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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Find The Gems - Series 2

Ok, I have always seen these boxes at the checkout counter but never actually bought one. I always wondered if it would be all scrub players and commons shoved into a plastic container or if there was a real shot at something good. At any rate, I broke down and bought one of the Gems Of The Game boxes that claims 10 Hockey Packs plus 1 Graded Card in every box. It also states that 1 in 6 have a Crosby or Ovechkin rookie. If that was really the case, why wouldn't you buy it? Ok, here goes.

Ok, the first card in the box is the graded card, of course. It is a BCCG 9 Steve Yzerman 1994-95 Parkhurst Vintage #V57. Not a common, not a high ticket but I am not disappointed at this juncture.

And now the packs.

Pack #1 2007-08 Ultra Retail

Colby Armstrong #41
Anze Kopitar #109
Michael Nylander #70
Mike Modano #132
Danny Bois (RC) Gold Medallion #208

Not awful, but not awesome either. The Bois Gold Medallion is nice.

Pack #2 2007-08 Ultra Retail

Miroslav Satan #73
Scott Gomez #83
Jay Bouwmeester Gold Medallion #115
Niklas Backstrom #100
Miikka Kiprusoff #168

Not impressed with that one.

Pack #3 2007-08 Hot Prospects (these have never been good for me)

Brad Richards #10
Niklas Backstrom #68
Steve Bernier #94
Guillaume Latendresse #31


Pack #4 2007-08 Hot Prospects

Nathan Horton #66
Jason Spezza #38
Jason Arnott #95
Jonathan Cheechoo #43

Double Blah!!!

Pack #5 2007-08 MVP

Henrik Lundqvist
Shawn Horcoff
Mike Ribeiro
Taylor Pyatt
Chris Phillips
Saku Koivu
Jon Grahame
Jack Johnson (RC)

The Johnson was not a bad pull, but the rest...unless you are a hockey fan you would have no idea.

Pack #6 2007-08 MVP

Marty Turco
Ryan Whitney
Antero Nittymaki
Thomas Vanek
Doug Weight
Vincent LeCavalier
Daniel Alfredsson
Rod Pelley (RC)

A much better mix of players. Better pack.

Pack #7 2007-08 Upper Deck Series 2 Retail

Travis Moen
Kurtis Foster
Manny Fernandez
Joe Sakic
Henrik Lundqvist
Cam Ward
Willie Mitchell
Viktor Kozlov - Victory Update

This was the "sideways" pack. The Moen, Foster, Fernandez, and Lundqvist are all sidways photo shots.

Pack #8 2007-08 Artifacts Retail (The one I was excited about. I like these cards.)

Marian Hossa
Mikael Tellqvist
Brad Boyes
Henrik Lundqvist
Jarome Iginla

A sad, sad batch...but I still like these.

Pack #9 2007-08 Victory

Mathieu Garon
Mikko Koivu
Ryan Whitney
Jozef Stumpel
Scott Gomez
Ryan Parent (RC)


And finally...
Pack #10 2007-08 Victory

Ilya Kovalchuk
Cory Stillman
Ryan Smyth
Daniel Sedin
Daniel Briere

Extreme Uber-Booooo!! And I got cheated out of another card.

I guess I should have expected this but at least now I know...Pick the box at the back of the shelf.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Another box of O-Pee-Chee and more dissap...No Way!

I stopped at Target on my lunch hour again. There was 1 tin left of 08-09 O-Pee-Chee Hockey (you know, the one with Gordie Howe, I mean, Mr. Hockey, as he is now known by all card manufacturers). I had to have it so...

It started as pretty much all of them had. I pulled 10 Rookies, most of which I had already (Jonathan Ericcson and Darren Helm being the highlights). I also pulled 5 Rainbow parallels, Forsberg the only non-common. Two Season's Highlights, an All Rookie Team scrub, another one of those stupid Trophy cards, and the Predators Team Checklist. I like these and I don't know why. Maybe because they are shiny.

