Tuesday, July 28, 2015

OPINION - What's Wrong With This Picture?

It's been a quiet few weeks on the hobby front - at least in my little collecting world.  Work is just now simmering into a time where people aren't going gangbusters and we all will have some time off to enjoy the summer weather.

I went golfing for the first time this season.  With all the rust, I can't believe I shot one of my best rounds ever.  Must be the muscle memory or something (I'm going with the "something").

On the hockey card front, I've done a lot of snooping on ebay, but haven't pulled the trigger in a while.  In fact, I've only picked up 3 cards this summer - all in early June.  I'd say that's a hiatus....even if I wasn't really trying.

I did some design work for a challenge set up by another blogger.  Yeah, that went south quick.  No updates, no nothin'.  I think I'll just tackle it on my own over the next little bit.

On the Linden front, there have been a few new releases with his name inserted.

14-15 Sp Authentic has a nice three-card chase.  Two of them autos.  Should be fun.

14-15 Premier has what could be some very interesting cards.  Much like the jumbo patches from Prime over the past couple years, Upper Deck has followed suit with the Mega Patch.

Linden has 27 chest logo cards (all of them are 1/1's...so in theory you could build the entire front crest - which would be a crazy amazing accomplishment), 3 shoulder logo cards and 4 sleeve number cards.  I'd be happy with picking up one of each.  Actually....I'd be thrilled.

And last (and maybe least).....The Leaf/In The Game frankenstein release of In The Game Used.

I've seen a few pictures, and while the cards do look nice, I can't help but stop when I see the hand coming towards my face to slap me silly.

You see it?

In my opinion it just gives me a bad taste in my mouth.  Mistakes like that just shouldn't be made on a high-end product like this.

Linden has 8 cards in the product.  But here's the catch.....each card has 4 versions.  Do the math.  That's THIRTY-TWO cards.


Here's another gem.  Too bad the "T" in Thompson didn't curl around properly.  Again....how do you miss that?

Oh, and back to the Linden cards...28 out of the 32 cards are limited to just 20 copies or less.  Brutal.

I really feel like Leaf/ITG just ignores the player collectors out there and puts out shiny colored parallels with serial numbering to 3 or 5 just to create that feeling of "value".

I look at the cards that I've come across (and passed on) this summer.  Many of them are "super rare" and "one of a kind".  And of course, the price tag associated with it just makes me laugh.

There's no way I'm dropping 32 x "a big bundle of cash".  The math ain't adding up anymore.

Last one.

This one is off the sell sheet so it might be a mockup.  But boy...what an accomplishment for Maurice Richard.  50 Points in 50 Games.


Well, I've added the 32 cards to my checklist, but I'm not holding my breath to even adding 5 of these to my collection.  I just dont' have the appetite for it.

And God help me if they spell it Trever Lindin.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

1 vs. 100 - A Lasting Impression

I've had a few people ask to see all one hundred of my '1 vs. 100' cards all in one fell swoop.

Well........here they are.....

It's neat to see all of them and go through them putting this together.  I forgot about some of the great stories or quirky incidents that occurred over the six years of building it.

For example...

Ray Ferraro - back to back (you'll have to find them).

David Aebischer - a pair of real low offerings.

Mark Messier - at #3......Ugh!

Kristian Huselius - I think it's my favourite card.

Lots of cards from the same products, but at the same time...I think I did a good job of mixing things up.

I'm not much for framing or displaying a collection.  I'm more the "hunt, find, acquire, store" guy.  These all live in a monster box in my closet.

This project is officially put to bed.

And I have an idea on what I'm going to do next.  Something a little more challenging, but will still be fun and (hopefully) inexpensive.  Details to come.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Today was the final day of our outdoor tournament season where I work.  What does that mean???  Well, I won't be working long hours for many days in a row anymore.  It'll be back to some level of normalcy.....and I am so glad it's here.

It's been a long, but fast summer so far (if that's at all possible).  I've had little time to enjoy the sportscard hobby, but have perused ebay on occasion, follow some twitter jibber jabber and tonight - I got back on the custom creation wagon.

It's been a LONG time since I've done any creating.  Part of it is that my brain had just gone mushy with customs.  Part of it was the lack of inspiration.  Part of it was I just didn't have time (or should I say I didn't give it the time).

A couple of posts that I read this week changed my attitude and effort on the matter.  The first was from a fellow Vancouver Canucks fan who makes custom Canucks cards to send through the mail.  But these are bang-on replicas of existing designs....and they are outstanding.  What I really enjoyed seeing were the players that only had a cup of coffee with the 'Nucks, yet there's a photo...and a card.  Outstanding.

