Friday, August 30, 2013

1 vs. 100 - One Step Closer

Slowly inching closer to completion of this project.  It has been a few years now that I have been pursuing building this set and I have come to enjoy it quite a lot.

I love the uniqueness and simplicity that this project brings...yet the difficulty in building it within a reasonable budget.  I also like the diversity in cards as well as basic "rules" i have set in this chase.

With the numbers whittling down on my wantlist, it does create a bit more of a challenge to track down numbers.  That said, I am still just casually picking up singles.  I'm not scouring ebay or hobby boards all day looking for the elusive last few.

Maybe when I'm down to one or two.

But for now...

2012/13 Upper Deck SPGU
Authentic Rookies
#123 Philippe Cornet  /51

Another one of these cards that are numbered to a player's jersey number.  It's concepts like these that made me go after this project to begin with.  I mean...why else would a company put out a card numbered to 51?

I was able to pick this card up for a very fair price (with shipping) and am really happy to add this latest addition to the collection.

I'm even more excited that I am one step closer to posting a 100 card completed collection (that'll be a cool pic).

93 out of 100  (93%)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Late Add Courtesy Of FedEx

Today I made a quick stop to pick up a FedEx package that I have eagerly been waiting for from Panini.  Another redemption card has arrived.  And although this one isn't a 1/1, it's a scarce piece of cardboard.

Way back in May I was excited about making the trek out to Toronto for the Spring Expo.  OK, I was there for a friend's wedding, but the Expo was a sweet little bonus.

Day one.  The first table I hit.  This gem...

Yes, it's a redemption card, but for a Linden item that you just didn't see out there.  2012/13 Certified was such a lightly broken product that these cards just didn't pop up.

I couldn't believe I found a copy.  The extra piece of info I had though was that I knew the card was live (meaning there wasn't a chance of the card never being made...and thus receiving a replacement card instead).  I had been watching a live version of the card on ebay for months (with a crazy BIN price).

A super easy transaction for a very fair price and this quickly became one of the highlights of the show.

Next step was to redeem the card.

I was surprised that it took as long as it did to hear the card had been shipped.  I assumed that if one card was ready, then all 25 copies would be ready.

Guess not, cause it took the better part of 4 months to receive the package.

But it hit my hands today.

2012/13 Panini Certified
Junior Class
#JC-LE dual auto w/ Tyler Ennis  /25

So what's the first thing you notice?  For was a pair of stickers.  I gotta say that I'm a little bummed that this card isn't a dual hard-signed item.

Why would you need a redemption card for this?  They ran out of Linden stickers?  Doubt it.  Ennis?  Who knows.

I would have thought that a redemption card means that the actual cards were still in the process of being signed.

Just a side note, the copy on ebay that I have been keeping an eye on for months.....was scanned in a way where you couldn't tell it was a couple of stickers.  In fact, I was expecting a more white card.  As you can see, my copy has more of a foil, reflective finish.

Still, it's another Linden off the list.  And it's a pretty rare pickup.  I wonder (since I have 25/25) if the other 24 copies are out there somewhere.  Odd to only see one other pop up the whole time this card has been out.

Better late than never.

Friday, August 23, 2013

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - And The Hits Just Keep Ooooonnnnnnnn Comin'

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this summer of trade nights have been extremely beneficial to my Linden collection.  Last night was the third month out of four that I walked away stunned by the pickups.

You may recall the amazing 1/1 patch/auto from UM12 that I got to see pulled live in store (and then traded off to me in a deal for the ages).

It was just a couple months prior that I was shown this crazy patch 1/1 with no other intention than to have it placed in my pc.

I would just like to say a quick thanks to everyone who keeps and eye out for my Linden wants.  I get really excited by even a simple base card, but 1/1's???......that's just amazing.  Cheers!

Anyways, back to last night.  I was made aware of another gorgeous patch card (in fact, and eerily similar patch to the 1/1) and it was about as smooth a transaction as I could have imagined.

