Sunday, December 10, 2017


Seems as though I'm getting a little behind in my blog posts.  I've still got a few from my recent COMC purchase and I've actually done some purchasing at local shows and trade nights.  Fancy that.

Let's try and rectify things over the next week or so.

Today I'll share a pretty unique card to go in the Linden PC.

Years ago, I shared some of the Linden 'cameo' cards that have found their way into my collection.  What I really like about these cards is that they completely go under the radar of some collectors.  They aren't on any checklists (and they really should be) and normally if there isn't reference to the tends not to exist.

I've made a point of documenting every instance that Trev shows up on another player's card.  There aren't many.....but one of my recent pickups has me asking "How far do I go?".

1998/99 Upper Deck Series I
Gold Reserve
#150 Eric Desjardins (with Linden cameo)

When I first saw the base card of Desjardins I immediately thought about the parallels that are out there.  He has the gold parallel, a challenging Exclusive /100 and a near impossible 1/1.  Should they go on the list or do I just find happiness in the simple parallels?

Well of course I add them to the list......I'm a completist.

I have no clue if I will ever land either of the remaining 'cameo' cards I need (or let alone see them) but there's no harm in adding them to the list - I'm never scratching them all off anyways.

Do you consider 'cameo' cards in your player PC?  If so, how many have you tracked down over the years?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

WALLET CARD - The Black Friday Haul

Although my collecting (and blogging) has been pretty low-key and sparse over the 2017 year, I can with great certainty say that my most recent order from COMC has provided a boost to one of my numbers.

My Oscar Gamble collection.

I've said it many times before but this player collection has been one of the more enjoyable builds I've got.  A good number of vintage base, inexpensive cards and a few tough parallels have made this fun to work on.

And if you haven't #WalletCard is the epitome of fun!!!

So with that, let's check out what goodies have arrived recently.

This 1973 Topps card is a fantastic photo.  This set is filled with great action shots that really give a feel to the sport that many cards since have been unable (or unwilling) to capture.

The second base slide, dust flying everywhere, a helmetless Oscar and everyone looking off towards first makes this a keeper.

I also love the fact that this card has decent centering.'s not perfect, but that's what you get for less than a buck.

I love the cap on this 1974 offering.  And the background on this card is fantastic.  How often can you see other buildings in and around the ballpark these days?  Never.

And although the 'fro isn't as daunting in this pic, it's still pretty solid.

This simple 1977 design really allows focus on the photo.  Oscar has such a distinct crouch in his batting stance that you can get a pretty good sense of it even from this tight a zoom. he taking batting practice or is this mid-game?

This one might need an upgrade down the's a little blurry.  Looks like the printing wasn't completely accurate.  Nevertheless, it's a great photo.

Afro - check.  Gold chain - check.  Sweet San Diego cap - check.

Good enough for me.

Now we're getting into an era that I remember as a kid.  Living in Canada I was an O-Pee-Chee collector but I do remember this design well.  It was the first series of baseball I ever collected (or tried to collect....I wasn't as hardcore as my hockey sets back then).

Still love the border colours from this year and the simple cap in the corner (especially Montreal and Pittsburgh).

I was never exposed to Donruss back in the 80's.  I don't know if my brain would have been able to handle multiple products in the same year back then.

This card doesn't have an early-80's vintage feel to it.  I see this piece of cardboard and I think "junk wax era".

I probably overpaid for it even though it was less than .50 cents.

I probably should have scanned the back of this tobacco-sized mini.  There are six different parallel backs to this Golden Age release.  This one happens to be the Hindu red back.

Take my word for it. on to a pair of buybacks that happened to find their way to the COMC world.

I don't know why, but I love chasing the Oscar Gamble buybacks but absolutely hate  the Linden ones out there.  I think it's because these buybacks are just simple base and plentiful.

I've already seen 9 different #WalletCard versions surface.  Problem is that when they do, the shipping is outlandish.  I can't justify spending $15us shipping on a $1 card.  Thankfully this one (and the next) were easily bundled into my COMC order which allowed me to sing them for the inexpensive cardboard they are.

No, you're not seeing double.  This is the silver foil version (as opposed to the bronze foil above).

There are also blue variations, gold, red.....OK, maybe it's not as fun. is.

More from my 80's collecting days - sort of.

