Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TTM Mail Day #19: Curt Giles

I'm typing this post in pain as I have been playing my DS too much lately. I can't stop playing MLB 2K11 and Pokemon Black!

You are probably wondering who the heck Curt Giles is. To be honest I sent this request because I needed it for my 1990-91 Topps set. I was pleasantly surprised to get my card back signed with a very nice signature. Usually the lower tier players return my card back signed with an ugly ball point pen and a scribble for a signature.

I took the time to look up Curt Giles and he was a very dependable defenseman who spent almost 900 games in the NHL. He also won a silver medal with Canada at the 1992 Olympics. Not bad for a guy I knew nothing about, it's a shame I didn't have something of team Canada to send him to sign.

I also took the time to find another card of Giles to send: 1991-92 Score. I really like the design of the card and I miss the green of the North Stars. Boxes of 1991-92 Score are pretty much given away for nothing and have little value. I really think the set is under appreciated and as a kid I really liked the Dream Team and Franchise cards.

This success comes from a big batch I sent off when I went away to Florida and it's the first one to come in. I hope the successes keep coming!

Friday, March 25, 2011

TTM Mail Day #18: Ben Scrivens

Right now the Leafs are loaded with depth at the Goaltending Position and Scrivens a former college standout has exceeded expectations this season. He was expected to spend the season at the NHL level but due to injuries and poor play he has spent most of the season with the AHL's Toronto Marlies.

Despite being almost the full way through his first pro season, Scrivens has yet to have his mask painted. He is still rolling with the white mask. I always liked seeing the white masks come out when a goalie was traded but I can't recall the last time a goalie spent a whole year sporting a plain white mask! Anybody know of another goalie who did?

I'm not sure if Scrivens will get a chance with the Leafs but if he keeps up his play at the AHL level I'm sure he will get a shot with a team at the NHL level in the next few years.

TTM Mail Day #17: Tyler Moss

Moss was a victim of the numbers game during his NHL career and I feel like he never got a fair chance. He had decent NHL numbers with the Calgary Flames, enough to keep him at the NHL level. While his numbers with the 2000-01 Carolina Hurricanes aren't that impressive you will see that they were very strong defensively and had nine players -10 or worse.

It's not easy to establish yourself when you bounce between 16 pro teams during a ten year career in pro hockey in North America. Moss always seemed to play pretty well wherever he went but no one considered him full time back-up NHL material.

Moss went over sea's in the 2005-06 season and has been there ever since. He now toils in the German League with the Hannover Scorpions. I sent this letter to the Scorpions, asking nicely for any cards he had of himself playing with Hannover and if he could send two because I know of someone else who collects his cards.

This is a very nice success from a goalie who is the epitome of  the "Journeyman Goalie".

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pack Break #12: 2011 Topps Heritage Baseball

I managed to pick up one rack pack of 2011 Topps Heritage Baseball at Target while on vacation. Over the years I have lost interest in collecting baseball cards although I still do enjoy Topps Heritage and most Bowman products.

When I saw the checklist and product design back in February I really wanted to bust a box of this product. The last time I busted a full box of Heritage was in 2007 and since then I forgot that this can be an expensive box (around $70-$80). While that doesn't seem like much money to most, your pretty much paying all that money for a bunch of base cards.

I was looking at getting a blister pack, which contained three sealed packs or a blaster but I decided to not put a lot of money down and go with the rack pack.

Lincecum looks like he has been smoking something illegal before having his picture taken for the Strikeout Leaders card. The base design is pretty nice and they really tried to go with the old school look. I wish they had given the cards a bit more color instead of the grainy look.

My scanner cut off the "Dodger Dandies" card a bit! I like the news flash, highlight etc. cards that they put into the set. Makes it more interesting, especially for set builders who appreciate the base cards and like to look at them.

This was the best pull of the pack! My first Strasburg card. I hope this kid comes back healthy from his surgery and dominates.

That's my rack pack! Nothing exciting but still fun to break. Other then Bowman I don't see any other baseball releases that excite me in the near future.

In Person Autograph #1: Peter Worrell

It's been ten days since I've posted and that's because I have been away in Flordia for the last 8 days, finally returning today! I took the time to go through most of the blogs I follows posts from the last week or so.

