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Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Few From the Bay

I find myself doing a lot of watching but not a whole lot of shooting when it comes to Ebay auctions lately.  The fees are starting to mount up and the overall price of a lot of singles has increased as a result.  Sellers are trying to hold onto some semblance of a profit margin but it's getting tougher.  Despite all that, I have actually been able to land a few nice bargains for my Penguins PC and my Guerin collection. 

I thought I would share a few of the latest because, they make me happy.

 2010-11 Score Brad Thiessen Autograph - Not an on-card auto but most of the rookie ones are not.  Despite that, I think the sticker is kind of unobtrusive and the signature is prominent enough not to make you second guess whether it is actually signed.  Brad played a few last year for the Pens and has a bright future in a pretty deep goalie lineup.

 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Rainbow Bill Guerin #/100 - I have actually bid on this card three times, only to lose it in the last few seconds.  This time...I was the only bidder and I got it for a dollar.  That, by the way, included shipping.  Not a bad deal for a short print parallel.

 2005-06 Artifacts Frozen Artifacts Bill Guerin #/275 - For some reason, I have become obsessed with jersey cards.  What I once hated or at the least, was indifferent about has become one of my favorite cards to pull.  Although this one is a bit on the small size, It is a nicely designed card and the low print run makes it a perfect addition to my Billy G. collection.

2007-08 Artifacts Treasured Swatches Patch #/25 - My favorite card of the bunch is also my least favorite.  It is a franken-card of epic proportions.  The team credited to the card, as you can see under the serial number is the New York Islanders.  The last time I checked, the Islanders didn't have gray, black, and turquoise uniforms.  Since Billy is pictured on the Sharks, you would think the patch would be from, oh, I don't know...maybe a San Jose jersey.  But alas, it is a patch from a Dallas Stars jersey.  Three teams, same player, epic fail.  So epic, that is is outstanding.  Oh, and I didn't notice on the original scan but there is a soft corner on this as well as a nick on the top above the F in Artifacts.  The soft corner boggles my mind since the card is about a 130 pt. thickness.  But, I can't argue once again with $.99.

My First ZIstle Trade

Has anyone done any trading on Zistle?  Do you even know what Zistle is?  If you answered no to either of these questions, I'm sorry for your loss.  For those in the know, the new functionality on the Zistle platform makes trading almost too easy.

I was contacted a few days ago by a fellow Zistler looking to give up some P-Rats for some cards from his Strawberry/Gooden/Wilson collection.  I just so happened to have been looking through a box at the time that had a bunch of cards off his list so we exchanged pleasantries and three days later, I get a package in the mail.

I thought I would share my first Zistle trade ever (hopefully not my last).  For most of you, this will be a collection of commons but since I'm a Pirates fan, these are all welcomed additions to my PC.  I think I gave up 10 or 11 cards and got these in return.

 2009 National Chicle Andrew McCutchen

 2011 Gypsy Queen Jose Tabata

 2007 UD Masterpieces Bill Mazeroski

 2011 Gypsy Queen Future Stars Jose Tabata

 2008 UD Masterpieces Black Border Willie Stargell

 2009 Allen & Ginter Jason Jaramillo

2009 UD Masterpieces Bill Mazeroski

Friday, June 10, 2011

Box Break - - 2006/07 Parkhurst

I'm going to start of by saying that I have always wanted to put this set together.  I missed the boat on hockey cards back in 2006-07 because I didn't back into collecting until the following year.  So everything prior went sort of unnoticed for a while.  Upper Deck's resurrection of the Parkhurst brand features a 160 card base set with another 90 "subset" cards to boot.  All of which, are featuring the greatest legends and superstars in the history of the NHL, including what was up to this point one of only 13 cards of Willie O'Ree and one of 6 cards of Clint Smith to be produced (not counting their Beehive photos).  I think even now as cards are starting to get overproduced again there have only been about 40 O'Ree's and maybe 20 Smith's total. 

