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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pack Busting: The Saga Continues

Another episode of Pack Busting. I'm getting closer to clearing out the closet. I have found more space than I knew I had. That's more place to put more cards I guess...twist my arm. Here is another sad batch of random packs.

Pack #1: 2007-08 Ultra Hockey

#9 Brendan Morrison
#157 Martin Havlat
#32 Matt Carle - Gold Medallion
#110 Dustin Brown
#96 Michael Ryder

Blah. Just, blah. I am definitely going to put this set together now that I have so many of them.

Pack #2: 2006-07 Flair Showcase Hockey

#2 Teemu Selanne
#8 Kari Lehtonen
#77 Shane Doan
#98 Eric Fehr
#42 Tomas Holmstrom

I bought a retail box of these 6 months, a year, 2 years, I don't remember. I just know I did. The box yeilded almost the entire base set minus, if I remember, 3 cards. These weren't the three cards. I do like the heavy stock they are printed on and the "shiny" factor is in full effect.

Pack #3: 2008 Score Football

#314 Vince Young
#304 Earnest Graham
#253 Heath Miller
#302 Jeff Garcia
Tony Romo - Donruss Decals
#373 Limas Sweed (R)
#119 Andre Johnson - Glossy Parallel

I think this is my 4th or 5th Sweed rookie. At the beginning of the season I was excited about them and all of Limas' potential as the #3 or #4 receiver. Yeah, that's panned out...Sweed was benched for most of the season. I think he probably saw action in 2-3 games. He has now voluntarily moved himself to the IR. What is that all about? Oooohh. I got a Romo sticker I can put on my Trapper Keeper, too.

Pack #4: 2008 Donruss Classics Football

#52 Ronnie Brown
#76 Kevin Curtis
#72 Jerry Porter
#29 Marion Barber III
#86 Matt Hasselbeck

I like these card designs. Unfortunately, there was nothing in here of any substance. I have binder pages for the Brown and Barber. The rest go into the box of oblivion.

Pack #5: 1997-98 Collector's Choice Hockey

#237 Dino Ciccarelli
#183 Janne Niinimaa
#89 Curtis Joseph
#68 Joe Nieuwendyk
#239 Igor Ulanov

Was there ever a time when Collector's Choice was cool? I actually liked the following year (98-99) when they tried to hide the fact that it was a CC product and called it UD Choice. At least then I didn't feel so cheap for buying it. Either way, it is what it is. Nothing to see here.

Stuff from the Bay

I think I wrote about this before but when it comes to eBay, I am mostly a lurker. I have been on there since February 2000 and only have a "51" user rating. It's not that I don't bid, because I do. I bid A LOT!!! I just never win. But that's another post entirely.

This one is about something I did win. In my quest to build my "one card of every Pittsburgh Steeler" collection, I stumbled across a couple golden oldies that I set my bidding sites on. Low and behold...I won!! These are definitely some beaut's, in my opinion. (especially since they set me back about @$2 each including shipping) Check em out.

1957 Topps Elbie Nickel
Elbie played 11 years for the Steelers coming out of Cincinnatti and is considered one of the best Tight Ends in team history. One of his plays against the Eagles at Forbes Field is considered by many to be the second greatest play in Steeler's history (aside from the Immaculate Reception). The picture of it had hung in the Steeler offices in Three Rivers Stadium and is now in their UPMC facility on the South Side. He was voted to the 75th Anniversary Steelers All-Time Team. This was his last regular issue card.
1957 Topps Lou Baldacci (R)
Lou was drafted by the Steelers out of Michigan in the 10th round in 1956. Lou only played one year for Pittsburgh and I think that was it for his NFL career. He was used as a punter, with his longest being a 64 yarder. He also had 140 yards rushing and 62 yards receiving that year. Ok so he isn't an impact player but the card is still freakin' cool. It's his rookie card, and for that matter, his only card (at least that I know of).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More Fun With Pack Busting

In my continuing effort to rid the world, ie. my bedroom closet, of unopened packs of cards, I present to you another episode of Pack Busting for Dummies. This is a mixed bunch that includes hockey and football because, yes...I am that crazy.

