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?

Mmmmmmmmm.........mask.

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".

Classic!

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 Chico.....here 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.

Cool.....works 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.

Fifty-two!!!

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.  Win...win.

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.

Beautiful.

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

Ray Bourque....in 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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

OPINION - Tim Horton's Hockey Cards

I apologize in advance...but I'm going to get a little ranty this afternoon.

A few weeks ago we saw the latest release from the Tim Horton's trading card release put on by Upper Deck.  These have been a fun chase for many over the past three years (3??...4??...anyways) with a simple base set to build, some nice insert sets, tougher hits and a few impossible pulls (this year it's the Crosby signed card /87).  I've fancied a few packs over the years when I've gone to buy a cup of hot chocolate on a cold morning as I head to work.

A couple weeks ago a co-worker and I got into talking about hockey cards (and the ever-popular "I have a whole bunch I should bring in"...only to be early 90's junk wax base).  It was a lot of fun to just reminisce about players from that era, bad photography, overproduction and cheesy inserts.  It was awesome.

He asked what kind of products were out there these days and I told him that the landscape has completely changed.  But a good starter product could be these Tim Horton's cards.  I talked about how you can go about buying packs, what kind of stuff to expect in them and their initial wave of popularity.  He was genuinely excited.

Over the next week he was showing off some of the cards he had picked up and I helped him out by giving him the pack or two that I had bought (obviously I didn't hit the big inserts.  Ha ha.)

Fast forward to a few days ago when I went to the Timmy's by my house.  I placed my order and asked for a pack of cards.  "Sorry, we're all sold out".  What??!!  I couldn't believe it.  Hundreds of packs gone in a matter of a couple weeks?  Gotta say, I was pretty bummed.

But as I drove off I thought about it.  I really shouldn't have been surprised.  Why?  Seems as though you can now buy unlimited amounts of packs in one shot if you have the cash.  And where there's an opportunity, there are people looking to take advantage of it.

I get it.  There are cards out there....it's clearly pointed out that if you want to buy additional packs it'll cost a little more.  But boy it sure sucks as a person just trying to have some fun with the product to now have to go to the secondary market to get my fix.

And it was out there in spades today at the local card show.

Pretty much every table had a selection of Tim Horton's cards - from the umpteen dozen packs they must have opened to get the sheer volume of product on their table.  I went up to one guy and he asked what I was on the hunt for and I brought up the topic of Tim Horton's cards.  He said he "has it all" - and he sure did.  Boxes upon boxes of unopened packs - cases even.  The guy must have bought out stores of the stuff (probably the Timmy's I go to).

What.  A.  Turnoff.

I mentioned that it was frustrating to go to a Tim Horton's hoping to buy a pack and find they are all sold out.  He didn't even flinch.  He asked if I was looking for anyone in particular.  Yeah...some packs so I can have fun opening them and maybe help someone build a set.

I get it.  There's a pocket of time where people can binge on a product and have a good chance on some return.  But boy does it suck the life out the hobby when a person can't even buy a stinkin' pack of the product because they're all sitting on dealers table at the local card show.

Yes, we all look for those opportunities to make a buck.  I do it myself.  Heck, I did it at the show today.

I bought this card for the single purpose of maybe being able to flip it for a card I will want for my pc later - or yes, even sell it for a bit of a profit.  I have no idea who this guy is or if he is still playing in the league.  But for five bucks.....I'll take a chance on a Cup rookie auto patch gold /40.

But I refuse to be put in the same category as the guy who is hoarding unopened packs of Tim Horton's cards.

What sucked even more is going to the next table and being told the best way to build the set.  "Don't buy a pack here...buy a pack there....you'll never build the set that way.  Buy a box and you'll have basically two full base sets.  That's the way to do it."

Bull.  Shit.

How about buying packs, opening them and then maybe....MAYBE trading for the cards you need - especially the base.  After all, that's what it says on the friggin' wrapper.  Trading cards.

Guy looked at me like I was an alien.

