Thursday, February 28, 2013

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Seeing A Trend Develop

Over the past couple of months there has been an interesting trend developing.  One which I didn't think would ever arrive and one that I am oh so very thankful for.

Trevor Linden cards are coming down in price.

I don't know if it's the oversaturation of Linden cards on the market, the waning desire for some collectors to pull the trigger on some of his pieces or if the NHL lockout had something to do with it.

Whatever the reason is, it's helped me a great deal in landing some low numbered items for a fraction of what I was expecting to pay.

The most recent card to hit the mailbox was one that presented a first in the world of my Linden pc.

Only because there was some Beckett slab surgery to be had.

I am at a loss why someone would slab a low numbered card like this only to put it out on the open market afterwards.  I really believe the slabbing dropped the price a bit rather than enhance the value.

It was on the wantlist and I knew that if I won the auction, the first thing I would do is free the card from its plastic case.

2012/13 Upper Deck Artifacts
#93 Dual Jersey Auto  /12

As you can see.....I won said auction.

I've never had to free a card from a graded slab before.  I actually had to youtube it to see what the best way to go about it would be.  And while it helped immensely, I really should have done it outside.  I'm now destined to step on a plastic shard in my office at some point.  I can feel it coming.

This card, numbered to just 12, is about the 5th or 6th to arrive so far this year where the price tag has been more than reasonable.  Instead of coming up with a Linden Card Of The Year for 2013, I might just do a Linden STEAL Of The Year.  There are definitely a number of cards that could gun for the title.

Stay tuned, my next Linden card show will hopefully air a number of these great pickups.

12 in 12 - February Review

Well, my comment at the end of my January review was "a real strong start".  That had some double meaning referring both to the book I read and the year-long goal I've set for myself.

And if January's page turner wasn't enough, February's book might just go down as one of the best I've ever read.

If every sports bio I read is as good as the one I just finished tonight....then reading might just become my new passion.

February's book was Andre Agassi's story...

Andre Agassi
386 pages

What looks like an unassuming read based on sheer size of the book (at least in paperback form) quickly became an in-depth look at the life of one of tennis' polarizing figures.

Before I knew it I was knee deep in a story that had so many layers and chapters that I just couldn't put it down.

From his early days (and I mean early) being coached by his strict and demanding father to his rebellious relationship with trainer Nick Bollettieri, we learn quickly just how much Andre truly hates tennis.  We hear of his attempts to be out of the limelight and yet finds himself in the company of Barbara Streisand and Brooke Shields.  It feels as though Agassi leaves no stone left unturned.

His computer-like recall of the dozens and dozens of matches shared in the book really adds depth and body to his career in tennis.  His early success, struggles to find his game and eventually his breakthroughs on the grand stages, Agassi shares it all.

He pulls no punches and asks for no apologies.  From family to tennis Andre truly does open up to what his life has given him - and in some instances taken away.

It's a book I found often I couldn't put down.  An easy read, it's got a lot of meat and potatos to it.  By the end I really felt like I got to know and understand the tennis pro, his team and the person away from the court trying to find who he is.

Highly, highly recommend it.

5 out of 5 (and yes, I feel it deserves it)

March's book...

The Card
Michael O'Keeffe and Teri Thompson

STASHED IN THE CLOSET - More Than Just A Sports Illustrated Magazine

This past weekend I went to a local antique and collectibles show with my mom. It's one we regularly go to (and by regularly I mean "once a year"). It's a fun afternoon and I enjoy the window shopping.

I also go because there is one guy set up in the back corner who has some oddball sports items.  Be it team cards, photo slides, magazines, you name it.  He's also got a nice selection of vintage cards.  I spend a good chunk of my time at his table.

But in rounding the corner and walking up the aisle towards where he is normally set up, I noticed that he wasn't there.  Disappointed, but what can you do.  As I approached closer I realized that his place was taken up by another sports collector - and a long lost face in the hobby crowd in my books.

It was a collector who set up regularly at the monthly card show years ago.  But because he deals mainly in vintage and oddball items, he doesn't set up these real demand for his stuff.

