Tuesday, March 24, 2015

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Small Victories

It was just over a week ago that I proclaimed my lack of ebay pickups so far this calendar year.  I also mentioned that I had just pulled the trigger on some new adds.

Two of them hit the mailbox today.

And while neither of them might be the jaw-dropping 8-color mega patches that would stop traffic and start the parade, these new additions to the collection are a pair of very welcome visitors.

2014/15 Upper Deck
25th Anniversary 1990/91 Buyback
#480 All-Star  /25

This card comes from Series II of Upper Deck's flagship product.  And it balances out the buyback placed in Series I (Linden's regular UD card from 90/91......but autographed).

The silver foil stamp is the only thing differentiating this card from the plethora of knock-offs that Captain Canuck is fudging up with his blue sharpie.

I had been keeping my eye on this card since the first couple showed up on ebay.  The signed card from Series I has been fetching a fair penny, but these non-signed versions (of all players) have been lukewarm at best.

I caught things on a lucky lull and paid less than the going rate.  For a card numbered to just 25 copies, I'm thrilled to cross it off the wantlist.

2014/15 O-Pee-Chee
Marquee Legends Retro
#563 blank back

Now this card might not blow anyone away either, but the moment I saw it pop up on the open market....I attacked pretty aggressively.


That's why.

Blank back cards have been my nemesis for years, going all the way back to 2008/09.

It was the first year that OPC dod the retro variations and I was excited to see Linden get the "Gretzky RC" treatment.  In addition to the regular retro card, there was a rainbow parallel numbered to 100 and the dreaded blank back.

In the seven years since......I've never seen a copy.

I'm starting to question its existence.

So when Upper Deck reintroduced him into this year's OPC product, you could guess my level of anxiousness when it came to the blank back chase.

It was a few months, but up popped an auction that if you weren't paying attention - you'd miss.  In fact, when I e-mailed another Linden collector to see if he was going to bid on it, his response was "I didn't even see it until you pointed it out to me".

I like that.

I think a lot of people missed the blank back description as (part of a 3-card blank back lot) I won the auction for far less than anticipated.  In fact, I might be able to recoup my entire purchase when moving the other two cards.

Win - win.

Two more off the list, none to be added (although I'm anticipating him being added to ITG's latest....and last release as a sole ITG product - Superlative Vault...more on that release later).

And I've got just a couple months left before I shut things down for the summer.  While it's been a slower go in 2015, I can't complain about the fun I've been having and the involvement in the hobby I still get each month.

Like I said.....small victories.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Slowly, But Surely

I can count on one hand the number of ebay transactions I've made so far this year.

I haven't been able to brag like that in a long time.

It's not for lack of trying, it's for lack of quality cards out there.

The market seems to have dried up and all that's left are redemption 1/1's or "pack-added value" 1/1's.  They don't interest me much.

I've missed out on a few auctions.  My bids were just too low.  I find that I'm getting frugal in my old age - or I'm cheap.  But when I get a price in my brain, I can't let it go.  I've been dinged a few times in the past and I try not to let the hobby get the best of me anymore.

But that doesn't mean I'm not adding to the player collection.

Trades...old school, like "in person".  For reals.  Hobby boards, trade nights and even social media.

This past week brought in a bubbler that came about an odd way.

I picked up a rather odd Trevor Linden Brilliance signature late last year. Seems a card got mixed up and Tyler Seguin decided to sign it.

I wasn't huge on picking it up, but the price was right at the time.  I thought maybe I could parlay it into a Linden for my pc.

That thought paid off.

2013/14 In The Game
In The Game Used - Cup Battles
#CB-07 Gold w/ Messier, Richter & Bure (limited to 10)

First of all, I had a hard time typing Mess....his name.  But to grab a card limited to 10 for the collection was just too good to pass up.

Barely a 2-color piece on the Linden, but with a nice seam, the kicker for me was that Moose gets a bland, red jersey piece.  Ha ha ha!!!!  Who gets the last laugh now???

