Thursday, December 8, 2016

You might want to wipe that drool off your chin

More than baseball, I think hockey card collectors eagerly flock to the latest crop of rookies.  Each year brings the promise of new players, and new hope to teams as well as collectors.   Fresh faced youngsters starting out their NHL careers in search of stardom.

I admit it, I've bought and hoarded cards in the past of the "next best thing", the kid that was going to guide me towards retirement.   That foolishness is long gone, but there are still card companies banking on some collectors being prospectors, and making sets of cards that feature a lot of rookie cards.  In the end, most of the rookies that appear on these cards last long enough in the NHL to drink a bottle of Gatorade.

So, while looking through the stack of serial numbered hockey cards that Doug sent me, the common theme that I came up with this evening is cards with some form of the word rookie on them.  Enjoy.

This is what being in the western conference does for you.  I couldn't recall Stanton at all until I looked up his stats.  I was kind of surprised that he has played 120 games in the NHL to date, but nothing so far this season.  He is currently property of the Colorado Avalanche and is playing in the AHL with the Cleveland Monsters. This card is from the 2013-14 Panini Titanium release, and what's interesting is that he played only 1 game for the Blackhawks in the 2012-13 season, which got him a card (love that rule) but the card pictures him in a 'Nucks uniform.  

This card easily made me scratch my head, because unlike Stanton above, I've not heard of Garrett Stafford at all.  Looking at his stats I see why.  A total of 7 games played over parts of 3 seasons with Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix.  Garrett was a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, and while not earning a regular spot at the NHL level, he played 10 seasons in the AHL with 9 franchises.  This card is from the 2008-09 Trilogy set.

Now we're getting into some names I've heard before.  Kevin Fiala was the Predators first rd pick in 2014, and has earned a regular spot with Nashville this year, scoring 5 goals so far.  The back of his card chronicles that he is the 6th youngest player to appear in a playoff game, doing so at the age of 18 years and 273 days old.  This card is from the 2015-16 Artifacts set. 

Anyone who enjoys a tough player that loves to fight will know this name, Daniel Carcillo.  He came into the league fighting, and led the NHL in penalty minutes in his second year with 324.  Most of the players of his type (Enforcers) have kind of been phased out of the game over the past couple of seasons, as the league turns to more youth and skill instead of brawn.  Daniel wound up playing 429 NHL games scoring 49 goals.  This card is his SPx rookie from 2007-08.

Ben is in his 2nd season in the NHL, and is playing a lot of minutes on the Vancouver blueline, averaging almost 22 minutes a game this year, largely due to injuries.  Ben is finishing out his entry level deal this year, and has already signed for the next 2 seasons at $2.8 million/yr.  This card is from the 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Hockey, and sports the familiar Fleer Ultra logo.

Almost halfway through showing the envelope that Doug sent.  Still more rookies, a lot of Artifacts, and a couple of sets that are out of the norm.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How'd he know?

I developed a good relationship with some bloggers over the years.  You know how it is, you just get comfortable enough with someone that you see a few cards that you think they might like, pop them in a PWE and send them off, no questions asked. 

Thankfully, I have that kind of kinship with AJ from The Lost Collector blog.  I pulled open the mailbox door yesterday to find the latest PWE installment from AJ, filled with cards from recent releases.

Horizontal Blue Jays from Series 2 and the Update set.  How'd he know I didn't have these?

More Jays goodness from Update and Series 2.  I never created a want list for either release, can AJ read my mind?

Archives, Donruss and GQ mini.  Again, no want lists there.  I haven't lit any fires at the new house, so I know I'm not sending smoke signals telling AJ what I need...

My guess is, he's just that damn good.

This PWE also reminds me that I'm slacking on getting my entire Jays collection in order, a lengthy task that I started a while ago, but have kind of backed away from for the last few weeks. 

8 cards, 8 players, chances are only 2 of them are in Jays uniforms come spring training.  I'm hoping EE will sign to make it 3...

Thank you AJ!!  A much appreciated envelope to say the least.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, December 5, 2016

Using bookmarks to my advantage

I've never considered myself overly tech savvy.  However,  I do enjoy looking at any new bright and shiny object, just like most other 21st century males.  95% of them I'll never learn how to use, but just like women they're always nice to look at.

I also can be quite forgetful, which is why I took to a simple little idea that pretty much every browser that I use employs, the bookmark.

I have so many different pages that I like to go and look at from time to time, it's a pain to try and remember all those domain names.  I also enjoy trading with my fellow bloggers and blog readers that I have to bookmark their blogs and want lists so I can quickly look up their lists to see what they're looking for.

Case in point:  While going over my bookmarks last week, I came across one that I hadn't viewed in quite a long time.  Blog reader Greg A. (whose comments show up as GCA everywhere) has a pretty detailed want list that I had a few cards for.  So I sent him a quick email, and lo and behold, the spoils arrived today.

The 1970 Topps set was one that I started putting together because I was able to get a nice starter set from my previous vintage dealer in PA on the cheap.  After that, I maybe bought 25 or 30 more cards, then promptly set it aside while working on other pursuits. 

My recent devotion to getting more want lists on my blog led to Greg sending me 15 cards from the '70T want list.

They were all low numbers from the 1st series, but that didn't matter.  15 cards off of a vintage want list is fine and dandy for me!!

Check out the wad in Jack McKeon's cheek!!

Greg also sent me some cards from the '74 Topps want list, a set that in terms of starting and chasing is very similar to the '70 set.  Bought a nice lot, added a few cards to it and set it aside. 

Added the want list to the blog recently and voila!!  10 more off the want list (the KC Royals team card didn't make the scans today).

I believe this is the 3rd trade I've completed with Greg, and as memory recalls each one was very quick and easy. 

