Wednesday, December 31, 2014

OPINION - Time Flies's over.  2014 has come and gone.  And while it was a little quieter a year for me hobby-wise, I can still say I had a lot of fun and built my collection just a little bit more.

My blogging slowed down a bit (mostly due to a three-month hiatus during the summer) but I never really felt like I stepped away from the hobby.  And that's something I look back at with great joy.

I might try getting around to a "Best Of 2014" post in the next week or so....or I might not - we'll see.

As for any sort of New Year's Resolutions.....I think I'm done with those.  I think I'll just take a look at the big picture and stick with the "have fun" motto I've tried to go by for years now.  Seems to work.  As well, I need to make sure that the hobby never controls me as a collector.  I am the one in control of how much I spend and what I spend it on.

Case in point - the oversaturation of redemption cards littering the secondary market from this past Toronto Expo.  It's rather laughable that I've seen at least 20 cards pop up....most of which have ridiculous price tags attached to them.  My excitement towards them is now zero.  I've even passed on bidding on these cards when the price has been right.  They are starting to serve no real purpose in my collection.

I do plan on keeping track of the cards (listing them on my master list and capturing scans when I have the chance to), but as for obtaining them...not so much.

I haven't put too much thought into 2015 other than I have made one decision...

I enjoyed the summer hiatus so much that I'm doing it again.  June, July and August will be "no card" months.  It was nice to step away and give my wallet a breather, it was nice to focus on work during those months (as it gets really busy) and it was nice when I returned.  So why not do it again.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog over the years.  I'll be back with more in the new year.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


It's been a few days now since my last day of work and boy time has flown by.  Before I know it I'll be heading back to work (let's not think of that right now).

I've been busy.  I started my Christmas shopping a couple days ago.  Should be able to finish today....should.  Went to go see 'Whiplash' at the cheap theatre on Sunday - it was excellent.  JK Simmons is going to win an Oscar.  Awesome performance.

And I've been "binge-listening" to the Serial podcast.  I must have like free time or something.  It too is really well done.

I need to invest in something that sucks so I can bail on it.

Speaking of.....I got a Linden card in the mail today.

From last year's high-end release The Cup, this Brilliance auto is a neat concept.  The scan does not do it justice, but this super-thick card has a clear opening where the auto goes and the Cup logo, "Brilliance" and the Canucks emboss is sunk down to the back of the card.

It looks really good (although I think they should have done a silver or gold pen for the auto.  It's tough to make out sometimes.

Did any of you catch it?

This auto.

I know my guy has a less than desirable signature, but even he can't claim to scribble this bad.

This Brilliance auto is the second one in my collection.  I picked it up not because I'm starting to horde.

This is the first copy of the card I have.  I picked it up last May.

If you can barely make out Linden's signature on this offering, you'll notice it looks nothing like the top card.

So who HARD SIGNED Trev's card?


Guilty for being the league's top scorer...and guilty of not knowing that he does not play for the Vancouver Canucks nor does he look like Trevor Linden.


So what gives?

Clearly it was a case of a stray Linden card getting in the box of Seguin cards for him to sign.  And I'm assuming that when you're scribbling your name hundreds and thousands of tend to not look at what you're signing.

And of course Upper Deck and it's top notch "quality control" didn't catch it either.

When I first saw the card, I wasn't really interested in it, but I was able to trade for why not.

And besides, I missed out on the first goof made by Upper Deck with its Cup product.  (Yeah...that's right...this has happened before).


Hoo boy.  Dare I say......Brilliant.

Friday, December 19, 2014

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - The Colors Of Black Diamond

With a mighty exhale....I am finished my work for the 2014 season.  For the next three weeks I am going to be "king lounger".  Alright, maybe not. A little relaxing, a little organizing, some visiting and some looking ahead. It'll be a fun holiday season.

Last week was the final trade night of 2014.  I'm pretty fortunate that there are two monthly trade nights in my city that I can go to.  Both offer a great atmosphere and overall hobby enjoyment.  And every once in a while.....a Linden.

To wrap up the year, I managed to snag a pair - from Upper Deck's most recent product release, Black Diamond.

You may have seen this card from a previous post.  It's been a while since Trev's graced the Black Diamond product and I really like this year's offering.

This double diamond base (which does not scan well) utilizes a nice photo from early in Linden's playing days.  I love the Cooper helmet.

But what really drew me to BD is the manageable chase.  Five cards in total, with a tough parallel/auto /10 and a 1/1.  Challenging...but not bank breaking.

I grabbed this Ruby parallel /50 in a trade.  For some reason it scans much nicer than the regular base offering.  Funny story, I traded with the same guy a few weeks ago.  I had a Filip Forsberg auto and he had an Igor Larionov UD Anniversary buyback /25.  Easy trade.

I then go to the card show the following weekend and find the same Filip Forsberg card in the $5 bin.  I snag it in a heartbeat.

