Monday, February 28, 2011

Mail Day #14: Taking the Trade Route

I have been spending too much money on cards lately so I figured I could cut down a lot of that spending by trading. The three cards I picked up all came through trade.

A nice short printed Pacific card for my McLean PC. It's been a while since I added a McLean card to my PC, so it's nice to pick one up!

I love any Hasek card picture in the old school Sabres uniform. Anyone remember his ridiculous 93-94 season? Did he ever dominate! It's too bad Topps doesn't produce hockey cards anymore. The Finest series was always such a popular set. This version is the refractor parallel.

I really like the Pinnacle Inside product and it's a shame it never lasted longer then one year. I'm really happy to pick up the best card in the "stoppers" insert set of Patrick Roy.

Thanks for the people who traded with me. It's greatly appreciated.

TTM Mail Day #12: Red Kelly

Red Kelly has always been a GREAT signer through the mail. I have gotten him countless times for my collection on many different items. I will be sending off the picture to Bower next for him to sign it.

I eventually plan to get the "legends" cards framed as I have plenty of them from other players and they would make for a really nice piece on my wall.

This is a custom card I made that I plan to have Bower sign as well. I hope to make other Original Six signature cards, at least one dual signature for the other five teams.

TTM Mail Day #11: Claude Loiselle

Claude Loiselle was a grinding forward in the 80's and 90's. He is now currently the assistant GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I sent him a nice letter about the Leafs and his career. He actually took the time to write me a short letter back, which was very nice of him! I also sent about 6 or 7 cards and gave him permission to keep any he liked (which he did).

I like this success because it reminds me of how simple and straight forward collecting was in the early 90's . I really like the design of all the base cards he signed, I'm not sure why but I just really like the 92-93 Topps design!

Thank You Manitoba Moose!

I wasn't having the greatest day and my Girlfriend stopped by my work after she finished her shift. She works at the airport and she mentioned that she checked in a sports team from Winnipeg. She checked the whole team in for their flight, despite the fact that they weren't in the group line. The man who checked the players in was so appreciative that he gave my girlfriend a bag of merchandise because she had saved the team time!

At this point I couldn't figure out who the team was and I figured it was some low level sports team. When I went to her car and saw the bag, I knew right away that it was the Manitoba Moose of the AHL! I opened the bag to find a nice men's flex fit hat, toque and t-shirt. The bag also contained a woman's hat and two ladies t-shirts! The items came to a grand total of $125 + tax and we got them for FREE.

It was a nice surprise that brightened a rough day. I've never heard of a sports team doing this before and it was really nice gesture. I think I will be following the Moose more closely these days!

Friday, February 25, 2011

TTM Mail Day #10: Ron Tugnutt

This mail day was a little different for me! I had made some customs of Ron Tugnutt and I wanted to get them signed so I sent them off! All marks on the pictures are from my scanner bed.

I made two variations of a mask card. These were tough to do because I had to crop the mask from the original photo and clean out the bar area of the mask.

This card is my favourite by far! I will be sending out some of these to other goalies to have signed: mainly retired players, some junior players and lower level current goalies.

A nice 8 X 10! My Wal-Mart wouldn't print it out with the white border on the top and bottom. I think it looks nice anyways and you won't see it when I frame it.

For my heritage set! I did not know Tugnutt had a card in the set until someone sent it to me in a large trade for some goalie cards.

I'm not sure if people actually use the addresses I post, so I'll only post the addy I sent to if it's asked for!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Tale of Two Goalies

I've remained quiet recently in regards to my opinion on the choice Evgeni Nabokov made with the New York Islanders. I did make one comment on the message board in response to the following quote that Nabokov made:

"It's nothing against the Islanders and their organization. It's nothing to do with that. It's just that I'm at the point in my career where I want to help a team win in the playoffs. I don't see how I could help the Islanders or what I could do for them. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me and I hope they understand that."
- Evgeni Nabokov

My thoughts on this comment initially were that I knew some goalie, some where in the minor leagues or Europe thought that they CAN help the Islanders and would appreciate any opportunity.

With all the focus on the Nabokov situation the Islanders found a goalie they thought might be able to help: Al Montoya. They traded a sixth round pick to the Coyotes organization for Montoya who is a former sixth overall draft pick.

He came to the organization with just four NHL games on his resume and the label of first round bust. On Saturday night he back stopped the surging Isles to a 3-0 shutout win over the Kings. This prompted me to go through a few articles written recently about Montoya.

