Friday 31 January 2014

GAAAAAAAAAAAH! aka 2014 Adventures in Repacks: Part 7

This morning, a trip to Dollarama was necessary. They'd restocked some Surprise Boxes since my last time there, so I grabbed my first one of the year.

The contents were a 2010s pack, a Hall of Fame pack, an 8 card misc. pack, and a pack of 08-09 Victory.

There was one card in here of particular interest to me:

Jergus Baca! A former Hartford Whaler with 10 games to his credit. I always love getting cards of obscure players with only a handful...

Wait one minute.

What is that?

YEGADS! Did that referee just head over to the arena from robbing a bank and not have time to remove his disguise? What the Sam Scratch is that?

I'm sure there's a logical explanation for it. Light hitting at a bad angle. Some sort of issue with the fact Pro Set had cards of referees. Either way, it is a visual I'm sure to store away for a future nightmare.

Here's some of the rest of the repack. I've got a forgotten Pronger brother. A nice insert of Toews. There's a new Mike Richards for my Rangers alumni collection and an example of  Goaltending Gallimaufry (TM: Card Boarded). And it is wrapped up with a pair of neat photos.

Some nice keepers. And that's all I ask from one of these.

Thursday 30 January 2014

Another trade w/ Condition Sensitive

Time to catch up on some mail that has come into my humble abode over the past week. I've received a pair of trade envelopes, as well as a COMC package. One card from the latter has made an appearance already, and the rest will in the order they showed up. So, first up is a trade that didn't cross international borders.

CS contacted me with an available Sens card that I was interesting in adding to my collection. So, I found a random array or Redskins, Rockies and Roughriders, and sent it off.

I've definitely been showing a lot of Sens cards over the past week. Here's another one. It's my 3rd canvas card of a Senator,. Unlike the earlier two, this one probably isn't top 50 worthy, but it is a nice one and also a Young Gun variant. My main beef is that the Canvas cards seems to offer different photos, while this one is quite similar to the regular YG card.

But wait, there's more!

I often send extra cards I come across of Washington QB Robert Griffin III. So, the kindness was returned this time with an appearance of another QB.
Namely, 4 Patrick Ramsey cards, doubling my total of this 2/14 binder member. I love the design on the All-American card.
My 9th Petr Svoboda was also in the package. He's someone I'm always surprised I don't have more cards of, since he was around in the overproduction 90s.

And let's end with 8 new cards for the Raptors binder. Not that long ago, I didn't have any Dell Curry from his time here, and now I've got 2 of them. As best I can tell, he doesn't have many. Ditto for Jimmy King. Pictured as a Wolverine, but listed as a Raptor. Still, my favourite from the batch is the Dee Brown. It's twofold.
First, a little write-up on the back about the history of hoops in Toronto.
But more importantly, it is my second Dee Brown card as a Raptor, mercifully meaning this derptastic card isn't my only Raptor representation of Dee.

Thanks for the goodies, and they're already on their way to their respective binders.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

My Top 50 Ottawa Senators cards - 10 through 1

Time to wrap this up. Actually, the first 40 was pretty easy to put in order. This portion was really hard to put in order.

#10. 2012-13 Panini Rookie Anthology (or Elite) - #I-28 Daniel Alfredsson - Intensity

Alfie has been all over this top 50, and he's going to be all over this top 10 as well. Leading off if is this insert from Rookie Anthology/Elite last year. It can't be seen from the scan, but the majority of this card is clear/acetate. Any white spot that isn't on the uniform or Elite logo is clear. The back of the card has a write-up about Daniel's long serving captaincy. It's written behind the red bar.
#9. 2011-12 Pinnacle -#125 Chris Neil

For pure photography, Pinnacle might be my favourite set in hockey. This is the third card from this particular set to make it in my top 50. It's interesting that with there being 3 Senators logos visible on this card, that none is on the player.

#8. 2001-02 BAP Signature Series Gold - #101 Karel Rachunek

This is the most emotional cards on my top 50 list. Karel was one of the players killed in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash.