Fast forward to last week and he noticed the second Forsberg.  He asks if I'd be willing to trade for it - again.  I say sure (not knowing he had the Linden).  Sifting through his card, I was worried that I wouldn't find anything.  Then, in the last handful I find this gem.

I started ribbing him that he was holding out on me.  He knows I'm a Linden guy.  We chuckled and the trade was (once again) an easy one.

Earlier in the evening I made a trade for what be my favorite parallel in the set.

This orange offering comes from the bonus pack you get when buying a box.  And I really like the looks of 'em.  Especially with the vintage Canucks garb suited on the front.  It's not numbered, but it must be a tough pull considering you only get three cards in every box.

We were playing a couple rounds of Pack Wars and one of the guys pulled it.  He knew I was the guy for the trade.  He collected Avalanche cards and while it took a couple tries, we did finally come to an agreement.

I was able to get rid of a card that has literally been sitting in my trade box for the better part of a decade.  Can't go wrong with that.

So that leaves me with just the Emerald parallel/auto /10 and the 1/1.  I'm liking the progress on this one.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PACK RIPPING - 2014 Canada Post Original Six Stamps

I was dropping off an envelope to be mailed out over at the post office yesterday and whatdya know......

I caved.

Yeah....caved at the post office.

For months Canada Post has been advertising a really nice looking stamp set commemorating the Original Six teams - specifically, it's defencemen. They caught my eye the moment I saw them but held off in picking up a pack.

Yeah, an actual pack.

These are definitely geared towards to the hockey card connoisseur.  Nice little 2.5x3.5 cards ( they just house a single stamp) with a front and back design.

The price per pack is $15 but I decided that there was absolutely zero risk involved in a purchase like this.


For $15 you get 6 stamps ($2.50 stamps each).  My math skills tell me that balances out.  The best part though is that in 1 of every 50 packs sits an autograph parallel.  Not all 6 defencemen get the auto treatment though (for obvious reasons).

So let's take a look to see if I landed one.

When I opened up the pack, I was taken aback by just how nice these cards/stamps look.  Vibrant colors, simple design and I've always loved the stamp motif used in hockey card collecting (maybe a subject for a future blog post).

The photo used for this Horton card is perfect.  I think the posed shots works much better than the action shot in this instance.

Gorgeous card.

The backs are good but not great.  They have an early-90's Parkhurst feel to them.

Some good information, not overwhelming but I would have liked something that would add a little character to the person on the front.  A comment or "fast fact" would've been nice.

Regardless, most people will just throw these away after they use the stamp.

Oh yeah.  This Bobby Orr is bang on.  I love the photo and it really works well with the rest of the card.

The '4' used in the background is a nice design.  Not a font but not a photo either.  Solid.  And I love the border.  A simple 2-color team issue feel with a bit of a glow or silver gradient to give it some depth.

We are officially on a roll.  Wow this card looks great.

The leather gloves Harvey is using just punch out of the photo.  Those things are massive.

Another great photo and beautiful overall design.

No auto yet, but I'm fine with that.

The beauty of this product is the consistency from player to player, card to card.  It feels like a well thought out set.

Howell looks so small with those tiny pads.  And no helmet on anyone.  Those were the days.

I must say that I like the player selection with this set.  Some teams have an obvious choice, but I think the best defenceman from those teams in that era got the nod.  Can't ask for anything more than that.

The silver border on the Chicago card was a bold move.  Every other card has the dark, rich color but I think this works because it gives a good contrast to the rest of the set.

Well, no autograph.  But I have zero complaints.

This set is really well done and anyone who is a fan of this era should put this on their "must have" list.

One pack guarantees you a complete set of six stamps and you never know if you're the lucky one to get a signed version (which look incredible...just check ebay if you don't believe me).

By the way.....don't plan on seeing these on any packages I send out anytime soon.  This set stays in the collection.  But I might buy more if I know I've got a big package to ship out.  How fun would it be to see one of these stars staring you in the face?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

RAISE THE CUP - A Carter Kiss

I've been slow on the draw when it comes to showing off this card.  I've had it now for a good 2-3 weeks and I'm tired of it sitting on my desk.

Actually, I'm tired of the 6 or 7 piles of cards sitting on my desk.  This one single piece of cardboard really doesn't bug me too much.

But it's been scanned and in draft mode here for far too long.  So let's end that.

Once again, Upper Deck has put a strong focus on photography when it comes to its flagship hockey product.  I've sifted through a number of cards from the set and I must say it's a little hit and miss.

A unique or new camera angle is always interesting (and appreciated), but when it's done to 3...4...5 players in the set, it grows old - quick.  That's the case with the 14/15 issue of UDI.

This Jeff Carter offering though does have a unique feel to it.  And the timing on the photo is about as good as it can get when snagging a pic of Carter with the Cup.

With a lot of cards in my Raise The Cup project, the shot is a little wider, more of a full body shot.  I like the closeup feel of this photo.  An intimate moment showing a true pinnacle moment.  Nice.

