Wednesday, March 31, 2010

something I'd never seen before...

The scene - The Forum in Montreal as the Canadiens hosted the Carolina Hurricanes. Montreal is in a dogfight for the playoffs, Carolina is not. Referee Kerry Fraser is officiating his last game in Montreal after 26 years of service.
Montreal takes the early lead, dominating Carolina. Shots after one period are 18-2. Score, 1-0. Early in the second period, "the other" referee (NHL hockey games have two refereees and two linesmen) some rookie official, calls a delayed penalty against Montreal and forgets to blow the whistle. The puck is inadvertently put in the Montreal net by one of their own players, and "the other" referee calls it a goal after review because he failed to blow the whistle in time. In the discussion, you can plainly see Kerry Fraser shaking his head and disagreeing. Score 1-1.

Later on that period, the play is in the Montreal end and a Carolina player takes a dive 5 feet in front of Kerry Fraser looking for a penalty call. Fraser smiles and shakes his head... but from 110 feet away, "the other" referee blows his whistle (he found it apparently) and calls the penalty over the P.A. before Fraser could skate out to talk to him. Score 2-1 Carolina.

Are you still with me? Here is the part I have never seen before... Kerry Fraser takes "the other" refereee to the timekeepers box between plays, and gives him an on-ice, public chastising. There was finger pointing, eye glaring, and the conversation was very one sided between the 26 year vet and the rookie. For the rest of that period, and the third as well, "the other" referee did not make one call, nor did he even blow his whistle.

I've watched hockey for many, many years, and seen some poor officiating and some great officiating, but I have never, ever seen a referee publically de-ball another official before.

Very cool. Too bad Fraser is retiring... although I hear he is going higher up in the league, maybe as head of officials. For "the other" referee's sake, he better hope not.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

a box break meant for somebody else...

You ever buy a box of cards, rush home, rip into it, and at the end felt a little let down because you knew this box was meant for someone else? This just happened to me. And I feel a little let down over it too. I've seen dozens of box breaks for this product on the various forums, all with cards I've drooled over... but not this one. This one was meant for someone else.

But let's get back to that later. First up the standard review. Of what? Why 2009/10 In The Game Between the Pipes of course. For a refresher on last year's version, go to my review HERE. It went a little better than this year.

The base set is divided into four subsets.... the first, Future Stars. These are the guys that either have been drafted in the last year or two, or are about to be this summer. I chose Leland Irving as my example. Why? Well he's the Flames heir apparent, and if Kipper keeps playing the way he did this morning, we may be seeing Leland sooner than later.
Stars of the Game features today's current players, this year in a "painted" look. Here's Marc being told that if he agrees to take a quick vacation in Vancouver, talk to some pretty girls, and generally smile for the cameras... they'll pay him with a Gold Medal. No catches.
Next we have Greats of the Game. Some cool cards here... although some duds as well. They may have tried too hard in expanding the checklist. Allan Bester? Grant Fuhr? Putting these against the likes of Johnny Bower and Georges Vezina is close to sacrilege.
I know you are all wondering how you get a nick name like Rogie. Well, if you have a name like Rogatien, you gotta be called something.
and last but not least, in my opinion, are cards from "The Rival League" We're talking WHA here people.

Gary "Bones" Bromley from the Cowboys. Yes Flames fans, Calgary had a pro hockey team before we borrowed one from Atlanta. You all just never went to see them, so they left. Shame on you! You go to the penalty box, you hang your head, and you feel shame!
That takes care of the base set, now onto the inserts... There are six insert sets to chase. The first five on the list fall at 1:8 packs combined. The Masked Men fall at 1:8 themselves.
1. Gold Medal Masks. - didn't get any, although I did win one over at Cards On Ice!
2. Martin Brodeur Tribute - pulled 1
3. Net Brawlers - didn't get any
4. CHL All Stars - pulled 1
5. AHL All Stars - didn't get any
6. Masked Men - Pulled 3

First up, my CHL All Star
Then my Martin Brodeur tribute. There are several of these, mine is #6. Get used to seeing Marty... he owns this box.
Masked Men - Tim Thomas (I bet a lot of card companies are wishing they hadn't jumped on the bandwagon of this flash in the pan backup....)
Martin Brodeur (again, but not the last Marty insert)
Ilya Bryzgalov. If the voters vote with their brain cells, and not their ass, Ilya will be league MVP at the upcoming Awards Ceremony.
Next up we have the autographs. Seeded 1:8 I pulled 2. It's always fun to pull these and wait to see when/where they get drafted...
wow. Jamie Tucker, although I have never met you, you sir, are a Douche. A Douche of the highest standing. How often do you see someone's jersey number being 2/3 of their signature?
Show some pride you cockknocker, at least pretend you went to school.
Your auto makes the next one look like calligraphy.
James Reimer, the Leafs future saviour. Good luck with that James. Work hard and someday you too, may have a career that rivals Allan Bester.

