Thursday, January 29, 2015


Just for kicks, I decided to see when the last time was that I built a custom card. Answer...almost TWO YEARS!!!

One of the things I told myself I'd do this year is get back on the custom card making wagon. I've got a couple projects that require my attention (sorry about that people), I feel like I've got a little more motivation to do it and (most importantly) I really enjoy the art of creating a sportscard.

I've seen some pretty spectacular customs created recently (to the point where the lines are getting blurred between what is actually licensed and what is made in someone's own home.  It's been inspiring.

But I think what really got my juices going again was this little signature...

Wow.  Ken Dryden.

This signature came from a local collector who asked if I could do something with it.

Could I?

You don't see it in the scan, but the signature is on a glossy paper (almost like it's been laminated.  That said, the signature is solid and just the right size for a cut auto card.

Here's the graph in context to an actual card.  I didn't have a Dryden handy so I am using his fellow teammate Guy Lafleur.  Y'know...the dude with the helmet - cuz that's how we all remember him.  Yeesh.

Anyways, this signature will work quite well both in a vertical design or horizontal.  Now the big question is what do I come up with?

And to give myself a little more motivation, I'm stating it right here, right now.  I intend on having this card designed, printed, cut and assembled by the end of February.  No excuses.

Let's get this thing done!

Monday, January 26, 2015


When I was a kid going to school, that used to be the comeback of all comebacks when we couldn't come up with anything clever to say.

Nice pants!

I don't know why that has stuck with me all these years, but I snicker when I hear someone say it as an honest compliment, and it was the first thing I thought of when I saw my latest Linden addition.

2012/13 BC Children's Hospital
#NN Jeans Day card

After waiting a couple years to finally own a copy of this local release, I was able to trade for the complete 5-card set.  I already owned the 05/06 postcard, the 06/07 release and the 07/08 to complete the trifecta of his "playing days" contributions.

This 12/13 card is part of a set that includes past Canuck Captains.  Orland Kurtenbach, Stan Smyl and Henrik Sedin make up the quartet, each wearing an appropriate-era jersey.  The fifth card is of mascots Fin and Sunny Bear (Canucks and BC Children's Hospital respectively).

What really caught me off guard was the size of the card.  The previous three Linden Jeans Day cards were all oversized (postcard-type) and I was fully expecting this 2013 model to be the same.  But when I saw the envelope I knew that wasn't the case (or the guy folded them up nicely).

No, these are your traditional 2.5 x 3.5 inch cards.

Rgardless of the card size, I really like the looks of this one.  The "C" on the right hand side is a silver foil (that just so happened to scan in as a yellow and  It's a simple design, but the color breakdown really compliments.

A great mailday to be sure.

But that's not all the Linden's to show this post.

2014/15 Upper Deck Artifacts
#31 Jersey and Stick  /75

This was a card I traded for (along with a pair of HHOF autos) at last week's trade night.  I knew this Linden was in his trade box, but I didn't have any Wings cards to offer up at the time.  Last week I went prepared though and the deal was quick and easy.

At 75 copies, this is one of the most common cards left on my 14/15 Artifacts quest.  I'm about halfway done and the road is going to get bumpier the further I go.

2014/15 Upper Deck Artifacts
#31 Gold Spectrum  /25

Thankfully, this Gold Spectrum card popped up on ebay at a time where I think a lot of people just weren't interested in chasing it.  To get it for less than what I've paid for /25's from other years makes me think two things.  First, it's January - fewer buyers.  Second, the Canadian dollar is horrible right now and fewer people are buying from the US.

This card came from a Canadian seller on ebay, but when I view cards it's in US dollars.  I'm starting to get used to figuring out Linden values using that guide (which makes buying locally....and in CDN dollars all the more better).

A good week overall for the Linden collection and I know there's going to be more to come.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

WALLET CARD - Oscar's A Cover Boy

For those of you who haven't been following the wacky adventures of my #WalletCard on Twitter.....what are you thinking???!!

