Thursday, November 28, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 4, A Devils Legend

Ken Daneyko really didn't get much appreciation during his early playing days but in the years since he retired he has received a lot more love from fans (especially non-Devil fans). I wouldn't say he is under-appreciated because the respect he gets now is the respect I think he has earned and they are in correct proportions. With that being said, my collection had zero Dano autos so I fixed that with some of my Gallagher loot.

95-96 BAP Ken Daneyko Auto

For a guy with stone hands on the ice and been known to chuck the knucks he has an awesome signature. I went looking for a good Daneyko auto and paid 3.50 with shipping for this. Small piece of my loot and a big piece on my collection!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 3

One thing I wanted for sure with my Gallagher loot was a HOF auto. Given my new project I had planned on starting I decided to try and get an autograph of a HOF player whose rookie was already in my collection. Gerry Cheevers had this sweet auto pop up online:

11-12 ITG Canada vs The World Gerry Cheevers Auto
Cheevers has a few autos out on the market but this one just spoke to me. Team Canada jersey with his iconic mask and a nice a large auto are a trifecta that makes this one a winner in my eyes. The card itself doesn't carry much in the way of a book value and in the end I nearly paid full book value anyway. Book value on this is about 15 dollar and I think I had 10-12 into this one once you factor in shipping. Totally worth it for the card and factor in that Gerry is a HOF goalie and I know its a gem for me. 

Gerry Cheevers:
Inducted: NHL 1985 and WHA 2010
Claim to fame: 2 time Stanley Cup Winner, Key WHA defector, Successful NHL Coach
1965-66 Topps Gerry Cheevers Rookie

This rookie is one of my favourites in my collection. Boys at the LCS set this aside for me some time ago and I was able to get it for a pretty fair deal. Hard to believe that Gerry would dress that way to stop Bobby Hull slapshot, in fact I don't even know if he has his chest protector on or not! Maybe he could have used some of J.S Giguere's Michelin Man equipment

Here is the back side of my Cheevers rookie. Like the front, it is in pretty good shape, my four corners are the only blemishes on an other wise great card. I am not too sure what this would grade as, the surface is amazing and the back is clean and crease free. The answer to the riddle on the back is No One. Gerry was the only goalie to play all 72 games in the 64-65 AHL season which is pretty impressive given the time period.

Friday, November 22, 2013

My largest PC undertaking ever. The HOF Rookie and Auto/Memorabilia Project. Tom Johnson

There are loads of different PCs out there and I have respect for all of them. A couple of my favourite blogs out there have ones that involve HOF'ers. They gave me the idea to try and get a rookie card and an autograph/game-used card of each one. The plan is to get the rookie and one of the other two. For example, Terry Sawchuk has not been with us for a very long time so when I got his game-used glove, that would count as the memorabilia piece and now I just need his RC. Alex Delvecchio on the other hand, I have his RC, game-used and auto so I have all three which is fine too. I will strive to do one rookie and one memorabilia/auto but if all three can be had, that would just be amazing. I am going to share them as they are completed and eventually get a checklist of missing ones up along with a checklist of missing Delvecchios. It will all take time, but this should be a fun PC that will never end. So the kick things off, here is one I complete this past summer.

Player: Tom Johnson
Inducted: 1970
Claim to fame: Won 1959 Norris and 8 Stanley Cups

1951-52 Parkhurst # 7
BV: $125 for a NrMt Version

Some of you might remember this card from a few years back. It is in great shape and one of my better Parkies from the set in terms of condition. 


This auto is NOT a certified auto, but from what I can tell and given the reputation of the seller, I am more than willing to say it is legit. Pauses in the auto and how smooth everything is are all characteristic of a few legit ones I saw. I actually won this with a Best Offer at the same time I was winning another auction. My auction got cancelled with about 12 hours to go because the price was too low for the seller. I was winning with just a two dollar bid at the time and I brought this one home for 7 dollars with shipping. Tom is not only a HOF'er but he also has been deceased for about 6 years so getting autos for him are challenging. This is an example of the 56-57 Parkhurst " Missing Link" set that was released in the mid 90's which someone got signed by Tom.

