Wednesday, June 26, 2013

So you have 80 dollars to burn? Here is how some people did it.

I have mentioned in the past I do have a hobby of watching auctions and I must say if you watch enough you will pretty much see just about anything the hobby has to offer. I have decided to share two gems I found in the last couple months. The first was one I was legitimately thinking of bidding on because I do want an OPC Gretzky reprint rookie (for less than 10 buck shipped of course). However, the bidding went a little crazy on this one: 

Here is the final listing on what is a REPRINT rookie
Like many sellers, all the important information isn't in the title and you can see that there is one important word in the description which is REPRINT. However, if you look at the photo below, that is the close up of the apparent card for sale.

I am not sure if the buyer was thinking they had a legit Gretzky rookie on their hands that the seller wasn't aware was real or they were really in love with the idea of having an expensive reprint. If you look at the photo you can see a dot on the left shoulder of Wayne which does exist on a non-reprint card. But fact is, if a seller of cards with more than 1000 feedbacks is claiming something is a reprint, chances are it is. They buyer has made a grand total of 17 purchases on eBay to this point, I am not sure if they are seasoned themselves but either way, I was staying clear of this purchase at this price. 

The second auction is just too funny.

For the record, this card DID sell and it did sell for 60 dollars I believe, but for some reason they original buy it now price of 80 is listed so either way, a chunk of money was spent on someone's art work. I do like the Gandalf beard on Wayne but I think it may have hurt the card's value slightly. 

 Here is a close up of someone's handiwork.

Apparently the artist's name is Arlindo. Arlindo really had a hate on for the name Wayne and he only wanted to be known by his first name.

So there are two really good examples of how to waste one's money in MY opinion. However, would you have paid anything for those two cards? I might have shelled out 10 bucks on the Wayne reprint including shipping and the Arlindo original I might have paid 5 or 10 for but that is my max there too.

Have you ever come across anything like this in your  travels or even made a crazy purchase that you would come to regret?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Tribute to the 2013 Stanley Cup Champs

Well a huge congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks capturing their second cup in four years and their fifth cup in their franchise history. I am very pleased that they did win primarily because I am a fan of the 'Hawks and their winning almost feels like winning second place in a beauty contest! Rather than share autos and hits I have already shared, I am going to share something from back when their made their first appearance in my lifetime.

I was and am a huge Ed Belfour fan and I really thought they were going to stand up well against the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 1992, little did I know the Pens were on a mission to win it for Badger Bob and nothing was going to get in their way. Here is an autograph of Eddie from back then:  

1992-93 High 5 Preview Ed Belfour Auto #1500
I own two Ed Belfour autos in my collection and this one of my favourite. It features Eddie as a Hawk and those goal pads were ones I used to picture myself wearing when I was outside getting pelted with slap shots by the neighborhood kids while wearing my Blackhawks jersey. Sadly Eddie would never get to another Cup final while with Chicago and by 1997 Eddie left the Windy City and would have a resurgence a couple years later.
Here is the backside of the card. Please don't let the relatively high serial number fool you, this card actually books for about 40 bucks. 

11-12 Elite Passing the Torch Belfour/Lehtonen Dual Auto /100

Eddie's best years may have been in a Stars uniform as he would finally win a Stanley Cup and lose in another Cup final as well. From 1997-02 Eddie was dominate once again winning 160 games over those 5 seasons and he finished with a sub 2.00 g.a.a twice. 


 The backside of the second Belfour auto in my collection features an auto of Kari Lehtonen. Kari came into the league as a second overall pick ahead of players like Cam Ward, Alex Semin, and Duncan Keith. True his draft class is far from spectacular, but the pressure was and is still there to perform. To this point, he has proven himself to be a solid starter but I am not sure if Cup dreams are in the wings for Stars fans at this point and it could be a while before they are doing what Belfour helped them do and what the Hawks were doing last night!

