Friday, March 30, 2012

Recent Pick Up - Mark Messier (Sorry Brett and Michael)

I have learned over the last few months that Vancouver fans are not fans of Messier which surprised me a little bit because Messier WAS a Canuck. Being a Devils fan, of course it is no surprise I am not a huge Messier fan because Messier was ALSO a Ranger (of Ragger as some Devils fans fall them). Messier was famous for calling the Game 7 victory in the '94 playoffs which sent them to the Stanley Cup final and it seems after that day he was heralded as one of the greatest leaders of all-time! I find this a little surprising because on that '94 team, Messier wasn't the only player wearing a letter in the dressing room. Leetch, Lowe, Graves and Larmer were all wearing A's on their jerseys and none of them were slouches in the leadership department. However, it seems that Messier ends up with all the credit.

Messier was also an Oiler and a pretty decent Oiler and that alone is why I felt the need to try and land a Messier rookie.

Ever since Mike joined Jon at my LCS things have been getting more card oriented and there have been some pretty decent cards that have made their way into my collection as a result.

One card that has been there for a few months was a Messier rookie. Messier only has one rookie and that is from the 80/81 OPC Set. As a result, Messier rookies are a little more valuable in terms of BV than Bourque rookies because of that fact.

I remember looking at the Messier rookie and thinking the price was a little high for my taste and I just put it back on the shelf. Time would go by and each time I would see it on the shelf. Finally I was curious and did some research into what they were selling for online. Messier rookies aren't exactly available by the dozens but even poor quality ones were selling for 30+ bucks so I thought more about the price tag on the card in the shop was fair.

So I go in one day with some cash in my pocket and an agenda to try and shave 20-30% off the asking price.

After a little humming and hawing, Mike was more than willing to sell it at a discounted price and in the end I believe we both felt the deal was good!

So here is my first and only Messier Rookie!

Front Side
The card is in "tough" shape but not rough shape. Some corner rounding is present, slightly diamond cut, definitely off-centered and there are two light creases. Other than that, this baby is MINT! Ok, maybe not, but I was really happy with the purchase price and the card is still pretty easy on the eyes.

The Back Side

One of the creases on the front does go to the back and seen below the comic. The back is a beautiful yellow and green colour and the card shows well from behind.

Even though I am not a huge Messier fan, I am happy to have this card. Are there any players out there you don't like but found yourself needing or wanting their rookie card?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Card of the Week - Travis Zajac

Tuesday night, the Devils stole a win from the Blackhawks and Marty Brodeur was the main reason and the first star of the game. However, the Devils would not have won in the shootout if not for Travis Zajac. Zajac is back for the second time from an extremely serious Achilles injury/surgery.

In the two games since coming back, Travis has 1 assist and the shootout winner. He has played well and looked like he is on the way to returning to his old self. If the Devils are to be serious contenders this post-season, we are going to need our top three lines producing and Zajac will likely figure in at the first or second line centre.

11/12 Certified Mirror Blue Travis Zajac Auto

Front Side Similar look to last year's release, these cards are modern looking and clean. Sure they have the silly sticker auto, but in the end that isn't much different than 85% of autos out there.

The Back Side

You can say what you want about Panini's crazy parallels etc., but what I do like is their autos are very similar to the base cards and in cases when I am not going after the set, it is nice to have a card the mirrors the base set. These autos are limited to 99 copies and I landed auto number 56.

I bought this because I wanted a more cent Zajac auto, so this actually is my second one. My first one was his SPx Rookie from 06/07. There are slight differences between my two autos but he has been pretty consistent over the years.

How I received the auto: eBay purchase

Beckett Value: (Not sure, I don't have the most recent issue, but I would speculate in the 3-8 range)

Monday, March 26, 2012

05-06 UD Ice Rookie Lot

About a month or two ago an auction was up online for a Zach Parise Ice rookie and a Duncan Keith Ice rookie. I ended up in a little bit of a debate with myself on this one. I own both of their Young Guns, and in the case of both of them I do have another one or two other low end rookies. So, the debate was, "Do I need these cards, or do I just want them?".

I am sure some of us have been in this situation before, so my debate ended with, if I can land them both for under 10 bucks with shipping....then sure I need them.

I threw my bottom line bid in, and luck should have it, I won.

So here are the prizes:

Zach Parise #/999
What I like about this card is he is wearing his number 9 jersey. Many of his rookies feature photos from the preseason with him wearing 51. The card is numbered which is also cool and is valued a little low compared to some of the other cards in that set!

Duncan Keith #/2999
2999 rookies isn't exactly a limited production run when you consider this is supposed to be an upper-end card, but certainly the price was right and I am a pretty big fan of Duncan Keith.

However, with that being said, I certainly don't need this card and probably if I was contacted by a big Keith fan I could be convinced to trade it. Parise on the other hand could also become trade bait depending on the Devils success resigning him. Either way, I felt I did quite well on these pick up and Ice Rookies always look nice in one's collection.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Parkhurst Project Card 17

Last post I shared on this project was a pretty good one as far as my collection goes. I believe the condition of this one could be better! This card I picked up online as well and the seller didn't wager a guess to the quality, but just said there were no creases and the back was clean. Well I looked at the photo and it seemed to be pretty decent to I threw down a max bid of 13 bucks.