Pack #1: 2007-08 Ultra Hockey

#191 Slava Kozlov
#65 Henrik Lundqvist
#177 Jason Pominville - Gold Medallion
#46 Curtis Joseph
#44 Georges Laraque

Another Ultra hockey pack. I don't know why I have so many of these. I can't remember if there was a retail box or blaster that I opened and left the packs in a box or what. The GM was Jason Pominville; the SOB who scored the game winner over the Pens last night. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Pack #2: 2005-06 Upper Deck Rookie Update Hockey

#92 Ed Belfour
#6 Kari Lehtonen
#57 Patrik Elias
#14 Miika Kiprusoff
#62 Rick DiPietro

The Goalie Pack. Except for Elias, who I am sure somehow got into this pack by mistake.

Pack #3: 2008 Donruss Classics Football

#40 Andre Johnson
#97 Roydell Williams
#61 Laurence Maroney
#19 Carson Palmer
#42 Peyton Manning

The first football pack in the mix. Not a very good one if you are an insert/"HIT" collector. I don't have any of these in my player albums so these will at least be a welcome addition. Other than the Roydell, the rest will go into the album.

Pack #4: 2008 Score Football

#285 Deion Branch
#239 Donovan McNabb
Carolina Panthers - Donruss Decals Tattoos
#293 Torry Holt
#246 Lito Sheppard
#381 Anthony Alridge
#87 Heary Colbert - Glossy Parallel

Score football is like Collector's Choice in hockey. It exists. You occasionally run into some cards from it. You are usually no better off than you were prior to opening it. I may very well give these to my kids to throw around the house at each other like they do with all their other toys.

Pack #5: 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

#452 Alexander Edler
#120 Paul Martin
#136 Chris Kunitz
#307 Patrick O'Sullivan
#437 Ryan Malone
#516 Brian Lee (R)

The Brian Lee Marquee Rookie is alright. I also pulled a Kunitz in a Ducks uniform although he is now a Penguin and a Malone in a Penguin uniform although he is now a member of the Lightning. I also needed two of these for my set. At least from a practical standpoint, this was the best pack of the bunch.

Stay tuned for more pack madness.

Box Break - - 2008 Topps Rookie Progression Blaster

Wally World special at the checkout counter. It called my name. Repeatedly. I swear it did! Whether you believe me or not, it doesn't matter. The deed is done and I am out $8 because of it.

2008 Topps Rookie Progression Blaster

5 Cards/Pack
8 Packs/Box
Guarantees: None

25 Base Cards

13 Rookie Cards: Eddie Royal, Harry Douglas, Marcus Griffin, Peyton Hillis, Keenan Burton, Darren McFadden, Curtis Lofton, Erik Ainge, Keith Rivers, Steve Slaton, Tashard Choice, Kentwan Balmer, and Owen Schmitt

1 Bronze Parallel: Philip Rivers 209/389

1 Progression Rookie: Dominique Rogers-Cromartie

Like I said, it called to me. There really wasn't much in here. 13 rookies isn't bad to pull out of a blaster box but the product has "rookie" in it's name so that had to be expected. Although, I didn't pull anyone really noteworthy. Eddie Royal has been a solid 2nd year guy while Darren McFadden has been a bust. Schmitt got injured, while Slaton has had an off year as well for the Texans.

I busted a retail box of these about a year or so ago so I have about half or more of the set. I am just going to go through here and see if I can complete it. The Rivers bronze parallel is only one of three that I've pulled out of all the cards I opened of this product. Even though they are out of /389, it seems like they are more scarce than some of the others. I still like these card designs though, with the vintage "TV Screen" look and the heavy stock. I think these will look nice in a binder.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sad news in the Rock World

I don't think I have ever posted three times in one day but this deserves to be put out there. This is one of my non-card/sports related ramblings.

Some of you might already have heard but the drummer, Jimmy Sullivan, for the rock band Avenged Sevenfold was found dead in his home. The police have not released any cause of death and speculation has been running rampant about what has caused his untimely passing.