In all honesty, there hasn't been too much going on.  A trade night, a tarantula and a trip to the library.

I'll admit, I'm not pulling this photo out of the wallet to shoot just anything and everything.  But I am aware that a handful of tweets/posts per week is warranted.

And....I'm having fun with it.  I know I picked the right card.

When I initially chose this 1976 Topps Oscar Gamble card, it was because it had a bit of sentimental value to it.  Plus, it's just one heck of a sweet photo.  But I've discovered in just the couple short weeks I have been participating in #WalletCard, Oscar Gamble and his 'fro have more of a following and admiration than I anticipated.

I decided to do some searching up on Gamble and stumbled across this fantastic video done up by author and journalist Dan Epstein.  It's a must watch.

"The copious circumference of his coiffure." ???!!! Writing does not get any better than that.

I immediately became a Dan Epstein fan.

I did a little more digging and learned he has written a couple baseball books.  I tracked one down at the library today.

Oscar "Coverboy" Gamble thinks it's worthy of being my next read.

I wholeheartedly agree.

I thought his 'fro on the front of my card was crazy cool.  That photo on the cover of the book is legendary.

I did a little quick flipping (to the pictures of course) and look what I found.

Now I'm definitely reading this.

I think Oscar might enjoy playing the part of bookmark for this one.  Or does that create some sort of "conflict of interest"?  This #WalletCard thing is so complex.  :)

Be sure to keep up to date with the latest and greatest from Oscar Gamble...#WalletCard.  You can follow him on Twitter by clicking on the '76 Topps card at the top right of my blog.

Keep having fun!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

HHOF AUTOS - Three In, Only One Off The List

I went with a plan.  I went to last week's trade night with serious intention.  The trade for at least one new HHOF auto.

It had been a good couple months since I added a fresh face to the project.  Lately, the word "upgrade" has been used.  And while I managed to do that again the other day, I was finally able to cross off another name from the wantlist.

It started with a quick sift through a trade box (fancy that).  But it was exciting because these trade boxes haven't made an appearance in quite some time.  I know that my trade box (along with a few others) can feel pretty stale month after month.

There was one card that caught my eye and I made a point of putting it aside.  I thought I'd have a good shot at trading for it since the auto is really not that desirable in the collecting world.

Along with the HOF sig, I added a couple inserts (you've just recently read about them in my blog posts).  A quick and easy trade was made and a new upgrade was added to the collection.

Bill Barber
(Inducted in 1990)

I like this card.  It's from a set that hasn't made an appearance in my project yet and for pretty much that reason alone I added it.

Taken from 2013/14 SP Authentic this sports a very nice, bold signature.  The photo has a hit-and-miss quality to it.  70's pics are awesome to begin with, but focus issues are always an......issue.

Overall, for what I gave up to get it, it was more than worth it.

This was a bit of a bonus auto for the night.  As I mentioned off the top, I had definite plans of landing a HOF auto.  Why was I so sure?  Because I knew a trader who had one.  I just didn't have any trade bait he was interested in.

He's a Wings I went to work.

The local monthly card show helped me add about a half dozen Detroit cards and I felt confident about my chances of finalizing a trade.

Denis Savard
(Inducted in 2000)

Yes....another upgrade.  But the Savard currently sitting in the slot was from the Panini Classics product.  And while that is a fantastic set and a great resource for landing HOF autos, I don't want to oversaturate my project with cards from one release.

This card comes from an earlier offering, 2008/09 SP Authentic.  The Sign of the Times autograph  set is a great insert staple that SP Authentic has developed and I really like this particular design.

Lots of great color, the photo takes up a good portion of the card (unlike other years where the horizontal design allows for more auto space) and a dedicated spot for the signature.

Savard's auto is not the nicest in the world and this offering is a little "meh" but I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Brian Leetch
(Inducted in 2009)

Finally!!  We have a winner.

I knew this card was sitting in the trade box for a couple months now and it's about time that I managed to make a trade happen.