That logo on the bottom of the Cup is so perfect, I wonder if it was Photoshopped in after the fact?  I'll be honest, I've never noticed that logo on the bottom of the Cup before.  Is it there when the guys are parading around the ice?

I'll have to do some detective work.

Until then....into the binder you go.

Current Collection - 117 cards

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


This past weekend I received a package from a fellow collector.  In it was some Linden cards set aside for me over the past few weeks.  It's always great when a fellow Linden collector keeps an eye out for cards I might need.

And I was able to add no less than five new pieces to the pc because of him.  A few Artifacts (putting a small dent in the wantlist), a nice OPC parallel and this beauty...

2013/14 Panini Crown Royale
Pacific's Choice Award
#PC-TL Sapphire Auto  /50

These cards are a fantastic throwback to the Cramer's Choice Award cards produced by Pacific back in the late 90's/early 2000's.  Panini did a great job in capturing the authentic look and feel of the inserts.

In the 13/14 Crown Royale product, there are two Linden offerings.  The Sapphire auto /50 and the Holo-Sapphire auto parallel /10.  I passed on both when they first hit the open market as I thought I'd track them down at a little lower price.  I was starting to doubt my decision as the cards dried up pretty quick.

Thankfully an extra one popped up in the collection of a fellow Linden fanatic and it's now found a new home.

A great addition.....and one that I won't soon forget about.

Monday, December 8, 2014

1 vs. 100 - An Unexpected Surprise

I was surprised to see a package delivered for me Sunday afternoon.  First off....who gets mail on a Sunday?  Secondly, What's this big cardboard package coming from a guy who was just to send a few cards?

It was like Christmas coming early.

Sadly, I had to wait the entire day before I could crack open the box.  I was just on my way out to volunteer at the Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss game.  Quick story on that.

I was working near the entrance door and the deal is that when the Hitmen score their first goal, everyone throws their teddy bear that they brought with them (to be donated to the local Children's Hospital and other fine charities).

Not a minute and a half into the game and I hear the goal horn.  It was bedlam.  Not only were 25,000 stuffed toys being tossed on the ice, but numerous late-coming fans were sprinting through the concourse trying not to miss the event.

I saw kids crying and parents apologizing.  I had to snicker a bit.  What were you guys thinking?  The one game you can't afford to be late to.

Anyways, I got home around 9:00 and was welcomed by my mystery package.

I cracked open the one end and could see that it was a book.  I like books.

The spine said "Mr. Hockey" and I knew right away what it was.  The newest Gordie Howe story.  I was excited because it was a book I had on the radar and not yet purchased or read.

I was even more pumped when I saw the sticker on the cover saying "Signed by Gordie Howe".  Oh man.....I was jacked.  How cool is that.

I can't wait to read it.

In addition to the book, I received some cards (some of which I knew were coming).  There was an additional card that had me confused at first.

I only saw the back and it looked like a San Jose base card.  I thought "Oh, must be extra packing  for protection".  Not quite.

2013/14 Panini Titanium
#312 Eriah Hayes Rookie  /76

Someone really had a bead on what my projects are.  This is outstanding.

It's been months since I've done a 1 vs. 100 post.  With only five cards left on the wantlist (and a passive approach to tackling the final lot), the project hit a definite lull.  But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in picking up a new add.

And this is the perfect card to add to the collection.  No-name player, (I'm assuming) an inexpensive card, a unique product design when included into the project, and obviously the numbering is key.

I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

And stay tuned as I show off the rest of my goodies (that did not sound good).  I'm really getting into the Christmas season now.

Thanks Kevin!

96 out of 100  (96%)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

HHOF AUTOS - Yet Another Upgrade

Trade night last Thursday brought with it......a trade.  A trade for another hard-signed Hall of Fame autograph.  It's an upgrade....but a no-brainer in my opinion.

Back in March, I picked up a number of signatures is a wild trading frenzy. frenzy, how about a shuffle?  No?

Included in the mix was a very nice looking Milt Schmidt card.  It was (and still is) the earliest card in terms of player induction that I have in the collection.

The card comes from the very popular Panini Classics Signatures set, one that has a few other representations in my project.

So when I saw this "upgrade" (I use quotes only because both cards really are fantastic) I decided to trade for it.  I like having some variety in the design and product releases.

Milt Schmidt
(Inducted in 1961)

The signature is outstanding.  A definite eye-catcher.  Lots of white space for Milt to nicely scribe his name.  Not too shabby of a photo either although he does have that eye of "What are you doing here?".

The Private Signings multi-product release was a definite fave of mine when it came out.  Such a robust checklist, hard-signed and my guy has two cards in it.  A Montreal version and a Vancouver...both are SSP's.  I still need the Canucks version.

Anyways, back to Milt.  Awesome card...thrilled to add it to the collection.  Now I have another double.

Anyone wanna trade?