I'm not going to speculate but on the rock stations on Sirius, they are reporting "natural causes". I'm no doctor but how many 28 year olds do you know that die of natural causes?

Personally, Avenged Sevenfold is one of my favorite mondern era rock/metal bands that have come around in a long time. Since I first picked up their album, Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, back in 2002, I was hooked. They were a unique band, mixing rock, hardcore, and metal into a blend that sounded like no other artist. The Rev's drumming was unbelievable on most tracks and I considered him one of the top modern rock drummers of our time. With only 5 studio albums under their belt, it's going to be hard to continue without The Rev.

He will truly be missed. RIP Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan.

The band posted this statement on their website:

JIMMY “THE REV” SULLIVANIt is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. Jimmy was not only one of the world’s best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy’s family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time.Jimmy you are forever in our hearts.

We love you.

M Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance and Johnny Christ

Top Stories of 2009

I know this isn't an original post but what is a blog without stealing. I wanted to share this link with everybody out there. It is an article on the Sports Collector's Daily about the top Memorabilia Stories of 2009. It is an interesting synopsis of many of the events that have taken up hours of time on the blogosphere over the past year. Check it out.

Top Sports Memorabilia Stories of 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

So You're Saying There's A Chance

(Big Ben and his Big Porn Stache)

Sunday proved the cliche "...On Any Given Sunday". The Steelers kept their hopes alive with a 23-20 victory over the hated Ravens. This moved the Steelers into a tie with the Baltimore for the record of 8-7, the tie breaker of which goes to the Ravens unfortunately. But the fact that the Broncos, Jags, and Dolphins all lost, makes it 1:100,000 more times likely we can sneak in the backdoor. Here's how.

1) Pittsburgh win + Houston loss/tie + New York loss/tie

2) Pittsburgh win + Baltimore loss/tie + Denver loss/tie + New York loss/tie

3) Pittsburgh win + Houston loss/tie + Baltimore loss/tie + a bunch of scenarios involving Pittsburgh ties

For #1 - Denver/Baltimore/Pittsburgh are tied @9-7

(5-seed) Baltimore has the divisional tie-break over Pittsburgh; Pitt is eliminated. Baltimore has the HTH tie-break over Denver;

(6-seed) Pittsburgh/Denver are left; Pittsburgh will win HTH against Denver

For #2 - Houston/Pittsburgh are tied @9-7

(5-seed) Houston has the common games tie-break over Pittsburgh;

(6-seed) Pittsburgh

For #3 – New York/Denver/Pittsburgh are tied @9-7

(5-seed) New York & Denver are tied in Conf. Record; Pitt is eliminated; New York will win the Common Games tie-break with Denver;

(6-seed) Pittsburgh/Denver are left; Pittsburgh will win HTH against Denver

Pittsburgh can get the 5-seed with losses by Baltimore, Houston, & New York. It is not included in the scenarios because Scenario #1 includes losses by 2 of the 3. A loss by the third team just improves our seed and is not required.

As you can see, an advanced degree in nuclear and biological quantum mechanics is required to sort this all out. I just hope for a win over Miami and, as much as I still respect him as a player, all the more reason to stuff a sock in J-Peezy.

(Welcome to my newest follower, KW aka Core Contrarian who blogs over at The Core Contrarian's blog site. He is a self-proclaimed "seasoned Midwesterner, a Tigers fan (I won't hold that against him) and enjoys history and symphonic metal, two things I also enjoy. Hopefully I won't dissappoint in my musings.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

More Random Pack Busting

Here is some more random pack busting from this pile of packs that was recently acquired. This group wasn't as fun as the last one since there were only a total of 25 cards in 5 random packs. But hey, it's pack busting. (as I've explained before...the equivalent of crack)

Pack #1: 2003-04 Pacific Exhibit Hockey

#30 Tyler Arnason
#72 Manny Fernandez
#33 Theo Fleury - Blue Back Parallel 256/275
#156 Joe Thornton - 3.5"x5" Photo Card

This is only the second or third one of these I have had the chance of opening. The giant sized package I think was a turn off to most collectors because who has the supplies or where-with-all to store 3.5x5" cards. It reminds me of the Panini Photocards that came out back in 98-99. While cool in their own right, not very practical. I did get a blue back parallel out of 275. Unfortunately it wasn't a Pen.

