Monday, January 31, 2011

TTM Mail Day #3: Rollie Melanson

I haven't really sent out much mail in the last two month's due to work but I recently sent off five requests and this one was the first to come back.

Rollie Melanson spent most of the 80's in the NHL, kicked around the minors in the early 90's with a few short stints in the NHL. His numbers aren't very good, even for the 80's While he found limited success during his playing days, he has done well for himself as a goalie coach currently with the Canucks.

This request only took ten days round trip! It's nice to see a quick signer as I've seen few this quick so far this season!

Rollie Melanson
c/o Vancouver Canucks
800 Griffiths Way
Vancouver, BC V6B 6G1


Sunday, January 30, 2011

All-Star Game Memories

The first All-Star game I actually watched was the 1993 game between the Wales and Campbell conference's. The Wales won the game 16 to 6 and looking back at the rosters, you would have thought that the Campbell's conference should have won. While the Wales featured the leagues best goalie: Patrick Roy, his counter parts were journeymen Craig Billington and Peter Sidorkiewicz.

The main highlights of the game for me were the skills competition and Ed Belfour wearing 00 during the game. It didn't help him much as he was shelled for 6 goals!

I actually had an All-Star team poster from the 1993 game that I got from a box of Kellogg's cereal but have lost it over the years. If I ever found one again I'd love to add it to my collection!

In the 1997 All-Star game, Owen Nolan sped in on a breakaway on Dominik Hasek, he pointed at Hasek, calling his goal and proceeded to score the goal! It was quite the highlight reel goal and I remember it all these years later. I looked for a pictured of Nolan pointing but could not find one. I found a clip of the goal and could not believe that this goal was actually his third of the game for the hat trick! The clip is a bit blury but you can still see him Nolan shoot and point. Nolan now toils in the Swiss-A league while Hasek plays in the KHL.

I've been very impressed with the 2011 game so far and can't believe how close it is going into the last period. I really enjoy the puck movement and the creativity. It's nice to not see such system heavy hockey for once! I haven't watched an All-Star game in a long time and I'm glad I tuned in this year. Here's hoping for a very exciting final period!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rocco Baldelli Retires

It's not often I'll bring up an average MLB player retiring, however Baldelli's retirement holds some significance for me.

I was just wrapping up my grade ten year of High School when Baldelli was taken with sixth pick in the 2000 draft's first round by the Devil Rays. I remember the hype around him being huge and picking up his chrome RC, which I no longer have.

Once Baldelli made it to the majors in 2003 with the Devil Rays, my baseball talent had improved to the point where I actually considered a career in baseball a possibility. At the time I compared my style to Baldelli's offensively: able to hit for average, drive in runs, score runs, steal bases and decent power but not a major home run threat.

While Baldelli found success again in his second season, any chance I had at a baseball career had gone down the tubes when I suffered a serious arm injury. For parts of 5 more years I tried to recover my arm strength enough to jump start my baseball experience, but it never happened.

Baldelli's career took a dive in 2005 and he never recovered. He missed all of the 2005 season recovering from knee surgery and returned in 2006 batting .302 in half a season. His career seemed back on track.

In 2007 Baldelli was diagnosed with mitochondrial disorder,which causes serious leg pain and fatigue. He hung on for three more seasons as a different player and finally retired.

I think about all the promise Baldelli had and I'll aways wonder about the career he could have had if he had been healthy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mail Day #7: Goalie Spectacular!

Picked up some nice stuff from ebay/trades lately! I'll start with the low end stuff and move along to the best card!

Both of these are mini-cards although it's tough to tell by the scan! I cut off the top part of the Brathwaite card while scanning and was too lazy to scan again.

Some nice base/inserts. The top left Brathwaite is numbered 829/1000. The bottom left Tugnutt is going to be heading out into the mail to be signed.

I know it's only a base card but it's a nice looking card! I believe they did dual memorabilia with this card design.

Picked this one up DIRT cheap. I didn't have it for my McLean collection. I'm not looking forward to finding the parallel autographed version of this card.