In OPC land we didn't have anything as fancy as Tiffany sets so these were a complete unknown to me back in the day.  Of course now they are a must have for any player collector.

The interesting thing with these is that while the quality of the card stock and printing on the back is a step up from the regular piece, the photo has a bland look to it.  The whites are more of a beige......and beige in baseball cards is just no good.

Second verse, same as the first......but that cap is dynamite!

This Tiffany card is from the Topps Traded set back in 1985.  Yet another little extra thing to chase that OPC did not have.

We had it so simple back then.

Last Tiffany card is one of my faves from the 80's.  The infamous Richard Pryor card.

I still can't get past how similar the resemblance is.

To the more recent stuff again and this 2016 Topps Archive parallel.  The blue borders are numbered to 199 copies.  There's also a red border limited to just 50 but I've had to pass on a couple copies - shipping.....just can't do it.

The last couple cards are really the ones that epitomize what I love about COMC.

This simple Archives Snapshots base card can be simply put in my storage until I want it shipped.  I don't buy many through the year so a Black Friday sale is good enough for me.

If I can't find the card locally over the year, this is as good a place as any to pick it up.

And then there's the tougher parallel to snag too.  This photo negative (don't ask why they decided to go that route for a parallel) is limited to just 5 copies.  I had seen one or two go by previously and was a little worried I might not be able to snag a copy for a decent price.  Thankfully this one hit COMC with a really nice sale tag and it was an easy decision.

So there it is, my massive (to me) #WalletCard haul.  This puts me at 84 different Oscar Gamble cards.  Almost half of all his cards ever released.

If I did have a goal for 2018 (and I don't), it would be to surpass the century mark.

I have a feeling COMC will be most helpful in that chase.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


I'm very excited to see the latest bubble envelope hit the mailbox today.  It contains my recent COMC order (one that I have been building for the past year).  There are so many goodies to be had that it'll take a number of blog posts to get through it all.  Nothing wrong with that!!

Rather than jump in to the main course ('s a plethora of Oscars), I'll go with something simple tonight....seeing as I'm watching the Flames game and reading a little Dave Bidini during the intermissions.  How about a mask card that almost finishes a long-standing set.

So here goes...
2010/11 In The Game
Between The Pipes Masked Men III
#MM-23 J.S. Giguere

Raise your hand if you remember Giggy playing for the Leafs?  Raise your hand if you remember him with this stunner of a goalie mask?

This is one sweet lid!!  Love the profile shot showcasing the great design painted by Marlene Ross.  This overlapping leaf layout really shows some depth and creativity that can be appreciated from a ways back - which is how it should be.

I don't know why it took me so long to land this's not like J.S. is a high profile goalie.  Must be the fact he was playing for the Leafs at the time.  Regardless, it leaves me with just one lowly card left on the wantlist to complete the set.

Where are you Roberto Luongo??  (or should I say "cheap" Roberto Luongo).

Here's a bonus card from this year's Upper Deck Series I product.  Saw it and immediately had to have it.

Why can't more goalie base cards be like this?

Why couldn't goalie cards of the 60's and 70's have been like this?

Oh's one more sweet mask card to go into the binder.

Gotta love goalie masks!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Team Canada Mega Patch Progress

Slowly getting closer to the Christmas break and I am chomping at the bit.  It's been a long, busy year and things are starting to ease up as we head into the final weeks of 2017.

More items are being flung off the work plate and I couldn't be happier.  Already though there are rumblings that next year could be my busiest - but most rewarding - when it comes to opportunities.  I'm already looking forward to it.

But before then, I plan on enjoying some much needed R&R.  Three weeks off over the Christmas break is on the schedule and it'll involve getting caught up on a lot of things....but more importantly, it'll be a chance to recharge my batteries.  Heck, I've been joking with a few people that I'm still trying to get my year started.

It's been a much slower year for me when it comes to my Linden collection - collecting in general and as a result my postings here have been scarce.  But some time today to relax and watch some hockey has me in a scanning mood.  Add to that my most recent Linden pickup and this post was destined to happen.

2014/15 Upper Deck Premier
#PMP-TL Mega Patch Team Canada  16/27

These mega patches put out by Upper Deck a few years back are probably my most favourite cards to chase.  I really like that UD put Linden in his Team Canada garb for this product and the mega patch concept is a can't miss.....especially when you have the opportunity to piece them together like a puzzle. with all unique (1/1) Linden cards, I've been keeping tabs on each and every mega patch to hit the open market.  I've been able to land a few of them (six) but there are many more that have made their way into other Linden collections.  So a scan will do......and that is all I am looking for in that respect.