Sure enough I won with that bid and it was only when the card arrived that I got a good look at it.

The photos has a pinkish tinge to it, but in person that doesn't exist on the card. This card has 4 pretty strong corners, no creases, nice surface and looks very nice.

The backside is very nice as well with a light "browning" on the edge of the back in a couple spots. I think this card could grade as high as excellent! Surely I felt this was a pretty good deal and I have been enjoying the card ever since. I have been tempted to send it away to be graded, but I worried about the whole process to some degree....( I would use a Canadian grader as the 30 bucks it would cost to use PSA or BVG is too insane) Has anyone used KSA or CSA?

Card # 79 and # 17 of my set

Percentage Complete:

Cost of the Card:
15.35 with shipping

Total Cost of Set to Date:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Goaltender Gallimaufry

Back in the summer of last year, I picked up a huge stack of autos from a local swap meet. One of those autos was a BTP auto of Jacob DeSerres. At the time, he had just been released by the Philadelphia Flyers and was going to attend the University of Calgary and play hockey there.

Well fast forward about a month and the University of Calgary came to down to play in a tournament against the local university (Acadia Axemen)

Since I own his card, I felt that I needed to see him play live so I went with a friend. Lucky for me, he actually got to play the game and here is a shot I took from my seat. I believe Paul from Card Boarded would agree this is Goaltender Gallimaufry at its finest. Jacob is wearing is Calgary Dino uniform, but his equipment is all Saint John Sea Dogs.

What is probably strangest yet, is Jacob went from winning the Memorial Cup (he was the winning goalie in all the tournament games) to the third string goalie in a Canadian University Hockey League. That is right, he ended up third string this past season in Calgary and only saw the ice a total of 166 minutes and in those 166 minutes he gave up 11 goals! That is 5 more than he gave up the entire Memorial Cup.

I don't want to say his career is finished, after all the other two goalies Calgary has were both on the team the last couple years, but this season was a couple steps back for a kid who was drafted in the 3rd round in 2008.

I will keep my fingers crossed for your Jacob, but next year is going to be pivotal for your career!

A few random autos

I have been pretty busy this year with family, work and other stuff and I find making time for posts has been pretty hard. But as my son and wife are both down for a nap, I find myself with a few spare moments so here are a few pickups from a while back. The first three are a lot of 11/12 Artifacts autos that I landed in a lot purchase for a buck a piece.

Karl Alzner
I am a huge fan of this guy. He was awesome both times he played for Canada at the WJHC and he will be a very steady and solid NHL defenseman. I believe that Alzner could have Rod Langway potential....

Clarke MacArthur
Clarke was the second card in the lot and even though I am not a huge fan of him, I do like his auto and he put up some respectable numbers last year. This year has been a challenge for him and I am not sure if he will ever get back to 60 point form, but I believe he has 20 goal and 40 point potential when he is healthy.

Stefan Della Rovere
Another World Junior kid I fell in love with. He plays a great grinding and agitation game. The problem is, there aren't may roster spots for players like that and he has found himself deep in the depth charts of St. Louis. I really want to see this kid get a real NHL shot, but time will tell if that happens. This is actually my second Della Rovere auto, I have his rookie from the Zenith set #/99 as well.

Eric Tangradi
Sometimes when you read another person's blogs you sometimes pick up an appreciate for a player you normally wouldn't follow. Tim (aka The Real DFG) is a pretty big Bill Guerin fan like myself and when I read a while back that he was starting a PC of Eric Tangradi I decided to do a little digging. Turns out Tangradi is another power forward not unlike Bill Guerin and he plays a good physical game. So after reading that I decided to watch some auctions and sure enough I landed yet ANOTHER Certified Rookie Auto. This is the Mirror Red version of his rookie and in addition to having a nice on the card auto it is numbered to 250 and it found its way into my collection for under 4 bucks.

So there you have it! A few simple gems, and I hope to share a few more soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome Back Raddy!

I don't doubt for a second that Radulov is returning because of two reasons. One is because the Preds seem like they are going to make the playoffs. The other reason is to get out of his NHL contract and get a new one that will pay him a boat load of cash (which believe me some GM's will do, after all look at Grabovski's 5.5 mil/yr deal).

It woul be nice to see him fall in love with Nashville and resign like Nabokov did with the Isles and I think the Preds believe that can happen, but only Radulov can predict that one.

Either way, welcome back Radulov and here is hoping you stick around this time instead of running away from your obligations!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Card of the Week - Jamie McGinn

Every season I look forward to the trade deadline and this year was no different. However, after it was all said and done, I was a little disappointed by the number of trades and the calibre of trades. In all fairness, I am sure the players themselves are relieved to some degree as many probably don't want to pack up and leave their families part way through the year.

