Thursday 29 April 2021

2021 Adventures in Repacks Part 14 - Surprising Hoops

Looks like all be on a basketball kick for the next many posts, as I will finally get around to posting the pile of Raptors group break cards that have been piling up, along with another one of those 250 cards cubes.

But, I'll start small.

With one of these.

At least I'm guaranteed to get a hit in this one. Since I always seem to do these from the upper left and go clockwise, it looks like the 12-card pack is the starting one.
Here's the first six. Continuing something that seems to be consistent throughout breaking one of these, the Shane Battier is one of those numbered parallels that isn't numbered. It's listed as a silver parallel on the back, and should be /25. But isn't. Meanwhile, it looks like Divac got traded from the Lakers to Charlotte. I hope the Lakers got a quality player back...

Yet another one of those "should be numbered but isn't" cards in here with that Bonzi Wells. You can also see that an extra card snuck into this repacked pack somehow, with there being 13 cards. It is a happy coincidence that a pair of photos where the player could be doing a granny shot ended up next to each other. And there's 2/14 baby Gheorghe! In dupe form.

 Not the most flattering photo of Nance for the leaders pack, but anytime Chronicles makes an appearance, I'm happy.
The chrome look for this card might scan like garbage, but this isn't too bad of an autograph to land out of that pack. Wallace had a nice long NBA career, and this foil parallel, from a word salad of a set known as "Topps Trademark Moves - Signature Dunk" is numbered to /75. And it look like just a gentle layup as opposed to a dunk, but hey, still a nice auto.
No need to scan the holder, but it does provide a solid home for that Taron Johnson card from earlier in the week. So, here's the 2000s pack. No "should be numbered" cards in this one, but I guess someone got a really good deal on those UD Glass base cards. 

Wednesday 28 April 2021

Minor League Mets

 still count as Mets cards.

If you're wondering about the theme of the jersey used for the swatch, it is for Maddie's Fight, for a 10-year old girl who succumbed to a rare form of bone cancer. So at least whatever Topps spent to acquire the jersey for this card went to charity.

Tuesday 27 April 2021


Cracking open the most recent bubbler drop-off from Canada Post, which was 138th (approximate) mailer from Dennis @ Too Many Verlanders.

Starting off, here's the Bills card of the season for a fan Forget your National Treasures 1/1 RPAs, this is your winner. A perfectly framed photo of Taron Johnson's 101-yard interception return for a TD. I'd already planned to pick up a card of this moment had Panini issued one, but they managed to make it better by having an elated Josh Allen in the background. When I got sticker shock at the shipping cost of shipping a single card, Dennis stepped in and got this card for me (along with some Michigan alums for his collection).

The card was a part of lot that included 5 other cards commemorating the conference semi-finals. Half a Josh Allen is still a great Bills card.

There was some major damage to my set-building wantlist as well. Pretty much the entire veteran content from 2018 Classics is in my hands now. 

As well as much of unnumbered portion of the 2006 Parkhurst set. WOO-HOO!

But my most-wanted list also took a hit. Who Would Have Thought was a 2001 insert set that featured surprising transactions in baseball history, whether trades or free agency. During the World Series days for the Jays, they employed a "If you can't beat 'em, sign 'em" strategy to bring in players that had caused trouble for them in the past. Molitor was one of them. I just wish the on-card logos had matched the ones Paul is sporting in the photos.

Obscure Met alert! Going 1-and-4 out of the bullpen can help enhance one's obscurity.
And since it wouldn't be a mailer from Dennis without some 2/14 content, so I'll wrap it up with that. A quartet of immaculate plates featuring Christian Hackenberg. Even at 1 copy each, they're still more of these out there, than passes thrown by "Which ocean?" Hackenberg in the NFL. I guess the missing yellow plate will go on my not-so-reasonable wantlist in the future.

Thanks for the goodies! 


Monday 26 April 2021

Watch out for that Tree!


Is there really such a thing as a wrong time to post a Tree Rollins autograph?