Current Collection - 61 HOF Autos

Friday, December 5, 2014

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Treasure And A Diamond

Wow.  It's been a while.  Time is definitely flying as I'm in the final days of my 2014 work season.  The Christmas break can't come soon enough.

Did I just say that????

Nonetheless, things have been pretty quiet over the past couple weeks in the hobby world for me.  I've slowly started to nibble at the Artifacts tree and should have a little show and tell before too long.  I also picked up some cheap mask cards on ebay and am expecting them any day.  Again...look for some scanning.

But tonight was the final trade night of the year for one of the two shops that hold the monthly event.  I knew that even though it's been busy....I needed to make the trek out there.

And I'm glad I did.  I grabbed two more Linden cards for the collection.  One was a nice trade and the other came as a big surprise.

2014/15 Upper Deck
Black Diamond
#129 Double Diamond the surprise.  Linden has made his way into Black Diamond for the first time in almost a decade.  I did not see that coming.  But I like it.

This.......scan is of the base card.  Horrible.  But they look great in person.  I really like the photo Upper Deck used say for the fact that it's the exact same one that they threw on the UD 25th Anniversary Redemption giveaway at the Toronto Fall Expo.  Still, vintage Linden pics are always welcome.  That Cooper helmet rocks!

So what's the Black Diamond damage you ask?  Or even if you didn't....I'm going to tell you.

Five cards.  Ba-da boom, ba-da bing.

The base card, an Orange "Bonus Pack" parallel, A Star Rubies parallel numbered /50, an Emerald Auto (sticker) parallel numbered /10 and a Sapphire Auto (I'm assuming sticker) 1/1 card.

That should make for a nice chase and I'm already 20% of the way there.

If it were only this easy for all the products.

2014/15 Upper Deck
#TS-TL Treasured Swatches Jersey/Patch  /36

Speak of the devil.

Artifacts has ruined my wantlist with 19......NINETEEN cards.  And I've been very slow at getting the ball rolling with it.  Call it a protest, call it patience, call it lazy, call it a guy who's waiting for prices to drop.  Whatever it is, I just haven't been motivated to chase this ridiculous product insertion.

But I'll trade.  It was a super simple transaction that landed me this jersey/patch card.  But I think there's something weird with the patch.  I have no idea where this white piece comes from.  It's hard as a rock and feels kind of like plaster cast material.  It could be a misplaced stick piece but I'm stumped.

But it was a trade....I've got the card....all is good.

Monday, November 24, 2014

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Double Hit Of Patchy Goodness

I got home tonight to not one, not two, but three bubble envelopes.  I love a mailday like that.  One envelope was from an ebay purchase, one from a hobby board trade and the final one was a very kind gift from a fellow blogger.

I'm looking forward to going through everything and showing off a few of the cards too.

These two Linden cards go together well because they are both nice patches.  The one finishes off a product release for my pc as well (double...double whammy).  The other is one of these show 1/1 redemption cards that I'm learning to hate.  But since it was a trade, all ill feelings go by the wayside.

2012/13 In The Game
Decades 90s
#M-44 Game Used Patch Silver
2014 Toronto Fall Expo 1/1

How is it that a product that came out over a year ago gets the redemption treatment at a 2014 Fall Expo?  How is it that this product now has two versions (2013 & 2014) of redemptions produced and released?

I know....Johnny Crybaby.  But I just don't get the sheer volume of redemption cards that came out of the ITG camp earlier this month in Toronto.  Overkill is an understatement.

But, like I mentioned, I did pick this card up in a trade so I'm ok with this.  And the patch is really nice.  Three colors, vintage jersey....I'm in.

But I doubt I'll be in for many more unless the price is stupid good.

2012/13 In The Game
Forever Rivals
#M-41 Game Used Patch Red

Now this card on the other hand was a fun one to pick up.  Limited to just six copies, it was the last card from the Forever Rivals product (not including redemptions....hrmph!) on the wantlist.

When it popped up on ebay last week, I had to do a quick doubletake.  I wasn't sure if I was seeing what I thought I was seeing.  And to top it off, it had a pretty reasonable Buy It Now price.

But as nice as the price was, I felt that it should go for a little less.  Yes, the patch is nice, but if there was some red in would have been a slam dunk.  Instead, I put in a Best Offer to knock down the price.

I've been burned by this tactic before.  Good price, get a little greedy, wait for a response, someone else scoops in and buys it.  But this was a card that I thought wouldn't have as much interest.  It's from a product that's a couple years old, the patch isn't as strong and quite frankly, the market for Linden cards that aren't fresh off the assembly line just isn't as strong as it was a couple years ago.

I waited.....and waited.  The card auction sifted onto the second page on ebay, and I waited.  The longer things went, the more comfortable I became.

Late that day I got the e-mail saying that my offer had been accepted.  I was thrilled to pay what I did for the card and am equally happy now that it's in my possession.