Now the relics, again seeded 1:8
Martin Brodeur.
Somewhere in Calgary is a Brodeur super collector. In two boxes, purchased at the same shop as mine, he pulled nothing. Not one Brodeur. I now know why.

And we end with Chris Osgoods goal pads /60
Pretty cool stuff, but not of a dude I collect. None of these are dudes I collect. Story of my life.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some base cards to sort and put in pages.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New additions to my PC, all the way from Europe

my latest additions come from two ebay sellers in England and France. That right there should let you know I'm not talking about Adam LaRoche.

Scanning ebayUK I was able to find a few new Edwin van der Sar cards for my collection. Now most of you may not be very familiar with Mr. van der Sar. Well he's a football player. Soccer to you Yanks. He's a Keeper really. An outstanding one. (That's what they call goalies) Think Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur all rolled up into one 6'6" goofy Dutchman. Awesome.

The first five new cards are actually stickers. From Panini. You may have heard of them. They've been in the news lately. Well, this is what made them famous and rich. Well, actually wealthy. Not rich. There is a big difference. Like Chris Rock says, Kobe is rich. The white dude who signs his cheques, he's wealthy. Anyways...

all of those came from the French seller, who despite the language gap, was a very nice fellow. I love buying things from Europe. Everyone there is so nice and friendly.
From England I bought one card. The latest '09/10 Topps Attax card.
This one cost me around $7. For a base card. Yeah. The game is popular. There is an SP version of Edwin from this set that regularly sells for over $30. Those Europeans play hardball. But Edwin is worth it. Easily the most powerful card in the game. It doesn't get much better than a rating of 100/100, does it?
Since the dude from England spoke English, I asked him if he had any other cards of Edwin I could buy since mailing just one seemed silly. "No worries mate" I was told. And that was that. When the envelope showed up, I found four other Edwin's in the envelope. Three of them shown here, and one scan that has escaped and is now at large in the computer scannerverse.
This is last years Topps Attax card. One of the nicest cards I've seen. If Topps did baseball this well, I'd have bought some last year.... or this year....
you can't tell in the scan, but Edwin and his ratings and position are in a smooth high gloss finish. The background and border are in a matte textured finish. Quite striking actually.

Another shiny Panini sticker.
and the sparkliest football card I have ever seen. You need glasses to look at this thing in the light.
Thanks Mr ebayUK seller!!!
I've always admired Edwin and the way he played. He now holds records for most "clean sheets" (shutouts), most consecutive clean sheets, and most wins.
He also has played more games internationally for his country than anyone else.
He's Edwin van der Sar, and you're not.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mint Condition

I, like a lot of fellow bloggers, was contacted by author Dave Jamieson regarding his new book, Mint Condition.
Would I like an advance copy to read?, I was asked. Hell yes. And so it arrived today.
I'm part way through it already, i should be able to review it in a day or so. And yes Beardy, it has pictures.

Also included in the package was this little gem.
The fools! I'm rich! Pristine, untouched by human hands, 1987 Topps Baseball. Now to start planning my retirement.... hmmm.... this is sounding an awful lot like the book I'm reading...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

a dinosaur, the last of a dying breed...

I, am a set collector. I've been called many things over the years. People still give me strange looks at card shows when I ask if they have any commons boxes of 1999 Topps Finest Football to look through. But I can't help it.
It's the chase. The joy of the completed page, and yes, the completed set.

Today was a good day for this dinosaur. My 1977/78 OPC hockey set, is now complete. Picked up the last 4 cards I needed for it. It cost me $2. Well worth it.

