Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Part of the card scanning I did recently included a tremendous gift I received from a fellow hobbyist and Jacques Plante collector.  And while I don't normally gush publicly about presents like these, I do have an ulterior motive.

For those who may not know the backstory, I was volunteering for a charity bookstall a couple months back.  Out of sheer luck/coincidence/karma I came across an amazing find.  A signed Jacques Plante book is incredibly rare and to see the charity benefit from it to the tune of $200 was equally amazing.

I was the go-between for the transaction and I received the following cards as a "Thank You" for my efforts.  I must say, I was speechless when I saw the lot.

Now I'm not a Vault fan but even I had to marvel in the selection of these cards.  I really appreciated that the sender took the time to find out what I collect and customized an amazing package.

I may use amazing a couple more times.

The Linden becomes my third Vault card in my collection - and I have zero interest in the product.  That's a pretty good batting average.

But let's take a closer look at some of the items.

This 2006/07 Parkhurst product goes down as one of my all-time favourite products.  I think the execution of design, photo selection and checklist is a real triple threat (and a call to card companies out there on how to do it right).  The hard signed signature inserts make the chase even more impressive.  And while there are some tough short prints out there (Lemieux, Beliveau, etc.) there are many great autos that are very reasonable in price.

The Giacomin is already sitting on my shelf at work as part of my shrine.  A constant reminder to me that if you do good things...good things happen.  This Red Kelly offering will sit in the collection for a while.

The Dominator - All-Star version.  I like goalie stuff and this card packs a good punch.  The stick piece on the right bulges out quite a bit from the card and the photo in the middle harkens back to a fun time both in my collecting world and the hockey one.

This will be one of a few cards that hits the trade box (or maybe used in a different way...more on that later).

Mask cards are a big fave of mine.  I've enjoyed building (slowly) many of the base versions of these sets and have even made some good headway recently.  This Richter card is the gold version (originally limited to 10) but with the Vault designation I guess that turns into 5....or 15???  Who's keeping track?  Definitely not me.

Richter's mask (as cool as it is) always reminds me of the Canucks and their failed run at a Stanley Cup.

Moving on.

Probably the most enjoyable card in the lot is this Carey Price Team Canada mask card from The Mask IV.  While that in itself would make for a great card, it's the fact that this is the unreleased black version that has me wide-eyed.

The card scans like crap but it is a deep black shiny piece of goodness with a green Vault stamp (not sure what that means...if anything).  Any Carey Price fan, mask fan or unreleased card fan I'm sure would be thrilled to add this to their collection.

Huge thanks to Pete for the generous gift.  Way more than I ever would have anticipated.  A win-win for us both I guess.

But now I want to focus on that third "win" in the title.  I need to find a way to turn a few of these cards into some $$$ for another charity that I'm fond of.  I'd love to set up a raffle or action (or three) to capitalize on these cards so I can then parlay the funds towards another charity.  But what's the best way to do this??

Canada Post is likely to halt mailing after this weekend while they pitter-patter around another dispute and I'm not a big eBay fan.  I'd set something up on my blog but I don't know if I'd get enough eyes on it.  Maybe something locally like trade night or a card show?  Gotta come up with a plan though.  Keep the momentum going.

Anyways, long story short, I'm open to suggestions (I'd love to raise $100cdn somehow utilizing these cards) on what might be the most successful (and safest...for all) method.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

WALLET CARD - Something Old, Something New

Woo...June has pretty much come and gone in a hurry.  Work has been hectic, but that's the gig I signed up for.  Managed to squeeze a round of golf in there (and am hoping to go today if the bad weather holds off) and even made some headway on the book I'm reading.

And I even managed to make it to a couple trade nights - and have picked up some cards for my various collections.  AANNNNNNNNDDDDD...I'm going to blog about them.

I know...that's crazy talk.

So, let's enjoy a few posts over the next week or so while I share some of goodies I've acquired.

First up - Oscar.

I must say that over the past year-and-a-half since I began my #WalletCard escapades, I have really enjoyed what this non-hockey card project has brought.  It's been quite inexpensive, full of both vintage fun and current pack ripping goodness and the photos are KILLER (for the most part).

I never thought I'd enjoy a second player collection after Trevor Linden, but Oscar Gamble has done that.