I recognize him immediately and he figures out who I am pretty quick as well.  He asks how my Linden collecting is going and I in turn ask how things are with him.  He tells me something that hit me pretty good - and I'm still thinking about it almost a week later.

He says that a lot of the things he is selling these days comes from a collection of a fellow hobbyist who passed away a little over a year ago.  This hobbyist is someone I knew fairly well in the hobby establishment.  He set up every month at the local show and always had some great vintage items on his tables, a smile and a handshake for me when I walked in and a willingness to share some hockey stories with me.

I can hear him talking about his Montreal Canadiens right now and how they need this and should get that.  I can hear him plugging his new singles strewn out on his table - always changing things up. And I can see the signs he made showcasing some amazing deals....including a drop dead price to buy the whole table's worth.

I used to buy a lot of stuff from him back before my player collecting days.  I was working on sets from the 70's and he had a bunch of stuff.  It was nice looking and priced to sell.

A number of years ago he decided to quit doing the shows and I have missed his character there ever since.

One of the last items I ever purchased from him was this great looking magazine.

I found it in a Rubbermaid container right where I left it - price tag and all.  His writing and everything.

So what's the connection to this Sports Illustrated issue?  Well it was the edition that was on the racks the day I was born.  I thought it was a cool item to pick up for that reason.

I have since tracked down and purchased a copy of The Hockey News from the same time period.

This magazine had some significance before this past weekend but now it holds even more.  Every time I look at it from now on I will remember a part of my hobby collecting days that I hold near and dear to my heart.  I will be reminded of someone who saw the hobby as something to enjoy and share with others.  That's something I have been and will continue to carry with me forever.

Thanks Dale, and may you rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

'30 in 30' LEGACY - Holy Grail: The T206 Honus Wagner

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan for sports docs - specifically the 30 for 30 series put out by ESPN.

They have recently started doing some "shorts" which appear on their website.  One of which was highly anticipated by yours truly.  Why?  Well, because the subject of the short was a baseball card.

For over 20 years now, the t206 Honus Wagner card once owned by Wayne Gretzky and (then) LA Kings owner Bruce McNall has been one of the most expensive, controversial, coveted and admired sportscards in the hobby.  It has developed a fairy tale-like story that just grows in stature with each passing year.

ESPN recognized this and recently posted a 15 minute documentary on the card.  Taking a look at the history of tobacco cards at the turn of the century, the rarity of this particular Wagner, the purchase by Gretzky and McNall and the subsequent explosion of interest and intrigue.

While it only scratches the surface of the story, it's a pretty interesting watch and I highly recommend it.

After watching this piece, I have made a pretty quick decision as to what my March book will be...

The Card
Michael O'Keeffe and Teri Thompson

Yeah....I own the book and have never read it.  So kill me.  :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Alright.  I have learned that my phone camera should not have been as close to the monitor as it was.  It's a tad blurry.  But I couldn't feel right doing a second as it would be unfair to the person who wound up being on the top of the list after the randomizer was clicked for the third time.

The winner of the contest......comes from Hobby Insider.....



Here is the video which I posted on youtube.


If anybody has an issue with the blurriness of the video and feels in any way, shape or form that this contest was done unfairly, please let me know.  The last thing I want to do is have people feel in some way mislead or ripped off.


PS.  Running this contest was fun and I appreciate the comments.  I can say that this won't be the last contest I run.  Stay tuned.


Wow.  There were a total of 100 comments on the nose (63 on Hobby Insider and 37 on my blog).

Thanks to all who commented and thanks to everyone for mentioning some great people in this hobby.

I will be doing the thing momentarily and will post the results soon.


Saturday, February 16, 2013


Well.....that I'm holding.

To turn the preverbal frown upside down and because I was the recent recipient of some very generous gifts....and "just because", I am holding my first ever contest.

And it's a pretty simple contest to enter.  Just post a comment in this thread and've entered.

I'll also invite you to mention somebody who has made the hobby more fun for you.  Be it a great trader, good talker or kind person at a show.  Let's hear the good stories.

