Search This Blog

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Peer Pressure Purchase Part 3

The last pack of 2010 Topps Baseball...This will be my big hit, I can feel it.

Pack 9

#128 Garrett Mock
#277 Jarrod Washburn
#300 Chase Utley
#280 Mark DeRosa
#140 Matt Holliday
#CMT19 Steve Carlton - Cards Your Mom Threw Out
#TMC2 Million Card Giveaway Redemption
#TTT23 CC Sabathia Topps Town
#164 Carlos Carrasco
#240 Rickey Romero
#185 Hideki Matsui
#74 Casey Blake

No big hits here I don't think. Unless Gerrett Mock or Jarrod Washburn are superstars, which I doubt. Overall, I like the 90s feel of the base cards. I think the product is a bit overloaded on inserts which makes it hard to chase a master set. I do like the Cards Your Mom Threw Out idea because I think it hits home with most of us who collect. I am going to see what amounts of those 1,000,000 Card Giveaway things. It intrigues me. I can't say I won't buy anymore of these. another 5 or so packs and I will have no choice but to collect the set.

Here are some of the items I pulled here...

Here are the Cards My Mom Threw Out. In the case of the Manny and Molitor, they are right. The Big Hurt, I still have. The others, I never did. Too bad these aren't the real thing.

The Topps Town inserts. As you can see, the center Hamilton is different than the rest with a gold background and it has an F in front of the numbers on the back.

The rest of the inserts. Now that I see the Turkey Reds on a page, I like them again.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm getting this graded

In my daily trolling of Ebay for Pittsburgh cards, I came across this gem. It was so startlingly (yeah that's a word) funny, I had to share.

At this point, why would anyone bother. I especially like the description of the auction.

1951 Francis Rogel Card (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Peer Pressure Purchase Part 2

4 more packs of the 2010 Topps Baseball Series I for your scrutinizing pleasure.

Pack 5

#153 Justin Duchscherer
#63 Josh Bard
#310 Elvis Andrus
#315 Scott Kazmir
#275 Chris Coghlan
#134 Philadelphia Phillies Team Card
#TR43 Adrian Gonzalez - Turkey Red
#LL20 Frank Thomas/Prince Fielder - Legendary Lineage
#TTT4 Adrian Gonzalez - Topps Town
#264 Arizona Diamondbacks Franchise History
#85 Ken Griffey Jr.
#308 Robinzon Diaz

Another Turkey Red card which I thought I liked originally but now for some reason I don't. Weird. I first thought the Legendary Lineage cards were the same team players but I guess not. Maybe the same position?

Pack 6

#57 CC Sabathia
#18 Tim Stauffer
#79 Francisco Cordero
#86 Gil Meche
#131 Dustin Richardson
#265 Anaheim Angels Team Card
#CMT31 Paul Molitor - Cards Your Mom Threw Out (His '82 Topps...I had this one, too)
TMC8 Million Card Giveaway Redemption
#TTT1 Joe Mauer - Topps Town
Another Topps Attax Ad
#224 Rod Barajas
#313 Jason Kubel (this guy is a DH but they show him in the field...weird)
#246 Leo Nunez

I really am digging these Cards Your Mom Threw Out cards (digging; do people still say that?). I think I may have to see what these Million Card Giveaway things are all about.

Pack 7

#41 Los Angeles Dodgers Franchise History
#67 Matt LaPorta
#169 Pittsburgh Pirates Franchise History
#228 Chris Pettit
#222 Curtis Granderson
#51 Eric Young, Jr.
#1 Prince Fielder
#CMT39 Frank Thomas - Cards Your Mom Threw Out (Nuh-uh. She didn't get this one.)
#TOG18 Prince Fielder - Tales Of The Game
#TTT1 Joe Mauer - Topps Town (In consecutive packs. Great collation system, Topps.)
Another Topps Attax ad (They are really pushing this, aren't they)
#262 Homer Bailey (What other sport could this guy play?)
#173 Kendry Morales

The Prince Fielder Tales of the Game says there is an urban legend that at the age of 12, he hit one into the upper deck of Tiger Stadium.

Pack 8

#19 Felipe Lopez
#12 Doug Davis
#25 Adam Jones
#97 Luis Durango
#171 Hernandez/Sabathia/Verlander (AL Wins Leaders)
#CMT7 Orlando Cepeda - Cards Your Mom Threw Out
#TMC4 Million Card Giveaway Redemption
#TTT13 Ryan Howard - Topps Town
#238 Ian Stewart
#90 Ian Kinsler
#205 Chris Coghlan
#301 Jack Cust

Turns out that I only bought 9 packs instead of 10. I will post the last pack next with some scans of the nicer cards.

Peer Pressure Is A Wonderful Thing

As some of you are already aware, and for those of you that don't, I am not a baseball collector. The only reason I even have a substantial pile of baseball is because of my brother finding my childhood collection. When 2008 Topps came out, I tried to get back into baseball collecting but after opening a couple blaster boxes and realizing I only recognized about 20% of the players, I quickly put an end to that experiment.

But here I am, a hockey collector/blogger, in a seemingly endless baseball collector's world. The countless blog entries of trading triumphs, wax crackin victories, and generally interesting collecting stories are thrown in my face on a daily basis. The latest adventure that seems to be all the buzz is the release and availability of 2010 Topps Baseball Series I.

I told myself I wasn't going to. I pleaded with that inner voice in my head to stop egging me on. "But they are so cool", it says. "But you can trade them away for stuff you need", it says. "But you have an imbalanced, unnatural, bordering sadistic need for opening packs", it says. After reading a half dozen or so blogs yesterday regarding this product, I finally surrendered to the peer pressure (I know it isn't real peer pressure, but work with me here. It's for effect.).