Slowly but surely I'm crossing cards off.  They get added on the list quickly at times, but I've got the time to knock them off.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


It's been a long while since I've shared a card here worthy of a Cardboard Photography post.  But when I saw this gem in a trade box at last week's trader night, I just had to pick it up.

It's not a high-end card, it doesn't have all the swagger and sway of a patch/auto limited to 4 and it doesn't have an over-the-top card design.

It's simple, it's inexpensive, it's well thought out and it's very effective.

2012/13 Score
The Franchise
#OS4 Jean Beliveau

This is what an insert card from a low-end product should look like.  It's a total eye-catcher.  That vintage feel in the photo complimented by a simple top and bottom border (in a gorgeous green) with minimal gunk on the front.  Every single time that I see a card from this set laying out on a table or sitting in a trade box, I stop and admire.  That's what a hockey card should do.

Let's take a closer look at this photo.

Judging by the 'C' on Hawks' Pierre Pilote, this photo comes from the mid-60's.  While the focus is most definitely on Beliveau, one can't help to admire the "busy-ness" in the pic.

"Gentleman" Jean, Pilote and fresh cut John Ferguson are all clearly keeping an eye on the puck.  I love that there's a story in the photo and we are left to our imaginations as to what it might be.  The fans in the back are all sitting stoic in their (what seems to be mandatory) dark heavy coats, perfectly mannered in their attendance.

So what is the story in the card?  Well I found full 8x10 from where the card was cropped.

I was hoping for the puck to be trickling ever so close to the goal line.  Maybe a scramble or a desperate dive for possession....sadly no.  But this photo does reveal a little more than what's seen in the card.

Where are all the ads?  I miss the clean white boards.  Take a look at how tiny Denis DeJordy's pads are.  Love the ol' leather.  And the crowd....yup, they all got the memo.

While it might seem simple (or inconsequential) to some, I love how someone took the time to see this photo, identify that it would be a prime candidate for a hockey card pic and then go about finding the appropriate cropping and card layout.

Back to the card.

Speaking of about Beliveau's gloves.  Those are spectacular.  I could go for a pair of gamers for sure.  The tie-up sweaters that fit just right.  Minimal padding that don't make the players look like gladiator beasts (although Beliveau looks pretty intimidating even without the extra bulk).

And of helmets.  In the early 60's there were very few players who used head protection.  It's crazy to think about it now, but that's how they rolled.  Instantly identifiable, Beliveau just has the look and stature of a Montreal Canadiens captain.

One last note about the card layout.  Panini, who produced the Score brand for the few years they were in the hockey card business, has the presence of mind to make one simple design move that I think really finishes the card off nicely.

A quick comparison of what is and what could have been makes things crystal clear.

Simple and smart, but boy does it ever make a difference.

By just simply pushing in on the photo and letting Beliveau's head pop into the top banner area, the photo takes on a whole new context.

Don't get me wrong, the modified version of the right is still a nice looking card.  But less time is spent looking at Jean and more on the entire scene.  If the theme of the card was Montreal vs. Chicago....we'd have a winner.

But the name on the bottom says Jean Beliveau - and that's who you're looking at first and foremost.  That simple cutout tightens up the photo in the card just right.

A great looking card from an equally stunning set.  The next time you see one at the local show, take a moment appreciate it.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BEHIND THE MASKS - A Little Monkey Business

In addition to the Mike Modano auto I picked up yesterday, I managed a small handful of cards to add to various pc projects.  All the cards were ripe with solid photos and I even went bananas over a Beliveau.

You have to check back later for those goodies because right now I've got  a goalie mask to share.

Upper Deck's flagship product - Series I - recently hit the shelves for the 2014/15 season.  Known for its solid photography, this year's offering doesn't disappoint.  In's almost overkill.

I'm all for the fancy low-angle "look at what I can do with a camera" type shots, but every fifth card?  Or the exuberant celebration shot that can only represent the pain and agony that player must have gone through...I feel your suffering.  For about a hundred cards worth.

Just give me some good solid action shots.  Nothing overkill.  This isn't Abstract Photography 101.

Dynamic shots.  Unique angles.....UNIQUE.  And how about some closeups.

Yeah.....I like this.  Brian Elliott's days as a St. Louis Blues starter may be coming to an end (with the emergence of Jake Allen) but that doesn't mean he can't have a cool looking Upper Deck card.

And with me being a sucker for masks....this is just the type of card I'm interested in.  But I can't help but see something else in this mask card.  Can you see it?

For those of you who were around back.....way back at the start of 2011, I featured a gorgeous Jaromir Jagr card.  But what made me laugh the most was that I decided to superimpose the photo of Mullet McGee on a Canadian $5 bill.  Hilarious if I do say so myself (and definitely holds up to the test of time).

There's something about this Brian Elliott card that makes me think about.........

Eh?   C' saw it too right?

Take a second look.  That Elliott card could've been the poster for the big film reboot.

Here's the before.....

Totally works.

For a guy who can't seem to find enough hours in the day......I seem to have found one tonight.  Ah the wonderful world of sportscard collectibles.