The contest will run until the final horn (or final shootout goal) of the late game on Hockey Night in Canada (Minnesota vs. Calgary) on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Now on to the prize....

There will be one winner (to be chosen via time) and he/she will receive the following (it's tough to figure out what people like, so I'm going with a good mixed bag IMO).

One rookie card of a current star
One vintage rookie card of a Hall of Famer (and it's a nice looking one too)
One hard-signed autograph card of a current star
One hard-signed autograph of a Hall of Famer
One jersey card of a current star
One patch card numbered to 25
One parallel card numbered to 25
One stick card
One glove card
One Trevor Linden card (just cuz he's my guy)

So that's 10 cards altogether.

I'm posting this contest on my blog as well as Hobby Insider (the hobby board I belong to and most post on) and I would appreciate it if everybody only enters once.

I will do my best to record the thing (as I've never done it before) but if I can't, then I will make sure the random occurs in front of a reputable witness.

Good luck to all  and thanks very much for making the hobby a better place for me.


OPINION: Jumping To Conclusions

"It's been 2 weeks and I haven't received my card....I'm sure the guy has no intention of sending it."

"I can't believe how much this guy has his cards listed for....he's holding them hostage."

"I haven't heard from this guy in a month....obviously he's ignoring me".

"This guy is asking for a refund on a damaged card....I doubt it's damaged."

With the world of online purchasing, ebay and "faceless" trading, the card collecting hobby has experienced a huge transformation over the past 10-15 years.

Gone are the days of only being able to trade or buy cards in person.  Now, many of us pick up a lot of items without ever knowing who they are coming from.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but can definitely lead to a person jumping to conclusions.

The online hobby world creates forced level of trust.  If I buy something from a guy in Toronto or Florida or Sweden, I am forced to trust that the person on the other end of the transaction will do their best to make sure the exchange happens as smooth as possible.

Unfortunately....that doesn't always happen.  (Believe me - I know).

But I feel that there are two ways to handle situations like this.  One is to try and work with the other party in hopes of coming to an agreed solution.  Sometimes it's just a matter of patience while waiting for a bubble mailer to arrive.  Other times it involves modifying the deal to compensate for the bump in the road.

In any instance though I think that two things are paramount....

1. Try to maintain honest and open communication.  Being respectful and listening to the other person while presenting your side of the situation.  Putting all the cards on the table is key.

2. Don't jump to conclusions.  While there are people out there who have the agenda of ripping people off, there are way more - WAY MORE good, honest collectors out there.  To take the brush and paint them as one thing or another isn't fair until you have all the details.

It's frustrating when I see people jump to conclusions.  Building the stories in their head.  And while it might make sense to them (and who could be true), to brand a person as a "liar", "thief", "rip-off artist" (you get my drift) without first getting all the facts is just unethical.

I can appreciate that people get frustrated when things don't go the way they expect, but I can only think of two things when that happens.  Either you had unrealistic expectations to begin with or you didn't think of that specific scenario ahead of time.  Being able to take that frustration and turning it into positive energy often times makes the difficult situation much more tolerable.

Not everybody is wired the same way.  You have to respect that.

Not everybody has the same hobby habits as you.  You have to respect that.

Not everybody is out to "get you".

Jumping to conclusions does nothing but magnify and intensify the situation...and quite often in a negative way.  It serves no purpose.

And it's one thing to jump to a conclusion in your head.  I think we all do that.  When things go bad, we flip through the various scenarios. But it's another to take the time to sit in front of the computer, type these conclusions out and hit "send".

That can create a slippery slope.  Putting a label on a person who might be innocent of the accusation is just flat out not cool.

I think what's most frustrating about jumping to conclusions is that people gravitate towards these situations.  Heck, I'll admit I'm guilty of it myself.  It's like a car wreck or a police bust....we all slow down and take a look.  In addition to putting the spotlight on one more "negative" in this hobby, it can lead to even more people jumping to conclusions.

Sorry for putting the spotlight on it.  Now I'm going to think up a positive post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

BEHIND THE MASK - Triplicity..... I Made A New Word

I was perusing my fellow bloggers sites over the past couple days and came across a neat post by Paul over at Card Boarded.