I stopped on the way home and picked up 10 packs of 2010 Topps. As I walked around the store with the packs in hand, I second guessed myself about 300 times until I finally walked back to the counter to put them back in their home and walk away. Within seconds, I returned, chose 10 new packs and began thumbing through the random loose pack box for anything that could justify this madness. For some reason, they had old 2002-03 In The Game First Edition Hockey packs. I grabbed all those, some pages, and my 10 forbidden packs and checked out. I felt so dirty.

So now I am the proud (ashamed) owner of 120 cards from the 2010 Topps set. Since I have no idea what is good/bad/or otherwise in here, I will leave it up to everyone else to decide. Here are the first 4 packs.

Pack 1

#178 Kerry Wood
#83 Mark Teahen
#223 Ryan Church
#TTT7 Josh Hamilton - Topps Town
#1 Mickey Mantle - 1951 Topps Red Back (I've heard of this guy)
#139 Frank Francisco
#189 Adrian Beltre
#249 Jon Niese
#100 Albert Pujols
#20 Tommy Hanson
#145 Justin Upton
#PP44 Roy Holladay - Peak Performance

I suppose getting a Mickey Mantle in the first pack is a good thing. I am not sure if anything else in here amounts to much. I will admit that I kind of like the design though. It reminds me of the mid 90s stuff when I stopped collecting.

Pack 2

#136 Adam Wainwright
#64 Drew Stubbs
#14 Ted Lilly
#159 Vernon Wells
#187 Will Venable
##CMT8 Bob Gibson - Cards Your Mom Threw Out (Interesting name for an insert set)
#TMC10 Million Card Giveaway Redemption
#TTT19 Justin Upton - Topps Town
#132 Cliff Lee
#258 Edwin Encarnacion
#180 Jayson Nix
#215 John Lannan

I really like the Cards Your Mom Threw Out idea. Its like getting the original card, only on heavier card stock, and glossy, and airbrushed, with a different back, and in mint condition. Actually it's nothing like the original card...but still cool. I'm still trying to figure out the Million Card Giveaway card. More on that later.

Pack 3

#115 Grodon Beckham
#182 Coco Crisp (Older brother of Rice and Apple)
#181 Nick Johnson
#155 Zack Greinke
#42 Fielder, Howard, & Pujols (NL RBI Leaders)
#316 Chris Young - Gold #1392/2010
#TR48 Willie McCovey - Turkey Red
#LL29 Carl Yastrzemski/Kevin Youkilis - Legendary Lineage
#TTT16 Kevin Youkilis - Topps Town
#103 Daniel Murphy
#150 Joe Mauer
#44 Howie Kendrick

I Gold parallel serial numbered card is cool although they have been doing this since 2004 or 2005 I think. The Turkey Red card is kind of cool.

Pack 4

#276 Matt Lindstrom
#31 Jason Grilli
#76 Joe Saunders
#316 Chris Young
#307 Henry Rodriguez
#260 New York Yankees Franchise History
#197 Cleveland Indians Team Card
#CMT41 Manny Ramirez - Cards Your Mom Threw Out (I think my mom did throw this out)
#TOG16 Bo Jackson - Tales Of The Game
#FTTT7 Josh Hamilton - Topps Town
An advertisement for Topps Attax (wow, they even have commercials in baseball cards)
#61 Skip Schumaker
#96 Jon Garland

A second Josh Hamilton Topps Town. But, wait. This one has an F in front of the number and the picture on the front is different. I don't know what to think of that. Anyone know what the difference is? Another one of those Cards Your Mom Threw Out and a "Bo Know" card. I wonder if I still have my all time top 10 favorite Bo with the shoulder pads and bat?

I will post more later and maybe some scans.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The old man retires

No not that one. The other one.

Kurt Warner hung up the cleats, ending his 12 year NFL career. I think anyone who doesn't live under a rock and is a football fan knows the story of Kurt. For those rock dwellers...

Warner came out of the University of Northern Iowa, having only started his senior year. After being cut by Green Bay in training camp, who instead went with Brett Favre, Mark Brunell, and Ty Detmer, he was out of football. Relegated to stocking grocery shelves back in Iowa and helping with the UNI football program, he finally got another shot with the AFL. He played three seasons for the Iowa Barnstormers and led them to two Arena Bowls. He then was able to get another shot at the NFL by the Rams.

After playing in NFL Europe for the London Silly Nannies, I mean, Amsterdam Admirals (just seeing if you were paying attention) he ended up the third on the roster behind Tony Banks and Steve Bono. In 1999 he finally got his chance when both Banks and Bono were released and newly acquired Trent Green tore an ACL in preseason. We all know the rest...a Super Bowl victory and 2 other appearances.

He will most definitely be wearing a yellow jacket in Canton one day. You don't need anymore proof than this (cue obligatory stat lines):

--Reached 10,000 yards passing in less games than anyone in NFL history
--Tied with Dan Marino for the fastest to reach 30,000 yards passing.
--Has the top three passing performances in Super Bowl history. In fact, his 1,156 yards passing in the 2008 playoffs broke his own NFL record he set with St. Louis in 1999.
--2nd Highest Average Passing Yards Per Game, Career
--Highest completion percentage in a single game
--Most Yards Passing, Playoffs
--Tied with Joe Montana for the most touchdown passes in a single postseason
--Highest career playoff completion percentage
--2nd Highest career passer rating in the playoffs behind only Bart Starr
--Only NFL quarterback to throw 40 touchdowns and win a Super Bowl in the same season (1999).
--Only quarterback to throw for over 14,000 yards with two different teams (St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals)
--One of only 2 players in NFL history to throw 100 touchdown passes with two different teams (Fran Tarkenton is the other)
--Only the second quarterback to make Super Bowl starts with two different teams joining Craig Morton (1970 Dallas Cowboys and 1977 Denver Broncos).