And then he had the gall to complain because there were guys who had last year's product and couldn't get rid of it.  Are you kidding me???  You want pity because you over-purchase the product and then can't sell it?

Brutal.

This is a hobby I love - and will defend until my dying breath.  But it really takes the wind out of me when I see this kind of approach to "collecting".  Upper Deck and Tim Horton's have a really good thing going but they blew it when the opportunity to buy in mass happened.  Like I said, put an opportunity out there and someone will abuse it.

I'm curious to see what kind of reaction my co-worker will have when I share this info with him on Monday.  Will he want to race out and buy packs at a Timmy's that might still have the product?  Will he want to go to the next card show with me and gobble up everything in sight?  Or will he just give up on the chase and toss the cards aside because the fun of buying a pack might not be there.

Sadly, it's the third option that happens more and more.  And people wonder why we can't get new blood into this hobby.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

CARDBOARD PHOTOGRAPHY - Show Me Your Crown

I have a lot of cards sitting on my desk.  A lot.

Cards manage to find their way there when I get stuff in the mail, but stuff at shows, open packs at trade night or just do some random cleaning of my closet.  I'm literally looking around my desk right now and see cards that have just been sitting for likely a year.

I don't know why I can't keep things more organized.....or don't.  Somehow it just feels comfortable to have cards sitting out in my office.  Every once in a while I'll flip through a pile and think "oh yeah....I remember that one."  Most of the time I forget I even had the cards on the desk to begin with.

That said, when it comes to my various collections.....those get the organized treatment.  Rarely will I let a pile grow of more than 6 or 7 cards like my Lindens or goalie masks.  Those get documented and put away pretty quick.

When I was sifting through one of my random piles a couple weeks back, I noticed a trio of cards that I knew I wanted to share for their unique photos.  So here we go.

2000/01 Upper Deck Reserve
Golden Goalies
#GG8 John Vanbiesbrouck

This cards screamed out at me for two reasons.  I love the mask Beezer is wearing here (a very underrated Islanders offering).  He's known for some pretty iconic masks but this one gets overlooked easily.

I also like this card because it shows the top of the mask and the clear 'NY' that is automatically associated with the Islanders.

As you all know by now, I like my goalie mask cards.  I like goalie masks period.  So it's nice to see a part of the mask get photographed that normally doesn't make the cut.  I feel like the crown of the mask and the backplate are the two areas that get little hobby love.  Shame.

2001/02 Topps Stadium Club
#100 Marc Denis

Remember when Topps used to do hockey cards?  Remember when Marc Denis played in net?  Remember his mask?

Awesome.

This perfectly framed horizontal offering is one of my favourite cards.  I love the pic of him just gobbling up the puck.  His monstrous equipment drowning out the background just creates the feeling of action....yet somehow time stands still when I see this pic.

Heck, I like his mask so much I feel like doing a 'Rate My Mask' for him (remember those posts?).  Heck again, after seeing this piece of cardboard I feel like starting a little mini collection of crown mask photo cards (clearly I would have to come up with a better title than that).

A card like this really gets my collecting juices going.

2000/01 Be A Player Memorabilia
#48 Trevor Kidd

When it comes to design and flare, Trevor Kidd might just take the cake.  His pads, his masks, his hair, he's never one to be boring.

It's cards like these that make me go "Oh yeah....he played in Florida."  It was the third of four stops in his NHL career.  In looking at his stats, he had a very lacklustre career (from what I thought he had).  Clearly the hockey card industry was stronger for Kidd than his actual play on the ice.

I don't even know what's going on with Kidd's mask but the metallic, robotic motif clearly says Florida to me.  But I always got the sense he was a guy who preferred the road less travelled.


So what do these three cards have in common?  Puck gobbling, horizontal layouts, mask crowns and early 2000's explosion of goalies.  What's not to like about that?

Have you come across any others that would fit this description?  What goalie mask crowns catch your eye?

I'm sure if I sift though the piles on my desk I'll find one or two more.  :)