Search This Blog

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blaster Box Break - - 2009-10 Black Diamond Hockey

I know, I know. Don't bother to bring it up. I know what I did and I'm comfortable with it for now.

At any rate, here is a blaster of 2009-10 Black Diamond. I didn't have any of this product this year. I bought a hobby box last year and I was happy with it and what I pulled. This year, I watched another guy bust one at my local shop a few weeks ago. He did pretty good, actually pulling a nice Gemography and a decent Quad Jersey. There were a bunch of ruby parallels too. I know what you are thinking. That was hobby, this is retail. I'm not one to just jump into the pool without testing the waters first.

At any rate, here we go.

2009-10 Black Diamond Hockey

5 Cards/Pack
6 Packs/Box
30 Total Cards (and I didn't use a calculator)
222 Total Set/14% of set (that sucks)
Guarantees: NONE

My box...
26 Single Diamond (I'm not listing them all)
1 Double Diamond (Simon Gagne)
1 Triple Diamond (Joe Thornton)
1 Triple Diamond Rookie Gem (Michael Sauer)
1 Quad Diamond (Mark Messier)

As you can see by the scans, the cards are a lot like last years. Lots of shiny foil to mezmerize and hypnotize. No big pulls in here as was expected from a blaster, but I did get a good idea of how this thing is collated. The DDs and TDs were 1:4 so that was expected. The QD, however, was 1:12 so that was a surprise. Plus it was a Messier which was not too shabby.

The Rookie Gem could have been better (Mike Sauer; a Rangers prospect) but hockey is becoming a lot like baseball in the prospecting category so who knows. Mr. Sauer plays for the Hartford Wolfpack in the AHL. He isn't a big goal scorer or a set up man. I'm not sure what roll he would play in New York. The sad thing is the only thing they could say about him on the back of the card is this:
"The younger brother of Coytoes defenseman Kurt Sauer. Michael Sauer made his NHL debut in March 2009 and earned nearly 30 minutes of total ice time in three games."
So, not only can Upper Deck not spell, but the only thing nice they have to say is he has a brother and his NHL career has lasted for a half hour. Great job.

Overall, I like it. It is a solid set with a chance of pulling all the great rookies. The base set is under 100 cards and the inserts are a tough chase but well worth the effort.

(Welcome to forsbergroypronger33, the 19th follower. I'm going to guess by the avatar and name that he is also a huge Penguins fan. It's always nice to have a friend in the house.)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Set Completion - 2009-10 Upper Deck Series I Hockey


I pulled the last two from a blaster box that I wasn't supposed to buy but did anyway. So in violating one commandment, I completed another. It's a wash. I have another complete set.

I also now have a bunch of doubles. Who needs some? Get me your lists.

(Hi Dan. You are number 18. Welcome to my madness. Hope you enjoy.)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another reason the Pirates suck

Ok maybe I am being harsh. Instead of suck, I should have said stink. There, is that better?

I stole this from the AP and thought it was pertinent to my ever increasing disappointment in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates owner Bob Nutting declined to listen to separate proposals to buy the team last year, including a surprise bid from Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux, officials with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press.

The officials spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because the talks were private. The Pirates confirmed discussions with Lemieux and Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle took place, but said there was no talk about selling.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported Saturday that Lemieux and Burkle made an unsolicited proposal for the Pirates four months ago -- one that was substantial and serious, a person with knowledge of the offer told The Associated Press.

Previously, Nutting turned aside several sale overtures made by Pittsburgh lawyer Chuck Greenberg, who subsequently teamed with Nolan Ryan to purchase the Texas Rangers in a deal completed last week.

Several years ago, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also was rebuffed in efforts to buy the team.

Nutting gave all the interested parties the same answer: The Pirates aren't for sale, and the discussions apparently went no further.

"No formal, substantive offer had been made at a meeting four months ago with Bob and Mario and Ron Burkle," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said Saturday at the team's fan festival. "But what I can confirm for you is, at that time, today, tomorrow, next week, the Pirates are not for sale. Bob Nutting is committed to making this organization a winner again."

While the Pirates acknowledge they are profitable, they aren't successful. They lost 99 games last year during a major league-record 17th consecutive losing season, then raised fans' ire by trimming their payroll below that of the 1992 Pirates, the franchise's last team to make the playoffs.

