Friday, December 18, 2015

HHOF AUTOS - A Double Fist Pump Kind Of Day

Oh what a day!!  After a number of grueling weeks at work we finally said goodbye to the 2015 season.  Today was my last day until Jan. 11 and I for one can't wait to get into full relaxation mode.

Add to that, I caught up with my friend who was let go from his work duties a couple weeks ago.  It was great to catch up with him and he's in a really good place.  We're both looking forward to what 2016 can bring.

Add to that, I finished a good book today.  I'm happy to get back into the reading thing (it'd been far too long since I sat down and did some good page flipping).  It was a nice quick read and I finished it in a couple days.  Now I'm ready to tackle a new hockey book - Hockey Night Fever: Mullets, Mayhem and the Game's Coming Of Age in the 1970's......right up my alley.

Add to that, my niece and her high school marching band put on their Christmas performance tonight.  I always get a thrill out of watching her play music.  She even had a solo tonight that (dare I say it) took my breath away.  It was awesome.

Add to that (last one), I won $300 in said high school band's fundraising raffle.  Boo......yah!!!!!!

So I can say pretty confidently that I'm pumped.  Feelin' really good about things.

So I won't let the fact that my scanner crapped out on me get me down.  I improvised with my cameraphone.  Had to show off some cards from trade night on Thursday.

In addition to some new Linden cards (will show those off on the weekend), I landed two new autos for the HHOF hardsigned signature project.

Chris Pronger
(Inducted in 2015)

Yup....he's in the Hall Of Fame.  And I think he's still bringing in a decent salary from Philadelphia?  Arizona?  Who?  Don't know....don't care.  He's an anomaly when it comes to the contract rich players out there.

He'll never play another game again due to his career-ending eye injury, but his resume speaks for itself.

And he had a pretty good career on the ice too.  Hey-oh!!!!

I had tracked down a different Pronger auto that I was originally going to chase, but when I saw this beauty I had to swap it out.  This card is totally throwback.  Comes from 2000 I believe.  Not a big ticket card by any means so it was a painless trade.

Rob Blake
(Inducted in 2014)

Another one of those "Oh yeah....he's in the Hall" type of players.  I never really followed Blake's play much during his career, but he did have 777 points and a crapload of PIMs so he must be worthy.

This card was another one of those easy pickup deals.  Who needs a Rob Blake auto these days??  Not me anymore.

Both guys scribble it up nice - just past the time when autos were legible.  They both saw the dawn of the auto market in sportscards.  Too bad really.  It would've been neat to see what they're signature would've looked like if they took their time.

Nonetheless, it's two more to the archives.  Getting me closer to my goal of 100 hard signed HHOF hockey cards.

What a great day!

Current Collection - 67 HHOF Autos

Sunday, December 13, 2015

MY COLLECTION - Boom Boom.......Boom?

One last card to share from the big card show last October.  It wasn't a really lucrative weekend in terms of pc pickups, but I was happy with what I found.  And I'm also happy that I didn't splurge too much....although this card might go into the "What was I thinking" column.

1963 Parkhurst
#88 Boom Boom Geoffrion  PSA 2

I don't collect this set.  I don't really go after graded cards (especially PSA 2 grades).  I don't collect vintage Habs.  I don't really know why I picked this card up.

I saw it, was really trying to figure out why it graded so low and grabbed it for the $10cdn that it was priced at.  Heck, the cost to grade it is that much.

Can't deny that it's a nice looking card upon first glance.

The back shows nice as well.

Bernie was just 170 pounds??  He would definitely not last in the league at that size these days.

And I really want one of those exciting new hockey games.  A buck...and 10 wrappers???  The wrappers might be a little pricey these days.  Ha.

But back to the card.

When taking a closer look, it does show some surface stain and I think it's got a slight crease in the middle.  Drat.

I think keeping it in a PSA 2 holder will really do no good.  I'm seriously contemplating popping it out of its holder.  Maybe try to get most of my money back in a trade down the road.

After all, the card is over 50 years old.

Why I bought it???  I haven't the slightest idea.

Oh's not the worst impulse buy I've ever had.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

RAISE THE CUP - A Moment To Celebrate

It's been a slow go on the Cup Raisers front.  Just two new cards to add to the collection.  Truth be told, I haven't really been trying lately.  These ones just happened to pop up in front of me and I pulled the trigger.

note: I found a couple more at the monthly show today......ok, Captain Canuck found a couple - for me.  I'll show them off soon.

But that's what I love about this project.  I can go at my own pace - or no's just a fun set to add to and look at every once in a while.

2005/06 Power Play
Cup Celebrations
#120 Martin Brodeur

These Cup Celebration cards that are part of the Power Play sets are really nice.  I've got a couple others from the following year (I think a Lemieux and Modano) but this Marty is the first from the 05/06 season.

I really should do my homework and see just how many cards I can chase from these sets.

It was a great add that I saw, once again, at the big card show back in October.  Courtesy of one of the local card shops - Maple Leaf Sports.

It's been fun going to Darren's shop for trade night each month.  I'm really fortunate to have some good card stores in the city (even if his is a solid half hour drive).  He's tops at keeping an eye out for any Lindens I might need too.  Gotta like that.

Thanks Darren!

