Sunday, February 1, 2015

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Let's Go With Three For The Show

Three more bubble mailers hit my doorstep this week.  And they had some very nice additions to the Linden collection inside.

But first, I must comment on a letter that was also in my mailbox with those cards.

I knew it was coming, but I still am holding out hope that it's all a bad dream.

The condo complex where I live (and the surrounding area) will be converted this year to community mailboxes instead of door-to-door delivery.  And while I'm all for streamlining the process (with less and less mail being delivered) I can't help but think this will have an impact on my collecting.

Bubble mailers are like candy to some.  Eye catching, enticing and can make you react in a not-so-natural manner.  I've been pretty lucky over the years to be batting a pretty high average with mailers coming in, but I can't help but wonder if that number will slip when things get a little more close knit.

Bigger envelopes will be tucked into a larger storage area where only I will have access to.  Anything that can go in my (smaller) mailbox will be placed there.  My concern is that the letter carrier has to observe and adhere to these rules...something that I don't trust all of them to do.

I hope that my incoming mail experience doesn't take a big hit later this year.  It's coming......whether I like it or not.

But before then, let's take a look at what I received this week.

2013/14 Panini Prime
#NU-TL Prime Numbersakes "6"  /25

This signed number 6 (not game used) completes the giant two-card Panini Prime chase from last year.  Can you guess what the other card was?

While I'm not the biggest fan of manufactured patches, I don't mind this concept.  I like it more than the non-game-used-nameplates which have been a staple in hockey products for years.

Actually, if there's anything that really grinds my gears it's the blue & white number slapped in a yellow, orange and black card design.  Swing and a miss.

2012/13 In The Game
Decades 90s
#M-44 Game Used Patch Silver  (limited to 3)

This card finishes the trifecta of patch cards from the Decades 90s product.  And with the Gold 1/1 in my possession, I can say that I'll be the only one who can accomplish that feat.

I picked this card up from a seller on ebay who has listed a number of great Linden cards recently.  And he puts fair prices on his cards (thank you).  He also likes to list goalie mask cards at a buck, so I try and snag a few that I need and bundle it all up.

2013/14 Panini Select
#178 Gold  /10

Last, but certainly not least, this gold parallel was another pleasant surprise to see up for bids on ebay over the past month.  This product had a good initial run but you rarely see singles on the secondary market anymore.  I don't know if prices are coming down and more of this stuff is being opened?  But I really don't care, the tough /10 is off the list.

And the scan (once again) does not do the card justice.  It's a nice shiny model no question.

Three off the list with the biggest print run being 25.  That's a big accomplishment.  Not sure how many times that'll happen again.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

CUSTOM CREATIONS - Jumping Back On

Just for kicks, I decided to see when the last time was that I built a custom card. Answer...almost TWO YEARS!!!

One of the things I told myself I'd do this year is get back on the custom card making wagon. I've got a couple projects that require my attention (sorry about that people), I feel like I've got a little more motivation to do it and (most importantly) I really enjoy the art of creating a sportscard.

I've seen some pretty spectacular customs created recently (to the point where the lines are getting blurred between what is actually licensed and what is made in someone's own home.  It's been inspiring.

But I think what really got my juices going again was this little signature...

Wow.  Ken Dryden.

This signature came from a local collector who asked if I could do something with it.

Could I?

You don't see it in the scan, but the signature is on a glossy paper (almost like it's been laminated.  That said, the signature is solid and just the right size for a cut auto card.

Here's the graph in context to an actual card.  I didn't have a Dryden handy so I am using his fellow teammate Guy Lafleur.  Y'know...the dude with the helmet - cuz that's how we all remember him.  Yeesh.

Anyways, this signature will work quite well both in a vertical design or horizontal.  Now the big question is what do I come up with?

And to give myself a little more motivation, I'm stating it right here, right now.  I intend on having this card designed, printed, cut and assembled by the end of February.  No excuses.

Let's get this thing done!

Monday, January 26, 2015

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Nice Pants

When I was a kid going to school, that used to be the comeback of all comebacks when we couldn't come up with anything clever to say.

Nice pants!

I don't know why that has stuck with me all these years, but I snicker when I hear someone say it as an honest compliment, and it was the first thing I thought of when I saw my latest Linden addition.

2012/13 BC Children's Hospital
#NN Jeans Day card

After waiting a couple years to finally own a copy of this local release, I was able to trade for the complete 5-card set.  I already owned the 05/06 postcard, the 06/07 release and the 07/08 to complete the trifecta of his "playing days" contributions.

This 12/13 card is part of a set that includes past Canuck Captains.  Orland Kurtenbach, Stan Smyl and Henrik Sedin make up the quartet, each wearing an appropriate-era jersey.  The fifth card is of mascots Fin and Sunny Bear (Canucks and BC Children's Hospital respectively).