This card has everything that I want in an auto for this project.  Unique design (yes, I have a Milt Schmidt from the same product...sue me), good photo (yes, it's of the Rangers and reminds me of 1994...but I can't really avoid that) and quite possibly the nicest signature of a player not from the 60's or 70's.

It's cards like this one (as opposed to the tougher, more expensive vintage offerings) that will get me to my goal of 100 HHOF autos.

Accessible, affordable and tradable.

Just gotta put my mind to it.

Current Collection - 62 HOF Autos


It's been a long while since I've given a card some face time strictly for the photography.  But when I saw this card pop up at trade night a couple days ago I knew I had a post.

Remember those Score Net Cam cards from a few years ago?  The set that takes low angle butt shots of goalies and gives them the moniker of "insert".  The set that reminded me of my old Atari video game system?  Super cool for about two minutes....then I find myself asking "Why am I even looking at this?".  The set that I used to build....then abandoned, and never moved from that day forward (seriously...I haven't touched 'em).

Well it seems that Fleer Ultra needed an insert set and pulled a rabbit out of the ol' hat.

Red Light Views.

Yeah, that's right.  A celebration of pucks going into the net (after all, that's what the red light is for).

I'll be honest, when I first saw this card I thought "Cool".  Then I slapped myself for thinking such a thing.

But I still traded for let's take a closer look at this bugger.

First, you have chaos.  How many guys do you count in the crease?  Six?  Seven?  And where exactly is the puck?  According to the set could be in the net.  And I love the stick just stealing centre stage.

One of my biggest beefs is that the Red Light Views title is plastered across the top of the card...impeding my view of both the unknown Penguins player and the video screen at the top (which has an alternate view of the play).

It's a shame since there's ample room at the bottom of the card if you swap text with the team names and date.  But what do I know.

I do like that we get to see King Henrik's backplate (as unexciting as it is). And I do enjoy the numerous thoughts D-man Ryan McDonagh must be having.  "Where's the puck?", "Where's my contact?", "Those are nice skates", "I'm making imaginary sand castles in the ice".  Hours of fun.

Overall though, it is an interesting photo - just not a unique or exciting execution of a hockey card.

I think it would have been better if the insert set was called "Gongshow".

Oh wait.....that idea has already been taken.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Yup.  PK's not invited to the All-Star game and now one of his cards is destined for the rear tire.

You read that right Brian - PK's goin' to the spokes.

And can you really blame me?  After all he's a part of one of the worst insert sets of all time.

(maybe Fleer Ultra should get the nod instead)

Circle and Rectangle.

That's not the name of the set....but it might as well be.  It's better than the red foil lettering you can barely read.

For those of you still guessing, it says "Gongshow Grinders".


That's the best you could come up with?


Let's take a look at what Urban Dictionary refers to a gongshow as...

Ha ha.  Fairly accurate.  Thank you Sergeant Dangles.

In fact, that gives me an idea for what the set should be renamed as...

"S#!+storm".  I like it.

But sadly....there's more.

Check out the back of the card....

Big Circle, Little Logo.

Hey, I just made up another insert set name.  You can have them both for free Fleer.

Seriously, what's the point of this card back?

I've got no words.

I even asked my wallet card what he thought of the offering...

Oscar feels there's a lack of 'fro on Subban and that in itself is a gongshow.

Talk about big circle, little that 'fro is sah-weet.

All that said, this card should (and will) receive a premium value when and if the time comes to trade it.  It's so rare, so valuable, so stinky.'ve put one in the record books.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

OPINION - Appreciation And Enjoyment

Before I get started on my blog post, I'd like to share a great post over at Baseball Card Breakdown.  It focuses on the concern of custom cards being sold on ebay.....and not by the custom's designer.

It's kind of scary to think how good some of these customs are and then to see them pop up on the open market completely unbeknownst to anyone except the guy doing swiping.

