Friday, September 16, 2022

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Rare Air...And Some Thoughts

Hockey season is near. 

I can tell because my fantasy league has geared up and the smack talk has already begun. The leaves are also starting to change and I no longer have to blast my AC overnight to get a good night's sleep.

I also find this point in the year as a bit of a restart with my collecting. 

Summertime always used to bring a pause to the hobby - a break from the chase. A reset on what I was looking to go after. These days, the pursuit is a year-round thing (or can be) and the new releases never stop.

I've certainly slowed down over the past few years. Not from the search (I still do dozens of eBay looks a day), but from the purchase. Gone are the days of weekly charges to my credit card and bubble mailers stuffing my mailbox. Now, it might be weeks...or months between maildays.

That makes them all the more sweeter.

I've been saving this one to share for a few weeks as I wanted to make sure it got some special props. After all, it's not every day you land a card that's been on the wantlist for over two decades.

1999/00 Pacific Crown Royale
#14 Ice Elite Die Cut  /10

Straight up...I've never seen this card - ever. I didn't think I'd ever see one nor own a copy.  When I look at it now, it brings a huge smile to my face...but also a lot of thoughts. Let's enjoy the card first.

This was a time in my Linden collecting when he was in his prime in terms of being in products. Even though he had been shipped from Vancouver to the New York Islanders, and then Montreal, he was getting a ton of hobby love. And the parallels in those years were off the chart. It's the big reason why he's got over 2500 unique cards to his name.

This Ice Elite Die Cut is just a cool crown concept. A standard with the product, it just juts out as so unique for its time.

But it's that little stamped serial number that really puts it over the top. A card that would have been highly desired 20 years ago, still holds demand in my eyes all these years later. It was an instant thought of "I need to have this one" when I saw it. That doesn't happen much anymore.

That brings me to my thoughts on cards like this...and the hobby world for me at this point in time.

Why did I put extra emphasis on this card over say a card /10 from the past couple of years? Why is this one so overly desirable? What are the intangibles to the decision-making when it comes to cardboard?

I chased this card hard because it felt like it was a one-time moment. This could very well be the last time I ever see this card - ever. I don't feel that way when it comes to newer, rarer cards. I feel like they'd eventually pop up again (and in a lot of instances...they do).

My push to obtain this card I think came from the fact that I hadn't made a serious card purchase in a while. A quick eBay search shows me that this is just the sixth Linden card I've picked up this year off of the online platform. 

SIX.

To be a little more liberal and open my wallet up a bit more didn't make me feel like I was upsetting the apple cart. Would my mindset be different if I had just binged on a bunch of cards a few weeks earlier? With this one...likely not, but paying attention to how much I've spent recently did come into mind.

I had also just sold a card at a recent trade night. A cool profit that essentially paid for this card. It is the main reason why I paid what I paid (which I feel was a little more than the card is worth). I was in the mindset of "playing with house money". This card at the end of the day...cost me about $20 out of pocket. Can't beat that at all.

The situations that revolve around the moment of a purchase can absolutely affect the mindset towards a purchase.

How much have you spent recently? Did you sell a card or two in the past week? Have you picked up a lot of cards this year? It all matters.

And in that sense, I have zero regrets for the price I paid and how I went about landing this piece for the PC. Justifying a pickup is just as important as having the card in your hand. If you feel uncomfortable once you are holding the cardboard...ask yourself why.

Monday, August 15, 2022

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Sigh.... I Had To Add A Messier

Oh boy...I can't believe I did it. But it was for the greater good of the Linden collection.

There are a few, fleeting moments in the career of Trevor Linden where his world collided with that of one Mark Messier.

Now, I'm not going to go on a long diatribe about how much I detest "The Moose", but let's just say that I think he is absolutely the most overrated player the league has ever seen. He does NOT epitomize leadership nor does he exude a winning mindset.

Yes, he has trophies...but he is no champion.

ANYWAYS...a card popped up on eBay a few weeks back that had me cringe as I bid on it. It showcases the epic Stanley Cup Finals between the Canucks and Rangers from the 93/94 season. It still goes down as one of the best finals I have ever seen.

So, me being a completist, I bid on said card...and won.

2013/14 In The Game Decades 90's
#CC-05 Cup Clashes Silver (w/ Richter, Messier & Bure)

With only 30 copies of this silver parallel printed, it's a card that has eluded me for a decade. Or maybe I was just avoiding it. Regardless, when I saw it surface, I thought that if I could land it cheap...I'd allow it into my collection.

They even had to use a smug photo of Messier...didn't they?

It's a great card to add to the PC and it's one less of "that guy" I've got to keep track of.

OK....enough of that. I've given him enough of the limelight.  Ha ha.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

SWEET GOALIE SIGS - Tony Esposito

Sweet Goalie Sigs...yes, this is a project I have in my collecting world. You might not have heard of it because I've only posted about it once - to show the only two cards in my small PC.