2014/15 Upper Deck SP Authentic
All-Time Moments
#190 Chris Chelios

Another nice card coming in from a good subset.  Once again, I should really check out how many of these All-Time Moments cards have Lord Stanley's Mug being raised.

This Chelios offering comes from another great shop in the city - Eastridge Hobbies.  And once again, they put on a great trade night each month.

I really am spoiled when it comes to what this hobby has to offer locally.

Doug and Mikey keep things pretty chill at their trade nights and I love the crazy topics that are sometimes discussed.

They too keep an eye out for this long-time Linden collector.  And it's really appreciated.

Thanks guys!

When I think about it, having these trade nights to go to, knowing that there are good shops in town and having a steady card show each month gives me many great options when it comes to participating in this hobby locally.  Not to mention the numerous fellow collectors that really make this card collecting world of mine a special one.

OK....enough gush.  I've added two more cards to the binder.  Woo hoo.

Current Collection - 123 cards

Friday, December 11, 2015


Way back in October I took part in the big card show being held locally.  We haven't had a card show this size in a couple years and so it was nice to see some new tables set up and spend a weekend hunting down some cards.

I even set up (for the first time in over a decade) and had a blast.  Made a decent chunk of change which has helped me buy some cards for the pc.

Like this one.

2014/15 Upper Deck
#GJ-TL Game Jersey

These "cheap" jersey cards always give me a rash when it comes time to chase them down.  I don't really want to buy them on ebay because I end up paying 5x the card amount in shipping.  It's just not worth it.

So I bide my time and wait....and wait....and search for in hopes of finding it locally.  And I tracked down this copy in one of the half price boxes.  Can't beat that.

I was bragging that I finally landed this oh so tough card.

Got home...went to cross it off the list, and I noticed this...


Well, it looks as if I already bragged about tracking down a card that look so similar to this one.  I couldn't even luck out and get a different jersey swatch color (for once white would've been nice).

So now I have a double.

I'm an idiot.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

PACK RIPPING - Canada Post Canadian Goalies

Well......after a rough few days I can say that I'm feeling better - much better.  While things are still pretty weird and crappy at work, I've started to turn the corner and am focusing more on my break coming up in a week as well as what the 2016 year will bring.

I spent some time scanning stuff tonight (trying to get caught up) and found this pack that has been sitting for a number of weeks now.

It's been almost a year to the day since I posted about a really cool stamp set put out by Canada Post.  Really nice looking "cards"....really, they're stamps but I'm never gonna use them.  I think they are a nice collectible to have that will one day be pulled out of the closet and blogged about when I'm in my 60's.

This year, Canada Post is back with a new set.  This time....goalies.

Yeah.....I'm all over this product.  This wrapper reminds me of a real cheap junk wax era pack rip.  Cool.

It's basically the same concept as before.  A six card pack, guaranteeing you a "complete set" with the shot of winning an exclusive autographed souvenir sheet in 1:40 packs.

I have no intention in actually using the stamps....but you can (how cool would it be to receive a letter with a massive goalie as a stamp)?

Let's see how they look.

Classic Ken Dryden.  A very good start.  It's a simple design that compliments last year's set.  Similar...but just different enough.

Man is he ever tall (for a goalie playing in the 70's).  His waist is almost at the crossbar.

And that mask is just a beaut.  Love it.

Bernie!!!  Nice to see a bit of an action shot ('s not spectacular, but it's better than a warmup/towel/skatearound pic).

What a cool mask too.  I should dig out my Time magazine that has his masked mug on the cover.

Done.  Watch for a future post on that.

I like the orange border around the card as well.  Matching is good.

Marty Brodeur is the most current player in this 6-card set.  It's a nice card, but it just doesn't fit for me (wait until you see all six cards before you judge).

Nothing really wrong with it....I just want a set that sits more in a certain era.

The China Wall.  What a great pic.  Fresh face ready to be pelted and stitched, leather pads and a glove that goes up to his elbow.  Absolutely no ads on the boards.

I like this card.

I like this Esposito as well, although I hope he saved the puck and isn't looking into the gaping net before the red goal light comes on.

I much prefer my Espo pics without the wire protection on his mask that he implemented in the 80's.

And, these guys wore little protection.

Speaking of....does this guy even have padding on under that jersey??

Great shot of Gump in his Habs uniform.  Sans mask (he was a stubborn one....only played a few games with it at the end of his career).  And he's so tiny (compared to Dryden).

You want to increase goal scoring?  Have the goalies wear this getup.

Anyways, I obviously didn't win any sort of autographed versions but I really wasn't expecting it.  I like that I've added this to my slowly growing Canada Post stamps collection.

Looking forward to seeing what they come up with next year.

Any ideas?

Monday, December 7, 2015

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Super Superlative just has not been kind over the past couple months.

Not to delve deep into my worklife here on my blog, but man I'm just down in the dumps humour me for a moment.

Three of us....busting our asses for weeks to meet deadlines, even when more and more gets added to the plate.  Trying to find the balance between doing a good job and not pulling 16 hour shifts to do it.

Finally over the past few days, we see the light at the end of the tunnel (a 4 week break for Christmas coming in the middle of the month) and they layoff the senior guy.  Out of nowhere.  He's put in 15 good years for the company and now - gone.

I'm stunned.  I'm saddened.  To be honest, I'm shocked it wasn't me (I'm the low guy on the totem pole in terms of years of service).