He started a new side project called 'Duplicity' and it showcases cards that use the same photo over more than one card product.

I think we've all seen some sort of example of that in the past, but to consciously pursue these cards to create a nice, inexpensive pc is pretty cool.

It's just another example of making the hobby fun while not having it break the bank.  Kudos!

Anyways, when I saw the post, I immediately thought of a trifecta of cards that would fit right in to the project.  It's of goalie Robert Esche when he first broke into the NHL.

1999/00 Upper Deck
#101 Robert Esche

Drafted by Phoenix in 1996, Esche was on the verge of becoming a mainstay in the NHL when this photo was taken.  He had just 3 NHL games under his belt at the time.  Hence the Plymouth Whalers mask he's sporting.

Since I'm a big fan of goalie masks, I decided to keep it in my mask card box.  It was soon joined by another similar card.

1999/00 Upper Deck Victory
#223 Robert Esche

Upper Deck's low end Victory product utilizes the exact same Robert Esche photo.  And while I like the pic, I think it's a bit lame that UD had to resort to using the same photo twice.

1999/00 Upper Deck MVP
#160 Robert Esche

Make that three times.  It was another low end Upper Deck release - MVP - that creates this rare triple shot.

I understand that that there was probably a lack of Esche photos to be had at the time but one would think that there'd be at least one other pic.  In fact, on the back of the first Upper Deck card is a photo of Robert (showing off the other side of his mask) that would have worked just fine.

But I guess if that would have happened, this unique 'Triplicity' post would never have existed.

Keep up the great work Paul and I'm looking forward to seeing some more great doubles - literally.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

BEHIND THE MASK - A Few Recent Pickups

More cards to show off from the this past week.  These of the masked variety.  And these cards definitely scream "variety".

I have a fair-sized wantlist of goalie mask cards that I passively search for off and on.  It's not too often that I find a card I need (I only check out boxes and such at local shows/stores...not really pursuing the ebay thing with these).  So it's definitely a bonus when I come across a card that can be crossed off the list.

2011/12 Pinnacle
Saving Face
#6 Corey Crawford

I really liked this set when it first came out.  These super shiny cards looked pretty neat in person (they scan terribly).  But it seems that the checklist is only partial.  The info as to what exists and what does not is hard to figure out.

I currently have 5 more on the list, but I have no clue if they all exist or not.

2011/12 ITG Between The Pipes
Masked Men Memorabilia
#MMM-12 Rick DiPietro

I can't remember the last time I purposefully picked up a DiPietro card but when I saw this one I knew I wanted it.  Thankfully the guy who had it didn't know much about it and therefore wasn't too attached to it.

A quick trade for a card from the same release and of the same rarity (just 10 copies) made this a pretty fair trade if I do say so myself.

This goes nicely with the Cam Ward from the same set.  Doubtful that I'll chase the entire run, but you never know.

2002/03 UD Artistic Impressions
Artist's Touch Jersey
#AT-FP Felix Potvin  /499

I wasn't planning on snagging this card last week at the local trade night, but when the owner of the card inquired about a card I had, I took a look at his traders and was drawn to this piece.

I have the complete run of non-memorabilia cards from this set.  It's a set of well-done drawings with some nice detail and very convincing facial features.

Now, this card wasn't enough to make the deal happen and we both knew it.  I kept looking at his traders and found this card to even the deal.

A hard-signed Henrik Sedin auto from a decade ago.....yeah, that'll do.

Definitely finishes off the eclectic mix of cards in this post.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Over the past few days I have been the fortunate recipient of some very kind gestures.  No less than four people offered up the gift of cards to me.  It's always fun to pick up cards but it's even more meaningful and rewarding when cards are offered to you with no expectation of reciprocation.

That said, I'm always a believer in "Do good things and good things happen".  I think I've done a decent job over the years to do my share of "paying it forward" or offering up gifts for no reason.  This recent string of cards coming my way has reinforced those ideals and I will be sure to pass along the kind gesture in the near future.

