Friday, November 30, 2012

The countdown begins tomorrow, my top 25 sets

I've actually been looking forward to these posts for about a month now.  It took me a while to narrow my list down to 25 sets that I have actually collected at one point in time, and felt that these sets were worthy of including in the countdown.

Rest assured, this list you're going to see over the month of December is by no means a definitive list.  I do not, nor will I ever, profess to being a card guru and actually nominate the top 25 sets ever made.  That would be an insult to everyone else out there.  To be honest, I haven't collected that many sets yet.

These 25 sets are ones that I've enjoyed collecting, either as a youngster, or since I started writing this blog in the summer of 2011.  Some of them I've actually completed.  I will try and put as much info into the post as necessary:  Topics will include affordability (on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being very affordable, and 1 being very pricey) , key RCs, set size and design.  I'll also make it personal and add it what I liked about collecting the set, and what I didn't like.

There will be no insert or parallel sets in the countdown.  There will be no relics/autos shown as well. Strictly base cards.  The sets will also be hockey and baseball only. 

This countdown is going to be my commitment to keeping this blog going.  Why you ask?  Because I plan to do this every December, and as the years go by, I will collect more sets (naturally), and hopefully newer products will come out to bump out some of the sets ranked lower in the countdown. 

I hope that you enjoy reading these posts over the next month, and rest assured that December will not be limited to countdown posts.  I will try and keep the other features that appear on the blog going, and of course I'll post about any trades that may come my way as well.

The following two cards you've seen posted on my blog before, but their respective sets did not make the countdown because I have never really begun to collect these sets.

Chances are that one or both of these sets will make next year's countdown, just for the simple fact that I've started collecting them.  The same thing goes for a set that you may have enjoyed collecting over the years, but doesn't appear in the top 25....I've just never collected it yet.

Time will fix that...maybe

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My 14th season of insanity.

December, in my line of work, is the month of darkness.  You may or may not remember that I work in the transportation industry. 

Transportation, a fancy word for getting your packages to you as quick as possible before you start calling and screaming at me. 

Over the past 14 years, I've learned a lot about people, especially when it comes to their packages.  (Speaking of packages, I haven't received any lately....I'm kind of bummed)  People get mad when you leave packages at their doorstep.  People get mad when you don't leave packages at their doorstep.  People get mad when you ask them for a signature.  People get mad when you don't have them sign. People just get mad.

You know what, for the "Christmas" season, this is the time of year when people are the bitchiest. Working the phones this time of year is even more stressful.  At least there's one thing that I can rely upon right now to get me out of the doldrums.

A little insanity.

The boys have been good to me lately.  Over 700 cards are in towards the insanity set.  I've had people send me a couple, I've had people send me a dozen.  I've had people send me blue cards, green cards, orange cards and red cards.  Pretty much most of the colors under the rainbow that Topps has released over the years has found its way to my doorstep via trades, eBay, and of course the mighty blogosphere.

I decided to wax a little nostalgic and dig up some cards that are part of the first 700 and show them off.

First up is old/new Jays manager John Gibbons

Card # 430

Gibbons garnered fame the last time around as Jays manager by getting into a heated confrontation with Shea Hillenbrand.  A couple of days later, Hillenbrand found himself wearing Giants colors, and by the end of the next season, found himself out of major league baseball for good. 

This next card is one that I grabbed very early on in the project, and has been one of my favorites.

Card # 22
There's something to be said for the red X-fractor cards from the 2005 Topps chrome set.  Even the name on top is a X-fractor. 
Fun fact:  Tucker's career batting average during the regular season is the same as his post season average.  .256

Here's a couple of cards that are back to back in the set that you might find ironic:

The Manny is #689, the Rodriguez is #690.  The cards came from two different bloggers.  How wild is it that two consecutive cards, from the same set, come from two different bloggers.  Maybe more coincidental is that they are both admitted "performance enhancers"?