Thanks for putting up with a twisted and abstract post, but I did want to honor the Champs and I did it Belfour style!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Back Checking - 1991-92 UD SP1 Glasnost On Ice

noun \ˈglaz-(ˌ)nōst
- a Soviet policy permitting open discussion of political and social issues and freer dissemination of news and information (a definition given on for the word "glasnost")

Back in 1991-92 when the NHL had their 75th Annversary and hockey card collecting had exploded to what was likely it's all-time peak in popularity, a special event happened. This event, which I had no idea it has occurred until it was captured on cardboard.

1991-92 UD SP1 Glasnost On Ice
Back in 1991 that would have been EVER kid's dream, step on the ice with Wayne and Brett. If you didn't like one chances are you liked the other. If you didn't like either, then you were a Habs fan or Russian, but don't worry Valeri Kamensky and Denis Savard were there too so only the haters were left in the dark on this one.

I first saw this card when my step-father pulled one like it from a pack of 91-92 UD. It was the first of what would be many "SP" cards, I am not sure how rare they were but after opening at least 5 boxes worth of the stuff, I never pulled one myself. I did build a couple base sets and countless rookies and Hull's Heroes, but no SP1. At the time, it was a pretty "valuable" card but it would be nearly 20 years before I would finally get mine. Last summer I saw it at my LCS and bought it for 2 dollars. Roughly was I was paying for packs back in 1991, almost fitting really.

Now on to the purpose of the post. For years I knew about the card and had even seen it, but what is more important is what it represents. Glasnost was really the end of one era and the beginning of another. When the walls fell in the USSR/Soviet Union, it opened the world to it's inhabitants and that included hockey players. If you look at the NHL today, there may not be as many Russian hockey players as there once was in the 90's, but the ones there are in the NHL are rather significant. Imagine no Ovechkin, Malkin, or Kovalchuk. Even prospects like Yakupov and Grigorenko wouldn't have had the chance to play in the CHL as juniors. Hockey in North American changed very significantly and this card represents that change happening.

The only think missing would be if one of those kids with Wayne, Brett and Valeri would have made the NHL or something cool along those lines, but from what I can tell, they were just participants witnessing some pretty amazing stuff.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Been a while, so here is a Devils post.

 Every year it is doom and gloom when the experts make predictions about the Devil's upcoming season and two years ago we showed that we are still among the elite in the league and even last season we were off to an amazing start and two key lengthy injuries did us in. I do have hope for the 13-14 NHL season and part is because of our prospects and part is because of Kovy the Super Forward! He may never win the Selke, but I am willing to bet there will still be some hardware in his future at some point, hopefully a Conn Smythe.

Here is some Kovy fun!

12-13 OPC Wrapper Redemption All-Stars #AS-18 - Ilya Kovalchuk
For all you OPC nuts out there, Upper Deck has decided to continue the Wrapper Redemption Program in Canada. I am sorry for my friends South of the border, but if you know someone in Canada, I am sure they would help!

 10-11 OPC Retro Black #264 - Ilya Kovalchuk #008/100
All black and red with a hint of green. That sounds like the history of our beloved uniform.

1+7 = 8.....does that make this an eBay 1 of 1?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

06-07 Sweet Shot Evgeni Malkin Auto

I have made it no secret that I do like Sweet Shot and this is a biggie. Malkin rookie year auto, technically an on-card auto which is totally awesome, but on rubber would be a better explanation. I must say the 07-08 Signature Shots look much nicer with blacker rubber and silver sharpie, but nevertheless this is a gem too trust me!

06-07 Sweet Shot Signature Shots Evgeni Malkin
I think it is very safe to say that if Malkin keeps up his pace for the next 3-5 years he will be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. To his credit he already has 2 Art Ross trophies, a Calder, a Lindsay and a Hart trophy. Oh and in the post-season he already has a Conn Symthe trophy as well. He is already past the half way point to 1000 points and he doesn't even turn 27 until the end of July. As long as he stays healthy, he will be a superstar for years to come.

