Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dave H Strikes Again!

I sound like a broken record at this point, but after 8+ years back in the hobby I continue to be amazed by the generosity of my fellow sports card collectors.  Lately it's all I can do to keep up with the influx of new cards arriving in my mailbox that folks have sent me just because.  Today's post is another example, as a week or two ago I was the recipient of an amazing package of cards sent by my friend Dave H at Wax Stain Rookie.

This was no small package, either.  Rather than a PWE, or even a bubble mailer, Dave actually sent me a box of cards!  There were so many that I won't get to them all today, as I've got a couple of separate posts going for some complete insert sets that Dave included.  Even the "bookend" cards that Dave threw in to protect the real goods were appreciated.  I mean look at that great octopus mask on Jimmy Howard.

Nik Antropov represented the other bookend card in the package.  New to me, I'll take it!

While I don't need a new set to collect, I have been casually plugging away at the 2013-14 Score release from Panini.  This Brad Marchand/Ford advertisement is one I needed for my set.

Awesome.  Love the sort of painted effect on this Titanium Ron Francis.  This is my first Titanium card of any sort, but even better it's my very first relic to depict Ronnie Franchise with the Carolina Hurricanes.  It also purports to be game worn, as opposed to "event worn" or something like that.

Dave knows I'm a Sergei Fedorov fan, and my eyes lit up when I came across this Take a Number insert that uses everyone's favorite '90s card technology, Dufex!  This is easily one of my shiniest Fedorov cards.

There were actually a few Fedorovs in the package, including my very first look at 1998-99 O-Pee-Chee.  Not a bad design, clean and simple.

I got a Jason Allison sporting a questionable Bruins alternate jersey from the set as well.

Solid card backs, too.  I really like this set.

Here's another first for me, my very first Sergei Fedorov game used/relic card!  If you had told me as a kid in the early '90s that someday someone would send me a game-used Sergei Fedorov card in the mail just because, I think my head would have exploded.

Alright, this is the card that actually made me stop and literally say "WHOA!" out loud while flipping through the cards.  I've been slowly plugging away at '82-83 OPC for years now, but given how much of my set has come via trades and card collecting friends it would be more accurate to say that others have been plugging away at '82-83 OPC for me for years now.  Messier was one of the big names I'd yet to tackle, and this fine example fits right in with the rest of my set, in fact it's probably in better shape than a good majority of my others.

I love that the card back mentions that Mark is a bachelor who enjoys water skiing.

As if Messier weren't enough, Dave included his Oilers teammate and fellow HOFer Paul Coffey!  While I did already have a copy of this card, the one Dave sent over is in terrific condition.  I am fairly certain this is a condition upgrade over my current copy.  Either way, I won't have any trouble finding a home for whichever copy loses out in that battle.

FYI Paul was also a bachelor in 1982, in case you cared.

How about two great scoring leaders cards from one of the best hockey sets ever, 1979-80 Topps?  I still count finishing off this set among my greatest accomplishments in this hobby.  One of these was a condition upgrade for my set (score!), and the other one is going to a good home where I know it will be appreciated.

Now that is a shiny insert.  A unique addition to my collection.  It may come from a time period that was pretty dark for the B's, however the card is anything but.

We got to see some pretty ugly All-Star sweaters this past weekend (at least in my humble opinion), but this one being sported by Al MacInnis isn't half bad.

In closing, my favorite Fedorov card from the package.  This is from the 1998-99 Topps Local Legends insert set.  I've always been a fan of newspaper-themed sets, but had never seen these before.  I am going to make it a point to search out some of the other cards from this set.

Dave, thank you again for the amazing package of cards.  I hope the PWE I sent makes it to your door, but I'm not 100% confident given that it's my first experiment with a PWE to Canada.  Regardless, I'm setting aside some more cardboard to send you in the very near future either way.  Thank you!!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

1953 Topps Project - Clyde Vollmer

As we prepare for a monster snowstorm here in the Northeast, I've got another addition to my 1953 Topps set.  Hopefully I can ride out this storm without losing power, but the snow's already coming down here so if Clyde Vollmer ends up atop the blog for a few days you know the reason...

Clyde Vollmer actually came up with the Cincinnati Reds all the way back in 1942.  He homered in his first big league at bat; he was only the fourth player ever to accomplish that feat.  After just 12 games played in the 1942 season Clyde, like so many ballplayers of this generation, was called to serve in World War II.  He would return to the Reds in 1946 after being relieved of his military duties.

Over the next few seasons Vollmer would play for the Reds, Senators and Red Sox before hanging up the spikes after the 1954 season.  In a career that spanned 10 years, he compiled a .251 lifetime average with 69 HR, 77 doubles, 500+ hits, and 339 RBI.

This card represents an interesting benchmark in my set.  The complete set contains 274 cards, and with this being my 74th I'm down to an even 200 cards left to chase.  Someday I'll get there!  Maybe...

Set Progress:  74 of 274 (27%)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Favorite Catcher Card

I don't have any autographed cards scanned and ready to go for Signature Sundays this week.  To make up for it, I've got one of my absolute favorite vintage cards to show today.  It's probably my favorite catcher card in my entire collection, one I've been meaning to post for a while now.  I sought this card out for almost two years before finally picking one up for a price and condition that I was satisfied with...

Behold!  Red Kleinow represents just my third T206 card, all of them Boston Red Sox.  This amazing card, which features a great look at turn-of-the-century catcher's gear, is my favorite of the three by a long shot.  You won't find a plaque for John Peter "Red" Kleinow hanging in Cooperstown, but he sure got a gorgeous tobacco card.  After purchasing the card, I found out that Kleinow was one of the early adapters of the chest protector pictured here.  Can you imagine catching a Major League game without a chest protector?  Well, that was the norm only a few seasons before the T206 set was distributed.

