Friday, October 6, 2023

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Not Something I See Everyday

Hello again. I hope everyone had a fantastic summer. I'm in complete denial that we are into October already (but the Jays being bounced from the playoffs would say it is so).

It's been a unique past few months to say the least. I have moved into a freelance working position that has me working from home these days - and loving it. But, as with many new working situations, there are some hiccups. I'm hoping that they iron out before the end of the year. I think they will...I trust the process.

From a collecting standpoint, I've had another quiet year for the most part. I type that as I look at a pile of cards that have built up over the summer. A nice handful of blogposts is what I see. We'll see how the next few months go, maybe I'll find the urge to post a little more (I bet when the puck drops on a new NHL season I'll find that energy).

But I did want to post something this week as it is the 14th anniversary of my blog. And I'll let that sink in for a bit.

My collecting habits have taking a huge rollercoaster ride in that time, but I can confidently say that I'm in a fantastic place hobby-wise, I still pay attention to it on a daily basis (even if it's just checking what's new on eBay) and I see so many instances of positive mindsets and attitudes that it just reinforces how much I love collecting hockey cards. It's so good.

The card I'll share's an example of a Linden that I've probably seen only one or two other times ever. It's that rare. Not so much in serial number scarcity, but in the circumstances of how I obtained it.

2021/22 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection
#USR-TL 2000-01 Ultimate Signatures Retro

Yeah, it's just an autograph card (but a real nice looking one at that). I happened to come across this one at the monthly local trade night just a couple days ago. Pulled straight from a pack that I was watching being opened live.

As soon as the card revealed itself, everyone turned their heads towards me - shocker. Ha ha. I thought it was the nicest looking card in the case...still think that. Everyone else dismissed it pretty quickly. 

It was the shop that had opened the pack and so I knew pretty quick that I was going to be walking home with it. They had helped me out on a couple other things earlier in the evening and so I just left it to them to set the price. There word was as good as gold to me. I appreciated that they gave me a fair price and I'm thrilled to add this one to the master collection.

I can really think of only two other times I've seen a Linden pulled in-store...maybe three. In all cases, I do know that I've walked out with the card. Always makes for a great story.

I've seen numerous occasions over the past number of months of great stories revealing themselves when it comes to my Linden cards. I think it adds a massive layer of depth to my collection - even if it's just me who feels that way.

So here's to another 14 years (or more). I know for a fact I'll still be collecting Linden, so I guess I'll see you then. And, of course, in the meantime as well.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Simple Cup Base... Or Is It?

It's been a whirlwind past couple of months.

I was very fortunate to immerse myself in some volunteer work during the May month and rewarded my efforts with a little golf trip to BC. The start of June brought with it a focus on finding a new job and I'm happy to say that I start a new gig on Monday. Very excited with how the year has turned out so far and am very optimistic with the path ahead.

My Linden collecting has been pretty quiet as a result, but was thrilled to land an elusive piece at the last monthly card show of the season.

2014/15 Upper Deck The Cup
#86 Base Card  /249

Yes, this may just look like a simple base card to many of you, but to me it epitomizes how I've approached my PC over the past decade.

First, let's enjoy this piece of cardboard. I really like the photo used. It's got a hint of action (as opposed to the stale "coast while watching the play" pose or "I'm gliding to the left" style seen on many offerings. The crop on the pic is tight - fills the frame - and I love it. Gives more weight to the card in my opinion. The border, silver foil, overall design and thick 180pt card stock gives this piece the high-end look that The Cup is known for.

High end base cards...not something I chase too aggressively. Why? The pricing on these can (at times) be ridiculous. I get that these cards come out of packs that can exceed $1000. But these base cards are not the place to try and recoup your losses.

I've only seen a handful of copies of this card on ebay (none recently)...and the ask has just been too high - especially when you factor in shipping. This is just not a $30+ card in my eyes.

I've become a patient guy.

Patience paid off yesterday when I found this card hiding deep in a box labelled "Make Me An Offer". I had to snicker because I knew that my offer was going to make the vendor's eyes widen. But I knew as soon as I saw the Linden that it was one I wanted and felt we could work something out. After all...what are the odds anyone else at the show is remotely interested in a decade-old base card of Trevor Linden?

I thought about hitting him with my max price right off the bat (which would likely have been lower than he'd like to get for it), but decided to go a little lower to start the haggling. After all, the box did say to make an offer.

"Ten bucks" I said, which if you take a step back and look, isn't a terrible offer. Again, this is a base card out of 249 of a player that most people would just walk by. I could tell it came across as a borderline lowball offer, but he had no real research on the card. I know what I've paid for Cup base cards of my guy in the past and I knew where my max was.

He countered with $25 and I immediately shot that down. I knew I could be patient and I'd find another copy down the road for far less than that. He asked what my max was and I said $15. Reluctant, he took the offer. 

We both shared our experience with The Cup and prices and everything revolving around trying to recoup one's money and I appreciated his transparency. I hope he felt the same way about me. 

In the end, I paid slightly more than I had hoped and I know he got less that he wanted, but I feel that it was a fair price. After all, it's a real bonus to land a Linden card for the PC at a local show. And I'm convinced he wouldn't get more than that if he were to hang on to it.

