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Monday, January 20, 2014

New Tangradi PC Cards

Yes, that's right.  I'm still collecting Eric Tangradi cards.  The Winnipeg Jets winger that has spent more time off the ice than on this year is still part of my personal collection.  I remember posting a loooonnnnggg time ago about Tangradi's first goal as a Jet.  That was so long ago now and he only has one other to match.  He has played in 36 games so far this year, has 4 points and when healthy, has been relegated to 7-10 min of TOI as a 4th liner.

Despite all that, I still think he's got potential.  It's in there somewhere.  It has to be.  It's just buried under the dark memories of that vicious elbow he took at the hands of Trevor Gillies way back in 2011.  Eric just needs to get healthy, forget the demons, get more aggressive, and start putting pucks on the net.  Yeah, just like that.  Easy.

Ok, enough of me trying to convince myself this is still a good idea.  Here are some recent additions to my Tangradi collection (six months ago still counts as recent).

 2010-11 Certified Freshman Signatures Mirror Emerald #/5

I figured I'd start with the big one.  I even scanned the back so you can see.  It's the Mirror Emerald version of the Certified Freshman Signatures card.  I have been hunting for this for years.  I only have ever seen one and it was being sold by a dealer for a ridiculous amount of money.  Patience paid off and I was able to successfully bid this one into my collection a few months back.  It's hard to see since I didn't scan this but instead opted for a phone photo.  I'll show my "rainbow" at the bottom of this post just for fun.

 2013-14 O-Pee-Chee Red Border Redemption Parallel

This is the Red Border parallel, for those not in Canada, and was part of Upper Decks' wrapper redemption program.  This year was the second year they offered Canadian collectors the opportunity to obtain a pack of six cards in exchange for 50 hobby wrappers at any Upper Deck Diamond Certified Dealer.  Because they were only available in Canada, obviously these are harder to come by in the states...unless you do Ebay.  Which I do.  And that's why I have it.  So there.

2010-11 SP Game Used Authentic Rookies Gold #/50

Here is the SP Game Used rookie of Eric.  I know I have shown this card before but I don't think I have ever shown a Gold version.  I picked this up for way less than I was prepared to spend so it was definitely a win for me.  I have the base version #/699, the Spectrum #/10 and now this.  The only one missing in the proverbial "rainbow" is the Gold Spectrum #/1.  I've never seen it and am not sure if it has been unearthed yet.

 2013-14 Panini Titanium Game Worn Gear (white swatch)

This is the newest, as in release date, card for my PC.  This comes from the just released 2013-14 Panini Titanium release and is a Game-Worn Gear card.  The swatch is white, boring I know, but it just adds to the ever-growing pile of Tangradi jersey's in my collection.  I have seen this also in black and I am in the process of obtaining at least one of those as well.

Eric's cards cooled off after his rookie season with Pittsburgh, mostly because he was relegated to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and didn't get a lot of big team ice time.  The Pens were deep and I don't fault them for unloading Eric when they did.  He has played more in Winnipeg so his cards have began to pop back up in the deeper releases.  He's up to 199 cards now that I know of.  In 2013-14 alone, he has added another 11 cards.  One of these days I'll get around to updating my wantlist/checklist for Mr. Tangradi.  I'm also looking to add some items, other than cards, to my ET collection.  Stay tuned for that.

Oh, I almost forgot.  I was going to show my "rainbow" of Freshman Signature cards.  The only one I am missing is the Black version #/1.  Again, like the Gold Spectrum Game Used, I have never seen one of these so I don't know if anyone has ever released one into the wild.  Here you go.

 In order from left to right...base (silver), red, blue, gold, emerald

Here's a better shot at the colors...

And finally the backs where you can see the serial numbering.  Like I said, the only one missing is the Black.

If you can read the back of this card, you can see he was a beast back when he played for Belleville in the OHL.  Hopefully someday he can get back to a semblance of himself.  Maybe then I can retire off this collection.  Stop laughing.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Super Mario Brothers

No, not those mustachio'd fellows created by Nintendo.

These that I'm about to show.