A nice numbered insert of CUJO in a Leafs uniform. I really like the SP Authentic card designs from the early 90's.

Another color guard for my set. I believe I now have 4/18 for the set as the CUJO I have is a PROMO card.

I saved the best for last! I bidded on this card a few month's back but did not win. I was too cheap and I realised I missed out on a great card. I kept looking for it but it didn't pop back up on Ebay. Recently, a member of sportscardforum pulled it and I immediately made an offer. I'm glad he accepted it. A very great PC item.

I think this is an AMAZING card. I love anything Roy in a Habs uniform and McLean is my favourite goalie to collect. This card would have been even more awesome if McLean was in the old school Canucks jersey. I plan to add this card to my collection again if I ever see any crazy patches pop up.

I know many people consider the cards I collect junk but it does not bother me one bit. I'm happy with what  collect and I know one day I'll have a great collection to show off with plenty of stories!

Failed Trading Card Ideas Part 1

The last few days have got me thinking about all the different gimmicks companies have tried to make us buy cards. I've come up with a few failed ideas.

1) Over sized cards

Anytime a company has tried to do a card set larger then the standard 2.5 X 3.5 size, they have not returned for a second year with the exact same series and card size.

While many of the early hockey cards have odd sizes, I'll start with 1964-65 Topps because it was the first time a tallboy was introduced. Secondly it was the first time since the best set of all time: 51-52 Parkhurst that Topps had strayed from the tradition card size. This was also the first year (64-65) that Topps did not have to compete with Parkhurst since it had stopped producing cards after the 63-64 set.

While the 64-65 Tallboy set was actually pretty nice, Topps must have received enough complaints because they went back to the traditional card size the next year.

It was until 1993-94 that Fleer produced a tallboy set called Powerplay, again it did not return the year after. Parkhurst also released a tall boy set in 93-94, commemorating the 64-65 set. While I did like both these set's as a kid, I always remember thinking that the card size was just odd.

In 1997-98 Pinnacle really began to experiment with different idea's. They changed up the popular Zenith product featuring large 5 X7 Cards, with regular sized cards inside. As you can see on the pack the slogan for the product is "Dare to Tear".

I only ever got one pack of this product and I still have the wrapper, which is where the photo came from. My Grandma bought this pack for me because at the time my allowance was $5 a week and a pack cost $10! I remember doing well with the pack pulling a Z-Team 5 X7 of Martin Brodeur and a Manny Maholtra RC.

Pinnacle also produced a Beehive set that featured over sized cards in 97-98, although these did not have another card inside. The set was actually pretty nice and featured an on card Maurice Richard Autograph. Boxes of this product are much easier to find now then the Zenith and are a steal at under $30 a box.

After doing a bit more research I realised how many products in 1997-98 featured over sized cards. Donruss Studio, which featured 8 X 10 cards and also Donruss Priority that featured postcard sized cards.

Moving forward into the the 2000's, over sized cards have been used mainly as box toppers in upper deck product, usually in blasters. Only two sets have actually included over sized cards in each pack: 2003-04 Pacific Exhibit (a very under appreciated set) and 2006-07 Be a Player Portraits.

I wouldn't call over sized cards a complete failure, it just seems that most collectors enjoy the standard size card. As mentioned earlier in my post, a company has never featured over sized products in back to back years, EVER. It's been about four years now since BAP portraits so it could be very soon that another company will create an over sized card series.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Box Idea

I got an idea in early November to do some "blind trades" basically. On a forum I'm part of, I started a hockey box of 150 cards that included inserts, rc's, base and auto's. Then I asked who was interested to take part. Including me there was five people. I mailed the box out to the first person and what they do is take what they like out of the box and put something back in that is close to value. Then they mail it off to the next person, until eventually the box comes back to me and I get to keep the contents of it.

I've seen this idea before on other forums but I've never seen in make one full successful loop to the original recipient. Everyone was good on posting where the box was and today it arrived on my doorstep.

