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Friday, September 13, 2019

Lucky 13

It's Friday the 13th and I wanted to take a look at who I feel are the top 10 NHL players that chose to buck tradition and go against their superstitions to wear the unlucky number #13.  Compared to many other number combinations, athletes traditionally have shied away from the #13.  In generally, I think that is because athletes tend to be creatures of habit and quite a bit superstitious.  That's not to say there haven't been any takers.  Across the other sports, players like Dan Marino, Wilt Chamberlain, A-Rod, and Roberto Clemente come to mind as famous #13s.

But in hockey, there had always been a long tradition of staying away from that fateful number.  From 1950-1980, there had only been six players to wear the number in an NHL game.  In the 1980s, there wasn't a season with more than five players donning the #13 and many of those players frequently changed their numbers.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Today In Penguins History (9/10/2009)

2009 Pittsburgh Penguins trip to the White House
Today in 2009, the Pittsburgh Penguins made the trip to Washington D.C. and visited President Barack Obama after winning their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.  Accompanied by the team owner, Mario Lemieux, as well as team management, coaches, and staff, the players flanked the President during his brief, 10-minute speech.

President Obama congratulated the team on their victory and commented on how hard it is to win the Stanley Cup.  He also credited the Penguins for the charity work, including their hockey clinic they put on earlier as part of the President's "United We Serve" campaign.  Probably the most interesting comment the President made was regarding the playoff beard phenomenon.  "All of you look pretty good without your playoff beards," he claimed. "They're pretty good looking guys without all that."  He also made a comment about how Sidney Crosby is small so he must make up for that in speed.

That photo above would later serve as the inspiration for the sketch used by Upper Deck to adorn the 2012 Goodwin Champions card of Sidney Crosby.  I'm only speculating here but I would be shocked if it wasn't.  You decide.
2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Mid-Week Hockey Top 10 (9/5/19)

Here's The Real DFG's weekly look at the Top 10 selling hockey cards (prices in US$).  There is a deluge of collectors out there (or investors) with cash to spend.  With the hype around other sports, prospecting, and speculative buying, we're shedding some light on the key cards that have been moving in the hockey world.

This weeks sales are dominated by more modern era cards than in past weeks.  Check it out.

BO = Best Offer Price


2015-16 Upper Deck The Cup Connor McDavid RPA RC Patch Auto/99 BGS 9.5 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price  $37,500 BO (August 31, 2019)


2005-06 Upper Deck Ice Premiers Sidney Crosby RC #/99  BGS 10 (sold by dumpkoph)

Closed Auction Price  $18,000 BO (September 1, 2019)


2015-16 Upper Deck Ultimate Connor McDavid RC Auto #/99  PSA 10 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $10,000 BO (August 31, 2019)


2015-16 Upper Deck Exquisite Connor McDavid Rookie Auto Patch #/97 BGS 9.5 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $8,000 BO (August 28, 2019)


2015-16 SPX Retro Connor McDavid RC Patch Auto #/10 PSA 10 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $7,877 (August 25, 2019)


1911 C55 George Vezina PSA 5 (sold by can_collect)

Closed Auction Price $6,426 BO (August 31, 2019)


1966-67 Topps Bobby Orr RC PSA 5 (sold by martin-sports)

Close Auction Price $5,750 (August 31, 2019)


2015-16 SP Authentic Future Watch Connor McDavid RC Patch PSA 10 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $5,000 BO (September 2, 2019)

1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky RC  KSA 9.5 (sold by

Closed Auction Price $4,200 (August 31, 2019)

1951-52 Pankhurst Gordie Howe RC  PSA 4 (sold by Probstein123)

Closed Auction Price $4,061 (September 2, 2019)

Some other notable sales this past week...

-A notable Sidney Crosby RC collection with at least 18 graded cards sold for $7,400

-An unopened 1972-73 Topps Rack Pack showing Alex Delvecchio, Phil Esposito, and Tracy Pratt on the front sold for $6,999.  It was certified by BBCE.

-A fairly banged up 1979-80 Topps Wax Box which was said to contain 30 packs sold for $5,100.01.  That extra penny was the winner.

**I try to note sellers for each card since there have been allegations made regarding the current trimming scandal, shill bidding, etc.  This in no way, endorses, supports, or advertises any seller listed, nor does it make a claim on the authenticity of any item.  This is simply for entertainment, conversation starting, and general information.  Make your own informed decisions before purchasing cards or putting your trust in any dealer/seller.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Today In Penguins History (9/1/99)

Today in Penguins history marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most pivotal moments in franchise history.  On September 1, 1999, the NHL approved Mario Lemieux as the new owner of the team, making him the first ex-player in the modern era to own his former team, in any sport.

As a huge step to keeping the team in Pittsburgh, the NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to allow Mario and his ownership group the opportunity to own and operate the team.  Because the Penguins organization had filed for bankruptcy protection in 1998, the NHL approval marked a key moment in convincing the courts to allow a subsequent sale to go through.  Many hurdles had to be overcome in order to get this deal done including renegotiating lease agreements on the Civic Arena, fighting off creditors, working out sponsorships, and even finalizing a new TV agreement.

Mario worked night and day leading up to the meeting with the Board so that no questions would be left unanswered as to the viability of the franchise going forward.  In all, his ownership group paid $52M.  Lemieux agreed to convert his previously defaulted contract of $26M into a future interest in ownership of $20M, erased the remaining $6M in back pay, invested another $5M of his own money, and agreed to a salary of $750,000 to serve as chairman, president, and CEO.  Mario wanted this team to stay in Pittsburgh and the city owes him a debt of gratitude.  While there were quite a few rough seasons in his first 10 years of ownership, three Stanley Cups later, the Penguins continue to remain one of the most successful franchises in the NHL.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Today In Penguins History (8/29/1994)

1995-96 Leaf Freeze Frame
On this day in 1994, Captain Mario Lemieux announced to the world that he would be taking a one year leave of absence.  This occurred in the wake of his treatments after back surgery (not to mention his previous battle with cancer) had sidelined him the year before.  The treatments he was receiving had left him fatigued and unable to start training camp that was right around the corner.  Instead of risking another injury or something far worse, Lemieux decided to take the year off to recover from both the cancer and back problems.

That year was well spent getting fresh.  Lemieux went on the following season to win his third Hart Trophy and won the scoring title with 161 points.  Ironically enough, two days later Commissioner Gary Bettman would announce that the start of the 1994-95 season was going to be delayed due to the failure to agree to a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA.  The season was shortened from 84 to 48 games.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Mary Shelley's Hockey Cards

2006-07 Upper Deck Game Jersey Sergei Samsonov

Ah, the Franken-Card.  Or as some may affectionately refer to it...the Cardboard Abomination.

Those of you out there that collect trading cards are well aware of their existence and if I were to guess, mostly loathe them.  This is the trading card "phenomenon" where a player is pictured and has contradictory representation in their uniforms or team designation.  In my opinion as a "no-one ever proclaimed me to be a trading card expert" expert, I see there to be three basic levels of franken-cards.