But after 8+ years...I have finally added another piece to the puzzle.

So what is it about this project that has me excited? Well, I love the photography in it. Full-frame head-to-toe goalie pics are very cool. And I think highly of superior penmanship...and these goalies have it in spades.

I was at trade night  (yes, they're back) a week ago and pulled the trigger on this new add.

2013/14 Upper Deck Game Used
#78 Tony Esposito

A quick aside before I start gushing over the card. This September is the 50th Anniversary of the Summit Series and Team Canada's breathtaking win over the Soviets. There is a 4-part documentary series celebrating this historic time period in hockey and I absolutely can't wait for it. Many remember Ken Dryden in net, but Tony-O was a key piece of the roster that helped secure the stunning victory.

Now, to the card. This time period with Esposito (later in his career, when he adopted the partial cage on his mask) is what I remember when I think of Tony. It was the early 80's and he was an All-Star tender. This photo has it all - the slick leather pads, glove and blocker, that Northland stick, Original Six team, and of course...the mask. It's a beautiful pic.

Now, the autograph had me on the fence for a while. The other two cards in my small PC are hard-signed (and I am a sucker for on-card signatures). But this didn't feel like I was making an exception. Tony's script is legendary - easily recognizable. And with the recent passing of this goaltending great, I felt that this might be the best card of his to be a part of my collection.

It was an easy, confident purchase. I couldn't be happier.

Now, let's see if I can find a fourth card before the end of this decade.  :)

Saturday, August 13, 2022

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Show Me Some Silvers

A little over a year ago, I tracked down a number of older show cards that have been on my Linden wantlist for decades. It really was one of the most enjoyable finds I've made in a long time. To secure these (and I hate to use the term) 'white whales' after all these years epitomized the long-game mindset I have placed on my collecting.

I don't chase cards like I did 10-15 years ago. My wallet has different priorities these days. But I don't go a day without searching online for Linden cards - most days it's a good dozen or so times, easily.

I find some cards I need...usually overpriced, some cards I'd like to have...but too steep for the bank account, and on rare occasions I find some cards that I pull the trigger on immediately. A couple weeks back I had one of those moments.

As I mentioned, show cards are a rare bird these days. They were never on my radar back in the late-90's. I was just discovering the online world of collecting and it opened my eyes to what my master checklist would become. 

But, better late than never to track these down.  A pair of fantastic cards that I have never seen in my 25+ years of collecting Trev.

1998/99 Be A Player
#234 Spring Expo  /25

I don't know what to say...I'm still stunned to see this card in my hands. It popped up on eBay early one morning (weekday) and for a fair price. I actually saw three show cards in succession. Having just woken up, my still tired eyes quickly searched my master list to see which ones I needed. Two out of the three were soon purchased. The third one I had already snagged a year ago.

1998/99 Be A Player
#234 Montreal Expo  /10

These are the cards that have me searching constantly. Heck, I've done 3 eBay searches in the time it has taken me to write this post. I absolutely love finding these cards that continue to fill out my collection.

And after the show card hauls I've had the past couple of years, I am very much looking forward to tracking down and picking up more of these pieces.

What was once only thought of as a longshot has now turned into an attainable chase.

I love player collecting.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

PARKIE PROJECT - Pulled The Trigger

My Parkie Project has been slow...as expected. But I feel as though the past couple of years might have slowed me down too much.

Card prices have gone up...especially the vintage variety, and I was always hoping to build this collection on a budget.

Still, for an iconic set, there really is no downside to what these cards can bring.

The last time I added to my PC, it was a trip to BC late last year. I decided that the opportunity was there to snag a couple items and even though the price was a little higher than I had hoped, it was a good time to buy.

Same holds true for my most recent purchase.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#36 Clare "Rags" Raglan

Once again, this is his rookie card (most of the cards from this set are) and has a nice action shot of Raglan in his Chicago uni.  Take a moment to enjoy those gloves...skates...straight stick...empty boards...sweater.

Clare Raglan played just 100 games in the National Hockey League over 3 seasons (two with Chicago and one with Detroit). He was a depth defenceman and earned the nickname "Rags" when he found himself monitoring the same blueline as another teammate named Clarence. I guess it was a more common name back then. He also is the father of NHLer Herb Raglan (who played in the late-80s/early-90s).

The first thing you might notice (I know I did) was the off-centering that this card has. This set build isn't a high-ender...but I want aesthetically pleasing cards. Rounded corners...no problem. Clean backs are a must (no rips, tears or pen marks). Creases at a minimum (would prefer none). And a nicely centred card.

Eek.

So why did I snag this one?

I don't see these cards at shows or stores as often as I used to. The store I bought this from is one that I trust and want to support.

But honestly...I just wanted to buy a card.  Ha ha.

Maybe if I had purchased a few cards recently, or picked up a couple other Parkies in the past few months, I would have passed. But the excitement and enthusiasm for adding to the PC was strong.

So do I regret the pickup?