Then, there's the most interesting man in the world (wait, I meant on the free agent market...)

I was going to put card #1391 in here, but that would have been redundant...
This is a guy I want to succeed.  The demons he faces are tough.  The temptation has to be incredible.  Yes, alcohol is a choice we can make, same as tobacco, but once the alcohol demon has a hold of you, it is tough to let go.  I can relate...Josh, I hope you get a big contract and end up somewhere that gives you peace for the remainder of your career.

finally, there comes a time where I just feel like showing off a full page of insanity...

just because...

Here's hoping that my month of insanity for the 14th year helps you, in some way, get all the packages you ordered on Black Friday/Cyber Monday or any other day that you order in the next 2 weeks to your door.

If you leave it past the're on your own.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Before there were lockouts and strikes: Dave Keon

Another player request, this time from the Coffee Junkee at the Cardboard Jungle blog.  This time it features one of his favorite players, Dave Keon.

1979-80 OPC # 279 Dave Keon:

I have to say it, doesn't Dave just look like an 18 year veteran in this photo?  Dave just looks like he's been through the wars and he has a snarl that would intimidate any opposing player.  What was interesting for me to learn from looking at his career stats is that Dave was one of the victims of the constant WHA chaos during the mid 70's.  Dave went from Minnesota to Indianapolis, back to Minnesota, then to Edmonton and finally to New England, all in a span of 18 months. 

Scary stat:  Dave personifies the word gentleman in the game of hockey.  Here is his career penalty minutes totals, going season by season.


117 penalty minutes in 22 seasons.  Incredible.

Dave's career was a long one, almost 1500 professional games, 498 goals, 4 Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe, two Lady Byng awards, two Paul Deneau trophies (WHA version of Lady Byng), and a Calder. 

Imagine as well, at the end of their careers, a forward line in Hartford consisting of:  LW Bobby Hull, C Dave Keon, RW Gordie Howe. 


Before there were lockouts and strikes, there was Dave Keon.

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blue Jay Monday: 2006 Bowman Aaron Wideman

No offense to Mr. Wideman, but this card is proof that Bowman baseball is a little too much for my taste.  What's even better, when I went to the baseball reference website and typed in "Aaron Wideman", it returned 0 results.


I tried again, with just "Wideman" in the search box, and lo and behold I find A.J. Wideman, a pitcher in the Blue Jays system who retired at the beginning of 2012 at the age of 26.  At the time this card was released, A.J. had already pitched 3 full seasons in the minors, and had not progressed beyond A ball.  Wideman pitched in AA for a grand total of 2 months in 2008, spent the next three seasons in the Canadian-American Association with New Jersey before hanging them up.

The sad part of this is there was likely a decent market for this card in the Toronto area around 2006, since A.J. is actually from Mississauga, Ontario which is just west of Toronto.

For my finicky, persnickety tastes, Bowman needs to do a little more scouting before putting people on baseball cards.

Grump fest over...enjoy your week!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I have a lot to be thankful for

Yes, I know that I'm 3 days late with this post.  But, in our household we don't always do things by convention.  Our Thanksgiving dinner actually occurred on Saturday instead of Thursday in order to accommodate our friends travel plans.  No worries here, the turkey, potatoes, green bean casserole and stuffing all went down very quickly!

On that note, I do have a lot to be thankful for.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my loving wife, who supports my hobby and as she was during my return to college, is my best sounding board for post ideas.  Without her as the rock in my life, this blog likely would be disorganized chaos (instead of the semi-organized chaos you're used to seeing).

Secondly, I am thankful for all the faithful readers, traders, and bloggers that there are out there.  Almost 16 months in, I have about 100 trades under my belt now, along with many other "swaps" with bloggers without a formal trade ever being mentioned.