Pack #2: 2007-08 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

#161 Todd Fedoruk
#36 Manny Fernandez
#398 Darryl Sydor
#33 Andy Sutton
#173 Henrik Zetterberg
#140 Fredrik Norrena

Nothing. I don't even think I need these for my set completion either.

Pack #3: 2007-08 Ultra Hockey

#149 Milan Hejduk
#12 Andrew Raycroft - Gold Medallion
#202 Andy Greene (R)
#200 Scott Niedermayer
#74 Ryan Smyth

As always, there was one GM in the pack, that being Raycroft. I also pulled a Rookie with Andy Greene. Not the best pull, but not horrible either.

Pack #4: 2007-08 Hot Prospects Hockey

#46 Justin Williams
#15 Chris Mason
#21 Dany Heatley
#97 Tomas Vokoun

Even though I have bought more than my fair share of these, I still don't like them. I think I must have 2-3 complete 100 base card sets. It's like the alcoholic beverage you choose to drink because there is not other option. You can't stand the taste, yet you still come back for more. With only 4 cards per pack, I always somehow feel cheated.

Pack #5: 2007-08 Victory Hockey

#81 Erik Cole
#47 Cristobal Huet
#13 Sergei Gonchar
#2 Zach Parise
#164 Joffrey Lupul
#GB32 Anze Kopitar - Game Breakers

Victory has always been considered one of the bottom feeders when it comes to cards. (The others being Collector's Choice and MVP) I still like these, though. You get a decent looking card design, all the key rookies, and a large smattering of an affordable per pack price of course. I did pull a Pen with the Gonchar and the one Game Breaker is alright, if you are a Kings fan.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish everyone out there in the blogosphere a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Festivus or whatever you might celebrate this time of year.

I hope everyone gets whatever they want under their tree...or around it in the general area if it doesn't quite fit.

Short and sweet.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Random Pack Busting Madness

As the title says, here is some random pack busting madness. No rhyme or reason. Just enough to satiate my crave for the good stuff.

Pack #1: 2007-08 Ultra Hockey

#41 Colby Armstrong
#59 Wade Redden - Gold Medallion
#SK2 Dany Heatley - Scoring Kings
#170 Kristian Huselius
#10Kevin Bieksa

Not a horrible pack to start things off. Each pack of these has one gold medallion card so that was a given but the Scoring Kings insert was one that I didn't have. I also got a former Pen with the Armstrong. I still wish they never would have traded him.

Pack #2: 2007-08 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

#281 Ryan Suter
#181 Brian Rafalski
#293 Jay Pandolfo
#13 Chris Kunitz
#SH1 Joe Thornton - Season Highlight
#280 Radek Bonk

I started to get a little excited with this one because it was thick. Could there be a Jersey or Auto? Of course not. It was one of those Upper Deck Coupon slugs. At any rate, 2 packs and 2 inserts. The Thornton is another one that I didn't have in my quest to complete the 07-08 OPC set (although it is only a pipe dream). The Kunitz is cool because he is now a Pen so that will go into the book. The only downfall was that Bonk card. Everytime I pull a Bonk, I die a little more inside.

Pack #3: 2006-07 MVP Hockey

#124 Stephen Weiss
#43 Jamie Lundmark
#59 Ray Whitney
#260 Vaclav Prospal
#57 Cory Stillman
#90 Adam Foote
#35 Jaroslav Spacek
#H17 Jaromir Jagr - International Icon

Three packs and three inserts. That has to be some kind of record. The Jagr is one that I didn't have in my PC. I stopped collecting Jags after he left for "greener" pastures so my collection of Jagr stuff in uniforms other than Pittsburgh are limited. As for the rest of the pack, the only two that go into my player albums are the Whitney and the Foote.