2012/13 ITG Ultimate Memorabilia 12
Game Used Patch Silver  /9

Wow!!!  I'm gob-smacked (again).  UM12 is turning out to be the product chase of a lifetime for me.  Looking at what I have so far and what's left...I'm just shaking my head at it all.

Speaking of products that put together a solid chase...Decades 80's made for one of the greatest accomplishments in my Linden collecting career.

It was a little over a year ago that I completed one of the greatest rainbows in my Linden collection.  What made it all the more sweet was that it was a fellow Linden collector who traded me the final piece of the puzzle (a 1/1 from his own pc).  Now that's more than I ever would have expected.

One card remained on my wantlist from Decades 80's.  A tough to find jersey/auto limited to just 6 copies.  I was starting to lose hope of ever seeing one let alone having a chance to obtain one.

And then I get a tap on the shoulder and a quick "Hey, have I gotta card for you".  I love when sentences start that way.

He went on to talk about how he had a nice jersey/auto with a cool sketch on the front.  I was baffled as I sifted through my mental checklist.  I couldn't figure out what card he was talking about.

He showed it to me and I think I actually twitched.

2010/11 ITG Decades 80's
#RJA-TL Rookie Jersey/Auto Black

Holy cow!!!  This card has eluded me for so long, and to see it pop up at trade night.......amazing.

I had already picked up the silver version (limited to 3 copies) and the always popular gold 1/1 so this was the last remaining card on the list.

(There's just one Linden card from the Decades 80's product that didn't make it into my collection.  I know what it is, I've seen a scan of it and I know who has it.  It's in a safe place).

Another rock solid easy trade and I was two for two with a pair of home runs.  That's a pretty good night at the plate.  A huge thanks to both Tom and "The Baron" for keeping me in mind when seeing those cards initially.  It is very much appreciated.

I can't wait for the next trade night.  Decades 90's!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

TRADEBAIT - It Just Spoke To Me

Another trade night has come and gone and it was yet another amazing evening for the Linden collection.  Not one but two additions - both stunners - came home with me.  In both instances it was because the person with the card said to themselves "I know a guy who might like this".

I love that about this hobby.

But before I scan in more Trev, I thought I'd share a card I picked up at the previous trade night.  I neglected to scan it as it just sat in my trade box but when I saw it last night I thought "Man, I need to scan it and show it's just that nice."

When I first saw this card I knew I wanted to add it to my collection...even if it's just to put in my traders.  It just spoke to me.

Ever had that happen?

2008/09 O-Pee-Chee Premier
#PP-EM Evgeni Malkin  /100

Told ya'.  This Malkin not only has a solid card design, sweet spot for the signature and is serial numbered but it's got a great hard signed autograph....of one of the best players in the game today.

What's not to like about this card?

Only one thing for me.  I'd love it if the Penguins logo was visible on Malkin's jersey.  The sweet spot could be a little smaller.  But still.

Not the nicest scribe but that's today's player for you.  All in all it's a solid add to the collection and was able to pick it up for a couple cards that had been collecting a little dust.  Can't complain there.

Lovin' the trade nights.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BOX BREAK - 2013/14 O-Pee-Chee

Finally got around to scanning in my OPC box break from the start of the month.  I think the crazy collation and the lack of a killer hit had me a little lazy in showing off the goods.

Or is that the bads.

OPC has been a favorite product of mine for a few years.  I really like the diverse and beefy set (both the base and retro variations), the inserts and long odds pulls.  And while this year seems to be more of a "next verse, same as the first" feel, the overall appeal of OPC was enough for me to cave and buy a box.

I'll say this right off the and done.

2013/14 O-Pee-Chee
8 cards per pack / 32 packs per box

Remember people to take a look at the bottom of your box.  There's free stuff sitting there.  I was excited to see Carey Price as a part of my free box bottom cards...then I realized that it's the exact same box bottom as Captain Canuck's break.  BOOOO!