This card really made me think about - and appreciate - the approach I take when chasing cards for my collection these days. It's not that I'm cheap...I know how to drop the dollars when I've had to, but I'm listening to my wallet a lot more than I used to. A base card is something I can be quite passive about.

But it feels great to knock this one off the list.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - He's Finally In Tim's

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing and I am stunned at what I've seen so far in this first round. What drama and excitement. It'll be a fun ride this spring in crowning a champion.

My Linden collection grew by a single new card last week...courtesy of Tim Horton's. I am very excited to see my guy finally crack the lineup in this iconic yearly product release.

2022/23 Upper Deck
#63 Tim Horton's Legends

Tim Horton's has been pushing out a yearly hockey product for quite a while now and have really developed a nice niche collectible set. A smaller checklist, reasonable price point and some good insert sets. This season, however, Upper Deck has upped the game.

UD decided to go with a Legends product this time around and have built a really solid checklist. Players from all eras are a part of the base set. 

But the real eye-catchers are the inserts. Some fantastic photos and really nice designs. Go check 'em out if you have the time.

Back to my Linden card though. This is a real looker. I love the gold shiny base for the card...even has some embossed texture elements. Very sharp. Happy with the photo selection (all of the Tim's card use basic full body poses) but would've loved a skate logo era pic. I mean...who wouldn't??

This is a simple pickup in terms of price (I was gifted this one...but it runs a whole 0.25 cents). But this card really represents that it's not about the price of the card, it's about the look of it and the story that comes with it.

Thrilled to knock this one off the list and finally see Trev in the Timmy's set.

Time for a donut and a double-double.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

OPINION - Trevor Linden Digital Cards (Part 3)

It was a little over a year ago that I shared my thoughts and updates on Trevor Linden digital cards. I still peruse the Topps Skate app (though not as often) and enjoy the free offerings it provides. I maintain that if Topps were ever to physically produce some of the designs they come up with...the hockey card collecting world would really benefit from it. Gorgeous pieces of cardbo....oh wait, they're still just digital images.  :)

I had laid out my disappointment back then about the newest Linden cards released...patch cards that were only available as a bonus for finishing the tough-to-build insert set. Thankfully, these bonus cards can be traded for...and I'm a patient guy.

I said back then that the iconic and legendary cards (tougher to hit "classes" of cards) would likely be hit in the free packs about once a year...if you open packs on a regular basis. Well...I pretty much nailed that prediction.

As a result, I was able to land this rare bird...and am shocked I now "own" it.

2021/22 Topps Skate!
#NN Triple Threads Series 2 Alumni Green Iconic

This is an amazing card...I want a physical copy of it. There are only 34 copies total in the global count on the Topps app and has now become the most rare Linden digital card I own.

A year ago, I NEVER would have thought I'd be able to get my hands on this one without shelling out cash...I'm still gobsmacked that I was able to trade for it.

So how did it happen??

Well, as I said, when you open packs using the free coins you can get from going on the app, every once in a while you'll hit a tougher-to-find card. I hadn't hit one in over a year, until....

2022/23 Topps Skate!
#NN Vintage Vaulted Series 1 Signatures Gold Iconic

As soon as I saw the moniker 'iconic', I knew I had a shot of landing a Linden. I didn't know how many copies of the card would be released, but I started my quest immediately.

I reached out to a couple guys on the app who had a duplicate of the above Linden (yeah....think about that for a moment), but they balked at the trade request. There are currently 119 copies of the Beniers card out there while only 34 of the Linden exist...not a fair trade in some people's eyes. And I can appreciate that. The global card count for an item holds much higher value in the digital card world.

I had a number of people trying to trade with me for the card - many of them making decent offers (multiple 'iconic' cards), but I told them all that I was trying to parlay this into a Linden on my wantlist.

One trader did perk my ears. He had originally offered up three Canucks 'iconic' I decided to take a look at what all he had in his collection. Sure enough, he had the Linden I was looking for. I reached out to him letting him know that the Linden is what I was after - also mentioning that it was a bit of an "unfair" trade on my part - I'd be getting the much more rare card. I asked if he would part with some of his iconic cards that might be able to alnd me the Linden at a later point.

To my shock, he just straight up traded me the Linden. I was blown away. He asked that I keep him in mind the next time I land a rare bird. Absolutely.

It was a fantastic trading experience and reinforced to me how much I enjoy chasing Linden cards on the Topps Skate app. Trev hasn't had many new cards come out over the past year, so I'm not making much headway (I now have 17 of the 21 Linden cards on the app), but this new patch card addition has me motivated to keep going.

I still have yet to invest a single penny into any of my digital cards. Talk to me in a year to see if that changes.  :)

Digital cards....yay or nay for you?

Sunday, April 16, 2023

RAISE THE CUP - A Pair Of Recent Adds

Had to scroll for a while to see when the last time I shared some Cup Raisers was. Five and a half years! Time truly does fly by.

As you can see recently, I've been a big fan of the SP Signature Editions Legends product released by Upper Deck. Some great names from the past, eye-catching photos, tasty hard-signed autographs and highly desirable insert sets makes this one to keep track of.

I shared some of the great cards from my box break - including the Canvas Legends. Amazing photos. I'll continue this along as I've gained a pair of great looking Cup Raisers.