So here is a quick grid of the 12 Linden cards that I've personally seen and you can see it really fills out the crest nicely.  It's interesting to see how the whole right side of the leaf is hardly represented.  Odd.

Here's a better look at how the cards fill the picture...

Like I's one of my fave chases.

I hope one day all 27 cards will surface so that I can complete the picture.  To know that they all have been cracked out of packages (and that I've been able to scan them) would be an incredible achievement.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

MY COLLECTION - Goalies, Goalies, Goalies

Cleaning more stuff off my desk today.  Saw a stack of goalie cards and a binder of older cards on the shelf beside.  Decided to pull the scanner out and have some fun.

Here are some of the tenders currently residing in my collection/tradebox (depends on who you ask).

This is about as old as I've got - if you don't count a couple of Parkies in my PC.

Love the vintage leather.

Lots to love about this one.

Great logo.  Great jersey.  Great leather.  Great wall.

And the card is in great condition to boot.

Always been a fan of Cesare and his awesome masks.  But here's one of him sans lid.

Is he even wearing equipment??

I'm a sucker for the Golden Seals logo.  And I'm a bigger sucker for this jersey.

We need more of these portrait shots on our cards eh?


Love, love, love this card.

Bunny on the verge of getting the net to himself in Montreal.

Whoops....not so fast.

Not the mask I think of when I hear Michel Larocque.

How cool are you when you're sporting a beard like that, have your mask tucked into the top of your pad and sport the double zero on your back?

John Davidson.  (just don't go looking at any 80's hockey blooper VHS tapes.....clearly not the same cool goalie).

The less popular Dryden in most people's eyes, but I have a special admiration for him.

He was the first goalie to introduce the (what is now commonplace) cage-mask combo style of goalie lid.

And look at those pads!!  They can't be regulation height?

My favourite Colorado Rockies goalie of all time (sorry Chico).

This is a great photo of him in net.  Looks like he knows what he's doing.

Anyone remember the story Don Cherry told about Hardy letting in three softies?  "Yahhh...Hat Treeck".


If the five hole is between your legs, what's the spot directly over the head called?  Definitely a weakness in Mario Lessard's game me thinks.

Some great crease action and again.....vintage leather.

I had the pleasure of doing a quick interview with Ed Staniowski about 15 years ago when he was in town for a 3-on-3 charity tournament.  He looked like he could beat the crap out of anyone and everyone in the building.  Dude is in shape!  But boy was he ever a nice guy.

I've got to dig up that interview one of these days.

What.  A.  Great.  Card.

My first ever NHL game I saw in person was the 1985 All-Star Game.  Yeah Gretzky, yeah, Kurri, yeah Bossy and Trottier.  Yeah rookie Lemieux.  But Lindbergh.....he was the star of the show for me.

He was so good.

Speaking of All-Star games.  Remember when John Garrett had to fill in for Richard Brodeur and nearly snagged MVP honours in 1983?  That was until the Great One potted four in the third to steal it away.

What's not to love about this card.

I felt bad about what I said you are in Devils gear.

He looks so odd.

I wish there were more cards of Murray Bannerman.  I wish that the card that were out there of Murray Bannerman were better.

This is an "action shot" in comparison to others.

Awesome.  Mask.

The Bandit!!  Looks like he got lessons from Mario Lessard.

And how about that killer red Titan goalie stick!!  He was probably the coolest kid on the block.

Masks started getting boring about now.

Hold on....spoke a little too soon.  Love the yellow version of this Kirk McLean lid.  That is a sweet setup.

So there you have it.  A little random goalie show & tell for no better reason than I wanted to.

Now.....back to my desk cleaning.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

WALLET CARD - Buyback Beauty

I'm nearly caught up with my show & tell posts from my summer hiatus and early season card pickups.  Not too much to report on but there have been a few nice additions to various projects that have me gaining from ear to ear.

When it comes to my Oscar Gamble collection, I've been keeping things at a pretty solid simmer.  There are quite a few base cards and cheap inserts that I could very easily pick up via COMC or eBay but I'm just not in a rush to get those - I'd love to one day knock a few of those off by digging in boxes and sniffing them out.  But when it comes to the tougher, low-numbered parallels or the dreaded buyback cards, I pay closer attention.

