Tuesday 31 December 2013

My favourite pulls of 2013

I might as well do this. I'm limiting this to hits only, as "cool photo" cards would have me very busy and make for a long post. Secondly, I'm also going to limit these to cards either I personally pulled from a pack, or were pulled for me from a pack in a group break. No COMC or ebay cards. Otherwise, this one would win for sure due to its industrial strength WTFery. Thirdly, since I could only fit 6 cards on the scanner, with 4 of them being in top loaders, it will be a top 6.

I'm doing this alphabetically, so Bautista, José will lead the way. This beauty came my way in the Daily Dimwit's Gypsy Queen case break. I spent some time with this break debating between Jays and Mets. Both teams ended up with 3 hits if I remember correctly, with the best on the latter being an RA Dickey redemption. Not bad either way, but penmanship makes me give it to Jose.
If this were in order of awesomeness, this one would be number one. It wouldn't be close. I pulled this from the Panini wrapper redemptions at the Toronto Expo this past November. It's just a gorgeous card, and the layout works beautifully with the auto. And the fact its from one of the greatest hockey players ever? Bonus!
One of two relics to make the list. I often say that one of the better things about being a Raptors fan and collector is that they tend to be a really cheap date when it comes to group breaks done by team. It's like "Who's going to take the Raptors?" and I'll jump in and get it for a low price. I usually end up with at least one nice card out of the deal, whether an auto, a relic or a card numbered to the double digits. This might be my favourite Raptors card of 2013, a nice thick three-colour patch from DeRozan. They don't really have shoulder patches on their white jerseys, so I'm guessing this either comes from the number or the name somewhere on the jersey.
And the only other relic on this list - a piece of Mike Piazza's pants! I'll stop right now before getting too creepy in talking about another man's pants.
I bought a few retail hanger packs of Black Diamond, and while I did pull a double jersey hit from one of them, this by far was the best pull. This is a great addition to my Kitchener Rangers alumni collection, and falling at a retail rate of 1:126, a pretty tough pull. The sides of the card are clear, and the ring portion is all refractor-y, or Prizm-y, or whatever UD calls this. Wikipedia also states that he is the only player to hoist the Memorial Cup, Calder Cup and the Stanley Cup as a player. I know that's wrong, as another Kitchener Rangers alum has done so - Wendell Young. But I'm fairly certain that Mikhe is the only one that can also add Olympic gold to that résumé.
And finally, one I'm fairly certain I never posted. I busted a box of Cooperstown, and this one was my autograph from it. Even though it was the guaranteed hit, it is still nice to add a hit of any kind from a HOFer to my collection. A bonus is always a pretty legible signature - and Billy's is pretty nice.

A pretty good year for someone who leans towards retail and repacks for his card fixes.

Monday 30 December 2013

COMC Black Friday Goodies - Part #2 - O Canada!

Yesterday, I showed off the single card I added to my Bills collection. I'll up that by one today, with a pair of cards on their way to my Canadian Content collection.

This is a "two birds with one stone " card. I wanted a card of Claude Raymond for my CanCon collection. I wanted a card with a nice view of the Houston Colt 45s uniform and cap. For 69 pennies, this one fit the bill perfectly for both wants. I think this is my oldest card in the collection, as well.  Claude would go on to play, announce and coach for the Expos. In their final game in Montreal, it was Raymond that gave the goodbyes for the team in French.
For just one penny more than I paid for the Raymond card, I welcomed this one to my collection as well. While I do have a nice collection of relics of Canadian players this is my first with any tie to a Canadian national team - in this case Canada's 2009 WBC Team. Nick has yet to taste the majors, having spent most of his time prior to this year in the Indians. It's also my first card of his, meaning two new members of the Cancon collection.

Edit: I forgot one! One that was actually on my Top 10 most wanted lists for way too long:
Ryan Braun! The only player to make the majors and get my hometown on the back of his card as his birthplace. Sure, he hasn't pitched since '11. I don't care! He's part of my PC, and worth the effort to find his cards, due to the presence of some other guy named Ryan Braun.

My New Year's collecting resolution is to, now that my Senators/Rangers/Raptors Frankensets are nearing completion, to focus more on NBA, NFL and MLB cards of Canadians. Sounds like a fine way to wrap up this post.

Sunday 29 December 2013

COMC Black Friday Goodies - Part #1 - Buffaloed!

The goodies waited until the first mail day after Christmas/Boxing Day, but they still came. As always, the cardboard goodies are worth the wait. Time to start posting them!