My whole perception of where I work changed tonight.  Things just will never be the same.

I came home just dazed and winded by the news (hasn't subsided in the least).  A bubble mailer sticking out of my mailbox.  Linden cards.

So I'm trying to not just wallow in the crappy news.  I scanned in the goods and am going to share.  Let's try and lighten the mood for just a few moments.

One of Leaf's latest hockey releases is Superlative.  Yes, once again it is a concept that comes from In The Game (and you can see the ITG logo in the upper corner).  I've seen some of the cards pulled and some are....super.  Some - not so much.

This Linden auto drifts into the latter column.  Yes, a nice hard-signed auto, but really....what's the end game here.  There's nothing really special with the design or photo (again....showing clearly some airbrushing of the logos).

It's numbered to 35 copies, but (like many cards these days), that's just a forced scarcity thing.  I definitely didn't pay a price indicative of a /35 card.

It was nice to cross this off the list cheap, but it was the accompanying card in the mailer that had me excited.

A Superlative Emblem.....or part of one.  I definitely am a sucker for the Canuck Place patch and when I saw this pop up, I kept a close eye on it.

Numbered to just 6 copies, it's more of a 6-piece puzzle.  Each one of the pieces is unique (obviously).  I've seen the 6/6 on ebay but I felt it lacked the excitement that this card had.  And seeing that the seller had that one priced higher....I passed.

It would be nice to build the full six pack, but only if the price is right.  Having one piece is good enough for me.

Of course it doesn't rival the pinnacle piece in my collection - the full patch I obtained a few years ago.  But what I do like about this card is that I can take it out of the one touch case and actually rub my fingers on the patch.  Yes, it may be cheesy.....but I think if you collect cards you know what I mean.

Well......that's my show and tell......I wish I could just hang in this world for a few weeks.  Thanks.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

MY COLLECTION - A Nice New Signature For The Trade Box

It was trade night at the local card shop tonight.  A bit of a lower key vibe from last month's offering.  In November, Upper Deck Series I was all the craze - and the hunt for Connor McDavid Young Guns cards.

This time around I watched a few boxes get opened, nothing by me (other than a couple fun packs of Wacky Packages....ahhhh, takes me back.  I may have to post about it).  But I did make one trade which brought in what I consider the top card in my trade box.

2007/08 Upper Deck SP Authentic
Sign Of The TImes
#ST-JT Jonathan Toews

When I walked into the shop, I was immediately asked if I had any Young Guns from this season's Upper Deck Series I.  I did.  And after filtering out the one card that the other person needed, I immediately started sifting his trade box for an on par return.

I didn't find anything that was in the ballpark, but did see this sweet looking Toews auto.  So I asked if there was anything else I could offer to even up the deal.

It didn't take long and the Toews was mine.

It was nice to make a trade and not bring in anything that'll go into any projects or collections of mine.  It was a trade so that I could have something different in my trade box.

Little did I know at the time that this card comes from his rookie season in the NHL.  Graded copies go for a good chunk of change.  Makes me want to take a closer look at this one.

Even if I don't get it graded, I think it's a super card to have in my arsenal.  I had a couple people look at it already.  So here's hoping I can parlay it into a Linden or two.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

OPINION - What Kind Of Rinky-Dink Operation Is This?

Alright.....I normally don't launch into a big "this sucks" rant when it comes to things.  Or at least I try not to.

I can appreciate that companies do their things, sellers do their things and collectors do their things.  To each their own.

But when I saw this card pop up on the open market today.....I just had to share my thoughts - about all of it.

NOTE:  The card scans come from ebay.  I do not own this card.

Leaf Trading Cards has, for the past year or so, taken over the "In The Game" releases, utilizing their name, logo and concepts.  We've seen In The Game Used, Superlative and now (most recently) Stickwork.

I thought the first incarnation of Stickwork was a decent product.  A great concept and some solid execution in certain areas.  But there was definitely room for improvement in my books.

This year, I've been less than impressed with what I've seen from the Linden front.  Your typical double player, triple player, quad player, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Nothing that really makes me go "wow"......

....I mean in a good way.


What an ugly card.

This Nameplates piece is currently up on ebay for anyone who wants to shell out the asking price.

I should be super-pumped as it's Trev's first nameplate card that I've seen .  But the number of things (IMO) "wrong"  with this card just turns it into something I can't wait to forget.

I get that Leaf doesn't have an NHL license and are therefore unable to use logos.  But rather than airbrushing out the crest and making it look like Linden is the captain of the practice squad, why not just zoom in a little more on the photo and have the cut window cover where the logo would be?

And "great" cutting job on the stick itself.  Off-center cut on the sides and top makes it looks like a practice job.  And why could they not just extend the stickpiece so that it tucks nicely under the cut window?  I have the huge urge to just pick that Linden sliver right off the card and fling it across the room.

And the overall design concept (or lack thereof)?  What the heck?!!  Who is in charge there?  Player name is off balance with the card itself, "basic" would be an understatement when it comes to the design elements on the front, empty space galore and a gold paint pen 1/1 just to top it off.

At least the back of the card pairs nicely with the front.....but that's not a good thing.

It's truly disappointing that a card that should generate a ton of excitement (the first of it's kind for this player) gets such a poor effort in design execution.