As a custom card guy myself (although things have been all but non-existent over the past year or so) I feel pretty ticked - and I'd be pretty ticked off - seeing someone's individual creation (not even intended for sale) being tossed out there under someone else's bad name.

A definite buyer beware.

But now on to a subject that arose over the past few days.

So I was surfing Twitter and noticed I received a message from a fellow Linden collector.  He mentioned to me that he had just realized that the photo used on the Linden UD 25th Anniversary Young Guns card and that of this year's Black Diamond are one in the same.

I proceeded to tell him that he's late to the dance (as I recognized it right away).  He also mentioned that at times he feels like he's just ticking off another mark on the checklist when he picks up a new Linden.

I feel the same way too sometimes.

But I recommended to him that he take a bit of time to sit back and enjoy his collection.  Flip through his binders or sift through the cards in toploaders.  Bottom line though....enjoy what you've spent countless hours building and collecting.

Which made me often do I look at my own collection?

I'll be honest, I store my cards in 3200 count boxes.  All crammed in my closet.  I've got my cards in penny sleeves/toploaders (except for the higher end items which sit in one touch holders).  I open the box when I have to add my most recent additions to it, but it's been a while since I've sat down, opened the box and spent time looking at my pc.

I mean REALLY look at my collection.

Enjoying it.  Remembering the stories that are connected to how I came across the card or who I traded with.  What store I got it from or how much of an absurd price I paid.

I threw the same question out to some others and got a varied response.  Some said they hardly ever look at it (the chase is more the focus) while others do see it more (because they display it a little more prominently).

Now, there's no right or wrong way to appreciate a collection and I feel quite content with the way I do things.  But I'd be lying if I said I didn't take my Linden pc out and flip through the cards a couple days ago.

A half hour very well spent.

How often do you look at your collection?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Patience & Promos

Before I get going with this blog post, I want to take a moment to comment on a couple of things.

First, I recently participated in the nomination process for (what is being dubbed) The 2014 Bip Awards.  Excellence in blogging and social media in the trading card industry.  As I was filling out my nomination form I began to realize that I don't really participate too heavily in reading other people's blogs.

I peruse my own blogroll on a daily basis and I jump over to the Sports Card Blogroll to get in a few others, but that's about it.  It made me want to explore a bit more of what is out there.

I like blogs where there is an enjoyment of the hobby, some sharing of a collection, good opinion and thoughtful posts.  They don't have to be a daily occurrence...but I like blogs where there is some life breathing in them.

I recently added a pair of blogs to my list (one of which is a return of a blogger and custom card maker I recall from a long while back).  Check them out.  And if you have a recommendation for some good reading (hockey, baseball, sports, non-spots, whatever), drop me a comment.


Speaking of checking out blogs, be sure to check out Bad Wax Customs for his multi-part "How To Make A Custom Card" series.  Part one is posted with more to come apparently.

I always enjoy learning more about how others create and assemble customs.  I'm kind of in the same boat as him in the sense that when I started out designing custom cards, there was little to no resources on the subject.  It was trial and error.

And I still think that trial and error is the best way to go.  But getting tips and tricks from others is always a valuable resource.

Now....let's get to some Linden cards.

This past week was an interesting start to the new year.  I landed a couple interesting cards that I never would've thought I'd see...let alone own.  And patience really does pay off.  For reals.

2013/14 Panini Contenders
#CL-24 Contenders Legacies  /499

This card has been on the wantlist for about a year.  It's not a rare offering by any means but it's not a slam dunk to find at the local shows or trade nights.

And forget about snagging this one on ebay.  The shipping alone would be 2-3x the price of the card.  What's the point?

So I waited.  And waited.

And waited.

What was I waiting for?  I don't really know.  I was hoping by some strange chance that someone would approach me with a handful of cards from this set and I could magically find said card.

Well, that kind of happened today.

I was at the local monthly card show and it was "sale time" for one of the sellers.  Lots of boxes of autos, jerseys, rookies, inserts all with prices slashed to go.