Very happy to have a completed pair of HOF'er Tom Johnson who was not only amazing defenseman during his years in the league but he was an excellent NHL Coach with a Cup in 1972 and the NHL record for highest career winning percentage at 0.738. Shame I couldn't score this myself via TTM, but having one anyway is still pretty awesome.   

Thursday, November 21, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 2

Like I said in my last post, I am really just trying to convert my Gallagher auto into cards I would appreciate more. For a few years now I have been trying to secure a nice mid-range Tavares rookie. My packs and boxes of 09-10 UD Series one have yielded nothing so I decided to try my hand at landing a Young Gun. Tavares Young Guns started out around the $100 mark and have steadily dropped despite him picking up his game. You can typically land a Young Gun Tavares in the 30-40 dollar range for ungraded Nrmt-Mt ones. I felt that was a little rich for my blood so then I tried landed a Trilogy Tavares rookie. I like these cards a little better because the print run is actually about a 1/10 of the Young Guns. Young Guns are a tremendous value and are more sought after but typically you can expect a print run of at least 5000 per card. The Trilogy Tavares rookie was limited to just 499. After a couple failed Best Offers, one of the BIN's I had been watching ended and reappeared as an auction. I was all over that and wasn't going to let it go for peanuts. Sure enough, I was the lucky winner and an easy fiver under my max bid. So here is the mid-range Tavares rookie specimen in my collection.

09-10 UD Trilogy John Tavares Rookie /499

So this card is amazing in person. The card is printed on a very nice and vibrant foil board and you certainly get a nice rainbow effect when you look at the card. Numbered as I mentioned before and the card is in perfect shape. Book value on this is 10 bucks lower than the Young Gun rookie (60 for YG 50 for Trilogy) and in my opinion worth every bit of the book value and much more than the $15 I stole it for. When Trilogy came out in 09-10 you could easily expect to pay 25-30 a pack for this stuff with there being hits in every pack. Rookies fell 1 in 3 packs and autos and memorabilia hits in the other 2 in 3 packs. Prices have dropped on this product and you can find hobby boxes (9 packs) for less than $180 bucks now. Still pricey, but there are some pretty cool hits if you are among the lucky.

If you are looking for a mid-range Tavares, both the Trilogy and Black Diamond versions can be had at deals if you are patient!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So here is what I bought with my Brendan Gallagher Loot - Part 1

So I did very well on the sale of my 12-13 Artifacts Brendan Gallagher Auto Rookie /99. I wanted to make sure that when I bought cards with that money I was going to accumulate a batch of cards that exceeded my interest in the card that I sold. If I could do that, then in my opinion I feel like I went ahead on the transaction. So, here are the cards I landed and yes I feel in the end, I am further ahead.

11-12 The Cup Adam Henrique Auto Rookie / 249

The was a beast off the want list. While the patch is insanely dull, the auto is large and crisp and it is the pinnacle of Henrique rookies as far as most collectors go. It is worthless because of the patch? Not in my eyes, but many collectors shied away from this auction as it sold for well less than half the price another Henrique did at the same time with a nicer swatch. Really happy to gain this card and there was plenty of money left over to land some more gems, stay tuned!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sometimes an autograph card's best feature isn't the auto.

As I said in the title, sometimes the best feature on an autograph card isn't the autograph. This can be very true for memorabilia cards because teams like Chicago can result in some amazing patches and the auto on the card becomes very secondary:

Brandon Bollig is not going to ever be a superstar but this card is! A sweet patch with some graffiti on it is what this card looks like to me. 