This year's rookie crop had a really nice number of Bills among the checklist. The ones that made the most appearances in terms of hits were Robert Woods, EJ Manuel, and Marquise Goodwin. I have managed to pick up hits of the first two on the list. I've also managed to pick up Bills hits of former Bills, having a Da'Rick Rogers lurking around somewhere. But, a Goodwin hit eluded me, and I was determined to remedy that on Black Friday.

The low range of his hits were in the $2 to $3 range. But I opted for this one that came in at $3.25, because of the interesting portion of the patch. As you can see, it offers a hint of the buffalo head from the back of the jersey. I was a smidge worried about it being a situation where somebody took out the regular swatch and replaced it with a more interesting one, I figured that nobody would try to do that on a three dollar card, so I picked it up.

Just one card for now. More to come!

Saturday 28 December 2013

This Trade was Cool

Canada Post returned to duty on Friday, after taking off a pair of holidays mid-week. A couple cardboard packages awaited me. First up was my COMC Black Friday goodie box. No bubble envelope this time. Some of the cards you will have to wait to see on other blogs, but I'll probably start working my way through them tomorrow.

The other package was a bubble envelope from across the Pacific. Namely, from Ryan @ This Card is Cool. Earlier this year, I shipped some set builders from 2012 A&G, including the Harper RC in that direction. The favour was returned, as opening the envelope showed off the 2012 Sega CardGen Blue Jays set. WOO-HOO!

I'm not sure how this game is played, but I'm guessing that Joey Bays would be a rather good card to use in the game.
Although they aren't in a Jays uniform, it's nice to add a pair of cards of people who were completely ignored by Topps in North America. Especially the Vizquel. It's my second 2012 card of his.
Brett Lawrie savouring a walk-off only makes second place in terms of my favourite picture in the team set.
But it can't compete with the flag cap being sported by Edwin.
This team set reminded me "Oh yes. He did pitch for the Jays in '12".

Thanks for the trade, and the great additions to my Blue Jays collection!

Friday 27 December 2013

Just One Pack...of 2013 Heritage Minors

Boxing day took me to the LCS, as I did some good damage to my set wantlist, and the three I'm working on have all dropped into the single digit range.

While there, I opted to take a risk and pick up a couple packs of stuff I don't usually buy. I opted for one of 2013 Topps Strata (all base, but I did get awesome name of the year candidate Barkevious Mingo), and, as the title shows, one pack of Heritage Minors.

And it wasn't too bad. The football pack gave me a bit of regret, but not this one. 1 Blue Jays card with the Lucas. 2 Mets cards with the Plawecki and Vaughn. Vaughn is the son of frequent junk wax pack member Greg Vaughn.

The Chris Reed black parallel is /96, which seems like a pretty random choice to number something to. It's also got my favourite minor league logo with the Chattanooga Lookouts. I've got nothing bad to say about this pack at all.

Thursday 26 December 2013

They know me too well (Pt 2)

Part 2 of goodies from my secret Santa at work. And a pull that made me wish the Santa was not so secret, so I can recruit their magic fingers to pick up packs for me.

The packs were grouped with a 4th that had 3 aqua parallels. Of course, it is the day after sending off a Franklin relic to a UCLA alum collector that I come across a parallel that I could also have included. Oh well. Can't win 'em all. The aqua looks more like a faded silver in these scans, but it does look nice with the Steve Smith and his Panthers colours.
Pack 1. You have to love the full-bleed photographs. The Peterson wins the photography wars here, with a simple but intense picture. Look at those eyes!
Pack 2. Dupes already! Arghh! But the Woods insert is a nice addition to my Bills binder. It's also the only pure Bills card that was in the packs. Photo of the pack goes to the Dalton. There aren't enough cards with the QB scrambling.
Pack 3! WOO-HOO! A hit! A redemption, but still a hit! It did force me to explain the redemption thing after opening. Looking at the odds on the back, these fall, retail wise, at a rate of 1:433. Given that they're mostly rookies, it's nice that mine was a veteran, of which they aren't a lot of in this set. There's Smith, Stevie Johnson, Cecil Shorts, Demaryius Thomas and ... that's all I can find at COMC or ebay. There's no indication of what this is numbered to, or much else, so I'll be surprised when/IF it arrives.

Oh yeah, another beautiful photo choice on the Jones.

Not too bad at all from my Santa.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

They know me too well (Pt 1)

I generally don't bring cards to work. For one thing, I'm only a temp and part-time, so the full-time users of the desk I borrow might be upset to see a well-loved card push-pinned to their cube wall. But, the proximity of a post office does mean that bubble mailers accompany me to that office frequently. So, I am known as a card guy.