Oh well, free is free.  And be sure to save your wrappers.  There's a redemption program again so that's even more free stuff.  And we haven't even busted a pack yet.

The base cards are ok.  Nothing fantastic but not the worst OPC cards I've seen.  A nice full window for the photo and some basic text in the left corner.

The photo selections are average at best with most cards falling in the "nothing special" category.  That said, there's always a few surprises.

Like that Jason Garrison in the vintage threads.

The color selections are not matched to the team colors (a little odd if you ask me).  Instead they are linked to the card number.  The first 100 cards are one color, the next 100 are another, and so on.  Check out Captain Canucks' review for more details (again with the laziness).

Some older guys made the grade.  I've never seen that Orr pic before.  I'm on the fence as to whether or not I like it.  His face seems weird for some reason.

The Clarke is nice.  Can anybody name the goalie in the background?

The 500-card base set makes for a nice chase.  In my box I had 184 of the 500 and no doubles.  The collation is absolutely crazy though.  I won't go through the numbering in detail (lazy) but I can say that it was real easy to guess the cards I had after just sifting through the first few.

51, 54, 56, 59, 61, 64, 66, 69, 71, 74, 76, 79, etc.

And while I had a lot of cards in the 1-100 and 400-500 range, I had only one.....that's ONE card in the 200's.  Bizarre.

As always, there's a crop of rookies in the mix.  I snagged 20 but 4 are doubles.  I'd be miffed but Yakupov was one of my doubles.

Staying with the theme of the base design, these cards don't scream awesome which is too bad because it's a pretty beefy rookie crop.

Retros!!!  And retros of retro players are even better.  This design is truly hit and miss.  I like the Yzerman...

but hate the Oieem Nlrsn.  I'm ok with contrasting colors and all, but let's use readable hues.

I cracked 32 retros (one per pack) and they all end in either 3 or 8.  Thanks for that eh.

Only one retro that stood out from the bunch.  This Rookie retro reminds me of a That's 70's Show dance sequence in between scenes.

JT he any good?  Cause I got a desirable card.

It's blank backed.

I was going to have some fun and say that my entire box was blank backed (and just use this scan over and over again) but then I remembered that I'm lazy.

Not sure how rare the blank backs are, but I'm asking big coin for it.  I gotta recoup my money somehow.

Stickers!!!  These are yellow and colorful and star the greatest of all time.  Can't complain there.

I picked up 10 stickers in total and am covering my binders for the upcoming school year.  Wicked!!!!

Shiny cards.  Some people love 'em, some hate.  I don't mind them.  I think it would be a tall task to complete the 500-card base set considering that I only hit 8 of 'em.

A nice white glossy back of the card is par for the OPC course and look sharp.  What else can I say.

Shiny parallels.  Why not.

These are numbered to 100 and I pulled a Schroeder rookie.  Again...big coin.

The black border are a dead giveaway here (not to mention the serial numbering on the back).  Overkill?  It's the OPC way.

Last but not least (and certainly not the most) are the team rings.  I'll admit, I like last years' pop-ups more.  Two of 'em in the box but I feel like they are already destined for the loonie box.

Overall, a fun break.  Was hoping for one of those manufactured patches but alas no.  How many boxes would one need for the set?  I don't know.  Part of me feels like if you hit the unlucky button you could literally end up with a box full of doubles.  I'm sure I'll be able to trade most of these off and help the set builders.

No Linden in this set so I'm off the hook there (but he's rearing his ugly head in ITG's Decades 90's very soon).

And with that...another year of OPC is in the books.

Remember.....readable hues.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

'30 in 30' LEGACY - Undefeated

My lack of sports documentary posts have not been because of a lack of me watching them (in fact, I've watched a few really good ones), but just sheer time to post about them.