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
#C-28 Ken Daneyko

Went to the local monthly trade night a couple weeks back and was gifted this beauty of a shot of Daneyko. This is exactly the kind of photo and card I love adding to the Cup Raisers collection - it encapsulates that pinnacle moment in a player's career...getting to hoist the Stanley Cup.

It's tight framing...but I think it adds to the intimacy of the moment.

Love it.  Thanks Brian.

As I was admiring that card in the shop, another person zipped back to his trade box and returned with this...

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
#C-97 Rod Brind'Amour

Another stunner. Get a load of that release of emotion from Rod the Bod. That's gotta be a goosebump moment.

A quick trade and this card, along with the Daneyko were coming home with me.

These two new additions now makes me want to go and properly sort and store my Raise The Cup cards. I think some are in a binder, some are still in toploaders...I need to get organized.

Totally what I'm going to do with some of my Sunday morning.

Do you have a card with a smokin' good photo on it?...One that captures an iconic moment?

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Closer Look At The SP Signature Legends Offerings

It's been a long time since a new product release has excited me as much as Upper Deck's SP Signature Legends. The cards look great, some of the insert sets will be very highly sought after and my guy has lots of cardboard sprinkled throughout.

A total of seven new Trevor Linden cards for me to add to my master checklist from this one product. Now, it's not the first time a new release has seen a multitude of Linden fact, there have been some products that have flooded the Linden quotient (Leaf...I'm looking at you), but these new cards really tap into a number of things I love about fresh Linden cardboard.

We've already seen the base card from my box break. It's a standard card in the set and doesn't really offer any additional flair. That said, I love when a new Linden photo emerges in a product. Always appreciated.

This is the only card I currently own. The remaining photos are from cards that are (or have been) available through an online portal.

The gold foil version really compliments the photo. I love the look. And the gold background and border works beautifully for cards that have contrasting colours too. Very sharp.

The facsimile autograph is a nice's like a teaser for what's to come.

A nice hard-signed signature is something I'll always enjoy and appreciate. Someone made mention that Linden has a unique auto in the sense that it is two lines (first name on top, last name underneath). I'd never noticed it that way before. I had always just seen his signature as what it is.

Still...pretty cool.

The Decagons die-cut is a nice little insert for Trev to be included in. It's nothing to write home about but I like that he is added in more than just the base set.

I'd have to check, but there aren't too many die-cut Lindens in my collection. So that's something.

Of course, the real appeal to these Decagons are the signed variations - hard-signed at that.

This signature is not numbered (neither is the gold auto above) so I'm optimistic that I'll be able to land one at a reasonable price...though that time is most definitely not right now. Prices are a little crazy to say the least.

Here is the Ace of Spades. This All-Time Future Watch auto is pretty much everything I was hoping it would be. A nice card design with plenty of white space for a nice, full signature, and that photo is fantastic (the flying V shoulder and pant accents really take me back to the late 80's).

I love that this card is numbered to 199...a very reasonable number to chase. No rare birds here.

I've seen a live copy of one and know it'll be in my collection one day. Again, the biggest challenge will be finding one for the right price. This is a popular insert set.

Even more fun (possibly) is the unannounced acetate parallel of the Future Watch. Trev doesn't have many acetate cards either and the photo on this one just pops. It really rounds out the overall Linden chase that this product provides.

I'm not in any rush to knock these off the list, but these cards will be at a higher sense of awareness for me for quite a while. It's been a while since a new product has excited me this much.

Has there ever been a product release to really ignite your player collecting passion? What was it about that release to make you feel that way?

Saturday, April 8, 2023


The first weekend of April saw me venture off to a card show for the first time in months.

I love my local monthly show - something I've supported for decades, but the enthusiasm when perusing tables has dropped a bit over the past couple years. Many of the same vendors...often with the same cards just leaves me doing a quick lap before I exit.

Every once in a while there is a new face setting up...and that's what I get excited about.

So how about a show where there are many new faces.

The semi-annual card show that has become a staple in this city is one that I am certain to circle on the calendar. This spring, I was really looking forward to it with the new Linden cards out there.

I was a bit surprised to see fewer singles and inserts from the product than anticipated. In fact, only one measly Linden from SP Signature Legends was to be found - but it was the Ace of Spades for me.

The Linden Future Watch auto /199 was on the show floor and it was a fellow collector that pulled me over to the table that had it. It's as stunning as I'd hope it to be. But my jaw hit the floor for a different reason.

The price tag was more than double what I have spent on any top-end Linden auto in my collection, and a solid $100 more than what the card is currently going for on the open market. I did ask if I could hold it, take a closer look at it, but had absolutely no intention on buying it.

It's a desirable card no doubt. Any Linden collector would certainly be looking to add it to their collection, and I know there are set collectors for this dynamite insert. But there are 199 copies of this...I can wait.

A couple minutes later, I found another Linden auto that I needed...with an even more outlandish price tag slapped on it. The card was price almost 5 times what I've seen it go for on the open market. 

I told a number of people there that I'm still trying to adjust to the "new pricings" that have come with this recent pandemic boom of sportscards. I'm not used to seeing my guy command such a premium.

But I'm a patient guy. And even more importantly, I'm one who can pass by a Linden and have no problems not snagging it - I've done it many, many times over the past few years.

