Monday, December 30, 2013

12 in 12 - December Review

Well, much like my October, 2012 quest to watch 30 documentaries in 30 days (actually 31 in 31), my 2013 challenge of reading 12 sport books in 12 months has been a tremendous success.

I have rediscovered an enjoyment for the written word, an excitement for the numerous undiscovered titles out there and a real appreciation for the craft of writing.  What started off as a vehicle to get me reading again has turned into a passion to seek out quality authors and intriguing subjects.

My final book of the 2013 year fits that bill perfectly.

I decided to call an audible early in the month.  I had started reading the new Mike Tyson biography (which I have since purchased) but with it being a beast of nearly 600 pages, I knew the likelihood of finishing it before the end of the month was thin.  So I had another book on the docket.  Mint Condition  is a story of baseball cards and how they have woven into the fabric of who we are throughout the decades.

I was all ready to plunge into that subject until I got the call from the library that a long-awaited (and highly anticipated) title was ready to be picked up.  I immediately made it the must-read book of the month.

Keon And Me
Dave Bidini
295 pages

I was excited for this book for a number of reasons.  First, I knew Dave Bidini was a huge....and I mean HUGE Dave Keon fan.  Being a player collector in this hobby makes me immediately relate to the unwavering admiration and appreciation of a person's "favourite player".  I really gravitated towards that.

Secondly, I had read a great essay (linked by Dave Bidini via Twitter) on the subject of Keon And Me and the power of "truth vs. memory".  It was a fun read and had me jumping in anticipation of the book.

Lastly, I was really looking forward to reading a book written by a musician.  For those who don't know, Dave Bidini was a member of the Canadian rock group The Rheostatics.  He also writes a weekly column for The National Post newspaper.  So I know the guy can write.  But what I wanted to see how someone with the creativeness of a musician writes.  I was not disappointed.

Keon And Me is just what it says on the cover - "My search for the lost soul of the Leafs".  Dave Bidini writes this book as a lifelong fan of Dave Keon.  The passion and intensity of his love for Keon is definitely at the forefront.  It is so strong that by the end of the book.....I felt like a huge fan of Keon's.

But this book is more than just a gush-fest for Dave Keon.  It's told in two narratives - the present day Bidini coping with the Leafs of today and the discovery that Keon's number hasn't been honoured by the Toronto team and a young Bidini growing up in Ontario, bullied relentlessly and struggling with adolescence in general....having Keon as a focal point and at times a guide.

The book takes us through Dave's quest for Keon and his unresolved feelings towards his childhood bully.  The back and forth writing style really works well and created a layered knowledge of who Dave Bidini is and the feelings he's harboured for a number of key people in his life.

What I really loved about the book (and what I was hoping for....written by a musician) is the fantastic pace and temp and creativeness in his words.  Dave Bidini takes me to the schoolyard, takes me to Maple Leaf Gardens, takes me to the numerous places throughout the book as he searches for the backstory of who Dave Keon is.  The word "page-flipper" comes to mind, and in this case it's true.  Bidini would end a chapter in such a way as to leave you reflecting on what you've just read while anxiously flipping to the start of the next chapter.

The book is so well laid out.  As a whole body of work, it seems so simple, yet the people and places, details in the moments are so rich in description and meaning that it feels so complex.  A great mixture of the two.

I won't reveal the ending, but if there was one area that I would've liked to have seen change, it was just that.  I'll say's a 295 page book.  It would have been better as a 310 page read.

Regardless, this book is one that should be mandatory for any Leafs fan and would easily be enjoyed by someone who has a strong link to a favourite player.  Conversational, witty and thorough, Dave Bidini is a name I will be re-visiting over the next few months (he has quite a back-catalogue).

4 out of 5

And with 12 for 12 quest is complete.  In the future I will be continuing my reading (I've got 4 books on the go right now).  I might get a book done in a month, I might not.  I might get 2 or 3 titles read in a month, I might not.  And I'll be sure to share some of the titles I've read here on my blog (just not all of them).

And to those of you who have enjoyed my ramblings....thanks!  Now get out there and read a book.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

PARKIE PROJECT - Meatball Added


Today is the first day of my holiday time off from work.  After a number of long, busy, stressful weeks, it was all about sleeping in and lounging this morning.  And boy did I love it.

Now to spend the afternoon finishing my Christmas shopping.

But first, I thought I'd share the newest addition to my newest project.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#65 - Metro "Meatball" Prystai RC

This card came as part of a package from a fellow Linden collector.  He had sent some Linden cards (which I'll show off in a post later this week) that he picked up on my behalf and added this Parkie as a little holiday gift.

Thanks Kevin!  It's a perfect fit to my project.

Out of the four cards I know have, this one has the nicest corners for sure.  The centering is nice (which is part of the aesthetic bar I'm setting) and the color is still strong.

A slight surface crease in the upper right (which is near impossible to see unless you tilt it to the light) is really the only blemish other than the tape residue.  The tape residue is not overwhelming and it adds some character to this card.

A very memorable card in the collection.  Now, and for the duration of my set progress.

I decided to do a google search on Prystai since I knew nothing of the player.  I was surprised to see that he has his own webpage.  Seems there's a book being done on his life.

Dmytro "Metro" Prystai started his career with Chicago, had three All-Star appearances and won two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings.  He scored the Cup-winning goal in the '52 series which he called "the best team he ever played for".

The name "meatball" also appears as a nickname on the card.  Would it be because of his Ukrainian heritage or his interactions with the Chicago mafia?  Whatever it might be, I don't think a nickname like that would end up on a card these days.

Although his NHL career only lasted 10 years, it looks like he had an impact during his time in the league.  Some regard him as the nicest guy to play the game.

He just recently passed away at the age of 85.

BV $40-60

Thanks again Kevin for the great add.  I really appreciate it.

I'm going to try to add one more card to this set during the holiday season, but nothing is written in stone.  I want to go at a reasonable pace and definitely price (the right price) comes into play on all pickups for this project.

Parkie Progress - 4 out of 105  (3.8%)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

OPINION - Flipping

I don't think there's anyone out in the hobby world who wouldn't like to make a few extra bucks buying a couple cards and then flipping them for profit.  I'm sure we have all done it (or tried) at some point in the past.  Thinking you've found that great deal and then realizing it when you cash in - be it a couple bucks or a double-up.

And I see nothing wrong with people buying someone else's sale with the hopes of getting a higher return.  But I do have an issue with the "time and place".

Case in point, yesterday at the monthly card show.

