Tuesday, January 6, 2015

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 again....no 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 up...you 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.

Twitter....it'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 together.....man 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!


  1. Great post! That complete nameplate is awesome! Looking forward to seeing more in 2015.

  2. Good Year End post. Those pickups are sick! Especially the letterman set, beautiful addition to your collection.

  3. yeah, not bad... um.... I finished my 92/93 Upper Deck set!

  4. Seeing those nameplate cards, I suddenly want to see how many words I can make using the letters in LINDEN.