And to top it off.....and I'm sure I'll never land this card now if the seller reads this....the asking price.

A cool grand - in US dollars of course.

I laughed out loud when I saw that.  A fifth of his asking price might....MIGHT get me to think about it.  But even then, the exchange rate is just brutal for a big ticket card.  And I'm not looking at it from a "lowball" standpoint.  Having collected and paid for hundreds of Linden cards over the years, I'd like to think I have a bit of history when it comes to the value of his cardboard.

Linden Tax.......welcome back.  Ha.

Whoops.....sorry.  I can't believe I referred to this abomination as a "big ticket" item.

I'm just shaking my head all around.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Patch, A Parallel & A Perfect Ending

The past couple of months have been pretty slow on the Linden card front.  I've probably snagged about a dozen or so cards for the pc - with many of them being base, low-priced jersey cards and easy parallels.

I've been passing on a ton of ebay auctions...the exchange rate is just too brutal to justify grabbing cards that I KNOW will be there down the road.  Really, the cards I've grabbed have fallen into one of two categories - "Gotta have it" or "Lazy pickup".

These three cards I'm about to show you all go in the first category.

2014/15 Upper Deck Premier
Mega Patch - Chest Logo
#PMP-TL Team Canada  03/27

I absolutely LOVE these patch cards.  They are huge.  They are Team Canada.  And for the most part....they are reasonably priced.

I gobbled up the first one I saw hit the open market, but knew immediately after seeing it in person that it wouldn't be the last one I grabbed.

With this upper left portion of the maple leaf, I now have 4 of the 27 cards to build the entire crest.  I know that 4 others have been spoken for.  While I'm a realist and fully knowing that I won't be able to grab all of them, I'd love to be able to snag at least a scan of all 27.  It would definitely be cool to piece it all together - albeit digitally.

Neat story with this card too.  I saw it as part of a lot of cards on ebay a few weeks back.  I was considering bidding on them all (hoping I could then recoup my dollars by selling the other dozen or so cards included).  Well, I missed the end of the auction completely so I was devastated by that (I would have won it too).

So I e-mailed the seller hoping to find the winner of the auction and hopefully convince him into selling the Linden.

Well, less than a week goes by and I see the card up on ebay again.  This time by the new owner...and without 12 other cards surrounding it.

I had the alarm ready and bid at the end - winning it by a hair.

2014/15 Upper Deck The Cup
#86 Gold Spectrum  /5

I always cringe slightly when I learn that Trev is included in the high-end product The Cup.  This year however brought a bit of a smile.

He's got the ever popular base card /249, a Gold parallel (seen above), a Black 1/1, four printing plates, a beefy shield card (wow) and a Program Of Excellence triple auto (with Joe Sakic and Curtis Joseph) /3.

In sheer numbers, not many cards.  But most of them are going to be near impossible to obtain.  And I'm perfectly fine with that.

It's when there are 12-15 cards that are mid-range that I get a little antsy.

So when I saw this gold parallel pop up - and with a very fair price IMO, I jumped at it.

Might be the only one I pick up from this product (other than the regular base card), but again....fine by me.

2002/03 Be A Player Signature Buyback
#129 99/00 Millennium Signature Series

Last - and most certainly not least - this simple signature card.

It does look that way doesn't it?

But it is not.

This card has been on the wantlist for over a decade.  It's the first time I've ever seen a copy of it.  The moment I saw it posted on ebay....I honed in big time on it.

I even e-mailed another Linden collector to confirm what I was seeing was real.  And I e-mailed the seller to do the same (and see if he had any others).

This card is different than the original auto card from that set in the sense that it has a Signature Buyback stamp in the upper right corner.  Be A Player released 5 (maybe 6) cards of Linden in this fashion back in 2002/03....using cards dated from 1998 to 2002.

I had picked up three of these cards years ago and the others have sat on my list ever since.  In fact, I have a note questioning the existence of one of them since it has never been seen by anyone.

Anytime I see that foil "X" in the upper corner.....I go to the list.  And this time it showed that I needed it.

So how excited was I when I landed this card?  To put it bluntly...I'm more giddy about this card than any other Linden I have picked up this year.

And that's a bold statement.

More than the mega patches, more than the rare numbered cards, more than the shiny green parallels, more than the blank backs, more than the 1/1's and even more than the 11-year-old Red parallel that eluded me for so so long.

More than all of them.

I could honestly say that this is the Linden Card Of The Year and it wouldn't be a stretch.

Hmmmmmm.......I might have to start prepping another post.

Monday, November 30, 2015

WALLET CARD - Getting Caught Up

Yes.....finally.  I have scanned some cards.


I sat down tonight with the goal of getting a little more caught up with my player collections (confirming checklists, noting 1/1 pickups and seeing just what I've managed to snag in the over the last few weeks).

Rather than dive into my Trevor Linden collection, I thought I'd ease back into the scanning and sharing world with my #WalletCard goodies.

While I've been way more relaxed lazy with my #WalletCard twitter feed, I still am having a fun time searching for....and snagging the odd Oscar Gamble card.  The last few weeks have brought in a four-pack of Gamble goodness.

This 2015 Topps Archives Fan Favourites auto is the silver parallel /199 (and I just realized that I have the 001/199 that's some sort of bonus or win - right?)