I've tried not to binge on picking up cheap base cards off of one of any number of sites.  I could easily knock off 40-50 cards without blinking.  But where's the fun in that?  Finding cards locally is always preference number one.  And recently it's been some good hobby friends that have created those adds.

1980 Topps #698

I walked into one of the local trade nights at the start of the month and was promptly handed this beauty.  Seems the guys were doing some 80's pack ripping and came across this.  It's cool to say that this is freshly pulled and has gone directly into the toploader.

Of course my first comment (after the "thank you") was to see if they pulled the Ricky Henderson RC...which they did.  Nicely done.

This card was is one of the last to show off a decent 'fro.  The 80's cards had Oscar with a more conservative cut.  It's a shame...could've been killer in those White Sox unis.

My night would not have been complete without cracking into some of Topps newest product - Archives.  I knew early on that there were new #WalletCard options to pick up.  And while I doubted that I would hit one of the tougher parallels, I felt that the base card should be found relatively quick.

2016 Topps Archives #106

Bingo!!  This 1979-style offering crosses another one of the list.  And yes...it was exciting to see it come out of the pack - even more than most of the parallels or inserts I hit.  That's the sign of a good project.

The photo.....well...I can't help but be a little bummed.  It's not the first time Topps Archives has used a n older Oscar photo for it's pic.  Older Yankees days.

Just once I'd like to see them go off the board and really give the hobbyist a shot in the arm.

Could you imagine seeing this photo on that card?  Instant dynamite.

So with those two recent cards, and a couple other buybacks that have found a home with me, I've got my #WalletCard collection up to 41 (with a couple more in transit).  He's got about 150 cards so that puts me almost a third of the way there.  Not bad for 18 months of work.

Like I said, a really fun project that isn't breaking the bank....especially when you have people dropping cards in front of you - Thanks Mikey and Brian!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

12 in 12 - Books, Books and More Books

With May coming to a close tonight so too does my month of books (it was an unofficial month of books).  With multiple charity book sales going on in the city paired with some timely garage sales and a few trips to the library, I can safely say that I have enough reading material to last me for years.  In fact, I can assure you that I will never get through all the titles I purchased.  The collector in me is happy while the realist is wondering "What the heck!!??"

At the start of the month I learned of a really cool initiative championed by Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck.  He started a book club.  I've never participated in a book club (let alone an online one) and was intrigued by the title chosen in the "veteran" category...

A lot of people pair this book with my all-time favourite - Unbroken, so I felt like I should chase down a copy and start reading.

Wouldn't you know it, a few days later I started volunteering for a huge used book sale here in the city.  Unloading and sorting hundreds and hundreds of donated books.  It took less than a day to find my book.  And I must confess...I bent the rules by cherry-picking the title early.  Normally we are supposed to wait for the sale to start.  I would like to make it known that I paid full price for the book (I didn't cheat the system THAT way).  I knew that if I waited for the sale....I'd be well behind where everyone else would be in the book.

So far so good.  I'm enjoying it and even participated in the first chat session.  Andrew video answered two of my questions.  I thought that was pretty cool.  If you're interested, grab a copy and start reading.  There's lots of time to catch up.

Now, you may have heard about my incredible find while I was sorting titles at the book sale.  C'mon....a signed Jacques Plante!!!!  One in a million.  Well, I can happily say that I bought the book (for $200cdn) as I had made arrangements to buy it for a Plante collector on the East Coast.  It arrived earlier this week and I've since been reimbursed.  So cool that I was able to help get the book into the hands of someone who will really appreciate it - all while bringing in a hefty sum for a great charity organization.

And the karma bug bit me just a couple days later when I finally got to do some shopping at the sale...

I learned a number of years ago that you should always check the front few pages of certain books.  Guys like Howe were consistent signers.

BINGO!!!  Not only was it signed by Mr. Hockey himself, but his wife Colleen and The Golden Jet Bobby Hull.

Now, I was in full customer mode when I saw this book so I took full advantage of it.  Four bucks.

Every day of the week I'm making that purchase.

Let's take a look at some of the other titles I picked up...

Ken Dryden's The Game is one of my favourite sports book - and tops on my hockey list.  Dryden is a great wordsmith.  I really need to read that one again.