Despite being a huge hockey fan I've only ever been to one NHL game before. My hometown Leafs are not cheap to see so when I realised the Panthers played about 5 miles away from my hotel on vacation, I knew I had to go to the game!

Midway through the first period the announcer mentioned that Peter Worrell would be signing autographs during the first intermission for the first 150 fans! I looked at my girlfriend and right away she encouraged me to go, knowing how much I like getting autographs!

I manged to race down to the first level and found only 4 or 5 others waiting in line at the time! He started signing early and was very friendly. This meant a lot to me considering I rarely get to meet NHL players in person. As I was leaving I had a big grin on my face and one of the older ushers started laughing and gave me the thumbs up!

I never really appreciated Worrell when he played in the NHL but I do now. He even took the time with his signature to make sure you could actually read his name! It was a great experience to meet Worrell and this autograph will hold a lot of meaning to me and will be a nice piece in my collection for many years.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TTM Mail Day #16: Gary Bromley

Another custom "In the Crease" card signed! I'm glad that so far the guys I've sent to have figured out to sign in the crease area! I have seen a lot of people do customs, make a designated area for the athlete to sign and then they sign in a random spot!

Most of my In the Crease cards were made for players who didn't have a lot of cards during there NHL career or signed items.

Gary Bromley never got very many cards despite having one of the coolest masks ever! Bromley got into 136 career games and is best known for his mask. His best season came in the 1974-75 campaign were he posted a record of 26-11-11 in 50 games, his only season as a starter in the NHL. He also posted 4 shutouts that season with a 3.10 GAA.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

TTM Mail Day #15: Phil Kessel

Believe it or not this is one of the nicest signatures I have ever gotten or seen from Kessel via the mail! Maybe his mood has changed since he's actually producing now and the Leafs are winning.

I sent these off in early September and I'm finally getting them back now! It's been a long half a year wait for these and I had forgotten about them!

TTM Mail Day #14: Johnny Bower

Now the successes are starting to roll in! I thought the mail man had forgotten about me. One of the great stars of his day and of TTM autograph collecting: Johnny Bower!

This bad boy is going off to Keon very shortly. This will be a nice piece for my collection if it makes it back safetly!

I made this custom and it looks great signed! I hope to make some more original six dual customs in the future.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mail Day #16: Goalies Galore!

The start of my Montoya PC! I look forward to adding more of his stuff soon. Funds are tight right now so I have been mainly trading!

Another goalie set to work on. With these six I'm already 6/16 for the set. These cards look really great in hand.

Potvin PC pick up! It's been a few month's since I've added any Potvin stuff, so it's nice to have something new come in.

Finally I've added a Robitaille autograph to my collection since he is so tough to get through the mail. He was my favourite left winger as a kid.

Most people were pretty generous when trading with me and added some extra cards, which is a really gesture!

TTM Mail Day #13: Seth Martin

Another return for my In the Crease custom card set. I'm really happy to get this return back from a really good goalie. He only got to spend one season in the NHL at the ripe age of 34 and didn't return for a second one because it would have meant losing his fire fighters pension.

Mr. Martin excelled at the senior and international level in the 1960's. He played for the famous Trail Smoke Eaters team which represented Canada in International play.

The Junk Era

Many collectors commonly refer to the 1990's as the "junk era" of hockey cards. New card companies were popping up and collecting was popular as ever! Sets were being mass produced to meet demand, or so the companies thought. It's common to go to a card show and find early 90's boxes for under $10. Even with these bargain prices, some dealers have great trouble moving the product.

Over the years when people have referred to the 90's as the "junk era", I never thought much of it. I had plenty of 90's singles collecting dust in my closet and a large Rubbermaid box filled with cards in hard cases. These were my treasures growing up and after finding a highly sought after card, I would commonly bring it to bed with me for nights after.  If I woke in the middle of the night I wanted to be able to take quick look at my new gem. My childhood treasures spent close to ten years un-touched in my closet while I collected new products, chasing after autographed and game used cards.

About a year and a half ago I began to grow tired of countless new sets released every season with outrageous prices. Card collecting in my opinion had become a business about making money and I thought back to the happiness a few packs of cards for $1 would bring me growing up. I missed that feeling and I cracked out my old cards to look at them for the first time in almost a decade.