Still, it was a little disappointing to not hit a single card at the show.

Until late in the afternoon.

2021/22 Upper Deck SP Game Used
#52 Embroidered In History

This card was deep in the back of a monster box of inserts - almost begging me not to be found. But that's why we dig. I had a huge smile on my face when I saw the giant "Captain Canuck" manufactured patch.

The smile continued when I saw the reasonable price attached to it. I managed to get him to come down a bit on it and I feel we were both happy with the transaction. I paid a little more than the going rate (which I am happy to do when I can gain a card in person) and he made another sale on the day (the fact that this card was sitting deep in a box tells me it wasn't a big card for him). Win-win.

This card is a great reminder that there are always gems to be found and that patience and persistence are key. And like a great shot in golf...will always make me return for more.

I've already got the fall show marked on my calendar.

Friday, April 7, 2023

BOX BREAK - 2022/23 Upper Deck SP Signature Edition Legends

I can't believe I went the whole month of March without posting. that I think of it, maybe not. There was little hobby action from me over the past 30 days. No big pickups, no Lindens.

Scratch that...there was one.

After getting a glimpse of what the new Upper Deck SP Signature Legends product had to offer, I decided that I would bust open a box (a rare bird for me these days). My guy has no less than six cards on the checklist...and an unannounced seventh card in the mix. That makes for an exciting product rip.

Sadly, I didn't get to unwrap a Linden myself, but did trade for his base card. The chase continues.

Box breaks feel different than they used to. Fewer cards in a pack...fewer packs in a box. But this isn't a low-end product, so I guess that's the reason why.

For SP Signature Legends, it's 5 cards per pack and there were 18 packs in the box. No chance of building the base set with just one box. In fact, you'd need at least four boxes to complete the 300-card base set (not including the 50 short print cards that beef this up to 350). 

But I'm guessing a lot of the breakers are more interested in the hits.

Here's a look at the base cards. I was fortunate enough to have a friend gift me the Linden. I love the fact that it's a card in the iconic skate logo uniform.

Solid design and slightly thicker design stock makes this feel like a higher-end product - which it is.

The checklist is all over the place. True legends of the game are included (and the short prints are a who's who of the game), but there are some names in this product that just have me scratching my head.

No offense to the Ben Lovejoy collectors or the Mike Weaver chasers...but those are long name pulls. Still, when names like Plante, Sawchuk, Mikita, Trottier are included, one tends to look the other way.

As I mentioned, it's the inserts that are the real star of this product. Let's start with the canvas cards - a staple in big Upper Deck releases. Here, the UD Canvas Legends really shine.

A Steve Yzerman decked out in the oh-so-tasty mid-80's All Star uniforms...exceptional. I was hoping the photo would've been from the 1985 tilt that was held in Calgary (a game I went to), but it appears to be from the year before as I believe it is Denis Potvin's hand that he is shaking.

Still, a real nice photo. And I'd learn that this would be a theme of the canvas cards.

OK...hold the phone. Where was this photography on cards in the 70's and 80's??!! This single piece of cardboard gave me a huge jolt when I unwrapped it. What a snapshot.

The angle, the action, the leather, and of course...the mask. This is a photo worth framing.

I was grinning wide when looking at this card.

So you can only imagine my beaming when I pulled this Davidson. Again, where was this 40 years ago??

As a kid, I would've drooled over a card that had a closeup of a mask on it. And Davidson had some pretty memorable lids.

One more canvas to share...and it's a signed one. 

Michel Goulet was certainly a player I remember collecting when I was a kid. In fact, I remember taking his 1980 rookie card and cutting out the player and name bar (thinking it would look cool). I love when cards weren't seen dollar signs...but just pieces of cardboard.

Thrilled to see him in his vintage Nordiques I remember him best.

On to some of the other inserts. These are the gold parallels of the base cards (and were 1:7 packs). The Patrick Roy was a nice find...and is one of the SP chases (so 1:42 packs).

I really like the way the players pop off the gold background. Gives it a crisp, higher-end feel. The facsimile auto is a nice touch too. 

While the etched autos are nice, a hard-signed offering looks even better. Here's the big man Kjell Samuelsson giving fans his auto.

I remember him from the Pens-Flyers rivalries (and probably getting lit up by Mario Lemieux) before joining Pittsburgh and helping them to their second Cup win.

The signatures are really the staple of this product...and from what I've seen, are highly desirable (if you have the right name).

More inserts. These ProFiles cards look sharp. That rainbow foil tint makes those players jump out of the card.

Another Stevie Y and a rookie year Patrick Roy. No complaint with those guys following me on this break.

The Evolve cards are a nice idea. I hit a couple of them, but of course this Gretzky is tops. Shocked to not see him in his memorable St. Louis Blues kit. Ha ha.

Again, the real appeal of these cards are the signed versions. They look quite sharp with the auto in the sweet spot at the bottom.

Alright...time to share the dud of the box. Sorry Stu.

These Life After Hockey cards really just do not need to be in the product. A very loud, schtick-y card design with some uninspired photography. Do I really need to know that Stu is a lawyer these days?

Not for me.

On the flip side...I was beaming ear to ear when I pulled a Future Watch. No, it's not the auto, but a unannounced acetate parallel. What a great photo of Bobby as a rookie. Those gloves!