Without the blogosphere I wouldn't be almost halfway finished with the insanity set:

Without the blogosphere I wouldn't have new Leafs cards coming into my collection:

Without the blogosphere I probably would never have known about "delicious" Blue Jays cards such as these:

1998 Oh! Henry Blue Jays, a great set...

Most of all, I am thankful to a lot of you for the inspiration for posts.  I have received a lot of support for this blog, and for that support I do say thank you very much!!

I am also stealing an idea from a couple of bloggers out there, and running my own countdown.  Going to do it my way though, and my countdown will not feature individual cards, but sets.  Sets are more my speed, and I can try out a top 25 countdown of the sets that I've collected over the years that were my favorites.  I may graduate and do a series similar to the Night Owl (Top 100 Jays...), but I've got to get caught up on all the Jays I haven't cataloged yet before I attempt something like that.

I'm also thankful for the support I have received on the new series I've started "Before there were lockouts and strikes", and I'm enjoying those posts so far.  I will be featuring baseball players on the BTWLAS series as well as hockey, so if you have any player suggestions you'd like to see on one of these posts, just let me know and I'll do my very best to accommodate. 

Keep blogging out there, and most of all

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Before there were lockouts and strikes: Bernie Parent

By request from Anthony at the Get the Bat off your shoulder blog, here is a post featuring the rock that solidified the Broad Street Bullies teams of the mid 70's, Bernie Parent.

1976-77 Topps # 10

While I didn't have a card that featured Bernie unmasked and displaying his thick beard, I felt that this was a pretty good card to show off.  Every time I see those old brown leather goalie pads, my legs get heavy remembering how much heavier they got when they got wet.

Scary Stat:  During the Flyers cup years of 73-74 & 74-75, Bernie played 141 regular season games, earning 91 wins with 24 shutouts and a microscopic GAA of 1.96.  During the playoffs those 2 seasons, he recorded 6 more shutouts with a combined 1.95 GAA.

Not unlike Rick Kehoe, who was in the first post of the BTWLAS series, Bernie's career ended early as well.  Parent was forced into retirement at the age of 33 because of an eye injury from an errant stick during a game against the New York Rangers in February of 1979.

Before there were lockouts and strikes, there was Bernie Parent.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, November 23, 2012

Another set completion, this one only took 10 years

2002 Upper Deck Baseball, series 2.  One of the smallest "Series" that has been released by any company over the years.  245 cards is also an odd number for a set of cards.  Why not bump it up to 250?

Anyhow, this set was finally completed on Wednesday with the addition of card # 521.

Val Pascucci is a big man.  6'6" 265 lbs.  Drafted in the 15th round by Montreal in 1999, Val got his first card 3 years later in the 2002 set.  Pascucci did not play a major league game until the 2004 season, when he had 62 ABs for Montreal.  Val didn't get another shot in the majors until 2011 with the Mets. 

Val even spent a couple of years in Japan (05 & 06), and has to his credit 251 minor league HRs over a 14 year career. 

Glad that this set is finally out of the way...just 7 more sets to finish to reach the goal of 25.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The irony of how I finally completed an 18 year old set

Last weekend, I decided to stop putting off obtaining singles towards completing some sets that I've had going for a long time.  The oldest set that I've had on my lists is the 94-95 UD Hockey set.

570 cards that were released in 2 series.  One of my favorite hockey releases from the mid 90's (if not my favorite).  Since I updated my want lists for hockey a few months back, this little list has sat there, neglected.

I only needed 2 cards.  What was so tough about picking up these 2 cards from Sportlots?  Honestly, I don't know.  Even better, when I went onto Sportlots on the weekend, the cards that I needed wound up coming from 2 different sellers.

The first one arrived Tuesday...

Kick his ass Sea-Bass!!
No scrub there.  It's sad to think how many goals this guy could have scored if not for a 2 year period in which he only played 22 games due to knee and thigh injuries.

OK...on to the final card, which came on Wednesday.  The sad part of this irony is, I don't even have the card in my PC.....