Sunday 25 April 2021

A Fortunate Miss

Several weeks back, I was itching to get into a small group break of 3 boxes of the new 2021 Tribute release. I saw the Mets were available, but they sold in the moments before I decided to pull the trigger. 

But I still had the itch!

So what else was available?

Oakland wasn't too expensive. They had a decent array of active players and legends as hits. Let's try that slot!

Out of 3 boxes worth, with 18 packs, and 3 cards (1 hit, two base/parallels) per pack, I got a single base card. That was still one more card than the Mets got, so I'm at least ahead of the game there.

But I got some hits as well. 

Here's one of those game-dated relics, via that hologram in the middle of it. That really doesn't scan that well, so to save your eye strain, here's what I learned through the MLB authentication.

So, A's at Rangers. 9/13/19.

Looks like Ramon made the most of the 1 from his 1-for-4 day, hitting a 3-run homer in a 14-9 slugfest win for Oakland. I always worry when I come across one of those that he spent the game on the bench, although that's more for pitcher cards than hitters.

While these aren't game-dated, there are two more swatches here. Along with cardboard fans in the background. So we can season-date the photo, at least.
Autographs? Of course there are autographs in this! It's a very basic signature, and I'm not sure what the second portion is supposed to be, but an auto is an auto. Luzardo was all over 2020 releases with autos, so I guess that continues into his second year. But at least I now have a second autograph of the first Peruvian-born MLBer, joining a Chronicles auto/relic.

I did mention legends in my intro. It is a lot more than the Rickey base card.
Because here's an autograph of a legendary pitcher and mustache. On-card, and definitely a lot more legible than the previous entry. Great photo as well, with a nice view of a staredown that isn't quite Dave Stewart, but still shows intimidation.

If that earlier entry is just a little too high-numbered for your taste, here's an orange parallel /25. 

This means that out of 18 hits over the three boxes, the Oakland spot ended up with almost 1/3 of them. Good thing that Mets spot was sold out, huh?

Friday 23 April 2021

Reading Material

 The final post of two weeks worth of Team Canada greatness - booklet cards.

The booklets were generally one per box, all of which were numbered /25. There were a couple multi-subject booklets, but I didn't land any of those. They've got a general format. Player on the front...

And inside you have an autograph, a second picture, and a write-up about the player's achievements at the national level. That also explains why the portrait of Hall on this card makes him look like he isn't old enough to drive.

Basic backs to these.

While Taylor Hall has appeared before in these posts, here's a first time autograph. This is from the 'unfortunate facial hair' period of Rick's career.
But he does use his space nicely on the inside for a big signature.

Previously, I noted that these booklets were wordier than expected. I didn't mean that in terms of myself, but in terms of being wordier than Upper Deck expected.
Since Joe Sakic signed the front of this card...
and the inside of the card as well. At least it distracts from the past that, at least for this card, the photo does not match the write-up, since that patch dates the photo to the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. I watched some other breaks of this, and came across one where a different Sakic booklet was pulled, and on that one, he only signed once. 

So, what on earth inspired Sakic to sign twice?

Perhaps he was looking over someone's shoulder...
Since Joe wasn't the only one to sign twice. 
Yup. He might be considered The Great One, but he didn't quite understand how booklet autographs worked. And, unlike with Sakic...
Wayne was consistent throughout the set in double-signing his booklets.

Depending on how one views this, I now have either three Gretzky autographs after this break, or five Gretzky autographs. And that's a really good problem to have. I'm probably keeping the latter booklet, since I really like the trophy photo inside, and will probably recover most of the cost of the breaks by selling the top one. I looked on ebay for some other booklets, and it seems that somebody educated him that he only needed to sign them once, as others are only signed inside.

Which makes these even more unique of an item.

Master Collection indeed.

And there you have it! 

Thursday 22 April 2021

Twice as Nice!

 I'm back with some more gold ink today, but this time, there's a pair of on-card autos for each card.