Sure enough, in the mix sat a little case of Panini Contender Legacies inserts.  My fingers were crossed as I was shuffling through the lot.  Last card was the winner.

By bulking it in with a "3 cards for $10" deal, I was able to land this Linden for nuthin'.  Yup....a freebie Linden.  And I got to cross one off the list.

He shoots, he scores.

2012/13 ITG Forever Rivals
#M-41 Game Used Patch Gold
2014 Toronto Fall Expo  1/1

If you read my Top 10 from 2014 post, you would have noticed that I recently finished my Forever Rivals non-1/1 card chase with the final piece of the puzzle being the red patch (limited to 6).

Soon after, I saw this card up for bids on ebay.

Lately, especially with the 2014 Fall Expo surge, show cards have become a real turnoff.  I've seen way too many of these "1/1" parallels hit the open market and the saturation has hit a tipping point for me.

There were times when I would chase these cards with the same excitement and intensity as I would a regular, pack-pulled offering.  But now I rarely blink when even a "really good deal" pops up on one of them (and that doesn't happen often).

So why this card?

Well, I really like the patch.  And it was a really good price (when comparing to what the non-show card patches from this set go for).  But I decided to pull the trigger mainly because it was the closest I'd come to getting a Trevor Linden Forever Rivals Game Used Patch Gold card.

The pack-pulled version of this card is sitting securely in another Linden collector's pc.  So to kind of create a "fill in" type of approach, I made an offer on the show card.

It's the first time I've done this and I'm very happy with the pickup.  I don't see me doing this on a regular basis moving forward, but I thought this one instance warranted the purchase.

1996/97 Leaf
#12 Leather and Laces  /5000

I remember these cards back in the day.  I wanted to build the set so badly but boy were they ever expensive.  I think I paid at least $50 for the Gretzky (who was in his Blues uniform at the time).

Fast forward to today and the same card now sells for $5 (I just  The complete 20 card set could easily be built for less than $50.

So why am I showing you this card?

Well, a few years back, I learned about a couple of promo versions of this card.  One labelled as "PROMO/5000" and the other as "XXXX/5000".  So, me being the completist that I am, I added the pair to my list.

Years passed.  Then I stumbled across a completed auction for a Linden XXXX/5000.  So how did I miss it?

Well, the seller doesn't ship to Canada, so I guess it didn't appear on my search sift.  And he had the card at a ridiculously low price (all things considered).  Thankfully, he re-listed the item.  And I called in a favour.

I asked a fellow Linden collector who has a US postal address to pick up the card for me.  He was happy to do so and I was happy he did.

It arrived in the mail yesterday and when I laid eyes on it I was shot back 15 years, remembering a time when these inserts were the big chase for me.

How times have changed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WALLET CARD - It Has Begun

I picked up my #WalletCard from work today.

To refresh everyone's memory, it a very good condition 1976 Topps Oscar Gamble baseball card #74T. Stunning afro and all.

It had been on my desk at work snuggled in "The Shrine" during my break for the Christmas season.  It was waiting patiently for me all these days.

It was the obvious choice for me when it came time to decide on a card for this year-long exercise....even coming from a guy who is primarily a hockey card collector.

First off - the card is just stunning.  A total eye-catcher.  Second, it was a gift from a fellow blogger and is a wonderful reminder of what I enjoy in this hobby.  Good people, honest fun.

The card has now found a home in my wallet.  It's a bit of a tight fit, but it'll work.

And if Oscar should sustain a little nick here or there.....I think it will just add to the incredible character this card has.

For those of you who want to follow Oscar and I over the course of the year, he decided that a personalized Twitter account was in order.  You can either search @OscarGamblesFro or click on the baseball card on the right-hand side of this blog.  It'll take you there.

I plan on updating both the Twitter account and this blog regularily - so be sure to check back often.