More than all the on field achievements though, Warner is a great humanitarian and ambassador for good will. I don't think you will ever find a guy that is more humble and grateful for all he has been given. And for that reason alone, he will be missed. A certain #4 can take a lesson from this.

Since this is a card blog, here are 10 of my favorite Warner's in no particular order...

Save of the Day

I would like to see all goalies play like this.

Atlanta Thrasher goalie Johan Hedberg (and former Penguin goalie, I might add).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Big Ebay Win...Literally Big

Yes that's right. In this case of the use of the term "Big", I am not referring to some hidden gem of a card that I have been looking for all my life. I am literally talking big as in size. I picked up two auctions from another collector that was getting out of the hobby. He was selling his football collection by the box load. Those new "if it ships" boxes from the USPS, to be exact. The two auctions that I won included over 3000 cards in each box. That's over 6000 cards for those of you not proficient in the ancient art of math.

Since the auction closed on Monday, imagine my surprise when, at lunch, my wife calls to inform me that there are two giant boxes that weigh at least 15 lbs each sitting on our dining room table. Usually the only thing in the mail are the bubble mailers which already annoy her to no end. Here's to sticking it to the, woman.

After getting home tonight, I decided to bust them open to see what 6000 cards look like in a giant, unorganized, completely random pile. Here are the results.

Yes, that's my cat back there, basking in the glory of a big pile o' cards.

There's some 80s stuff...some 90s stuff...some 00s stuff. Even if they are all commons, it will be fun to look through.

I bet there are even some complete (or at least mostly complete) sets in here.

As you can see, I started to pile them nice and neat there on the right but quickly gave that up for a more conventional piling method of sorting.

So now I have my work cut out for me for a while. What to do with all these and where to put them? Plus, I haven't even begun to make a dent in the long, lost collection. I have started to log everything I have into my Zistle database. If you aren't familiar with Zistle, you need to be. It is a great alternative to most of the card organization programs out there. It is waaaayyyy better than the "new" Beckett server system.

Any football collectors out there with player or team wants, hit me up with your lists and I can see what I have in here.

Dear Abby-ner

Since the discovery of my long, lost collection from my youth, I have been pondering those things that deserve to be pondered upon. Like, what do I do with all these baseball cards? Or, where am I going to put all these baseball cards? Or my new favorite, should I start to collect baseball cards again?

That last one has been at the forefront of my mind for a while now. As I mentioned before, I, like many before me, deserted baseball for greener pastures years ago. The last time I actually paid enough attention to know who players were and where they played, steroids were only for professional wrestlers and race horses. I guess it all boils down to the answer to one question. Do I or don't I?

If the answer is no, then everything becomes fodder for trade, just like much of my football has become. With the exception of sorting by team and listing, my work is essentially done and I will move on to bigger and better things. If the answer is yes, then it begs the follow up questions, what do I collect and how?


Again, since I have been out of the baseball mind frame for so long, I can't say I have a favorite player. My first inclination would be to rekindle what I once had with my favorite collections as a kid. As I discussed in a previous post, all my childhood heroes have since been indicted, either in a court of law or in the court of public opinion. Is that what I want to pass on to my kids one day? An all "Cheater" collection? So I guess player collecting is out.


As for collecting a favorite team, I grew up a Pirates fan. The Buccos haven't fielded a winning team in 17 years. 17 YEARS!!! The team that, according to their Wiki, introduced the baseball world to the pullover spandex uniform jersey can't even break .500. Even the Cubs can't say that. Do they even make cards of Pirate players any more? No really. That wasn't rhetorical. Other than a few prospects or rookies now and again, I can't remember the last time the Pirates caught my attention on any level other than that of utter dismay or indifference. Since I have relocated to the Chicagoland area, it would make sense to then collect Cubs or White Sox cards. Their stuff can be found everywhere and it would be easy to begin amassing a collection. The only problem is that I have a general disdain for all teams hailing from the Windy City. So I guess team collecting is out.


Maybe set collecting is the way to go. I would have to go after either Topps or Upper Deck because I really don't like the Donruss sets of the early 80s and early 90s and the Fleer sets seem to be too hard to come by. Or maybe, I can target the vintage, pre-80s era of cards. I know the shows that periodically appear around where I live are loaded with dealers that focus on vintage.

Or maybe I will just pack them all back up and put them in my attic and dig them back out in another 15 years.

Confused In Cooperstown

(Oh, and welcome to number 14...Nick. That's all I know. His (or her) name is Nick. Welcome Nick!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blaster Box Break - - 2009-10 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

I know I said I was going to stop with the retail blasters and such but I am so far away, it is going to take a miracle to complete this thing. I am more than a few dozen away so a blaster or two may be my only option. I just don't want to get carried away like last year. At least this was a tin and not a box. I like the tins even better, even though there is 1 less pack. Since I already posted this one, I will give a quick list.

The Good News:

I pulled 38 Cards that I needed for my set. Woo hooo!!

The Bad News:

27 cards were doubles. All the Marquee Rookies were doubles (Sean Collins, Jesse Joensuu, John Scott). All the Legends were doubles (Darryl Sutter, Bernie Federko, Borje Salming).

