Sunday, May 30, 2021


Been meaning to post an update on this as there has been some great news of late.

A couple of months ago there was a huge development in recovering many of the stolen Trevor Linden cards from 2017. A card collector - from my city no less - had acquired a considerable number of these stolen cards and had been in the process of selling them. A few of us Linden collectors (who keep tabs on Linden cards hitting the open market) were able to identify many of these cards as stolen due to the serial numbers. Lesson to those who have a collection of rare or tough-to-find cards....take photos and document serial numbers.  It can indeed pay off.

During this time, there was another handful of cards that popped up on eBay. Again, we Linden collectors took note and eventually were able to get the Terrace RCMP involved. They seized the cards and held them while the Linden collector worked to prove they were his.

Many of these cards are 1/1s or extremely rare copies. Seeing these pop up for sale after so many years created some excitement that there were still some opportunities to recover this stolen property.

I was actually asked to provide the RCMP with a statement of ownership - as I was given a list of the stolen cards back in 2017...complete with serial numbers. Again, this was the key to recovering these cards.

After a few weeks, I received an e-mail from the Linden collector who said he received the cards back, further shortening the list of cards out there that rightfully belong to him.

In addition to a large Linden collection, he also had some Sedin cards stolen...again, some rare, irreplaceable items.

He also had some Pacific Atomic Blue cards (which are low-numbered print runs). It really was incredible to once again see a large lot of cards find their way back home.

To this day, I immediately go to my list of stolen Linden cards to check serial numbers whenever a rare bird flies into eBay or some other online store. I firmly believe that there will be a day when all of the remaining cards pop up somewhere. Let's hope it's sooner than later.

A little good news to wrap up the weekend.

Friday, May 21, 2021

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Surprise Special Guest

A few weeks ago, I was digging through my base cards and non-PC cardboard trying to hunt down as many cards featuring Indigenous players for my buddy Naim's 'Base Cards For Kids' project. He sent a shoutout on his YouTube page asking for (you guessed it) base cards of Indigenous NHLers so he can pack them up and give them away to kids.

I loved the idea and immediately hit up his website to remind myself of the dozens of players who are on the list. I managed to find some and mailed them off. It felt good.

And I think the hobby gods agreed...because in my search, I discovered a number of new Linden cards to add to my master checklist.

Way back in the day (I'm talking 25+ years ago), when I was originally developing my Linden master checklist, I found a few cards that featured other players...but just happened to have Linden in the photo - a cameo of sorts. Me being me, a completist, I made the decision that these cameo cards needed to be added to the list.

Most of them are junk wax base cards - so the price to pick them up has been cheap, but a few of the parallels might have me cringing (a 1/1 Eric Desjardins is on the list). Really, it's just a fun addition to an already hefty checklist.

I've even had a fellow Linden collector send some knowledge and generosity my way. This hobby is the best.

So where am I going with all of this?

In my digging for base cards, I found a Kirk McLean that had me stop in my tracks...

1996/97 Upper Deck
#348 Kirk McLean (Linden cameo)

I couldn't believe that in 25 years, I have never noticed Linden's number 16 staring back at me. 

I love my goalie cards - and have a decent amount of junk wax-era goalies due to the cool masks they wore in those days. I really liked the sideplates on this McLean mask and so I kept the card. did I not see Linden all these years??

Regardless, it was an easy add to the Linden checklist - and an equally quick cross-off.

But....there's more.

My memory from 25 years ago isn't as strong as it used to I didn't know if there were any parallels for this card (which would of course need to be included on the list). So I made my way to COMC to check if there were any offerings.

In my search there, I came across ANOTHER McLean card that clearly shows Linden in the shot. I was stunned. And then I laughed.

First of all, what a terrible photo to use of Kirk - the dude just got scored on! What gives? Second, there is the base card and four parallels. Sure, they're not bank-breaking parallels, but still. Five new cards to the master list. Crazy.

It makes me want to go through all the Canucks who played with Linden and check out their cards. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if there are a couple more photos that sneak Linden in the background.

This hobby is always providing me some fun and interesting curveballs. I love it.

And for those who have some extra base cards lying around...please consider Naim's 'Base Cards For Kids' project. Head over to his YouTube page to learn more.  Thanks!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

WALLET CARD - Still Plugging Away With Oscar

As important as my Trevor Linden collection is to my hobby identity, a strong argument can be made that my Oscar Gamble collection is the most fun.

For those who know the story behind the birth of my Oscar Gamble PC (and why I call it 'Wallet Card'), you know that I can't not smile when I look through the great photos that adorn the various pieces of cardboard depicting his name.

His 1976 Topps Traded remains the GOAT of all baseball cards in my opinion. His master list of all cards out there is a very respectable (and tidy) 200 or so cards...many of which are base or inexpensive inserts and parallels.

I check for his cards almost as often as I do Linden, and although I don't find as many that I can cross off my list as rapidly, the excitement is just as high when I find one that I can land.

Recently, his offerings have consisted of buyback cards (seems Topps is always celebrating an anniversary of some sort). Most of the time, I've been able to snag the stamped offerings (a few have slipped through my fingers), and recently the cards have been of some of his earliest releases.

2021 Topps Heritage
#423 1972 50th Anniversary Buyback

I saw this copy pop up on eBay about a month back. I had an eagle eye on it hoping that I'd be able to grab it for a reasonable price. Sadly, it went for about 3 times as much as I wanted to pay. Such is life.

But I've said it many times before...and it rings true again - patience pays off.