This title is one I've never seen but I can only assume it's going to be good.  It is after all one of the most iconic events in Canadian sports history.

There were about 20 copies of this book handy at the sale.  I bought it because it was in like-new condition.  Couldn't say no to the price.

Not sure it'll be the page flipper or exciting read....but it's hockey.  Gotta do it.

This one was a garage sale special (but I'm including it into the hockey portion of my show & tell).  Patrick O'Sullivan's story is an incredible one and there have been some strong documentaries and articles written about his struggles growing up.

Another book that was in like-new shape.  It's on the list.

I've had my eye on this title for a while - even borrowing it from the library a couple times but never cracking into it.  Now I really have no excuse.

Phil Jackson....Eleven Rings....The Soul Of Success....I'm game.

Consistently on the list of "All-time great baseball books", Summer of '49 might not resonate with me as an era in my mind but that's all the more reason why I should pick it up.

Halberstam, Roger Kahn and others aren't legends in the baseball book world for nothing.  It was a no-brainer.

My lone football title was this Nate Jackson read.  A friend of mine recently read it and raved about it so it made the decision really easy for me.

I like the idea of hearing from the non-superstar and his quest through the world of pro sports.

This guy on the other hand is no amateur.  What Tom Watson did in 2009 at the British Open rains one of the greatest feats I've ever seen.  Coming this close (fingers are REALLY close together) to winning a major at the age of 59!!  And with a hip replacement to boot.  That's just unheard of in golf these days.

Should be a dandy of a read.  I wish I'd have taken it with me on my golf trip.

Another book on the "all-time greats" list.  I know so little about Joe DiMaggio and I don't know if this will get a quick pull from the shelf, but again the collector in me just couldn't say no.

That's what a lot of these titles are in addition to good reads....they're additions to my growing collection of sports books.  I like that.

One of my favourite 30 for 30 documentaries (The 16th Man) was about this incredible story of the South African rugby team "Springboks" that shocked the world to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

The story was so much more than just a team that overcame improbable odds.  It was the coming together of a nation torn apart by apartheid and the recent release of Nelson Mandela (who's mission was to build peace through this underdog team).  It's an amazing story....so I'll read about it again.

Evel.  Awesome.  Read it already.  Wanted it in the collection.  Cool cover.  Bad ass.

'Nuff said.

Surprise surprise.  I didn't just stick with sport titles at the sales.  When I saw this bold (and immediately identifiable) cover staring at me I snagged it up quick.

Who wouldn't want to learn more about the greatest cartoonist of all time.  Yes, I'm a Bill Watterson guy but you can't deny the impact Charles Schulz had on the world of comics.  Pretty much everyone lists him as an influence.

I wish there were official biographies for Watterson and Tom Larson (The Far Side) and maybe one day there will be, but to knock this one off the list is huge.  Looking forward to this one.

Lastly, Uri Geller (a vintage copy).  The cover is so funny.  I bought it on that alone.

So who is Uri Geller?  Well, there's a great documentary on Netflix called An Honest Liar.  It's about the world famous magician/escape artist The Amazing Randi.  Part of his mission in life is to expose the fakes who try to claim paranormal powers and profit from the gullible.

Uri Geller is one such faker.

Check out his appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Classic!!

Had to buy the book.  Had to.

Finally, the one last book on my radar is about to show up at the library for me any day now (yeah...that's right, I have all these books and I go and rent one from the library).  I recently read a great article about Ty Cobb and am now just putting this title on the top of my list.

Basically, Charles Leerhsen has, through his dedicated research, discovered that the character of Ty Cobb that we have all grown up to hear about is nothing more than a myth.  He was not the racist, cheating thug looking to injure other players that everyone thinks of when they hear the name.  Heck, it's been documented numerous times in best-selling books and award winning documentaries.

Leerhsen goes to debunk the myths with hard evidence and in turn questions those who have documented the myth as truth.  I guess repetition can sometimes bleed into something believable.

It's officially the next title on my list after The Boys In The Boat.  And by what I see on my bookshelf, I better get cracking.  There's lots of pages to be flipped in this house.

Well....that about does it.  Thanks for sticking around this long to check out my haul and do yourself a favour and pick up a book.  Let me know what you are reading these days or what you've just finished reading.  Anything on your radar?  Have fun!!