Wednesday, January 6, 2016

OPINION - 90%

Happy (belated) New Year everyone!!!  It's been a quick last few weeks (time flies when you're having fun).  With the Christmas season coming and going, my nephew's birthday a few days after, New Year's celebrating and a few other events to keep me busy, I'm coming to grips that it's "back to work" time in a matter of days.

I'm looking forward to the 2016 year.  I hope to change a few things up while keeping the things I like running as smooth as ever.  While I didn't come up with any sort of "resolutions", I did take stock of where I'm at and where I'd like to be.  And it's pretty simple - if I want to cross that next line, I have to travel to it....it won't come to me.

In the hobby world, I feel like things will be fairly similar to the last year or two - not too crazy, not too anxious, but still having fun and building.  I really need to get back into doing custom work.  That would be my only real 'resolution' on that front.  Time.....it's a quick killer of projects though.

No pictures in today's post (I've only landed one Linden card during my break and will show it later) but I really wanted to talk about a topic I've been anxiously looking forward to.  I needed the right time and today is the day.

As a long-time player collector I quickly learned that getting one of EVERY Linden card out there just isn't possible (and I think you'd be living in a miserable hobby world if that's your expectation).  Hitting the 100% mark is not a realistic goal.  But 90%......that's a landmark number.

90%.  Let's take a quick look at that amount.

If you have a hundred bucks and blow ninety of it.....that's a considerable amount.

A 10 gallon tank that has 9 gallons in it....that's pretty full.

If you see a plate of 20 cookies and decide to eat 18 of them....well, you're gonna be sick and are clearly not good at sharing - you've scarfed down a huge amount.

If you're uploading photos and see the bar at 90%....you know it'll just be a couple more seconds.

If you have a hairy back (and I do not) that takes 10 strips of waxing to clean up....you're almost done after the ninth pull.

OK.....that's the worst example ever - but you've got the visual now.

90% is a key amount.  Bragable (is that a word?) in the hobby world if you ask me.

With few real large hobby pursuits ever hitting the full completion number, the next big thing is 90%.  I feel like it's the moment where you start saying "I can see the light at the end of the tunnel".  That is until the next release and your wantlist goes straight to H-E-double hockey sticks.  But seriously, the 90% threshold is the biggest attainable number for many collectors out there.  Once you hit 90....everything else after is gravy.

So where am I going with all of this?

For years I have been following The Amazing Shea Stadium Autograph Project blog.  It is a custom card project that celebrates the 45-year homestand of the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.  When the team moved on at the end of the 2008 season, Lee Harmon (the blog author and creator of this project) decided to build a custom cut-autograph card of every single Met player to play in Shea Stadium.  790 players.

790.  Think about that number for a moment.  Now think about 90%.

For a few years, Lee was feverish in his work creating, building and sharing his project on his blog.  In addition to creating his custom card, Lee would do a great write-up of the player and how he got the signature.  He hit the 80% mark a few years ago.  I've been keeping a keen eye on that number ever since.

Knowing that getting to 100%, while possible, is always difficult.  But reaching the 90% mark was not only doable, but within relative reach.

Yesterday, Lee hit the magical mark.

I feel that it's a tremendous accomplishment and I'm really excited for him....and I know that one day he will hit that completion number.

It inspires me to strive for that 90% myself - in a number of areas.  After all, if you can get nine-tenth of the way there.....you've done a great job.

So what are your thoughts on the 90% threshold?  Is it a big deal to you?  Is it a goal or nary a thought?


If you have a bit of time, go venture over to Lee's site and check out some of his work.  He's laid out his blog so that it's super easy to follow.  Have some fun and take a trip back in time. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

HHOF AUTOS - A Double Fist Pump Kind Of Day

Oh what a day!!  After a number of grueling weeks at work we finally said goodbye to the 2015 season.  Today was my last day until Jan. 11 and I for one can't wait to get into full relaxation mode.

Add to that, I caught up with my friend who was let go from his work duties a couple weeks ago.  It was great to catch up with him and he's in a really good place.  We're both looking forward to what 2016 can bring.