I don't know why, but I love the buyback offerings from Topps.  As much as I enjoy new cards, new sets, I really enjoy tracking down - and hopefully snagging these foil-stamped offerings.  I've landed more than my fair share but have let a few go by due to the crazy expensive shipping costs from the States.  I just can't justify paying $12-15 US for shipping on a card that might only go for a buck or two.

Thankfully, this current find broke the mould.

2016 Topps 65th Anniversary Buyback
#505 Oscar Gamble 1977

This is my third card from the 2016 season of buybacks and my first with the black stamp.  I did a little digging and found that the black is actually the most common (standard) of stamps.  My other two #WalletCard stamps are blue which is in the "rare" category.  Nice.

I couldn't tell you what it is about the buybacks that just make me get a little more anxious or excited, maybe it's because I just never see them so that sense of rarity mixed with inexpensiveness (is that a word?) results in a fun time for me hobby-wise.

That is.....if the shipping costs aren't too crazy.

Here's the back of the card - because it's so nice.

I mentioned that this card didn't have the expensive shipping cost associated with it.  So what gives?

Well, I made a point of contacting the seller to thank him for the inexpensive shipping to Canada.  He mentioned that he'd be putting the card in a PWE (plain white envelope), thus keeping the costs to just a simple letter mail stamp. for me.

Showed up in perfect shape.  It helps when the card is properly protected - even for a PWE.  Low risk, big reward.

I wish more US sellers would go this route (even with me as the buyer taking all the risk of damage). I think.....heck, I know I'd be buying more of these buybacks.  I've seen a couple more that are just too pricey right now.

Happy to cross this off the list and continue to add to the growing #WalletCard collection.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - One More For The ITGU Collection

We are a few weeks into the hockey season and I'm thrilled that it is here.  I've managed to make it out to a game in the early going, have got my work hockey pool in full swing, have joined my first ever "keeper" league which I am thoroughly enjoying and am still on the hunt for that which I collect.....namely, Trevor Linden cards.

I must say though that each time I do a search online for Linden cards, be it eBay or Kijiji or just the hobby boards, I find myself taking a moment to check a very important list.  It's a list of Linden cards recently stolen from a longtime collector.  There has still been no update as to the whereabouts, but I know for a fact that there are many people within the hobby that know what has happened.  That is a little reassuring as I am a firm believer this collection will surface.

I try not to let it affect me and my purchasing of Linden cards.  I do want to continue enjoying the hobby as I have built it for myself and I think I have been.  No, I haven't picked up too many new cards, but I still get up for the hunt.

Just one lowly card to share at this time....from a product that had me shaking my head when it came out.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
Game Used Jersey Quad Gold
#GU4J-02 w/Hull, Naslund & Roenick  /25

It's a nice quad jersey card of four guys I can't figure out the connection with.  They all played hockey at some point.  They all have their photo on the card.  They all have a jersey in the possession of Leaf. That's about it.

When Leaf took over the In The Game line I was mildly excited to see what they would do in terms of design, card quality and selection.  They went overboard with the parallels though as Linden has 52 card in this one single product.


Most of those cards are limited to 10 or less to boot.  That really took the wind out of my sails.  I gotta say, it was also around this time that my approach to collecting Linden cards changed.  I have really shifted the gears back and am not nearly as aggressive as I used to be.  No reason for it.  There is absolutely no way I can keep up with volume (and forced scarcity) like this.

So I play the patience card - a lot.  And I love it!!

I was able to land this card for a fraction of the price it would have gone for 3 years ago.  That makes me happy.  I'm able to cross another card off the list.  Happy again.

This puts me at 13 cards out of the 52 in the release.  If you don't count the printing plates or other 1/1's I've actually got 13 out of 24.  So I'm just over half way there.

And I've got so many years to go!!  :)

Let's see how many more I can snag this hockey season.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

PACK RIPPING - 2017 Canada Post Souvenir Sheets

For the fourth year in a row, I have picked up a pack (and thus a complete set) of Canada Post card stamps.  I have really enjoyed these - I think the designs and subjects have been fantastic to this point,  and was anticipating what the subject matter would be this season.

In 2014, it was the Original Six.

In 2015, the goalies got the call.

In 2016, it was the forwards who were the focus.