Pack #4: 2006-07 Ultra Hockey

#29 Jarome Iginla
#45 Martin Havlat
#165 Steve Bernier
#108 Chris Higgins
#20 Zdeno Chara
#38 Justin Williams
#DM12 Marty Turco - Difference Makers
#169 Doug Weight - Gold Medallion

I guess I must just be naive when it comes to inserts. 4 Packs, 4 inserts. Again, the GM cards are one per pack so that is no surprise. I have a bunch of these already but have never ventured to try to put a set together. Maybe I will try.

Pack #5: 1997-98 Donruss Hockey

#108 Ted Donato
#227 Keith Tkachuk (Checklist)
#78 Alexandre Daigle
#181 Brendan Shanahan
#128 Sean Burke
#69 Derek King
#8 Valeri Bure
#42 Shayne Corson
#2 Paxton Schafer - Rated Rookie
#212 Domenic Pittis (R)

I don't know how this got into the mix but it is always fun to bust stuff from a long time ago. The pack was unimpressive when it comes to players, with the highlight being the Shanny. But here it was, pack number five and no chance for another insert, right? Wrong. Here was a Paxton Schafer Rated Rookie. These were a 10 card set that featured Tomas Vokoun and Jean-Sebastian Giguere. Of course I get the Schafer, a goalie for the Bruins that played all of 3 games for them back in 96-97. He played another 6-7 years after that but never made it back up to the NHL. There was also a Domenic Pittis rookie. He was a Pens prospect, picked in the second round back in 1993 Entry Draft. He played one game for the Pens in 1996 and then spent most of his NHL career with Edmonton before leaving for the Swiss league.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Refocusing my aggression

Now that the NFL season is winding down and there is almost no chance of my Steelers getting in (unless 16 teams lose the rest of their games, a nuclear war breaks out between Spain and Costa Rica, and Jimmy Hoffa declares his candidacy for 2012), it's time for me to refocus my aggression on the NHL. Not that I don't follow my Penguins from the start of the season until the end, but it's hard when you are so deeply involved (obsessed) with Fantasy Football.

Last night's game at home against the hated Flyers was awesome. 6-1 was the final score and there were fights galore, at least in the first two periods. I thought this was supposed to be a re-tooled roster for the Flyers this year? Their offseason moves were supposed to place them in position to dominate the Eastern Conference, especially the Pens.

The only thing they dominated was the penalty box. The Pens scored 6 goals, 2 by Staal, 1 by Crosby, 1 by my boy Guerin, a goal by Fedotenko, and a late tally for Malkin. The VS. coverage of the game was actually somewhat tolerable for once. They had the ice pretty well mic'd up and you could hear most of the sounds of the game, including the clang of the posts on three of the six goals by the Pens.

The best part of the night was when Carcillo scored his "second" goal of the game and after review, it was waived off by the officials because he kicked it into the goal. The Mellon Arena crowd went nuts, as did I in my living room. The Pens have now won 3 in a row and 9 of their last 12 games. Hopefully this will continue on Thursday in Philly.

If only some of this winning would rub off on the other Pittsburgh team. If only...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Not a creature was stirring, except the mice

Can anyone guess what that is a picture of?

Give up?

It's the Steelers' offensive line of course. I am not going to sit here and cry and whine about how the Steelers got robbed by bad calls, missed penalties, and blown opportunities. It isn't worth it at this point. I am, however, very dissapointed.

The Steelers had every opportunity to travel to the Mistake By the Lake and prove that they deserve to defend their title. Instead, despite the blistery winds and cold, they made themselves look like chumps, not champs.

For all the accolades the O-line has been getting this year, I have always been sceptical. This was proof that there is still something wrong. How can you allow 8 sacks against one of the worst defenses in the league? Tell me! How? This isn't a rhetorical questions.

And the defense...4-1 with Troy and 2-6 without him. I'm not saying that one man makes a team but this certainly helps that argument. We have to have one of the most inept secondary I have ever seen back there. This can't be the same team that won the six games earlier this year (it seems like decades). They can't close, they can't cover, they can't even get a turnover. AGAINST THE BROWNS!!!

As for the special teams, nothing can be said that hasn't already been over analyzed. They are pathetic. They need help. Logan hasn't turned out to be the explosive return artist as we were all hoping. The coverage team also looks like the picture above as well. They couldn't cover a bar tab let alone a kick/punt return.