Add to that, I finished a good book today.  I'm happy to get back into the reading thing (it'd been far too long since I sat down and did some good page flipping).  It was a nice quick read and I finished it in a couple days.  Now I'm ready to tackle a new hockey book - Hockey Night Fever: Mullets, Mayhem and the Game's Coming Of Age in the 1970's......right up my alley.

Add to that, my niece and her high school marching band put on their Christmas performance tonight.  I always get a thrill out of watching her play music.  She even had a solo tonight that (dare I say it) took my breath away.  It was awesome.

Add to that (last one), I won $300 in said high school band's fundraising raffle.  Boo......yah!!!!!!

So I can say pretty confidently that I'm pumped.  Feelin' really good about things.

So I won't let the fact that my scanner crapped out on me get me down.  I improvised with my cameraphone.  Had to show off some cards from trade night on Thursday.

In addition to some new Linden cards (will show those off on the weekend), I landed two new autos for the HHOF hardsigned signature project.

Chris Pronger
(Inducted in 2015)

Yup....he's in the Hall Of Fame.  And I think he's still bringing in a decent salary from Philadelphia?  Arizona?  Who?  Don't know....don't care.  He's an anomaly when it comes to the contract rich players out there.

He'll never play another game again due to his career-ending eye injury, but his resume speaks for itself.

And he had a pretty good career on the ice too.  Hey-oh!!!!

I had tracked down a different Pronger auto that I was originally going to chase, but when I saw this beauty I had to swap it out.  This card is totally throwback.  Comes from 2000 I believe.  Not a big ticket card by any means so it was a painless trade.

Rob Blake
(Inducted in 2014)

Another one of those "Oh yeah....he's in the Hall" type of players.  I never really followed Blake's play much during his career, but he did have 777 points and a crapload of PIMs so he must be worthy.

This card was another one of those easy pickup deals.  Who needs a Rob Blake auto these days??  Not me anymore.

Both guys scribble it up nice - just past the time when autos were legible.  They both saw the dawn of the auto market in sportscards.  Too bad really.  It would've been neat to see what they're signature would've looked like if they took their time.

Nonetheless, it's two more to the archives.  Getting me closer to my goal of 100 hard signed HHOF hockey cards.

What a great day!

Current Collection - 67 HHOF Autos

Sunday, December 13, 2015

MY COLLECTION - Boom Boom.......Boom?

One last card to share from the big card show last October.  It wasn't a really lucrative weekend in terms of pc pickups, but I was happy with what I found.  And I'm also happy that I didn't splurge too much....although this card might go into the "What was I thinking" column.

1963 Parkhurst
#88 Boom Boom Geoffrion  PSA 2

I don't collect this set.  I don't really go after graded cards (especially PSA 2 grades).  I don't collect vintage Habs.  I don't really know why I picked this card up.

I saw it, was really trying to figure out why it graded so low and grabbed it for the $10cdn that it was priced at.  Heck, the cost to grade it is that much.

Can't deny that it's a nice looking card upon first glance.

The back shows nice as well.

Bernie was just 170 pounds??  He would definitely not last in the league at that size these days.

And I really want one of those exciting new hockey games.  A buck...and 10 wrappers???  The wrappers might be a little pricey these days.  Ha.

But back to the card.

When taking a closer look, it does show some surface stain and I think it's got a slight crease in the middle.  Drat.

I think keeping it in a PSA 2 holder will really do no good.  I'm seriously contemplating popping it out of its holder.  Maybe try to get most of my money back in a trade down the road.

After all, the card is over 50 years old.

Why I bought it???  I haven't the slightest idea.

Oh well....it's not the worst impulse buy I've ever had.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

RAISE THE CUP - A Moment To Celebrate

It's been a slow go on the Cup Raisers front.  Just two new cards to add to the collection.  Truth be told, I haven't really been trying lately.  These ones just happened to pop up in front of me and I pulled the trigger.

note: I found a couple more at the monthly show today......ok, Captain Canuck found a couple - for me.  I'll show them off soon.