What really caught me off guard was the size of the card.  The previous three Linden Jeans Day cards were all oversized (postcard-type) and I was fully expecting this 2013 model to be the same.  But when I saw the envelope I knew that wasn't the case (or the guy folded them up nicely).

No, these are your traditional 2.5 x 3.5 inch cards.

Rgardless of the card size, I really like the looks of this one.  The "C" on the right hand side is a silver foil (that just so happened to scan in as a yellow and orange....cool).  It's a simple design, but the color breakdown really compliments.

A great mailday to be sure.


But that's not all the Linden's to show this post.

2014/15 Upper Deck Artifacts
#31 Jersey and Stick  /75

This was a card I traded for (along with a pair of HHOF autos) at last week's trade night.  I knew this Linden was in his trade box, but I didn't have any Wings cards to offer up at the time.  Last week I went prepared though and the deal was quick and easy.

At 75 copies, this is one of the most common cards left on my 14/15 Artifacts quest.  I'm about halfway done and the road is going to get bumpier the further I go.

2014/15 Upper Deck Artifacts
#31 Gold Spectrum  /25

Thankfully, this Gold Spectrum card popped up on ebay at a time where I think a lot of people just weren't interested in chasing it.  To get it for less than what I've paid for /25's from other years makes me think two things.  First, it's January - fewer buyers.  Second, the Canadian dollar is horrible right now and fewer people are buying from the US.

This card came from a Canadian seller on ebay, but when I view cards it's in US dollars.  I'm starting to get used to figuring out Linden values using that guide (which makes buying locally....and in CDN dollars all the more better).

A good week overall for the Linden collection and I know there's going to be more to come.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

WALLET CARD - Oscar's A Cover Boy

For those of you who haven't been following the wacky adventures of my #WalletCard on Twitter.....what are you thinking???!!

In all honesty, there hasn't been too much going on.  A trade night, a tarantula and a trip to the library.

I'll admit, I'm not pulling this photo out of the wallet to shoot just anything and everything.  But I am aware that a handful of tweets/posts per week is warranted.

And....I'm having fun with it.  I know I picked the right card.

When I initially chose this 1976 Topps Oscar Gamble card, it was because it had a bit of sentimental value to it.  Plus, it's just one heck of a sweet photo.  But I've discovered in just the couple short weeks I have been participating in #WalletCard, Oscar Gamble and his 'fro have more of a following and admiration than I anticipated.

I decided to do some searching up on Gamble and stumbled across this fantastic video done up by author and journalist Dan Epstein.  It's a must watch.




"The copious circumference of his coiffure." ???!!! Writing does not get any better than that.

I immediately became a Dan Epstein fan.

I did a little more digging and learned he has written a couple baseball books.  I tracked one down at the library today.

Oscar "Coverboy" Gamble thinks it's worthy of being my next read.

I wholeheartedly agree.

I thought his 'fro on the front of my card was crazy cool.  That photo on the cover of the book is legendary.

I did a little quick flipping (to the pictures of course) and look what I found.

Now I'm definitely reading this.

I think Oscar might enjoy playing the part of bookmark for this one.  Or does that create some sort of "conflict of interest"?  This #WalletCard thing is so complex.  :)

Be sure to keep up to date with the latest and greatest from Oscar Gamble...#WalletCard.  You can follow him on Twitter by clicking on the '76 Topps card at the top right of my blog.

Keep having fun!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

HHOF AUTOS - Three In, Only One Off The List

I went with a plan.  I went to last week's trade night with serious intention.  The goal....to trade for at least one new HHOF auto.

It had been a good couple months since I added a fresh face to the project.  Lately, the word "upgrade" has been used.  And while I managed to do that again the other day, I was finally able to cross off another name from the wantlist.

It started with a quick sift through a trade box (fancy that).  But it was exciting because these trade boxes haven't made an appearance in quite some time.  I know that my trade box (along with a few others) can feel pretty stale month after month.

There was one card that caught my eye and I made a point of putting it aside.  I thought I'd have a good shot at trading for it since the auto is really not that desirable in the collecting world.

Along with the HOF sig, I added a couple inserts (you've just recently read about them in my blog posts).  A quick and easy trade was made and a new upgrade was added to the collection.

Bill Barber
(Inducted in 1990)

I like this card.  It's from a set that hasn't made an appearance in my project yet and for pretty much that reason alone I added it.

Taken from 2013/14 SP Authentic this sports a very nice, bold signature.  The photo has a hit-and-miss quality to it.  70's pics are awesome to begin with, but focus issues are always an......issue.

Overall, for what I gave up to get it, it was more than worth it.

This was a bit of a bonus auto for the night.  As I mentioned off the top, I had definite plans of landing a HOF auto.  Why was I so sure?  Because I knew a trader who had one.  I just didn't have any trade bait he was interested in.