And my Secret Santa office gift was two hangers of football cards. One was a hanger pack of Topps Prime football. The other was a hanger repack of football with a guaranteed relic. Someone at the office did learn about relic cards, since she saw the package, and wondered how they could fit a whole jersey into the box. How I wish I was kidding.

I've never had the urge to touch the oven that was either of these products,, so it was nice to bust it for the first time. I'll go through these in the order I opened them, starting with the repack today, and get to the Prime tomorrow. Interestingly, the best thing came out of the last pack of Prime I opened. But, that's tomorrow.
First up, 2011 Upper Deck. That's a pretty impressive group of QBs and RBs from this pack. Jim Kelly is the easy best card in this pack for me, and it's my first non-Buffalo card of his for my 2.14 binder.

Next up was a pack of Press Pass: PE. 2 packs, 2 NCAA cards of Bills. But yeah, this was incredibly bland. At least I can use the blocker card when sending out trade cards.
Finally, 2011 Score wraps it up. The pack promises one rookie card, and it delivered with one of the better ones from the set in the Newton. I probably should have kept the package to see what rate the Red Zone cards fall at. The Ryan Grant is a glossy parallel. 7 cards with 2 parallels and an inserts would equal a major annoyance for a set builder, though.
And the hit! It's a card that was actually an insert in the retail sets, so it surprisingly isn't numbered. It's a nice thick two colour swatch, with even some loose threads at the one side. It's supposedly cut from a rookie premiere event jersey, meaning this one sat around Panini HQ for a couple seasons before finally being added to a card.

It's still better than the all white swatch from some rookie I've never heard of, which was what I was expecting.

Monday 23 December 2013

Another Sportlots attack on the 2/14 binder

Looks like 600 by 2/14 is going to be a lot easier than I thought. A 21 card addition can do that. I'll just go through this in order by volume.

1 each for these folks. It's nice to add a couple of patriotic cards to the book. I really don't have a lot of cards in there with any sort of national feel.
A pair of David Garrards bumps his total up to 15.
But he doesn't retain 2nd place overall when I add 4 Drew Bledsoes to move him into 2nd place with 16. I've also thrown the Gridiron Kings cards of McNair & Garrard into my COMC To Be Shipped cart, so at least there will be a tie for 2nd place, if only vitrually.
Jim Kelly continues to lead the way with 33 cards. He's third overall behind the hockey duo of Gaborik and Hejduk. He's also by far the leader in cards without a hit. Among players that actually have hits available, Dave Lowry is second with 10 hitless cards.
But the big jump sees the late, great Steve McNair land 6 new cards to reach 14.

574 total cards as of now.

Masked Mondays Week 26

Continuing to put up posts in advance of the ice storm whipping through on Saturday, fully expecting to lose power during the latter half of the weekend.

This one is entirely the blame of Shoebox Legends. Or at least one of his posts. He posted a bunch of Young Guns that he didn't want and sold (among others) to facilitate the purchase of a 1915 card. The Weiman YG was one of them, and upon seeing it, his creature mask made an immediate move onto my want list. There were two good shots of the mask, one on an OPC, the other on the SP game used. Since there was a decent enough price differential between the two, I opted for the far cheaper former.
And for my second one  from the same sportlots seller that I got the Weiman, and yesterday's McMorrow from, this simple one. Ed Staniowski makes a nice simple mask that works so well with the team. Making more with less, and creating a memorable 70s mask. No complaints about this.
Although this wasn't part of the order, I felt this one appropriate to include. Card Boarded returned to blogging this week, and it was blog that coined the term "Goaltending Gallimaufry" for cards where the mask, pads, or any other equipment is coloured in such a manner that it doesn't match the current team, usually indicating a very recent trade. I had already showed some of the Ben Bishop Lightning uniform/Senators mask combo while building the Score set. Here's another one from this year's base set. Joey MacDonald is with the Flames, but the mask would indicate he's still with Detroit.

Assuming I've got power by late Monday, see you then!

Sunday 22 December 2013

And McMorrow makes 1

1 left to go to acquire at least one NHL card of every Kitchener Rangers alumni who got at least one card in the NHL. *points to the upper right corner*
Sure, he only spent half a season here, but he still counts. That leaves one more to go to close the book on people that had or qualified for cards up to and including the start of this season.

And at least I've got some idea where I could write him for a TTM auto request:


Saturday 21 December 2013

Another basketball repack

Firstly, I know I mentioned to several people that I'd be giving them some want list help at a show tomorrow, but it now appears that a forecast of freezing rain will possibly put the kibosh on any desire to head outside tomorrow. It's going to depend on how far south it dips. As of now, it's primarily normal rain, but that is expected to change overnight.