As far as his signature goes, it certainly is one of the more unique ones in the league and I for one actually like it. He includes his number with his name which is always a good touch.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1910 T79 Fez Military Series Tobacco Card - Zouave (Dedicated to Hackenbush)

I can honestly say I have many to thank for my expanding passion for cardboard and Hackenbush from Can't Have Too Many Cards is one in particular who exposed me to some pretty cool tobacco cards.   When I bought my Houtteman a while back there were a couple other gems that came with it as 99 cent purchases. This is one of the cards in that lot I put together.

What first struck me as awesome about this card are the colours. Despite the crease, this card is absolutely stunning. The details on the Zouave is just eye catching, from the backpack to the rifle what isn't there to like.

As for the back, there is a pretty cool advertisement for Fez Cork Tip Cigarettes. Doesn't that make you want to take up smoking? No, me neither but still cool anyway. Despite my love for this card and set, I don't think I will buy any more and the only real reason is that there are just too many hockey cards out there and so little cash. However, I do like and treasure this one and I am glad to have it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

72-73 OPC Series 2 Team Canada Inserts - Phil Esposito

As far as forwards go, Canada really didn't have anyone better at the time and Phil certainly lived up to the challenge of being Canada's best forward. He was the fire, passion and identity of a team that was thrown together and had struggled at first. Without him, Canada wouldn't have stood a chance against a Russian team that certainly was executing a better "team" game than Canada at first. During his prime in the NHL Phil was a force (Phil had set the NHL record for goals just a year and a half previous with 76) and he showed that during the tournament leading it in goals (7), assists (6) and points (13). 

 When I saw this card I immediately thought of the Simpsons episode where Ralph is subjected to the "Big Book of British Smiles".

One neat fact about Phil is when he set the record for most goals in a season, he smashed the old record by 18 goals. In the history of the NHL, no time has the goals record ever increased as much as that. Also in a span of three seasons he took the NHL record for points in a year (97) and has raised it to 152. That record lasted for about a decade before Wayne rewrote the history books.

The Big Book of British Smiles from Phil Kulak on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

72-73 OPC Team Canada Series 2 Insert - Paul Henderson

Here is my second last 72-73 OPC Team Canada insert and one of the biggest names in the set. Not because of their NHL career but their impact in the tournament.

Paul defined his career in those 8 games and without his contribution I would hate to know what the outcome could have been! The Russians caught Canada with their pants down so to speak and clearly dominated most the series. Canada was lucky in some respects to win that series but as we all know, Russian had won the most respect.

Friday, June 14, 2013

72-73 OPC Team Canada Series 3 Insert - Gilbert Perreault

Gilbert was still 21 years old when the Summit Series occurred thus making him one of the youngest players on the roster (the youngest of any players who saw ice-time). Maybe it was his skill that got him on the team, but it was his age that I think Harry Sinden felt was a negative in this international competition so as a result he didn't get the playing time many felt he deserved. After game 5 Perreault ended up leaving the team with Martin, Hatfield and Guevremont.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

72-73 OPC Team Canada Series 2 Insert - Stanislav Mikita

What I believe to be the biggest disappointment for Team Canada at the Summit Series was the absence of Bobby Orr. At the time, he was the best player on the planet. However, the next biggest disappointment I believe is the under-utilization of Stan Mikita. This guy had four Art Rosses, two Harts and a Stanley Cup yet at the age of 32 he was only used in 2 games. I think he could have had a huge impact (with all due respect Harry Sinden) however I guess it wasn't meant to be. Really a slap in the face if you ask me...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

72-73 OPC Team Canada Series 2 Insert - Jean-Paul Parise

Great to see Parise get a chance to play in this tournament. He didn't really tear the league up offensively and in fact was in the minors a number of years before getting his NHL shot. However, as you can see, he didn't disappoint putting up 4 points in 6 games and his best NHL season came right after playing in the Summit Series where he posted 27 goals and 75 points. 