This puts me one card away from completing the non-1/1 cards from ITG Used.  Another one of those saturated products for player collectors.

Do I miss the messed up auto?  A bit.  But I'm happy with the end result.

Note: I wrote this post a few days ago. I have since won three eBay auctions. Clearly I was affected by my writings. Ha.

Friday, March 13, 2015


I like to dig.  Search for stuff.  Not just rely on the easy avenues for my Linden items.  Don't get me wrong, ebay is helpful......very helpful with my player pc, but I like to branch out and look at what might lead me to new things.

Case in point, my latest Kijiji find.

And no, I do not mean my gorgeous Washington Capitals jersey.  Take a moment to let it sink in.

I've actually scored twice now in less than a month.

I saw this item, locally, and can honestly say I've never seen one like it before.  That alone had me intrigued.

It also had me skeptical.

But with the low asking price and relatively close proximity to where I was, I thought it was easy enough to check it out.

This Linden sketch is 11x14 and very nicely framed.

Upon closer look I could tell that the detail in it was quite good.

Sadly, it's not the original.  There are some faint copy lines in a couple areas.  But still, a solid piece.

Asking price was $20.  I asked what he knew about it and was told that it was left over from his fiance's roommate when she moved out.  Did she do the sketch?  Is this something that has passed me by all these years?  The unknown had me hesitate for a moment.

I tried to talk the seller down to $10....too many questions with no answers.  He met me in the middle with $15.

Why not.  It looks good, makes for an interesting conversation, and it made it into its own blog post.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

1 vs. 100 - Another Trade To Announce

I'd like to think that I'm a guy who will help out when asked to.  Especially if I think the request is reasonable.

Which is why I was thrilled to help a fellow collector out when asked via Twitter.

I received a message a little over a month ago asking about my Chris Drury card (yes....you read that right) that I had in my '1 vs. 100' project.

This one to be exact.

It's a tough find with only 4 copies available.

I was asked if I'd be willing to part with it.  No problem.  I do however have a very particular list of necessities needed coming back my way.

See, I don't care that the card is a Chris Drury quad patch or that it comes from 4 different teams.  It's the little serial number on the front that does it all for me.

So I asked for a card /4, labeled on the front, not slabbed and no ITG in return.  Simple as that.

So the hunt was on.  It took a couple weeks but I did receive another message (with a scan) asking if we could come to a deal.

No prob.

This Brad Richards All-Star offering fits perfectly in the slot left vacant by the Drury.

Trade was made with no hiccups and now this card sits cleanly in my project.

It's not the first time I had a request for a low numbered card from my project.  Same result though.

Feels good to help out a fellow collector.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

12 in 12 - Used Book Bonus

It's been a couple years now since I completed my '12 in 12' project.  12 books in 12 months....one a month.  And while I thoroughly enjoyed the increased reading I did over that year, I've scaled back my page flipping a bit.

Currently, I'm tackling Dan Epstein's book on baseball in the 70's....Big Hair And Plastic Grass.

#WalletCard is helping me out with it.  And I must say that it's a fun ride.  Check it out if you like your baseball with a touch of vintage.

In addition to the library helping me out in finding new titles, I'm a big fan of used book sales.  And spring brings with it a few in my neck of the woods.  I've already got a couple circled on the calendar.

But I was told about a sale last weekend that was not on my radar at all.  And after seeing what was grabbed by fellow collector Captain Canuck, I decided to head out and go digging.

And I'm thrilled I did.

This was my "quick sweep".  I only had about 20 minutes of searching before I had to go volunteer so I really only hit up the sports section (say for the unopened News Radio Seasons 1 & 2 dvd set - a steal at $2).

I like Stephen Brunt and his style of writing.  I enjoyed Searching For Bobby Orr and am looking forward to his writings on Muhammad Ali - or should I say the opponents of Ali.

Tretiak has a story all to itself so I will leave it for a moment.