When I saw this product come out and noted that there were a few auto parallels to the regular base signature, I knew that I'd have to be real patient in order to get them at a price I'd be happy with.

The silver cards were initially going for over $40us.  Not a chance.  Even at half that I'm passing.  But the patient bird gets all the worms.

I saw an ebay auction for this a couple Blue Jays autos from the same product.  Yes....the ever popular multi-card lot.  I had a friend with a US address bid for me and ended up winning the three cards for the price I'd have happily paid for just the Gamble.

I like deals like that.

So now I've got this great silver parallel crossed off the list and a pair of solid traders sitting in the tradebox that should recoup all my costs on the lot.

Who are the Jays you might ask?  Tony Fernandez and Devon White (I believe the Fernandez is the silver parallel too).

This was a fantastic surprise from Captain Canuck.  I like that he likes my #WalletCard project.  He's already shipped a few cards my way.  But this one really takes the cake.

Not because they used the same photo as the previous card...but because of the beautiful silver foil that reads UD PROMO.

When I first saw this card I thought maybe it was the signature version...but in all honesty, this is the much better version.


This card wasn't even on my radar.  Not on my master checklist.  Not one I would have even thought of looking for.

A true rare find in my books.

Huge thank you to Captain Canuck.  Always a pleasure doing business with you.

But his generosity didn't stop there.  Included with the promo card was this gem.

A perfectly off-centre 1985 Topps offering.  Nice fuzzy text and a horrible photo.  It's so ugly that I love it.  The back of this card has the typical dark Topps cardboard that's near impossible to read.

I swear, if a card could have patina....this one would be dripping with it.

And yes, it's one that would be overpriced in a dime box, but it'll go down as a card with a story in my collection.

Thanks again!

This last one goes down as the "big purchase".  A whopping $10.  It's not in mint shape but I think it fits perfectly into what I want this collection to be.  I love the centering on the card (I've seen many that look real bad) and it's clean of creases or marks.

It's a 45-year-old card.  That's what I wanted.

This pre-fro rookie card of Oscar features Boots and Angel along side.  It's the oldest baseball card I own and I love the fact I've crossed off the first card on the list.

A easy purchase if you ask me.

I've been going pretty slow with this project.  So many of these cards I could pick up with ease (and cheap) by heading to a COMC or Sportlots, but I want this to be fun.

So I am picking and choosing.  What I really need to do is go to a show in the US where there will be more baseball.

One day.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Holy cow......blogging just hasn't been in the cards lately for me.

I was all excited to show off some of my Linden cards, Oscar Gamble cards, Raise The Cup cards and more.....but the cold from hell destroyed me in November (and work).

One day after my last blog post I ended up with a fever and the oh-so-fun shakes.  It drained me of all energy and it's taken pretty much the whole month to recover.  This one was a doozy.

It doesn't help that work has been busier than ever - in fact, it's the busiest November I've seen in the 7 years I've worked at this company.

But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.....or the train comin' right at me - one of the two.

I just wanted to say 'Hello' and that I will have some stuff to show off soon.  Promise.

In the meantime, I'm going to share a quick concept I came up with (since I don't want to scan cards tonight.

OK.....with November being Movember month and guys growing out their moustaches, I think that one of the card companies should capitalize on it.  But I think it should be done a little more uniquely than just some photos and a simple design.

Hockey cards have mildly embraced the sketch card concept that has exploded in the non-sport world.  There are some great artists out there doing tremendous work.

I think there should be sketch cards of players sporting their 'stache inserted into a product like UD Series I (which came out at the start of November).  I think it would create some cool "long shot" pulls and the resulting sketch cards would be (I think) pretty desirable to chase.

You could even find a way to incorporate a way to generate funds for charity.

Well......what do you think?  Am I still "sick in the head" or have I finally come to my senses?

Sunday, November 1, 2015


I don't know if that's a record or something, but boy was the month of October busy.

Work has been the ever-constant gong show, I was sick for a week and I set up at my first card show in over a decade (details on that day to come).

But I'm really focused on my nephew's video game marathon next weekend.  Saturday, Nov. 7 he will be taking part in an all-day gaming experience - all for charity.

He is raising money for the Alberta Children's Hospital.

I'm here today to let you all know that I have some great giveaways to help garner support.

Check out our Kyle 4or Kids blog page for details.

Every bit helps get us closer to our goal of $700us.

Thanks for your time!!!

And I promise more posts in November.  :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

HOCKEY POOL - Charity 50/50 Hockey Knockout Pool

UPDATE:  The pool is officially up and running.  If you'd like to join, please go to the Kyle 4or Kids blog and send me a comment with your e-mail address.  The pool begins on the first night of games so you have a little over a week to get your sheet filled out.  Thanks!

I'm going to try something new this year.  I'm going to host a hockey knockout pool with half of the proceeds going to my nephew's fundraising drive.  I was in a similar one last year and think it can be a fun way to get the hockey season going.

I will have more information in the next day or two, but if you like hockey pools (or donating to a charity), this might be a great match for you.

What I can say is that it's not a player draft or anything like that.  In fact, you don't NEED to have a huge hockey knowledge base to participate.

The more entries received, the bigger the winner's pot will be.....and the more that gets donated to the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Stay tuned.