I was perusing the tables, looking for Lindens as always, and came across a table with a new face behind it.  I always like to see new faces - it means new cards to look at.  Sadly no Lindens.

But as I was flipping through one of his sales boxes, the seller decided to point out a few cards he thought were a great deal at his price.  Weird thing was, they had a different looking price tag on it than the other cards in the box.  Two of them in the box and a third on the table.

The seller was bragging that he just got a steal of a deal on the three cards - from the table right next to him - and was now looking to flip for profit.  Wow.

Now I get that once a card is sold the new owner can do whatever they want with it, but it left a bad taste in my mouth that this guy literally went over to the adjacent table, bought 3 cards (at what was a fantastic price) and then without even removing the guy's pricetags proceeded to try and make a profit on the cards.

And we're not talking a couple bucks, but some hefty price inflating.

What he actually ended up doing to me is making me have zero interest on what was on his table and shift over one to the guy who had the sweet sales.

Good for him for getting a couple great bargains, but hold off for a bit before trying to flip them - even a couple hours.  Or maybe just peel off the price tags.

A real turnoff.

At the end of the day, I didn't pick up any new pc items, traders or just shiny stuff.  All the money in my pocket stayed in my pocket.

That's not to say there weren't good deals to be had.....but it's all about time and place.

So what's your opinion on buying and flipping?  Is is "no holds barred" or do you see some "unwritten rules" on etiquette and approach?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Superlative: The First Six

Before I show off my newest Linden find, I'd like to say that I'm calling a bit of an audible when it comes to my December book read.

I've been flipping through Mike Tyson's autobiography...and I'm finding that I like it.  With it being nearly 600 pages and a library rental, I know that this book won't be finished before I need to return it.

So I'm buying it.  The order is in.

Now I also went to the library this week to pick up yet another new hockey release.  Dave Bidini's Keon and Me.  Another book that I'm excited to read.  And because the book isn't due until the end of the month...and it's less than 300 pages, I'm putting it on the list of books to read this month.

Yes, I'm going to read both Keon and Me as well as Mint Condition.  And maybe some others.  What a difference a year makes.

Anyways, onto the card.

I saw this card pop up a couple times on ebay (as there are 9 copies of it made) and sadly, there was the ever popular "Linden Tax" added to the asking prices.  It was an easy head shake and an ignore on those auctions.

But then I saw someone on the hobby boards show off a copy.  I quickly inquired and we made a very prompt - and fair - deal.  The card was shipped off and it hit the mailbox today.

It's one that (like a few others this year) has me questioning why...but it is another card on the list - and now scratched off.

2013/14 Superlative The First Six
Fall Expo Redemption Silver
#SR-84 six jersey w/ Amonte, Hull, Sundin, Bure, Samsonov

A nice card - yes.  But let's take a closer look at this "ode" to an Original Six era.

When you think of any of these six iconic teams, do you immediately think of any of these six players?  Sundin maybe, but Amonte?  Bure (as a Ranger)?  Samsonov?  And of course - Linden (as a Hab)?

I know there are some die hard collectors that pick off cards with these players on it.  I can only think that the popularity of these players (even though their association with the teams depicted on the card) lends heavily on them being added to this set.

I just can't get excited about a card like this.  I feel like I have picked it up just so it can be scratched off my wantlist.  That's it.

It's been a bit of a frustrating year with some cards of his coming out, but I'm trying to keep my main collecting venture a fun one.  I think that's why I've passed on many of his cards recently.  It's just not as fun.

Oh, and by the way, in case any of you were wondering - the card is out of the sealed toploader.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

MY COLLECTION - A Pair Of Extra Autos

A couple of weeks ago I received a package with yet another Linden card for my pc.  This one came through a trade on the hobby boards.  I love when I can add a card without shelling out cash.

I had asked about the Linden and the trader expressed interest in some autos I had.  We worked out a deal and in addition to the Linden, I picked up a couple autos myself for my trade box.

It wasn't until I took a close look at them that I found something interesting.  Something I thought I'd share.

2011/12 ITG Broad Street Boys
#A-DS Dave Schultz autograph

"The Hammer".  What is it about enforcers and their slick looking signatures?  Don't believe me?  Take a look at Marty McSorley's - one of the nicest out there.

There was something that struck a chord with me when I saw this card listed.  While not a superstar player, Schultz definitely has a following.  Hopefully it will make for a good trader.

2012/13 ITG Motown Madness
#A-TN Ted Nolan autograph

I decided to pick this card up for the simple reason that Nolan is back in the NHL coaching.  Maybe that will boost the interest in this card...even slightly.  Ah, who am I kidding - it probably won't.  I've seen Buffalo's record.

Another nice looking signature though.  Love the domed lid Ted's sporting.  Ah, the good ol' days.

So, now that you've seen both cards, what do you think?  Something odd eh?

Here, I'll help you out even more.  If you can't see it now, you need to just move along.

The design similarities are baffling.  Every single element of the card design is identical.  From the scuffed partial logo acting as a background for the cutout photo, to the borders surrounding the sticker auto, to the lower tab housing the player name (I guess they did use a different font), to the lower background color separation.  It's all exact.

Now I get that most people who would be attracted to the Philly product probably would pass on the Detroit offering (and vice versa), but the re-hashing of an entire concept does speak a little to laziness in my eyes.

Sure, both are nice cards...but when you put them together like this, the individual lustre of each fades - a lot.

Something I had no idea of until I saw them both land in the mailbox at the same time.

Monday, December 2, 2013

12 in 12 - November Review

When I first received the book I read this month back in the spring, I got a kick out of seeing it.  Anyone who knows me knows my distain for Mark Messier.  What further made me laugh was the "inscription" added inside the cover...

Thanks Mark!  Your sincerity seems genuine.

And early on I had always decided to read this book as part of my '12 in 12' venture.  And since Messier is number 11, I chose November as the month to read it.

OK....that's not true.  It was a random decision.

But I took on the task and be review might get quite heated.

Jeff Z. Klein
306 pages

I'd like to begin by saying this....Mark Messier is two things to me.  An Oiler, and an asshole. (there, I feel better)  This book did a decent job of reinforcing that opinion I have.

Long championed as being one of the "best leaders in sports" (which I find laughable), Messier played a lot longer than he probably should have in a league that evolved into a game he couldn't compete in.

This book gives an account of Mark's career from his youth, to his brief WHA days, the Oiler dynasty, New York dominance and yes....Vancouver.

