Thursday, May 31, 2012

91-92 UD Czech World Junior Box Break

During the sports card boom of the early 90's, this set is a which was fetching 5 bucks a pack and some of the "rookies" were selling for like 20 bucks at my LCS. Thanks to the bubble busting and the internet, I was able to score a whole box of 36 packs for a fraction of what it would have cost back in 1992. 

Each pack had 12 cards and there were some pretty cool cards in this set which I didn't even know about. The highest valued card in the set is the Paul Kariya which books for 5 bucks and most of the cards are first-time appearances for the players. There were also two Gretzky holograms honouring his Lady Byng and Art Ross awards. I ended up opening most of the packs, but I still have 8 unopened packs because at that point I had more than enough doubles and a complete set. As a result, anyone interested in trading for one or all 8 packs let me know! I can help you out with completing a set of your own too!

My goal was to build a set, maybe score an extra Kariya or three and the Gretzky holograms. Having more than accomplished these goals I feel this box was a great success. 

Here is a look at the set:

Card 1
 I hated not winning this tournament, but Canada seems to go in streaks....Win 5....lose 5 etc.

Here is a description on the back of the card explaining the set.

The CIS team is loaded with talented rookies. Yashin, Kasparitis, Kovalev and others.

Here is a Kapanen rookie, a 5 time 20 goal scorer. I always liked him!

 Here is a Karyia rookie one year before his real rookie was released.

 Here is what the back looks like. Name, country and position are listed in Czech on the back and English on the front. Also are two write ups one in each language.

 WOW! Brian Rafalski 8 years before his actually rookie card gets released!

 Here was the big chase card back in the day. Hamrlik never really lived up to his 1 overall billing, but did have a pretty good career that won't end up being HOF calibre but respectable nonetheless.

 Ziggy Palffy actually had three cards appear in the 91-92 year.

Front side of the checklist shows some of the talent in the set.

Back side shows the rest! Martin Straka also has a pre-rookie rookie card too!

So there you have it. Another set off the to-do list. This box was lots of fun to bust and it was certainly worth the wait for me. If you have been waiting too, let me know. I have a few extra packs kicking around.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Devils - Kings begin tonight!

So tonight begins the 11/12 Stanley Cup finals. I have been a Devils fan since 87, so this would be the 5th Finals I have seen my team participate in. As far as the media goes and stuff, I am totally used to hearing the Devils are the weaker team etc and the fact many are picking the Kings doesn't phase me in the least. No one gave use a chance against the Flyers, no one gave us a chance in '95 against the Red Wings and in 2001 we blew it against the Avalanche. I know anything can happen and I suspect this will be one heck of a series even if most fans have already checked out. Both teams are loaded with talent and play aggressive fore-check games. 

Both teams have solid goalies. Kings might have better d-men, but strength is our deep our team is. Our 4th line I believe will be the difference and if the Devils are going to win, they will be the catalyst for our success. 

Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier have been awesome and as a fan, what else could you ask for from a 4th line other than what they have already given: Timely goals, great energy and solid checking! Go Devils GO!
Here is an auto I picked up just before the post-season started. It was a part of yet another lot purchase so I landed this card for a song and dance.

BTW, I will not be making any predictions mainly because I haven't all post-season and I don't want to jinx a good thing. I have a ritual that I have  been doing all post-season which I plan on maintaining during these finals......

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1910/11 C56 Pick-Ups

Over a year ago, I purchased a C56 Reprint set for about the price of a pack of UD hockey cards. When I bought  them I thought it might be as close as I ever get to those legendary cards. Well a couple weeks ago, I proved myself wrong:

I came across 4 beauties in my travels. Here they are:
Angus Campbell. He founded the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) which I played in for many years. He played for the Cobalt Silver Kings in the NHA. He was later inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964.
 Harold McNamara, another Silver King had a couple brothers George and Howard who were also NHA hockey players. George had the most successful hockey career and ended up in the Hall of Fame in 1958. Harold was also a member of the Montreal Canadiens before the NHL days.

I also landed TWO copies of Joseph "Chief" Jones. If you don't know Chief Jones, he was a goalie for the Silver Kings in the NHA days and his G.A.A in 1910 was 8.62. Pretty bad huh? Well, he still won 4 games despite giving up 104 goals in 8 games.  

These cards aren't in the best of shape, but then again I wouldn't look too hot if I was 101 years old either. I feel honoured to own these little 1.5" x 2.625" cards. Right now, I am technically 1/12th or 8.3% done the set, so going after this baby could be a long-term goal....