The Joe Thornton was an extra gift to me for starting the box. It was a fun idea and I hope to do it again. This time I think it would be a lot more fun for me to receive the box, rather then start it and sent it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pack Break #10: 2 Packs of 10-11 ITG Heroes & Prospects

When I walked into the LCS (same one as where I bought the baseball packs in the previous post) I saw a lone box of 10-11 ITG H &P hockey with a nice big $139.99 sticker on it. Now I usually don't go to this store but they re-located and I figured I'd check the new store out. Secondly, I needed some snap cases as mentioned in the previous post.

I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask if they would open the box if I wanted to buy some packs and how much would it be. I remember last year they were selling packs for around $8 or $9 of H&P, so I figured it would be the same again. The one guy working didn't seem to care and told me he'd open the box for me, fiddled on the computer for a moment and then told me "$5.99 a pack". I figured this was wrong but I wasn't going to argue!

I've seen a lot of this product broken and wasn't sure that I liked it that much. I busted a case last year of 09-10 H&P and had a lot of fun. I figured I'd try 2 packs for myself! I picked out two nice thick packs.

Pack 1:

I really like the look of the base cards. Again I was fooled by a nice thick decoy card! Seems like I've been fooled by them every time I've busted thick packs this year.

Pack 2:

Again some nice looking base, I will be sending out a few in the mail to get autographed. Oh and I forgot to mention that the middle card was thick and not a he shoots he scores point....

Olivier "Red Light" Roy Jumbo jersey black. You can barely see it in the scan but there is a big seam on the bottom right and a bit of red. I'm glad to finally pull something half decent after no luck as of late!

I ended up going to the LCS for snap downs and I bought 4 packs of cards. I didn't even purchase any snap downs because the size I needed (180 pt) were almost $3 a piece!

Pack Break #9: 2 Packs of Topps Update Baseball and One Box Topper!

I have really had the urge to bust packs lately, which I rarely do since I'd rather buy singles. Luckily a few packs always sets me right back to buying singles. I actually went to the LCS to buy some snap cases and when I saw they had a fresh sealed box of Topps Update, I went for some packs.

I asked the one guy behind the counter if he collected when I asked questions about snap cases and he told me "no"! I couldn't believe it! He was a 16 year old working in a card store that he had no interest in. When he opened the box and I saw the topper, I asked him if I could buy it for the price of the regulars packs. He told me I could just have it for nothing since I was buying packs.

Pack 1

I really hate the Topps Attax cards and I wished Topps would just stop putting these dreaded things in packs!

The one insert I pulled in the first pack was from the "cards your mom threw out" series. I believe somewhere stashed away in some 5000 count boxes I have this actual card from 1994.

Pack 2

Nothing great, I didn't even bother to scan the Topps Attax card (it was of David Wright). The Cy Young is pretty nice but the write up on the back of the card is pretty random:

I'm not sure why they decided to compare his 1907 season to 1977. I think it would have made more sense to compare his 1907 season to another pitcher in recent years.

I got this freebie box topper pack, which contains one chrome refractor rookie card. Opening the pack I was crossing my fingers for someone I had actually heard of and not a scrub....

SCRUBBBBBB! Oh well, it was free so I shouldn't complain. It was nice to open some new baseball product again and to not have to pay very much for it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trade List

I'll be updating this often, so keep checking back!! If you like something please leave a comment on what you like and maybe we can work something out!

I'll underline all Auto's and GU'ed to make it easier for everyone!