While Nabokov wanted nothing to do with the Islanders and expressed his disappointment by being picked up by them, Montoya felt the opposite way:

"To tell you the truth, I was excited," Montoya said. "This is unbelievable. This is an opportunity that I've been waiting for however many years I've been pro … six years? I've had a couple of injuries that set me back a couple of years, but at the same time, I'm excited. I knew I'd get a chance here."

It's frustrating how hockey has changed so much over time into a business. I think about how the players in the 50's and 60's didn't make much money and needed jobs in the summer to support their families. Players played because they loved to play.

I think about my own personal life and how playing hockey is not a big part of it anymore. It's not because I don't love it, I just have other priorities in my life such as a career and a future in mind. I can't forget to mention that I had to stop playing ALL SPORTS for over a year to let my left knee/foot heal. Is the passion gone? No, I would gladly take a jersey and a spot on even the worst team if it meant getting back on the ice again.

It pains me to think of all the people out their who dream of playing in the NHL and will never even come close. I think about all the young kids who look up to NHL players and copy there actions. To think of what Nabokov said in regards to hockey and playing for the Islanders disgusts me.

I really like to see a player find success in the NHL after being buried in the minors for so long. I'm rooting for Montoya and I hope he can find the success in the NHL. I'll leave you with my favourite quote from the article I read:

"This is a good situation for me. I'm going to take full advantage of this and I thank this organization for giving me that chance. I'm still young. I still feel good and I'm still learning to this day. It's time to run with it."

- Al Montoya

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mail Day #13: The Class of 1990

When I saw this card on the ITG website, I knew that one day I would have to own it. I also figured landing this baby would be tough because only 50 copies exist and their are plenty of Potvin/Brodeur collectors out there!

I wasn't sure when I bought the card if the Potvin was purple/white for the kings or blue/white for the Leafs. Either way I was happy with the card but I knew that I would be happiest with a Leafs piece. Sure enough, it is a Leafs piece!

A lot of nice Brathwaite cards have been turning up on the bay lately. As much as I'd like to own them all, it's shipping costs that are killing me. It's very tough on the wallet when you have to buy one card at a time from a seller and pay $3 or $4 for shipping. This is a nice lower numbered Brathwaite card that I know I won't see again for a long time

TTM Mail Day #9: Glenn Hall

This card has been out for a long time! I heard that Hall stopped signing through the mail because he was too busy caring for his sick Wife.

I'm glad to get this one back, especially from a HHOF goalie! I've been lucky to get Hall through the mail several times when I know he has been tough to get for some people.

Glenn Hall
PO Box 2483 Stn Main
Stony Plain, AB
TZ7 1X9

Love At First Sight

It's been a few days since I've posted as I've been busy with work. I hope to be able to post on a regular basis this week.

I'm not sure if everyone remembers their first, but I sure do. I've been at it now for 20+ years and after all these years I refuse to forget my first.

This is the card that started my obsession with collecting back in 1990. This card came from a pack of Kraft Cheese Singles. I still remember the wrapper: light blue, white packaging and a picture of a glass of milk. On the winter day in 1990 two life long loves started: collecting hockey cards and eating grill cheese.

The picture of the card is not the actual one I got myself on that day back in 1990, the scan I used is from a MUCH better conditioned version of the card I own. I still have the original somewhere, as I saw it in a box in the depth's of my closet some month's back. The original card is creased, covered in dirt and maybe some food. Upon getting the card I held it quite a bit and even brought it to bed with me when I got it as a youngster. When I got the "upgraded" card for my set I couldn't believe how white the border actually is.

When I grew up collecting the 90's you could pretty much find hockey card's on all type's of food products. My collection grew quite quickly due to my families loyalty with Kraft/J-ELLO, Highliner, Humpty Dumpty and Kellogg's.

While many people just throw away these food issued cards, I treasure them. They are simple reminders to me of what the hobby use to be about: fun.

For the last few years I have been chasing after different food issued sets and I tell you it's not easy! Most people just threw them away or cut them very poorly off the box. A poorly cut card is not a big deal to me, they always have a spot in my collection. To find factory cut cards is rare and quite a thrill, finding factory issued binders is even tougher.

The card industry has turned into a business and packs cost anywhere from a few dollars up to a couple hundred. Nr-mint and mint cards are all the rage, even with vintage and anything fair from mint is cast-off and un-wanted.

I'm not sure what it is, but to me a beat up card has character. It shows me that the card was appreciated and handled by someone who was really happy to own it OR it came to be that way from a set of bike spokes. Whenever I get a vintage card from the 50's or 60's I really enjoy examining it and trying to think about why all the crease came to be.