#7. 2005-06 Upper Deck Scrapbook - #HS5 Dominek Hasek

I've mentioned my love for cards that work the geography of the city into the design. Now, mostly those are done with a postcard-like background. Here, we have a photo that seems touristy: posing in from of the Peace Tower/Parliament buildings.
#6.  1995-96 Score - #246 Don Beaupre

Going into this I would probably have thought that my highest ranking masks card would be Patrick Lalime's Marvin the Martian mask. That mask didn't even make any place in top 50. And #1 is the simple patriotic entry from Don Beaupre. Bright red Maple Leaves in the background of Parliament. It's a mask that really summarizes Ottawa in its design.

#5. 2012-13 Upper Deck - #131 Chris Neil

A rare appearance on a hockey card of a fight. Well, the build to a fight at least. And it wasn't a bad one at all.

#4. 2010-11 Pinnacle City Lights Materials - #49 Cody Bass

By far my most obscure player on my top 50. Cody played in just over 30 games in Ottawa. But, this one makes my list for yet another way to work the cityscape of the Capital Region into its design. This time, we get a view from one of the bridges across the Ottawa River. The back of the card includes no information about the player, but instead a fact about the city. In this case, the Rideau Canal's annual time as a skating rink.

#3. 2005-06 Upper Deck Hometown Heroes - #HH15 Daniel Alfredsson

Now this is the most magnificent display of Ottawa's beauty on a card. A beautiful shot or Parliament Hill from along the Rideau Canal, with it being just a hint of early fall due to changing leaves alongside the paths.
#2. 2012-13 Upper Deck - #128 Daniel Alfredsson

A magnificent action shot for Daniel's final Sens base card from Upper Deck. When I first came across this, I looked up the game it was from, and Daniel popped a pair of goals in that game. When a picture makes you want to do that level of research, it's awesome. While I'm sure Daniel will make more appearances in legends checklists, this was quite a final card to go out on from flagship.

And #1...

2011-12 Panini Prime Duals - Daniel Alfedsson/Jason Spezza

Probably the two most memorable Ottawa Senators (at least for positive reasons) together on the same relic card. Die-cut with the team nickname, and no boring plain white swatches among them. The player choice is perfect and everything about this card can be used to show off about a decade plus of team's relatively short expansion history. If I were to pick a single card in my collection to define a franchise, this one would be it.

And that makes it an easy #1.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

My Top 50 Ottawa Senators cards - 20 through 11

And the climbing continues. Maybe I'll get this done before I crack a pack or two of flagship.

20. 1992-93 Upper Deck - #14 Peter Sidorkiewicz

My second card from the early days of the Senators. This is actually a team checklist card, and one with an interesting twist. Despite being featured on the front of the card, Peter isn't part of the checklist. The first part of the set only had a couple of posed photos for members of the expansion teams. Peter wouldn't get an official appearance in a Sens uniform until Series 2.
19. 1996-97 McDonald's Pinnacle - #9 Daniel Alfredsson

Pure Sportflicsish gimmickry. And I love it. Coming off his rookie season, despite winning the Calder, it is really nice to look and see him in the beloved McDonalds sets.
18. 2011-12 ITG Between the Pipes Masked Men 4 - Craig Anderson

The first of three mask cards to make the top 20. If I had one complaint about this, it is that this is his racing themed mask, and not his heritage mask. If it were, this would be an easy top 5 card.

17. 2011-12 Pinnacle - #239 Matt Carkner

A cardboard appearance of a rarely worn jersey style? Yes, please! Even better, it features a tough guy type who you're surprised to see get a base card in this set.
16. 2013-14 Upper Deck Canvas - Craig Anderson

Nick @ Dime Boxes loves bat barrel shot. I love stick blade shots.

15. 1997-98 Donruss - #103 Ron Tugnutt

Another one that made my list on the base of photo choice. It's an angle you rarely see on hockey cards, and a position you don't see enough as well - stacked pads.
14. 1994-95 Upper Deck - #295 Scott Levins

If there's a card in my Senators collection that better shows all of the little scraps and struggles along the ice, then I didn't see it when searching through my binders and boxes.
13. 2006-07 Upper Deck Hometown Heroes - HH37  Jason Spezza

I love when the cards work the cityscape into the design of the card. In fact, there are 3 more cards that feature the geography of the capital region in their design to come, all of which are in my top 10. Why isn't this one there - it's the winter scene. Seriously, once you lived through one Ottawa winter, you won't be too crazy about seeing it commemorated anywhere.