 12-13 ITG Between The Pipes Denis Herron auto

Here is what I am talking about. I saw this card up for auction and had to have it. In the end it was under four dollars with shipping and I feel like I stole it. First off, Denis Herron, not a current household name but he did win a Vezina and a Jennings 1981 and 1982 respectively. Nice to have on the resume, but the player on this card isn't its best feature.  The autograph is solid and far better than most modern signers but still not the best feature on the card. The photo, in my opinion is what solidifies the awesomeness of the card. For those of you that don't know, this is Denis Herron wearing a road Kansas City Scouts uniform. The mask, a cool and simple design that features team colours. I am glad to have an auto from my favourite franchises' first start and while the Scout days are very forgettable, this card isn't. Now I have myself a Scouts auto, a Rockies auto and of course countless Devils autos.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

1980-81 OPC Wayne Gretzky

I have mentioned in a previous post my admiration for the 80-81 Gretzky card. That was my first ever 80-81 Gretzky and not long after that I landed a second one as part of a complete 80-81 Topps set. So it would only make sense that someday I would land the OPC version right? Lucky for me this past spring my LCS landed a boat load of Gretzkys including his rookie and a few others. I sadly couldn't leave with the Gretzky which was easily in EX-MT condition with a $450 dollar price tag on it but I did manage to get his OPC 2nd year card for a very nice price which was in even better shape than the rookie.

80-81 OPC Wayne Gretzky
Classic photo!

Here is the back, avec texte francais. Currently the card books for $80 which I think is a travesty, but value is determined by whatever collectors will pay and obviously this isn't as desirable as his rookie or even other cards in the set. Still a drop off of 90% from rookie to second year card is pretty steep when you compare it with player cards. For example, Ray Bourque drop from an $80 RC to a $40 2nd year which is a 50% drop; Paul Coffey starts at 50 for a rookie and 12 for a 2nd year card in a very unpopular set. Paul's drop off is only 76% despite those factors. Messier is along the same path with a rookie booking for $100 and a second year at $25. I think the Bourque drop off is less because he is the first card in the set and they typically are higher because condition is sometimes a factor with first and last cards. If you used a Messier or Coffey model you would expect the Gretzky second year card to book closer to $200, but I guess supply and demand doesn't always follow patterns and trends. Personally I love looking at values and trends and this is one that I always found very interesting.

I do regret not trying work out a trade/pay deal for that rookie but I suppose there are many more of those rookies out there and I will someday land one of each (Topps and OPC) and it will be a very sweet day when that happens! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A pair of Brett's for the price of a pack of Prizm!

Brett overload I know, but I do really like the kid and his cardboard is often found at real nice prices! I landed two great autos one from my favourite set 11-12 Certified and another from a set I don't typically collect but it was attached to the auction for the Certified so I went for it.

11-12 Certified Brett Connolly Rookie /499

This was the card I went after. I absolutely love the 11-12 Certified Rookies and when you combine that with my boy Brett, this is a must have for myself. I am not a huge fan of the white only swatch, but the autograph is awesome. The Certified set was very early to market in the 11-12 season and clearly Brett signed his stickers during the transition from junior to pro and his signature definitely reflects what he was signing in junior and even has his number 8 from Prince George on it.

When you compare his auto from the beginning of the season to the one at the end of the season you can see he shortening his last name up significantly

 11-12 Panini Contenders Brett Connolly Rookie /800

Here is a Brett rookie auto from later in the season and you can see when he started signing serious numbers of cards he shortened things up to basically a B, C and Y and there are no numbers with his auto here.

The latter appears to be the way he is signing now which is all good in my books but what I do like about the second card is it is ON card and I love the first one because the auto was done clearly before he was assigned 14 in the NHL and you see his old auto style.

Two fun cards for the collection and 7 dollars was all it set me back. Not too bad, I promise no Brett in my next post so if you are tired of them, don't worry! If you are loving them, I am working on another one or two...stay posted.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

11-12 The Cup Brett Connolly Rookie /249

If you  have a PC of a modern player, what is their most desirable rookie card? Many collectors wouldn't hesitate with their answer and it likely would be their "The Cup" rookie. As far as book value goes, these rookie usually carry a pretty hefty price tag and are sought after by fans of the set and of the players.

Since I consider my Brett Connolly and Adam Henrique PC's to be reasonably serious I felt it would be important to try and cross The Cup of their lists. My Brett Connolly The Cup rookie isn't my favourite but I do like it a fair bit. When compared to my Dominion Gold card, the swatches aren't even close in comparison. The Cup version does have a nice subtle two colour swatch and isn't much smaller than the Dominion one. But the print run is nearly 10 times larger and this card actually cost me 5 dollars more than the Dominion Gold card. Those factors do take away from the card a little bit but still in the end it is a great card for my PC and I do like it lots, it just isn't my personal favourite. 