He's a Wings fan....so I went to work.

The local monthly card show helped me add about a half dozen Detroit cards and I felt confident about my chances of finalizing a trade.

Denis Savard
(Inducted in 2000)

Yes....another upgrade.  But the Savard currently sitting in the slot was from the Panini Classics product.  And while that is a fantastic set and a great resource for landing HOF autos, I don't want to oversaturate my project with cards from one release.

This card comes from an earlier offering, 2008/09 SP Authentic.  The Sign of the Times autograph  set is a great insert staple that SP Authentic has developed and I really like this particular design.

Lots of great color, the photo takes up a good portion of the card (unlike other years where the horizontal design allows for more auto space) and a dedicated spot for the signature.

Savard's auto is not the nicest in the world and this offering is a little "meh" but I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Brian Leetch
(Inducted in 2009)

Finally!!  We have a winner.

I knew this card was sitting in the trade box for a couple months now and it's about time that I managed to make a trade happen.

This card has everything that I want in an auto for this project.  Unique design (yes, I have a Milt Schmidt from the same product...sue me), good photo (yes, it's of the Rangers and reminds me of 1994...but I can't really avoid that) and quite possibly the nicest signature of a player not from the 60's or 70's.

It's cards like this one (as opposed to the tougher, more expensive vintage offerings) that will get me to my goal of 100 HHOF autos.

Accessible, affordable and tradable.

Just gotta put my mind to it.

Current Collection - 62 HOF Autos

CARDBOARD PHOTOGRAPHY - Red Light Views

It's been a long while since I've given a card some face time strictly for the photography.  But when I saw this card pop up at trade night a couple days ago I knew I had a post.

Remember those Score Net Cam cards from a few years ago?  The set that takes low angle butt shots of goalies and gives them the moniker of "insert".  The set that reminded me of my old Atari video game system?  Super cool for about two minutes....then I find myself asking "Why am I even looking at this?".  The set that I used to build....then abandoned, and never moved from that day forward (seriously...I haven't touched 'em).

Well it seems that Fleer Ultra needed an insert set and pulled a rabbit out of the ol' hat.

Red Light Views.

Yeah, that's right.  A celebration of pucks going into the net (after all, that's what the red light is for).

I'll be honest, when I first saw this card I thought "Cool".  Then I slapped myself for thinking such a thing.

But I still traded for it...so let's take a closer look at this bugger.

First, you have chaos.  How many guys do you count in the crease?  Six?  Seven?  And where exactly is the puck?  According to the set name...it could be in the net.  And I love the stick just stealing centre stage.

One of my biggest beefs is that the Red Light Views title is plastered across the top of the card...impeding my view of both the unknown Penguins player and the video screen at the top (which has an alternate view of the play).

It's a shame since there's ample room at the bottom of the card if you swap text with the team names and date.  But what do I know.

I do like that we get to see King Henrik's backplate (as unexciting as it is). And I do enjoy the numerous thoughts D-man Ryan McDonagh must be having.  "Where's the puck?", "Where's my contact?", "Those are nice skates", "I'm making imaginary sand castles in the ice".  Hours of fun.

Overall though, it is an interesting photo - just not a unique or exciting execution of a hockey card.

I think it would have been better if the insert set was called "Gongshow".

Oh wait.....that idea has already been taken.

Friday, January 23, 2015

TO THE BIKE SPOKES - PK Subban

Yup.  PK's not invited to the All-Star game and now one of his cards is destined for the rear tire.

You read that right Brian - PK's goin' to the spokes.

And can you really blame me?  After all he's a part of one of the worst insert sets of all time.

(maybe Fleer Ultra should get the nod instead)

Circle and Rectangle.

That's not the name of the set....but it might as well be.  It's better than the red foil lettering you can barely read.

For those of you still guessing, it says "Gongshow Grinders".

Really???!!!!!

That's the best you could come up with?

Gongshow?

Let's take a look at what Urban Dictionary refers to a gongshow as...

Ha ha.  Fairly accurate.  Thank you Sergeant Dangles.

In fact, that gives me an idea for what the set should be renamed as...

"S#!+storm".  I like it.

But sadly....there's more.

Check out the back of the card....

Big Circle, Little Logo.

Hey, I just made up another insert set name.  You can have them both for free Fleer.

Seriously, what's the point of this card back?

I've got no words.

I even asked my wallet card what he thought of the offering...

Oscar feels there's a lack of 'fro on Subban and that in itself is a gongshow.

Talk about big circle, little logo....man that 'fro is sah-weet.

All that said, this card should (and will) receive a premium value when and if the time comes to trade it.  It's so rare, so valuable, so stinky.

Fleer......you've put one in the record books.

PPPPPFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!

TO THE BIKE SPOKES!!!!!!!!!!