The second is a blog post from custom card creator Bad Wax.  In a nutshell, it's a call out to custom creators to collaborate on a vintage set - from scratch.

The first "task" was to come up with a product and brand name.  You've all seen those cheesy vintage sour tonic-type of ads, mini bon-bons and such.  Since card collecting at the time was predominantly a male thing, the task was to come up with a male-targeted product.

Here's what I came up with...

The name "Dirty Circus" is just a silly pair of words that I thought sounded cool together.  Other finalists for my product name were "Yatsi" and "Chappelle's", but I didn't see guitar strings when I thought of those names.

I think it would be cool to put hobby cards in guitar string packs.  One card per pack (a little smaller than cardboard today, but bigger than a tobacco card...with the opportunity to land a full 4x4 sized card).  And I feel like the cards are on black backgrounds as opposed to the normal "cardboard" colored products.  Think Upper Deck Black.....70 years ago.

I don't know what the next step in the process will be, but I do know that I had fun building this tonight and am looking forward to continuing on down the path.

And maybe this will get me back into more custom building.  I feel as like I need it.

And if you think my idea sucks.....well jump on into the mix and get your Photoshop skills honed.  Join in on the fun!!!

Oh, and by the way......I hope everyone is having a great summer so far.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

1 vs. 100 - It's Celebration Time

It's been a busy June for me (as always when it comes to work).  I've been on a semi-hiatus from the hobby....but not quite like last year.  I've dipped my toes into the pool a few times, mostly only to take them out after a couple minutes.  No deep end dives (although the thought had crossed my mind on one occasion).

I've also had a few cards come in.  Some with very important meaning and representation in my collections.  I'm looking forward to sharing those later on this summer when things calm down at work next month.

What June has brought me though is a couple of very significant milestones.

First, this is post #1000 of My Hockey Card Obsession.  In a little less than 6 years, I've pumped out more posts than I ever imagined I would.  I've looked back on some of them over the past few months and get a kick out of what I wrote.  I still very much enjoy blogging and find it a stabilizing cog in my hobby world.

I started this blog for me, for my collections and for the thought that I would build and improve both my writing and enjoyment of sports cards.  I can say with 100% certainty that this is the case.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to stop by and read my ramblings.  I hope you have enjoyed my journey and will continue to do so in the future.

Now......the second milestone.

Why not celebrate this historic post by announcing the completion of a long outstanding project.

That's right........'1 vs. 100' is complete.  The final card arrived today.

This Patrick Roy /14 has a terrific story behind it (I love cards with stories).  I was at a local trade night a couple months back and noticed this card in one of the trade boxes held by a regular at the store.  I knew immediately the importance of the serial number.  Of course, the player name had me a little concerned.

But me being me, I asked if there was a trade that might be worked out.

A quick sift through my old, stagnant and generally boring trade box yielded nothing.  He then proceeded to say "for futures".

Uh.......no.  While I really appreciated the gesture (he knew the project that card would be going to), I knew that a Patrick Roy /14 was not a low-dollar parallel.  He insisted......and so did I.  I knew that the card would be in his trade box next month.  Who knows what might happen.

So a month passes and I go to the next trade night.  Topps Archives Baseball had just been released and my other guy, Oscar Gamble, has a couple autograph cards in the mix.  So I bought a couple packs just for kicks.

What did I find but a gold Harold Baines signature /50.  A pretty sweet pull considering I just grabbed a couple packs (the card is a 1:190 packs find).  Before I even had a chance to really let sink in what I had pulled, what comes across the counter but a Patrick Roy /14.

Now I won't say no to that trade.  Thanks Art!

A couple guys asked me what the final card on the list was.  Can you believe "98"????!!!!!!!!  Seriously?

I went home that night and dug through ebay a bit to see what I could find.

Craig Smith Titanium Rookie /98 is the answer to the question.

Nothing really out of the ordinary about this card.  It wasn't a wallet burner by any means.  A simple parallel (and a higher numbered one at that) that had just snuck by me for a half-decade.

Well, It's in my hands now and so are the other 99 card in the project.

I've really enjoyed putting this "set" together.  It's taught me that you can build anything you want in this hobby.  It doesn't have to be expensive or shiny or rare or eight-color.  It can be a simple idea - with a little creative spark - that can bring fun and challenge to collecting.

I've already got ideas about what I'm going to do next.  I think the quest will begin this fall.  Stay tuned.