The Indifference:

--There were 7 retro parallels, none of which I had.
--I got 2 Canadian Heroes, both of which I had (Drew Doughty, Derek Roy).
--There was 1 League Leader, my third Mikka Kiprusoff.
--There were 2 Team Checklists, again, both I had (Flyers, Blues).
--There was 1 Rainbow, Jhonas Enroth Marquee Rookie.

This has to be one of the weakest boxes I've opened of this years OPC. So far, I have had at least one case hit in each box (3 total), except for this one. I guess you can't win them all. I'm not deterred though.

Any takers out there on a wantlist trade? I'm all ears.

(Lucky #13...The Collective Troll is the newest follower of The REAL DFG. Thanks to the Troll for giving me a shot. For those that don't know, the Troll is a "seasoned" veteran to the blog world and is well known around these parts as a great trader. Check out his site.)

Another PC Pickup

I finally received a card I won back in December. It seems like Canada/US shipping is taking longer and longer these days. I used to be able to get stuff within 10-12 days. Now it has been taking 3-4 weeks. Either way, it's all good. Here is card #2 of my Penguins PC for 2010.

1968-69 O-Pee-Chee Wally Boyer #105

Wally played 3 solid years for the Pens from 1968-69 through 1970-71. In that time, he scored 32 goals and 61 assists. He spent the next year with the Hershey Bears, playing only 1 game for the Pens. His last year was spent with the Winnipeg Jets of the WHL. The nice little cartoon on the BOTC features what Wally was probably best known for. It says "As a Pro, Wally has played in 12 cities in 12 years." That's a journeyman.

I love the design of this year's cards. They are very clean looking, with the player as the focus of the card. Although there are no action shots, typical of this era, the background art makes up for it. I have a few others from this set but this is my first Penguin.

(A warm DFG welcome to Justin G. from Is This a Wasteland - No It's Tampa Bay Sports. If you are a Tampa Bay fan, his blog will give you "a look at sports inside and outside the Tampa Bay Area." I think he sells himself short on the "better at the day job" comment. Thanks for following, Justin. Hope you enjoy.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Great Day For Hockey

For the second straight night, the Pens chalked up another win. With a 1-1 tie going into the third period, the Pens came storming back with 3 goals in the third to win 4-2.

Chris Connor was called up last night and tallied 2 goals, with Crosby recording assists on both. Crosby is now, I believe, 1 assist shy of 300 for his career. Connor played like a madman. He was all over the ice. Prior to tonight's game, he spent the last three years in and out of the lineup for the Dallas Stars. He was brought up from Wilkes-Barre for his 7th game and the first time since November. He definitely made the difference in this one.

Since this is a card site, I checked all my Pens and realized I didn't have a Connor. Upon further review, it would appear that currently, his only card is an AHL 2005-06 Iowa Stars Team Issued card. Something tells me that even if I wanted to, I wouldn't find this one anywhere.

The Rangers lost their 7th in a row against the Pens, the 4th time this year. Is it just me or do the Rangers look extremely slow (other than Gaborik)? With the exception of the last 10 minutes of the game, the seemed flat and lethargic.

The Pens are now just 2 points behind the Devils for the lead in the Atlantic. Here's hoping for an epic New Jersey collapse.

Sidenote: Did anyone see Ray Whitney absolutely make Zdeno Chara look 2 feet tall the other day? The Canes smoked Boston in that game but that was a sweet set up. My vote for play of the week.

This was a great weekend for sports (IMO)

That is how people abbreviate "In My Opinion", isn't it? I am a noob when it comes to all the abbreviation etiquette in the blogosphere. At any rate, like I said, it was a great weekend for sports.

First off, the Pens won a heck of a game against the hated Flyers, 2-1. The first period alone had 30 minutes of penalties. Fleury was out yet again with his broken finger but despite a shaky start, Brent Johnson was pretty good in net. I will say this, the Pens got lucky with Gagne's high stick that cost the Flyers a goal and the fact that Timonen flipped the puck over the glass to give the Pens a power play at the end. Otherwise, it would have been a different story. The best highlight of the game was the goal by Gonchar that went through the legs of not one, not two, but three Flyer defenders. It was like he was playing croquet, only with ugly bright orange colored wickets. That game pulled the Pens to 10 points ahead of the Flyers and 3 back of the Bruins for the 3rd seed in the East. Go Pens!!

Second on the agenda...the Colts beat the Jets for a trip to the Super Bowl. My ambivalence and frightfully uncharacterizable feelings toward the Colts and their organization is equally matched by my disdain and hatred for all things New York...including the J-E-T-S (Just End The Season). I was on Cloud 9 after the game ended and Peyton began packing for another trip to Miami. Within moments of the closing seconds, the phone was dialing my sister-in-law, who is a huge Jets fan, to toast her teams gallant effort. Actually, I had my 6 year old sing "Na, Na, Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye" into the phone like a petulant child. I wonder if she was sobbing uncontrollably into her Wayne Chrebet jersey? If you are reading this and don't have kids, I would suggest getting some. They are wonderful tools for doing stuff you don't want to actually do yourself.

Finally, to cap the weekend off in superb fashion, The Greatest American Hero (...believe it or not...) was vanquished in his attempt to shove himself down the country's throat for one more week. Brett Favre and his "clandestined" season was put to an end by some heavily mistake ridden gameplay and the luck of a coin flip. I am not a Viking hater, nor am I a Saints bandwagon jumper. I am, however, not too keen on Mr. Favre (or as my 2 year old says Brett Fart) and his lack of respect for tradition and selfishness for the game of football. But that is neither here nor there and should be left for a conversation at a later date.