One day, I will own a Nordiques Sakic jersey.
Yes, Joe Sakic arrived Wednesday as the final card I needed to finish off this set.  I thought I had this card already in my Sakic collection, but in reality the only version I have is the Electric Ice parallel.

Finally nice to get this set out of the way after all these years.

2001 Fleer Tradition baseball is next oldest....only 12 years old.  I've got lots of time....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The November project purchase #4: '76 Topps BB lot

I've been on a kick lately when searching eBay, looking for starter sets for years that I am interested in.  This lot came across my searches last weekend, and it was a deal that was too good to leave for someone else to pickup.

Cards purchased (360, approx 250 unique cards):  This blows the 100 card requirement for the month out of the water.
Cost: $10.51 + $6.50 shipping= $17.01 ($44.27 total spent, $55.73 left)
Seller:  hckybob2

These weren't all commons as well, there were quite a few stars/semi stars in the group.  I saw Gaylord Perry, Rich Gossage, J.R. Richard, Gorman Thomas and a lot of other names that I recognized in the stack.

I doubt if these two are related.

Not related to the author of this blog in any way...

Yep, that's the whole card...

Scanned....well just because.  Don't you think that the separation between the La and the rest was kind of overdone?

Anyhow, for the price, this lot will provide a bit of entertainment for me, as well as a nice lot of cards for trading.  The cards were mostly lower grade, but there were enough decent cards in the box to make this a good start towards another classic 70's Topps set. 

I still have over half of the $100 bankroll still to spend, but I'm in no hurry to spend it.  This project just may carry into December, and there's nothing wrong with that at all.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This card was made just a few weeks too early

Rumor has it that the Jays have officially adopted the Marlins logo as well.

I'm still in shock that the deal went much so that I decided to experiment for the first time with Microsoft Paint....

Needs work, yea I know. 

But hey, I don't care.  The Jays now have maybe the best leadoff hitter in MLB right now, and I have a feeling that GM Alex Anthopoulos has something else up his sleeve.

OK...I guess this really could be defined as a blockbuster. 

Welcome to Toronto, Jose!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Before there were lockouts and strikes: Rick Kehoe

During one of my bitch fests a few weeks ago, I moaned about what I thought were the good old days, and how I was going to start writing posts about players that played before there were lockouts and strikes.

I figured it's finally time to put up or shut up.

The one caveat for these posts...the cards will be pre-1994.  Yes, I know there was a baseball strike in 1981, but if I restrict myself that much, I'll run out of material quickly. blog, my rules...(defiant...aren't I??).  I'll also try to keep the hometown bias out of the equation and keep the posts free of the Blue and White. 

Got a card you want me to feature in this series?  Let me know....

OK, after saying all that, here's the first card in the series.

1979-80 OPC # 109, Rick Kehoe:

This Blue and White doesn't count

Rick was a solid NHL-er, scoring 30+ goals 5 times, including a career best 55 in 1981-82.  What's interesting about his career stat line is that Rick had 3 other seasons where he scored 29 goals.  I could see that happening once to a guy, but 3 times?

It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Rick's career wasn't cut short just 6 games into the 84-85 season from a neck injury.  Rick's career goal total at that time was 371, and at age 33 if he could have played a few more years in the league, 500 goals could have come into play.  Especially since the Penguins had drafted some young French Canadian kid named Lemieux, who just happened to start his career in 84-85.

Scary stat:  His 20 Power Play goals in 81-82 only ranked 4th in the league. (Bossy led the league that year with 28).

Before there were lockouts and strikes, there was Rick Kehoe.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blue Jay Monday: Carlos Delgado Quad Relic

I've mentioned this on the blog before, but it still rings true for me.  The older I get, the more I believe in karma.

What goes around comes around.  Today I found that out in spades.

If any of you saw Dennis' post today over at Too Many Verlanders, you will see a Marty Turco jersey card that I picked up for him at the Expo a little over a week ago.  That Turco was part of the first purchase I made at the show.  5 jersey cards at a price that I'm too ashamed to admit I paid, but I knew when I saw each of these cards I had to bring them home with me.