I gave myself a Christmas present during the Black Friday card sales last year.  Most of the boxes I picked up were opened.  But there were three or four that I left in the shipping box.  Why?  I don't really know.  I think I was going to save them for some reason or another.  But after opening the one box of 2011-12 Parkhurst Champions and pulling this guy...the itch to open the other box I picked up has been strong.  Surely I wouldn't be lucky enough to get two Tier A autographs in back-to-back boxes, would I?

Well the urge finally overwhelmed me the other night and I had no choice but to tear the cellophane and dive in.  I will preface the rest by saying that I did not, in fact, find any other Tier A autos.  Let's get that out of the way first.  But I did get something special.

Let me start by showing the family of Mario cards that came out of this box.  I was intrigued when I realized all of these were in the same box.

2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux base card (w/ horrible scan job)

2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux B&W Renditions SP (w/ nice scan job)

2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux Wire Photo (w/ eh, scan job)

 2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux Mini SP (w/ beautiful scan job)

Oh, and I can't forget...the whole reason I made this post in the first place was to show off the other Mario that was in this box.  

Any guesses?


Well if you said it was a card that has the odds of falling about 1:2,560 packs, you guessed correctly.

Nestled away in one of the last packs was this beauty...

 2011-12 Parkhurst Champions Mario Lemieux Mini SP Parkhurst Back Variation 
(w/ crappy scan job on the back)

Now, I'm not one to brag but...who am I kidding?  Yes I am.

Things I've learned:

A) Never count out any box because of the perceived impossibility (improbability) of odds.
B) My scanner generally sucks and I hate it but I'm not keen on replacing it at the moment.
C) I now want more boxes of these.  I'm sick.

I don't really know what to do with all the duplicate base cards but I'm sure I can figure something out.  NO, you can't have this card.  But, does anyone need cards for this set?  Would anyone like an most of, if not an entire base set?  Let me know.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How Do You Eat The Elephant??

I'm sure everyone has heard that old saying.  The answer is, of course, "One bite at a time."

In my case, the elephant is my effort to get some semblance of organization back to my collection.  I had the privilege of moving twice in 2013, thus putting an already maligned collection into more disarray.  Over the past two years prior to that, I picked up the remnants of a few, now defunct card shops.  In all, I have accumulated approximately 1.5 million cards since late 2011 (give or take a couple hundred thousand but at that point, what difference does it make?).  After the first move, 4/5 of everything went into a storage locker which, of course, cost monthly money to store my own collection (kind of like COMC but without organization, an audience, or customers.  Although if anyone is in Northwest Indiana and would like to drop by, I'd be glad to show you around.  It's only 6x10 and almost fully packed so it shouldn't take long since you can barely move in it.).  In the early fall of last year, I was able to unload about 1/3 of that mess, including all the unwanted football and basketball cards I could find at the time (meaning, I've since found more).  That left baseball in the locker and all the hockey, unclassified boxes, and miscellaneous stuff in my possession.  So between the two locations of my collection, I'm probably sitting on close to 800,000-900,000+ cards.

But here's the overall problem....I still just have too much.

(Prepare for another of my incoherent rants...)

I have intentions for everything, as most collectors do.  I have many plans for the collections I have started and tons of ideas for the collections I haven't.  I have stuff that doesn't fit into my PC goals that just sits in boxes, on shelves, on my desk, or in random piles collecting dust.  I have stuff I want to try and unload but just haven't found the time to do so.  I have sets I've started, with missing cards I've received, with checklists unchecked, and a big round-tuit on top.  I even have PC cards not in their respective homes (blasphemous!)

Hobby's are enjoyable.  They aren't supposed to be stressful.  My goal for 2014 was to have fun.  But my collection sometimes stresses me out.  I don't like looking at the disorganization because in all other aspects of my life, I'm hardly unorganized.  But for some reason, the cardboard gods did not grace me with the meticulousness I feel I should have as a collector.  I have a space just for my collection now and I need to utilize it to it's potential, not create another doomed room full of chaos.

So I say...NO MORE!  This insanity has to stop.  I want to enjoy my collection and have fun with it and to do that, I need to make some changes.  So I'm starting now.