ESPN's '30 for 30' will be ramping up again in October and first up will be a doc about the New York Islanders and John Spano.  A story definitely worthy of a doc.  ESPN has also branched out and has been airing a series called 'Nine for IX'.  It's a series of documentaries that are female focused and produced by females.  Some good subjects like Pat Summit, Sheryl Swoops and the first female reporters allowed into the locker room.

But one film I watched over the weekend urged me to sit in front of the computer and type.  A film that has been on my watch list since last October.  A film that won the Oscar in 2011 for best long form documentary.

A film worth watching.

Undefeated (2011)
113 mins.
Rated: PG13 ( a little bit of language)

Undefeated is a documentary that follows the Manassas Tigers football team, a severely underfunded and underprivileged team as they try to reverse their fortunes, thanks to head coach Bill Courtney.

We go through a season of ups and downs, heartbreaks and triumphs.  But this doc is more than just a season on the field.  It's about passion, character, perseverance and teamwork.  You begin to really attract to the players and especially the coach.

It's a riveting season that had me wondering how it would end.

Coach Courtney really shines in this film.  His efforts for his players is something I've never seen the likes of.  The words resonated and direct approach was refreshing.

If you like Hoop Dreams or films like that, then you'll enjoy Undefeated.  After's an Oscar winner.  Here's the trailer...

4 out of 5

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - This UM12 Chase Is Getting Ridiculous

There are times in my collecting life when things just seem to fall into place.  It's not that I go out looking for just happens.

Case in point - ITG's Ultimate Memorabilia 12th Edition.

When I started the quest in the spring, I knew there would be a tidy sum of Linden cards to chase.  Twenty-three cards in total (including a pair of redemption cards) would serve for a very tall task.  And while I feel very happy with my progress, I never would have imagined where I am at to this point.

I'm well over the halfway mark of 16 cards in hand, but that's not the incredible part.  FIVE of the 16 cards are 1/1's.


2012/13 In The Game
Ultimate Memorabilia 12th Edition
Draft Day Gold (w/ Modano & Selanne)  1/1

This beauty hit ebay a few weeks back and I immediately had a bead on it.  The other Linden collectors I know seem to have distanced themselves from the 1/1's from UM12.  I think it has to do with the fact that I am hoarding them (it wasn't planned that way).

With this fifth 1/1, I am left with just 3 1/1 cards remaining in UM12.  I know the whereabouts of one of them (and they are asking waaayyyy too much).  The idea of hitting the complete rainbow (all the cards from the release) is not only a possibility......but a high possibility.  Definitely more than any other product release I have encountered to date.

There's a lot that will have to happen still, but if the past few months have been any indication - there are a number of people looking out for me.

What a cool chase it's been.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

'DID YOU KNOW' - Mike Rogers

When I was on my way to the good ol' monthly trade night earlier this week, I was listening to my local sports radio station and there was a great interview being conducted with a guy that I'm a big fan of.

note: I'm still trying to track down the audio from the interview as I think it's a quality listen.  If I find it, I'll add it.

For those of you who don't listen to Calgary Flames radio, the name Mike Rogers might not mean much.  But he had been the Flames color guy for the past 12 seasons - and a darn good one if you ask me.

Honest, knowledgeable and most of all zero ego.  Rogers showed that you can have class and professionalism and still be a gravitating force.

It was recently announced that he would be retiring from the color slot next to Hall of Fame broadcaster Peter Maher and they will be big shoes to fill.

But the talk during my drive was less about his broadcasting career (at least the section I was listening to) and more about his hockey career.  Believe it or not, Mike Rogers had a pretty solid pro hockey go.

Born and raised in Calgary, he played his junior hockey for the Calgary Centennials of the WCHL - putting up some very good offensive numbers. Back in the mid-70's, there were options when going pro and for Mike, the road was pointed towards the WHA.  He played 5 seasons splitting his time between the Edmonton Oilers and New England Whalers.