It really was the highlight of the box. My hope is to parlay it into a Linden (as he too has the unannounced acetate Future Watch parallel).

This was a really enjoyable break, even more because I opened my box at the same time as my friend opened his. Lots of fun comparing base card names and jaw dropping insert hits. It really reminded me of what the essence of the hobby is all about.

Go rip some packs!

Sunday, February 26, 2023


Have you ever had that feeling of excitement and enthusiasm for cards of your player that are about to be released into the hobby world? Seeing some prototype images or mock-ups of designs? A taste of the actual card you'll be chasing?

That's been my month...and I am really looking forward to some of the spring chases to come.

If you've been following the blog for years now, you'll know that I am a die-hard Linden collector. He's been the mainstay of my hobby for decades. And while I don't pursue like I used to, there is always an interest and an attempt to keep my finger on the pulse of what is about to be released.

So much so, that I have found real enjoyment in building and maintaining my Linden Master List (which now sits at over 2500 unique cards). I enjoy adding new rows, new products, new cards to chase. I do my best to be thorough and complete - always looking for more information (especially on older products).

This morning, I updated my list and noticed just how much Trev has been in recent products. Since the 2019-20 season, he has had almost 150 unique cards be released (impressive for a non-superstar player who has been retired for almost 15 years). He's been in over two dozen product releases - which I find amazing. Clearly there is still some draw to him in the hobby world.

But there are two specific products that have me really the point where I thought I'd share my excitement.

Note....this is not my card. :)

2020/21 Upper Deck The Cup
MP-TL Monumental Patch/Auto  1/1

Yeah...let's start with a bang. I was absolutely floored when I was texted this image. Never would I have expected Linden to get the Monumental Patch booklet treatment. But here it is - in the most expensive hockey product Upper Deck produces.

I've already been asked what my "number" is on it. I can say with strong certainty that I'm out on this one. The mixture of inflated secondary prices in the hobby, rabid collectors and investors chasing giant cards along with my more relaxed approach to securing the big ticket items (and probable undervaluing of the item itself) has me feeling like this one will never come my way.

But you never know.

It could be pulled locally. I could win the lottery. Somebody could just send it to me in the mail...right?Stranger things have happened.

When I saw this booklet, I immediately thought about the "pinnacle card" in my Linden PC...and how much I paid for it. I can say confidently that this new gem will surpass that in price. I'm betting it'll be the most expensive Linden card ever.

I look forward to seeing where it lands. Hopefully, one day, I get a chance to see it in person. It's an exciting piece to be sure.

Now, on to a product that has me drooling...and with multiple Linden cards that (I hope) land a little more in my price range.

Again...these are not my cards (just mock-ups from the product release sheet).

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
Gold Spectrum Foil Auto

Upper Deck is pumping out a Legends product - and it looks loaded! Linden has 6 unique cards in the release and I am on cloud nine.

He has a base card (part of a 300-card checklist with another 50 SP base cards), a gold parallel, a gold spectrum foil auto (like the example above). Just those three cards would have me happy enough.

But there's more.

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
Decagons Gold Auto

He's in the Decagons insert set (with a regular card and a gold auto - like the example above). Another 100-card set full of icons. 

I love that these are die-cut cards (Linden doesn't have many of those...I should do a post on that). A real throwback feel to the shiny cards of the 90's.

2020/21 Upper Deck SP Signature Legends
All-Time Future Watch Auto  /199

Out of all of the new cards though, this is the one that gives me goosebumps. 

This 101-card Future Watch auto set will undoubtedly be the most sought after auto set - likely of all time. The checklist is nothing short of amazing. Hall Of Famers everywhere. Some cards will be out of 199, some out of 99 and the tough ones out of 49. Set builders...get ready.

I am really taken by the design of these cards. The white really makes that cutout image pop. I hope the Linden photo is one I've never seen before. 

I'm still in awe that Trev is a part of this product. I'm seriously considering opening a couple boxes (if I can find them...looks like the pre-order is crazy popular).

I love that there never seems to be a shortage of new hockey card releases that gets me excited. I feel the same way when I see a fresh card image I've not seen pop up on ebay. It's one of the best parts of having a player PC...uncovering new treasures.

Let's keep the momentum going and have a great collecting year.

Saturday, February 4, 2023


Still a number of items from my COMC purchase that I've yet to properly organize. And that's OK...I'm not in a rush these days. Picking up Linden cards is not the weekly (or sometimes monthly) accomplishment that once was. Although he is in a few new products (Artifacts, SP Game Used, Ultimate Collection), I've been reluctant to snap up the cards. The price is just a little higher than I'd like when these "first waves" hit. I've learned how to bide my time.

So it'll come as no surprise that a couple of these latest pickups are from older sets. I feel like there are times when I set a price on a card and am stubborn in patience to get it at that price...or hopefully lower.

2004/05 Upper Deck
#172 High Gloss Silver  /10

Starting off with a bang...this card was a real catch off of COMC. It actually showed up for me as an ebay auction, but I then noticed that it was connected to COMC (so the shipping costs would be far more favourable). 

For a card that has been almost a 20 year search for me, the price I was willing to pay was a little more than what it would've been a decade or so ago. These copies just don't show up hardly ever. As you can guess, it's really nice to knock this one off the list.