The Pirates' projected $35 million payroll is only about half of the totals for NL Central rivals Cincinnati and Milwaukee, despite being in a similar-sized market, and is expected to be the lowest in the majors by at least $5 million.

That Nutting wouldn't consider a proposal from the popular Lemieux, a Pittsburgh sports icon who has revived the Penguins twice -- once as a player and again as an owner -- is likely to generate further fan unhappiness.

The fan unrest was evident Saturday when Coonelly, general manager Neal Huntington and manager John Russell heard boos at times during a fan festival question-and-answer session, especially when queried about the payroll. Most answers were met with only tepid applause, according to bystanders.

The Pirates have said the payroll won't increase substantially until top prospects reach the majors and adding higher-salaried players might make the difference in winning a championship.

All of those interested in the Pirates have lengthy backgrounds in pro sports. Greenberg has been a successful minor league owner, and his teams included the Pirates' Double-A affiliate in Altoona, Pa., that was partially owned by Lemieux until being sold two years ago. Greenberg also was a finalist for the Pirates' presidency before Coonelly was hired in 2007.

Lemieux, the Hall of Fame player, bought the Penguins in federal bankruptcy court in 1999 -- a year later, he came out of retirement became pro sports' first owner-player -- and has since seen them become one of the NHL's most successful franchises.

Burkle, a California billionaire investor and supermarket operator who joined Lemieux's group in 1999 by making a $20 million investment, was interested previously in buying the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs.

"Mario and Ron are very smart business people. They've been very successful with the Penguins and have done a great job with them," Coonelly said. "What they see in the Pirates, I would think, is that they're interested in purchasing a team much like the Penguins earlier this decade: A team on the rise. A team that has a plan. A team that has financial stability."

Owning two of the Pittsburgh's three major pro sports teams might have allowed Lemieux and Burkle to launch their own TV sports channel. Because they would own the teams, Lemieux and Burkle could have kept all advertising revenues without paying expensive rights fees, once the teams' current rights deals with FSN Pittsburgh expired.

Lemieux and Burkle, according to people with knowledge of their interest, believe the Pirates could substantially hike attendance -- recently among the lowest in the majors -- with a more aggressive approach to player acquisition.

Nutting's family owns a Wheeling, W.Va.-based newspaper chain and first became involved in the Pirates' ownership group when California newspaper heir Kevin McClatchy bought the team in 1996. The Nuttings subsequently began to increase their shares by buying out partners of the once-large ownership group and now own a substantial portion of the shares.

Last season, Forbes estimated the Pirates' worth at $288 million, less than that of any team except the Florida Marlins, who currently play in an NFL stadium.

Penguins vice president Tom McMillan declined Saturday to confirm Lemieux's interest in the Pirates, saying, "The Penguins don't discuss private business matters."

So lets sum this up. The Pirates aren't for sale. Nor are they in any position to improve their dismal performance from last year and create a buzz around a team that was once National Champions. They aren't going to increase payroll, nor are they going to acquire any veteran leadership from free agency or otherwise. They seem to have no interest in increasing attendance by lowering ticket pricing or making it feasible to stomach watching a contending team. They won't entertain offers from legitimate buyers that would do everything in their power to keep the team in Pittsburgh and make it a winning ball club.

I wonder if the city of Pittsburgh and it's citizens could sue the owners for fraud. They advertise a professional sports team but in PNC Park, it's seems nothing but amateur hour.

Steeler Great Bullet Bill Passed Away

Pittsburgh Steelers legend Bullet Bill Dudley passed away in his Lynchburg, Va. home. He was 88.

Arguably one of the greatest Steelers of all time, Bullet Bill led the Steelers in rushing in his rookie season (1942) and returned from his stint in WWII to lead the entire NFL in rushing, interceptions, and punt returns. Prior to his arrival, the Steelers had been a mess, finishing the season with 1 win. They went 7-4 with him in the lineup. He was the puzzle piece that made the team finally click. That is, of course, until their new coaches regimented style of play stifled his creativity and sent him packing to Detroit.

Dudley would go on to have some of his best games of his career playing against the Steelers. Bullet Bill, you will be missed.