But that's what I love about this project.  I can go at my own pace - or no pace...it's just a fun set to add to and look at every once in a while.

2005/06 Power Play
Cup Celebrations
#120 Martin Brodeur

These Cup Celebration cards that are part of the Power Play sets are really nice.  I've got a couple others from the following year (I think a Lemieux and Modano) but this Marty is the first from the 05/06 season.

I really should do my homework and see just how many cards I can chase from these sets.

It was a great add that I saw, once again, at the big card show back in October.  Courtesy of one of the local card shops - Maple Leaf Sports.

It's been fun going to Darren's shop for trade night each month.  I'm really fortunate to have some good card stores in the city (even if his is a solid half hour drive).  He's tops at keeping an eye out for any Lindens I might need too.  Gotta like that.

Thanks Darren!

2014/15 Upper Deck SP Authentic
All-Time Moments
#190 Chris Chelios

Another nice card coming in from a good subset.  Once again, I should really check out how many of these All-Time Moments cards have Lord Stanley's Mug being raised.

This Chelios offering comes from another great shop in the city - Eastridge Hobbies.  And once again, they put on a great trade night each month.

I really am spoiled when it comes to what this hobby has to offer locally.

Doug and Mikey keep things pretty chill at their trade nights and I love the crazy topics that are sometimes discussed.

They too keep an eye out for this long-time Linden collector.  And it's really appreciated.

Thanks guys!


When I think about it, having these trade nights to go to, knowing that there are good shops in town and having a steady card show each month gives me many great options when it comes to participating in this hobby locally.  Not to mention the numerous fellow collectors that really make this card collecting world of mine a special one.

OK....enough gush.  I've added two more cards to the binder.  Woo hoo.

Current Collection - 123 cards

Friday, December 11, 2015

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - I'm An Idiot

Way back in October I took part in the big card show being held locally.  We haven't had a card show this size in a couple years and so it was nice to see some new tables set up and spend a weekend hunting down some cards.

I even set up (for the first time in over a decade) and had a blast.  Made a decent chunk of change which has helped me buy some cards for the pc.

Like this one.

2014/15 Upper Deck
#GJ-TL Game Jersey

These "cheap" jersey cards always give me a rash when it comes time to chase them down.  I don't really want to buy them on ebay because I end up paying 5x the card amount in shipping.  It's just not worth it.

So I bide my time and wait....and wait....and search for in hopes of finding it locally.  And I tracked down this copy in one of the half price boxes.  Can't beat that.

I was bragging that I finally landed this oh so tough card.

Got home...went to cross it off the list, and I noticed this...

Crap

Well, it looks as if I already bragged about tracking down a card that look so similar to this one.  I couldn't even luck out and get a different jersey swatch color (for once white would've been nice).

So now I have a double.

I'm an idiot.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

PACK RIPPING - Canada Post Canadian Goalies

Well......after a rough few days I can say that I'm feeling better - much better.  While things are still pretty weird and crappy at work, I've started to turn the corner and am focusing more on my break coming up in a week as well as what the 2016 year will bring.

I spent some time scanning stuff tonight (trying to get caught up) and found this pack that has been sitting for a number of weeks now.

It's been almost a year to the day since I posted about a really cool stamp set put out by Canada Post.  Really nice looking "cards"....really, they're stamps but I'm never gonna use them.  I think they are a nice collectible to have that will one day be pulled out of the closet and blogged about when I'm in my 60's.

This year, Canada Post is back with a new set.  This time....goalies.

Yeah.....I'm all over this product.  This wrapper reminds me of a real cheap junk wax era pack rip.  Cool.

It's basically the same concept as before.  A six card pack, guaranteeing you a "complete set" with the shot of winning an exclusive autographed souvenir sheet in 1:40 packs.

I have no intention in actually using the stamps....but you can (how cool would it be to receive a letter with a massive goalie as a stamp)?

Let's see how they look.

Classic Ken Dryden.  A very good start.  It's a simple design that compliments last year's set.  Similar...but just different enough.