Side note on this one...I really like the photograph. A great looking faceoff shot certainly beats the "I'm cruising the neutral zone waiting for a line change". This card always sticks out when I sift through my mid-2000s Linden cards.

2020/21 Upper Deck Black Diamond
#SB-TL Silver On Black Signatures Spectrum  /25

Another nice, rare offering from COMC. If a card can't be hard signed, these cut autos are the next best thing (vs. stickers). I really like the way they sit in the card - most times. This one is a little off-center, but I'll take it. It was a good price for a card numbered to just 25.

Linden has had his fair share of cards over the past few years. I love that he is still included in products as I really enjoy seeing him on new designs. He recently cracked the 2500+ point on my master checklist. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought he'd have so many cards.

2014/15 O-Pee-Chee
#563 Marquee Legends Rainbow

If there was one card that exemplified patience, it would be this one. Almost a decade old, this piece of cardboard finally finds its slot in my collection. Why so long? You guessed it, I refused to pay a high price for it.

Now, that said, I'm a little bummed that I was never able to track a copy down locally. These rainbow cards weren't super rare and I did see a bundle at the shows over the years, but never the Linden. If I had, I knew it would be a dollar card at most.

I never considered purchasing it off ebay...the shipping alone would end up being more than I'd be willing to pay. A copy finally showed up on COMC with a fair price (still more than I'd pay if I found a copy in-person) so I can live with it.

I'll laugh every single time I look at this card. It is engrained in my brain that some items are just a no go at a certain price. I'm ok with that.

Do you have price limits set for certain cards on your wantlist? How do you justify where your "top price" lands?

Sunday, January 29, 2023


I'm on a roll this month. I can't remember the last time I blogged this much. Not sure if this will be a sign of things to come...but I'm just going to enjoy it while it feels right.

More from my start-of-the-year COMC mailday. This time, we focus on my "other" player collection - Oscar Gamble.

I'll state it yet again...this is one of the most fun PC's I have. Not a burden on my wallet at all, not many cards to chase overall and I can't help but smile when I see his mug on a card.

Simple reasons...that's what I love about this hobby.

These pickups are mostly of the O-Pee-Chee variety - a real callback to my youth when I did actually rip open baseball packs during the summer. Those were the days.

1983 O-Pee-Chee
#19 Oscar Gamble

If there was a year that really epitomized my card collecting hobby as a kid, it might be 1983. I probably opened more hockey packs that year than ever (I only started collecting in 1980), The 83 set was my first complete set build (I still remember the wooden box I kept my cards in) and I was opening a lot more baseball cards in the summer too. I was even buying non-sports like Gremlins, E.T. and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. I couldn't get enough cardboard.

This 83 set was my favourite of all the baseball sets produced that decade. I loved the dual photos and was completely enamoured by all the stats on the backs of the cards. They also had those cool "Then and Now" Super Veteran cards which I thought were pretty sweet (I can still see the Kent Tekulve with the pillbox cap and shades).

I probably had a copy or two of this Oscar Gamble card back in the day, but had no idea of the level of coolness he exuded at the time. I think Gary Carter was my guy back then. Nice to add this to the PC. Brought back great memories.

1974 O-Pee-Chee
#152 Oscar Gamble

This might look like just a regular baseball card. Simple pose...not much there. But take a closer look.

I see some pretty cool uniform details, love the logo on the cap, a precursor to the iconic afro photo to come the next season, blue sky and look at that field in the background. Love it.

Another OPC offering that I'm glad to cross off.

1973 O-Pee-Chee
#372 Oscar Gamble

This is a fun year for baseball card photography. A lot of wider shots that show more of the play (is that a curse or a paradise for the cameo cards?). 

I love the dust flying up from what looks like second base as Oscar slides in - surely safe. Love that the batting helmet is nowhere close to be seen - showing off Oscar epic 'fro.

The card might be a little off-centre, so maybe an upgrade is in order down the road. But for now, I'm really pleased with this addition.

1974 Topps Stamps
connected block of 12

This sheet of stamps has been sitting on COMC for a while. I already have the single stamp of Oscar, so I was debating whether or not to pick this sheet up. I decided to go for it since the centering on the Gamble stamp is really good. 

Might be a selection that gets separated from his brothers down the road. We'll see.

Again, check out that's so iconic.

But my appreciation for Oscar Gamble goes far beyond his hairdo. He was a really good ballplayer and seemed to have a real positive approach to the game. I don't ever remember him playing (I was 12 by the time he was out of the game) but enjoy checking out highlights anytime his name is mentioned in the description.

As I was putting these cards into their appropriate box in my closet, I was checking out the full Oscar collection. I now have over 100 Oscar Gamble cards (closer to 125 with the oversized and oddball stuff) but 100 legit 2.5x3.5 cards. I thought that was pretty cool. There are still less than 200 cards on my master I'm doing well. 

Maybe I'll pick up a few more cards on my next COMC pass.

Thursday, January 26, 2023


More from my start-of-the-year COMC pickups. This time, I feature a card for a PC that has never seen a COMC addition. First time for everything.

I've been passively building my 51/52 Parkhurst set for a good decade or so. I tend to pick up cards when the spark to go hunting occurs - happens only a few times a year. This time, it was when I was on a buying binge at COMC during their Black Friday event.