So I said I wouldn't cry and whine...I lied. It's my blog and I'll cry if I want to. But it doesn't matter because I still love my Steelers despite their metaphorical attempts at trying to become some type of fondue fodder. I, as most of Steeler Nation, will now go into mourning for what once was. At least we still have Six and you don't.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Guerin for Miss Pennsylvania

Stars of the Pittsburgh Penguins were in attendance at the Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, on Tuesday signing autographs and hanging out with the kids. Every year, the Penguins stop by the hospital to deliver presents and good cheer to all the children. Some Pens in attendance were Sidney Crosby, Max Talbot, Kris Letang, Sergei Gonchar, and my boy (girl) Billy Guerin. Doesn't he look good in that tiara? (I think that's Goddard sitting behind him sporting his own head gear)

The Pens organization has been involved in charitable work around Pittsburgh for as long as I remember. As a kid, growing up in an eastern suburb, I remember Pens players attending our instructional hockey practices out at the Rostraver Ice Garden. I remember when Mike Bullard, Moe Mantha, and Troy Loney were all on hand to show us the tricks of the trade. I still wonder what happened to all my 8x10 autos that I got back then.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

That picture says it all when referring to last nights Monday Nightmare Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Baltimore Ravens. Being a Steeler fan, any hopes of making a play for the wild card depended on the Ravens losing, which they did, in the most ugly, poorly played, mistake laden game I have ever witnessed with my own eyes.

Did anyone out there watch this debacle? It was pathetic. There was more laundry thrown on the field than in all of Mr. Stadium coin-ops combined (you Michigan people know what I am talking about). Both teams combined for 23 penalties for a total of 310 yards. 310 YARDS OF PENALTIES!!! Are you serious? This was worse than a high school game. According to Stats LLC, this was the second highest most penalized game in the history of the NFL (actually, tied for second but that's nothing to brag about).

There were a total of 9 pass interference calls, and none of them were the ticky-tack questionable calls that seem to be more and more frequent. I haven't seen this many "arm-bar" take-downs since Greg "The Hammer" Valentine was still in the WWF. Just plain sloppy.

If anyone was wondering, this post was more about not talking about the pathetic play of my Steelers on Sunday than about ripping on two teams that will probably be in the playoffs. I still can't stomach the fact that Gradkowski threw for over 300 yards. I will probably never get over that one.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Box Break - - 2009-10 O-Pee-Chee Hobby Box

For my first trick, I am going to pull a rabbit out of my hat. For my second trick, I'm actually going to bust some hobby boxes for once.

I picked up a couple boxes at a local show a few weeks ago for a pretty decent price. I finally had the time to break them so I wanted to share.

The first box is a hobby box of 09-10 OPC hockey. OPC is one of those sets that I try to chase down every year and inevitably spend triple of what it is worth in getting all the cards. This years set will probably be no different. I already had picked up a blaster when they were first issued and with this box together, I am well on my way to the 600 card beast of a set. Here is the breakdown...

2009-10 O-Pee-Chee Hobby Box

36 Packs per box
6 Cards per pack
129 Base Cards / 500 Base Set
No doubles
Guarantees: Retro variation cards, 1 per pack; Canadian Heroes card; 18 Rookies or Legends; 9 Regular Set Gold parallels; 1-2 Retro Set parallels; 9 OPC Inserts (2 signature cards, 3 quad-materials cards per case)

Rookies: (9)

Scott Lehman, Jamie Sifers, Grant Lewis, Derek Peltier, Sean Collis, Riku Helenius, John Scott, Jesse Joensuu, and Brandon Segal

Legends: (9)

Denis Potvin, Bernie Federko, Darryl Sutter, Clark Gillies, Red Kelly, Gilbert Perreault, Lanny McDonald, Borje Salming, Patrick Roy

SP Parallels: (12)

Gold Marquee Rookies: Kris Chucko; Canadian Heroes Foil: Mike Bossy; Gold Legends: Bobby Clarke; Retro Rainbow: Adrian Aucoin, Jere Lehtinen, Marek Zidlicky; Gold Regular: Adrian Aucoin, Daniel Sedin, Manny Legace, Maxim Lapierre, Niklas Kronwall, Matt Bradley, Keith Ballard.