First, I'm vowing to post at least 5 cards or more to my Collector's Revolution account at least every other day until I fill a Shoebox full of sale items.  There is no other way to get rid of unwanted stuff (besides giving it away).  I already have about 200 or so items on there for sale and have sold a handful of items over the past few months.  I may not sell it all.  I may not sell any of it.  But, at least I will try.  You never know until you try.  And with any of that money I may make...I will use for future card purchases.  No, really.  I will. I swear.

Not to get off subject but for anyone not aware, Collector's Revolution is a "newer" sports card collector's marketplace that is designed to be better than Ebay...I'm not sure how they have done so far but I'm fairly happy (and no, I am not a commercial for them or compensated by them in any way).  There are no listing fees, no final sales fees for items under $5, no re-listing fees, and you never pay more than 5% on a final sale.  They also sponsor affordable group breaks, offer seller incentives, a referral program, and you can choose to have your items featured.  While they don't have the traffic that Ebay has, I like my odds at selling things on my own terms without having to open my own e-commerce site.

Second, I'm going to stop buying retail products for the entire year.  There I said it.  NO RETAIL.  ONE YEAR.  I tried this once before and it didn't work out too well.  This time, I mean it.  Hobby only or online purchases for me on new products from here on out.  This is not only going to save me money in the long run, but also limit the over saturation in my collection of common cards that just take up monster box space on my shelves.  Now if someone buys retail for me, I'm not going to shun them.  But out of my own pocket, no way.

Third, I need to trade.  This is a trading based hobby.  They are called TRADING cards.  I need to trade, plain and simple.  I have one trade so far this year and need to start making more.  It will happen.  I just need to find a way to connect with the masses.  Hopefully I can move forward with my plan to post a regular "trade bait" post on the blog.  I would also like to update my trading lists with other bloggers and what they collect.  I know what some of you target but not everyone.  If you're reading this, don't think I know what you collect, and you want to trade, tell me about it in a comment or something.

Piggybacking off the trading thing, I really need to get updated as to what I have and don't have in my PC and non-PC cards.  I had originally started using Zistle back in 2009 when I went full steam ahead back into the hobby.  It is a great site for creating an online inventory of your collection (and no I'm not paid to say that about them either).  It is pretty flexible, allows some customization, and the support there is second to none.  Unfortunately, my use declined over the last couple years and that needs to change.  Again, it's the best site, in my opinion, for creating an inventory online without doing it yourself from scratch.  If I can start making a dent in finding out what I have, it will surely make it easier to pull off trades.

No, I haven't just reneged on my promise of no New Year's collecting resolutions.  These are a matter of life and death if I want to stay active in this great hobby.  I still stick with my original and only NYCR, and that was to have fun.  I'm going to make this as fun as possible for myself and slowly reintroduce The Real DFG to his collection.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Picking On Potash

I think I have said before that I'm not a big fan of Pens reporter Dan Potash.  I don't know what it is.  There is just something about the guy that rubs me the wrong way.  I'm sure he's a nice guy and everything but he (like many announcers and reporters) just makes me mad when he comes on TV to do an intermission report with one of the Penguin players.

At any rate, I found this video that I thought was funny and figured I would share.  It's a little long (8:26) but entertaining.  I'm sure there are many teams where this type of behavior goes on but in this case, I don't think it could happen to a better guy.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

How Many NHLers Over 40+

So Brian Rafalski fancy's himself a hockey player again??  Apparently so according to the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.  They signed the 40 year old to a contract, despite his absence from play for the last three seasons.

Rafalski retired during the 2010-11 season when he took a knee injury to put him on the shelf.  At the Winter Classic in Detroit a few weeks ago, Brian strapped them on for the Alumni game and apparently got the bug that many players do after retirement.  With 3 Stanley Cups, 2 Silver Medals and a couple All-Star appearances, Rafalski is apparently looking to add an ECHL title to his trophy case.

