Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Righting a bad choice I made a long time ago

Back in the early 90's when I was a kid (and seemingly had more hockey card money than I do now), I actually owned a Patrick Roy OPC Rookie and a Ray Bourque OPC Rookie. Both were in pretty good shape, and I traded them for a mint condition 87/88 OPC set. At the time the trade was fair in terms of BV, but who knew an Adam Oates rookie wouldn't always be worth 40 bucks!

In hindsight, that is probably one of the worst trades I have ever made, but over the last few months I decided to focus on getting some of these cards back into my collection and thanks to a nice Super Bowl pool win, I was able to tick one card off that list.

Even though it isn't the OPC version (I couldn't bring myself to spend 90 bucks on a KSA 8 OPC Roy Rookie), I landed this gem below for nearly half the price.
Front side
I doubt this counts as goaltender gallimaufry as it was the 80's and very little sometimes matched anyway, but it is funny to see Roy with the tanned leather pads and the bone-white mask.

Back sideAs you can see, the legend of Patrick Roy began right out of his first full season with a Conn Smythe Trophy. This card is in great shape, and I am sure if it was sent away to be graded I can't imagine it scoring less than a 9 but of course that is mere speculation!

This card is a step in the right direction for my collection and even though it isn't the card I traded away, I know this one is in better shape and even though it is a Topps version, that doesn't matter that much to me. In the future, if an OPC version should end up in my hands I certainly will welcome it, but I can honestly say I won't be actively trying to land one.

Are there any cards you once traded away and are trying to get back into your collection?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Value Vintage Sets #1 - 82-83 OPC

The number one value vintage set in my opinion is the 82/83 OPC set. Of all the sets on my top 5, this is only the second OPC set to make the list and it is the largest. 396 vintage cards with players who never lasted more than a few games and players who are believed to be the greatest of all-time. The depth of this set is what sets it apart from others and the fact that it is dirt cheap just makes it that much better!

Redeeming Qualities:

Set Size and Player selection
Several Cards booking for over 20 bucks including 2 for 40 a piece (Fuhr and Gretzky).
Set can be had for well under 100 bucks and even then it only books for 100 bucks! That is like 25 cents a card for a set nearly 30 years old.
Do you like Gretzky? There are 8 Gretzky cards in this set.

The Front Side

Really cool shot on this card. The design is very meat and potatoes, but it isn't too hard to like them, but you may not LOVE them.

The Back Side

Some of the cards have a bit of a dating game feel to them as you find out which NHL stars are bachelors and which like long walks on the beach. The backs complement the front rather well with a simple design and good colour selection.

The Rookies:

Of all the sets on the list, 82/83 offers the most rookies and many of them are HOF'ers! In all, there are 63 rookie cards including some of the following:

Ron Francis Rookie
Grant Fuhr Rookie (HOF)

Dale Hawerchuk Rookie (HOF)

Plus rookies of other great former NHL'ers like Joe Mullen, Bobby Carpenter, Brent Sutter and Neal Broten just to name a few.

Other notable cards:

First off, there really isn't many cooler looking cards this this one of Mike Liut!

Wayne Gretzky 4th year card

Wayne Gretzky In Action

This set has an IA card for every team in the set and usually showcases their star player. I like this one as you see Wayne trying to dodge a hip-check.

More Random Wayne!

There you have it, my Top 5 Value Vintage...

1. 82/83 OPC
2. 78/79 Topps
3. 81/82 Topps
4. 84/85 Topps
5. 89/90 OPC

Even though I built this set from packs, I consider it a Value set because it books for a mere 100 bucks and I have seen them sell for 80 bucks on eBay. Part of the low value is because they printed OPC in both Canada and US so there are more of these than lets say 81/82 OPC ( I stand corrected, it has been pointed out to me that US did not receive this release). However, this set is really stacked with great cards, cool rookies and to me offers the best bang for your buck (with a limited budget).

So what are your thoughts? Is your top 5 similar or different? I would like to try a top five for under 500 bucks sometime as it would pull in some pretty cool sets, but this is what my top 5 for under 100 bucks would look like.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

01-02 UD Top Shelf - Ilya Kovalchuk Rookie

Ever since the trade brought Kovy over to NJ I have been watching him closely. Even when he struggled, I still liked what I saw. His potential is through the roof and finally I believe he is turning into the PK Sniper and playmaking machine he can be. This season his numbers are more Kovy like, his +/- is under control and he is popping Shorties like they are Smarties.

As of today, he is 9th in the league for points and I believe he can finish top 5 this year if the Devils keep playing well. He is part of the reason for the great turn-around and hopefully a reason for Parise to remain in NJ.

Since I am a late arriver at the Kovy party, I didn't own a single one of his rookies. Thanks to some trades with fellow bloggers I picked up a few low-end ones so my desire for a good mid-range only increased.

At long last, I finally netted one and it was a pretty good deal. This card is numbered /500 and books for about 40 bucks. However, this card is a little special as it was a "buy back" rookie from the 04-05 Sp Authentic set so it came with a second card which states it is a buy back.

I am curious, did anyone out there collect Top Shelf? I know nothing of the product (is pack price etc) and I am curious to know more.

Anyway, here is the card!