Should be fun!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

OUTSIDE THE BOX - Cut...It...Out

I've been diving into the Twitter vortex over the past few days and boy has it ever been fun.  Kills a good amount of time....but boy has it ever been fun.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of discovering some new Canucks/Linden memorabilia items.  And in the process, learned a little about Canucks collector and hockey historian Andrew Castell.  For a little insight, check out this video.

note:  His garage is a jaw dropper.

Me likes.

Well, it started tonight when he tweeted this ultra cool item from 1994...

As someone who is in the television industry, this is such a fantastic item.  I can only imagine being at that game, wearing one of these, being knee-deep in the trenches of live sports broadcasting.  Stressed and under immense time constraints.


I had a little back and forth text with Andrew and in the process asked if he had any Linden items.  He then lays this one on me.

Wow!  I have never seen this lifesize display before.  It comes from the Canadian Cancer Society Lottery.  Boy does it look great.

And of course, I had to start digging in my closet.

So what did I find tucked in the corner?

It's my own lifesize cutout of Trev.  Doritos style.

This was at a time when Linden had the close cut.  Nice hair!

I picked this item up years ago at my local monthly card show.  It came from a seller who was from out of town.  He had two of these, but I only needed one.

I've since seen a couple other lifesize cutout advertisements over the years but never the CCSL one shown above until tonight.

Well, over the next  half hour or so (I'm still in the midst of communicating) I've been learning more about Andrew Castell and his collection, his Canucks memorabilia and contributions to numerous books.

It's really cool to see these Cancuks/Linden items get a little face time.  And it's a small reminder to me that I should take a moment to enjoy my collection a little more.  Case in point, the Doritos cutout.

It's been in my closet for years, folded up and unseen.  I have many other items that don't get any acknowledgment anymore.  I'm going to try and change that this upcoming year.

The Twitter Vortex.....gotta love it.

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE YEAR - My Top 10 From 2014

I was going through some of my Linden posts from this past year, looking at some of the cards I have picked up during 2014.  While I slowed things down a bit (both in part to there being less Linden cards produced and my self-imposed hiatus during the summer) I can still say that this hobby gets a big A+ from the previous 12 months.

I still have lots of fun going to trade nights, local card shows, blogging, hobby boards and more.  I'd like to up the custom card quotient (something I'm going to try to do this upcoming year).  And one of these years....I'll get organized.

Ha ha ha ha ha......Whew, that was a good one.

But for this post, I thought we could take a look at my Top 10 Trevor Linden pickups from 2014.  Ok, not really a Top 10 (since these cards will appear in no particular order) but you get the idea.

So let's relive some of the best from the last 365.

2012/13 ITG Forever Rivals
#M-41 Game Used Patch Red (limited to 6 copies)

This patch card was the final pack-pulled card on my wantlist from ITG's Forever Rivals.  I snagged the silver patch (limited to 3) a while back after I learned that the other two copies had been accounted for.  The gold 1/1 is already tucked away in another collector's pc so it was the abundantly available red parallel that was left.

With a whopping 6 copies to be had, I was surprised that they were a tough find.  But patience paid off as a copy popped up on ebay with a very respectable BIN/BO.  Maybe I was greedy when I didn't hit the Buy It Now right away.  I threw the seller an offer and was rewarded with a slightly better price.

While I would have loved to have seen some red in the patch, I'm more than happy to knock this one off the list.

2013/14 Panini National Treasures
#181 Flawless  /5

This was an in-person pickup believe it or not.  I never expected to see this card hit my collection without some sort of bubble mailer.  Heck, I wasn't sure if I'd ever see this card in my collection.

When National Treasures first came out, these Flawless cards were like hotcakes - expensive.  And the 1/1 parallels were going for even crazier dollars.

But when the initial wave simmered, this copy popped up on the market.  It was just after my summer hiatus so I had a little extra pocket change. I also had a bit of an ace in the hole.

The seller of the card was from the same city as me.  I contacted him ahead of time and asked if I could do an in-person pickup should I win the auction.  He agreed.

Saving $15 bucks on shipping was key.

After winning the auction, we decided to meet at a store during the monthly trade night.  Couldn't have gone smoother.

