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.