So I assumed it would be the defensemen that would get the packaging this year.

Not.  So.  Fast.

2017 Canada Post Souvenir Sheets
6 Stamp Set
(1 in every 40 packs has a signed stamp)

Before I share the subjects of this year's stamps, I just want to go over how great I think these are.

One pack runs $10.  You get six stamps (each with the $1.80 value attached) which can be used for your everyday mailed envelopes.

And if that wasn't enough, for the pack rippers and collectors in us, one in every forty packs will house a certified autograph stamp.  Obviously not every player in the six sign (some of them have passed away), but still.....what an awesome incentive.

It's a no-brainer to pick up a pack - even if it's just to collect the set each season.

So this year, it was "Canadian Hockey Legends".

I like to think that they borrowed my tremendously popular idea of showcasing Stanley Cup photos.

Yes, Maurice Richard is not "hoisting" the Cup, but it's a darn nice shot.

We've all seen this iconic photo of Wayne in full glory.

Look at that smile.  Look at that curly mop.

Good times.

A really nice young shot of Gordie Howe admiring Lord Stanley's Cup is a really nice addition.

Again, I'm partial to the guys who lift that bad boy over their head.

Mmmmmm.....not quite Mario.

Still, you just can't beat this checklist.

Bobby Orr with the huge grin.

Maybe I should start a subset called "hugs".

Last - but definitely not least, Jean Beliveau in what is my favourite card/stamp in the set.  He looks so young, so happy and the colours of the Habs look great in this pic.

So there you have it.  Another season of Canada Post stamps in the books.  I can't help but wonder what they will do next.  Future stars?  Gotta get McDavid in there soon enough.  How about the D-men?  They need some love.

I still think defunct teams would be outstanding.

Now go on out and buy a pack.  Let me know if you get a signed card!!

Monday, October 16, 2017

RAISE THE CUP - A Pair Of Show Pickups

OK....let's show off a couple fun cards for one of my fave projects of the past few years.

I've been working on my 'Raise The Cup' project for almost 8 years now.  It's such a simple concept but really shows off the flexibility and creativity that this hobby can bring - a collection of cards that depict players raising the Stanley Cup over their heads.  It's the pinnacle moment of their playing career and you can definitely see it in the faces of the players.

What I love about this build is that it is limitless - as long as photos of Stanley Cup champions show up on cards (and there have been tons of those recently), there can be cardboard to chase.  I love that it began as a comment to me about a photo of Lanny raising the Cup and has just grown into a fun, inexpensive collection.

That's what I think is the greatest aspect of this hobby - it can be whatever I want it to be.  If I want penalty box cards - I can do that.  If I want face-off closeups or glove saves - no prob.  How about goal celebrations - indeed.  The parameters of what I chase is fully formed from what I want to go after.


So what have I got to add to this set???

Ray one of the all-time great Stanley Cup stories ever.  Pretty good start.

I remember watching this final series, and the final game, with eager anticipation.  It was exciting to see such a legend in the game finally win the big one and raise the Stanley Cup.  To see Joe Sakic hand the Cup over to Bourque so he could hoist it first was pretty special.

Seeing this card really brings those memories back.  You can see the emotion etched in his face and the relief and exhilaration as he finally realizes his dream.

This is the exact type of card I love for this set.  Cost less than a buck and has a great photo.

Sid the Kid has certainly carved out an incredible first half of his career.  No question he's the top player in the league today.  He's got all the tools and now has 3 Stanley Cups on his resume.  Incredible.

With all of his success, I'm surprised there aren't more Cup raising cards out there.  I think this might be my third or fourth in the binder - and I know there are some dedicated insert sets that include him, but I would have expected many more.

I like this photo because he's looking right in the camera.  Yes, it might look a little more "forced" as opposed to a genuine reaction to lifting the Cup, but it's still a nicely framed shot.  I'm on the fence if this would have been better suited to a vertical card layout as opposed to this horizontal offering.

Anyways, these were a pair of great finds from the big card show here a few weeks back.  Again, it's nice to dig in boxes....not really knowing what one might find.  There's really no checklist to this set, I just put them aside when I discover them.  It's what I love about card shows.

I've been brainstorming what other kinds of projects to consider that have the same level of  inventiveness (as I've finished my '1 vs. 100' project a couple years ago now).  Seeing these cards might just replenish the creative juices.

Current Collection - 159 cards