Anyway, thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dennis Hull Rookie

Sometimes I am guilty of forgetting about players especially when I am bargain hunting. Here is a classic example:

Of course I have heard of Dennis Hull, Bobby's little brother. But in all my years of card collecting I have never even considering chasing his rookie. Well the other day when I was searching for Brett Hull rookies I came across an auction that ended up in my favour.

Check it out

65-66 Topps Dennis Hull RC
Front side is pretty decent. The corners are excellent, but there are two surface razor cuts on the top.

Back side
Why the razor cuts? I think someone way trying to removed a glued card "carefully". Good news is, my card has more paper than it did back in the 60's instead of less paper.

Glad to have this as part of my collection. Has this ever happened to you, picking up a rookie you forgot about or never paid much attention to until it fell in your lap?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to spot a real Hull OPC rookie

This post is to help people out who may be in the market for an OPC Brett Hull rookie card. As I mentioned in my previous post there is a tell on the front of the card and it is a "dot" in the push pin. This is likely going to be the best way to tell if it is real or not because not all Hull rookies which are fake will say reprint on the back.

Here is a shot of a Hull rookie I stole from I currently don't own an OPC version (just Topps), this will have to do!

 Click on the picture and you will see it enlarged and look at the push pin. That isn't a flaw in the picture, it is a flaw in the card's print production. It appears as a little dot and is present in ALL Hull OPC rookies.

Here is a zoomed in shot. I am not sure if it helps some people or not, but here are my two cents!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Someone is going to be disappointed they won this auction! (or how bidding with an Ebay App can really suck)

I think I can officially list one of my hobbies as creeping on eBay auctions. I am always watching like 20-30 at a time just to see what the final sale price is. Sometimes I bid, but I think the watch to bid ratio is like 30:1. Anyway, I was bidding on a Hull rookie last night, and lost (Went for like 12 bucks plus shipping) when I noticed one other one I was watching sold for much higher.

I never bid on this one because in my iPod app the photo didn't look right. I felt it could have been a counterfeit Hull and when I popped onto my desktop I noticed indeed it was.

Funny thing is, if I didn't look at the web version, I wouldn't have seen the super obvious mark on the back....IT SAYS REPRINT!!!!

However, someone may have not noticed that when they paid 18 bucks plus shipping for a worthless card.
How could they have been duped? Here is the ad for the card and pictures below:

"Beautiful and all original 1988-89 Brett Hull O-Pee-Chee NHL Hockey Rookie Card #66. Condition is excellent. This item would be a welcome addition in any NHL Hockey memorabilia collection. Feel free to e-mail me back if you have any questions."

 Look at the front, please notice the perfect "push pin" which can only be found on fake Hull rookies. That is what tipped me off.... But look at the back and there is a true give-away!

Reprint....Doesn't sound "all original" to me.

So is this ebay seller a scammer, or is it buyer beware? The seller has a 99.3% rating on nearly 15k transactions.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Back Checking - Alex Delvecchio

I have been a huge Alex Delvecchio fan ever since I knew about the game of hockey. I be honest though, my reasons for being his fan have nothing to do with seeing him play. In fact, he was done with the game of hockey years before I was even born. My admiration for Alex began purely based on the fact that he was the best player to come from the same town as me. In fact, he is the most famous NHL'er to come from the Thunder Bay area with maybe one exception, Jack Adams.

Nevertheless, I knew Alex was a household name before I was born and really gave me hope as a kid that maybe I too could make the NHL some day. Well I am getting a little old for some day and frankly my game is pretty weak compared to most NHL'ers so I think that dream has long sailed but my admiration for Alex hasn't!

I am beginning to start collecting cards from Alex's playing days and this is a recent addition to my collection. It is from the 70-71 OPC set and I got a really good deal on it.

Front Side
 Pretty simple front, as you can see the Detroit C is over the right shoulder which appears to be their "thing". He also has a little snow on the roof, but that didn't stop him from scoring 68 points in 69-70 or from playing a few more years.

Back Side

What caught my eye about this card was the first sentence. "Alex is second only to Gordie Howe in all time assists record and third in all time goal scoring (behind Jean Beliveau and Howe). 

Wow. During his time, he certainly was one of the best and if you consider the period from 1917-1970 he was second in all time assists and third in all time goals. That is pretty good company, and if you hear the name Alex Delvecchio, I am pretty sure that doesn't come to mind.

Certainly adds another level of appreciate for someone I admire, maybe it will rub off on someone else.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nick Spaling Auto

This recent pick-up of mine isn't going to make many people jealous. But at the same time, it was far too good of a deal to pass up.

Nick Spaling is a current NHL'er who has played every year with the Nashville Predators. That is strike one against him. He isn't an offensive dynamo, but does fill in well into a 3rd or 4th center role and he does this rather well. That is strike two. The $1 price tag ensures that there was no strikeout here!