Karma came around for me today in the form of a bubble mailer, and a fantastic Carlos Delgado quad relic card.

My first triple jersey/bat relic card.   Love it. 

If that had been the only card in the envelope, I would have been a happy man.  Dennis doesn't do things small apparently.

The envelope was loaded.  60 Blue Jays cards (I think it's a blogosphere rule that I perpetually stay behind in trying to catalog my Jays, a couple of insanity cards, and 2 of these...

A couple of phone cards featuring Shawn Green, giving the holder 5 free minutes of long distance from Bell Canada.  It took a little bit of research, but these cards go back to 1995 when the Jays hosted a clinic for 30 kids with cancer at the SkyDome.  The cards were given away as part of a promotion at the Jays game on  7/27/95 against the Twins.  In case you were wondering, the Jays beat the Twins 9-2 on that day and posted 12 hits.  (this tidbit will interest Dennis, the Jays catcher that day was none other than long time Tiger great Lance Parrish)

There's two words that describe me after this trade with Dennis...

Spoiled rotten.  thank you Dennis!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The man wasn't lying

About 6 weeks ago, the man we all know as the Night Owl posted on his blog that "Blogging ain't easy".  If you missed it, the link will take you to the actual post.  I'll be here waiting when you're done.  (there's no pictures by the it will take you a few moments...)  I'm sure that many of you remember it now, there were quite a few comments as well (myself included). 

You know what?  The man wasn't lying.  I can say for all honesty that the last week has been one of the busiest weeks for me in terms of getting my act together as far as my collection goes.  Probably since the National in August, I've been an absolute bum as far as keeping things organized, and last weekend I finally got sick of the piles. 

You've heard me moan about the piles, there had to have been at least 20 stacks of cards within a 5 foot table length of me, that were doing nothing but accumulating dust.  I actually took evenings off of posting this week just to start organizing and arranging the mess.  I put the 76-77 OPC cards into a binder.  I got a bunch of the trade piles I had going out of the house on Saturday.  I bought a couple of more boxes for a couple of current OPC sets I have going, getting those piles off of the desk.

I've even started getting the massive piles of Blue Jay cards organized.  The total is up to 2642 unique Jays cards now... I'm probably going to fall short of the 3500 goal set at the beginning of the year, but I would say that 3000 is not out of the question once I get the remainder of the sorting completed. 

I prided myself on the ability to keep up with trade requests, responding to people within a reasonable time frame.  That's not been the case the last couple of months. 

I know I have to do better.  I want to do better.  Sometimes though I let myself get into a state of chaos, and the only way to get out of it is to sit down and do something about it.  That's what this week has been all about.

Now all I have to do is get back to writing again. 

Writing about card companies actually naming an insert correctly a few years back...take a look

05-06 Upper Deck got it right
Destined for the Hall actually became enshrined in the Hall last Monday night, and in typical Joe Sakic fashion, his speech was very low key, thankful to those who helped him, and very thankful for his family.  Awesome stuff. 

Writing about cards like this will make it easier for me to not become one of the burnouts that Greg described in his post.  Why don't I want to be one of those?

I love cards too much.  I love this hobby too much.  I've finally found an outlet for the one true hobby I've had since I was a child, and will probably enjoy until they bury me in the ground.  

The blogosphere is the one place where I feel like I belong.  It's where all the cool kids hang out.

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I feel like I'm cheating

Since I started blogging, I've made it a personal goal to blog as often as possible.  There are reasons that I wanted to do it.  Writing keeps my mind sharp, and it keeps me from thinking about the daily grind.  It also gives me a personal sense of satisfaction to know that I'm contributing to the card blogging world, even if the post is only a small one.

For me, this week I feel like I've been cheating.  Before today, I only posted 3 times this week.  I've been more inclined to try and clean up the mess I've made for myself in my card room.  At least that mission has begun to some degree.