Now, on to some of the goods.

One person recently handed me a few cards for my "Raise The Cup" project.  There were so many that I'm going to give it its own post.  Just in case that person is looking at this post thinking "What gives?!"

This first card is an absolute stunner.  Freshly pulled from a recent box break at the local trade night.

2010/11 UD Parkhurst Champions
#55 Richard Brodeur autograph

Man...there is just too much that I love about this card.  The wicked yellow, black and orange of the 80's Canucks uniforms, the brown leather pads, the Cooper cage, the card design in general (even the green vignette effect around the edge works in spades) and of course the fantastic hard-signed autograph.

The guy who gave it to me knew I was a Linden fan, knew I liked the Canucks (especially the older stuff) and passed this piece along to me.

Just a flat out gorgeous card.  Thanks!

2012/13 ITG Superlative III
Game-Used Jersey
#GUJ-30 Silver Version (1 of 30)

To some this might just look like a plain white jersey piece, but numbered to just 30, this Linden Superlative card was a head snapper when it was shoved in front of my face with the simple statement of "Here you go".

Wow.  Pretty generous if you ask me.  This card came from the same guy that I purchased the Hull/Linden dual patch/auto card from The Cup last month.  He knew I was a Linden fan and came forward with a very generous gift.  Thanks!

2008/09 ITG Between The Pipes
Future Stars Goaliegraphs
#A-SV Simeon Varlamov

The last trio of card came from a contest that a member on the hobby board I subscribe to was holding.  It was a pretty simple contest.  Be the 37th person to post in his thread and name the person he collects.

He had been the recent recipient of some good fortune himself.  He won a contest on the same boards and decided to pass the generosity along.  Unfortunately, it took a while for people to post.  Bordering on frustrating because who doesn't want free stuff?

Finally, it got to the point where the 37th post was imminent.  People were typing up a quick blurb to keep the momentum going.  It hit post 37 and the next couple people were congratulating the person.  Unfortunately, he forgot the second part of the contest.

I posted a little sheepishly stating the answer to the contest question.  After a couple laughs from members the contest holder decided that two winners would be awarded.

This Varlamov was the first in the envelope.

2008/09 UD SP Game Used
Authentic Triple Fabrics
#3AF-RL Roberto Luongo

This nice triple jersey card of Roberto Luongo was a very nice addition and plays right into the Vancouver Canucks theme.

It took me forever to land the Linden from this set (and I think it's an SP) but I'm not sure how rare this Lui is.

2003/04 ITG Be A Player Memorabilia
Mask III Silver
#M-4 Roberto Luongo

Hey, this is going back a ways.  I can't believe it's been almost 10 years since this card was released.

I call the silver versions the "middle child".  The base versions are pursued by a lot of collectors as it's the most common released.  The gold version out of 10 is the rare pull and chased by a few who want to put the tough set together.

The silver versions are the ones that get tossed in the discount bins as they just don't garner the attention they rightfully deserve.  This set's silver version is numbered to 300 and makes for a challenging build.

The fact that it's another Luongo makes it even better.  What's funny is that I have one gold from the Mask III guessed it - Roberto.

Thanks very much for the great contest gifts.

And thanks to everybody who gave me some great cards over the past few days.  I really appreciate the generosity and it makes me proud of this hobby that I so enjoy.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Recent Pickups And A Retraction

A couple weeks ago I made the bold statement that the Hero base card of Trevor Linden in this year's Heroes & Prospects release was Trev's best base card ever.

In a nutshell....I was wrong.  Very wrong.

I had a chance to check out the 30-card Hero subset recently at the local trade night and was completely disappointed in the drawings used for the players.  A lot of them looked very poor, bordering on "comicbook-ish" (see the Gilbert Perreault) and had me wondering why ITG went with drawings and why they went will such poor renderings.

They've used actual photos in the past showing team logos and everything.  I'm not sure if the lack of an NHL license had anything to do with it, but I was really less than impressed with the effort.

I will be doing a post soon for my 'One Sheet, One Set' project showing off these Hero cards.  You'll get a better sense of them then.