Since this is a card blog, I thought I would feature some of Bill's cards. Unfortunately, I don't have any. Why you ask? Because there aren't many of him in a Steeler uniform. In fact, none of his major releases (ie. Bowman, Topps) from that era existed with him until 1948, long after he was a Lion. I will say I have placed a few bids on some auctions but I doubt much will come from it. Either way, for your cardboard viewing pleasure, a few of his gems.

1948 Bowman

1955 Topps All American

1950 Bowman

Trade with the Wasteland

I received a surprisingly large package from my new friend down at Is This A Wasteland - No It's Tampa Bay Sports on Wednesday after a trade we had worked out. Some Lightning cards for a few cards I needed for my 2009-10 O-Pee-Chee set. Nothing fancy. Simple deal, right? Wrong!!

No I wasn't bipped, since that is what you are all thinking. Instead, there were not only the cards we discussed but a big ole' fat stack of 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee that I needed as well. There has to be like 100 cards in here. That is really going to make a dent in my list. A dent of epic proportions. I would have had to buy another hobby box to get this many and even that's not guaranteed.

But the pièce de résistance was the inclusion of a set of cards I have never seen before. Not just a set, but a set with it's own tin box. I had to do some research on this one because of my unfamiliarity with it. Here it is.

1996-97 Metal Impressions Mario Lemieux Set

The one in the picture isn't mine. Mine is better. It is still wrapped in the cellophane. I am so tempted to open it but I need to find out more about it first. All I know is it is a 4 card set of my all time favorite player (the greatest player to lace the skates, IMO) and they are all made of METAL!! Metal is cool. I've come up empty on my search though. I'm not deterred. I will figure this out.

Thank you much my friend. You can be sure you will be seeing Lightning coming your way.

(Welcome to two new followers...FieldOfCards and Brian. FieldOfCards is well known around the card blogosphere and you can check out his stuff if you haven't already done so. No, really. Go do it now. I'd like to link to Brian's blog but, well, I'm not quite sure where Brian comes to us from. For now, he is just
Brian. Welcome to you both. Hopefully I don't let you down.)

Media and the card industry

I always enjoy it when the mainstream media gets involved in the card hobby. It usually turns out the same way it would if I went out and reported on the International Dog Show. Sometimes, though, a writer takes a vested interest in their subject and the piece comes out fairly well.

Jim Caple, a writer for ESPN, wrote an article on the state of the hobby, more or less from a shop owners perspective. Since I am a sponge for all things hobby and card collecting related, I thought everyone might enjoy. Here is the link is below with video.

Baseball Cards Still Provide A Thrill

Pack Busting: 2009 Playoff Prestige Football Rack Pack

Rack packs are on clearance at four different retailers. I know I said no more retail but this was part of a larger purchase I had already made.

For $2.49, 16 cards including 2 rookies. Here is what I pulled.

#186 Patrick Turner (R) - 3rd Round Pick of the Fish out of USC. He didn't see any action this year at all. This can't bode well for his career in Miami.

#18 Connections (Kellen Clemens/Jerricho Cotchery) - Really?

#54 Bernard Berrian - Xtra Points #207/300 - Could be worse for a serial numbered card I guess.

#177 Michael Oher - I think this is only my first or possibly second Oher card. Is it just me or are you sick of hearing about his stinking movie too?

#66 Kellen Clemens
#24 Jamal Lewis
#81 LaDainian Tomlinson
#41 Steve Slaton
#98 Clinton Portis
#69 Thomas Jones
#92 Earnest Graham
#50 Dwayne Bowe
#8 Willis McGahee
#56 Chester Taylor
#14 DeAngelo Williams
#71 Justin Fargas

What's with all the running backs in this set? Out of 16 cards, 10 of them are backs. Crazy collation there Panini.

As you can see by the scan, there is nothing special here. Kind of plain, actually. I'm not a fan. I won't be buying anymore of these on purpose.

Oh!! I almost forgot. Apparently this is my 100th post. When I started back in July of 2009 I didn't think I would last to 20 posts let alone 100. Thanks to everyone and everything that has inspired me to share my addiction with the world.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2010 Goals: 30 Day Progress Report

It was brought to my attention recently that my sudden surge of breaking the newest baseball products is not conducive to my goals for 2010. (Thanks for that Captain) Nor is the purchase of the 5 rack packs of football cards, the three blaster boxes sitting under my bed, and the 5 more packs of O-Pee-Chee I just picked up. In looking at what I have accumulated thus far for 2010, it would appear that he was correct. It all violates commandment #1 of not opening so much retail wax. Now I can sit here and make excuses for my recent behavior but...wait a minute. That is exactly what I am going to do.