There's three cards for today's post, and it feels strange calling this one the 'worst' of the three. But something has to go there. Given how I power-collected the 2013 Rookie Anthology set, I still really like this card that puts two of the better names of that class on the card. This might be the first time I've really gotten a good look at Hubertdeau's sig, and the way the loop on the J continues to form a lower-case h is pretty unique.

When one looks at this card, one might wonder what connection there would be between the two, since with all respect to Kitchener Rangers alum Steve Mason, he doesn't seem to belong on a card alongside Carey Price. But, they went back-to-back guarding the Canadian net at the World Junior tourneys in 2007 and 2008 respectively, both getting golds in their respective tourney, so they really do belong alongside each other on this card. Nice patriotic masks as well!

And that Price/Mason does not get my top spot, because this one gets it. A pair of Hall of Famers is perfect for the top spot. Larry's also a Kitchener alum. It is a strange choice for the photo though, as his captaincy would trace that to the 1981 Canada Cup, which Team Canada lost, as opposed to the one before and after this, which Canada won. Bobby Hull was Robinson's teammate in '76, so that probably would have been a better choice. And hey, there's my first auto of the Golden Jet as well! I've already got a Brett auto, so I probably should add a Dennis one to complete the family auto tree. 

There you have it! All that's left is the literature tomorrow, and some of it will be wordier that you'd expect.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Am I Blue? I'm doing GREAT!

Switching ink colour today, and I've got some autographs signed in a more standard colour.

If I had not picked up another Orr autograph earlier via COMC, this would easily have been one of the big hits of the breaks for me. Instead it turns into one of those "I will probably send it to COMC to get some of the money back" card. Now, I can certainly have this put aside for trade as well, but it would take a spectacular offer to get it sent that way. This is from the Team Canada Signatures insert set, but it looks like Bobby didn't get the memo to use the gold pen.

Given that he didn't leave the Sens under the best circumstances, this is probably the biggest dud for me in terms of autographs I landed in these breaks. Still a nice looking card though.
With only a few exceptions, the 50 card base set has a complete parallel set with on-card autographs. I got a few of these, and James Neal was probably the lesser of the three.
The competition was really good here. Still not enough for a former MVP to take top place among the Silver Spectrum autos.

And that still isn't enough for the #1 spot.
Even if he hadn't passed away last year, this would still be an amazing addition to my hockey collection. People remember the famous Gretzky to Lemieux goal during the 1987 Canada Cup, but you also have to remember that it was Hawerchuk that won the face-off to set up the rush down the ice. Dale played for a few teams over his NHL career, but if I had to choose a team to appear on an auto'ed card of his, it would be the maple leaf of Team Canada.

And as amazing as that was, this wasn't the big auto for this post. 

In fact, this came from the very same break that I landed the Hawerchuk auto from, as well as the Messier from yesterday.

What's bigger than those two?





How can I hate any product that lands me my first autograph of The Great One? Even better, this one is a definite reference to the 1987 Canada Cup that I referenced above. How could I even consider myself a hockey collector without a Gretzky auto in my collection? As soon as this was pulled, I sent this off to get it encased, and am seriously considering having this whole thing framed, and put on display.  It looks so beautiful in person, with the blue ink really popping against the sepia/white background. 

And I'm still not done. 

I still have to show off some multi-player cards, as well as some booklet cards. I still have even more Hall of Famers, as well as some cards that were probably wordier than expected.

There you have it!


Monday 19 April 2021

Graphs of Gold

After taking the week-end off, back to working my way through the various Team Canada Master collection break goodies. There are a lot of autographs to show off, so I just decided to break them off into 4 groups. I'm leading off with (mostly) cards from the deepest insert set. While the variety of names in this would mean a few questionable names, there's still some really nice names in here.

The best thing about the depth of this set (65 cards), in a release with only 499 boxes, means the the cards here are very limited. No card is numbered to more than 25 copies. 