Today, I'm trying to make it up to the blogosphere a little bit.  First, it's mass mailing day.  Those who live in the following zip codes have packages on their way to them...


There are a few others out there that have piles started for them (especially Roy-Z who has a big pile of OPC coming his way...thanks for the trade Roy).

Most of all, I've been remiss in showing some cards to the blog world.  One thing I noticed recently is the "traded to" line being used by Score hockey this year.  Brandon Sutter's card is featured below for example...

I'm glad that Score has decided to use this method of updating cards in their product this year.  I haven't collected their product the past few years, so I couldn't say whether this was a common practice for them.  Whatever the case, I'm glad that the "traded to" line is there.

My affinity for all things blue and white has also been lacking somewhat lately.  This card that I received as part of a trade with the Captain from the Waxaholic blog is something that I really enjoyed receiving.  It features one of the greatest Leafs of all time, Frank Mahovlich.

Serial #'d goodness featuring "the Big M", how can you go wrong?   Mahovlich's record of 48 goals in a season would stand for over 20 years until finally Rick Vaive cracked the 50 goal barrier in1981-82, scoring 54 times.  Vaive's record still stands today. 

The one player that was credited with helping jump start Mahovlich's goal scoring prowess was the great Red Kelly.
Kelly came to Toronto in a deal during the 59-60 season after vetoing a trade to the New York Rangers.  Kelly was moved from defence to center, and helped lead the Leafs to 4 Stanley Cups over the next 8 seasons.  Kelly had also won 4 Cups while with Detroit, making him the only player in NHL history to win 4 Stanley Cups with 2 different teams. 

OK, that's enough history for today.  How about some current events?

The mega deal between the Jays and the Marlins.  Unbelievable.  If Selig allows the deal to go through (which I have a feeling he will not do..), it does two things for the Jays.  It solidifies their starting rotation (Romero, Morrow, Johnson and Buehrle match up with any other top 4 out there..), and Jose Reyes gives the Jays the leadoff man that they have lacked since the Alomar/White combo in the early 90's. 

These guys set the table for a couple of great teams in the early 90's

I hope that deal goes through.....however I have a feeling that Selig might think that somebody else is cheating...

Melky Cabrera's signing is interesting to say the least.  2 years at $8M per year was kind of surprising coming off of his suspension.

It appears that the Jays are no longer going to wait around for their farm system to develop, and have decided to become a player in the AL East again. If Sergio Santos comes back healthy and is the closer that the Jays lacked last season, the Jays may be a force in the east.

Since the NHL is now the No Hockey League, there's only one thing left I can do.

Count down the 135 days until opening day for MLB.  I can't wait.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sorry, but I don't have the money for a $10K project

First off, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that jumped on last night and commented on the "spring cleaning".  I've spoken with a few of you via email, and the rest I've replied to your comment directly on the post.  (Jeff, I still have to email you yet...)  It looks as if Saturday should be quite the mail day.

I really haven't done a lot of reading this week as far as blogs go, so I'm a little out of tune with what's happening.  I have seen a little bit of the hub bub as far as the Topps 5 star club goes.  I think I'm going to remain about as neutral as Switzerland as far as this one goes.

I compare the 5 star club to a black credit card, something for the uber rich that comes with special little perks.  Not sure if I agree with Topps placing the caveat that a member cannot speak ill of the company.  Kind of goes against the grain of everything that is America, no?

I decided to have a little fun with the $10,000 requirement.  What would I have to do to spend $10,000?

Well let's see.  If I go strictly by the title of my blog, $30 a week, it would take me 333.3 weeks, or 6.4 years to spend $10,000.  I don't think that fits in with the $10,000/yr requirement. 

Let's see what else I would have to buy in order to meet the $10K level.

1.  833 Joe Sakic RCs

Storage, yea that might be a problem.  I'm sure that there are plenty out there to go around though.

2.  2.5 complete sets of 1964 Topps baseball

Finding all those cards in NM condition twice would be painful.