With three packs left and all hope almost gone, it happened. I opened a pack and inside there was more cellophane. I was confused. It turned out to be a 2007-08 OPC Thomas Plihal Marquee Rookie...with an autograph. SWEET!! But what the heck is it doing in a pack of 2008-09? Apparently Upper Deck "bought back" a bunch of cards and had them autographed.
Mine isn't priced currently at the posting of this. Cool nonetheless. But wait, there's more. Two more cards and there was this index card in the pack as well...

Today was a good day.

Ebay Score!!

I wasn't going to post about this because it could possibly be irrelevant. However, despite some of my fellow bloggers negative views of Price Guides and their inflated numbers and penchant for bedding the card companies, I still find them useful in finding a base price for a card. I don't use them like a "bible" like other collectors...I just like to see the "what if" portion for my collection. That being said...

I bid on this auction of a bunch of hockey inserts and parallels. Needless to say (I just said it though...?) I won the auction. It cost me $3.58. So right there is the market value of the cards in question. 37 cards to be exact which equates to roughly $.10 per card. I decided to look them up on Beckett Online just to see where I stood.

Here is the result:

Sergei Fedorov 1992-93 McDonalds McD06 $1.25
Todd Bertuzzi 1995-96 Donruss Elite Rookies 4 4357/5000 $5.00
Pat LaFontaine 1997-98 Donruss Studio Press Proof Silver 50 1 of 1000 $15.00
Curtis Joseph 1997-98 Score Artist Proof 31 $15.00
Eric Lindros 1997-98 Score Check It 1 $0.75
Keith Tkachuk 1997-98 Score Check It 4 $0.75
John LeClair 1997-98 Score Check It 5 $0.75
Jaromir Jagr 1997-98 Score Check It 13 $1.25
Peter Skudra 1998-99 Be A Player Autographs 110 $4.00
Alexei Morozov 1998-99 Be A Player Autographs 111 $4.00
Paul Ranheim 1998-99 Be A Player Autographs 176 $4.00
Martin Brodeur 1998-99 SPx Finite Radiance 46 1422/4750 $8.00
Robert Dome 1998-99 SPx Finite Spectrum 67 272/300 $12.00
Joe Sakic 1998-99 SPx Radiance Global Impact 92 3142/3475 $10.00
Ray Bourque 1998-99 SPx Radiance Global Impact 117 1837/3475 $8.00
Peter Forsberg 1998-99 Upper Deck Frozen In Time FT2 $6.00
Patrick Roy 2000-01 Upper Deck Dignitaries D3 $10.00
Patrick Roy 2000-01 Upper Deck Gate Attractions GA4 $8.00
Jani Hurme 2000-01 Topps Heritage 90 31/555 $0.20
Petr Svoboda 2000-01 Topps Heritage 84 1086/1955 $10.00
Patrick Roy 2000-01 UD Reserve Power Portfolio PP1 $10.00
Brad Richards 2001-02 Topps Heritage Retro Fractor 26 168/558 $5.00
Roman Cechmanek 2001-02 Topps Heritage Retro Fractor 59 431/558 $5.00
Travis Moen 2003-04 Upper Deck (Young Guns) 209 $5.00
Dustin Brown 2003-04 Upper Deck (Young Guns) 217 $8.00
Maxim Kondratiev 2003-04 Upper Deck (Young Guns) 243 $5.00
Travis Moen 2003-04 Private Stock Reserve Retail 110 543/1299 $1.50
Brian Sutherby 2003-04 Bowman Chrome Xfractor 24 47/150 $5.00
Stefan Liv 2006-07 Upper Deck (Young Guns) 466 $5.00
Martin Brodeur 2006-07 SPx 59 $2.00
Alexander Ovechkin 2006-07 SPx 100 $2.50
Sidney Crosby 2007-08 Ultra 37 X2 $8.00
Sidney Crosby 2007-08 Upper Deck 108 $4.00
Sidney Crosby 2007-08 Upper Deck 200 X2 $5.00
Mike Weber 2007-08 Victory 328 $1.00

So to summarize: I Paid $3.58 including shipping for, what is considered to be a BV of $195.95.