When the WHA folded and four teams were merged into the NHL, Mike found himself (literally) in a whole new league of players.  He was recently at WHA Day here in Calgary and mentioned that transition to me. He said that he was unsure if he could play at that level but decided to just stay the course.

And what ended up happening is something that only three other players in history have done.

'DID YOU KNOW': Mike Rogers is one of only four NHLers to start their career with three straight 100-point seasons?

Four guys - EVER.  Try naming the other three.

Now some may say that it's a bit of a tainted record since he had a handful of seasons in the WHA.  But to's legit.  If the NHL doesn't want to consider the WHA for squat, then in NHL terms Rogers first three seasons sit 105, 105 and 103.

Gotta love the Whalers uniforms eh?  Think about that fact as well.  Can you even name another player from the Whalers at that time?  Ron Francis wasn't drafted yet.  Guys like Dineen and Turgeon weren't on the radar.

How about Pat Boutette?  Blaine Stoughton?  Slim pickings.

To me, that's what makes the accomplishment all the more impressive.  He played for (as he put it) a horrible team.

And to make things even more impressive, he was traded after his second season to the New York Rangers.

Traded...and still hit the century mark.

And the Rangers weren't much better back then.  Ron Duguay and Mark Pavelich.  Names you're not writing home about and have (other than Ron's hair) become a fairly forgettable part of hockey history.

Yet Mike Rogers posted three straight 100-point seasons.

Yeah......this guy.

He finished off his career after the 1986 season with 519 points in 484 NHL games.  One can only imagine where his numbers would be if he would've played his entire career in the NHL.

He soon after was asked by the local Flames radio station if he'd be interested in doing some hotstove lounge work and he found he loved the work.  He was with the Flames for over 20 years in total.

Congrats to Mike Rogers on your retirement.  I'll miss hearing ya'.

So......figure out who the other three guys are?  Two might be easy.

Gretzky & Lemieux.  The third knocks a lot of amazing players off the list.

Crosby?  Nope.  Ovechkin?  Nope.  Orr?  Nope.

Selanne?  Thornton?  Sakic?  Bossy?  Dionne?  Hull?  Jagr?  Lafleur?

Nope.  None of 'em.

Peter Stastny is the other guy.

So let's recap....

Wayne Gretzky

Mario Lemiuex

Peter Stastny
Mike Rogers


Saturday, August 10, 2013

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - One Of One...And Another One...Then One More

Another few weeks of slim pickings from the Linden front has created a nice lull in the roller coaster that is my player collection.  I'll fully admit that the lull is completely my doing.  I've passed over a number of low to mid-range cards simply because I know they will be out there for the taking at a later time.

The summer is always a tougher time for me and the hobby.  Work really takes over my June and July months and this year seemed to be a little more intensified.  In years past, I would panic a bit....thinking that I'd be "getting behind" in my pickups.

Now, it's just a little longer list to carry around.  No big deal at all.  In fact, having some of these "easier to find" cards has created situations where I've been able to trade for them.  And a good thing.

But before I get to a perfect example of patience, I'll give you a couple looks at the flip side of the coin.

With Linden being in a few more products over the past couple years and card companies doing their best to create some uber-rare chases (nice....but overdone), I've pulled the trigger on some bigger ticket cards.

My chase of the ultimate Ultimate rainbow is a perfect example.  Lots of 1/1 action.  So why stop there.

2012/13 Panini Limited
Back To The Future
#BTF KL Linden/Kassian dual auto Platinum  1/1

This was originally a redemption card that popped up on ebay.  With a couple other Linden collectors planning on passing on the piece, I decided to take a stab at it.  I love the fact that the 1/1 designation is on the Linden side.  Gives it more impressiveness to me.

While it was not the cheapest 1/1, I thought it was a nice, unique item to add to the collection.

Here's the actual front of the card (I know...I can't believe they put Trev on the backside).  Nice scribble Zack.

The card isn't that different from its regular /25 dual auto (maybe this card wasn't THAT unique after all).  But a dual auto/dual side card is kind of neat.