Regular Retro Parallels: (36)

I'm not listing them all. That would take too long.

Inserts: (18)

Record Breaker: Zdeno Chara; In Action: Mikko Koivu, Trophy Winner: Evgeni Malkin; Stat Leader: Alexander Ovechkin; All Star: Evgeni Malkin; All Rookie Team: Patrik Berglund; Team Checklists: Nashville, Toronto, Carolina; Canadian Heroes: Haley Irwin, Martin St. Louis, Chris Phillips, Shannon Szabados, Colleen Sostorics, Becky Kellar, Kim St. Pierre, Drew Doughty, Derek Roy

Auto: (1)

Peter Budaj (yes it's a sticker auto)

If you haven't seen the regular issue cards yet, here is a sample...
I like the design (although some people might find it too busy). It features nice full color action shots of the players surrounded by a double line border like some of the early 80s issues. Upper Deck could have toned down the branding logo at the top to make way for the players name but it does make for a clean design.

So if you are keeping score on my box, I think I beat the odds for a box considering I got a case hit with the Budaj auto. It was nice to pull one out of a pack for a change instead of the redemption scratch off like last year. As for the other cards, I pulled exactly the box breakdown from UD's sell sheet. I was especially happy with the 2 Malkin inserts, at least from a PC standpoint. I also think the selection of rookies was pretty decent.

Overall, I would give this set an 8/10 and my particular box a 9/10 because of the PC insert pulls and of course the case hit on the auto.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Box Break - - 2009-10 MVP Hockey Blaster

I told myself before the start of the season this year that I wasn't going to buy anymore blasters. I think I spent $12.3 million on them last year and ended up with piles and piles of stuff; I don't even know what is in there. After reading some reviews on the product, I decided that a blaster was best to "test the waters" on this one.

As most hockey collector's know, MVP is always been a couple steps from the bottom when it comes to price but loaded when it comes to the proverbial hit. I make an attempt to get the Upper Deck main set each year, as well as SP and O-Pee-Chee. MVP is always my third or fourth choice because I like the design and, like I already said, there are a ton of rookies and the insert sets are well designed.

This year is no different so I picked one up the other day.

2009-10 MVP Hockey Retail Blaster

12 Packs per Blaster
8 Cards per Pack
84 base cards / 394 total base set
No Doubles
Guarantees: MVP Rookies 1:2 packs on average

Rookies: (6)

304 Matt Beleskey, 305 T.J. Galiardi, 335 John Scott, 365 Jamie Fraser, 361 Michael Vernance, and 371 Matt Duchene

Inserts: (6)

Hart Winner (1:40): Bobby Orr; Hart Candidates (1:5): Evgeni Malkin, Rick DiPietro; MVP Winter Classic: Scott Hartnell, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic

Autos: (0)

GU: (0)

Overall, this is a nice set for a builder because of its mid-range size and the slew of rookies. Although I didn't get one of the 2-On-2 jersey cards, it was hardly to be expected out of a blaster (even though I pulled one last year). I found it interesting that of the 6 rookies I pulled, 3 of them were Avs and 2 of them were Wild players. Not sure if that has anything to do with quality control but I won't argue with a Duchene. That guy will be a superstar

I think this is a solid hockey set to collect/buy. At about 20 bucks for a retail blaster or around $35-45 for a hobby box, you can't really go wrong here. I would give it a 7/10 for the cards and a 7/10 for my box.

(A special welcome to Hackenbush from over at the Can't Have Too Many Cards blog. He is my newest follower of the Real DFG blog and comes from the Chicagoland area like me. Unfortunately, he is a Cubs fan. We can't all be perfect though.)

Here is another interesting story on card licensing

Topps announced that they have sealed the deal for the exclusive production of minor league baseball cards. This makes two licenses for baseball product in the same year. The Washington Times posted an article and it is interesting to read the comments of the executives at Topps on why they feel this is a good thing. Check it out.