Works for me!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Imagine "The Office"...

As I said...Imagine "The Office". You know, the TV show adapted from the British series of the same name, that stars Steve Carrell. Yeah, that one. Ok? Are you imagining?

Now take away the funny.

That is what you get with the web series "Back On Topps", the story of the Topps brothers, heirs to the Topps company fortune. I was only vaguely aware of this attempted plot at hilarity until I read a piece by Rob over at the Voice of the Collector expounding upon the merits of this financial venture. I was intrigued so I decided to waste another day at work watching these webisodes, in order mind you, starting with Season 1.

Now, I'm not trying to copy what he was writing about but after watching these shows, I had no choice. They star the Sklar brothers, and if you don't know who they are, watch any "Top Whatever" on VH1 or the like and they are the twin brothers with the humoristic stylings of a mutation resulting from a DNA splice between Carrot Top, Sinbad, and Don Rickles. They are also huge sports fans and pretty knowlegeble in their own rights. Either way, this attempt at comedy falls flat 90% of the time.

I will say I haven't watched all the episodes yet but I am not impressed thus far. At times, they show signs of brilliance with where they take the story lines but they are mere flashes and nothing more. Eventhough each episode is less than 6 minutes, the "funny" doesn't sustain itself.

Here is the link to check it out. Again, it's not entirely bad...just 90% of it.

I will probably revisit this topic again once I watch the rest of the episodes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Addiction is a bitch

Since the title was already taken by a fellow blogger, I had no other choice for my working title. A Cardboard Problem, which is one of my favorite card blogs hits the nail on the head. My name is Tim and I have a problem.

(this is where the obligatory "Hi, Tim" would come in)

This morning was just another chapter. I stopped at Wally World to get myself some protein for daily 10AM hunger quench, when I happened by the card counter. They keep marking down all the 2007/2008 stuff that is left in their inventory. 40%-50% off is enough to make any collector salivate with the intensity of a Great Dane. I convinced myself that I didn't need these pieces of cardboard "crack" today and was going to get my peanuts and crackers and proceed to the exit (after paying, of course).

After checking the clearance rack for pants (my large protein and water intake has caused me to shed some pounds), I proceeded once more toward the voice that was calling me by the register lanes...

3 blasters and $20 later, I have some more 2008 Topps Baseball and some 2008 Topps Rookie Progression Football. Sick! Sick, I tell you.

If I get anything worth while, I will post it. I'm so ashamed.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Unmuddling the mess

I spent a good portion of the weekend sorting and catalogging cards that have been piling up around the house. From the various box breaks that I have done over the past couple months to the enormous amount of stuff I have picked up from the local shop, my cards have been over taking my closet.

I have numerous eBay's coming in soon and a number of trades with my fellow traders on TradeCardsNow that should be coming in and I need more room.

Since I currently am without access to a scanner, I will post some of the good stuff at a later time. Most of what I have been sorting will be available for trade.

Hockey on ESPN again?

The NHL just struck a deal with NBC on a two year agreement for rights to televise games. Some are viewing this a some sort of power play so that both the NBC and Versus contracts come due at the same time. This would give them the ability to shop them back to ESPN/ABC. Perhaps that assumption is correct but as a hockey fan, I smell a rat.

I was one of the biggest proponents of keeping hockey on ESPN back before the lock up if not merely for the ability to watch a multitude of games. However, after seeing the job VS and NBC have done for the NHL, I'm not as convinced. I'm not arguing the fact that ESPN reaches a larger audience of sports fans. The case that I am making is the prioritizing of sports coverage that ESPN makes. If hockey was to go back on the network, it would play second fiddle to college baseball, professional poker, and women's basketball. That is not what the NHL needs in it's grand marketing scheme.