That...and I think the lull had me itching for a biggie.  Got it.

2013/14 Upper Deck Trilogy
Printing Plate
#95 Magenta Plate  1/1

Another 1/1.  This one was a bit of a surprise.  I'm one that puts these printing plates on equal strength as any other card on my wantlist.  Apparently there are many who don't put much weight on them.  I picked this up for well less than most of my 1/1's.  No complaining there.

Maybe it's the simplicity of the card.  It's just simply the plate (pretty thin and not much to it) with a sticker slapped on the back.

But it's one more off the list for me...and that suits me just fine.

I'd love to track down the other three plates.  I've seen somebody with all four do some photoshop magic and actually recreate the photo (colors are bang on).  I'd love to try it myself.

Lastly, I mentioned at the top of the post that I've been able to trade for some Linden cards of late.  To me, trading for a card that will go into my pc is the essence of the hobby.  And it's what I love hunting for the most.

My 15+ year search has put a pretty big sign on my back saying "If you have a Linden I need....I'll take it".

I received an e-mail from a fellow trade night regular flashing a card that fit the bill perfectly.  And while we are still hammering out the fine details of the trade (there's some "future considerations" on my part that still need to go his way), I'm proud to say that I've added another nice piece to the patch.

2013/14 Upper Deck Trilogy
# IS-TL Ice Scripts

This is a beauty of a card.  It's a thick, hard, clear plastic that is hard signed and has a nice photo on the front.  It's also Trev's first Ice Scripts card (so it had some additional appeal to me when I first saw them popping up).

My patience though paid off royally.  The first few copies were commanding $35-40 a card.  Once people realized that they're not as rare as people thought, the price plummeted.  Now, they can be had for under $10.

Free via trade?  Yes please.  Even better.

An odd observation of the card though.  I mentioned that it comes from the same set as the above printing plate.  That's from the 2013/14 Trilogy product (as noted on the back of the card).  On the back of the Ice Scripts card though says 2012/13 Trilogy.  Clearly a misprint.  I wonder if it's on all the Linden autos?  I assume so.  I also wonder if it's on all the other Ice Scripts cards?

Regardless, it's a trifecta of Linden goodness.  On the eve of yet more Lindens to be added to the list.  Things are raring up and I'm looking forward to another trip 'round in the roller coaster.

Friday, August 9, 2013

OUTSIDE THE BOX - Elvis Has Entered The Building

It's a quick, late-night post tonight.  I was late getting home from one of the monthly trader nights this evening and I managed to pick up some new goodies.  Some good, some bad, some ugly.

And yes.....I bought a box of 2013/14 OPC.  I'll give you a little preview.


Nuff said.

But before I go scanning all those beauties in, I figured I would get caught up from last month's offerings.  Well, at least one card to represent the proceedings.  It's a nice card that I think is deserving of its own post.

I like to dabble in non-sports cards every once in a while.  Be it comic book cards, movies, pop culture or music.  There's something about the overall aura that I'm just drawn to.

Thankfully it's not a strong pull and I can usually go a while before mild outbursts.

But when I had the chance to trade for this card, I quickly grabbed the reins.

2007 Press Pass Authentics
Rock 'n Roll Relics
#RR-SJ Elvis Presley smoking jacket

C'mon!  It was a no brainer.  It's ELVIS!!!!  The King!!!  It's red and velvety and,'s Elvis.

I love the look of this card, I love the photo (not the bloated, knocking on death's door Elvis) and the memorabilia piece is the icing on the cake.

No clue how much a card like this goes for and quite frankly I could care less.  It's one that I think will stay in the collection for a while.  I might even bring it in to work.  One of my co-workers is a huge Elvis fan.  He also loves bugging me (in a fun way) about my collecting habits.  I'm thinking he'll get a kick out of this card.

It's not everyday one can say the own a piece of the king.