Thursday, September 19, 2013

'DID YOU KNOW' - Doug Keans

It was a few weeks ago that I received a quick query regarding a name I haven't heard since my days of card collecting in the 80's.

A simple question.....but it brought a smile to my face.

"Have you got any Doug Keans cards?"

Doug Keans.  One of the best backup goalies of the 80's (seriously).  He teamed up with Pete Peeters to post some eye-popping numbers as a number two goalie in the Bruins net.

If it weren't for Andy Moog coming into town...who knows what might have come from Keans.

Anyways, I said I'd take a look.  And while I didn't have any stashed away in my closet, I knew there would be someone out there who would.

Cue the local trade night.  Last night as a matter of fact.  I made an equally simple query to the store owner and after explaining the circumstances, he was off to dig up the treasures.

Oh yeah!  While not his rookie card, this Keans pic is a staple to his cardboard career.  Circling the ice during warmups ready for a solid night of benchwarming.

Remember goalies....pinkies up when carrying your gloves.

Another beauty.  The yellow towel gives the illusion of working up a sweat.  And is it playoff time or what?  Keans is sporting a mighty solid spring beard.

What's with the shifty eyes?

These cards just throw me back to the true fun days of collecting and watching hockey.  Check out that equipment.  I remember those helmets and I always tried to make my own blockers out of cardboard, foam and a spare glove (or not so spare sometimes).

This last of the trio actually shows Keans in some game action.  LOVE the leather pads.  That brown just reeks of 80's.

Doug Keans was drafted in 1978 (6th round, 94 overall) by the Los Angeles Kings but it wasn't until he hit Boston that he put up some respectable numbers.

19W-8L-3T....16W-6L-3T....18W-8L-4T.  Those are stats that'll keep you in the league.  Or so one would think.

Like I said, when Boston brought in Andy Moog, Doug Keans became the odd man out.  After the 1987/88 season, he never played in the NHL again.  He finished with 96 wins in 210 career NHL games.

Oh yeah...before I forget.  5'7" and only 175 lbs.  You'll never see that in an NHL goalie these days.  Boy times have changed.

So...this is a 'Did You Know' post.  So what don't most of you know about Doug Keans?

'DID YOU KNOW' - Doug Keans now coaches for the Tampa Bay Junior Lightning hockey club.  Pee Wee A White if I'm not mistaken.

So to Colin (and his dad) over at The Hockey Life, get ready to add some cards to the collection.  Hope you have a fantastic season and learn a ton.

Now to the bigger question.  Does Doug look more like David Arquette...

or Luke Wilson?

He's even got a bit of Dennis Lemieux in him too me thinks...


And a big thanks to Darren over at Maple Leaf Sports for donating these cards.  Know that they will go to a great home and be put to good use.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Not too many Linden cards making their way in lately.  Partially due to work, a golf trip and just overall summer distractions.  But partially due to a bit of a funk over the overwhelming mountain that has become Decades 90s.

Two cards made it to my doorstep this week.  The last two on the "incoming" list.  As of right now I have zero Linden cards on order.  One is from the massively strong Cup set (which I am almost don...except 1/1's) and the equally large Decades 90s (I guess there's no better time to start than the present).

Two big ones off the list to officially start the fall collecting season (the first local card show ramps up tomorrow.....and I'm passing on golf so I can go.  I'm golfing Sunday in case anyone was worried).

2011/12 Upper Deck The Cup
#CF-TL Cup Foundations  /10

I had seen a few copies appear on ebay...all with nice 3-4 color pieces covering each window.  This copy doesn't quite have the 'wow factor' as some of those, but the price was right.

It had been up for offering a few months back and I put in what I felt was a fair offer.  It was rejected at the time and I really couldn't blame the seller.  There was a decent chance he could get a little more for it. didn't sell.  He put it up for grabs again and instead of making an offer, I decided to just keep an eye on it.

Weeks passed and I finally thought now's the time to bid.  I made the exact same offer as I did months back and sure enough it was accepted.

The seller said he wanted to see the card go to a diehard Linden collector.  I think he just realized that my price was the most he was going to get.  Either way, it's a nice one to scratch off the list.

That leaves me with just one more non-1/1 from The Cup remaining on my list.  The Cup Foundations quad patch/auto.  Same as above, but with a hard-signed signature.  Numbered to just 5, it'll be the tallest task (I've already seen 2 or 3 of them go to good homes).

2013/14 In The Game Decades 90s
#M-44 Game-Used Jersey Gold

And here's the first of what surely will be many Decades 90s card to hit the collection.  And quite frankly - what a way to start.

This gold parallel is limited to just 10 copies.  It had a nice BIN price when I saw it last week, but decided to throw a best offer on it anyways.  A little bartering never hurts and in the end we agreed on a price that I was pretty happy with (considering I've seen a couple other copies go for more in the days since).