3.   33.3 complete sets of OPC 76-77 hockey.

How many of these do you think I can find for $5 apiece?

Naturally, I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the point by now.  Sure, Topps means $10,000/yr of new product, and if I attempted to pull that off, there would be only one word that word appear on this blog next.


Done that once, don't want to go there again.  

Sorry Topps.  Maybe there's a club out there for one star members like me?  Maybe if you move the decimal point two places to the left and make it $100.00

Oh wait, I ripped on them about that already.....nevermind....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This isn't really a spring cleaning

The winter blahs have already set in for me, and it's not even a month until winter.  The last couple of days have been cold and windy here, and with the clocks falling back, darkness comes way too early for my liking.

Because of this, my mindset over the past few days is cleaning off my disaster of a card table/desk.  Kind of a spring cleaning, except it's not spring. The desk has gotten so bad that I worked on cleaning it last night rather than writing a post. 

One thing that I secretly hoped for when Update/Highlights was released last month was the potential influx of gold parallels for the insanity set.  My luck so far has been very disappointing.  So much so that I have all these for trade, mainly because I'm hitting numbers that are higher than 1500.

Need more info on any of these?  Comment/email...

See any you need?  Let me know...

How about minis?  Have an eight spot of those if you're collecting that set...

I also have quite a few sparkly gold and Wal-Mart blue if you're collecting them....better they go to someone who will enjoy them....let me know if you're looking for anyone in particular.

Not unlike many other bloggers, I enjoy the cartoons on the back of older card releases.  I managed to pick up about 3 dozen of the 76-77 OPCs I needed for my set, but a couple of Leafs cards caught my eye because of the similarity of the cartoons.

Both Mike Pelyk and Bob Neely seem to have been injured quite a bit during their careers, as evidenced by the generous amounts of bandages adorning their cartoon bodies. 

Mind you, those weren't the only 76-77's I was able to buy.  I found one table that had a nice assortment of these cards, and I grabbed a few of the star cards I needed...some notable HOFers here.

The cards are in good shape, and the dealer was good enough to cut 20% off the price.  My purchases weren't limited to vintage...I did manage to find some more modern cards to fit my collection;

probably overpaid for this, now that I think about it

along with a few others to fit other people's collections (if they so choose to have them...)

All these, plus about 400-500 Blue Jays that I've been too lazy to catalog, piles of doubles from sets that I'm currently building, and assorted piles of top loaders, penny sleeves and single cards that I've picked up here and there. 

It's all driving me crazy.  I hope you will pardon me while I clean up the disaster area....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sometimes you don't ask Howe, you just ask how much

For the most part, I would say that my experience at the winter Expo in Toronto on the weekend was a success.  I learned a lot on the weekend, not only about myself, but about quite a few of the people on the other side of the table.

I could regale you with stories about one guy that I wanted to slap, about others that acted as if they were going to slap someone, or I could prattle on endlessly about the good I saw at the show as well.

Instead, I'm going to show you one card.   Nothing fabulous, but for me it was something that I really wanted to accomplish this weekend.

I wanted one card, pre 1970's, that just wasn't in line with what I was collecting.  I found it Friday afternoon...

Soft corners...yes


A bit off center....that's OK too..

The back is in decent shape, no pen or pencil marks to speak of.

I love the description on the back as well.  Can you tell that Gordie was revered at that time?

I saw some other cards priced in the range of this one...a couple of Beliveaus, along with a few commons from the early 60's Parkhurst sets.  But when I saw this Gordie and the price tag attached, I knew I couldn't leave it at the show. 


That's it.  That pretty much sums up the weekend for me.  Great deals on cards if you were willing to take the time to search the floor.