Trade deadline certainly does have its advantages for players too. It offers players a chance to have a fresh start with a different organization which can be beneficial for players who were stuck deep in the depth chart or forced into a role or position that isn't their natural spot.

One player this year who has really benefited from the change of scenery is Jamie McGinn.

Jamie went from playing around 10-12 min a night in San Jose to playing 16-18 minutes a night with the Avs. This increased ice-time and chemistry with his new team has turned into 7 goals and 9 points in just 9 games. Of those 9 goals, two are game winners and one was a game tying goal with 2 seconds left again the Sabres which would end up becoming a shootout win for the Avs.

It will be neat to see if he can keep this pace up for the rest of the season!

08-09 Artifacts #276 Jamie McGinn Rookie
Of all the Artifacts rookies ever made, I think I like this year the most. Cool design to them and I like how they they mix the colour and sepia together.

Back side
The backs are pretty simple with a decent sized write up on the player along with their vitals. No real stats are listed but then again they are rookies and I guess to some degree their Junior/Minor league stats are sort of irrelevant. I was luck enough to pull a few of the rookies from 08/09, this one arrived as a redemption card. According to the Beckett, these cards should be numbered to /750, but as you can see mine is /999.

How I received the card: Redemption card pulled from a pack
Beckett Value: $3.00 - 8.00

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back Checking - Al MacInnis

One card I added to my collection in the last year was an Al MacInnis rookie. I have always wanted this card and one reason for the desire was the fact that I haven't seen many in my life. I don't think the card is super rare, but it is the ONLY rookie for Al as he didn't make an appearance in the Topps set which might be why many aren't floating around in the circles I travel in.

I was reading the back of the card the other day and I noticed something peculiar.

Front side
Just a neat photo, not sure what he is looking at, but he is staring pretty intently.

Back Side
At first glance, it appears that he has played many seasons for this to be his rookie card. This isn't entirely unusual for the time as many players may have had a part season or two before they were included in an OPC release. What is the most strange is when you read the text and see he was Calgary's top scoring defenseman in the 83-84 season!

My first thought was, why didn't he have a card in the 84-85 set? After all, he was Calgary's top scoring defenseman. I was a little perplexed by this as I always felt that the biggest exclusion from the 84-85 set was Pelle Lindbergh but now I feel that Al MacInnis may be the biggest miss.

So I decide to look through my 84-85 OPC set and see who made the cut before Al. There were the usual players like Kent Nilsson and young guys like Hakan Loob, Dan Quinn and Jamie Macoun. Quinn, Loob and Macoun were all rookies along with Al MacInnis, but Quinn was a hotshot rookie, and both Loob and Macoun played more games than Al so I imagine that is why Al got axed.

However, on the team leader card, Al did get a mention as Allan MacInnis.

Is this a Pre-Rookie card? Maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but I do get a little satisfaction that he wasn't entirely excluded from the set.

(I have a feeling this card is an error card because I don't think Froese gave up 506 goals in 48 games. His GAA might be a little closer to 10 than to 3 in that case)

It turns out Pelle Lindbergh was given the same treatment to some degree. His rookie card is from the 83-84 set, but the only mention of him in 84-85 is on the back of the team leaders card. Then as many collectors know, he had three regular issue cards in the 85-86 sets (OPC, Topps and Topps All-Star Sticker). One of those three cards (OPC) does list his birth year and death year. Pelle Lindbergh's four cards were the very first PC I ever completed. Unfortunately, since 1992 many more cards from different sets have been released and I never continued collecting his cards. To this day, I consider those four cards my complete Pelle Lindbergh PC.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Another BAP auto lot

About a year and a half ago, I decided that I needed to increase my autograph collection. At the time it was probably around 20-30 autos. Today I think my collection has increased into the 200 range. Part of the reason are TTM's and the other are Be a Player Lot purchases. I have picked up a several over the last few months and here is one of them.

The lot had 7 cards and my winning bid was $5.51 plus shipping.

The main reason I bought the lot was for shoot-out stud Jack Johnson. I am a pretty big fan of his and I have wanted an auto for some time. When this lot came up, I was hoping I could get it for under 7 bucks and sure enough I did. These are all from the 07-08 BAP set which sorta makes it a rookie auto for the people like me with a "loose" definition of a rookie.

This was prior to the trade that shipped him to hobby hell where all cards tank in value aka Columbus. His auto is an excellent example of great penmanship.

The rest of the autos are pretty cool too!
Here are Chris Phillips (already had one of his), Keith Ballard and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

The final three are Johan Hedberg (another reason for the lot), Jere Lehtinen and Kris Russell (another rookie auto).

I try and limit my bids to the cost of postage believe it or not. I usually say an auto through the mail will cost me between 1.50 and 2 bucks. If I can land the auto from under 1.50 each with shipping I will do it. Not that I wouldn't enjoy writing them a letter, but my time these days is pretty limited, so if I can spent that time writing someone who's autos are more expensive, then I can accomplish more on a tighter budget.