* UPDATED March 10th, 2011


10-11 Donruss James Wyman Rated Rookie RC #267
10-11 Donruss Matt Moulson Ultimate Draft #28
10-11 OPC Derek Dorsett Retro #263
10-11 Score Cam Ward Net Cam #10 (small ding on bottom right corner)
10-11 Score Claude Giroux Sudden Death #10
10-11 Score Teemu Selanne Sudden Death #6
10-11 Score Mike Richards Playoff Heroes #6
10-11 Score PK Subban Playoff Heroes #16
10-11 Score Mike Cammalleri Playoff Heroes #3
10-11 Score Danny Briere Playoff Heroes #12
10-11 Score Marian Hossa Playoff Heroes #17
10-11 Score Joe Pavelski Playoff Heroes #1
10-11 Score base glossy: 25 cards total, please ask for numbers!
10-11 UD Patrick Kane All World Team AW-109-10 UD SPGU Jason Demers Authentic Rookies RC 14/699 #154
09-10 UD Ales Hemsky Face of the Franchise FF4
09-10 UD Henrik Lundqvist Face of the Franchise FF7
09-10 UD Jarome Iginla Face of the Franchise FF8
09-10 UD Joe Thornton Face of the Franchise FF13 X 2
09-10 UD Tomas Kaberle Draft Day Gems GEM13
09-10 UD Andrei Markov Draft Day Gems GEM4
09-10 UD Henrik Lundqvist Season Highlights SH5
09-10 UD MVP Viktor Stalberg RC #388
09-10 UD Victory Jonas Gustavsson RC #334 X2
09-10 UD Victory Matt Duchene RC #305
09-10 UD Victory Victo Hedman RC #331
08-09 BAP Patrick Marleau AUTO S-PM
08-09 BAP Evgeni Nabokov AUTO
08-09 BAP John Mitchell RC 31/99  #278
08-09 OPC John Mitchell Marquee Rookies RC #796
08-09 OPC John Mitchell Retro Rainbow RC 42/100 #796
08-09 OPC Luke Schenn Retro RC #798
08-09 OPC Nik Kulemin Marquee Rookies GOLD RC #799
08-09 OPC Nik Kulemin Retro RC #799
08-09 SPGU John Mitchell RC 941/999
08-09 SPGU John Mitchell Rookie Exclusives Auto 36/100
08-09 SPA John Mitchell FW RC 660/999 #177
08-09 UD Thomas Vanek Winter Classic Highlights WC6
08-09 UD Karl Alzner Young Guns RC #499
08-09 UD CC Zach Boychuk Choice Reserve RC #205
08-09 UD CC Andrew Ebbett RC #211
08-09 UD CC Thomas Vanek Choice Reserve #183
08-09 UD MVP John Mitchell RC #386
08-09 UD Victory Robbie Earl RC #206
07-08 BAP Nik Antropov Auto S-NA
07-08 SPX Dan Girardi dual rookie jersey #197  835/1599
07-08 UD Matt Smaby Young Guns RC #245
06-07 Flair Showcase Jeremy Williams RC #94
06-07 Sweet Shot Keith Yandle Sweet Beginnings Rookie Jersey 139/499
03-04 OPC Eric Staal RC #334
03-04 Pacific Mike Cammalleri Blue Parrallel 161/250  #153
03-04 Pacific Prospects Matt Murley Game Worn Jersey 409/1000
03-04 Topps Jan Hlavac Blue 342/500 #37
03-04 Topps Nik Hagman Blue 458/500 #76
99-00 UD MVP Brendan Shanahan Power Game PG01
99-00 UD MVP Steve Yzerman OT Heroes OT01
98-99 Topps Pavel Bure Seasons Best SB15
97-98 Platinum Certified Al MacInnis Platinum Blue 2043/3099
96-97 Fleer Ultra Jamie Langenbrunner Gold Medallion RC G-43
95-96 UD CC Steve Yzerman Players Club #266
95-96 UD Peter Bondra Electric Ice #339
94-95 Parkhurst Martin Brodeur Parkie Gold #126 (white showing on top lft corner and bottom right)
94-95 Parkhurst SE Marc Savard RC SE262
93-94 Parkhurst Sergei Federov West Stars W10
91-92 Kraft: 17 different FACTORY CUT cards. Please ask for details!
90-91 Pro Set Sergei Federov RC #604
90-91 Pro Set Mike Richter RC #627
75-76 OPC WHA Bruce MacGregor #22 (G to VG)
75-76 OPC Cliff Koroll #139 (VG to EX OC)