Considering the soft play of the Alumni game, there is no telling really how conditioned he is to play or if he can get back to the professional level.  Since his expertise was always on the power play, I'm sure he will see lots of ice time for the Everblades and get his shot to move up (if that's what he wants to do).

It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

That got me thinking...I wonder how many players in the NHL are over the age of 40?

If my count is correct, I get 6...Martin Brodeur, Ray Whitney, Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne, Daniel Alfredsson, and Nikolai Khabibulin (eventhough he's on IR).  Did I miss any?

Friday, January 10, 2014

The 2014 AHL All-Star Classic Roster

The roster came out today for the 20th AHL All-Star Classic.  If you don't follow AHL hockey, you may have no clue what I am talking about or care for that matter.  But pay attention to some of these guys.  Of the 20 players that were selected, 19 of them have NHL experience, including 14 this season.  Plus, success in this game leads to great opportunities.  Many of these guys are highly touted prospects for their respective NHL teams and could see permanent NHL jobs in the near future.  In fact, 93% of players that appear in the AHL All-Star Classic end up in the NHL.

This year, for the first time ever, the AHL All Stars will be competing against the best team from Sweden.  Ex-NHLer Hakan Loob's team, Farjestad BK from Karlstad, Sweden will be traveling to North America to compete against the best the AHL has to offer.  This team is one of the most successful European franchises ever, winning 9 Swedish league championships and making it to the finals 19 times.

The other reason I'm posting this is another excuse to show off some cards.  Prospecting is definitely not one of my fortes but with the double rookie class this year and the inclusion of many draft picks that see time at the tail end of the NHL season, many of these guys have cards floating around out there.  A lot of them have regular release cards with autos and memorabilia cards to boot, while some have only team releases and other examples from In The Game products.  If you are really motivated, most of them can be had on the secondary market for mere pennies.  If prospecting is your thing, this is a great group of players to target.

Here is the roster with player positions, teams they are on, the prospective NHL team they belong to, and a rough idea of how many instances of cardboard love they have out there.  

Brett Connolly (F), Syracuse Crunch - Tampa Bay Lightning (389 Cards)

Brian Gibbons (F), Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins - Pittsburgh Penguins (0 Cards)

Mike Hoffman (F), Binghamton Senators - Ottawa Senators (15 Cards)

Jason Jaffray (F) [named team captain], St. John's IceCaps - Winnipeg Jets (15 Cards)

Travis Morin (F), Texas Stars - Dallas Stars (7 Cards)

Brandon Pirri (F), Rockford IceHogs - Chicago Blackhawks (113 Cards)

Colton Sceviour (F), Texas Stars - Dallas Stars (83 Cards)

Ryan Spooner (F), Providence Bruins - Boston Bruins (174 Cards)

Colton Sissons (F), Milwaukee Admirals - Nashville Predators (33 Cards)

Ben Street (F), Abbotsford Heat - Calgary Flames (33 Cards)

Ryan Strome (F), Bridgeport Sound Tigers - NY Islanders (58 Cards)

Linden Vey (F), Manchester Monarchs - LA Kings (17 Cards)

Chad Billins (D), Abbotsford Heat - Calgary Flames (0 Cards)

TJ Brennan (D), Toronto Marlies - Toronto Maple Leafs (42 Cards)

Cody Goloubef (D), Springfield Falcons - Columbus Blue Jackets (151 Cards)

Alexey Marchenko (D), Grand Rapids Griffins - Detroit Red Wings (0 Cards)

Brayden McNabb (D), Rochester Americans - Buffalo Sabres (80 Cards)

Frederic St. Denis (D), Springfield Falcons - Columbus Blue Jackets (50 Cards)

Jake Allen (G), Chicago Wolves - St. Louis Blues (380 Cards)

Martin Jones (G), Manchester Monarchs - LA Kings (46 Cards)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Life As A Flipper (not the Dolphin variety)

Well, not exactly but...

Back in September, I was looking around the universe for places to sell my cards.  I am well aware of all the "regular" haunts for card sellers but I wanted to find something different.  Maybe be introduced to something on the ground floor that as it grew, so could I.  Well, I was unable to find such an animal (with the exception of Collector's Revolution which I haven't decided on a plan for yet).  But in the process, I was reintroduced to Check Out My Cards.

