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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Video Box Break - - 2002-03 Pacific Hockey Hobby Box

Here is another box I picked up from the National when it was held in Chicago.  These came from the guys at Atlanta Sports Cards just like most of the boxes I purchased.  I decided since it was sooooo much fun, eh em...doing a video box break for the last one, why not try it again.

So with crappy webcam, no video recording ability, and shoddy editing skills I give you my break of 2002-03 Pacific Hockey.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Autographs From The National - A Hockey Hall Of Famer

I know what I said.  I said no autographs.  I said I wasn't going to waste my time standing in long lines for hours on end waiting for a guy to sign something, hoping they don't quit before my turn.  But...An opportunity came my way that I couldn't pass up.  The events of the day resulted in my acquisition of two in-person autographs of important hockey figures.  The first one was a Hockey Hall of Famer.

Bill Gadsby, for those that are unaware, played in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1970.  I will spare you the rote details of spewing out his story when it can be read from the source.  Check out a very good quick read biography about Bill over at the Hockey Hall Of Fame website

I will say this though, they don't build them like Bill anymore.  He played in an era where defensive minded hockey was key.  He was such a fierce competitor that he was willing to throw caution to the wind and sacrifice himself to protect his net.  At one point in his career, he was even better known for his broken bones, body scars, stitched up face, and various other injuries caused by his "reckless" yet effective play. 

Though he spent most of his NHL career with Chicago, he also played with the Rangers and retired with the Red Wings (even coaching them for one season).  He went out on top, too, leaving the game as the highest scoring defenseman and one of the only players to log 1,000 games (along with Gordie Howe). He also led the all-time points, games, and penalty minutes for defensemen at his retirement (and all time stitches at 600).  Unfortunately, despite all the hard work and 20+ years of service to a game he loved, he was never rewarded with a Cup.  He came close, but both teams he played on lost in the finals (once to Toronto, and another time to Montreal).

So I set out on my mission to find something for him to sign.  I must have walked around the entire floor of the National twice before I finally found someone that had something other than an 8x10.  There was a booth set up not too far from the autograph pavilion selling all sorts of memorabilia and display cases, including Detroit pucks.  I had to have one.  Next stop, find the autograph line. 

When I arrived, it was 10 minutes until signing time and there was a line of about 25 people or so in front of myself and Sal, from Puck Junk.  Or so I thought until I was informed that our line was actually behind the line to the right of us, which was also behind all the Super-Uber VIP ticket holders.  Essentially we went from 25 in line to about 200 in 9.6 seconds.  But it was definitely worth it for the experience of getting the autograph of a Hockey Hall of Famer.  Here is the awesome result.

The glare between the camera and the case sucks but the puck is fantastic.  I love how the old-timers take great care and effort in signing their names.  It makes for such a better experience knowing who signed and not needing a decoder ring to decipher someone's scribble.  Plus, he added the inscription without even being asked.  Very nice guy and a class act.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Victory Is Mine

Just when I thought there was no hope for the future, a bright light shone in the distance like a beacon.  No, I was not on a ship at sea, nor was I part of a political speech that wastes 20 minutes of my afternoon while I would have been watching Maury.  My friends...that beacon was the first card set of 2011-12. 

There is nothing I like better than when the first cards of the year hit the shelves.  We finally get to see players in their new team uniforms, we get to see the first crop of rookies that got to play at the end of last season, and we get a preview of what is to come in future releases.

The Upper Deck Victory set has always been the first set on the market each year almost since its inception. Victory is usually released in two phases.  The first comes in regular release as part of an initial 200 base + 50 rookie set.  The second will be an insert into Series 2 of the Upper Deck flagship brand.  They also have two insert sets, Game Breakers and Stars of the Game which feature all the best players from each team.

This year, Upper Deck brought back the MVP brand and instead of boxing it separate, decided to make it an insert into the Victory packs.  MVP has been away from the scene for a few years but I think it will be welcomed back considering the rate of insertion into boxes is about 18 per box.  Plus, it takes on the design more like the 2009 version rather than the same boring white border/shield design that was recycled year after year from 2005-2008.  Chasing the 100 card complete set (88 base cards, 12 rookies) will definitely give collectors a challenge.

Also, the Red & Black parallels are back.  As most collector's know, the black parallels have always been a huge hit within the hobby considering their scarcity.  This year, regular black parallels are falling 1:720 packs with rookie black parallels falling at a whopping 1:1,440 packs.  Quite a few of the black rookies from previous years can be found selling for north of $100.  Red parallels can be found only in Fat Packs (36 card double blister packs usually in retail).  Although less rare, the Red rookies can still garner a premium over their base counterparts. 

Not one to shy away from a challenge, I once again set out down the path of building this yearly staple of a set when I saw the fresh new product. 

In addition to the photos above, here are a few more for your viewing pleasure...

Base Card design

Red parallel base cards

Game Breakers

Stars Of The Game

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Video Box Break - - 2001-02 Pacific Private Stock Titanium Hobby

The National is over and what a fun time it was.  I got to see lots of cool stuff, meet a lot of fun and interesting people, pick up some stuff I didn't think I would, and of course, add to my box break inventory.

All the times I have been on Atlanta Sports Cards website, filling up my cart with all sorts of boxes from an age where collecting was the farthest thing from my mind, and I never once actually completed my order.  I don't know why.  I just didn't.  Seeing that they were actually at the National show, I didn't think for one minute that they would have any of what I wanted.  Well I was wrong.  They had everything, and then some.

I've been a little burned out on new product (that's not to say I didn't get any) so I wanted to boost my collection a bit with early 00's stuff, namely 2000-01 through 2004-05.  The first box I purchased was 2001-02 Pacific Private Stock Titanium.

Not the best year for cards but the Titanium set had such a limited print run of rookie cards, that they all carry a pretty high demand and dollar value. Plus, this was a premium set at the time with only 6 packs and a "hit" in every pack. That hit is a dual sided GU jersey card of various teammates around the league.  There is also usually an insert card in each pack as well consisting of a Premier Date parallel, Hobby parallel, All Star, Rookie Team, Saturday Knights, or 3-Star Selection.

I decided to try my hand at another Video Box Break just because I am a glutton for punishment and really have no idea what I am doing.  So maybe the practice will help.  Check it out if you need to waste 12 minutes of your life on something.