12. 1996-97 Pinnacle By The Numbers - #10 Daniel Alfredsson

I picked this one up in a trade w/ Fuji. It was a sweet addition, but it's even better for the contrast. The #11 jersey is prominently featured, both on the front and the back. Yet the photo choice shows him wearing #63. There's only a handful of those out there, and of my 124 Alfredsson, it's 1 of 3 where he's not in Senators #11.

11. 1994-95 Upper Deck SP - #53 Craig Billington

And to wrap this one up, another mask card. Two of my favourites were Alex Auld's and Billington's since they worked the helmet on the Senators logo into their masks. Billington had a better photo on his, so that's the one that gets this lofty position.

So, that's it for this with only 10 to go. Doing this has actually been pretty easy to date, but I'm not looking forward to my top 10. #1 is pretty much set, but 10 through 2 will probably switch places a lot of times before I finalize it.

Monday 27 January 2014

A Canadian Centerpiece

Time to show off a card that is most certainly going to be a centerpiece of my Canadians in MLB collection. It arrived today from COMC and is most certainly worth taking a break from my Senators countdown to show off. This one is also the second major card I picked up from selling the Nathan McKinnon YG. I might as well add two major wants for my collection for a card I had little interest in.

Enough babbling. Here is the latest addition:

This double relic comes from ITG's Canadiana set. Think Americana set, just with Canadians, and a far lower print run. This card isn't numbered, but the silver parallel was limited to 90. There's tons of variety in this set. Want a swatch from Trish Stratus' pants? A piece of Rich Little's shirt? A Stephen Leacock base card? A Chantal Kreviazuk auto? It's all part of the set.

When it comes to baseball, there were three subjects. The two you see above, and Larry Walker. Walker also made on card appearances with Terry. However, since I did have a Walker relic, and didn't have either of the others, it was easy to decide on this one. Plus, who else but me (and perhaps a Dimwit), would be interested in a relic card that featured Terry Puhl? With the bonus if it being a bright orange swatch. Actually, all the cards of Puhl from this set I see are bright orange, yellow or red, so these might be from the early 80s Astros unis. No plain white swatches there.

And it's a bonus with the slight pinstripe on Jenkins. $7.75 for this card, meaning I still had about $8-$10 left to spend on other cards before hitting SHIP on it. I'll get to those, which saw me add 5 new faces to my 2/14 collection.
Here's the back of the card. The Jenkins swatch is from his pants. While they did photoshop the hat logos, I wonder if there were issues over the usage of team names on the back of the card.

So, there's the newest beautiful addition to my collection. Even if book value folks would recoil with the horror that I'm happy about the cards I got in return for the sale. Too bad for them.

My Top 50 Ottawa Senators cards - 30 through 21

Keeping the climb going.

30. 2011 Panini All Goalies - #62 Curtis McElhinney

Another member of the "He played here?" club. With the bonus of a great mask that hearkens back to the standard "heavy metal album cover". 2010 was a busy year in net for the Sens, with luminaries such as Mike Brodeur also getting a shot prior to Craig Anderson's arrival.

29.  2002-03 Artistic Impressions - #63 Daniel Alfredsson

You just knew with me there would be a drawn card or two in the mix. In this case, this is the first of two.
28. 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee - #156 Ray Emery

I really wanted to get one of Ray Emery's boxing themed masks in the top 50, so mid-range seemed like a good place to have it end up. I just wish there was a good one of his time with the controversial Mike Tyson mask.

27. 2011-12 Upper Deck - #66 Jason Spezza
26. 2013-14 Score First Goal - #FG-6 Mika Zibanejad

Another combo theme. This time, here are a pair of players posing with their milestone puck. 500th point is pretty impressive, but the first goal puck is more important in any players career. I give that one the nod over Spezza. 3rd appearance from the 2011 UD base set as well. There were also three more cards (Erik Karlsson, Zenon Konopka and Craig Anderson) that came close to making it as well. That's a strong base set for any team.

25. 1996-97 Pinnacle Mint - #10 Daniel Alfredsson

Why, yes, this is a total gimmick.  Your point?