I, for one, would like to see more hockey on VS and NBC. Rather than pre-empt weeknight programming, NBC could take the day time weekend games and VS. could show the games during the week. From a marketing standpoint, there should be a lobby to get VS. on all the major cable providers so that there aren't major cities going without. I just don't want to see the sport I love mismanaged to the point of a footnote on the back page of the sports section. I'm not even opposed to shopping broadcasts to FOX (as long as they don't bring back the "Glow Puck".)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A little about me

I guess I should let everyone know a little about me. I've been collecting since around 1986 when I bought my first pack of Topps baseball cards with my own money from chores. It was exciting to open the packs, see all the players I knew, and eat the stale gum. I remember the first card I pulled...

Ozzie Guillen (obviously not "the" one I pulled but it looked just like it).
I also got Kirby Puckett and Cecil Fielder in those packs. I remember being excited to see these guys since they were big men and, even as a kid, was also a bit on the larger side. I looked up to guys like this and others too, like Bobby Bonilla knowing that if they could play, so could I.

As the years went on, so did my collection...growing larger and larger. My mom even threw away a fairly large box of 1987 Topps because she was "always tripping on it." The early 1989 was pivotal in my collecting. I began absorbing other sports like Football and Hockey into my collections. The following year I added Basketball, rounding out the four major sports.

As the 1990s rolled on, I ammassed an arsenal of cards just to lay claim to the fact that I had more than the other kids on the block. Anyone else out there that collected back then knows that it was easy to accumulate piles of 1990 Donruss Baseball (man, those were awful looking cards), 1992 Topps Hockey, 1991 Fleer Football, etc. And so it went...

In 1993, I decided to downsize and only collect Hockey. Why you ask? It was my favorite sport, I played it as a kid, and I was just drawn to the majority of the sets that were out there. Plus, I've always considered hockey players to be some of the most gifted athletes in professional sports (we can talk about that later). Either way, I sold most of my collection at a yard sale and the rest, well, I don't really know what happened to the rest. I suspect that over the years, they were moved to the basement of my mothers house and were subsequently destroyed in one of the various flooding episodes they encountered. Fine by me though (man, those were awful looking cards).

I stopped collecting in 1994 and didn't really get too caught up, other than the occasional pack buy now and again. In 1999 I picked it up heavily, getting caught up in all the "shiny" stuff, stopping shortly thereafter. Again in 2004, I got tangled up in rookie chasing for football and I have been at it ever since. The last two years has become somewhat of an obsession and I think I might need to seek help. Oh well. What are you gonna do?

Currently, I collect a few key players including Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux in hockey; Pittsburgh Penguins cards; Pittsburgh Steelers cards; and any other interesting things that catch my eye (I grew up in Pittsburgh, so there is the connection). Lately, I've been looking to build some sets that I stalled on years ago and have found a few other players that piqued my interest. I even have purchased a few boxes of baseball recently just because I like busting wax.

At some point I will post trade lists and want lists so maybe we can do some trades.

First Post, First Blog, I'm Out Of My League Here...

Alright. Here it is. My first attempt at a blog.

I'm not a blogger, hence why I now have a blog instead of 5 years ago when it was the cool thing to do. However, after getting caught up in the musings of some fellow sports card collector's blogs, I felt that I may too have something to offer the "blogosphere". I am not quite sure what that is yet but I will let you know when I find it out.

My goal here is simple...highlight what is on my mind from the card collecting standpoint. I may write from time to time about collecting in general, busting wax, purchases, the state of the hobby, capital punishment, and generally whatever is on my mind to rant about. Eventually I will try to use this as a jumping off point for some trading and maybe make a few friends along the way, who knows?

I am not going to use this as my soap box but I may use it as a vegetable crate since they seem to be made of a heavier gauge of wood and I am on the larger side of the population. What I will do, though, is try to provide an informational/entertaining/thought provokingly opinionated perspective of one persons 20 some year obsession with cardboard pictures of athletes and the like. If you like it, great. If you don't like it, great. Feedback of any kind is always welcome.

And away we go...