Currewntly there are a number of other Decades 90s cards on the market.  Some common and some pretty rare.  But I'm not biting on any of them.  I think I'll wait for the show tomorrow to gauge the availability of these pieces locally and then slowly.....SLOWLY knock 'em off the list.

It's not a race.

And to all of you....a happy collecting season.  May you knock off some toughies this year.

BEHIND THE MASKS - A Couple Early Morning Shows

It's a day off for me today and I couldn't be happier.  After some non-stop work grind (coming off a nice golf vacation) my brain is in a bit of a haze.  Three days to hit the reset button is a nice treat this time of year.

So what will my day consist of today?  Well....I do have a lot of stuff that's been neglected here in the home.  I'll at least ponder the thought of doing something about it.

In the meantime, I'll do up a nice blog post about a couple cards I traded for at last month's trader night.

Mask cards are always an eye-catcher for me.  With mask sets seemingly everywhere today, you'd think that would be enough to keep me busy.  Well, I'm an uber-casual mask collector.  I basically won't snag cards on the wantlist unless somebody physically waves them in front of me.

So I add to the list.....but snagging cards that have a nice shot of the player's mask on the front.  Over the years I've picked up a couple hundred "mask" cards and one day I might catalogue them.

For now.....they'll just go in the monster box with all the others.

This Ilya Bryzgalov card comes from the recent ITG Heroes and Prospects Draft Update product.  The purple mask is the first thing that caught my eye.  For what I gave was a no-brainer.

This Grant Fuhr card is one that I thought looked really cool.  The area around Fuhr's photo is see-through which really makes the pic pop.

I like the design and concept of this set and really the only miss is that Fuhr's photo comes from a practice.  If only he was wearing an Oilers jersey.

Still, another great card to add to the box.

Now........what to do next today?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

OPINION - Alright.....WHEN!

I don't know what's worse. 28 cards to chase in Decades 90s or the fact that Trevor Linden has been included in.....
Wait for it.
Enforcers II!!!!!

That's right. Linden is now apparently a fighter.  He's got a dual patch card with Brendan Witt.

More when I pick up my jaw from the floor.

There's gotta be a limit....right?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

RAISE THE CUP - Two More... With A First

A couple of cards sitting on the desk get the royal scanning treatment and some face time on my blog.

This Raise The Cup project, while never really an aggressive pursuit, has become a tidy collection of some of the greatest moments captured in time.  Sometimes the photos truly captures the essence of the split second while other times I feel the photo is compromised a bit too much, taking away from the authenticity of the moment.

These two cards are that of the latter.

While any Gretzky Cup raising card is a good one, this particular piece doesn't quite have the "wow factor" of some of his other contributions to the pc.

The background is completely gone from this photo.  And I really think that's a key part to some of the stellar shots in the set.  In its place is a foil-type background that does look slick - from a production standpoint.  Aesthetics...not so much.

A bit of a miss on this one, but it's still a keeper for the collection.

This Claude Lemieux Cup raising card is a first.....the first round card to make it into the project.

Taken from the Kraft dinner collection, Claude is looking extremely excited holding that trophy above his head....against a red background.

Once again, the fact that he's been cut out from the environment completely changes the presentation of this card disc.  And it's a shame because this item has next to no excitement in it.

I'm glad I can add this pair of less than acceptable cards to the binder.  I somehow am supposed to feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.....right?

OK.  Whatevs.

Current Collection - 114 cards

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

12 in 12 - August Review

I'm a couple days past due I know....but my week long golf trip cost me some anticipated reading time.  So I ended up finishing my August book tonight.

And it was a very interesting book to say the least.

I found this read to be equally frustrating and intriguing.  Head shaking and page flipping.  Satisfying and yet leaving me wanting more.

I can definitely say that out of the eight books that I have read for this year long project so's the most unique of the lot.

It all began at work a couple months ago when we sat during lunch and watched a highlight film of some of Evel Knievel's infamous daredevil jumps.  Seeing that grainy footage from over 30 years ago shot me back to a time where he was salt flat cool.

I wondered at the time if there was a definitive documentary done on the guy.  To my  But there was a book.  And a pretty recent one at that.

August's book is about one of the most polarizing figures in American pop culture history.

Evel - The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel:
American Showman, Daredevil, and Legend
Leigh Montville
389 pages

In a nutshell....Evel Knievel was one-of-a-kind.  You could say he was an innovator.  You could also say he was a swindler.  You could say he inspired a generation of kids.  You could also say he was the epitome of a hypocrite.

Regardless of what you may think...Evel Knievel is a name synonymous with the 1970's and the wild, crazy living of the times.

A couple quick quotes from the book that stuck with me...

"Robert Craig Knievel was a one-man tidal wave when he came through more ordinary lives."

"There was a reason why toymakers always favored cartoon superheroes over real-life people: the cartoon characters never grew old, never lost their powers, never drank bourbon, never claimed to have slept with eight different women in a day, never whacked their former publicist with a baseball bat, never went to jail."