After the game, of course, the speculation began once again on whether he will or won't retire for the umpteenth time. The players, according to everyone's favorite football gossip queen Jay Glazer, seem to think he is done. What does that mean? If you ask me, it means that if there is a team on the cusp of making a run but lacks a solid QB and leader, sign him up. Why not? Let him be the rent-a-player that he seems to want to be. Just keep him off my TV. While your at it, keep his wife and family off my TV, too. Also, mandate that the announcers, analysts, and color commentators not speak his name for at least the next six months.

So there we have it. The Colts and Saints in the Super Bowl. The first time that I can remember (at least in a loooonnnnnggg time) we have both #1's against each other. It should make for some entertaining football.

Sidenote: Why is all the Super Bowl advertising promotion focused on The Who playing during half time and not the game itself? You would think the ads would be spouting "Feb. 7th, the Super Bowl" not "February 7th, The Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring The Who". I don't get it. Bring back the Bud Bowl.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Close to Completion

Well after a swap for some equally needed cards for our 2009-10 Upper Deck Series I Hockey sets, I am only 2 cards shy. Thanks to Captain Canuck for the trade. I appreciate it. Now, only Mike Modano #139 and Josh Georges #19 elude me. If there are any readers out there that would be willing to help me complete my first set of 2010, let me know.

As an added bonus, the good Captain threw in some old wax for good measure...I was a little worried at first that it might have been a drive by bipping. Thank Jeebus it was only a pack of 1991-92 Score Hockey. Here are a few of the 15 cards that were in there.

Highlights: A John LeClair Rookie (which you could see through the wrapper), Two Belfour's in the same pack, and a Rick Tocchet Crunch Crew that reminds me of the old Batman TV show.

I have been tooling around with my page lately and changed the header. I kind of like it now since it was a bit on the plain side before. Don't be surprised if things look different the next time you check anything on here. I haven't found something I am totally satisfied with yet.

(Thanks goes out to my latest victim...err, follower Anthony Kates. I am not sure if Mr. Kates has a blog out there for cards or otherwise, but he is a follower of many of the same sites as I am. Welcome to you there sir.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

So far, so good

As of today, I have pretty much stuck to most of my resolutions. I have yet to overload on retail boxes and my collection organizing is coming along swimmingly. The addition of the baseball cards did put a snag into the consolidation plans but found cards are as good as free cards and I love me some free cards.

I finally received my first card for my Bill Guerin player collection. I had won this one at auction back in December for a whopping $.35 (American). After two weeks of not receiving the card, I happened to check the seller and discovered that he was not in the US. He wasn't even on this continent in fact. He was from the UK and had sent everything from his closing auctions out the week of Christmas. I didn't know how long mail took from overseas and neither did he. Well, the answer, my friends, is 29 days. Here it is...

2003-04 Topps C-55 Mini Brooklyn Back #31

This is the first C-55 card I think I have in my entire collection. I was out of the hobby at that point, or at least on hiatus. I didn't collect anything from 2000 until 2004. This was one set that must have flew under the radar. It is a retro set modeled almost exactly after the 1911-12 C-55 Set. It is believed by most people in the hobby that Imperial Tobacco issued this set with their tobacco products, although no one actually knows for sure. Topps did a pretty good job of recreating these. Unfortunately though, they fail when it comes to production. In perusing the checklist for others in this set, I found 11 different variations of Guerin cards in this set, 8 of which are mini versions with back variations. Still, I like these cards and will probably try to find some more if I can.

So there we have it. My first player collection PC card of the year.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fleer Turns The Big #125 This Year

I saw this a few days ago on Sports Collector's Daily and thought it was a really cool idea. A long time collector is putting together a "scrapbook" detailing the last 125 years of the Fleer Corporation. Now that they are gone from the sport card production industry, their name still lives on through other product branding.

I have always liked the Fleer products. From the time I started collecting, they were always one of my favorites, having card designs like no one else. When the Ultra product was released, I always made an effort to make that one set in my stable of cards.

Check out the article over here: Collector Launching Fleer Book Project

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Am Not A Role Model

Now that I have my original baseball card collection (well most of it, anyway) I was pondering all the guys I admired enough to spend just a little more time collecting more than the others. Let's go through the list, shall we...

1. Jose Canseco - My favorite player growing up. By far and away, the largest assortment of cards in the boxes with the players already sorted. There were some gems including some non-licensed stuff that is pretty hilarious.

2. Barry Bonds - My second favorite player. Bonds was awesome to watch. I remember going to a game at Three Rivers back in 88 for our little league and meeting a bunch of guys like Bonds, Bonilla, and Van Slyke. Bonds couldn't have been nicer. I remember thinking he was small compared to Bobby Bo. Go figure.

3. Mark McGwire - The second half of the original Bash Brothers. He was the Ying to Canseco's Yang. I had to collect him as a compliment to my Jose's.

4. Gary Sheffield - I always liked Gary's game play. Plus, he was easy to collect back then because no one else wanted him.

5. Albert Belle - He was one of my up and coming favorites. Plus he had two different names, depending on card company (Joey or Albert). I always like the fact that he was smiling in all of his picturs. Turns out he knew something the rest of us didn't.

6. Ken Griffey Jr. - Griffey was a staple to anyone's collection back in the early 90's. Plus, for me, he was a hometown kind of guy, having been born in Donora and all. I grew up right across the river from there. I think Stan Musial was from there too.

Does anyone see a pattern here? All I need now is for Junior to admit to something ridiculous and I will have completed the cycle. Other than Griffey, for some reason or another, I was drawn to egomaniacal, self-absorbed, cheaters. Allegedly.