He's not the biggest name in the set, but Ray Whitney more than makes up for that by having what is likely the largest autograph in the set. If you're given that much room to display your signature, you might as well use it. I've already got an auto of his out of Chronology in my penmanship binder, so this is a nice addition to my more generic collection of hits.

When Jake Allen, a player still in the league and putting up solid numbers with Montreal, is one of the lower-end members of this checklist, that's a pretty solid checklist. This photo is from one of his pre-NHL junior appearances with Team Canada, where he picked up a gold and a silver.

May The Schwartz Be With You! Here's another guy with a solid NHL career. He and Allen would be teammates when the Blues won the Stanley Cup in 2019. Also as with Allen, this photo is from his pre NHL career when he represented Team Canada as a junior.

And here's a former Art Ross trophy winner, and he's the one you forgot won the Art Ross trophy when you're trying to remember winners from the 2010s. Maybe Martin St. Louis as well. It's a fairly minimalist signature, but it does still use the provided space well. An he did pick up a gold medal in the 2010 Olympics, so this is a nice flashback to that, even though the photo isn't from there. Surprisingly, this is his only appearance in the set.

Here's a pair of Kitchener Rangers alum making an appearance in the set. I'm somewhat surprised that this is my first certified Paul Coffey autograph in the collection. His is one of the shorter printed autographs in the set, being limited to /10 copies. The patch he's sporting dates that picture to the 1991 Canada Cup. Derek has a few autos already from 2013 Panini releases. As is the theme with todays, the players use the room provided for them to enhance a minimalist auto.

I'll leave the Team Canada Signatures insert set behind for one final golden graph. The Luminaries insert set is a little more exclusive than the TCS one, featuring 8 Hall of Famers among the 10 card set, 1 certain HOFer in Crosby, and one "do you need a fourth?" type with Theo Fleury. Here, it is my first Messier graph. A beautiful design here, and it is so nice the second photo isn't a repeat. First one stamped too! That's an ebay 1/1 that I wouldn't consider selling. Looking at the jersey, it seems we have a second Canada Cup photo.

And there's still more to come! Nothing but ink through Friday!

Saturday 17 April 2021

Series 2 Revisited

 What goodies were hiding in the second hobby box I busted of Upper Deck Series 2?

While my main goal from the second box was to complete the 200 card base set, getting one of the big Young Guns in the set was also pretty nice. It is offset by the fact that they're not a cheap date in group breaks for the first time in a long time, but it bodes well for the team in the future that they've got a chase player.

Another Sens appearance completes the team set in this.
I did finish off the remainder of the 200 card base set via this box, which is far better than I did with the 3 boxes of Series 1, which didn't even do that. 
And the remainder of the Young Guns. Even without the Stutzle, this still would have been a decent box with the Miller. 

Parallel time! I got a pair of them in this. Here's the French version of Jordan Staal's base card. Given that he's sporting the Whalers throwbacks, this one will certainly make its way to Shane @ Shoebox Legends in the near future. 
I've seen those before - but this is my first Clear Cut parallel. 
This was a nice box for Sens content, as I knocked their only appearance in OPC Update off my set building list with this card commemorating Bobby Ryan's Masterton trophy win. 

That Sam Reinhart is a pretty bland card but the other two veteran Canvas cards are pretty nice. I didn't recall that the Blues brought out those throwbacks last year, but they did. Red never seemed like a good idea for a team called the Blues.
Anytime the parallel colour matches up with one of the team's colours, you've got a nice card. This Brett Burns Dazzlers is no exception.

Does being the only numbered card in the box make a Portraits insert better? Marginally, but this insert set really, really needs to be sent to a farm upstate where it can run and be free and you can never visit it ever again.

Let's end this with a far better hit than that Portraits. While this is only the base version of this insert set, getting a gold swatch, as opposed to the white or gray swatch makes it feel more like you've pulled a very special card. And it does seem like the gold VGK swatches command a decent premium on ebay, so it is even more of a keeper.

But not as much of a keeper as the Stutzle.

There you have it!