Current Collection - 100 out of 100 (DONE)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

LINDEN uh....PIN(s) OF THE WEEK - Two More For The Collection

I normally don't salivate at the sight of pins - even Linden pins, but when I saw this two-pack up for sale on ebay I just couldn't resist.

What can I say...I'm a sucker for a good deal.

In fact, I thought it was such a good deal that I bought two sets.  One to store away in the collection box and one to crack open.

I have little info on these NHL/NHLPA endorsed pins other than when I saw them during a routine ebay search (for the price they were sitting at) I decided to buy them.  I thought they looked neat (at the price I paid).

Are you getting the sense that I'm just a cheapo when it comes to these pins?  I am.

I can get on board with smaller Linden items that can fit nicely in boxes as opposed to giant banners or stand-up cardboard displays.

OK....I have some of that kind of stuff too.

I just really liked the idea of getting the second set.  Cracking them open out of the plastic was fun.....more fun than I thought I'd have.

There's really nothing too special about these pins.  Simple designs.  A cash grab to fans of Linden alike.  What can I say, I got sucked in.

But when I put the set I didn't open in my "non-cards" box, I found this...

Looks like I have the home and away set now.

Why didn't I buy a second set of those ones?  Probably too expensive.

Monday, June 1, 2015

'DID YOU KNOW' - Tom Bladon

With one of my recent used book purchases, 'Hockey's Book of Firsts' by James Duplacey, I've become inspired to post a few 'Did You Know' posts.

You know........Did You Know?

Maybe not.  After all, it's been well over a year since I last posted one.

But I loved finding a neat story in the book and then trying to hunt down a card that represented the accomplishment.

And if the name Tom Bladon doesn't ring a bell (or what his achievement might be), then this post, and Mr. Duplacey's book, will have served it's purpose.

'Did You Know' - Defenceman Tom Bladon was the first rearguard to register 8 points in a game.

This excerpt comes straight from the book...

"Tom Bladon had a night for the ages and a slot for the record book on December 11, 1977, when he recorded four goals and added four assists in the Philadelphia Flyers' 11-1 whipping of the Cleveland Barons.  Since Bladon finished the season with only 11 goals and 35 points, he collected 25% of his season's output in a single game!"

Wow.  That's quite a night.

Now, why did I show you a Penguins card from a couple years later?

You can clearly see the fast fact on the bottom of the card.  Card backs can actually house some interesting information if you are looking for it.

There have only been a handful of players to ever score 8 points in a game (13 to be exact) and Mario Lemieux is the only one to have done it three times (Gretzky did it twice).  The majority of these 8-point games came in the 80's when scoring was at an all-time high.

That's what makes Bladon's accomplishment even more impressive.  Up until he has his historic night, only three players ever....EVER had scored eight in a game.  Maurice Richard in the 40's, Bert Olmstead in the 50's and Darryl Sittler's incredible 10-point game in '76.

Tom Bladon held the defenceman single game record for almost a decade when Edmonton's Paul Coffey matched the stat on March 14, 1986.

They remain the only two D-men to have scored 8 in a game.

But there was only one to do it first.

Tom Bladon.

note: in doing some additional research, I learned that Bladon was a +10 on the night, a record at the time and one that still stands to this day.  So that's like two Did You Know's for the price of one.  You're welcome.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

HHOF AUTOS - Mats Sundin

I was able to add to the slowly growing Hall of Fame autographs project at the last trade night I attended.

Looking at the list of players I still need signatures from I knew that hitting the 100-card mark wouldn't be a problem.  The only question would be "How long will it take"?  At the rate I'm going.....a good decade or two.

But slow and steady wins the race.  And when you're not buying any of the cards - only trading for them - it makes for a truly enjoyable quest.

Case in point, the following card.

Mats Sundin
(Inducted in 2012)

To know that this card came from a Mats Sundin/Toronto Maple Leafs collector only adds to the thrill of adding this to the project.

The scan is horrible on this card and believe me, the signature is very visible and quite solid considering it's on a very shiny finish.

This card comes from a day when In The Game had an NHL license and could therefore show team logos.  While it was only a little over a decade ago, it feels like a lifetime.  I miss those days.

It's weird to start seeing players that I saw come into the league, have long and incredible careers and then get the call to the Hall.  Makes me feel a little old.  There was a time when it was just guys like Howe, Richard, Hall and Horton.  Now it's Bure, Blake, Shanahan and Sundin.

And while an auto is an auto for the project, there will be some names that just have a greater meaning to me in the collection.  This Sundin is one of them....not because of who he is, but because of who I got the card from.

Current Collection - 64 HOF Autos