How's that for painting a picture?

I was amazed at just how crazy, irresponsible, rude, uncaring and just all around self-centered Evel Knievel was.  I was equally amazed at how much I felt sorry for the guy by the end of this book.

He played the hand he was dealt and in the end seemed to have a lot of regrets.  If I met this guy at the bar in his heyday...I'd probably be disgusted by his antics.  But what's odd is that I was completely embroiled in his story.  Faults and all.

Frankly, this guy has no redeeming qualities.  He swindled more people out of money than anyone else I've ever read about.  He cheated on his wife (how she ever stayed with him for over 35 years is beyond me) constantly.  He bet on anything and everything.  He had a God complex.  He commanded the attention of every room he stepped in.  And rules meant nothing to him.

So why do I care about this guy?

I'm at a loss.  Maybe it's because my memories of him prior to reading this book were of the iconic jumps he performed when I was a kid.  Maybe it was because I connect more with the wind-up toy than I do with the fatally flawed character in this book.

Maybe deep down (real deep), he is a good person.

Whatever it is, I found his story to be an interesting one.

This book's biggest struggle is the fact it was written in 2011 and the author never got to interview Evel himself.  All the info was taken from other sources and interviews conducted with friend, family and associates.  That said, it's a pretty complete account of his life in my opinion.

It's a very slow starter of a book.  The first 2-3 chapters don't hardly even mention Knievel.  It's all setting the scene.  His hometown of Butte, Montana back in the 30's and 40's.  Basically the life he was brought into and was raised in (a huge reason he became the person he did).

It picked up steam in the middle chapters and some of the stories are pretty amazing.  The stunts, the injuries, the flaws.

The last few chapters really reveal who Evel Knievel was.  Spending time in jail, his injuries catching up to him and his eventual death in 2007.  He entered the world quietly and exited with an equal whimper.

But the story in between was worth the read.  If you remember the name Evel Knievel, this would be a good read for you.

3 out of 5

Bonus:  Here's the iconic footage of his crash at Caesar's Palace.  Do you know who the cameraperson was on the closeup shot?  I was stunned to learn this (and am amazed the footage exists at all).

September's book...

note:  I'm choosing a quicker read this month because I am going to try to get through two books in September.  In addition to The Rebel League, I have been eyeing this story for a few months....and I can't wait any longer.

I have HUGE expectations for this book.  A couple people have told me it is outstanding.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

OPINION - When Is "Too Much"... Too Much?

Last week was the debut of the highly anticipated (to me at least) Decades 90s product put out by In The Game.

A whole release dedicated to the glory years of my guy (and some other players too).  So many great memories....and as a result - so many cards to chase.

And with last week being my annual golf vacation, I missed the initial wave of online action.  And there was/is a lot to be ingested.

This card (one of many Linden 1/1's in the product) hit the open market mere hours after the product launched.  While it's a beauty no question, it just leaves me cringing a bit with what is coming ahead.

I had a chance to finally go over the checklist, transferring it to my master Trevor Linden list, and I noticed a huge amount of cards to chase.  More than any other release - ever.  Twenty-eight cards!!!

That's right.  Over two dozen Linden pieces to go after in this one product. Now part of me is looking forward to the chase, but another part of me wonders when enough is enough.  A large number of cards isn't that bad....when the cards aren't so low numbered.  But with Decades 90s, more than half of the cards sit with a print run of less than 10.  That makes it really tough to aggressively go after.

I was a little frustrated, concerned, scared when it came to releases like Artifacts (13 cards), Superlative III (20 cards), The Cup (18 cards) and UM12 (21 cards + 2 expo redemptions) and their numerous subsets, parallels - or both.

But Decades 90s takes it to the next level.  In addition to their parallel structure similar to Decades 80s (black, silver and gold) and their numerous subsets similar to UM12 (Cup Clashes, Franchises, GU jersey/auto, GU patch/auto) ITG has decided that this product would be the debut of Trev's first ever Nameplate.

1/1 cards of each letter in his nameplate.  L-I-N-D-E-N.  I love the fact that he now has a set of these out there....and that they're game-used.  But that monstrous chase added in to all the other cards makes it a little overwhelming....and frankly, it makes it a little de-motivating.  I went from being really excited about this product to a feeling of "where do I start?".  That's not a good thing.

I went from thinking about buying 3 or 4 boxes of the product to contemplating just chasing the singles.  A rough estimate of all the Linden card "values" in the open market has me placing it at around $2500-$3000.  That's a huge investment for just one product.

Now I know I've said that collecting is never a race, but when I look at my wanlist these days, the majority of it consists of cards just from the past 12-18 months.  Hopefully there won't be too many additional 16, 18, 24-card releases coming out in the near future.  I've got way more than enough on my plate to last through the 2013/14 hockey season.

And the guys haven't even hit the ice yet.

So how much is "too much" for you?  Do you modify your collecting because of the sheer numbers of it all?