For those of you who have checked out my blog for a while now, you might remember a fundraising quest my nephew and I took on last year.

Well....we are back for another year with loftier goals.

"Kyle 4or Kids" was a blog I created for my nephew Kyle and I to get our message across.  And what is that message?

We are raising funds for the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Ny nephew isn't doing a 5k run or a math olympics (boy...that would be fun), or baking cookies.  No, he's partaking in a huge 24 hour video game marathon on Saturday, November 7, 2015 organized by Extra Life.

Last year we came oh so close in hitting our $500 fundraising goal.  We raised $440 (and a huge THANK YOU to all who donated).  That was a big number in our eyes.  But we're going bigger this year.

$700 is the number set by my nephew.  Can we do it?  Absolutely.

So bear with me as I try and solicit some donations or even just some awareness.  I'll do my best to put on a contest or two to try and entice you as well.

Thank you for your time.

Friday, September 25, 2015

RAISE THE CUP - Eric Staal....And You're Welcome

When I started this "Raise The Cup" project a number of years ago, it was purely for fun.  Finding cards that capture that pinnacle moment in player's career.

At the time I thought there would be some odd inserts and base cards depicting players hoisting The Cup over their head, but I never would have imagined the boom in the evolution of this great concept.

After seeing Panini come out with their sets showcasing Cup winners (and using many photos showing the Cup-raising moment), I got a little excited.  After all, it clearly must have been my project that provided the inspiration.  Ha.

I've seen a good 4 or 5 different subsets or insert sets come out over the years and slowly I thought "Hey, quit cramping my style."  Ok, maybe not...but the project I started began to feel a little different when all of the sudden the market become a little more flooded with Cup-raising cards.

I think that's part of the reason why I've tended to avoid those sets.

Fast forward to this past weekend where I found a card - from a set - that might have just hit the jackpot.

2014/15 Upper Deck Premier
Signature Champions
#SC-ES Eric Staal auto  /99

What can I's a gorgeous card.

Fantastic photo, solid design, hard-signed auto, reasonable numbering.  This card has it all.  In fact, it perfectly parallels an idea I had for a custom TTM project (which I think I'm going to contemplate a little more).

A quick look at the checklist for this set shows that there's some beef to it.

A total of 24 cards, some numbered to /99, some /50, some /25 and the biggies /10.

Guys like Staal can be had for a few dollars while I'm sure the Messier (ugh) or Gretzky will command a whole lot more.

I contemplated building the set....until I looked at the checklist.  While it would be fun to chase, the fun might wain when it comes to the heavy hitters.  So I'm happy with this Staal being the representative in my binder.

And to all the companies that have used the "Raise The Cup"'re welcome.

Current Collection - 121 cards

Thursday, September 24, 2015


There are some cards that hit the market where I think "I'll be able to find this one locally."  It might take a few weeks, a card show or two, maybe a trade night - but I'll find it.

That attitude comes from the refusal to pay double, triple, or even more in shipping costs to secure a low priced Linden for my collection.  I just can't justify it.

It'll show up eventually - right?

Well, sometimes I ask myself if it will ever show up.  And I get more perplexed when I see dozens of other cards in the set....but no Linden.

Last weekend I finally crossed one off the list.

2014/15 Upper Deck
#GJ-TL Series I Game Jersey

Took long enough - but I finally gotcha!

I'll start by saying that this might be my favourite design when it comes to the Upper Deck flagship jersey card designs.  Full player shot, vertical aspect and a nice die-cut shape.

I've seen 4 or 5 different color swatches in the dozens and dozens of Linden cards I've passed by on ebay.  Again....not gonna pay $5 on a dollar card.  And I've considered chasing one of each color (I did that a few years back).

But after realizing it's taken nearly a year to secure this Linden, maybe I'll leave it at just that.

One and done.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WALLET CARD - Card Show Pickup

I got excited earlier in the baseball season when I saw tweets showing the great Oscar Gamble signing his Topps Archives cards to be then inserted into the product.  A few more cards on the wantlist and the longshot chance of pack-pulling one of his signatures.  Sweet.

I bought a couple packs when the product came out (yeah....I gave myself no real shot at hitting a Gamble) and was shocked to find a gold border Harold Baines sig /50.  I stopped busting packs after that.

But I heard soon after that a local collector pulled the popular Gamble auto and I knew he sets up at the monthly card show.  Sure enough, it's the first card he mentioned when I saw him on Saturday.

He pulled the card out of one of his boxes and flung it my way.  I was very excited at the chance to land another Oscar Gamble auto locally....but was a little cautious initially.

The card was priced - and priced high.  $25.

Now I'm more than happy to pay a little bit of a premium to secure a card locally or buy off of a person whom I've done many transactions with in the past, but I'm talking a couple bucks.  This card consistently goes for $5 these days on the open market.

I let the card sit for a bit while I checked out his other offerings.  Eventually, I had to ask - "Are you firm on this price?"

To his credit, he immediately went to the trusted interwebs and checked the completed sales on ebay.  He knew quite quickly that he had overpriced his card.

He threw out a new number (which is the same number I had in mind) and the deal was done.  Easy peasy.

2015 Topps Archives
#FFA-OG Fan Favorites Autograph

Awesome card.  Super happy to add it to the growing collection.  But even happier that I was able to pick it up in person.

