open packs on a regular basis. Well...I pretty much nailed that prediction.

As a result, I was able to land this rare bird...and am shocked I now "own" it.

2021/22 Topps Skate!
#NN Triple Threads Series 2 Alumni Green Iconic

This is an amazing card...I want a physical copy of it. There are only 34 copies total in the global count on the Topps app and has now become the most rare Linden digital card I own.

A year ago, I NEVER would have thought I'd be able to get my hands on this one without shelling out cash...I'm still gobsmacked that I was able to trade for it.

So how did it happen??

Well, as I said, when you open packs using the free coins you can get from going on the app, every once in a while you'll hit a tougher-to-find card. I hadn't hit one in over a year, until....

2022/23 Topps Skate!
#NN Vintage Vaulted Series 1 Signatures Gold Iconic

As soon as I saw the moniker 'iconic', I knew I had a shot of landing a Linden. I didn't know how many copies of the card would be released, but I started my quest immediately.

I reached out to a couple guys on the app who had a duplicate of the above Linden (yeah....think about that for a moment), but they balked at the trade request. There are currently 119 copies of the Beniers card out there while only 34 of the Linden exist...not a fair trade in some people's eyes. And I can appreciate that. The global card count for an item holds much higher value in the digital card world.

I had a number of people trying to trade with me for the card - many of them making decent offers (multiple 'iconic' cards), but I told them all that I was trying to parlay this into a Linden on my wantlist.

One trader did perk my ears. He had originally offered up three Canucks 'iconic' I decided to take a look at what all he had in his collection. Sure enough, he had the Linden I was looking for. I reached out to him letting him know that the Linden is what I was after - also mentioning that it was a bit of an "unfair" trade on my part - I'd be getting the much more rare card. I asked if he would part with some of his iconic cards that might be able to alnd me the Linden at a later point.

To my shock, he just straight up traded me the Linden. I was blown away. He asked that I keep him in mind the next time I land a rare bird. Absolutely.

It was a fantastic trading experience and reinforced to me how much I enjoy chasing Linden cards on the Topps Skate app. Trev hasn't had many new cards come out over the past year, so I'm not making much headway (I now have 17 of the 21 Linden cards on the app), but this new patch card addition has me motivated to keep going.

I still have yet to invest a single penny into any of my digital cards. Talk to me in a year to see if that changes.  :)

Digital cards....yay or nay for you?

Sunday, April 16, 2023

RAISE THE CUP - A Pair Of Recent Adds

Had to scroll for a while to see when the last time I shared some Cup Raisers was. Five and a half years! Time truly does fly by.

As you can see recently, I've been a big fan of the SP Signature Editions Legends product released by Upper Deck. Some great names from the past, eye-catching photos, tasty hard-signed autographs and highly desirable insert sets makes this one to keep track of.

I shared some of the great cards from my box break - including the Canvas Legends. Amazing photos. I'll continue this along as I've gained a pair of great looking Cup Raisers.

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
#C-28 Ken Daneyko

Went to the local monthly trade night a couple weeks back and was gifted this beauty of a shot of Daneyko. This is exactly the kind of photo and card I love adding to the Cup Raisers collection - it encapsulates that pinnacle moment in a player's career...getting to hoist the Stanley Cup.

It's tight framing...but I think it adds to the intimacy of the moment.

Love it.  Thanks Brian.

As I was admiring that card in the shop, another person zipped back to his trade box and returned with this...

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
#C-97 Rod Brind'Amour

Another stunner. Get a load of that release of emotion from Rod the Bod. That's gotta be a goosebump moment.

A quick trade and this card, along with the Daneyko were coming home with me.

These two new additions now makes me want to go and properly sort and store my Raise The Cup cards. I think some are in a binder, some are still in toploaders...I need to get organized.

Totally what I'm going to do with some of my Sunday morning.

Do you have a card with a smokin' good photo on it?...One that captures an iconic moment?

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Closer Look At The SP Signature Legends Offerings

It's been a long time since a new product release has excited me as much as Upper Deck's SP Signature Legends. The cards look great, some of the insert sets will be very highly sought after and my guy has lots of cardboard sprinkled throughout.

A total of seven new Trevor Linden cards for me to add to my master checklist from this one product. Now, it's not the first time a new release has seen a multitude of Linden fact, there have been some products that have flooded the Linden quotient (Leaf...I'm looking at you), but these new cards really tap into a number of things I love about fresh Linden cardboard.

We've already seen the base card from my box break. It's a standard card in the set and doesn't really offer any additional flair. That said, I love when a new Linden photo emerges in a product. Always appreciated.