11-12 The Cup Brett Connolly Rookie /249

As you can see, this is numbered 52/249 and features a cool two colour swatch (blue and white). The auto is nicer on this card because he includes his Tampa number 14 with a signature that looks a little less rushed than the Dominion one. In fact, you can see some elements of his old autograph from junior which I will get into when I finish all my Brett pick ups.

Here is the back side of the card which I do like the improvements that UD has made of the years to their The Cup back designs. This has a few important stats and your lengthy authentication note that you have come to expect from UD.

The book value on this card is 80 bucks which is tied with his Crown Royale rookie as being the most "valuable" base rookies you can get of Brett Connolly. I don't include his Titanium rookie because it is limited to just 14 copies and doesn't have a book value. In fact, I haven't come across any online in the last year or so but I suspect I could have easily missed it.

So there you have it, my third favourite Brett Connolly rookie which trails only my Rookie Anthology Patch Rookie /15 and my Dominion Gold Rookie /25

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

11-12 Dominion Gold Brett Connolly Rookie /25

I have been very fortunate the last month or so thanks to more eBay sales and I went on a pretty decent spending spree. I decided to focus on primarily PC stuff and get cards that may not be worth much but have more sentimental meaning. So my next several posts will reflect those purchases. I also got two boxes of Series 1 from my LCS in exchange for some cards but I will save that for a little later.

11-12 Dominion Gold Brett Connolly Rookie /25

Without a doubt my favourite Brett Connolly card in my collection and I have added ones that cost more than this one recently too. I love the large signature, huge multi-colour swatch and very low print run. While it isn't the lowest print run Brett I own, and it his signature isn't numbered like many I own I still love all the other components combined together here.

Here is the back side of the card, I like that it is simple and almost muted. It definitely doesn't distract the person from what is on the front but I really wish there were some information besides a small anecdote on the back.

The book value of this and other Dominion cards I find a little on the low side since pack prices are easily 300 dollars a pack and in many cases I feel they look  nicer than some of their The Cup counterparts. However I can't complain because it allows collectors like me to be able to land dream cards for little money. The book value of this is 60 dollars and I picked it up for about 27 dollars with shipping which I felt was an awesome deal.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

08-09 SP Game Used Number Marks Alex Delvecchio /25

Patience is something that I am sure I can always use more of, but sometimes I am just patient enough. This is one example of where it pays off in my opinion.

08-09 SP Game Used Number Marks Alex Delvecchio /25

I saw this card almost a year and a half ago on eBay. The seller at the time wanted $99.99 for it and I felt that was a little steep. The book value on it is 80 bucks and I usually don't try and pay full book unless I have to have the card. 

As far as the card goes, it is an auto which I have lots of, and it is a manufactured patch. Alex never wore this number, which makes it a novelty card at best. However, I liked the look of the front (the only pic he had and it was fuzzy) so I decided to watch the card. Time after time it would get relisted and not sell. It isn't that there aren't Delvecchio fans out there, it is just the price was pretty steep and many thought that. After a year and a half I decided to send an offer since I had some extra PayPal cash. My offer was based on what I felt the card was worth to me and was really a take it or leave it offer (I didn't say that in the terms).

I seller obviously thought it over and sure enough accepted my offer which was around the price of a blaster with tax.

When the card arrived I was both surprised and disappointed. The card looked nice in person, better than the scan and had an awesome photo on the back, but there was also some damage on the back which was never pictured or mentioned in the sale description. 