We chatted about that component of my Oscar Gamble pc.  I told him that Gamble had about 150 cards out there and most were simple base offerings.  If I really wanted to, I could drop $100 and snag the bulk of his cards out there.  But where's the fun in that?

Living in Canada, the card shows here are mostly hockey related, leaving in-person Gamble pickups a tough task.

So I explained that I'm going about things a little slower - and am having a real fun time doing so.  Finding cards locally is so much more fun than "click, click, click, click, click".

Now, will I be able to find the silver or gold parallel of this Topps card?  Not likely.  There will always be a place for the online shopping world in my hobby.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

VOICES OF THE GAME - Mike Lange And Company

One of the benefits of a massive loonie table at the card show is that you never know what you might find.  Case in point, I added three new cards to my 'Voices Of The Game' collection.

I work in the sports media industry and I've always enjoyed good broadcasting and good commentary.  My dream job would be to work for the NHL as an editor, building award-winning documentaries about anything and everything hockey.

So when Panini introduced the Voices Of The Game autographed cards a number of years ago, I thought they were pretty neat.  It took me a few years before I stumbled on the Dick Irvin sig that started it all, but better late than never.

Now I've seen a number of these inserts sitting on tables and posted online, but really, I'm just looking to land a card here and there when the price is stupidly low.  Just for fun.

I mentioned that loonie table right?

Well scratch my back with a hacksaw!

Mike Lange will be forever known for his "Lange-isms" as they're called on the back of this card with the all-time great "Beat him like a rented mule" leading the charge.

I've never really taken a close look at the checklists to any of these sets, but in my eyes, this Lange is one of the must-haves for any broadcasting signature product.

And at just a single (Canadian) dollar, it was yet another no-brainer.  In fact, I snagged both copies I found that day.

But that's not all.  This Randy Moller card is.....Mollery.

What can I say, I don't listen to Florida games and so I didn't even know he was a broadcaster.

But points to me for knowing that he did play in the NHL in the 80's (Quebec I believe).  So there's that.

But that's about it.

Joe Beninati.

I might have overpaid on this one.

Three more autos for the collection and I've almost doubled the size of this project in one short, inexpensive day.

Current Collection - 7 cards

Monday, September 21, 2015

OUTSIDE THE BOX - Card Show Find Of The Year

When I go to any card show, I (obviously) am on the lookout for anything that might fit into one of my collecting projects.  Linden cards, goalie mask cards, Cup raisers, Oscar Gamble, goofy looking cards, you name it.  Sometimes I don't even know I'm looking for it until I find it.

But I also keep a keen eye on what might be the proverbial diamond in the rough.  Something that might be priced way too good to be true, or have some sentimental hook to it.

And then there's just the flat out cool.  Normally that stuff commands a pretty high price tag.  But cool can also mean "old school".

I saw a few boxes of "old school" on a seller's table at last weekend's card show and stopped everything that I was doing to investigate.

Have I got your attention?

This is a box of 1980 Topps oversize baseball.

Living in Canada, I've never seen one of these before.  I remember the OPC hockey oversized cards that came out around the same time.  I even had a set at one point (sold it.....stupid, stupid, stupid).  This is the same idea.

There were about a dozen or so of these boxes stacked with a $10 price tag attached to each one.  The boxes were not sealed so I cracked one open to take a look.

Yeah......I'm buying this.

Raise your hand if you love the "helmet over the cap" look?

What!!!????  Nobody?

Still, it's Willie Stargell.  Done.

A quick scan of the box and I discovered that it was a complete set.  I went back a few minutes later and bought a second one.  Heck, I seriously considered buying about 5 or 6 of them.  But 2 will suffice.  One for me and one for sale/trade.

I took the time to scan a few of my faves (actually, all 60 cards are hard to beat).  Here are some of the sweet selects.

I'll use the George Brett to show you the comparison in size to a regular baseball card.

Looks like the photos could've been taken on the same day.

Geroge looks like he's gnawing on the pine tar he's about to use on his bat.  What a great moment.

If Oscar Gamble is "King Of The Afro", George Foster is definitely the master of the sideburns.  Those chops are deadly.

Take a moment to look at the entire photo - on all of these shots.  There are some great signs of the time to be ingested.

Keith Hernandez - pre-Mets, pre-Seinfeld.

Great jersey.

My name is Phil.  I'm an athlete and a pro ball player.

Holy spectacular!!!

That jersey.  That cap.  That hair!!!!

Now this is a pitcher.

Shame that you can't see more of these spectacular Astros jerseys of the day.  As a Vancouver Canucks fan, I can definitely appreciate a good lookin' jersey.

note: the JR Richard later in the set gives you a good look.  Sweet!

This is the same guy that's managing the Giants?


Hey, A cleanly shaven Bruce Sutter.


Pill box!!!!!!

Kent Tekulve is rockin' the shades in what is one of the all-time great baseball looks.



I forgot that San Francisco donned these gems as well.  Spectacular.

And another great jersey.

Agenda for the day...

Get dressed
Go to the ballpark
Get photo taken
Wake up
Cancel barber appointment
Play ball

My name is Gorman.

It really doesn't get much better than this does it?

It does.

Now THAT is a batter's helmet.

It's all good in this photo.

Oh my.

I kid you breath was literally taken away when I uncovered this card.