I know everyone knows of, is familiar with, or has used  That's nothing new.  They have been around for I think over 6 years now and are a mainstay at many of the larger shows across North America, promoting their sort-of, kind-of, unique-like consignment website.  I have always thought they were a great place to buy but never had the guts to pack up a 600-count box to send to them.  Instead, I've always searched for singles for my various PCs and sets that I collect (probably like many others out there).

When the light bulb went off in my head, I wasn't sure what I should do.  Usually when it comes to half-baked ideas I get regarding this hobby, I go gung-ho for about 10 minutes until I realize the work involved.  This time, though, it was different.  I decided that I would do what I could to work the system, meaning taking the Wall Street mentality of "Buy Low, Sell High".  Why not?  It works there, why can't it work here on this marketplace.  Ebay is never going to lend itself to that behavior and some of the other sites are just too crowded with competition.  The key was finding something people would want without A) mailing anything to the COMC inventory, B) amassing a large stable of junk wax, and C) spending a lot to make a little.

So I found a niche and for the most part stuck with it.  Pre-1990s hockey cards seemed to be my calling and I slowly began building my inventory.  100, 200, 300 cards...building from the bottom up one at a time using the money from selling to purchase more inventory.  Cashing out account balances on COMC seemed to me to be counter productive so the only choice was adding more inventory.  It has worked out to the tune of about 80 cards being sold since October.  Not much by comparison with the majority of sellers on there but I was pretty proud of that fact since all I was doing was flipping, not providing money, and not sending in inventory.

Now if only parring down my own collection was this easy.  It seems that pointing and clicking is the only way I get rid of anything.  I guess I do have a collecting goal for 2014...get organized.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Obligatory 2014 Collecting Goals Post

You woke up this morning and said to yourself, "Self.  I haven't read enough of these Collecting Goals Posts on the Blogosphere yet this year.  Where can I find more?".  Well, is another one for you to read.

In 2013, I bucked tradition and didn't bother to set any goals for myself.  Since the blog started in 2009, I always posted my resolution post sometime at the beginning of January, only to be disappointed by May, angry at myself by July, and basically fed up with my incompetence by October.  So last year I figured why torture myself (and my readers) with another in a long line of empty promises and goals I can't muster up the initiative to complete.

It's 2014 now.  A new year.  A new lease on life.  A new outlook on this hobby and how I want to participate in it.  So with that being said, here are my Collecting Goals of 2014.

1.  Just collect and be happy about it.

There.  That's it.  My one and only goal for 2014 is to just...well, collect.  Just collect what I like.  Just collect what makes me happy.  If I want to chase a player, I will do that.  If I want to waste money on a few retail rack packs or blasters, I will.  If I want to torture myself with a repack box in one of those awkward square jewel case thingys, I will.  If I want to attend a card show, I will.  If I don't feel like it, I won't.  If I want to trade with bloggers or other collectors out there, I will most certainly do that (and I do).  If I want to break with tradition and bust some hobby box of a trendy football or baseball card set instead of hockey, I will.

No more lofty goals this year.  No more getting down on myself for not completing 3 year old sets I've been working on.  No more regretting not picking up some diamond in the rough card I saw once but decided I didn't "really" need it.  No more kicking myself repeatedly when I plop down $100 for a box and walk away with $15 worth of nothing.  I'm done with all that.  I don't need a list of 10-12 things that I want to look back on in December of this year and say, "Boy did I screw this one up."  I have strong player collections, strong team collections, and a pretty good grasp on everything else.  I'm getting much closer to getting organized and with each box that gets "fixed", I feel that much more excited about this hobby and what it has in store for all of us in it.

Our hobby is the greatest hobby in the world.  It brings people happiness and joy.  It's amazing how 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch pieces of cardboard can elicit so many different feelings and emotions for so many people.  Memories of watching games, being at games, meeting players, seeing highlights, and just reminiscing are all packed into the scenes and photos on these things.  Too many times collectors start to lose focus on what is important and that is the fun aspect of things.  Hobby's aren't supposed to be stressful and meticulously painful to participate in.  I love my collection, despite the large amount of, let's call it "overkill" for lack of a better word, that I have.