2002 BCDP Josh Johnson RC BDP83
2003 UD Jeremy Bonderman RC #347
2005 BCDP Nolan Reimold Refractor RC BDP104
2005 Bowman Heritage Billy Butler RC #226
2005 Bowman Heritage Chris Volstad RC #329
2005 Topps Pristine Livan Hernadez Auto 94/497
2007 BCDP Tommy Hanson Refractor RC 68/500 BC162
2007 BCDP Jason Heyward RC BDPP54 X3
2007 BCDP Mike Moustakas Refractor RC BDPP53
2007 Topps Heritage Robinson Cano Refractor 353/558
2008 BCDP Dee Gordan RC X-fractor 100/199 BDPP53
2008 Bowman Sterling Austin Jackson BSP-AJ
2009 Bowman Chrome Neftali Feliz Refractor RC 492/599
2009 BCDP Buddy Baumann Gold Refractor RC 8/50

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pack Break #8: 3 packs of 1996 Pinnacle McDonalds Hockey

I picked up another three pack lot from the same seller of 1996 Pinnacle McDonald's Hockey. Again, I hope to fill some set wants!

Pack one went pretty well, I pulled a Lindros and Hasek, which I both needed for the set. I already have Roenick. I really like the goalie subset "Game Savers"

All dupes in this pack except for the Selanne! I was really hoping to pull some future game winners that I didn't have, especially Jim Carey.

The last pack was by far the best and my young self would have gone nuts over this pack! The printing press went a little crazy and gave me 4 cards instead of 3. Secondly, I pulled two game savers and one of them is Kirk McLean who I like to collect. All dupes in this pack but I don't mind pulling a second McLean, since I have the other one separate from the set in my McLean binder.

I was pretty happy with my breaks considering I paid $5 and change including shipping for six total packs. Again like last time at 26/40 for the set!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pack Break #7: 3 Packs of 1997 McDonalds Hockey

I recently put all my McDonalds cards into pocket pages and have started the project of completing un-finished sets. I saw a three pack lot up for grabs on Ebay for cheap of 1997 Pinnacle McDonalds, so I took a chance on them in hopes of adding some cards to my set. Each pack has 3 cards.

Pack one yielded some nice cards, including a Selanne that I didn't have! I really liked the "Caged Ice Breakers" subset.

Pack 2 yielded all duplicates. The bottom two cards are actually pretty neat. When you move the card slightly you can see the goal actually being scored or the player skating. It's some sort of 3D technology and it's pretty neat, although they do not scan very well.

My last pack gave me one card I needed for the set, the middle card. It's Selanne passing to Kariya and Kariya scoring a goal on Arturs Irbe. A great card!

I only added two cards I needed bumping me up to 26/40 cards for the set.

Mail Day #6: 1 of 1 Style!!

I'll save the best card for last! I'm excited to add it to my collection since it's my first hockey one of one I've ever owned!

The 90's food issues are way under appreciated by collectors, especially these beauties from 1995 JELL-O. I've been working on the goalie set after adding a nice lot in trade last year. When I was a kid I was never lucky enough to track these down on the back of JELL-O at the supermarket. I drooled over the few pictures I had seen in price guides of the set.

I finally received this gem in the mail! It is a 1/1 redemption from the 03-04 ITG Between the Pipes series. Normally I don't go after 1/1's but I got this one at a dirt cheap price and felt it was a must have for my Brathwaite PC. My only knock against the card is how they stamped it. They could have placed the stamp on the left bottom of the card, with the logo facing the right way. Still, I'm glad to own this one of a kind card.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ITG Heroes & Prospects Baseball 2011

After finding success, ITG has decided to branch into baseball and is releasing Heroes & Prospects Baseball in February. Upon reviewing the checklist, the product seems to be very prospect heavy with plenty of autographed cards. Not a bad idea considering how crazy the prospect craze is with baseball collectors.