Note:  I've just finished scanning over this post and am seriously considering NOT hitting "Publish".  What the heck have I just been doing??!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

HHOF AUTOS - This Is Definitely A New Addition

It has been a mighty long time since I've had an actual new addition to the HHOF Auto project.  And was due to a lack of trying.

Since the return from my summer hiatus, I've been to a few trade nights and a couple of local shows but just never saw anything that really made me want to chase a trade.

Well at tonight's monthly trade night....I managed to pull the trigger.

Mike Modano
Inducted in 2014

Like I said, this is truly a new addition.  As in last week I wasn't chasing this card.

Call me silly, but I feel like I shouldn't add to the wantlist until the actual Hall Of Fame ceremony has taken place.  Technically, they aren't a part of the Hall until then.

If I were to "work ahead", I could conceivably chase cards like Lidstrom, Brodeur, Crosby and Connor McDavid.  But I don't feel comfortable doing that.  It would feel like cheating and not give the respect to the Hall Of Fame project as a whole.

But Modano is in.....and now he's a part of my collection.  This Cup card is a perfect addition.  High-end card, beautiful signing space, great signature, solid photo (and with the team you'd want with him) and I made a fair trade for it.

What more can a guy say.  I hope all my future acquisitions for the pc are as smooth as the one tonight.

Current Collection - 61 HOF Autos

12 In 12 LEGACY - A Wild Stab For It

It's been a while since I have spent some time at the library doing some good old fashioned reading.  That was the goal tonight.

I was hoping to bring my nephew along since we recently picked up a new book for him to tackle (it's a tough go getting him to read on a regular basis....but he's normally game for a library trip).  Unfortunately, I was riding solo as he had a little bit of homework to tackle.

I took along a new book I was going to start, but found a title as I was browsing that made me call the ol' audible.  And it was short enough that I was able to flip through it from cover to cover in one sitting.

A Wild Stab For It: This Is Game Eight From Russia
Dave Bidini
109 pages

I like Dave Bidini.  He's a musician, writer, author and he's got an opinion.  I really enjoyed his book Keon And Me which I read back in 2012 when I pursued my '12 in 12' goal.  I've got a couple other titles by him that are sitting on the shelf......ready for me to read.  Ready.

For me to read.  At some point.

Anyways, back to this title.  I am a sucker for the content - the 1972 Summit Series, I am a sucker for Dave Bidini's writing and at 109 pages, I am a sucker for a short, quick read - especially tonight.

The story of what happened on the ice is very well documented but the angle this book takes is a collection of short, simple stories by different people Dave has talked to, and put into this collection.  Taking us through that final game on September 28, 1972.

While there were some interesting tidbits, I was a little disappointed by the overall tone of the book.  I was hoping for more of Bidini's voice in the read, but found it to be almost "notation-ish" (hey...another new word).  It felt like a collection of notes that were types up, organized and put into a book.  It lacked the character that I was anticipating.

Still, there were some interesting stories that I had never heard.  Like the night before the game when Ken Dryden was asleep and coach Harry Sinden was in the lobby of the hotel.  A reporter approached Harry and Sinden proceeded to ask if he could go check the bar next door to see if any of his players were still up (the coach not wanting to be seen as the bad guy).  A couple moments later, the reporter returned and said that if he were to wake up Dryden....they could have a team meeting.

Or the method of choosing the Player Of The Game (a lot different than today's instant Twitter feedback).  Just mail your choice to this PO Box address.  Snail mail....nice.

If you're a Canadian hockey fan, I think you'll enjoy this book.  It's got some good nuggets to it.  But it doesn't have that lasting effect some titles give.

3 out of 5

Here's an interview with Dave Bidini just after the book's release back in 2012, the 40th Anniversary of the game.

As well, I've also put my two cents down on this title on the book site Goodreads, under my username bamlinden.  You can follow me there if you like (I have my other 12 titles read in my '12 in 12' journey as well as some other books I've read over the past couple years.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

BEHIND THE MASKS - Two More Card Show Pickups

Went to the monthly card show yesterday.  Was hoping to land a few cards from this year's Artifacts.  After all, my guy has a bazillion cards in the product so there must be a few hidden in the cheap bins.  Right?

In fact, not a single table had any Artifacts.  Has the product dried up already?  Did nobody crack a single box?  Did I miss the bus in bidding on some decent priced Linden cards on ebay?

Note:  I always miss the bus.

There were a couple of noticeable absences and that probably had something to do with it too.  I hate to say that I kind of rely on the wax breakers to feed my Linden card cravings locally.  There's no way I can afford to both crack and chase.

I was batting the big .000 with what to do?


I normally sift through boxes looking for shiny things, cheap things, abnormal things and every once in a while I get rewarded.  Problem with a smaller, local, monthly card show is that the same stuff tends to sits on tables and in boxes month after month.

The sifting goes quicker and quicker each time.