The book did not have the support of Messier or his family so there are no direct interviews with Mark, his family, friends or teammates.  Instead, author Jeff Klein (writer for New York Times Magazine) relied on volumes of information already out there.  News Stories, Magazine articles, past interviews, other name it.  And to his credit, Klein did a very nice job in organizing and presenting his findings.

I'll admit, the first half of the book I really enjoyed.  It took me back to the early 80's when hockey was introduced to me.  The Islanders and Oilers were kings of the league and the lineup in Edmonton was a who's who of all-stars.  It was a great trip back in time.

But when the book shifted to the Ranger years, my enjoyment turned into a reinforcement of my beliefs.  I was shaking my head more than sitting back and enjoying the words.

The book is a definite fluff piece and rarely goes into any sort of controversies or conflicts.  Messier is made out to be some sort of iconic hero.  Hence, the throwing up.

As mentioned, I was especially interested in how the book would portray two specific instances (both involving my guy, Trevor Linden).  The first being the vicious crosscheck Messier lashed out to Linden at the end of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  ZERO!  Absolutely no mention of the cowardly act.  Not surprised.

The other being the locker room relationship the two would have as teammates in Vancouver (and I use that term loosely).  Again, Messier comes off as squeaky clean.  It's more Keenan who is painted as the jerk.

I'm amazed that so many people think Messier is the ultimate captain.  Two instances in this book lead me to believe otherwise.  The way he treated Vancouver fans, the organization and teammates in general was anything but "captain-like".  (The Wayne Maki number 11 incident alone capped that).  And the fact that he could not elevate his game during the 1996 World Cup of Hockey because he couldn't generate the intensity against his New York teammates playing for other countries (the USA especially).

Messier plays the game so one dimensionally that it's funny.  His numbers are padded solely because of the stacked lineups he played on.  If you're not part of his "in"'re an afterthought in his mind.  He's more of a politician than a leader.

Still, I can't help but give the books more positives than negatives.  It's well written, well organized and easy to flip through.

3 out of 5

December's book...... was going to be.  Until I picked it up from the library and saw that it was near 600 pages in length.  There's no way I'm going to be able to renew it mid-month and it's on my Christmas list.  So I'm going to start on it, but not finish it.

Instead, I'm going with a little lighter read.  One that Captain Canuck himself recommended (and let me borrow)...

With my Christmas break starting on Dec. 18 and lasting nearly a month, I'm looking forward to doing some good quality reading over the break.

Last one of the year!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

MY COLLECTION - Some Recent Vintage

How do you define vintage?  Cards before 1990?  Cards before 1980?  Anything with an "old" player on it?

For me, vintage is anything pre-Gretzky rookie year.  I was introduced to the world of hockey cards in 1980 (I missed the Gretzky RC by one little year) and I've always considered those cards to be "of my era".  And there's no way that I'm vintage.

But over the past decade there have been many cards released featuring players from the 20's, 30's on up through the 70's.  Some even have pieces of memorabilia.

As cool as these cards are....they are not vintage to me.

But at the show last weekend, I couldn't help but pick up a couple (same guy that had the Parkies).

2004/05 ITG Franchises
Trophy Winners Gold
#WTW-10 Charlie Gardiner
Chicago Sportsfest  1/1

I know this card is a show card, but that piece of pad is legit.  To grab an old piece of leather like that for under $10 was an easy decision for me.

There are only so many pieces that can come from guys who played in the 30's.  I have no doubt that this card won't be declining in value any time soon.

2004/05 ITG Franchises
Double Memorabilia Silver
#EDM-06 Tiny Thompson

This card is not the show version.  One piece is pad and one is glove....can you tell which is which?  Neither can I.

I really like the design of this set.  The base cards, the memorabilia, the autos.  And the photo used on this card is a great shot from the 30's.  Take a moment to let that sink in.  Game used memorabilia from 80 years ago.

And no....I'm starting up any new projects with these pickups.  These cards were just too good to pass up.  Hopefully I'll be able to trade them for some pc cards.  A Linden or two would be nice.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Jumbo Mailday Platter

There's a saying that when it rains, it pours.  The past month has been giving me that feeling.  Today I picked up not one, but two cards from the post office.  Cards that definitely fit the bill of jumbo.

You may remember just a couple weeks ago that I picked up this gem of a card (thanks to some great help at the Toronto Expo).  It was a card that I didn't think would ever hit my collection...let alone see the light of day.

And wouldn't you know it, not two days later, the silver version of the card (limited to just 4 copies) pops up on ebay.  The first one of its kind I've seen since the product came out.

At first I was going to pass on it.  After all, I had just landed the gold 1/1, and I knew there were a couple other biggies about to hit the mailbox.  I figured I'd let somebody else throw bids at it.

Then I learned that another Linden collector already had his copy.  That means just 3 are left.  It was a little last minute, but I decided to go for it.

2012/13 ITG Superlative III
#JP-11 Jumbo Patch Silver  /4

The patch is actually a little nicer in my opinion than it's 1/1 gold counterpart.  And I think that if I pieced them together they would spell the "K" and "S" from "Canucks".  The only thing that differentiates this silver version from the gold....the foil on the "Jumbo Patch" words are silver on one and gold on the other.  Woo hoo.

That leaves me just 5 cards away from landing the 20-card "rainbow" from Superlative III.  Granted, four of them are 1/1's and two of those are in another person's collection.....but I'm close.

So what was in the other bubble mailer?

2012/13 Upper Deck The Cup
#85 Masterpiece Printing Plate Black  1/1

Oh....not much.  This was another card that I flip flopped over.  Printing plates don't normally command a lot of dough (this one was a healthy amount, but not ridiculous) and it is a 1/1.  At the end of the day - I caved.

But at least I caved with something for my Linden collection.  Normally my cavings consist of box breaks that sit in my trade box for way too long.

This Linden (as with all of them) will get the red carpet treatment.

PARKIE PROJECT - The Start Of A New Collection

A number of months back a question was thrown out to the members of one of the hobby boards I belong to.  It was a simple question in its succinctness...but could be seen as much more complex if one allows.

"What are your bucket list goals/projects/wishes in this hobby?"

I have a few listed in the back of my brain.  But there was one that has been giving me the itch to start for quite some time.  And this past weekend at the card show...I decided to start it.

I would like to build and complete a set of 1951/52 Parkhurst Hockey.

Yes, it's a tall task I know.  But I've always been mesmerized by the simple beauty these cards possess.  I've always wanted to buy one but have always been intimidated by the potential "big ticket" aspect these cards can command.  But I finally went for it.