Hidden Treasure, That Was Already Mine

All of us that collect anything have heard the story before. Everyone has a tale of some golden gem of a card they had when they were kids that could mint them a fortune if they had it now. But, alas. It became bicycle spoke fodder or was flipped against a brick wall so many times it was now shaped like a shoe horn.

For those of us that didn't abuse our childhood cardboard the tale becomes similar in many ways. Like the stash of cards in the parents attic that somehow got given away at the church bizarre. Or the endless boxes and binders that were hidden away in the basement, only to succumb to the numerous floods and pump failures throughout the years. Any way you slice it, I think many of us have "those cards I used to have".

Well I was in the same boat. Until yesterday.

For my sons 6th birthday, my mom, step-dad, brother, and sister-in-law all decided to drive the 9+ hours from Pennsylvania to surprise my son. Mission accomplished. He was thrilled beyond believe and we had a really good time while they were here. Before coming out, my brother had told me he was bringing me something he had found while moving some stuff out of the house. When they arrived, he walked in with two Rubbermaid totes, obviously heavy since it took him and my step-dad to carry them. Not recognizing them, I only wondered what was inside.

After a full day of having some fun with the kids and the family birthday party, the evening was devoted to opening the totes. And there they were...6 monster boxes of my old baseball cards and a bunch of complete sets. I thought anything that I didn't get rid of was destroyed in the basement flood about 11 years ago. Apparently, as my brothers were growing up, the cards got moved up stairs and then eventually into the attic. Now that the house is being sold, they were discovered during cleaning. They are now back in the hands of their rightful owner.

In perusing a few of the boxes, I found all sorts craziness. Most of the baseball is from between 1981 and 1994 (when I stopped collecting baseball). The most intriguing thing was a 3" binder filled with non-sport stuff. There are some really weird cards in there that I don't remember having. I also found a 300 or so count box filled with Coors Brewing Company cards. Where they came from, I don't know. I gave them to my brother to put in his man cave in his new house.

So now the dilemma. I've now just increased my card inventory by, what I can only assume, is about 20,000 or more. 90% of it is baseball. I don't collect baseball. It is probably going to take me a few weeks to sort through all of it. I think I might post anything that I feel needs to be posted. If any fellow bloggers out there would be interested in maybe trading for some stuff too, I'm all ears. I think I might either try to break this up into players (which most of it already is) and teams.

Friday, January 15, 2010

First Trip To the Card Shop in 2010

I was on my way home after work today and decided to take a trip to my nearest card shop. I used to go at least once or twice a month but since last September, I haven't been. My intention was to go and pick up some long needed supplies like GU toploaders, sleeves, pages, and boxes. I have at least 4-5 sets that have been taking up space in my monster boxes that have no business being in there.

Normally, there are a couple of guys that park themselves in there almost everyday. These two babble on and on about their pulls and how thier stuff is so great and yours sucks. They stand over you like vultures waiting to devour thier newly acquired carcasses. You can't even open anything while they are there because they barrage you with questions and ridiculous offers to buy your hits. Well, today was different.

I walked in and they weren't there. In fact, the owner and his partner were there, along with at least a half dozen customers. I have never seen so many people. It was an awesome spectacle. Turns out, they are banned from the store, or at least, that is the rumor. Don't know why...don't really care. All I know is, the environment was so much nicer, calm, and conducive to card collecting.

So I picked up my supplies and spent another 20 minutes chatting with some of the patrons. I guy was there busting some of last years and this years Black Diamond Hockey. He pulled a quad-swatch jersey of Sidney Crosby that I really wanted but couldn't begin to imagine what he would want for it. Last years quad jersey goes for between 50-80 in most cases. Regardless, the urge struck me and my supplies were quickly joined by another box of O-Pee-Chee. If I am ever going to finish the set, I had to buy at least one more box.

Now I have my supplies and I will be able to start making more room for all the cards that are piled up in the shelf in my closet. I'll post anything I might pull out of there. Also, I have a few trades that should be posted in a few.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cujo Retires

One of my all-time favorite goalies to watch in the NHL retired on Tuesday. I guess I am late to the party because I just heard about it. Either way, it is a sad day when any of the players you admire hang up their equipment for the last time.

(I have no idea how that crease got in there. That sucks.)

CuJo played for 19 years as an undrafted free agent. Spending much of his career in St. Louis, he later played for Edmonton before moving on to his most memorable stint with the Maple Leafs. He also played for the Coyotes, Flames and Red Wings. His 454 wins is currently good enough for #4 on the career wins list behind Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, and "The Hawk" Eddie Belfour. Not bad company to be in, that's for sure. The only thing he doesn't have in common with the others is a Stanley Cup. He never played on a championship team and finished with a 63-66 record in the playoffs.

Here is one of my favorite moments of his career...of course it's a fight...A GOALIE FIGHT!!

We're Getting The Band Back Together

The Pens beat the Flames last night, 3-1, in a pretty fast paced game. Crosby scored a highlight reel goal (#30) in the first period that I tried to find on YouTube but it wasn't there yet. Plus my boy Guerin scored the game winner, a second-period power play goal (#15 I think). But the game last night felt more like the 2009 playoffs all over again.

The Pens reformed the dominant #2 line of Malkin, Fedotenko, and Talbot. I was so much younger back when they used to play together last summer but it seems like only yesterday. They didn't account for any points but it was great to see that Bylsma recognized the need to do something. Either way, this was a great thing. I am psyched. Malkin needs a spark. The Pens need a spark for that matter.