No...not a chance. These are hard cards to find and at the rate I'm going, I may never finish this set. To put me one closer to completion is always a good thing. Would I have liked to have picked up the card for slightly less (this is one of the top 3 most expensive cards in my Parkie collection to date)? Absolutely...who wouldn't. But again, to support my LCS made it worth it. If this card was on a table at a show...I'd have likely passed on it.

This card now proudly sits in my collection...and has story. Nothing wrong with that.


Current Collection - 26 cards

Sunday, July 24, 2022

WALLET CARD - Oddball Concert

Continuing my "cardboard cleanup" this weekend by showcasing some really fun 'Wallet Card' pickups.

I've had my eye one these for years and finally decided they needed to be a part of my collection.

For those who don't know, my Oscar Gamble collection is without a doubt my most fun PC. It's inexpensive (in relation to my other endeavours), the cards are right in that perfect balance of vintage vs. current, there's tough chases and always enjoyable photography. What's not to like.

These items fire on all cylinders.

1999 Phish Concert Backstage Passes x3

I mean, c'mon...these are absolutely must-haves in any Oscar Gamble collection...no?

Slightly oversized, these are printed on cloth and appear unused (that said, I don't know my backstage passes that well).

I've had them on my ebay watchlist for years...the seller has hundreds of backstage passes for sale (I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing). But the time was now to strike.

1999 Phish Backstage Pass
#NN Green

I don't know what more to say...other than "look at it".  Ha ha.

Obviously, the iconic 1976 Topps Traded baseball card makes an ideal backstage pass image. I love that they didn't take too many liberties with the design (really, just the wording on the newspaper headline).

These look to be in perfect condition. No heavy use or creases.


And for them to be unpeeled is an added bonus. Actually, it was a must-have in my eyes. I don't think I would have snagged them if they were "used".

1999 Phish Backstage Pass
#NN Orange

I'm not sure why the three colours. Maybe they were thinking "Hey, I bet there's a guy who loves our band and would like to collect these passes". Close...I like the baseball player.

But to have the three of these, all from the same seller and having like identifiers, that's appealing to me.

How do you say....oddly satisfying.

1999 Phish Backstage Pass
#NN Blue

Now I mentioned that I have had these on my radar for years. While I didn't always have them in my ebay watchlist, I knew they existed. When I finally decided that now was the time, I could have sworn that I had seen a red copy at one time. I couldn't find a copy of one when scouring the internets - so now I'm unsure.

But that will have me keeping a lookout...maybe it's a shortprint. :)

Regardless, I love the fact that I have added some quality items to the 'Wallet Card' collection...once again.

Never a dull moment.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Select Emerald... and a Gift

Greetings! It's been a busy couple of months but I have finally landed an actual weekend off (two full days with no work on the plate). I wanted to ease into my Saturday so I decided to sort through some cards...always relaxing and fun.

While my pickups this year have been few and far between, I'm still very active in hunting and collecting information on my various PCs. I've learned of some exciting new autograph Linden cards in SP Authentic and have some exciting new additions to my 'Wallet Card' collection - so stay tuned.

Today, I'll share a pair of Trevor Linden cards from a fellow Linden collector. 

I've seen him post a few Trev's on ebay over the years...most of them I already have, and I've also reached out to him previously to ask about any opportunities. He's always been top-notch in helping me out. A couple times I've held off on buying a card...deciding to reach out to him to ask about a bundle, only to have the card get snagged by an opportunistic collector.

I've learned my lesson...ha ha.

So when this card showed up, I didn't hesitate. I hit the Buy It Now.

2013/14 Panini Select
#178 Emerald  /25

This is an exciting card to land. Make no mistake, the photo does not do this piece justice. It's a card that has eluded me for almost a decade. Cards numbered to 25 from back then don't pop up often.

This is an item that finishes off the Select rainbow from that year (minus the 1/1...though I know where it lives). I really pay attention to card from 7-12 years ago that I do not yet have. They are rare birds in my eyes and I find that they have a lot more desirability in the current landscape of the hobby - especially shiny, coloured cards.

After I pulled the trigger, I e-mailed him, excited about what I had purchased, but also to see if he had any other items that I could add to my shipment. He asked for an updated wantlist and shared his with me. I always enjoy getting some knowledge on what others are seeking. Makes me go eagle-eye when I go to card shows.

He let me know that there was another card he had that I needed and tossed it (gently...and with protection) into the bubble envelope with the Emerald.

2020/21 Upper Deck Black Diamond
#SB-TL Silver On Black Signatures  /100

This is a sah-weet looking card. I love the way Black Diamond cards just provide so much in aesthetics, yet present a clean, polished look.

I've had a couple copies of this one on my radar, but the price wasn't quite right. To have this as a gift in addition to my purchase was just very much appreciated.

Thanks very much, Elliot for your kind gesture and continued friendship in this hobby. It's people like you that make hockey card collecting fun and an enjoyable passion for me.

Cheers!