To many, this set is an iconic set in all of trading cards.  It was the first post-WWII set of hockey cards to be put out and has a truly rich checklist.

Measuring 1 3/4 x 2 1/2 inches, this 105-card set was the first set printed in more than a decade at the time and thus has an almost exclusive list of rookie cards.  The three biggest names - Terry Sawchuk, Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe.

Yeah, this is a mountain.

The book value of this set well exceeds $10,000 and high-graded copies of the cards easily garner thousands of dollars.  Thankfully, I will not be pursuing the top end stuff.

Instead, I will be finding that fine line.  Cards that make me happy both in the aesthetics of the cardboard and the price tag associated with it.  I have no expectations on the final price I'd like to pay for a built set (because this will take a looooooong time).  Instead, I'm looking for those diamonds in the rough....or a kick ass sale.

I got the latter last weekend.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#47 - Harry Lumley RC

Let's start with a goalie shall we?  This is a great action shot (a rarity in this set) featuring Hawks netminder Harry Lumley.  This card will give you a good indication of the condition I am looking for in this set.

It is not terribly off-centre, has good color, a pretty unblemished surface (this card has a bit of a crease in the lower left corner...but you wouldn't see it unless reflecting it off the light) and "not horrible" corners.

I don't know what it would be graded if I sent it to PSA, but I'm guessing it would garner more than a 1 or 2.

Now, I'm pondering whether or not to divulge the prices I pay on each card.  For now, I'm keeping that info documented privately.  Maybe down the road I will share some of those stats with you.  What I will do is share the book value (according to my somewhat outdated Beckett magazine)

BV $90-150

A great start to the set.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#85 Cal Gardner RC

Oh.....there's more.  This Gardiner is another rookie card and its traits are very similar to the Lumley.  A lot of the pictures have this kind of pose - simple, straightforward, bland.  But hey, it was over 60 years ago...they had no idea we'd want high quality action shots.

There are a couple of small ink marks on the back of the card which do not concern me in the least.  Another great add to the set.

BV $50-80

I'm saving the best for last.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#105 Jim Conacher RC

This was the card that started it all.  I just love the rich color in this card.  Amazing since there's only red and blue  There's some great detail in the jersey, gloves and laces as well.

What I didn't know at the time that I bought this card is that it's the last in the set....and thus is very condition sensitive.  Think about it, many copies of this card would be hugging elastic bands or coffee stained tables.

This is the best centered card out of the three and the corners almost have a uniform look.  I heard that Parkhurst would use a cement mixer as a tumbler to mix up the cards before distributing them into the packs.  How any copies managed to keep its sharp corners is beyond me.

Here's the back so you can take a look at the condition bar that I'm putting up.

BV $100-200

And with that - the start of the Parkie Project.  If you are looking forward to seeing the finished job, sit back and enjoy the'll be a long one.  I'm easily giving myself 15-20 years - if not more.

Parkie Progress - 3 out of 105  (2.9%)

Monday, November 25, 2013

MY COLLECTION - An Action Packed Islander

One of the things I like most about card shows is when I find a card that I've just never seen before.  And I don't mean like an old vintage card...more like an unreleased promo or a local issued item.

I found a few cards like that at the weekend show (with most going to other people) and one will sit for a while in my collection.  I think it's just that cool.

But first, let me play a little "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon".

I'm currently reading this Messier biography (I know....Messier!!!).  But in all honesty I'm quite enjoying the first part of the book - the Oiler days.  It has taken me back to my first exposure to the NHL when the Oilers and Islanders ran the show.  There's some good stuff in there.

That got me on the whole Islanders thing.

And oh, by the way, here's the lovely inscription left in the book.

So kind to have it personally signed.  I'm glad he didn't rub any sort of salt in the wound.  One other thing I didn't realize about this book is that it's a die-cut.  When I'm done with it - there will surely be some cutting...and some dying.

Mark.....class act all the way.  (I was laughing out loud when I typed that).

Anyways, onto the card I'm planning on showing off.

1993 Action Packed
HOF Induction
#3 Billy Smith

This card is one I've never come across in my decades of collecting.  Now just so you know, the auto is not normally a part of the card.  This one was signed in person.  Still, it's a beaut.

Part of a 10-card set released in 1993 to commemorate that year's Hall of Fame inductees, this Smith is the "big" card in the set.  It's got a matte finish to the background, rounded corners and is thick (to allow for the embossed feature of the player portion of the photo).  A silver Stanley Cup foil piece sits in the top right corner.  Pretty simple design if you ask me.

Which really makes you focus on the photo of Smith.  I remember everything about that.  The helmet (it's more mid-80's as opposed to the early 80's), the leather, the iconic jerseys and the scruffy beard.  Dude was always in playoff form.

The back of the card states that he is "considered on of the best 'big game' netminders of all time."  Can't argue with that.  Some of his best work came against the Oilers in the Finals.  He flat out stole games from them.

Not sure what'll eventually happen to the card, but it's got a happy home here for now.  Don't think I'll see another one of these anytime soon.

LINDEN CARD(S) OF THE WEEK - Card Show Pickups

It was a weekend that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. We finally had a "big" card show here in town.  Not as big as Expo in Toronto, but definitely bigger than anything we've seen in over 3 years.  And I was thrilled to see it come to fruition.

I'll show off more of my goodies throughout the week.  Tonight it'll just be the Linden pickups.  And there were only two.  But two is better than zero.

2013/14 Upper Deck Trilogy
#SP-TL Signature Pucks

I was hoping to find a card like this locally.  There are enough copies of it out there that surely someone would have it.  The best part was that the seller hunted me down to tell me about it.  I like when other people find cards for me.  I like it even more when they don't try and charge "Linden Tax" on top of the price.

I made my offer and he took it.  A very simple and smooth transaction for a solid looking piece.  There are two parallel version of this card.  One with a retro logo puck /13 (on it's way) and a shield logo puck /3 (that one will be tougher to find since one is already tucked away in another person's pc).

2012/13 Upper Deck The Cup
#B-TL Brilliance Auto

This card looks pretty sharp in person.  It is super-thick (for some unknown reason) but the brilliance logo and silver team emblem are recessed quite deep.  It's a nice effect (and surprisingly scans well).  The front is a little scuffy, but I don't think that was from mishandling.  The guy I bought it from knows his cards well.

His price was a little higher than I wanted to pay, but I bit on it since it's always nice to buy locally.  No mailing of cards or shipping fees.