Over the years, I have picked up a few packs of this stuff and loved everything about the set.  The design to me is very appealing with a sort of brush stroke faded edge to the shots.  For the most part, they are all action shots of the players with posed shots both black and white and in color of many of the early greats of the game.  They also have a nicely placed, unobtrusive logo at the top (as in most Parkhurst sets) and a well designed name plate at the bottom.  The backs, although only summarizing the players career, give a brief write-up on each player.  Also included at the bottom is a beginning and ending season for each players career, something that always comes in handy for any hockey fan. 
The other thing that was cool about this set was the potential for autographs.  They jammed this set full of some of the greatest players to ever lace up skates and got the majority of them to hand sign cards.  Of the dozen or so packs I have ever opened of this stuff to this point, I pulled two autographs and was very happy with the player selection.  

Also in this set are two subsets featuring a celebration of Captains of their respective teams throughout NHL history and one of the first sets to showcase the always lovable Enforcers.  If you relish in the ability to pull a Probert, Kocur, McSorley, Gillies, Williams, or Semenko in one set, look no further. 

I thought I would take a minute to showcase some of the cards for those that may have never seen them as well as the higher numbered, lower print run subset cards.  I'll also show you my, ummm, autograph.

Box Details:
4 Cards/Pack
36 Packs/Box
Guarantees:  None
Base Cards Pulled:  124
Doubles:  13
Serial Numbered Subset Cards:  6
Autographs: 1*

Base Cards

The great Clint Smith and Grapes himself, Don Cherry (I think my only Don Cherry card, actually)

Bobby Clarke and Gump Worsley (I wonder if the pad I have came from what he is wearing in this shot?)

Color barrier pioneer, Willie O'Ree and former Penguin netminder, Michel Dion (you gotta love that mask)

Gerry Cheevers and the stitch mask along with Ed Giacomin (the goalie cards in this set are fantastic)

The Captains (all numbered /3999)

Kelly Kisio and Bernie Federko

Wilf Paiement and Scott Stevens (Where else can you pull an old Colorado Rockies card?)

Walt Tkaczuk and Brad Park (Yes, this box was very Ranger-heavy)

And finally, last but not least, the moment you've all been waiting for...The Autograph...(drum roll, please)

In case you might not be able to read that, it says I am entitled to one autograph card by former Islander/Sabre great, Pat LaFontaine.  You can imagine my initial elation, realizing that upon further review, the expiration date was last year.  Just for giggles, I logged onto Upper Deck's website, scratched off the code (as you can readily see), and low and behold..."You're Redemption Has Expired".  In other words, "We realize that we had a card at one point in time that corresponded to this redemption card and it was sitting here minding it's own business waiting for you to redeem it.  But, unfortunately, you took too long to buy a box of these and we gave your card away in a flea market last weekend to a homeless man to use for toilet paper.  Sorry."  I suppose that was my punishment for pulling two other autographs out of random packs of this product for no apparent reason.  I guess it could have been worse.  I could have been the guy who got the John Quincy Adams cut-auto stuck onto a card of John Adams (sans-Quincy). 

I'm not going to hold that against the product though.  It is still a really nice set to chase that is very affordable and features one of the best player selections you will find in any product.  I will admit that it is going to be difficult to put an entire 250 card set together but I can't say I'm not going to try. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Billy G is a Pen again

The Penguins announced yesterday officially that Bill Guerin would be rejoining the club.  Not as a player, but as a player development coach.  I am, of course, thrilled by this news as my favorite Pen from the last few years is now back in a position in which I thought they should have offered to him long ago. 

As a development coach, he will work with all of the younger generation players throughout the organization helping to develop guys as they come up through the ranks. My guess is he will more than likely play a big role in that transition from when players leave junior hockey or college and come to play for the minor leagues.  The best part, though, is that Billy G wanted to stay with the Pens organization and to be offered an opportunity to come back in this capacity has got to be exciting for him and his family. 

Congrats to the Guerin family and the Pens organization for getting back one of the best team leaders in the past decade.