But, since there was a Linden card on the list, I was not going to pass up a chance to pick one up.  In fact, it was a nice gift from one of guys running the trade night.  Thanks Mike.

2012/13 ITG Heroes & Prospects
#30 Hero

Not gonna say much more other than I hope this is only a one year experiment.  I'd much rather have a photo (even a low quality one) than a drawing of this level.

2012/13 ITG Heroes of Hockey
1989/90 O-Pee-Chee Rookie Card

This was a card that popped up on ebay last month and had me contemplating whether or not I should go after it.  Linden rookie cards can be had for under a buck and although this one is slabbed, it's not graded.  So how much does one put a price on it?

For me, it was $ more.  To my knowledge, ITG slabbed up 7 copies of this rc for their product.  I'm still not sure what to think of the execution of this product.  So many good things about it, but a lot of down side as well.

Definitely one of the most talked bout products of the year.

2011/12 Upper Deck The Cup
#86 Gold Spectrum  /25

Another one of the daunting Cup checklist.  It's slowly being whittled down but some of these cards are still coming in at a higher price than I would have liked.

This gold parallel is numbered out of just 25.  That's a number than can mena big bucks or a surprisingly good deal.  I'm leaning towards good deal on this one.

2012/13 Upper Deck Artifacts
#93 Black With Autograph  /5

This card was without question the steal of the month.  I was fully expecting a nice high price to hit this card and was thrilled when I ended up paying a third of that.  Maybe even less.

Yes, it's a parallel with black foil and a sticker autograph, but it's a Linden on the checklist and numbered to just 5.  I'm very happy to be crossing it off the list.

I've noticed that the prices on Linden cards have softened considerably over the past couple months.  Sure there are the odd exceptions, but for the most part cards are going for a lot less than they were 6-12 months ago.

Hopefully that trend continues.  He's got a handful of card in Panini's latest offering - Limited and I know that he'll have a big presence in ITG's Decades The 90's coming later this year.

PACK RIPPING - National Hockey Card Day

Saturday was Canada's National Hockey Card Day.  It's been around for a few years now but this was the first time I actually took advantage of the free pack handout at the local card store.  In fact, I went to two different establishments so I doubled up.

While I think the concept of complimentary handout packs are great, I can't help but think of some who really took advantage of the freebies.  In addition to stores offering a pack to anyone entering their store, Toys 'R Us and London Drugs outlets around town had free oversized cards being handed out to people stopping by their store too.

I heard stories of people just driving from shop to shop, store to store so they can maximize their collection.  Hopefully the various outlets had enough product for everyone who came in.

I even saw complete sets already up for sale.  A little bit of a bad taste in my mouth over that one, but I guess it's inevitable.  If some people have stuff...they'll try to sell it.

Anyways, let's get on to looking at what cards I received in my packs.

There are 5 cards in each pack and a checklist of 15 cards all together.  A 16th bonus card was handed out to anyone who purchased product.

I busted 4 packs of Heroes & Prospects at each location.

The cards all depicted players in their Team Canada garb.  I'm not sure if this was done because of the NHL lockout or if this was done purposefully from the start.  Regardless, it made for a cool little set.

The first 5 cards on the checklist are the Canada's Rookies.  They consist of Jaden Schwartz, Tyson Barrie, Carter Ashton, Mark Stone and Casey Cizikas.

I'll admit, some of these guys I've never heard of but if they're on a limited set as this (and in Team Canada gear) one has to think they've got some solid potential.

The next 5 guys are the current superstars.  The Pride Of Canada grouping consists of Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Jordan Eberle, John Tavares and Martin Brodeur.

It's really cool to see these guys in Team Canada wear.  Takes me back to some really cool international hockey memories.

And speaking of memories.  The last 5 are tops on the list.  The Hockey Heroes subset includes Bobby Orr, Joe Sakic, Eric Lindros, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.

Or in other words.....schlubs.

I really like the Orr card.  It's a shame he didn't more opportunities in international play.  Dang injuries.  The photo used on his card is so cool.  Love the jersey style, the wood stick, his gloves and of course the helmetless hair.  Cool.