I'm sure I'll find some go for less down the road, but this one will remind me of a fantastic card show weekend.

Stay tuned for more goodies and some shocking surprises (a hint...I started on one of my "bucket list" projects).

Friday, November 15, 2013


Another trade night come and gone and while it was a little lighter in participation...the take home was big.

Jumbo even!

I always enjoy seeing new concepts for Linden cards and the past 2-3 years have seen a plenty.  Too much in some instances.

From the Captain C to a monster quad auto, nameplates and multiple jersey pieces, there are a lot of really great memories.

Tonight was yet another chapter.  One I won't soon forget.

Well over a year ago, Superlative III was released by ITG.  And while I have slowly tracked down the bulk of the cards from the product, there are still a few that have managed to elude me.

With some cards it's tough.  Numbered out of 9 or 2 or the dreaded 1/1's makes tracking down these pieces a bit of a shoulder shrug.  They might come easy or they might never see the light of day.

One such card had a story like that.

Believe it or not, some people buy cards with no real rhyme or reason behind their collecting....and then shove the cards in the closet never to be seen again.  Gak!!!  What if a rare Linden lives in there?

Well, one such Linden did - for a year.  Then, out of the blue, this person with this rare Linden card just decides he wants to sell it.  Uhhhhh...ok.  So up on ebay it went.  And the price was not one I was going to budge at...rare or not.

I did reach out to the seller and soon learned it was a person whom I've met before.  He was selling the card for the actual owner.  We worked out a deal and this past weekend at the Expo in Toronto I had somebody pick it up for me.

It hit my hands tonight and boy did it feel nice.

2012/13 In The Game Superlative III
#JP-11 Jumbo Patch Gold  1/1

Oh yeah!  This scan does not do the card justice.  It is a fantastic looking piece and one of the best patches I have in my entire collection.

Why does it feel nice?

Because I cracked it out of its case.  I am an official Superlative toploader cracker.  I will not keep any of my cards in those holders ever again.

So even though I didn't make it out to the Expo, I feel like somehow the Expo came to me.

Thanks very much to Eli and Jeremy for making this transaction happen.

Now the card will forever be shoved in my closet.  So take one last look at it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

MY COLLECTION - The Best Piece Of Pink In It

Over the month of October, I have been following The Hockey Life a little closer than normal.  Young Colin has been providing some well used hockey tape in the hopes of raising money for a very worthy cause.

Game-used blade tape was carefully removed each week and put up for auction on ebay.  All the money earned from the auctions are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

And although there were no bids on the final auction (sadly....the starting price was just $2.49!!!), Colin and crew built up over $76 in funds.


My nicely laid out tape arrived last week.

I asked if Colin could autograph it for me and he kindly obliged.  Thanks very much.  I'm planning to take it in to work to put with my other special items.

In addition to the stick tape, there were a couple bonus surprises in the package.

Some of you may recall the Doug Keans story.  Well he currently coaches Colin.  So these cards have a special connection.

Love it!!!!  And the pinky just makes me snicker even more.  Thanks very much.

I also received a Trevor Linden card from ITG's Heroes and Prospects and a very nice handwritten letter from Colin himself.

Thanks very much for taking the time to write to me.  And thank you for everything you sent.

Continue having a great season guys!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


With the Toronto Fall Expo over and done with for another year (and no...I did not make the trip), I have found myself keeping a close eye on the new Linden cards released.

For the past couple years, Trev has made his way into various redemption programs at these bigger shows and just keeping track of the new adds to the checklist can prove to be tasking.  The Fall Expo has no doubt brought a few more cards to the list.  I've already seen some Superlative: The First Six and Decades 90s hit ebay (and with healthy prices on them).

I'm finding that I'm less excited about these this time around and have decided to wait - maybe for a long while.  There are other cards that have piqued my interest more.

In the meantime, there have been a couple new Linden cards to hit the pc this past week.  One of which was a great find at an even better price.

2012/13 Upper Deck The Cup
#85 Game Used Patch  /10

I've said it many times before....I love the patch cards that come from the ol' yellow and orange jersey.  This might not be the most elaborate patch design out of the 10 cards made up for this release, but so far it's been the cheapest.  That'll do me just fine.

The patch window is a decent size, but I would have loved to have seen a photo that matched.  And the middle of the card is just screaming for an autograph.  Either add one or give me more photo.

Still, next to the 1/1 in the release, this is the toughest of The Cup cards I have to chase down this year.  Me likes.

Now on the flip side, I picked up a Linden at the last local show (which also happened to run last weekend).  It's amazing how much I enjoy finding a simple base card if I need it.  That tells me that I am collecting what I'm supposed to collect.

2013/14 Panini Select
#178 base

This is a nice looking base card from an equally nice looking set.  Shiny, nice photo.  But I'm lost as to why this product has come out so close to the release of Panini Prizm?  The sets seem very similar in many ways.  Especially the price point.

That....and the release of Upper Deck's flagship product Series I will likely put this Select product out of the minds of many.  It's a shame....looks like a nice set.

Anyways, I got mine.  Now to track down the parallels.

And yes, it does seem that a redemption version of this card /25 was released at the Expo.  One more for the list.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

OPINION - Local Card Shows (Big Ones)

I love going to card shows.  I've said it before that I feel very fortunate that I am able to go to a local show once a month during the fall/winter months.  It's a chance to get out, window shop, touch  base with other collectors, talk shop and on occasion pick up a sweet pc item.

But while the small monthly shows are fun, they are just that - small.

It's been over two years since I've seen a bigger show come through town.  Not sure exactly why?  There are two very successful promotions that have put on shows in the province recently...just not in Calgary, and nothing this year or last.

I've been fortunate enough to make it out to the Toronto Expo a couple times in the past couple years and while it is a bit overwhelming at times - it's a ton of fun.  Why can't we have something like this here?'s going to happen.  In just a few weeks.

Shameless plug: I designed the poster.

A couple people decided to quit waiting and start acting.  They've put the pieces together to what hopefully will be at very least an annual event.

The Card Show will hopefully have 40-50 tables set up, door prizes, autograph guests and more.

Yeah....autograph guests.  And what a group.  Three guys from the Stanley Cup winning Flames team of 1989.  Jim Peplinski, Joel Otto and Tim Hunter.  I've got a cool story about Tim Hunter that I'll share leading up to the show.

What excites me the most in talking about (and listen to people talk about) this show is that it really feels like a throwback show.  Something I haven't seen the likes of in a number of years.