Take a moment to look at this photo.

The youth and enthusiasm in his eyes.  The darting smile.  The perfect signature.  The clear blue sky.  The Expos colors.


A tremendous card.

Now me being a good Canadian boy, I was curious to see not just the Expos offerings, but the Blue Jays.

So who do you think got the call for this set?


How about Rick Bosetti.


Career batting average of .250 with 17 home runs and 133 RBIs.

To be fair, he did play in all 162 games in 1979 and must have made an impact with his league leading assists mark.  He did also lead the league in errors that year.


Well, there's gotta be a couple of these in every product.  Overall though this is one heck of a spectacular find.  Worth every single moment.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

MY COLLECTION - First Card Show Of The Season

I had yesterday circled on the calendar for quite some time.  After a long summer of work - and a little bit of relaxation - I was eagerly anticipating the start of the monthly card show season.

I've been going to this same card show for over 15 years...probably closer to 20.  It's not a big show in a fancy hotel conference room or huge community centre, instead it's in the main foyer of a rec centre complete with hockey rink, curling sheets and squash courts.

I've always enjoyed the vibe that this building has given me.  Maybe I'm just enjoying the longevity and familiarity of it, but I look forward to going each and every time it's scheduled....and I get bummed when I can't go because of other commitments.

It used to be every other weekend back in the day - when card collecting was in a major boom phase.  Now it's monthly.  And while I still feel that it is a popular destination for the many regulars that head out to sift through boxes of cardboard, I always get a little antsy about the support and interest these smaller local shows have.

I fear that one day these shows will be gone, and we will be left to the odd bigger show and the constant "sitting in front of the computer" to satisfy my hobby cravings.

Support your local shows.  You don't know what you've got until it's gone.

Now that the PSA is out of the way.....let's talk about the fantastic day at the show.

It was great to see some familiar faces and some new tables set up.  And while many had their familiar offerings of card laid out, I did see some diamonds in the rough.  A quick scan of the place would make it look like all things stayed the same.....but not so (Captain Canuck, I'm looking at you).

I managed to pick up a tremendous smattering of cards for numerous projects (I'll share them later this week) and a couple of fantastic finds that prove if you're willing to'll get rewarded.

I'll use this post to share a small sample of the biggest haul of the day.  We'll call this the "Buck A Card" table.

One seller consistently has numerous boxes filled to the max with anything from jersey cards to autos to rookies to inserts.  The usual offering at many shows - but not this time.

Normally there are some signs indicating how much the cards are worth. But most boxes were sans signs.  So I asked.  And I got a pretty easy response...


Uh....just these couple boxes right?

No - all of them.


Even this box?  (where I'm scoping out a number of juicy parallels)



Let the digging begin.

This Sidney Crosby black border parallel is numbered /50.  It was a no-brainer.  And neither were the other 8 black border parallels that included Mats Sundin, Dominik Hasek, Marty Brodeur and Jordan Eberle (jersey numbered to boot).


Pavel Datsyuk Ruby parallel from Black Diamond /50.  Yes please.  Goes well with the M.A. Fleury and Corey Perry from the same set.


Alex Galchenyuk red border redemption card from OPC looks good.


Cal's 'stashe is killer in this photo and accompanies a nice hard-signed auto on a card /25.  Picked up a Craig Smith /25 from the same set.


I've always loved the Social Signatures concept.  And this particular offering is the closest to perfection any of those sets achieved.  Some good hard-signed autos.  I picked up a total of 10 from the set.


Ryan Kesler retro from OPC.  Beauty.  You know where this is going - right?

Blank back.


It scan like crap but looks like gold - and it is.

This Al MacInnis ITG Draft Prospects First Round Picks card is the gold parallel - one of just 10 copies available.  I couldn't get it into the pile fast enough....and was secretly hoping for more of these.  But no luck there.

Still, for a Calgary Flames card of one of their all-time greats, limited to just 10, sitting in a dollar box....easy decision.


Maybe one of the greatest signatures in the game (no offense to the Beliveau's and Richard's or Howe's) but the consistent penmanship and strong elegance just shines on this Gilles Gilbert gem.

I grabbed both copies I could find.  Along with a few other veteran goalie signatures.


All totaled, I stacked up a pile 80 cards high.  Was not planning on that at the start of the day.  But it serves many purposes.

I made the decision to set up at the biggest card show to hit the city in a number of years next month.  It's been a good decade since I've sat on the other side of the table.

After designing the posters for the event, I was given the opportunity to secure a table at the show as payment for the work.  I hummed about it for a few weeks thinking "Do I have enough stuff?", "Do I have time to get everything ready?", "Do I want to invest the time behind the table at the show instead of enjoying the weekend as a potential buyer?"

It wasn't until I talked to a co-worker who thought I was crazy not to take advantage of the situation.  And now knowing I'll have a little help in tending the table.....I'm taking the leap.

These new additions to the trade box will help go a long ways in making my table a little more respectable.  And no - I'm not looking to get top dollar and maximize my profit.  Heck, if I can double my money I'll be thrilled.

What these cards will also do is give my monthly trade night trader box a much needed overhaul.  It's pretty boring seeing the same stuff each time out.  And yes....I am very aware of that.

So...a terrific start to the card show season.  And I've got much more to share over the next little while.