Malkin hasn't been his self this year (and by self I mean 100 point scorer). He has been playing poor on offense and defense, which since I've been watching him, is very uncharacteristic. Of course, it didn't help that Maxy was out for the first 20 games with his shoulder surgery. I think the Olympic break should get him some well needed rest to heal up. Here's hopeing going back to this line will get the train a rollin.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Years Resolutions...1. stop procrastinating

Everyone that has a card blog seems to have posted some sort or another of a New Years Resolution for collecting this year. I have been meaning to do so as well but, like everything else, I seem to keep putting it off. In my defense, I have been preoccupied with some of my other NYR's that have sort of become that proverbial snowball, if you know what I mean. I decided that after over 12 years of avoiding health practitioners, I'd see a doctor. What I want to know is why isn't there anything wrong with me until I go to the doctor? But none of that is relevant here because this, my friends, is a card blog.

So my card collecting resolutions for the new year are all based on my actions of last year and the amount of money and time I spend amassing a giant pile of insignificance. Therefore, in no particular order, I bring to you the Real DFG's Card Collecting Resolutions:

1. Buy less retail wax. I have become so caught up in busting packs that I lost site of the fact that for the most part, I am not gaining anything toward my PC. I've talked about this numerous times; that burn that courses through my veins as I tear into the packs searching for the "greatest pull of all time". What that is, I don't know. But what I do know is that I need to stay away from the Wal-Mart.

2. Trade more. That's what it is all about right? Trading? I decided to put my own Trading Tracker on the page to the left here so I can really see what my habits are. Last year I spent more time searching for stuff on eBay rather than my fellow collectors. Hopefully we can change that.

3. Build more in my PC. I didn't buy very much for my PC last year other than a few cards. In fact, I can only think of about 10 or so cards that I would even consider permanent fixtures to my collection. This will change. My goal is 50 PC cards. That's about 4-5 per month. I can do it.

4. Expand my player collections. I have so many half-assed player collections it is ridiculous. I plan to refocus some of my attention on building these and filling some holes. Now that I have discovered CheckOutMyCards and SportsLots, this might be easier than I thought.

5. Finish some sets. I have about 2 dozen partial sets. I plan on completing at least six of these by Jan 1 2011. Maybe some readers can help me out. My wantlists are also posted on the right.

That's it. I only have 5 goals. Not 10 or 15 like some of my fellow bloggers out here but 5. I think it is pretty realistic and I am already on my way with some trades in the hopper so we will see at the end of the year where I am (if I last that long).

3 Trade Pickups

I just received the first trade package of 2010 today after trading with my new friend Chris from Michigan. Somehow in by freak accident, Chris stumbled onto my website and offered up some sacrificial cards for trade. Since Chris collects Detroit teams, I was more than happy to unload some Lidstroms and an Yzerman for a few Steelers that I needed.

Nothing fancy. Just three for the PC.

2006 Topps Gold Parallel Hines Ward (#302/2006)

This is one of my favorite HW cards because it really captures the game. The snow falling and the muddied up pants remind me of what Steeler football is all about. Now I have the Gold version. Too bad it wasn't #86.

2008 SP Rookie Edition Rashard Mendenhall

I am still not 100% sold on Mendy. He has had too many instances of putting the ball on the ground. With Parker likely out before training camp, he is most likely going to become the featured back.

2006 Topps True Champions Terry Bradshaw

These cards were only found in Wal-Mart boxes of 2006 Topps Football. How can you go wrong with a Terry Bradshaw card, though? In my opinion, you can't. 4-Time Super Bowl Champ. You can't argue with that.

Thanks Chris, and your package is on it's way.

(Oh and let's not forget a warm DFG welcome to Captain Canuck, aka Brian from Waxaholic. The Captain has the fortunate (or unfortunate) task of being my 10th follower. Sorry, there is no prize. And if there were, you'd probably want to give it back.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Part 2: 1997-98 Pinnacle Hockey Box Break

Ok, so I'm posting this back to back only because I really have nothing better to do since my office shut down due to the 8 inches of snow that fell overnight.

I had to move forward with the other box because I couldn't bare to leave this set incomplete. I was 26 cards short on the base set. I ended up with 23 doubles and 1 triple. Despite the weird photography and the somehow washed out look of the cards, I like them for some reason. I think I am going to put them in a book.

First, here are some of the interesting cards that I like for whatever other reason than their photography is kind of bizarre:

Apparently Hannah & Tonia love Matthew Barnaby. He seems happy about the news.

Jarome Iginla is going to destroy this camera, then you, then Tokyo. In that order.

How dapper Paul looks in this picture. Why don't more people actually wear tux's to award shows. It would really make for a better production.

I am not real sure what is going on here. I think Trevor found a stencil kit and went to work. Is this really on the wall somewhere in Vancouver? All I know is "this hallway has an obligation."

I want to know if this is a case where the photographer shot too early. It would appear that way. This picture cracks me up.

Good old Petr. Yeah, that's spelled right. Not only did he forget his practice uniform on photo day, he forgot his skates too. Didn't someone tell him it wasn't fashionable to tuck your shirt into your sweat pants? Awesome.


So I broke the other box and I am still 8 cards short of the base set. I got two "hits" in this one instead of 3 like the first box. The first one is a Saku Koivu Epix Moment Purple. I think this is the only card out of both boxes that might have some value. Oh, wait. I forgot about that mirror/non-mirror from the first box. Ok so it is one of only two cards with any value. The other hit was an Eric Fichaud Rink Collection. Nothing special there.

I can possibly get my hands on two more of these for cheap but now I don't know if it is worth it since out of two boxes, I got five non-base cards and am still 8 cards short of a 200 card set. If anyone out there wants some of my doubles, send me a wantlist because chances are I got them.