24. 2006-07 Hot Prospects - Kelly Guard

It's not the best mask photo in my collection, but it is still here for a reason. Kelly Guard, and it is based solely on the fact he was a goalie, might be my favourite name in the franchise's history.

23. 2012-13 Rookie Anthology Towering Defenders - TD-JC Jared Cowen

I loved the concept for this subset. A subset based solely on height. The castle gimmick would have worked even better if this had ended up in Crown Royale as opposed to Anthology. It's a nice bright red swatch as well.
22. 2011-12 Crown Royale - Jason Spezza

I love the current Sens Heritage/throwback/alternate jerseys. It looks great with a design that calls back to not only the original Ottawa Senators, but the continued history of the stripe with the OHL's 67's. It's a spectacular old school look, without some of the blinding quality that Montreal used with some of theirs.

21. 2012-13 Score - #338 Chris Neil

And this one wraps up with the 3rd celebration shot in my top 50. Why does this one move above the others? It's Chris Neil, team enforcer, in all his toothless glory, celebrating a goal. It's the kind of card to make you say "That's hockey. Summed up in a single, solitary photo."

60 percent of the way there!

Sunday 26 January 2014

My Top 50 Ottawa Senators cards - 40 through 31

Working my way up the top 50 with my second posting. There's themes in this post. Several of them in fact. It's a case of "I placed two of these cards in my top 50. They should probably be placed together".

40. 2010-11 Upper Deck #391 - Sergei Gonchar
39. 2011-12 Upper Deck #72 - Peter Regin

Making the entrance with children holding the team flags. It  doesn't matter the team, it makes for an incredible image for a card. The only way a pre-game ceremony photo would have been better if the player was standing for the anthem framed perfectly with Lyndon Slewidge in the background. I give the Regin card the slight nod over the Gonchar since the lower angle allows the lights around the arena not to be visible in the background. It creates a darker, old school feel for Regin's entrance.
38.  2012-13 Score Team Score #TS4  - Erik Karlsson

Erik Karlsson has only had a short career, relatively speaking. Still, it is disappointing that he has such a bland cardboard résumé to his name. Lots of skating. Lots of shooting and passing. But this spectacular card is the exception. I've only got a couple posed photos on here, and this one had to be one of them. A great black and white subset with every pose being the same style. It's also the second appearance of a card without a Sens jersey, but the logo is still there.
37. 1997-98 Collector's Choice #176 - Wade Redden

This top 50 needs a couple casual cards, so here's one of them. Collector's Choice didn't just have quirky baseball cards. They also had quirky hockey cards.

36. 2011-12 Upper Deck #71 - Bobby Butler
35. 2012-13 Score First Goal #FG23 - Jared Cowen

A second theme I liked was that of goal celebrations. These comprise 2/3 of the cards to make my top 50 list. And they're both cards from the same base set, or overall set of a card I posted earlier. I love the photo on the Butler one more, with the perfect view of the congratulatory post-goal line. However, since there seems to be a date associated with the second one, so I give it the nod in this battle. It was a road game, and the Senators were wearing their road whites, so it's likely legit.

34. 2011-12 Panini Dominion Mammoth Jerseys - #32 Colin Greening
My first relic card in this list. There's more to come. It's not here for the design, but the fact that this is a nice, large, two-colour swatch, with a significant seam.
33. 1999-00 Wayne Gretzky Hockey - #118 Joe Juneau
32. 2003-04 Topps Bash Masters - #287  Rob Ray

One of my favourite things about attempting to acquire at least one card of each player that suited up for the Senators was the "Oh yeah. He was a Senator for a bit" moments. Pavol Demitra. Mike Comrie. Mike Commodore. Matt Cullen. At least those guys I remembered. I'd completely blanked on Juneau and Ray's time in Ottawa. It's especially nice to add a card of a player for whom there weren't a lot of cards from their time here. Mike Commodore only has hits. Cullen's only card had him pictured with Ottawa, but listed as with the Wild. I give the nod to Ray, since there were fewer cards of his in Sens colours.
31. 2012-13 Upper Deck Canvas - #C58 Daniel Alfredsson

It's Alfie playing ping-pong before a game. What more do you need?

That's 20 of them. Less themes next time. More Alfie!