I'd never picked up a vintage card like this via COMC, but felt quite comfortable in the quest. I've enjoyed my time on COMC and have never had any issues. The only real question would be...could I find a Parkie for a decent enough price?

Needless to say...I did.

1951/52 Parkhurst
#102 Ed Slowinski

For forward Ed Slowinski, the New York Rangers would be the only NHL sweater he would don. Playing nearly 300 games over 7 years, Slowinski was a solid player, but never found the same level of success as he had in the AHL. He was a first-team All-Star there and was nearly a point-a-game player over another 300 games in the junior circuit.

He played in one Stanley Cup final with the Rangers, losing to the Detroit Red Wings in 7 games in 1950 (he led all scorers in assists that postseason). The Rangers were awarded the O'Brien Cup for being the runners-up. The trophy had originally been the National Hockey Association's championship cup, but was being used as the 2nd place award in the NHL. The O'Brien Cup was retired from presentation after the 1950 season.

Slowinski retired from the game after the 57/58 season and  was selected to be an Honoured Member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985. Ed "Eddie" Slowinski passed away in 1999.

This card is in really nice shape. As with most of my Parkies, it has no residue or creases. The centering is decent and I'm more than happy with the quality of the corners. The only hiccup was the price paid. I normally have been chasing cards when they are sub-$20cdn. This one ended up being $33 after the currency conversion. Not the end of the world - I'm more happy to add to the collection.

Current Collection - 29 cards

Saturday, January 21, 2023

BEHIND THE MASKS - Some "Finally" Cards

Very exciting week in terms of COMC order arrived.

I've unexpectedly started the habit of leaving my purchases until their Black Friday special to ship. A couple years took the better part of 7 months to ship. This time, about 45 days. Makes for a nice new year gift.

I managed to pick up a number of cards for various PCs. I also caved. I pulled the trigger on a few cards that have been on my watchlist for years...finally deciding to cross these cards off the list for the prices they were set at. Wasn't terribly overpriced, but would've liked to land a couple a little cheaper.

But let's check out what I snagged in terms of mask cards...

2010/11 In The Game Between The Pipes
Inspired Masks
#IM-04 Antero Niittymaki

This one was probably the longest on the COMC wantlist. I've seen it dangle for years. But the price never dropped below $19us. I finally bit.

This is a tough insert set from the 10/11 season. Artist renderings of some pretty sweet masks. This pickup leaves me with just one to go to complete the 13-card set. I need one of the Carey Price cards. 

Haven't seen one surface in a number of years. Now, that said, I don't do daily searches for these cards like I do my Linden collection. But I've always's not a race. I'll track it down eventually.

I really like Nitty's gangster-inspired mask. A very worthy addition to the set.

1998/99 Pacific Dynagon Ice
Ice Watchmen
#2 Patrick Roy

From one of the oldest mask sets I'm still working on (well.....not anymore), this 25-year-old offering finally hits the PC. 

This 10-card set boasted some of the best goalies of the era. This Patrick Roy piece was likely the most coveted - and most expensive. Again, I finally caved and hit the 'buy' button.

As for the mask design, I'm partial to his Habs design...a little more iconic in my eyes. But his Avs creation is one that holds some high stature for the time.

Pumped to finish off this set.

2008/09 In The Game Between The Pipes
Masked Men
#MM-03 Carey Price

Another mask card from a set that has been lingering for a very long time. Interesting note one this one...I already own a copy of the card. I guess I picked it up at some point but never update my checklist.

Sadly, Carey Price cards don't get the kind of hobby love they once did. But that's ok. Not the first time I've made a duplicate purchase (see my Linden pickups during the holidays) and it won't be the last.

Price has had so many iterations of his his lid through the years that I barely remember this one from early in his career.

Three mask cards that were a definite highlight from my most recent COMC shipment. Did you have any COMC cards come in during the last few weeks? How long do you hold off before pulling the trigger on having cards sent?

Sunday, January 15, 2023


Wrapped up my first week back at work and I'm more sure than ever - this year will be one of opportunity for me. I'm excited to be at a place that celebrates professional growth and quality collaboration. In just a few short months, I feel like I'm a contributor to the team dynamic and am quickly finding comfort and confidence in my role.

We've been learning a lot about AI generated text and imagery. It's a rapidly evolving world with regards to technology - and it is both mesmerizing and at times...intimidating.

I really enjoy the fact that I have this great card collecting hobby to pull me back into a room of familiarity. Yes, the sportscard world has certainly evolved too - especially over the past couple of years - but it still brings me to a level of calm and relaxation that I absolutely welcome.

A fairly quiet last couple weeks. I've got a COMC order on its that's exciting. I'm looking forward to adding to some of my side projects that have been quiet for the past while. I've also been working on a set-build that has been one of the more fun chases of the past few years. More on that over the next month.

Today, it's a single card that has come in - and finally gets crossed of the master list.

2021-22 O-Pee-Chee
#P-4 Trophy Winners  
Manufactured Patch

This is a card that has stymied me on more than one occasion. Super-happy to get this one finally in.

I had first won this card via ebay auction last summer. To my dismay, it was the rare bird that got lost in the mail. Unfortunate, but I was able to recoup my money. Another attempt came a couple months later but I managed to lose the auction at the last second...I should've bid my maximum. Instead, I got cheeky and bid just above the going rate. Bad strategy.