But with nothing better to do on a Saturday morning and a huge desire to buy something, I decided to go through stuff a little more thoroughly.  And it paid off.

Nothing massive....but I did knock a couple cards off the wantlist.

Masked Men 5 might go down as my favourite mask set in years.  The sketch option instead of photos (some blurry and low res) definitely give the set a consistent look.  And the funky, shiny, laser-like red background looks cool both in person and via scan.  Win-win.

I really like Jonathan Quick's retro mask.  A tribute to Rogie Vachon.  Goes great with the purple and gold vintage uniforms they tend to wear on occasion.

Marc-Andre is another solid find.  Both cards were in a box way at the end labelled $3 each or 4 for $10.  I could only find these two that interested me so I bartered him down to $5.  I'm a stingy guy like that.

When I saw the Fleury, I remembered my first reaction to seeing this mask.  You can see that it appears to be a hockey card on the side of the mask.  A Tom Barrasso card in fact.

In this photo, you can get a better sense of what the paintjob looks like.  I knew I had seen that card before.  But it wasn't a dead ringer for the card I had in mind.

Huh.  Interesting.

There's no doubt that the card on the mask is this Barrasso Greats Of The Game.  But you can see that the ITG logo has been replaced by a Penguins logo.  Ironic since ITG doesn't have an NHL license and therefore can't use logos.  You can also see that a few liberties were taken in the color scheme and background designs.

Here's a link to an article better explaining the paintjob.  You can even check out the comments section where I just had to ask "So...did ITG give this guy permission to use the card likeness?"

In The Game gets razzed all the time for bending the rules, using logos in masks, whatever it may be, but the card on Fleury's mask is a toss right back.  In fact, if I remember correctly, Dr. Price did comment saying that no  discussion about the use of the card ever happened.

Kind of gives me a sour feeling towards the mask.

So we have an ITG card with a sketch of an NHL goalie mask depicting a goalie mask card of another ITG product modified with NHL logos.

Card shows can be so much fun.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Toronto Expo Pickups

You heard that right.....Toronto.....Expo.

I didn't go to the show, but that doesn't mean I can't walk away with some stuff.

It all started last month when I won a pretty decent round of Pack Wars.  This sweet Taylor Hall 3-color patch/auto was being drooled on by a local Hall collector.  He was looking to trade.....and I was looking for Lindens.

He told me that he was heading to the Fall Expo in Toronto and so I gave him my tradelist.  Fingers crossed he could land a big item.

I saw him this past week at another trade night and as the title says....I've got pickups.

2014/15 Upper Deck
25th Anniversary Young Guns Tribute
#UD25-TL 2014 Toronto Fall Expo Giveaway

I was pumped to see this card.  It was only given out to those at the show who opened up a tin of The Cup at their booth.  While I don't know what the production numbers are on these cards, I have yet to see another copy of one pop up anywhere.

Trevor Linden now has an Upper Deck Young Guns card.

His rookie card was part of the final OPC product prior to the "big boom".  Score, ProSet, Upper Deck and more all created an entire new world of collecting.  Ushering in the junk wax era, Linden's rc can easily be found for less than a buck.

But that wasn't the only Linden item coming my way from Toronto.

Next to his tradebox, there was a larger UltraPro box, housing a display case.  Inside was the item that would complete the trade.

Yessir!  This is an autographed game-used Vancouver Canucks glove.  Tons of usage and a gorgeous signature right in the sweet spot.

The Certificate of Authenticity looked less than what he felt was acceptable, so he had the glove properly authenticated and the paperwork will be arriving shortly.

Now the glove went for a little more than my Taylor Hall card, so a little evening up, and a thank-you handshake and we were done.

What I found to be the kicker is that he initially pulled out an Artifacts base card as a gag for me.  I got home and took a closer look at the card.

What do you think???  Could it be???

I'm gonna say yes......only becasue it would be the perfect way to end this story.

So thank you very much Craig for making the 2014 Toronto Fall Expo a very memorable one for me.

CONTEST - We Have A Winner

Well, the puck has dropped in the Toronto/Buffalo game (that was a mighty long pre-game) and so the contest has been closed.  I had 13 entrants with some great choices.  I really appreciate seeing some great info on some of the other "Good Guys" in sports.

But I'm sure you are all more interested in who won the mighty prize.

Up for grabs are five hard-signed Hockey Hall Of Fame autographs.  Bill Gadsby, Joe Nieuwendyk, Glenn Anderson, Alex Delvecchio and Luc Robitaille.

So I put all thirteen names into a list on, randomizing it five times.

And the winner is.......

Dave H

Congratulations Dave!!!

Dave wrote about David Clarkson and included a link to some of the great work he has done off the ice.  Nice job Clarky.

And thank you all for entering.  There were some names and efforts that I was unaware of until now and it really makes me feel good that some of the positive aspects of pro sports snagged a bit of the spotlight (even if it was just on my li'l blog).