This is the only card I currently own. The remaining photos are from cards that are (or have been) available through an online portal.

The gold foil version really compliments the photo. I love the look. And the gold background and border works beautifully for cards that have contrasting colours too. Very sharp.

The facsimile autograph is a nice's like a teaser for what's to come.

A nice hard-signed signature is something I'll always enjoy and appreciate. Someone made mention that Linden has a unique auto in the sense that it is two lines (first name on top, last name underneath). I'd never noticed it that way before. I had always just seen his signature as what it is.

Still...pretty cool.

The Decagons die-cut is a nice little insert for Trev to be included in. It's nothing to write home about but I like that he is added in more than just the base set.

I'd have to check, but there aren't too many die-cut Lindens in my collection. So that's something.

Of course, the real appeal to these Decagons are the signed variations - hard-signed at that.

This signature is not numbered (neither is the gold auto above) so I'm optimistic that I'll be able to land one at a reasonable price...though that time is most definitely not right now. Prices are a little crazy to say the least.

Here is the Ace of Spades. This All-Time Future Watch auto is pretty much everything I was hoping it would be. A nice card design with plenty of white space for a nice, full signature, and that photo is fantastic (the flying V shoulder and pant accents really take me back to the late 80's).

I love that this card is numbered to 199...a very reasonable number to chase. No rare birds here.

I've seen a live copy of one and know it'll be in my collection one day. Again, the biggest challenge will be finding one for the right price. This is a popular insert set.

Even more fun (possibly) is the unannounced acetate parallel of the Future Watch. Trev doesn't have many acetate cards either and the photo on this one just pops. It really rounds out the overall Linden chase that this product provides.

I'm not in any rush to knock these off the list, but these cards will be at a higher sense of awareness for me for quite a while. It's been a while since a new product has excited me this much.

Has there ever been a product release to really ignite your player collecting passion? What was it about that release to make you feel that way?

Saturday, April 8, 2023


The first weekend of April saw me venture off to a card show for the first time in months.

I love my local monthly show - something I've supported for decades, but the enthusiasm when perusing tables has dropped a bit over the past couple years. Many of the same vendors...often with the same cards just leaves me doing a quick lap before I exit.

Every once in a while there is a new face setting up...and that's what I get excited about.

So how about a show where there are many new faces.

The semi-annual card show that has become a staple in this city is one that I am certain to circle on the calendar. This spring, I was really looking forward to it with the new Linden cards out there.

I was a bit surprised to see fewer singles and inserts from the product than anticipated. In fact, only one measly Linden from SP Signature Legends was to be found - but it was the Ace of Spades for me.

The Linden Future Watch auto /199 was on the show floor and it was a fellow collector that pulled me over to the table that had it. It's as stunning as I'd hope it to be. But my jaw hit the floor for a different reason.

The price tag was more than double what I have spent on any top-end Linden auto in my collection, and a solid $100 more than what the card is currently going for on the open market. I did ask if I could hold it, take a closer look at it, but had absolutely no intention on buying it.

It's a desirable card no doubt. Any Linden collector would certainly be looking to add it to their collection, and I know there are set collectors for this dynamite insert. But there are 199 copies of this...I can wait.

A couple minutes later, I found another Linden auto that I needed...with an even more outlandish price tag slapped on it. The card was price almost 5 times what I've seen it go for on the open market. 

I told a number of people there that I'm still trying to adjust to the "new pricings" that have come with this recent pandemic boom of sportscards. I'm not used to seeing my guy command such a premium.

But I'm a patient guy. And even more importantly, I'm one who can pass by a Linden and have no problems not snagging it - I've done it many, many times over the past few years.

Still, it was a little disappointing to not hit a single card at the show.

Until late in the afternoon.

2021/22 Upper Deck SP Game Used
#52 Embroidered In History

This card was deep in the back of a monster box of inserts - almost begging me not to be found. But that's why we dig. I had a huge smile on my face when I saw the giant "Captain Canuck" manufactured patch.

The smile continued when I saw the reasonable price attached to it. I managed to get him to come down a bit on it and I feel we were both happy with the transaction. I paid a little more than the going rate (which I am happy to do when I can gain a card in person) and he made another sale on the day (the fact that this card was sitting deep in a box tells me it wasn't a big card for him). Win-win.

This card is a great reminder that there are always gems to be found and that patience and persistence are key. And like a great shot in golf...will always make me return for more.

I've already got the fall show marked on my calendar.