What a way to get back into the hobby after a bit of a break.

2012/13 ITG Superlative III
#SCJ-08 Complete Jersey Silver (limited to 4 copies)

I was on a huge Superlative III binge for months when the product first came out.  There were some big ticket Linden cards inserted and over time I have landed most of them.  This Complete Jersey silver was one of the few remaining on my list.

It showed up on one of the hobby boards I participate on and I asked if it was available.

He wasn't selling....and not really trading.  What he was looking for was a complete jersey Steve Yzerman card from one of a few products.  So I went on a mission.

I scoured ebay for weeks and finally found an appropriate card.  I bid on it with the mindset of "What would I pay for the Linden".  It worked as I won the auction...with my bid almost maxing out.

I was happy though because the Linden was on its way.

1998/99 Topps Gold Label
#42 Class 3 Red  /25

Take a look at the year this card was produced.  That's right, 15 years ago.

That's how long it's been on my wantlist.

My Linden wantlist is broken up into four categories: 1/1's, Show Cards, Oddball and Regular.  The Regular card list is the one I am constantly referring to when I go searching for cards.  And for years, there has been one card on the top of the list (it goes in chronological order).  It was this 98/99 Topps Gold Label offering.

And I got it during my hiatus.  How?

Well, I was doing really good not looking on ebay or going to hobby pages on the internet.  But my curiosity got the best of me one day and I snuck a peek on ebay to see what new Linden cards had been released.  I was thrilled to see that things were almost as I had left it in June.

A couple weeks later I checked change.  Then a couple days later, I looked again and saw this card.  And I made the executive decision to put a temporary halt to the hiatus.

Hey, when a card that's been on your wantlist for 15 years comes chase.

I was over the moon when I landed the item (and for less than half of what I was willing to pay) and even happier when I received the package in the mail.

One of the top cards I've picked up in a long time.

2012/13 ITG Decades 90's
#M-44 Game Used Patch Black (limited to 6 copies)

Do I need to have a story for every card I pick up?  This one doesn't ring a bell...other than it was from an ebay seller who also had goalie mask cards for a buck.  So I ganged up on a few from my goalie mask wantlist.


2013/14 Upper Deck The Cup
#EE-TL Emblems Of Endorsement  /15

I just posted this card yesterday, but there's no doubt it's worthy of the year-end post.'s something I enjoy and now it's helped me in obtaining a sweet Linden pc item.

Hopefully it's not the last time that social media plays a part in my collecting.

2011/12 Upper Deck The Cup
#CF-TL Foundations Patch/Auto  /5

Now this Cup card was probably an even bigger pickup for a number of reasons.

Price-wise it wasn't cheap, it's extremely limited, super tough to find and it put to rest the 11/12 Cup checklist for me.

I knew there were only 2...maybe 3 copies of this card available since I've seen other copies get gobbled up into personal collections.  So when I saw this go up on the auction block, I knew I'd probably have to dig a little deeper into the pockets.

But there was some great communication from the seller and an overall honest approach from both sides, so I couldn't be happier.  And when that bubble mailer arrived, I was on cloud nine.

2012/13 Panini Limited
#187 Captains Emerald  /5

Nothing super fancy about this card...except the serial numbering.

This /5 offering was one I was worried I wouldn't see.  The product was lightly broken initially and brought only a mild wave onto the secondary market.  I wasn't sure if this tough parallel would surface again anytime soon.

I didn't have to wait as long as I thought (thankfully) and it finished off the non-1/1 rainbow.

I like rainbows.

2013/14 ITG Stickwork
#GUS-93 Game Used Stick Silver

I was flip-flopping between this and the Tape To Tape Silver (with Pavel Bure).  I went with this one because I really like the design of the card.  The (I can't believe I'm about to say this) bold white color with some solid game use really pops and is something I don't normally see on a stick piece.

Just an overall nice looking card.

Still with me????  We're about to wrap it up.