Love these cards, I know I have said it many times but still, a great deal and nice auto. If anyone out there has more of these Certified autos and wants to unload them, I certainly wouldn't mind making an offer!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

They make football cards?

Alright, I am kidding! Of course they make football cards but if you ever saw my collection you might be surprised. Being a huge sports fan, I love most of the major sports, sorry Nascar and Basketball, no love here.

However, despite loving football, I have NEVER bought, owned or even touched a football card. That changed a couple weeks ago. I was at the local swap meet and even though there wasn't much there, I did see a card that I knew I had to buy.

1974 Topps John Unitas #150
Johnny fricking Unitas. I love this guy and the card is just classic looking. The price tag was only 5 bucks and the card is in amazing shape. I knew I was leaving with this card! After seeing very little in terms of hockey cards, I bundled a bunch of cards together and made a deal I couldn't refuse. So in the end, Mr. Unitas came home with me for less than a 5 spot.

I didn't even know he was a Charger, but it turns out he played one last year with the Chargers and even though he only had like 76 pass attempts that season before retiring Topps, made sure to include him in the set.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

New PC - Stefan Della Rovere

As far as PC's go, all of mine are pretty minor and this one is no exception. I am not going to try and track down every Della Rovere card in existence. However, I will certainly try and land a few of his rookies and autos and here are a couple recent pick ups.

I have been a fan of his since his days with the Canadian World Junior team and I enjoy his style of play and his approach to the game. Both cards I landed are from the 10/11 Season and are both "rookies" by my definition.

11/12 Zenith Gold
 Here is a rookie auto from the 10/11 Zenith set. This card came from a dare to tear pack and is numbered to just /99 copies. I spent about 7 bucks including shipping on it.

10/11 The Cup
For all players I collect, I strive to try and land their The Cup rookie if it exists and Della Rovere is no exception. Here is a nice little swatch containing 3 colours and a on-card auto. This card looks exactly like the scan and I was very pleased to land it for under 10 bucks.

As it stands right now, Stefan spent this past season in the AHL and is stuck pretty deep in the depth chart with the Blues. Lots can happen from year to year and I feel this kid is NHL material and really it is only a matter of time before he gets his shot. He will never win an Art Ross or even a Lady Byng. I think he can be a good and productive 3rd liner with an NHL club and a kid who would bring a great winning attitude to whatever club he makes it with.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dave Taylor - Captain C Auto

Dave Taylor. A classy guy who may not have wowed you with ability and skill, did put together a nice career which has him in the top 100 of most major offensive stats. Had a career high of 47 goals and 112 points in 80-81.

His auto is all class, beautiful penmanship that is very easy to read.

Scan came out a little yellowish, but you can see the nice flow of his signature nonetheless.

Glad to land this baby for under 2 bucks.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Parkhurst Project - A Six Pack of Habs

A while back, I mentioned that I would be buying my 11/12 Score set, rather than doing it through packs and trades. Well I think it is about time to share what I did with the 100 bucks instead of buying three boxes and then painfully trading and tracking down base cards. The set cost me a whopping 26 bucks plus 15 shipping. So, for 41 bones I got a complete set from 1-548. That is all the base cards and the 48 rookies that are SP'ed. That left me with 59 dollars to spend on other cards. Well 30 of those 59 dollars went toward this lot purchase. I must warn you, the cards aren't pretty for the most part. I think one would grade VG+ and the rest would fall in the Fair or Poor range. But, they Habs cards usually are a little more sought after, so to land 6 at 5 bucks a piece isn't too shabby either. Here they are!

Paul Masnick
 Creases and rounded corners, check. Tape, check. Nice colouring, the only plus about this card. Paul's NHL career was pretty short, 232 games, but his pro career was quite long, 13 seasons. During his stay in the NHL, Paul scored 18 goals and had 42 assists for 60 points. Most of those points came in the 53-54 season where he had 26 points in 50 games.

Ross Lowe
 Definitely a sad story here. The nicest card of the batch, features a player who died just after winning the AHL MVP award. Ross Lowe won the Les Cunningham Award in the 54-55 season after 82 points in 60 games and then drown that summer while vacationing with his family. He was 26 years old when he died.

Gerry Doc Couture
 Gerry had a pretty decent NHL career with 385 games, 86 goals, 70 assists and 156 points. Gerry is best known for being a member of the 50 Stanley Cup winning Detroit Red Wings. During that post season, Gerry had 9 points including 5 goals in 14 playoff games.

Floyd Curry
 Floyd maybe the most famous of all the players in this lot. Curry won 10 Stanley Cup rings including 4 as a player and all with the Canadiens. He played a total of 601 games with the Habs and during that time he put up 105 career goals, and 204 points.