Thank you very much Greg for the trade, the cards are really appreciated.   I'll try not to go so long next time between trades.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have another trade to work on....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Serial Saturday #8: One of my favorite SNI pages so far, plus a trio of hockey legends

I usually don't make a habit of putting comments as a title for a post, but for me it made sense this time.  I took a look at the next SNI page to be posted, and I really liked a lot of the photos that were on it.  Also, if you read last night's post about grouping cards together with a common theme, the next 3 cards for the hockey SNI set are legends of the sport.

So without further delay, let's start with page #28 of the SNI set...

Card 244:  Kyle Gibson, 2013 Topps Updated gold parallel #244/2013.  Minnesota card #7
Card 245:  Octavio Dotel, 2011 Topps gold parallel #245/2011.  St. Louis card #15
Card 246:  Joel Piniero, 2010 Topps gold parallel #246/2010.  Los Angeles Angels card #13

Card 247:  Brant Colamarino, 2004 Topps gold parallel #247/2004.  Oakland card #13
Card 248:  Andruw Jones, 2008 Topps Co-Signers #248/300.  Los Angeles Dodgers card #9
Card 249:  Christian Guzman, 2010 Topps gold parallel #249/2010.  Washington card #10

Card 250:  Adam Dunn, 2010 Bowman Platinum gold parallel #250/539.  Washington card #11
Card 251:  Richard Hidalgo, 2004 Topps gold parallel #251/2004.  New York Mets card #6
Card 252:  Cameron Maybin, 2011 Topps gold parallel #252/2011.  San Diego card #12

Love the top row of cards right off the bat(for wont of another phrase).  All three pitchers in varying stages of their pitching motion is pure gold (again, poor pun).  Brant Colamarino may be the best baseball name in this set.  And a rare Bowman Platinum gold parallel popped up in the form of Adam Dunn.  8 of the 9 cards came from various members of the blogosphere, so thank you to all who contributed!!

What you see in these three players is 52 seasons of hockey with a combined goal total of 1538.  All 3 are in the Hall of Fame.  Of the 3, only Perreault didn't win the Stanley Cup (although he made it to the Finals against Clarke and the Flyers in 1974-75). 

Robitaille in his first 8 NHL seasons was a pure sniper, scoring 44 or more goals each season, with a high of 63 in 92-93!  Gil Perreault was more of a steady goal scorer, notching 30 in 10 seasons, including his Calder winning rookie season in which he scored 38.  Bobby Clarke was more of a set up man, notching back to back 89 assist seasons with the Flyers in 74/75 & 75/76, winning the Hart Trophy as league MVP both seasons. 

What's been great about the lot that Doug sent me is the variety of cards, many of which I've never seen before.  The Clarke and Perreault cards are both from Upper Deck's Ultimate Collection (Clarke from 13-14, while Perreault is from 06-07).  The Perreault serial # is 507/699, and very difficult to see, even in hand.  Even though the numbers are in silver, the Clarke is also tough to decipher, but it's #259/499. 

Still a lot of serial #'d cards to go, lots of pages to write about, so serial Saturday should keep on going for quite a while.  

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, December 2, 2016

You're not from around here, are you?

When you get a nice big stack of cards from a fellow blogger, but you don't want to cram each and every last one of them into one post, you have to look for common themes among the group.  Case in point, the monster lot of serial #'d hockey cards that Doug from the Sportscards from the Dollar Store blog sent me.  Seeing as I didn't want to put all 50 of them into one post (thank you again Doug, BTW), I have to find some common groups or themes.

I thumbed through the cards recently and found 6 cards that had a significant theme.  The players aren't North American by birth.

Let's start with the Eastern European group.  Vlad Namestnikov is in his 2nd full season (4th overall) with the Lightning.  He's actually sporting one of the versions of the Lightning jersey that I like, with the "Bolts" nickname diagonally in the front.  His card is from the 2014-15 Artifacts set, a product that you're likely going to see quite a bit in the SNI Hockey set. 

Another Lightning product, Vlad Mihalik, managed only 15 games over 2 seasons with the Lightning before heading to Europe to play one season in the Swedish Elite League before finding steady work with HC Slovan Bratislava in the KHL.  This card is from the 08-09 Trilogy set, and is one of those rookie cards that hit the market and cooled quickly. 

Konstantin Pushkarev is the 3rd member of this group, and not unlike Mihalik, only had a cup of coffee in the NHL.  He lasted just 17 games over two seasons in the mid 00's, played a couple of more in the AHL, went to the KHL for a year, back to the AHL in 09-10, then back to the KHL again for the past 6 seasons with Barys Astana.  The card of Konstantin is from the 06-07 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection set.  The serial # is a little harder to see but it is #246 for my set.

We go up to Northern Europe for the next three players.  Peter Forsberg doesn't really need any introduction to hockey fans out there.  "Foppa" was a first year HOF inductee in 2014, and finished his career with 2 Stanley Cups as a member of the Avalanche.  Forsberg's card is from the 16-17 Artifacts release. 

Petter Granberg never did get much of a chance to show what he could do in a Leafs uniform, playing just 8 games over 2 seasons.  He was actually called up to Nashville's roster in the past week, but hasn't seen any playing time with the big club this year. 

Markus Granlund has finally found a full time job in the NHL, having played each of the Vancouver Canucks games so far this year.  He was acquired from the Flames a week before the trade deadline last year for one of the best names in hockey, Hunter Shinkaruk.  Granlund's card is from the 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee set, and is serial #'d 68/100. 

Tampa and Toronto become just the 2nd and 3rd teams with 5 cards shown so far, trailing only Philadelphia who have had 6 displayed in the first few weeks.  

Still a long way to go....

thanks for reading, Robert