First...being outnumbered in the blogosphere 10-1 by baseball collectors makes it very difficult to not want to get in on the same action that they are lauding over.

2...The discovery that most of my card collection from the past is still intact has conjured up memories of collecting as a kid and drawn me closer to what I originally began collecting for.

c...It's like Pringles. Once you pop, you can't stop.

In the positive side of things, I have added 2 cards to my PC and 12 cards to my player collections. I also have a few trades under my belt and a few more in the hopper. So I am on the right track. I just need to stay out of every Target, Kmart, Walmart, and Meijer in the Tri-State area. At least for a few months. I can do it!!

More 2010 Topps Baseball. Why? Because.

I decided against my best judgment to post the 5 packs of 2010 Topps I accidentally picked up the other day. I'm only going to post the rookies and inserts. Here you go.

First, the Topps Town cards. The three across the top are doubles. I've opened a total of 15 packs and already got 3 insert doubles. What are the odds? Obviously pretty good. The Legendary Lineage is also a double. The Tale of the Game card featuring Reggie Jackson is interesting. It commemorates his 1971 All Star Game HR where he hit the light pole. I also pulled a Lincecum Peak Performance and another one of those Red Backs...Roy Halladay.

Now that I have pulled a couple more, I like the Turkey Reds. Especially since one of these two is a Mick. I also got two Cards Your Mom Through Out...the 1973 Johnny Bench which I didn't have but my best friend growing up did and I always wanted him to trade it to me for some Tom Browning and Eric Davis cards. He never did. The other one makes no sense. Its an Evan Longoria from way back in 2009. Can you remember that year? I know it's hard considering it was at least 33 days ago. If my mom threw this away I have more problems than just losing my cards.

Also featured here is my Million Card Giveaway entry and 4 Rookies, including: Neil Walker, Reid Gorecki, Madison Bumgarner, and Buster Posey. Strangely enough, I've actually heard of those last two guys. They must be good if I've heard of them.

I can't promise that I am done with these. Shall I bring up the fact that it's an addiction, people?

Ebay Pickup

In an effort to try and get back on track to my new years goals, I picked up a few PC cards from the Bay that arrived yesterday. I will let the cards talk for themselves.

1993-94 Ultra Red Light Special #6

1995 Fleer Slapshot Artist #4

1995-96 Summit Mad Hatter #10
(scanners don't do justice to shiny)

Upper Deck's Baseball Swan Song?

So 2010 Upper Deck Baseball Series I is out. There were rack packs hanging like the forbidden apple, waiting to be picked and given a good home. I keep telling myself I can't collect baseball so I am going to view this as an experiment. Yeah, that's it. An experiment.

As everyone already knows, the lawsuits that threaten to take down Upper Deck are largely based on this issue of cards released for the 2010 baseball season. The fact that Topps owns the exclusive rights to all likenesses owned by Major League Baseball is the primary issue at hand. It would appear that UD has, for the most part, ignored the fact that they couldn't print team emblems, logos, and names and went through with production as planned.

While you can see that many of the photos do somewhat of an effort to obscure from view those logos, there are still many, especially on the card backs that made it through their "quality control" check points. I will say this...if this is any indication of how this years Upper Deck product is going to be, I may be really disappointed.

The photos on the cards are typical Upper Deck full color, full action shots that we have become accustomed to for years. However, there just seems to be something dark and ominous about them. I'm not sure if it is the small B&W photo inset at the bottom or the fact that the borders are dark colored. Maybe I'm just tired and my eyes are playing a trick on me. Maybe it's the lighting in my room. Maybe I'm imagining the whole thing. Either way, I will say that I don't think I will be picking up any more of these so if anyone wants to trade for these, hit me up.