For my final pickup, I'm going with a collection of cards.  And I did leave this for the final show as it was one of the top accomplishments ever during my time as a Linden collector.  And that's a bold statement.

I'll let the pictures do the talking.

2013/14 ITG In The Game Used
Nameplate L-I-N-D-E-N  (all 1/1's)

This was a pretty amazing month and a bit when I obtained these cards last spring.

After seeing the first letter up for bids (and winning it) I thought that would suffice.  One and done.  But then another popped up, then another.

After seeing the fourth one hit the open market I knew there was a slight chance of achieving this rare feat.

But it wasn't until I went to the spring Card Show here in town that things really heated up.

I saw the fifth card on ebay a couple weeks prior but the price was a little higher than I was looking to pay.  I had been very consistent with the first four and I wasn't about to drift from that.  I had contacted the seller and asked if he would take my offer (which was equal to what I had paid on average for the other four).  He passed.

So it sat on ebay.  I went to the show and was floored to see the final piece of the puzzle in a showcase.  The seller even forgot about it when I asked if he had any Linden cards.  I had to point it out to him.

I was blunt and to the point.  I gave him a very fair price and was firm on it.  He accepted and that left the last card.....still sitting on ebay.

I had another collector buy the card on my behalf (as he was making a large purchase off the seller and thought it might bring the price of the card down).  It did....a bit.  Enough for me not to cringe and feel like I paid a Linden Tax.

When that card arrived and I put all six what a feeling.

They look pretty good together don't they?

And with that, we have my top Linden pickups from 2014.  I don't know what will come into the collection over the next 12 months, and there are some real unknowns in the hobby in general (no more Panini, ITG/Leaf merger) but I feel like I'm going into the new year with a good plan.  A good plan and a clear head.

Ready to keep having fun.

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 5, 2015

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - My Final Pickup of 2014

Twitter came into play for my latest Linden pc item, which just so happened to be the final pickup of the 2014 calendar year.

It's not the first time that checking out Twitter had landed me an item for my collection, but it is a rare occurrence.

It was kind of a roundabout way that I came into this card.  One of the local hobbyists I follow tweeted out (to another Linden collector) that a card had popped up in a box break.  I clicked the link, curious as I am, and was pretty excited to see the card I did.

After a little back and forth with a few people, and a bit of a start-stop-start in negotiations, a deal was struck.

Let's call it a Christmas present to me (since it all occurred on Dec. 24 and 25).  The card arrived today.

2013/14 Upper Deck
The Cup
#EE-TL Emblems Of Endorsement  /15

When I first learned that Linden would be once again included into The Cup, I was nervous.  But after seeing the limited chase I would be enduring, I was excited.  Only two cards....A stick nameplate 1/1 and the Emblems card above.

And while this card might not have the sick swatches that others from this  run of 15 would have, I'm thrilled with the copy I have - and the price I paid.

With a bit of an unknown landscape going into the 2015 year from a Linden collecting standpoint (no more Panini, ITG/Leaf merger) I need to be even more diligent with the cards I pick up and the prices I pay for them.

Now that this card has come in, stay tuned for a "Best Of 2014" post...Linden style.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

WALLET CARD - I'll Play The Game

So I read a tweet today about a blogger (Baseball Card Breakdown) who has set up a game called "Wallet Card".  Rather than get into the whole jist...gist...jist... explanation of things, I'll let you do the reading.

Sounds like fun!

And I know the perfect card to use.

Oscar "The Afro" Gamble!!!

I received this gem of a baseball card as a gift a couple years back.  It's been sitting on my desk at work as part of my "Do good things and good things happen" shrine.  But now it's time to pull Oscar off the bench and put him into play.

Yes.....I's a baseball card.  And I'm a hockey card guy.  But this was hands down the first and only card I had in mind when I decided to jump into the Wallet Game.  After all....look at it.  It just exudes awesomeness.

Now I don't go back to work for another week so you'll have to wait patiently for Oscar's Escapades......but patience.

We have a full year of fun ahead.