Here is the back, if you notice the photo is very similar to the photo from my Delvecchio Bee Hive. What you will also notice is the photo is the exact one used on his rookie card. That was a very nice surprise, but the damage was a little disappointing. I decided not to complain and just keep the card since I didn't pay very much for it and it is a really hard card to find. Now I need to decide if I want to try and chase the number 1 so I can make 10. I think the answer is yes, so if anyone out there sees #1 autographed or not please let me know and I will try and trade/buy it from you. I don't think I would pay ANYTHING for it, but I am sure we can figure something out. Funny how things change from want to need.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

07-08 BAP Matt Niskanen Auto

When injuries occur, opportunity presents itself. First opportunity for Matt came when Pittsburgh fleeced Dallas in the Neal and Niskanen trade for Goligoski. In hindsight, this trade should have been Niskanen for Goligoski but alas Neal is the player he is because of self-growth and having a decent centre. 

Still, that didn't help Niskanen as much as Letang going down with injury. Letang getting hurt made Matt the go-to powerplay defenseman and he made it count! As of today, Matt has 9 points in 15 games and is an impressive +11. He is on pace for nearly 50 points and is 6th in scoring on the Pens and he is their highest scoring d-man. Will he maintain this pace? Who knows, probably not but I would be willing to bet he could be in the 35-40 point range which isn't bad by today's standards. 

07-08 BAP Matt Niskanen Auto
This is a rookie year auto of Matt Niskanen I bought in the summer with a few other cards in a self-made lot. I paid about a buck for it and seeing his success so far this season makes it that much more fun in the collection! As far as his rookies go, I am not sure if I have any or not. Might be worth a look.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A pair of non-identical 86-87 Wendel Clark Rookies

 A while back I picked up a few 86-87's from my LCS and here is the last of the loot. Not one but two Clark rookies and one of each denomination.

86-87 Topps Wendel Clark Rookie
This is a bad-ass rookie card. 'Stache and mullet. No wussy fluffy mullet either, this is screaming tough guy. Only thing missing is someone else's blood on his jersey.

86-87 OPC Wendel Clark Rookie
Here is the much more coveted and appreciated OPC version. As you can see both are in pretty great shape with no stains, creases or damage other than a faint touch of corner wearing or off-centering. The OPC version has increased a bit in value over the years as some sentimental collectors wonder what could have been with Wendel Clark if he had remained healthy. The OPC version books for 30 dollars and the double printed Topps version books for 8 dollars. Given the low value of the Topps version I might be mailing that off to Wendel in the hopes he will sign it and I could have my own rookie auto of his. 

Without a doubt his finest season was in 1993-94 where he put up 46 goals in a mere 64 games. If you want to play the what-if game, that would have had him on pace for 60 goals if he played all 84 games. However, that was always his problem, playing a full season. What made him good was how he played that game but it is also the thing that often lead to more injuries. He was without a doubt a very talented player and I certainly appreciate his legacy and what he did accomplish in his 14 year career which only had one "full" season.

Friday, November 1, 2013

06-07 Fleer Ultra Evgeni Malkin Rookie

So my last two 86-87's aren't scanned like I thought they were so that post will be pushed for one more day. Instead, here is another case of patience paying off. Rookies and sets are what I primarily collect and even though I have added a few hundred autos over the past couple years I still obsess on rookies and sets. My sets are slowly getting finished but I keep adding more so patience is important because sets can consume you. Rookie are the same, each year a new crop, more stars to chase and if you want to be on the cutting edge it can seriously cost you. I have  been adding rookies when I can and I really wanted to get a few mid-range rookies of stars I don't have covered to my satisfaction. 

Once upon a time I did have a mid-range Malkin, but I traded it away to score something more important to my collection. I do have two low end Malkin rookies, and I believe they are still one of the best bangs for your buck as far as Malkins go. I even once had a chance to buy his SPx rookie for a c-note but that price wasn't right for me. 

So, feeling a small void and having some paypal cash I was able to land this one:  

ITG History of Hockey 06-07 Fleer Ultra Malkin Rookie Buyback
Funny thing about this card is it is the SECOND one I have had in my possession in the last month. Both were ITG buybacks, but the first came with a pretty badly cracked case thanks to Canada post. I had this card send back to the seller and they replaced it with another. This TOO came with a very small chip out of the side but I let it slide this time.

I am a little disappointed that ITG didn't grade these card because the Malkin itself is in fine shape. Should have had no problem scoring at least a 9 but instead it is in a large case and only set me back 15 bucks. Malkin is crossed off!