In other words, I'll probably be doing a virtual card show at COMC instead.

And what better way to celebrate being iced in that a repack? And here's a basketball repack I picked up a while back. I'll just list the players in order, without the year/set. It's laziness.

Dwight Howard - Despite the packs not really being opaque, the first card out always seems to be a pretty good player.
Otis Birdsong - These packs always seem to have at least one card from the 1981 Topps set in there. This isn't too bad of a pull from this set, and it's one of my favourite names in the game's history. I also like the appearance of a uniform from a defunct/relocated team.
Harold Miner
Allan Houston
Karl Malone - I don't care if it is a gimmicky card, pulling HOFers is always good.
Rex Chpaman
Jalen Rose - Oh gee. I wonder where this one will end up.
Tony Smith
Dikembe Mutombo - Cards of folks extremely likely to be inducted in the HOF are also great. Especially parallels.
Negele Knight
Rony Seikaly - "I'm trapped in a magic crane game. Send help. Rony."
Don Chaney
Scott Williams
Cavaliers Team Card
James Edwards
Jon Barry
Danny Ferry
Antonio Davis
Larry Johnson - I love overhead shots in basketball, especially with the rim visible. It's easily my favourite card in the repack for photograph choice, moreso because it being a base card.
PJ Brown
Bison Dele - Coming across cards of players who have passed, especially in a 90s release is really depressing.
Mark Jackson
Dennis Scott
Chris Jackson
Hubert Davis - WOO-HOO! A Raptor! The only one, mind you.
Eric Leckner
Dave Jamerson
Dallas Mavericks Team Card
Danny Ainge
John Battle
Robert Parish - The Chief in Hornets colours? The Celtics were my pre-Raptors team, so I'm torn between love for an oddball jersey for a player, and the fact I would like this card more if it were a Celtics card.
Scott Burrell
Dale Ellis - Sketched/painted cards rule!
Grant Long
Reggie Theus - Interestingly framed photo. It might be my favourite in the pack if not for the sections of empty seats visible behind the action.
Scott Burrell
John Salley - I'd like the Archives basketball a lot more if the backs of the cards matched the sets they were borrowing the design from.
Rick Adelman
Scott Skiles
Tim McIlvaine
Jud Buechler
Vernell Coles
Wayman Tisdale
Jared Dudley - The start of the promised 5 rookies. I'm not sure why I chose to highlight this one. Orange jersey? Never pulling a 07-Fleer from this product? I'm still not sure.
DaJuan Wagner
Nick Young
Kevin Garnett - Especially when I can highlight this one of KG.
Jeff Green - This one wraps up the 5 rookies. I'm just calling them as the promised ones since they were together, and one of them always seems to be a 07-08 Topps. Of them, 4 of them are still playing in the NBA. Only Wagner is out of the NBA at this point, with his career being derailed by health issues.
Dominique Wilkins
Olden Polynice
Charles Barkley
Bryon Russell
Danny Manning
Monty Williams
Jalen Rose - Not only do I get two cards of a Wolverines alum, both of them have him in the team uniform. Both of which are certainly heading to Dennis @ TMM.
Carlos Rogers
Benford Williams
Doug Overton
Doug Overton - Lots of players showed up twice in this repack. But these were the only two that came back-to-back.
Jason Caffey
PJ Brown
Mitch Richmond
Brian Howard
Ervin Johnson
Don MacLean
Mario Elie
Scott Burrell
Olden Polynice
Gary Payton - Another HOFer.
BJ Armstrong
Derrick Coleman
Darell Walker
Anthony Johnson
Dikembe Mutombo
Robert Parish - You'd think at least one of the two Parish cards would be as a Celtic. Even if it was a 1990 Hoops card.
Bobby Phills
Vinny Del Negro
Ervin Johnson
John Starks
Eddie Jones
Quintin Dailey
Vin Baker
Johnny Newman
Terry Porter
Christian Laettner
Terry Davis
Dominique Wilkins - Another drawn card. This one is beautifully done, and totally smokes that Dale Ellis one I posted earlier.
Patrick Ewing - A non-garish 1995 Fleer card? Wow!
BJ Armstrong
Ken Williams
Robert Pack - On the other hand, this 1995 is as hideous as they come.
Hersey Hawkins
Isiah Thomas/Joe Dumars
Mookie Blaylock
Tim Perry
Charles Barkley

And that's 100 cards or so worth of repack fun! Since I really didn't collect basketball stuff in the 90s, I can still really enjoy these repacks, since I come across cards I never picked up back in the day.

And I still have two or three more of these to post. Which I will at some point.