Spending a day reliving some great Calgary memories, looking at some great Calgary memorabilia and just enjoying a "slice of Calgaryana".

As a hobbyist, I feel it's important to support these shows (especially if they can prove there's some worth to them).  Because without people coming out to these shows - these shows just won't exist.

So if you live in Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, heck Canada, Northern US, c'mon out on Nov. 23 & 24 to what should be the best card show to hit the city in quite some time.

I've already got my calendar marked.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

PACK RIPPING - 2013/14 Panini Prizm

I'm finally cleaning off my desk!  There....I've said it.

I've got paperwork and cards strewn all over my desk - some dating back a number of months.  So tonight I spent some time putting cards away (and I did some scanning at the same time).

I noticed a common theme with a lot of the cards.  Pack ripping.

That.....and caving.  Bordering on regret and buyer's remorse.

But I so enjoy ripping wrappers.  And a little bit every once in a while is ok.  As long as I get good stuff inside.

SPOILER: This is not one of those instances.

I was eyeballing some packs of Prizm on the shelf last month at trade night.  The shiny silver wrappers got the best of me and I bought five packs.

After hitting a bunch of blanks....I bought a couple more.

I put a stop to things right after that.  Ugh.

On with the show!!!

2013/14 Panini Prizm
(7 packs)

This is a nice product if you like shiny sets.  It's got a look and feel of the ol' Topps Finest products from the mid-90's.

How sad that I can't even remember how much packs cost...but I do know that it's not a low-end product.

There's a 300-card base set to chase with 100 of them rookie cards.  There are also colored parallel cards (with limited print runs), some die-cut goodies and autos...albeit stickers.  No memorabilia.

It's a nice design.  Nothing over the top (I think the shiny silver does enough of that).  Basic 3/4 body shots with not much action in the photography.

Minimal card design elements with aggressive font styles.  A thick card stock and that's that.

Player selection is ok.  Stamkos and Landeskog were my best base cards pulled.

I mentioned rookie cards and they come one per pack.  Some guys I've never heard of before (in a double rookie class...not good).  This Granlund would be my best hit.  And that's not saying much.

Very similar look to the regular base cards.  I'm already getting bored.

I did manage this insert.  It's not numbered...or rare.  I dunno, is this any good?

Quarter box it is.

The "big hit" in my 7 packs was this Mike Richter Immortalized Stanley Cup die-cut card.  I think Panini has a bit of a love affair with putting full shots of The Cup on the front of their cards.

I'm just happy it wasn't Mark Messier.  I've already felt the pain of this pack ripping episode enough.

I need to refer to this post the next time I get the urge to open packs.

Who am I kidding....I'll never learn!

Now, back to my desk cleaning (it would go so much quicker if I just attacked it a little differently.....where's my garbage can?)

Monday, November 4, 2013

12 in 12 - October Review

It took a little longer than expected but I managed to finish off another book during this year-long challenge to myself.  I have really grown to enjoy reading...sometimes for long stretches.  Taking the niece (and more recently my nephew) to the library for some solid bonding - even if it's just sitting in the company of the other person, silently as we enjoy the written word.

This month's book (or should I say October's) was one that I was drawn to mostly because I knew a new biography was coming out.  A biography that I wasn't sure would ever be written or released.  The subject being a very personal, and reclusive superstar.

This was a book that has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time and I am really happy to be able to now say that I have read it.

Searching For Bobby Orr
Stephen Brunt
284 pages

To many, Bobby Orr the greatest hockey player ever to lace up the skates.  To most, he's in the top five.  To me, he went up the list after reading this book.

In what would definitely be considered an agonizing career, shortened by knee injuries, Bobby had a talent that far exceeded his peers of the time.  He is one of very few to have truly changed the game.  Evolving it and revolutionizing it.  He had talent that was noticed at such an early age and his path to stardom in the NHL was all but guaranteed by the time he could legally drive a car.

Yet it's the person himself that most people don't know anything about.  He rarely (if ever) let the outside world in for people to see what he was really like.  And while Searching For Bobby Orr doesn't accomplish gives us probably our best snapshot.

note: Bobby Orr was approached by Stephen Brunt regarding this book but declined to participate.  He also asked that family and friends not be approached either.  Stephen Brunt respected his wishes.

Searching For Bobby Orr felt more like a story of atmospheres and landmarks.  Scene sets and circumstances.  All with Bobby Orr deep in the mix.  While we never get in depth with Bobby's life or career at any given point, the path the book takes gives one a very good sense of how his life growing up and hockey career progressed.

Events like his signing with Boston (he was never drafted....the Entry Draft didn't exist at the time), his ascension to the top of the league both in scoring and with a pair of Stanley Cups.  His chronic knee problems, his omission from the 1972 Canadian team that battled the Russians.  His betrayal by then agent Alan Eagleson and eventual move to Chicago to end his career.  It's all in there, but it lacks that first person account.

Stephen Brunt is a very good writer and he puts the story together in a very entertaining way.  While it was a bit of a slow starter for me, his NHL story was one I really enjoyed.  I would have loved to have learned more about the Eagleson relationship as it is to this day one that still irks Orr.  (I hope in hie new autobiography, Bobby addresses it a little more bluntly).

For fans of hockey in the 70's, this would be a must read.  For those of you who want to learn a bit about the greatest defenceman of all-time, pick this one up.  It will give you a very good surface account of his career.  It doesn't dive deep - but that's tough to do without the man himself getting involved.

3.5 out of 5

November's book...

Only because I have a personalized autographed copy of the book (I'll explain later).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I can't believe we are days away from November!  Where has the time gone?  Where has my golf season gone???  It snowed on the weekend here and was a harsh reminder that winter is upon us.

But things aren't all doom & gloom.  There are some great happenings going on (especially in the hobby) for me.

In a couple instances, it was just a simple back and forth with fellow hobbyists..."talking shop" and getting to know the inner workings of collectors' habits.  I always love hearing how, when, why, who.  Tons of fun.

I've been the recipient of some very kind words over the past week that really not just made my day....but made a real impact on my approach to this hobby I love.

And I've seen some great, selfless acts from people trying to go above and beyond in helping out others.  Man....there's nothing better than that.

Case in point....young Colin's pink stick tape fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research.  A very worthwhile cause and a great idea for raising money.  Best of luck with your remaining auction(s).

Now it's been a bit of a quiet go on the Linden front as of late.  One very interesting note though.  Last week my mom had lunch with Trevor's mom and dad (my family knew the Lindens when I lived in Medicine Hat for a year...I was in grade 2).  They did some catching up as it had been well over 10 years since they had seen one another.