Man is he ever tall (for a goalie playing in the 70's).  His waist is almost at the crossbar.

And that mask is just a beaut.  Love it.

Bernie!!!  Nice to see a bit of an action shot (yeah....it's not spectacular, but it's better than a warmup/towel/skatearound pic).

What a cool mask too.  I should dig out my Time magazine that has his masked mug on the cover.

Done.  Watch for a future post on that.

I like the orange border around the card as well.  Matching is good.

Marty Brodeur is the most current player in this 6-card set.  It's a nice card, but it just doesn't fit for me (wait until you see all six cards before you judge).

Nothing really wrong with it....I just want a set that sits more in a certain era.

The China Wall.  What a great pic.  Fresh face ready to be pelted and stitched, leather pads and a glove that goes up to his elbow.  Absolutely no ads on the boards.

I like this card.

I like this Esposito as well, although I hope he saved the puck and isn't looking into the gaping net before the red goal light comes on.

I much prefer my Espo pics without the wire protection on his mask that he implemented in the 80's.

And, these guys wore little protection.

Speaking of....does this guy even have padding on under that jersey??

Great shot of Gump in his Habs uniform.  Sans mask (he was a stubborn one....only played a few games with it at the end of his career).  And he's so tiny (compared to Dryden).

You want to increase goal scoring?  Have the goalies wear this getup.


Anyways, I obviously didn't win any sort of autographed versions but I really wasn't expecting it.  I like that I've added this to my slowly growing Canada Post stamps collection.

Looking forward to seeing what they come up with next year.

Any ideas?

Monday, December 7, 2015

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Super Superlative

Boy....work just has not been kind over the past couple months.

Not to delve deep into my worklife here on my blog, but man I'm just down in the dumps tonight.......so humour me for a moment.

Three of us....busting our asses for weeks to meet deadlines, even when more and more gets added to the plate.  Trying to find the balance between doing a good job and not pulling 16 hour shifts to do it.

Finally over the past few days, we see the light at the end of the tunnel (a 4 week break for Christmas coming in the middle of the month) and they layoff the senior guy.  Out of nowhere.  He's put in 15 good years for the company and now - gone.

I'm stunned.  I'm saddened.  To be honest, I'm shocked it wasn't me (I'm the low guy on the totem pole in terms of years of service).

My whole perception of where I work changed tonight.  Things just will never be the same.

I came home just dazed and winded by the news (hasn't subsided in the least).  A bubble mailer sticking out of my mailbox.  Linden cards.

So I'm trying to not just wallow in the crappy news.  I scanned in the goods and am going to share.  Let's try and lighten the mood for just a few moments.

One of Leaf's latest hockey releases is Superlative.  Yes, once again it is a concept that comes from In The Game (and you can see the ITG logo in the upper corner).  I've seen some of the cards pulled and some are....super.  Some - not so much.

This Linden auto drifts into the latter column.  Yes, a nice hard-signed auto, but really....what's the end game here.  There's nothing really special with the design or photo (again....showing clearly some airbrushing of the logos).

It's numbered to 35 copies, but (like many cards these days), that's just a forced scarcity thing.  I definitely didn't pay a price indicative of a /35 card.

It was nice to cross this off the list cheap, but it was the accompanying card in the mailer that had me excited.

A Superlative Emblem.....or part of one.  I definitely am a sucker for the Canuck Place patch and when I saw this pop up, I kept a close eye on it.

Numbered to just 6 copies, it's more of a 6-piece puzzle.  Each one of the pieces is unique (obviously).  I've seen the 6/6 on ebay but I felt it lacked the excitement that this card had.  And seeing that the seller had that one priced higher....I passed.

It would be nice to build the full six pack, but only if the price is right.  Having one piece is good enough for me.

Of course it doesn't rival the pinnacle piece in my collection - the full patch I obtained a few years ago.  But what I do like about this card is that I can take it out of the one touch case and actually rub my fingers on the patch.  Yes, it may be cheesy.....but I think if you collect cards you know what I mean.

Well......that's my show and tell......I wish I could just hang in this world for a few weeks.  Thanks.