Not the coolest card in the world, but I do like and appreciate it and for 4.99 plus shipping I believe it to be a steal!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Taking care of some business - Adam Henrique

Well, life as a Devils fan has been much easier than it was last year. Part of the reason has been the play of OUR Rookie of the Year Adam Henrique. As of last night, he is now leading the league in rookie scoring which kinda sucks because buying his cards has been a little pricier than the beginning of the year when he wasn't even listed in the Beckett. However, as the market gets more and more saturated with rookies, I should be able to find a few deals!

Anyway, here are a few pickups of Henrique cards I have landed since training camp!

11/12 Young Guns
Needed this card. Young guns are always awesome to have and I landed a good deal for this one as part of a lot of 3 Young guns.

11/12 OPC Retro

I really liked the look of these cards the moment I saw them and to land it for 2 bucks made it worth every penny to me.

09/10 ITG

This was a FUN card to get. I got this back in September as part of a trade with fellow blogger JonWayne.

In all, three great cards to add to my collection and I personally love the auto the most! Thanks again JonWayne, and who knows, Henrique very well could end up finishing atop the rookie scoring. IF he is able to keep it up, you never know, he could do what Brodeur and Gomez did before him!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fake or Real - The Wayne Edition

I am not referring to the game some of us have played on the patio of a pub on a sunny afternoon, I am referring to the following auto. Before you take a look, I have a small story. I was at my LCS which I need to point out specializes in GOLD and Coins. They get people showing up all the time with cards and they usually send them away. I have a want list in the shop and they will grab stuff specifically for me (Like the Lafleur rookie and Dryden rookie etc) but for the most part they are only part-time cards. I was in there in the fall and saw this card. I asked the owner about the Gretzky auto and he said it was apart of a collection they picked up and that the auto was "part of the card printing" and that it wasn't actually signed. I didn't agree, but I didn't say that to him. I left the card behind and its $2 price tag.....

I didn't sleep well that night on this card and decided that the next day I was going to go back and buy it. Upon further review, this card didn't come out of the pack looking this way, it appears SOMEONE signed this card. If you look closely at it, there is feathering and gaps in the ink because it was a felt marker that did the signature ON the card. So the only question I have now is; Did Wayne sign this or did someone else?

I feel better about the auto as he didn't push it on me as a Wayne auto, but my doubts do lie in the "w". Many Wayne autos have a much wider W but it is possible that an IP auto could yield a sloppier job...

So I leave it with you guys, my peers and fellow readers...do You think it is real?

This card is a McDonalds release, I believe it is the 99-00 UD McDonalds set.

I also picked up another Wayne in the last couple months.
LOVE this photo, shame the back side is boring but this card is NrMt-Mt and to land it for 4.99 plus shipping was totally worth it to me.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bobby Hull - TTM

When I found out that Bobby Hull does sign through the mail, I couldn't resist writing him. I already have one auto from him (on a replica jersey) so I figured my collection certainly needed an auto or two on cardboard.

Sure enough, after about 4 months I received both cards I sent, signed! The Champs auto turned out the best. I actually found a 71-72 Bobby Hull All-Star card at my LCS for a buck a few weeks back so I kinda wish I mailed that one...but I will certainly enjoy the two I did get back.

Check out the rest of the post at Dirty Dangle.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Card of the Week - Sam Gagner

Hard to imagine anyone having a better week than Sam Gagner. What does a kid fresh off the first 8 point night since the 80's do? How does a three point night sound? Since the all-star break, Sam has 6 goals and 6 assists in 3 games. Not too bad considering he had only 5 goals and 21 points in the previous 42 games. Now Sam is on pace to top his rookie totals which are his career highs at the moment. The next few weeks will be very interesting for Mr. Gagner as his trade value has increased and the Oilers are still looking to retool their team for future success.

I know the Devils could be interested with their problems filing the Center position with healthy bodies and having a surplus of talented young defensemen could bode well for a future trade....but I am not holding my breath on that one.

My collection of Sam Gagner's increased by one recently (and before the 8 point game) with this card..

10-11 Certified Mirror Blue Materials #58
As I have mentioned before, I really like Certified cards on the secondary market. This card was a part of a decent sized lot of 10-11 Certified inserts and game used cards so the price per card was in the $1.50 range. The front side features the photo on foilboard with a smallish swatch of blue jersey.

The back side

The backs feature the card numbered out of 100 along with stats and a write-up. Like a broken record, I will say this is how Game-Used cards should be. I will certainly buy these cards all day at a buck fifty a pop. In fact, if I didn't have too many partial sets and limited cash, I would like to try and build the Mirror Blue Materials set.

How I received the card: Lot purchase from eBay

Beckett Value: 4-10 dollars

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Recent TTMs

Even though I have been buying more autos than writing letters in the last couple of months (will share more later on those), I have been lucky to have some TTMs return home over the last month or so. Two that I got back earlier this month are Eric Lindros and Jeremy Roenick. Both are players I loved and worshiped as a kid and to have both sign rookies for me is truly awesome. Roenick loves signing for fans and was willing to sign three cards for me (2 Rookies and an All-Star Card) and he included a small form letter with his return. The return time was about 6 months on the Roenick cards.

Eric was a faster signer than Jeremy, but since I didn't know if he would sign for sure, I just sent along the one card. I received this card about two months after mailing out the letter.

Here is more of the Lindros Post.

Here is more of the Roenick Post.