First Box Break of the Year - - 1997-98 Pinnacle Hockey

Yeah, that's right people. 1997-98 Pinnacle Hockey!! I figured for the first box break of the year I would travel back in time to last decade when all thing were pure and clean. We used to have these things called cars back then. They had four wheels and took us from place to place on these things called roads. We even had to fill them with this fuel substance called gasoline...what's that you say? We still have those? Oh, but I thought this was the future!!

At any rate...where was I? Oh, yeah. 1997-98 Pinnacle Hockey!! Don't ask me how I came about these (I say these because I have 2 boxes) because it is not a very interesting story. Regardless, I have them now. In going over my inventory, it would appear that I don't really have much in the way of Pinnacle from the late 90's (I think I have the 93-94 set, that's it), let alone cards in general from 1997-98. Now 98-99, that was when I blew up the wax packs. So here we go with a box of late 90's fun. This may be a long post. As an added bonus, I can win a chance to get NHL '98. SWEET!

1997-98 Pinnacle Hockey

10 Cards/Pack
20 Packs/Box
200 Card Base Set (so barring no double or inserts, I could get the whole set in 1 box)
Inserts include: Rink Collection 1:100, Epix 1:24, Artist's Proof 1:39, Masks 1:89 Team Pinnacle 1:99, Authentic Press Plates 1:2,250, Certified Souvenir 1:3,888

--First pack reveals a Joe Thornton "Rookie"? I don't think that one is really considered a rookie card. Either way, it is stamped that way. Also, I got an ad for a Pinnacle Branded Screw Down holder for only 5.99 plus 2.00 S&H. What a deal.

--Pack 2: Dan Cleary "Rookie". Again, don't think this is really considered a rookie.

--Pack 3: Team Pinnacle Koivu/Forsberg. I can't really tell if this is the mirror version or not. The front is glossy white/blue, the back (Forsberg side) is shiny mirror foil/blue. Either way, nice card!

--Pack 4: Erik Rasmussen Rookie and a Pinnacle Trading Card Survey. Hilarious.

--Pack 5: Robert Dome Rookie

--Pack 6: Marian Hossa, Boyd Devereaux, and Sergei Samsonov Rookies. I think the Hossa is probably the key rookie in this set.

--Pack 7: Kevyn Adams Rookie

--Pack 8: Terry Ryan and Patrick Marleau "Rookies"

--Pack 9: Donald Maclean and Olli Jokinen "Rookies". I forgot about Olli, he is probably the other key rookie other than the Hossa in this set.

--Pack 10: Brad Isbister and Magnus Arvedson Rookies

--Pack 11: Mattias Ohlund and Alexei Morozov Rookies

--Pack 12: Robert Dome Rookie...another one.

--Pack 13: Terry Ryan and Chris Dingman Rookies. The second Ryan. It's safe to say at this point there is no chance at a complete set of these.

--Pack 14: Chris Phillips Rookie and...Brendan Shanahan Epix Play Orange. It's shiny. I don't have any others like this. I like it.

--Pack 15: Alyn McCauley Rookie

--Pack 16: Espen Knutsen Rookie and Donald MacLean Rink Collection. More shiny. So far thats a 1:100, 1:99, and 1:24 hit. Not bad. Could be better, but not bad.

--Pack 17: Marc Savard and Jaroslav Svejkovsky Rookies

--Pack 18: Jan Bulis Rookie

--Pack 19: Nothing except 3 Keith Tkachuk's. 3 in the same pack.

--Pack 20: There is no pack 20!! The audacity!! What happened to quality control? That's it. I wasn't going to but now I'm filling out that customer service survey that I got in pack 4.

So now it looks like I am going to have to break the other box. I will spare my readers the boring details and post only the good stuff next time as well as some of my favorite photography. I think if the photos are bad, they should be considered error cards. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


When you miss the playoffs the year after winning the Super Bowl, you know there is something wrong. I am not usually the one to quickly jump all over the coach for poor direction and management. Most of the time, I see the problems inherent in the poor execution of the players themselves. The Steelers this year changed my view point on all of that and now we are finally seeing the results.

In the latest in a series of firings, special teams coordinator, Bob Ligeshesky, was sacked. This years ST had the worst performance that I have ever seen by a coverage unit. They allowed four kick returns for TDs in five games and finished the regular season 24th in punt coverage and 30th in kick coverage. They allowed 9.8 yards per return on punts and 24.3 on kick offs. That is horridly awful and deserves to be buried in the forgotten season grave yard. I wonder what Bobby April is doing right now?

Offensive line coach, Larry Zierlein, was already fired earlier this week. This was a given, considering Big Ben spends more time on his back than Tawny Kitaen in a Whitesnake video. He is one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league because of the Swiss Curtain offensive line. Not to mention, the one time running back bastion of a Steeler's backfield has declined over the last two years because the line can't block or cut a hole for running room.

On top of that, Ken Anderson, Steelers QB coach decided to retire after 40 years in the NFL. Some fans may remember Ken as the QB for the Bengals from 71-86. He held the single season completion rate record until Brees broke it this year. Roethlisberger has flourished under Coach Anderson over the past three years, setting the Steelers single season TD record in 2007 and throwing for over 4,000 yards this year.

I'm sure the firings aren't done yet. If only Arians would part ways. But alas, he is back for another year of Air Arians football. Good luck to us. For those non-Steeler fans, check out this open letter to Brucey by maryrose over at Behind the Steel Curtain. I think it sums up a great deal of frustrations Steeler Nation has with Mr. Arians.