That leaves us with the ever popular bonus card.  Memorable Moment?  Um....yeah.  One of the greatest hockey moments I've ever seen.

1987 Canada Cup....Gretzky to Lemieux.  Sweet.

Well, hopefully you got a chance to partake in the events on Saturday and received some cool freebies.  To those of you in the States, I believe your NHCD is this weekend.  And the cards are completely different for you guys.

Fun stuff.


It was a very busy last few days when it comes to the ol' hockey card collection.  There was a trade night last Thursday and a local card show on Saturday.  Yesterday was also Canada's National Hockey Card Day which meant a free pack of cards (actually 2....I went to two different stores).

I've been busy scanning in a bunch of items to show off so look out over the next week.  There will be a plethora of posts.

I'm keeping this first post relatively simple (because it's 2:30 in the morning) but it still packs a pretty good punch.

I like P words.

For some of you readers who have been with me from the start, you may remember an early 'Cardboard Photography' card of Ed Belfour doing some pre-game stretching in his crease.

The camera angle and unique stare into the camera made it a must for the side project.

In this year's Upper Deck Series I, I saw a card that instantly reminded me of that past piece of cardboard.

2012/13 Upper Deck Series I
UD Canvas
#C80 Cory Schneider

When I first saw this card I thought it was upside down.  Upon second glance it was evident that Cory was also partaking in his pregame postures.

I'm not sure if Schneider is in deep focus or what but it looks as if he's gazing right into the photographer's lens.

I love the unique angle on Cory's mask and the one of a kind perspective on Schneider in general.  I wonder where the camera guy was positioned in order to get a shot like that?  Would he be on in the rafters with a long lens?  Would he have a camera mounted in the net somehow?  Heck, the lack of....well....everything else makes this shot more of a mystery than anything.

I love the negative white space that surrounds Cory.  It forces you to focus on one thing and one thing only.

What looks like a simple shot was probably anything but.  Definitely worthy of a position in the personal project.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

STASHED IN THE CLOSET - Rookie Card Puzzle

There are times when I walk into a card shop or go to a card show and see an item that although it has no real place in my collection - is a must have.

I've picked up oddball items over the years and I think the common theme is the universal nature of the hobby.  The bigger picture.  I like groupings.  The team photo so to speak.

Case in point is this one of a kind poster celebrating one of the great baseball stories of all time - Casey at the Bat.  Of course what really drew me into the poster was that the story was told through the creation of custom cards.  It really is a cool looking piece.

The most recent item I picked up has that kind of flavor to it.

This baseball rookie card puzzle is something I've never seen before.  At 550 pieces, it's not your ordinary kids puzzle and the players and cards involved are the cream of the crop when it comes to the hobby rc.

I first noticed it when another hobbyist decided to pick it up at a trade night a few months ago.  I was immediately jealous that he snagged it.  Not long after though I realized that the store had a couple more in stock.

The price was right and I thought "Why not".

Hey....George Brett rookie card.  Nice!

When I got home I immediately started searching for a hockey counterpart.  No such luck though.  That's a bummer because I would totally buy one of those.

Tony Gwynn....Another fave from my youth

Part of me is contemplating taking a high quality photo of my Linden collection and having it done up as a puzzle.  There are a lot of places that do custom puzzles.  I don't know how the copyright issues work though.

But boy would that ever be a neat item.

Mickey Mantle....Sweet

Of course until then I will have this baseball challenge to deal with.  That is if I ever decide to open the plastic and actually crack the box.

See, I'm the kind of guy that will keep the toy in the wrapper.  I've got all my Linden McFarlane figures in their original box (except for a duplicate Linden that is free from the casing).  I just can't get beyond it's original state.

Ozzie....Love "The Wizard"

And I have no problem with that.  I think it stems from a Linden puzzle I bought years ago.  It was used so it didn't have any wrapping.  I decided after a while that I'd build the puzzle.  Wouldn't you know was short one piece.

Now if I don't open the box at all, I'll never know if there's a missing tile.

I can enjoy it as it was meant to be.  In the box.