Another one of the stamped buybacks hit the open market a little over a week ago and the auction ended for far less. A price I was happy to pay - especially since the shipping was from Canada (rare on my baseball pickups).

It was a prompt delivery and I couldn't be happier. I love the fact I can add to my Oscar Gamble collection.

This is the first buyback card featuring his 1972 release, so it made this pickup extra nice.

It's a great example of how an inexpensive card can be so rewarding to add to the collection. Not all cards need to be expensive to feel important in your collection.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - We've Got A Really Big Show

I've been a Trevor Linden collector for more than half my life. When it comes to my hobby story, there is no question that my Linden PC is front and center...and a true galvanizing aspect of sportscards for me. This collection has kept me motivated, organized, passionate and ever-chasing - even when things slow down or get in a funk. Linden cards have always been a source of enjoyment.

I do searches for new Linden cards on eBay daily...even hourly.  Technology has created a streamlined situation that makes the task virtually effortless. And make no mistake...I still get really excited when I find a card that has been sitting on the wantlist for a long time. It doesn't happen as often...and maybe that makes it all the more enjoyable.

Recently, I've come across an influx of older show cards the likes I've never seen before. On wantlist where some of these cards have been sitting for almost 20 years, just finding a copy is near impossible. To land not just one...but multiple - is borderline unheard of.

But here we are.  Enjoy the show (see what I did there).

1998/99 Be A Player
#234 SHOW Atlanta National  /10

This is a perfect example of a card I thought I'd never see. I still can't believe I own a copy of it.

So, the story behind this card (and most of the others in this post) come from a site called Centre Ice Collectibles. They sell singles and I've picked up the odd card here and there over the years. Most of the time I check out their site, they have base and a few mid-range parallels...nothing I don't already have. They've also started posting some of their cards for sale on eBay...which is where the lightbulb went off.

They did not have this card on eBay...I went to the CIC site after I tracked down a couple other cards and couldn't believe my eyes at the number of show cards they had sitting in the Linden checklist. 

My excitement was so palpable that it cost me in some stupid shipping costs (more on that later).

I've said it a number of times since I cracked open the bubble mailer...I can't believe I have found a copy of this card.

1999/00 Be A Player Millenium
#129 SHOW Fanfest Silver  /25

This was one of the cards I saw lurking on eBay. It popped up on my feed on a weekday afternoon, causing me to do a doubletake. What was a rare gem like this doing wandering on deck on a Tuesday? It made no sense. A quick check of my master list confirmed that it was indeed a card I I pulled the trigger quick on the purchase.  Even went so far as to pay for it right away (foreshadowing).

This is the fourth colour parallel of this show card that I now own and again, I still can't believe I stumbled on a copy of it.  These cards just never see the light of day.

But within seconds of me winning this auction...another card popped up right behind it.

2000/01 Be A Player Signature
#213 SHOW Cleveland National Ruby  /10

My jaw dropped when I saw a second show card hit the open market. I started wondering if there was a Linden collector offloading their collection. Then I saw the seller and started putting two and two together.

I snagged this piece of cardboard just as quick....paid for it - yes, I ended up completely blowing the whole "combined shipping" thing - and was off to the CIC website.

At $3 a card to wasn't the end of the world...but had I'd known how many show cards I'd be buying, I'd have paid more attention.

This card finished off the four-card Cleveland National rainbow and is the 13th show card from this card issue (I think I need to do a show & tell just on that).

But wait...there's more.

2001/02 Be A Player Parkhurst
#161 SHOW Tri-Star Collectors Show  /10

This was the one card that started off this recent show card haul. A couple of months ago, I started noticing that there was a seller who had monstrous amounts of show cards from one set issue...and was offering them up at crazy prices.  Of course, they were cards I needed so my lip was getting bruised as I was constantly biting it - holding off on making some bad purchases. 

My patience paid off as this card hit eBay again shortly after, with a different seller and for a much more reasonable price.

Again, I've never seen a copy of this card. It's unbelievable to think I now own it...and three other show cards within such a short period of time.

The even more absurd part of all I was typing up this post tonight, I decided to go back to the CIC site just to triple-check my master list with what they have left in their inventory.  Wouldn't you know it, they have TWO MORE show cards that are on my wantlist. So this isn't the last of my 20-year-old show card haul.

This hobby never ceases to amaze me.

One more Linden to wrap up the post...this time, a buyback from a product that had me smitten when it originally came out.

2018/19 Upper Deck MVP
#131 98-99 Buybacks  /20

This card comes from one of the low-end UD products...but was one of the most desirable cards for me in the 18/19 season. I don't know why, but I was a sucker for these buybacks. Numbered to just 20 copies (to celebrate this product's 20th anniversary) I thought it was a really fun chase. I even opened a few boxes back in the day.  These buybacks came one in every box. Of course, my luck, I hit a Joe Juneau on my first attempt...and my second.  Yup, I have 2 of the 20 possible Joe Juneau cards from this offering.

It took a while to find a copy of this Linden for the right price...again, a lesson in patience. Really happy when it showed up. It's not often I add many cards from recent products these days. I find they have huge asking prices and I'm just not as motivated a buyer as I was years ago. I can wait.

This came at the right time and I'm thrilled with I am with all of the Linden cards in this post. It arguably is the biggest addition to my collection in quite a number of months. Doubtful it's a trend that will continue, but I like the fact that I can give myself complete permission to take a stab at a card whenever I want. I feel I've got the mindset to not go crazy these days and put a burden on my wallet.

It really is the best way to collect.

What a month it has been.

NOTE: I just realized that not a single one of these cards shows Trev in his Canucks jersey. Odd.