I'll trim it down one day.  I'll sell off stuff I don't want.  I'll trade away stuff I don't need.  But I'm not going to stress about it anymore.  It has taken my the better part of 28 years to get to this point.  It's not going to change immediately overnight.  This is a lifetime hobby.  I don't need resolutions to keep me in it.  I'm in it for the long haul.

Ok.  I'm done now with my rant.

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope each of you can meet your 2014 Collecting Goals like I plan to.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Well it's now official.  The US Men's Hockey Team roster was set at the conclusion of the Winter Classic yesterday in Michigan.  I have a few comments about some of the guys here and I kind of took offense at some of the missing names but other than that, I think this is one of the best possible lineups the selection committee could have assembled.  Barring a disaster of injuries and the like, I think Team USA will be able to stand skate-to-skate with any of the teams on the Olympics.

Let's first look at the forwards:

Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane, Dustin Brown

Zach Parise, David Backes, Phil Kessel

Paul Stastny, Ryan Callahan, Joe Pavelski

TJ Oshie, Blake Wheeler, Max Pacioretty

Derek Stepan & James van Riemsdyk

Ok.  First and foremost in all the picks for Team USA, there are big injury concerns.  I think over half the roster has dealt with or is still dealing with an injury from this year (I think Parise is still on IR?).  I won't go into all the injuries but just check the NHL injury report and you will see.

The first eight guys on this list get a pass.  They all have proven themselves, they have all shown they are more than capable at competing in International play, and they are all top US players that would probably make it to most Top 10 lists.  They are also all returning from the 2010 Vancouver team which, as we all remember, got beat by Sidney Crosby.

With that being said, I don't think the same thing can be said for the last five guys.  Blake Wheeler?  Really?  I guess I can see Oshie because of his skating ability and size as well as special teams play.  I can even see van Riemsdyk, considering his resurgence this year playing alongside Phil Kessel.  But Pacioretty?  Over Bobby Ryan?  Derek Stepan?  Over Bobby Ryan?

What happened to Bobby Ryan? How do you put together an Olympic team without Bobby Ryan on it?  I don't know.  This was my biggest gripe with the forwards.  I don't get that at all.  UPDATE 1/3/14:  And apparently I'm not the only one.

Now the D-men:

Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter, Ryan McDonagh

Cam Fowler, Justin Faulk, John Carlson

Brooks Orpik & Paul Martin

This collection of guys intrigues me.  The first four on the list are basically lock picks based on what we already know they can do.  I think the addition of Brooksie and Pauly, while solid, may not have been the best choices.  With Orpiks injury this year and Martin coming off a few himself, I'm not sure I want to see two pivotal Pens in extremely intense competitive play that doesn't go toward an NHL Playoff run.  Orpik probably got a pass because of his inclusion on the team in 2010.

What I can't understand here is why Keith Yandle or Jack Johnson weren't picked and can only speculated it was due to this season's play of Carlson and Faulk.  But I would take Yandle over Carlson any day of the week.  So what if the ice is bigger.  The recent memories of the committee members seem to be helping the bulk of the newcomers see their first Olympic ice-time in Sochi.

And finally, the goalies:

Jonathan Quick, Ryan Miller, & Jimmy Howard

I think these guys are mostly easy picks to make.  Ben Bishop got dumped because they thought he didn't have the experience in international play and weren't sure he would be solid, obviously ignoring his play for Tampa as of late.  Cory Schneider was a consideration too apparently but the committee obviously thought Howard gave them a better chance at winning if he was called upon.  I don't know if I agree with that necessarily since he hasn't been his stellar self this year for Detroit and he has dealt with injuries.  But, I really can't argue with the top two guys here.  For my buck, Miller is #1 with Quick right behind him.

What about the readers out there?  Any comments about any of these guys being included, not included, etc?  I'd also like to hear a few opinions from our rival team fans to the north.  I'm sure there are many.