Clearly Zach inherited a pretty good pedigree from his dad, too bad he will be playing for the US of A during the Sochi Olympics. I know Canada could use him, but you can't fault a kid for representing his birth place!

Monday, June 10, 2013

72-73 OPC Team Canada Series 2 Insert - Gary Bergman

Even though he was never a superstar and he looks WAY older than 34 years old, Gary Bergman was a pretty productive member of Team Canada appearing in all 8 games. True many felt that Bergman shouldn't have even made the team given all the players Canada had, but injuries to players like Bobby Orr opened up a spot for Bergman and he was more than willing to step up. Coach Harry Sinden even called Bergman one of the biggest surprises in the tournament based on his contributions.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

72-73 OPC Team Canada Series 2 Insert - Pat Stapleton

Wow Wow Whitey! Here is card number 2 of my series of 72-73 Team Canada Inserts.

As you can see, maybe one of the least attractive floating heads you may come across in your lives....More tape residue like the Dryden.

As you can see on the back Stapleton played in almost all the games and even though he didn't supply much in the way of offense, he was a steady man on the back end. In his NHL career Stapleton was a more offensive threat including a season where he finished 5th overall in assists with 50!

Friday, June 7, 2013

72-73 OPC Team Canada Series 2 Insert - Ken Dryden

 First, who doesn't love the 72 Summit Series? Second, who doesn't love floating heads? Well if you love both, then I recommend the 72-73 OPC insert set. 28 floating heads of all your favourite Team Canada players.
Here is the checklist of the set:

1. Don Awrey
2. Red Berenson
3. Gary Bergman
4. Wayne Cashman
5. Bobby Clarke
6. Yvan Cournoyer
7. Ken Dryden
8. Ron Ellis
9. Phil Esposito
10. Tony Esposito
11. Rod Gilbert
12. Bill Goldsworthy
13. Vic Hadfield
14. Paul Henderson
15. Dennis Hull
16. Guy Lapointe
17. Frank Mahovlich
18. Pete Mahovlich
19. Stan Mikita
20. Jean-Paul Parise
21. Brad Park
22. Gilbert Perreault
23. Jean Ratelle
24. Mickey Redmond
25. Serge Savard
26. Rod Seiling
27. Pat Stapleton
28. Bill White

A pretty thorough list if you ask me, and they include players who may have only been in a game or two and the Series stars like Espo, Clarke and Henderson. The set books for about 300 dollars in strong condition, but deals can be had online that is for sure. Last summer I bought a bunch of these at my LCS (actually all the ones they had in stock) so I have about 28.5% of the set. My next series of posts will be my 72-73 Team Canada cards.

72-73 OPC Series 3 Team Canada Insert - Ken Dryden
Mr Burns might have had a serious issue with these side burns, but there is a young and fresh looking Ken Dryden. Sorry about the tape stains, they came free when the card. Booked  for 50, I paid 5. 

Here is the back side of the card, in pretty great shape actually, a great lengthy write-up in both of Canada's national languages and a summary of his series performance. Hard to believe with a 4.75 GAA he would have even won a single game let alone 2.

If you were like me and you are seeing these cards for the first time, you certainly would comment on how UG-LEE the fronts of them are. Looks like the rainbow forest on the front with a floating head in the middle. Then contrasting that is a very plain and simple back which is very text heavy. I actually have grown to like the fronts and the back are just awesome. Stats and facts, no frills. Thanks OPC!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wax Stain Wednesdays are Back!

Check out Dirty Dangle, I am hoping to keep these posts going once again as the summer comes and my free time increases ever so slightly!

This week's posts is a TTM from Bobby Clarke!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

05-06 UD Ultimate Collection - Cam Neely Auto

Bam Neely, Sea Bass, Bam-Bam Cam. He was a pretty darn good power forward and his signature is even nicer!

05-06 UD Ultimate Collection Ultimate Signatures -  Cam Neely 
Great on-card auto of a HOF'er and the photo is just as I remember him!