I thought back to the time I spent as a kid at flea markets sifting through 3,000 count boxes of commons to find my players I collecting (mainly journeyman goalies). I thought about my collecting goals I wanted to obtain and how most of them were left unfulfilled due to budget and searching radius. I was not privileged growing up to have the Internet, so I was only able to look at card shows and flea markets.

It made me sad to think about how happy collecting made me as a kid and how much it would have meant to me to finish off sets and find cards on my wish list 15 years ago. I decided right there and then to pick up where I left off in 1999 and chase after the cards I always wanted.

I have enjoyed the hobby much more now that I have gone back to my roots. 90's singles and boxes can be picked up for a small fraction of the price that current releases go for. While I have never been much of a set builder, I've found myself going after sets now and enjoying the challenge that they bring.

What really drew me to hockey cards as a kid were goalie cards. I really liked the cards especially that featured goalies with odd equipment. I really liked Ken Wregget's mask especially during the late 80's and early 90's. It featured just a regular Cooper helmet with the goalie cage on the front. He always had the straps really loose on the side so the cage didn't fit snug.

You can see in the card above, that Wregget's cage is attached loosely on the side's to his helmet. From 1994-2001 I used the exact same style mask when I played ball hockey.

I will finish off the posting by showing off a very small sample of the cards I have picked up since returning to collecting 90's hockey. I apologise for some of the "gang scans" that include non 90's hockey product!. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

1995-96 Topps: I Need Your Help!

I'm looking to build the master set of 1995-96 Topps and I'm looking to trade for the following cards:

series 1:
3,21,30,31,45,48,65,81,87,94,95,115,124,127,129,13 2,141,142,170,171,174

Series 2:
any and all

OPC variation:
any and all (I have Belfour #130 and thats it)

Marquee Men Power Booster
Series 1: 3-7,9-12,14,16,17,19-21
Series 2: any and all (except for foppa and mogilny)

Canadian Gold

Mark Messier Pro Files
Series 1: 2,8
Series 2: Any and all!

Canadian World Juniors

Hiddens Gems
Any and all (except for McLean, Robitaille and Oliver)

Power Lines
Any and all (except for bruins #7PL)

Rink Leaders, Home Grown, Myserty Finest, Young Stars
Any and all!

New to the Game
2,3,5-10, 12-17,19, 21, 22

If you have anything and you would like to trade please leave me a comment!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mail Day #15: A Massive Seam

I have been working on the draft day duos set and this marks my fifth card of the 20 card set
(25% complete).

The card looks great scanned and the Cloutier piece is really thick with a large seam running down the middle. The only problem with this is that the seam is much too big for the card. Along the middle back of the card is a massive crease and under the "4" of 1994 is creased. While I'm still happy with the card and I usually don't care much for condition, the condition this card is in is un-acceptable! I wish the seller had told me the condition of the card. Thank goodness I got it for a bargain basement price!

I really do like the card and I plan not on examining up close or looking at the back ever again. These are the cards I have left to obtain for the set (I have the cards in blue):

DDD-01Chet PickardThomas McCollum2008
DDD-02Trevor CannTyson Sexsmith2007
DDD-03Jonathan BernierLeland Irving2006
DDD-04Steve MasonSimeon Varlamov2006
DDD-05Carey PriceTuukka Rask2005
DDD-06Al MontoyaMarek Schwarz2004
DDD-07Corey CrawfordJimmy Howard2003
DDD-08Josh HardingHannu Toivonen2002
DDD-09Pascal LeclairePeter Budaj2001
DDD-10Philippe SauveJason LaBarbera1998
DDD-11Roberto LuongoScott Clemmensen1997
DDD-12J-S GiguereBrian Boucher1995
DDD-13Marty TurcoDan Cloutier1994
DDD-14Grant FuhrMike Vernon1981
DDD-15Martin BrodeurFelix Potvin1990
DDD-16Mike RichterSean Burke1985
DDD-17Patrick RoyKirk McLean1984
DDD-18Dominik HasekVladislav Tretiak1983
DDD-19Ken WreggetRon Hextall1982
DDD-20Tim ThomasEvgeni Nabokov