    Paul Meger
 Paul Meger was similar to Ross Lowe in the sense that his career was cut short before it really took off. In the case of Paul, it was a nasty skate to the temple that would eventually require surgery to repair the skull fracture that would end his career. He was also only 26 and unfortunately would never play hockey again.

       Jim Bud MacPherson

This card could be in the roughest shape of ANY card in the set so far. As a player, he was a rugged stay at home defenseman and his career was primarily in the minors. He did win a Cup with the Habs and made an appearance in the 1953 All-Star game.


Card # 2, 6, 8, 12, 17, 18 and # 18-23 of my set

Percentage Complete:


Cost of the Card:

30.00 with shipping

Total Cost of Set to Date:


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Garth Butcher - Captain C

Garth Butcher was one of those players as a kid you used to cringe when you would pull his card from a pack. I mean, it was the early 90's and he was considered a common at best. As I got older and more mature, I learned that Garth was a pretty amazing junior hockey player who played a tough game and a smart game. On one hand, he scored 178 points in two full seasons of junior hockey and did that while racking up 548 PIM. When he got to the NHL, he became a shutdown defenseman who would average nearly 3 PIM a game for the better part of 14 seasons.

He was a captain of the St. Louis Blues for a couple seasons before finally ending up in Quebec and Toronto. Here is his auto which I landed off eBay for a whopping $0.99.
Pretty cool signature if you ask me, I hope to land a few more from this set in the coming months as their prices on the secondary market are very reasonable. Certainly better than dropping another C-note on a box.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Alex Vasyunov Redemption

Last summer before the hockey season started, I made a trade with Luke from the cardboard review. The trade was pretty simple; I sent him a Joe Thornton Acetate card in exchange for two Devils rookie cards. One of those cards was a Panini Luxury Suite Alex Vasyunov rookie redemption. However, Wednesday September 7th happened and Alex was on board with the Lokomotiov Yaroslavl team and perished with his team mates. Like the rest of the hockey world, I certainly mourned the loss of both Alex Vasyunov and Karl Rachunek. The story of how Alex even ended up in the KHL was clearly one of choice. The Devils made it clear to Alex with the large number of young forwards in our system, a spot on the Devils roster was not guaranteed and a two-way deal would be the only one on the table. Alex, wanting to play top-level hockey decided to reject the Devils 2-way offer on June 28th and play the upcoming season in the KHL. The Devils were fine with this choice as Alex would play a decent level of hockey and would still be their property when he decides to return back to the NHL.

Amazing what could happen from the outcome of one choice. If he had taken the two way deal, he would certainly still be here with us today instead of being apart of one of the greatest tragedies in hockey history.

Well, Panini the other day honoured my redemption request after over 9 months. The card they sent wasn’t an Alex Vasyunov autograph, it wasn’t even from the Luxury Suite set. Here is what I got instead:

This card is from the 10/11 Zenith Set.

Nick Leddy isn’t a name I was very familiar with. Doing a little bit of research, he is a defenseman with some offensive potential. This past season, Leddy put up 37 points which was second to Keith’s 43 points among Chicago’s D-Men. Hockey’s Future ranks Leddy a 7.5 which translates into an Ehrhoff or Tallinder calibre defenseman. I am pretty happy with the substitution, but of course I certainly wish this tragedy hadn’t happened, but it did and this appears to be how Panini is dealing with those redemptions.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Contest.....Free Stuff...

For those interested, 30 year old cardboard is having a contest with a TON of prizes. Head on over and check it out!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Nathan MacKinnon TTM

An idea came to me a while back that I decided to put into play and that is; using decoys for autographs. Every now and again I don’t have a card of a player, but I want to get an autograph before they move or die. A decoy works nicely because it is card sized (a little on the thick side), doesn’t crease easily (because of girth) and since Panini uses all white ones, the autos show up nicely.

I put this plan into action with up-coming superstar Nathan MacKinnon.

Check out the autos

Forgive the scans, they both are actually uniform in colour, but the scan seems to make the cards two-tone white-cream. Have you done this before? I liked the result and I think I will do it again!

Fly my pretties, fly!

Ok, so I am not unleashing an army of monkeys. But yesterday I finally assembled an army of He Shoots He Scores redemption cards, 200 to be precise. I packed them up and sent them off in the hopes that they will return with something good. Well, not really return, the rules state they will not be returned, but a redemption card numbered to 20 will be sent back in exchange for my points. Who will it be? That part is kinda fun. I looked at the list, and odds are 50-50 I will be really happy with the results. When it arrives I will share.

Maybe Nail?

Have you ever done the exchange program with ITG? Were you happy?