Patience did pay off as this one came up at the right price, ended with no disruptions and was mailed out promptly - and with good protection (I like well placed painters tape). Was exciting to open up the bubble envelope.

This card is one of the few manufactured patch cards that Linden has. I love the fact that it celebrates his 1997 King Clancy Memorial trophy win (awarded to the player who best shows leadership on the ice and humanitarian contributions off the ice). I've always admired Trevor's work in the community and his selfless approach to charity and giving back. 

I've always said, I loved watching him play during his career, but I feel he will have a bigger impact after his retirement.

I'm one who likes the manufactured patch...when it is for good reason. A solid concept can be elevated with manufactured patches. These trophy cards are a perfect example. Recently, SP Game Used came out with some manufactured patch cards (and yes, there is one of Trev) and while it's a nice looking piece of cardboard, it doesn't resonate quite as much. What I'd love to see is a set of manufactured patches that celebrates some of the special patches teams have worn over the years. 

Imagine a card celebrating the life of the great Johnny Bower - by having a manufactured patch similar to the ones that the players wore on their jerseys.

Or when Detroit honoured their beloved owner, Mike Ilitch after he had passed away.

The Leafs also donned a very special crown-capped maple leaf with the name Borje on it to show respect to the great Borje Salming.

I think a small card set inserted into the flagship product featuring beautiful, embroidered, manufactured patches of memorial or special patches worn by players would be pretty sweet. Heck, it could span across multiple products - or even build year after year. The possibilities are plentiful. 

I, for one, enjoy cards that have meaning behind them - stories. All great cards have a story. That's why I really like the latest add to my Linden collection.

Monday, January 2, 2023

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - New Year, More Cards

Happy New Year everyone. As we ring in 2023, I am more optimistic than ever. I'm excited to get back to work next week - learning, building, shaping, and hopefully inspiring. I feel as though my work/life balance is the best it's been in a very long time. I'm getting closer to having a home that feels like everything is "in its place" (it's been purge city during this holiday break). Lastly, I'm just thankful and grateful for being in this positive space.

A year ago, I made a promise to myself that 2022 would be a year of change. I look back and feel I have done a very good job of that. Some new personal habits, a change in jobs and a more focused mindset on what really is important to me. Today, I look ahead and think to myself that 2023 will be a year of opportunity for me. It's time to take the bull by the horns.

Sportscards have been a smaller part of my world in many ways this past year...but not a day goes by where I don't put some time into it. I may have not picked up as many items, gone to as many shows or made any headway with longterm goals...but I've still got the passion and enjoyment that the hobby has provided - I don't think that'll ever go away. I still get excited when I do an ebay search and find some Lindens that are on my wantlist...even if I decide not to bid on them.

I'm excited to start the new year with a mailday...some recent ebay pickups. I should also have a COMC order delivered to me before the end of the month. Always a nice springboard to a new calendar turn.

Three cards to share today - all from the same product and from the same seller.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
#GU4P-02 Game Used Patch Quad Silver Prismatic  /3
featuring Brett Hull, Mats Naslund and Jeremy Roenick

When Leaf took over the In The Game products from Dr. Brian Price back in the early 2010's, I was very curious to see what kind of designs and releases would come forth. This ITGU offering was one of the first - and they packed in the Linden cards. Thirty-eight different cards added to the checklist.


It really was the start of a shifting mindset for me. I went from having my foot on the gas week-in, week-out to really paying attention to my pocketbook. I knew that if I was really going to enjoy this hobby, I would need to focus more on how much I could truly chase at any one time.

The beauty of that is it really reinforced the mindset of "this is not a race". These pickups show that. Almost a decade later and I'm happy to add them to the PC.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
#GU3P-15 Game Used Patch Triple Silver  /15
featuring Brett Hull and Mike Modano

To see a handful of cards with low print runs show up all at once on ebay definitely perks the ears. Sadly, my first thought is still to the stolen Trevor Linden collection that (while progress is being made) still sees a number of rare birds not at their proper home. It's always a first check for me.

The second thought is "how much to I push down on that gas pedal?" as opportunities like these don't pop up near as often. Maybe it was the end of the year/holiday spending mindset, maybe it was the lack of Linden pickups this year...but I decided that I'd go for it.

It's always reassuring when you reach out to a seller and he responds quickly, and with a good, positive voice. Made the purchase even easier.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
#GU3J-15 Game Used Jersey Triple Prismatic  /5
featuring Brett Hull and Mike Modano

The final card out of the three was a bit of a brain fart. Although clearly noted on my master checklist, my brain mistook this triple for the other triple Linden has with Lindros and Sakic on it. So I bought this one while already having a copy /5. Ouch. Darn massive checklist.

I've no clue what the connection is between any of the players depicted on the cards (some make sense, like Modano and even Roenick...but Hull??). Oh well, c'est la vie.

Minus the 1/1s, these pickups leave me with just 4 cards from this product to chase. That's pretty good. It may be another decade before I add any, but it's always nice when I do.

Making purchases that feel right in the moment and don't pinch the bank book too tightly really makes the journey a fun one.

I'm looking forward to the year and what will come for my collections.

All the best everyone.