This instantly becomes one of my favorite Red Sox cards (a countdown I definitely need to revisit at some point).  To me, the condition is more than acceptable; I'm alright with rounded corners, and the crease in the upper left corner doesn't detract from the image itself, or the overall visual appeal of the card.  Hell, these flaws are the only reasons a guy like me can afford one of these to begin with.

Complicating my search for this card was the fact that two versions exist; one that lists Red with the Yankees, and one that lists him with Boston.  He was sold to Boston by the Yankees during the 1909 season, so at some point during the T206 print run the cards were updated accordingly.  I'm not sure that either version is more rare than the other, but any way you slice it there are less total cards available with each team.

The other thing I loved about this particular copy is that the back, a Polar Bear variation, looks amazing.  No glue spots or rips to be seen!  Still has a lot of color and pop for being well over 100 years old now.

I hope to make further progress on a T206 Red Sox team set in 2015.  I know that Tris Speaker isn't going to happen, but there are still quite a few cards I should be able to get for around $20 - $30 if I keep my eyes open.  Not sure any of them can top this one though...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Package of Prizm (and More) from Jason!

Back when I posted the first few packs of my 2013-14 Panini Prizm retail box, reader Jason left a comment.  He had purchased a couple of blasters of the product on discount at Wal-Mart, and wasn't interested in hanging onto the cards.  A trade was born, and in the end Jason shipped me over 40 cards towards the set!

My absolute favorite of the base cards was Teemu Selanne.  I don't know too many hockey fans who don't like Selanne.  I am not a player collector, but if I was he'd be on my list.

Included in the 40+ cards for the base set were a few short-printed rookie cards as well!  Roman Cervenka was already a well-known commodity in Russia before coming to the NHL (his 31 goals were the most by any player in the KHL in 2010-11).  He lasted only 39 games with the Flames though, and is back playing overseas.

Your 2013 Calder Memorial Trophy winner, Jonathan Huberdeau!

Younger brother of Jamie McGinn.  Now with the Sharks organization.

It wasn't just the base cards that Jason was willing to send, as he included this David Backes Pivotal Players insert.  I've pulled one of these from my box so far.

Perhaps my favorite Prizm cards in the package were these blue parallels.  The colored parallels from this set look amazing in person, especially when there's a match with the jersey color.  They don't scan half bad either I have to say.  There were 8 of these in total.

Some pretty big stars amongst the parallel cards.

Jason was even kind enough to include his one hit from the 2 blasters he ripped, this Stefan Elliott autograph.  After just a single game with the Avs last season, Elliott has yet to be promoted from the AHL in 2014-15.  He's having a great season down there though, with 11 goals and 14 assists in 39 games as a defenseman.

Sending me all those great Prizm cards would have been more than enough, but Jason picked out a couple of other cards he knew I'd like from reading the blog.  This Ron Francis is from the brand new Artifacts set, and represents my first 2014-15 Whaler cardboard.

Last but certainly not least, my two favorite cards in the entire package were a pair of 2009-10 Champ's Yellow parallels.  These aren't the easiest cards to come by, and I try to pick them up on the cheap whenever I can.  At one-per-hobby-box I doubt I'll ever complete the 100-card set, but I'm definitely going to try.  Jason sent along future HOFer Jarome Iginla...

...and HOFer Tony Esposito.  This card is great!  I'm up to 13 of these parallels now, which isn't half bad.

Jason, thank you so much for the thoughtful package, and for reading my blog.  I will have another envelope of cards off to you sometime this coming week...

Friday, January 23, 2015

One Card Post - Bobby Robins!

What:  2014-15 Upper Deck #205 - Bobby Robins Young Guns RC SP
Where:  eBay
How Much?:  $3.75 (free shipping)

:  Saw this card posted on Coast to Posts a while ago, and knew I wanted a copy.  I'm sure getting an officially licensed Upper Deck hockey card meant more to Bobby Robins than it does a lot of players in this year's set.  Look at what he went through after college before finally reaching the NHL with the Bruins this season:

Guy played all over the place, including in Europe, and finally got to crack the Bruins' NHL roster back in October.  True, he lasted just 3 games, 7 minutes and change of total ice time, and accrued 14 PIM, but he made the show.  Congrats Bobby on making it to the NHL, and on receiving a proper Upper Deck Young Guns rookie!

Other:  Apparently Bobby is a fellow blogger!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

More Packs of Panini Prizm

Time to crack into four more packs of 2013-14 Panini Prizm hockey.  I opened the first 4 packs of my 24-pack box a few weeks ago, time for the next four...

Just four cards per pack, so this should go by pretty quickly...

Short-print rookie in the first pack.  Matt's been off and on with San Jose this year, after 62 games with the club last season.

Pack 2...

One of the hottest net-minders this season, who is now injured...

My first Pivotal Players insert.  Not sure if I'll collect this insert set or not.  If not, I'll be shipping this card to my buddy Mitch in Michigan...

Pack 3...

Love this particular Capitals uniform look...

Actually played with the Devils in 2013-14, not the Wings.

Always nice to pull one of the big stars out of your box so that you don't have to buy it for your set later on the secondary market.  Also, it does not appear that this card gave the mumps to any of the other cards in the pack.

Some good star power to close out pack 3 with Crosby and Price back-to-back.  Pack 4...

My first pack that contained four plain old base cards, no inserts or parallels to be found.  I've decided to collect the set though, so I don't mind.  I'll get to ripping more of these in the future, and I've also gotten a huge stack of them via trade which I'll be posting about soon...
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