Note: I did record the randomizing process and am happy to upload the video to Youtube should anyone like to see the process in determining a winner.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

CONTEST - One Of The Good Guys

Back in May I was the fortunate recipient of a fantastic act of kindness by fellow blog brother Casey over at House Of Oglethorpe.  He knew about my HHOF Auto quest (he in fact had amassed a pretty impressive collection of autos himself) and decided to send a few signatures my way.  Thanks again Casey for the great additions to my project!

Some of the cards he sent were upgrades to ones I already had in my collection (unbeknownst to him).  So now I have some extras.  And I knew what I wanted to do with the extras the moment I opened that bubble mailer all those months ago.

So today, I'm announcing - CONTEST!!!!!

Before I get into what needs to be done to win.....let's see what goodies are up for grabs.

Joe Nieuwendyk auto.  Maybe I'll do a spelling contest?

These Lord Stanley's Mug signatures look really nice and I have no doubt would be a fun set to build.

Glenn Anderson auto.  Maybe a Movember moustache contest?

These cards scan horribly....but look much nicer in person.

Bill Gadsby auto.  Maybe a hockey history quiz?

Love these autos from earlier HOFers.  Especially hard signed.

Alex Delvecchio auto.  Ooooooh...a penmanship contest?

Another great hard signed signature set for those looking to start a new project.

Luc Robitaille auto.  Maybe a "Six Degrees of Wayne Gretzky" contest?  I don't even know what that means.

Who else likes there Luc places the 20 in his signature?  Fun.

So that's FIVE hard signed autographs of Hall Of Famers.  And all of them will go to one lucky winner.

So what do you have to do to enter?

Well, earlier today I read a great article by 4-time Canadian Olympic medalist Adam van Koeverden, a 15-year member of the Canadian national kayak team.  He responded (very passionately and eloquently) to an article about A-Rod and drugs in sport.

It was yet another strong example of positive, ethical......good athletes in our sports.  Good people that we can look up to and take inspiration from.  Good guys.

The article reminded of a blog post I made years ago about Olympic speed skater Johann Olav Koss and his quest post-racing career.  Or Patrice Bergeron who has been a strong prescience in the NHL to a number of people.....I know of one for sure.

So for this contest, all you have to do to enter is post a comment on an athlete you feel is a "good guy" (or gal) and why.  I don't need a long book, just a short paragraph.  I want know about other positive athletes in our world.......and not THAT kind of positive.

So post your comment, make sure you don't post as "anonymous" as your  comment name will be your ticket to entry.  Obviously only one entry per person and I will keep this contest open until puck drop of next Saturday's Toronto/Buffalo game (so Nov. 15 @ 5pm MDT).

At that point, I will take all the names, put them into a randomizer ( and randomize 5 times (for the 5 cards up for grabs).  The name at the top of the list after the 5th randomize will receive all 5 cards.

I like saying 5 and randomize.

So good luck to all, I'm looking forward to reading your comments and thank you very much once again Casey for your kind generosity.  You're one of the good guys.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

STASHED IN THE CLOSET - Gretzky Retirement Coin

Saw this item tucked in the back of one of my shelves in my closet and was shot back a decade and a half.  It made me laugh as I had completely forgot I had one....

actually, I have four.

And of course it reminded me of a head-shaking time in my collecting life.

This is the Highland Mint Wayne Gretzky Commemorative Retirement Medallion (yeah....that's a mouthful).  It's made of solid nickel silver...whatever that means and is limited to at least 32,597 (so "not rare").

It obviously was released to celebrate the retirement of one of the greatest players ever to play the game.  So I had to have one right?

The coin is about the size of a half-dollar (or whatever these commemorative coins go for in size).  It's a common size.  The Gretzky etching on the front doesn't look too bad and I like the signature along the bottom.  It's a clean looking front and a pretty spiffy look all things considered.

The back is a lot busier.  I do like that the St. Louis logo has been included.  It seems like a lot of tributes and overall Gretzky "stuff" tends to ignore his brief tenure with the Blues.

A bit of a resume and some unnecessary official jargon finishes off this coin.

What made me laugh is that I got these coins (like I said...I have four) from my mom.  She used to be the AVON lady.  You know....make-up, the whole nine yards.  And there was a time when AVON sold NHL memorabilia.  At one time, I had a dozen of these coins.

I was able to get them at her cost, and then I'd try to flip them for a bit of a profit.  Looking back now....I'd be lucky if I broke even.

But she had stuff like metal cards (the 5-card Mario Lemieux collector tin), mugs, wall know, stuff that people really want.

This coin also reminded me of my obsession with all things Gretzky retirement.

I was so sure that anything about his retirement would garner big money, that I went and bought a couple dozen newspapers, magazines, you name it.  I think the newspapers went into the recycling and I might have a magazine or two kicking around.

I look back at my obsessive nature with Gretzky and just laugh.  What was I thinking?  I was clearly a couple decades late to the party.

BTW....I have a couple extra I'd be willing to sell.   :)