The main reason I decided to post about ITG baseball was due to this INTENSE patch. It's a gorgeous card and I really hope this exact patch or patches similiar will be sealed in pack's. Deck McGuire, a top Jays draft pick will be featured on a patch/auto card and I hope it features a nice patch like the card pictured above.

It's not a bad idea for ITG to start producing baseball cards, although I'm not sure it will be immediately successful. ITG hockey took a while to get off the ground but has become very popular due to nice patch cards. Topps had an exclusive license last season to produce MLB cards and didn't put out too many great products, so collectors may be looking for something else this season.

I was really big into baseball card collecting as a young kid and picked it up again in 2002, collecting seriously until 2009. When Reed Johnson was with the Jays, I loved his style and really enjoyed collecting him. When he signed with the Cubs his stuff sold pretty well, so I sold the better stuff for a massive profit. I had no interest in collecting an ex Jay anymore.

After moving on from collecting Reed, I focused on prospecting and had fun doing this for a few years. I went through a big ebay selling phase starting in 2007 for almost three years. The hobby of collecting had became about making money. I'm glad that phase is long over and I'm back to enjoying the hobby again, collecting for the love of it.

After a year off from baseball cards, come to think of it, baseball all together, I'm back and I hope to find a player to focus my collection on. It would be nice to get some nice patch singles of Jays prospects from ITG Heroes & Prospects baseball, so I look forward to seeing the product released!

Monday, January 17, 2011

$1000 To Spend On Hockey Singles: What Would You Buy?

Let's just say you won a promotion and were given $1000 to spend on singles, what would you buy? Here is my list! I will use recent sales to get an accurate purchase amount (rounded to the nearest dollar).

1) 1979-80 Topps Wayne Gretzky RC PSA 7  $257

This card is an absolute steal at $257! I would have prefered to go with an OPC RC but they are much more expensive then the Topps. This card is a must have for any serious hockey card collector.

2) 2009-10 The Cup Signature Patches Lemieux/Gretzky  $296

Next up I'll take this monster! Two of the greatest offensive talents of all time featured on one of the nicest cards I've ever seen. Whoever landed this beauty is one lucky duck! So far I've blown over half my $1000 budget on two cards!

3) 1986-87 Topps Patrick Roy RC PSA 8  $50

Next up I'll take this beauty for $50. Another must have for any serious collector! The prices for Roy's Topps and OPC RC's has dropped considerably!

4) 1951-52 Parkhurst Terry Sawchuk RC  $181

This card is on the top of my want list and I hope to find a copy for myself one day. The picture in the scan seems a bit suspicious and I'm not sure if it's authentic. I think others felt the same way and that explains the low final auction price. I would prefer a low grade PSA so I know it's $100 authentic. PSA 1 or 2's of this card usually go for $100 to $150.

5) 1985-86 OPC Mario Lemieux RC $106

With my money running out fast, I need to make some careful choices for the last cards. This pick is another no brainer. I'm surprised for how in-expensive this card is now. The Topps version can be found for dirt cheap!

I've spent $888 so far, so I probably have one good card left to pick! I considered a Bobby Orr auto, but I didn't see anything I really liked for the $100 range. I also considered a nice Jacques Plante piece but again, nothing nice for around $100.

6) 2005-06 The Cup Signature Patch Ray Bourque  $120

Another easy choice! I know I went $8 over a $1000 but it's my idea, so I'll do what I want! This is a beautiful card and the patch is gorgeous! The signature is a bit rough, so I'd go after another. Bourque was the best defensman in my favourite era of the game, so this is my rationale behind buying this card. I considered a Bourque RC but those are actually pretty in-expensive these days. I've seen them at card shows in good condition for $20-$25.

A $1000 netted me some pretty sweet cards! Too bad I'll probably never own any of these cards. The most I've ever spent on one single hockey card was $50! The only way I could add any of these cards to my collection is to save up and buy one every two month's. For the cheaper cards, it would blow my whole card budget for one month.

As much as I like collecting, I feel guilty spending too much money on it. I'm in the stage of my life where I'm trying to save money to get my own place.