Searching the floor....another topic that I'll discuss this week...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sakic Sunday: Coast to Coast at the Expo

One of the great things about larger card shows is the variety of people that you meet.  One of the interesting experiences that I had over the weekend was on a "rest break" that I was taking in the food court.  I sat at a large table with a couple of other gentlemen, whom I discovered later were both vendors at the show.  The one fellow who looked quite disheveled asked the other guy where he was from.

"Vancouver, B.C." was the response, which turned into a 5 minute conversation about why he was there and how nice an area that Vancouver was.  Mr. disheveled turned to me next and asked where I was from.

Proudly I said, "New Castle, PA".


I could just hear it now.  #$%^ing Americans.  You could just tell from the looks that I was instantly regarded as a 2nd class citizen.  (I never did tell them that I was one of their own...originally)

Maybe it was the New York Islanders jersey I sported at the show....who knows???

I had quite a few conversations with a lot of the dealers, many of whom were quite friendly and willing to deal.  This Joe Sakic card reminded me of the diversity that I encountered at the show...

2002-03 CC9

I did well at the show as far as my Sakic collection goes...15 cards added to the PC, only one of those was a jersey card.

I did my best to stay away from the higher priced items, preferring to put dents into a couple of sets that I had targeted.  I was also able to pick up a couple of cards for some fellow bloggers who have specific players that they collect. 

Enjoy the posts over the next couple of days, I have one or two more interesting stores for you(well, at least they were interesting to me.)

Thanks for reading, Robert

Another iconic image on the anniversary of his death

I pulled this card a few weeks ago from a blaster box of OPC, and the memories just came flooding back.

This card for me, is an iconic image.  It reminds me of what could have been.  The card is of Pelle Lindbergh.

In an age where mask designs were becoming the norm, if not the expected, Pelle's stone cold white mask went against the grain. 

It looks as if he's giving you the death stare from behind the mask, daring you to try and score on him.

Pelle's was a life that was taken way too soon.  27 years ago today, Pelle passed away after slamming his Porsche into a wall after returning from a team function.  Pelle was legally drunk at the time according to blood alcohol testing.

Pelle was the Vezina trophy winner after the 84-85 season, having won 40 games with a 3.02 GAA.

Pelle became the first player to be posthumously voted to an All-Star team (football player Sean Taylor became the only other person to do so in 2008). Lindbergh was also the first goalie to bring a water bottle with him on the ice during an NHL game.

Nobody has worn the #31 for the Flyers since Pelle's death.  I think it would be a classy move by the Flyers to retire the number. 

My wife has made me a believer in the saying "everything happens for a reason".  While Ron Hextall didn't play that year, he became the Flyers #1 goalie the next season after Lindbergh's passing, and forged a great career for himself.  You have to wonder had Pelle still been alive what would have happened to Hextall.

The white mask will be something that will live on with me for a long time, a reminder of a career, and a life, that was way too short.

God bless you Pelle

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I live in a parallel universe

It's like a plague.  I've witnessed it for close to 20 years now.  The endless parallels.  The hopeless addiction that I have to them.

I begin to see and blue...

part of the insanity

It all started in 1994.  A simple, shiny parallel called "Electric Ice" started the madness.

A couple of years later, I stepped into the Players Club, and another chase ensued...

Three years after that, it was signature parallels...welcome to the world of MVP..

Later on, parallels went back in time and companies decided to call them "retro"

In 2011, I had to resist a strong temptation to collect things that were shiny and sparkly....even though I tried at first..

2012 brought more types of parallels, some that existed in the past, some that were new, and yet a parallel remains a parallel..

I thought I would be able to survive in a parallel universe. After all, I have managed to get along quite fine for many years.   But finally, it just drove me insane...

Thank you Steve!

I even tried to keep things simple, one color, no parallels...

Thanks again Steve!

But in the end, the parallels won out. 

On a more serious note, I'm hoping that this weekend at the Expo I'll be able to put a dent in some of these parallel based sets. 

After all these years, it's time that I started putting some of these chases to bed as well.  Maybe if I do that I can return to a more normal planet.


thanks for reading, Robert