I'm a dying breed of collectors these days and I'm bordering on endangered or extinct. I plead to anyone who reads this that you will bring out your food issued cards from the slow death they are enduring in a closet or basement. If you had a certain set you really liked as a kid, challenge yourself to complete it. I assure that you will have a lot of fun along the way and it will change your whole prospective on collecting.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

TTM Mail Day #8: Brett Anderson

This is a rare baseball mail day. I stopped sending requests to MLB players because it became a waste of stamps. I was only receiving about 35% of my requests back and my hometown Jays seemed to stop signing through the mail.

On occasion an old request will come back. I sent this one out right after the OPC set came out in 2009. Not a bad success from a potential future ace.

Brett Anderson
C/O Oakland A's
7000 Coliseum Way
Oakland, CA 94621, United States

TTM Mail Day #7: Michel Goulet

This is a very good mailday from a 500 goal scorer. I offered for him to keep any of the cards he liked but he signed all six!

Goulet is now a scout with the Flames organization. I sent to him on January 17th and I recieved my cards back in less then a month.

Michel Goulet
C/O Calgary Flames PO Box 1540 - Station M
Calgary, AB T2P 3B9

TTM Mail Day #6: Brett Lindros

What might have been if Brett did not have to retire so young from too many concussions. I don't think he would have been a force like his brother Eric but he still could have been a physical 15-20 goal scorer in the NHL.

I really like the 93-94 Fleer Ultra card as he is pictured in his Team Canada World Juniors jersey. I will post his address below.

Brett Lindros85 Crescent Road
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1T7

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mail Day #12: Something Old, Something New

1) I really like the old SP Authentic designs, especially these sign of the times. I've really wanted this Tugnutt for my PC for a long time and I'm glad I finally landed one.

2) I'm really happy to land this card as it's the final card to my Painted Warriors set. It's nice to finish off an older set I've been working on for a while so I can move onto new sets. I really like any Roy card in a Habs uniform, it's a shame he didn't spend his entire career in Montreal.

3) Now that I finished off my painted warriors set, I've moved on to a new set: 08-09 ITG BTP Draft Day Duos. I really like the simple card design and the idea for the set. I already have the Roy/McLean card.

4) The start of a new mini PC: Clarke MaCarthur. I really like the way he plays with a bit of a feisty edge. His style has really been needed in T.O for a long time as he will battle hard until the final buzzer regardless of score. Now that's my kind of player!

TTM Mail Day #5: Borje Salming

I'm pretty pumped to land this autograph for my collection. Being a Leafs fan this is a MUST have for my autograph collection.

I sent this out almost a year ago and couldn't believe I got it back. Salming was a force in the 70's and early 80's. He is perhaps the greatest Swedish defenseman next to Nik Lidstrom.

I sent this card to Sweden and enclosed $3 US for return postage. I wrote a really nice letter as well. I really don't think my letters get read when I send requests, but I still think it's important to say "please" and 'thank you".

Salming now operates his own underwear business in Sweden, although I've heard he is presently in the US. The address I used is posted below, good luck!

Borje SalmingC/O Salming Underwear
Herrljungagatan 17
Box 107
S-50307 Borås

Custom Card Design

This was my second attempt at a custom card. I designed the first with Microsoft Word and you can imagine how it turned out. I designed this one with a free download of Adobe Photoshop! I plan on getting this card signed by Ron Tugnutt and I think it will look great! I will continue to post my customs and I hope someone will enjoy them. They are a lot of fun to make!

I plan on making a few cards featuring different goalies from the past and present. I will eventually get them signed so I have to keep in mind of who signs when I put a goalie on a card. If anyone would like to see a custom of any goalie, please let me know. I'd be happy to make it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mail Day #11: Color Guards!

I won these in a lot together on Ebay. I paid a little more then I wanted to but I figured I got a deal because I saved on shipping individually. I'm currently 7/18 on the set. I know I'm missing: Roy, Brodeur, Vernon, Cujo, Vanbiesbrouck. Osgood and Rhodes. Not sure of who else at the moment. I'll have to track down a checklist!

TTM Mail Day #4: Brad May

Brad May was drafted first overall by the Sabres in the 1990 entry draft. Over time he was expected to turn into a power forward with the ability to score 25 goals. It never happened and his best season was in 1995-96 with 44 points, 15 of them goals. He is best remembered for his "May Day" goal in the playoffs.

I remember watching the goal as I was a big Sabres fan in the early to mid 90's when the team had Hasek, Lafontaine, Hawerchuk and going absolutely crazy!