My curious bone got the better of me and I had my mom ask them about this jacket I bought a while back.  If the meeting wasn't so "spur of the moment", I would have had her take it along to show them.  Nonetheless, they seem to think (based on my mom's description) that it's legit.  #9 was indeed Trev's number at that time.


Another big score recently was a fanta-stick ebay find.  And a definite blast from the past.

2000/01 Pacific Private Stock
#58 Game Used Gear (stick)

This stick card was the very first stick card Trevor ever had.  I remember trying hard to track down a copy at the time.  Ebay was a new vehicle for me to use as a tool and the local shows had nothing of the sort.  I eventually landed one but it came with a slight rip around the window.  I kept it but always hoped to upgrade.

Years later I did find another copy.  But it was signed by Trevor.  Sure it was nice and all...but it didn't quite count as a replacement.  Well over a decade later - I have found the card that will sit proudly in my collection and I am no longer looking to upgrade.

It was fun to take a close look at this card again after all these years.  The design is a little unique to say the least.  Pacific at the time really had some "out there" looks on their cards.  Trev's sporting his shortly-used Habs jersey and the card is thick and has a nice gloss finish.

But what really drew me to the card was the stick piece.  Lots of great detail and color in the piece.  It's a shame the window couldn't have been twice as big (the card definitely has the room for it).

The best part.....less than $9.  Oh, and did I mention FREE SHIPPING!!!

That is one heck of a steal in my books.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

OUTSIDE THE BOX - A Little Lesson To Always Be Nice

I received an item a little while back that fits nicely into my Linden pc.  It's not a card (and most times when it's not...I move along), but the price was right and I had never really seen one before.

But this item comes with a little story (and lesson).  I like stories.

So I was doing my daily hourly Linden search on ebay when I came across an item that was distinctly Linden.  I say distinctly because it was housed in NHL & NHLPA strewn packaging.  That's always a first look when I go after things that are not cards.

I noticed a low BIN (very low in fact) with a surprising twist....FREE SHIPPING.

Wow!  I decided to e-mail the seller just to make sure.  He lived in the States and so when I got the all good...I hit the BIN.

A couple weeks later I receive a plain white envelope in the mail with my item...the packaging nicely bent and ripped.

Now I'm a Linden collector, so an item like this is something where I had planned to keep it unopened and just stored with my other Linden extras.  No such luck here.  So I did what most would do...I contacted the seller.

I contacted the seller with the intention of opening up dialogue.  I did not ask for a refund or replacement.  I did not bitch and complain.  I just mentioned that I received my item damaged (an item that was described as "New").

The response I got was actually pretty stunning.

I was lambasted because the guy sending had to spend almost twice the price of the item just to ship it (remember, shipping was free in the auction).  He offered to send me his wallet seeing as what I received wasn't good enough.

Now I kept my cool, but inside I was ticked.  So I mentioned just how surprised I was in his response.  I mentioned that the auction clearly stated that shipping was free and the item was "New".  It's not my fault that I wasn't opening up the item (it was just the packaging that was damaged).  Calmly and cooly I sent the message.


So I did what most would do.  I slapped him with a negative feedback.  I was honest about my comments and I decided to move on.

Well, that wasn't good enough for him.  He responded by further (and not in the right way).  So I wrote to him again.  I simply stated that my communication to him was done with nothing but respect and honesty.  I was very disappointed in his responses and felt the shoe fit.  I told him that my intentions were to have this transaction end in a way where we can both win.

He went back to look at what he wrote and soon apologized.  Stating that he was in the wrong.  He wanted to make things right.  He said he had a bunch of the Lindens and he sent me off another package.

I received this in the mail earlier this week.

It's a Trevor Linden magnet jersey.  And in fact, he didn't just send me one (in a bubble envelope this time), he sent me four.  And a couple Brett Hull magnets to boot.

So I e-mailed him back and asked what he had paid in shipping for both packages.  I was planning on sending him a bit of paypal to offset some of his costs.  He refused, saying that again he was in the wrong.

I told him that I would reverse my feedback.

Long story short, dealing with people respectfully and in a "nice" manner is really the best way to get positive results.  Sure there are times when you're dealing with complete jerks (and they shouldn't get the time of day from you), but when the ball is in your court - you control your actions.

It looks like I might have a couple Xmas gifts for fellow Linden collectors.

Friday, October 18, 2013

MY COLLECTION - Some Big, Bad Bruins

OK, maybe not big or bad.....but definitely Bruins.  Three of them to be exact.

Earlier this week was the ever popular and frequented trade night.  Something I look forward too just as much as the weekend show or...well, pretty much anything that has to do with hockey card collecting.

Lots of stuff on the radar (and one bite as you'll soon see).  But there's always things that catch my eye on a spur of the moment.  And no, this month it was not boxes of cards.  No caving.  Just a couple rounds of pack wars that yielded nothing.

You may remember my post last month about Boston goalie Doug Keans.  Well, just to update the story, the cards successfully made it to Colin and were promptly signed.  And a good chuckle from Doug when he learned of my "pinky" comment.

This month, one of the trade boxes had some 84/85 OPC in it.  What are the odds of that?  And what do you think the odds are that sitting in those few singles would be a Keans rc?

Yup....pretty good.  After a fun story was told to the card owner, the piece of cardboard was happily passed along to me - and will be promptly mailed off to Colin.  Now he has the grand slam of Doug Keans cards.  All four of them!

Sadly, like most of his other pics, Doug gets the pregame treatment.  I do like this design (my fave of the 80's) and the pic oozes of the time.  All things considered - a great card.

Next up is a card that represents many different messages in this hobby.

When I go to trade night, most of the crowd is (if I had to guess) 30-40 year olds.  With the hobby evolving the way it is, I'm not surprised at that. But every once in a while there's a young'n....and I'm not talking a guy in his early 20's.  I mean somebody that would be in the 12-15 year old range.  One such person is now what I would consider a "regular" to trade night.

At first, it was interesting to see the dynamic of the shop.  How would people interact with him?  Would they give him hobby respect?  Would they simply dismiss him as just "a kid"?  Would they flat out ignore him?  I'll say this, he made a solid first impression on me (and others I think) and has really made a positive name for himself at trade night.

Why?  He's polite, respectful, easy going, and honest.  In fact, there are some guys who come through the door that could learn a thing or two from him.  And the dude has a super-organized trade box and binder.  Makes me look REAL BAD!