Monday, June 3, 2013

They could have been Contenders, but they were so cheap they are Winners!

Sometimes you throw a bid in and almost forget you even made it. Well that is what happened here. I landed the following four cards for $0.99. Being Canadian, I was then robbed for another 6.95 in shipping, but in the end I still ended up ahead! Here you go, 4 would be Contenders who were are Winners in my book!

10-11 Playoff Contenders Matt Kassian
 Matt is a winner because he is now an Ottawa Senator. That means Matt got to play two rounds of post-season hockey and despite the fact that he is a fringe NHL'er, he still gets occasional action and that makes him a winner! Nice auto, on-card, blue sharpie and his number 28 accompanies his auto.

10-11 Playoff Contenders Mark Olver
I want to call this guy Oliver!, don't know why exactly.... Mark was a pretty talented collegiate player who hails from Burnaby, BC. His numbers aren't on par as of yet with his college numbers, but then again when are they? He has done well in the AHL and the NHL has seen him for a total of 74 games. It will be interesting to see as Colorado gets better if he will still make the roster. At the age of 25, Mark needs to step it up or end up being AHL for life.

10-11 Playoff Contenders Robin Lehner
 Finally some of you are saying right? True the first two cards aren't super amazing, but then again they all cost a combined TOTAL of 99 cents so I guess expectations should be low! Lehner is the first of my real prospects and this coming season will be very interesting as his entry level will be complete and he is set to be an RFA next summer. I can't help but think he will be a starter somewhere after next summer but of course he needs to prove that he can handle the pressure of being number 1 and the increased work load. I hope the Devils take a chance on him but I also think the Sens would be silly to let him go.

10-11 Playoff Contenders Nino Niederreiter
 Look! I mint, on-card Nino auto! Blue Sharpie! Just like the others! Ok, I am getting silly, but a nice on-card rookie auto of everyone's favourite Swiss isn't too bad considering most would have paid what I did just for this one card let alone 1 of 4. My whole reason for throwing in the default bid was to maybe land this card and sure enough I was lucky to get it. I am curious to how long the Islanders will wait on Nino, he is still very very young but 64 career NHL games and only 3 points might mean Nino needs a change of scenery to ramp up his game again and much like Robin, his entry level deal is set to end following the 13-14 NHL season.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Did you know they made "Baseball Cards"? The 1951 Bowman Edition

 A little while ago I was on the search for Alex Delvecchio stuff when I came across one I was missing. In that moment, I learned of a seller who just blew my mind. They had pretty much anything that has ever graced cardboard for sale. Included in their items for sale were all sorts of  military, baseball and other things that apparently are available in card form! I always thought that hockey was the only sport in collectables...(ok not really we know that but still, my collection is 99.9999% hockey which makes me appear that ignorant).

In an attempt to save money and find some cool things I bought a couple extras from this seller that normally can't be found in my collection and boy oh boy am I ever glad I did. Here is the first bit of evidence:

1951 Bowman Baseball #45 Art Houtteman
Who you ask? Houtteman I say! He was a Tiger, an Indian and an Oriole. His best years by far were with the Tigers so I bought this partially because it was a Tiger, partially because it was really old and finally just look at the photo. The unibrow, intensity and ears make this one of the coolest baseball cards I have EVER seen.

I knew nothing of 1951 Bowman and still really don't know much about the release, but the cards are bigger than the 51-52 Parkies and roughly around the same size as the 52-53 Parkies but I am not sure if they are exactly the same since I didn't physically compare as of yet. I have a feeling the Bowmans are slightly bigger but please someone let me know either way :)

When you read the back of this card it just makes it that much cooler in terms of what he has done and has gone through. Combine the front and back, if I never buy another baseball card again I am fine because I own what I think is a pretty darn cool one with Art Houtteman who may be the 1697th best pitcher in MLB history. True in the end he lost more games than he won, but come on, that doesn't diminish the coolness of this card to me!