If anyone wants to write May make sure to send him a sharpie as he signed mine with ball point pen.

Brad May
c/o CBC Hockey Night in Canada
Audience Relations
P.O. Box 500 Station A
Toronto, ON
Canada, M5W 1E6

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pack Break #11: 93-94 UD Series 2 Hockey

In October I bought a ten pack lot of 93-94 UD Series 2 off ebay for .99 cents. The packs turned out to be pretty decent and I even pulled two Chris Osgood RC's.

This was the last pack I held on to and it was easily the weakest pack of the bunch. I usually pulled a few star base in each pack but this one held none.

When your best base card is Kelly Miller or Dave Manson, you know you have issues. Thanks a lot UD for great collation and giving me two Patrick Carnback cards in the pack. I'm glad to see that over the years they have fixed collation issues *sarcasm*.

I managed to pull two decent World Junior cards from the pack. Jason Allison was a star player in the late 90's but faded into obscurity when his slow foot speed was not suited for the new NHL.

My SP card was not great either. Remember when Malakhov was hyped as a future star defenseman? In the 92-93 season he actually put up 52 points in 64 games! The season after he put up 57 points and then it all went downhill from there. He put up some decent numbers during his time with the Habs but he never came close to the hype placed on his shoulder and never unlocked the potential he had.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mail Day #10: Amazing Patch!

I picked up these two Brathwaite cards off ebay. In the bidding stages for the patch card I was worried I was going to lose out to a set builder. I don't like to blow too much money on cards but I knew this was a card I had to have for my PC. I'm not sure if I'll ever see a patch this nice again. I'm glad I won it and for a great price! It's nice to have it in hand and bring it home. It's a card that I'll know I'll always enjoy and will have in my PC forever! I still can't get over the patch and that it's an actual piece of the Flames logo!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mail Day #9: Baseball Pick Up

It's been a while since I've picked up any baseball cards, so when I saw this card for just a few dollars with shipping I went for it. I got it off another site, other then ebay. I find a lot of the US sellers do not like shipping to Canada and if they will, they charge way too much.

I really like the look of this set and being a Jays fan I really wanted the card. I was thinking about going after the set but quickly changed my mind when I realised it was pieces from the "workout" jersey. Not to mention the high shipping prices I would have to pay to obtain the cards.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mail Day #8: Goalie PC

I had a really good mail day today. I picked up two nice cards for my Ron Tugnutt PC through trade and a card for my Color Guard set from Ebay.

I already thought this card had came and that it was lost in my house. I was thankful when it arrived in the mail today!

I love the look of this set, although I wished that the jersey swatch would match the jersey Tugnutt is wearing in the card. This is a patch variation 8/254.

I really like the ITG BAP All-Star jersey cards. I've been looking for this Tugnutt for a long time and I finally landed it! It's instantly one of my favourite Tugnutt cards.

Failed Trading Card Ideas Part 2

2) Cards in a Can or Tin

Pinnacle was trying all sorts of crazy ideas in 1997-98 and they decided to market a product: Pinnacle Inside that featured cards in a can.

The card series was actually well designed and creative. The idea of cards in a can though, just did not fly! The first problem was that most people like to bust their packs right away. With the can, you had to use a can opener to open your pack.

The tins came in two variations: the common silver tin and the rare gold tin. I personally never saw one of these gold tins. As a kid I managed to get one can. It was on the way home from church on Christmas Eve in 1997 and we stopped at a convenience store to buy milk. They had the cans and my Mom saw me eyeing them and said I could have one. This was great because the $5 price was a full week's allowance at the time!

About six years ago a local dollar store got these cans in a busted about 4 or 6 cans. While I liked the cards, I did not like having to open each can. It's a burden if you don't have an electric can opener.

The Pinnacle Inside series had an insert set called "Stoppers" and featured the best goalies of the NHL on 3D disks. I always thought this was pretty cool. I also really like the "coaches collection" cards that were a foil version of the regular base card.

It's a shame that this series was produced in the can as it gets no love due to this. Pinnacle understood the challenge of opening a can and swtiched to a tin for 97-98 Pinnacle Epic.

1997-98 Pinnacle Epic
 Donruss also produced a really nice set in 1997-98: Donruss Preferred and sealed their cards in tins. I remember the set being extremely popular when it came out, although it did not return for a second year.

The idea or producing cards in can or tin did not last long. I see a trend forming here and it seems that collectors really enjoy the standard size card in a standard wrapper.