So I mentioned that I'd be looking to trade and was sifting through his binder.  Thinking I would come away with a handful of goodies, I was surprised to find just one card that caught my eye.  It was a low-ender to say the least.

So what does this guy do?  He says "You can just have it."  He mentioned a trade we made a couple months back and how it favored him slightly.

That's a pretty cool gesture.  For anybody at any age.

This is the card.  Now Rogie may not be known primarily for his days in Boston, but the mask he's sporting in the pic is sah-wheet.  Have I mentioned I like the vintage lids?

So to Dylan (I hope I'm spelling that right), thank you very much.  Not just for the card, but for being a fantastic addition to my trade night festivities.

Lastly, the card that would be classed in the "spur-of-the-moment" column.

Some of you may know that Bobby Orr is coming out with a biography (on the reading list to be sure).  As part of the promotional push, Orr is doing some publicity (a ton of it by his standards).

Recently there was a fantastic article in the Boston Globe about the All-Star defenceman and I just finished watching a great interview he did with  Peter Mansbridge (those of you in Canada know who I'm talking about).

Take all that and add to it that I'm currently reading Searching For Bobby Orr and well, this got the best of me.

I saw this card sitting in a trade box and asked what it would take to get my hands on it.

A hard-signed Orr...not bad at all.  Sure, the market is a little saturated right now with his signatures, but still, he's one of the greatest players ever to lace up the skates.  And one of the classiest to boot.

A little back and forth and the card came home with me.  It's one I don't think I'll be putting in my trade box any time soon.  I like having this one in the collection.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Brought To You By The Letter "N"

Last month when I learned that my guy would be included in ITG's Decades 90s "Nameplate" subset, my first thought was "It's about time!"

Nameplate cards have been around in the hobby for a few seasons now.  Some products use manufactured patches, some use the real deal.  I'm a real deal kind of guy.

ITG When the product went live, I was eagerly anticipating seeing what these new adds to the list might look like.  Six little big chase.

The "L" was first to pop up on ebay and my initial thought was "Sweet!", then...."What?", then "Aw man."

Any time a new concept is introduced into my player collection I get excited.  While base cards are fun (and so too are autos, jersey, patches, etc.), they can sometimes feel a little redundant.  Concepts like the Captain-C upper & lower half blew me away.  A quad auto with Lemieux, Yzerman and Sakic - dropped the jaw.  And a monster patch celebrating Trev's charity work...that's the pinnacle.

But is it just me or is something a little off when it comes to this nameplate card?

Yes, the "L" is off center, but that's kind of expected seeing as it comes from a gamer and the available jersey in between letters is scarce.  I'm more looking at colors.

The black and yellow of the "L" clearly indicates that the jersey it comes from is the black skate logo design.  The background of the card though...not so much.  Unless the blue and green are constant throughout the entire Nameplate run, I'd say it's representing the colors of Vancouver's current threads.

The contrasting hues are indeed eye catching.  Sadly, not in a good way.  Imagine for a moment that the colors were say yellow and red.  Or black and yellow.  Mmmmmmmmm.  One can dream.

The "L" went quick on ebay.  It had a BIN that was way over the top (at least twice what I was willing to pay for one) but somebody made a deal for it.  Good for them.  The dream of owning all six was quickly extinguished (actually, I wasn't holding my breath at all about that one).

The goal for me - own one of the six letters.

Well, a couple weeks ago I came across another letter.  A collector in Finland got it in a group break.  I quickly asked if it was available.  It was. And we soon agreed on a price (and a reasonable price at that).

The card arrived and it now sits in with the collection.

2013/14 In The Game Decades 90s
#NP-81 Nameplate "N"  1/1

Much like the "L", this "N" is a little lopsided...which is fine by me.  I know that it's the final letter in the name so why not utilize a little more jersey.

I'm even more curious to see what the middle letters look like.  Hopefully they don't appear too squishy in the window.

On a side note, I found out tonight that Upper Deck is going a second round with Linden in The Cup.  My initial thought was "S#&@!!!!", but after seeing the checklist I must say that I'm really impressed.

Nine cards.  That's it.  A base /249, a gold parallel /25, a black parallel 1/1 and four printing plates.  A patch gold /10 and a Brilliance auto.  This auto has me really excited.  A new subset in The Cup....hopefully they hit it out of the park with the design.  But a huge sigh of relief (and a quick bit of typing on my master list).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Diving Into Decades

With ITG's Decades product now out for over a month, I can confidently say that the initial wave is over.

A lot of Linden cards showed themselves on ebay and for the most part I sat back and watched.  High price jersey cards that will soon go for a fraction of the price, big ticket cards that soared over the price I was willing to pay and the few base cards (does anyone actually sell base on ebay anymore?) lingering around.

I did pick up some cards though.  It wasn't a complete drought.  And actually, I think I'm making out quite well right now with putting a dent into the wantlist while remaining sane on the final dollar amount.

This game used jersey card is the silver parallel.  It's the ignored middle brother in the product.  While the black version (the most readily available) gets a lot of interest from set builders and the likes and the gold parallel is the rarest, most highly sought after, the silver version doesn't get much love - except from player collectors.

I was lucky enough to find a person selling one who must have thought the same thing.  He had it priced to go.  In fact, he had it priced lower than what I would have paid for on the black version.

I noticed he had opened quite a bit of the product so I asked if he had any of the Mask cards.  I ended up making a deal to get 8 cards tucked in with the Linden.


This jersey/auto black card was one I had my eye on for a few weeks as it sat unwanted on ebay.  A high Buy-It-Now price will do that.

The card isn't overly exciting to look at (sticker auto and plain white jersey) but it is limited to just 3 copies so the scarcity factor was what I was looking at.

Earlier in the week, I found out that another Linden collector picked up one of the other two out there.....and for how much.  Knowing that there were now only two left, I sprung into action.

I made an offer on the card quoting the other price and the fact that this card had a white jersey piece (which usually brings down the price).  It worked out and I made the deal for the card.

A couple days after paying for the card, I noticed one of his other auctions.  I made a quick inquiry and surprisingly, I walked away with another card.

This game-used patch card is the gold 1/1.  It's a nice looking card with a healthy swatch.  The four-color piece is what I would expect with a 1/1 and I'm glad ITG didn't disappoint.

I got it for a healthy market price so I can't brag about a sweet deal on this one.  But I think when combining it with the other Linden cards I've received so far from Decades 90s, I've made out ok.

That said, I've got a long ways to go.....but I'm not in any rush.