Here is what I pulled. 36 Cards/Pack

Jose Molina, Arthur Rhodes, Juan Pierre, Nate Schierholtz, Micah Owings, Brad Thompson, Matt Diaz, Kurt Suzuki, Carlos Silva

CC Sabathia, Adam Lind, Shane Victorino, Edward Mujica, Daniel Bard, Rich Hill, Chris Lannetta, Jake Fox, Noah Lowry

Bobby Jenks, Matt Tolbert, Takashi Saito, Adam Dunn, Brandon Wood, Kosuke Fukudome, Brad Kilby (R), Pedro Strop (R), Jody Gerut - 2009 Season Biography

I put all the landscape photos together just for continuity. It looks like there is a subset featuring Ballparks from around the league. The Wrigley Field one is cool, plus its free advertising for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois (I wonder if Upper Deck got the license for that?). There is also 1 team checklist...the Braves. My two guaranteed inserts are here, as well.

Braves Team Checklist (Chipper Jones & Kenshin Kawakami), Eddie Guardado, Angel Stadium, Miguel Montero - Tape Measure Shots, Ryan Braun, Wrigley Field, Brandon Inge - Tape Measure Shot, Matt Capps, Heath Bell

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Free Cards...and other stuff

Yeah, that's right. I said Free Cards. It seems like we are being bombarded by contest after contest these days and I say...the more the better!! Check out the latest to come across my desk

1st & Goal is having a contest in celebration of his 10,000th hit on his blog. If you are a football collector, this is a great site for information on card releases and product reviews. If you are not a football collector, this is a great site for information on card releases and product reviews. Check it out and enter the contest while you are there.

In related news...I was forced against my will into making a detour on the way home. In the process of making this detour, I ended up with 5 packs of 2010 Topps Baseball, a rack pack of 2009 Playoff Prestige Football, and the "Forbidden Fruit"

....a rack pack of 2010 Upper Deck Baseball. You know, the same baseball everyone and their brother are talking about. The allegedly illegally produced cards that could bring down the card manufacturing giant. Yeah, those. Postings to come.

The O-Pee-Chee Legacy

I don't like to steal articles from other sites. Well at least, I don't like to steal as a general practice. But sometimes there are things out there that you just find facinating.

Over on Sports Collector's Daily, they featured an article regarding the O-Pee-Chee brand, from it's beginnings to today as a flagship product in the Upper Deck stable of cards. As most of you know, O-Pee-Chee was, for most of its existence, known as the Canadian brother of Topps. They have paralleled the Topps brand products in baseball and especially hockey for many, many years.

It is interested timing for this considering the potential demise of Upper Deck because of their licensing battles. With the NHL lockout back in 2004, both Topps and Pacific went into hibernation in the hockey card market. In the Game kept up their production but has never been issued a license in their existence and has only produced cards of legends and minor leaguers. Upper Deck was the only licensed producer to put out cards during the strike. Coming out of it at the end of the would be season, the NHL gave Upper Deck the exclusive license for their products. Topps is still around but no longer produces hockey. Pacific is gone. In the Game is the only other manufacturer left and still have no NHL license.

Upper Deck acquired the rights to revive the O-Pee-Chee name back in 2006 and has produced products under that label ever since. As a primary hockey collector, I have been a bit on edge with all this considering if UD is gone, so will the hockey cards. Thus far, most hockey products have stayed fairly solid from a production and collecting standpoint. Upper Deck has produced some of my most favorite sets over the last few years with SP, O-Pee-Chee, their flagship base sets, and Masterpiece.

Someone will undoubtedly pick up the slack and sign an agreement with the NHL and NHLPA. However, at what cost? I fear we, the hockey collecting community, are going to suffer with inferior products, poor designs, lack of variety and any other epidemic that has plagued the other 3 major sports since the era of exclusitivity was ushered in. Or it could be worse. We may lose the products all together. I hope not.

Here is a link to the article I originally mentioned before going off on a tangent.

Happy Groundhog Day!!

In honor of Groundhog Day and the fact that Phil saw his shadow, I present for your viewing pleasure...

Oh and if you want in on a sweet contest, check this one out...Play At The Plate GroundHog Day Contest. You can win some packs of 2010 Topps Series I. Act now. Time is running out (Wednesday, I think).

(Welcome to number 15, none other than FanOfReds, aka: Nachos Grande. A seasoned blog veteran, a college math teacher, and obviously a die hard Cubs, I mean Pirates, I mean Reds fan. Hopefully you can take from my musings the vital knowledge that will guide you through your life's journey. What? I don't even know who typed that. Anyway, welcome. I hope I don't disappoint.)

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.