Gary Carter is a name that stuck with me in my infancy of baseball on TV. When I saw this book staring at me I grabbed it without thinking.  I'm sure it was written before Carter's death in 2012 but I'm curious as to how much post-career story sits within the pages.

Dave Bidini.....big fan.  No brainer.

Friday Night Lights is a book that I think could go down as one of those "gotta own it" if you like sports reads.  I have the softcover version but decided to upgrade.

Love the title of Bob Knight's book.  That alone got it to the keep pile.

And Arthur Ashe is a subject that's always intrigued me.  I started his other book Days Of Grace but set it aside for now as it's a tougher read than I thought.

All totaled (with the News Radio dvd) I paid $20.  It actually came to $16 but because the money was going to charity I told them to keep the change.

That......and when I saw what comes next, I knew I was getting a great deal.

Tretiak: The Legend.  I've seen this book dozens of times during my trips to bookstores, sales and charity fundraisers.  Maybe it's the boring looking cover or that it's an older title, but I never really was drawn to it.

I saw this cover staring me in the face last weekend and originally passed on it (as I always do).  But when my eye caught a second copy on the shelf I decided to give it a shot.

After all, it's a couple bucks and the money is going to charity.  Maybe the current documentaries on the Red Army that have been in the news had me more interested, maybe it was me trying to build a bit of a bulk lot to make the trip worth it.

Or maybe it was the fact that the author signed the inside page.


Yeah, I couldn't believe it.

And the funniest part is - I had no clue until I went to pay.

I was carrying my haul up to the front counter and was still on the fence when it came to the Tretiak book.  I decided to take a closer look at the condition with the mindset that if it wasn't mint it'd go back on the shelf.

Front cover good, back cover good, pages seem good, oh what's this scribble on the inside cover?

And sold!!!!!

I was shocked to see such a great looking autograph.  I immediately went back to check the first copy I saw - the one I passed on originally.  No auto.

What are the odds of me passing over the first book only to talk myself into getting the second copy?

Let this be a lesson to all you used book sale people....buy 'em.

And for those who might not remember, this isn't the first time I've had a little bonus gift on the inside cover of my used book buy.

I'll be making a trip back to the store later this spring.

Friday, March 6, 2015

BEHIND THE MASKS - Super Duper Alice Cooper

It's late, and I've had a long week.  But I just had to post about this stunning backplate.

Alice Cooper is in full force on this Mike Smith backplate.

The Arizona Coyotes goaltender paid homage to this rock icon on his most recent mask, an old school throwback to the Coyotes' early days after moving from Winnipeg.

Designed by artist David Arrigo, this rendering is downright scary - scary good.  The eyes are just piercing.

Here is a video of Smith talking about the mask...

Mike wore the mask when the Coyotes hosted the Vancouver Canucks.  The mask was a part of the team's Throwback Night.

What more can you say.......this has got to be turned into a hockey card.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

CONTEST - Do Not Drop The Gloves

Life is not a straight line (I know....deep).  We all tend to drift from one path to another - and sometimes back.  In the end....it's all about having an exciting and enjoyable journey.

So where am I going with this?

Longtime blog supporter Casey over at The House Of Oglethorpe sent me an e-mail yesterday to just touch base and also let me know of a contest he is running.  Here is a link to his feed as well.

Casey used to write quite a bit about hockey cards under the blog Drop The Gloves.  But a couple years back he drifted and evolved his blog to what you see now.  In "The House", you will now see many different sections, including his still living hockey blog.  Living, but not too active....which is totally cool.

And that was part of Casey's note to me.

He is currently holding a contest......but wants to get the word out.  And he's not sure how many bloggers out there are aware of these changes to his site.  So I'm here to help.

Here is a link to the contest post.  For some reason, it has not yet updated on my blogroll (no wonder I didn't catch it).  Odd.

Take a moment to read it and if you feel inclined.....enter.  Contests are fun.

Thanks Casey for the contest and also for dropping me a line to touch base.  It was great hearing from you again.