This is Holmgren's RC. The guy wanted $5, but look at the OC... ended up getting it for $1.50. Still too much...... but I paid it. I'll upgrade him, and two other cards in my set, later....
but first I want to enjoy it for a little while..... flip through the pages, read the backs... you know.
a couple of generous bloggers helped with my Conlon set. Thanks to Ryan and Shane! Now I only need 18 more to finish, but I did finally put the rest in pages. They look awesome!
It'll take weeks to read all of the cool stuff on the cards, let alone the pictures...
I also finished off my 09/10 UD Hockey series 1 set today...
and am only 2 cards short of Series 2. A big thanks to the nice card show dude today who gave me the 8 cards I needed... free! Gratis! Such a nice guy... I went back and bought 2 sets from him just because of that. See? Give me stuff and I buy more.
Now an ebay purchase. I'm working on the 40 card All World insert set from this year's Upper Deck Hockey. The last 10 are SP's... with these two, I now only need 4 more.
the book value of these 2? Over $40!!! Mojo!!!!
Meh. $2.99 shipped to my door from the same seller. He wasn't happy about it, but it's his own fault for even owning a Beckett.
If anyone out there can or wants to continue my good mood... please check out the old wantlist and let's make a deal. Hopefully I'll have something you want.

Friday, March 19, 2010

2009 Icons Break

as mentioned before, I was instructed by the Boss to bring home a football box for us/her to bust. I chose UD Icons because it was the cheapest box in the store besides base Topps and Upper Deck.

With football Icons, you get the absolute Greatest Quarterback who ever played the game don't even argue with me or say any other name on the box and the wrappers.

with baseball, you get ..... jeter. Football? The absolute God-like greatest to ever pick up a ball! Baseball?... jeter... Another reason football is better.

This was a little unusual for me... only 10 packs per box, and 5 hits. On average. Let's see what she found...

The base 47/100

They look okay, my wife really liked them. I think that's because of the colour coding in team colours. I got Tony Romo, but no Witten, Eli but no Peyton, and AP but no Lord Favre.

The Rookies 3/50

The rookies are pictured in their college uni's with no mention of their NFL team affiliation, despite this set being released over 2 months after the draft. All RC's are #/599

The inserts - other than the Rookies and the auto, we got 5 numbered inserts.

The auto I mentioned? WR Kenny Britt. See exhibit #3,214,659 on how not to do a sticker auto.

The relics. 2 per box, both game used. Dick McWilliams pinky swears!

Donnie Avery of the hapless Rams and Braylon "Dropsies" Edwards of the Browns/Jets
Both #/299

Icons also has 2 Lettermen per box.

First up, Jerry Kramer /76 - And I swear, the letter is actually a beautiful Packer Green, but my scanner refuses to show you. Something about light refraction properties through fabric. Hey, I dunno, ask my wife. It's what she told me.

and of course, we didn't get our second Lettermen promised us. Instead my wife rips into the pack, looks up at me and asks, who's Gale Sayers?

Redemption City. An autographed Imortal Lettermen Gale Sayers. Nice.

My wife was pretty pumped at getting such a special card that you had to request it instead of UD just putting it in the packs.... (I didn't explain it to her, she was having such fun...) so I showed her where to go online to redeem it.

According to UD, it's in stock and ready to ship............ soon.....

Like someone I know says... pics, or it didn't happen. When it gets here, I'll post it for all to see.

btw, after we/she broke this, I went online to take a look at the checklist. And I swear, if I had pulled an Anthony Michael Hall or a Corey Haim Lettermen instead of what we did.... someone would pay, and pay dearly. Jus' sayin'

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Trade Night!

so my CS, (I won't call them my LCS because I have to pack a lunch and get gas halfway just to get there) had a Trading Night last night from 6-9pm.


What's a Trading Night?

So I sent off an email to Darren the loyal shopkeep asking the very same. He sent back a response of "bring your trade box, meet some fellow collectors, and have some pizza."

Meet fellow collectors. Check.

Pizza. Double check.

Bring my trade box. Wait. WTF is a trade box????

It can't be what I think it is.... he knows I'm a set collector and at any one time have 20-30 sets I'm working on. I have at least 20 monster boxes full of cards from sets I've completed. Does he really want me to bring those? I'll need to call Penske.

Whatever. He also asked for all of us to bring the loot we snagged at Saturday's ITG Cross Canada Tour. So I'll bring that, and a handful of duplicate inserts from this years hockey.

Off I go. Well, I did find out more proof of what I already knew. There are very few set collectors out there. Not a lot of base cards in those trade boxes that showed up. Although I did get to meet quite a few new people, no trades were worked. But I didn't think there would be.

Before I left, I was encouraged to play a couple rounds of pack wars. For those of you, like me, who have never played pack wars before, the concept is simple. Someone picks a product. It could be anything, any year, any sport. Everyone gets a pack. Someone picks a stat... highest jersey number, most goals, most career touchdowns, whatever... all the packs get ripped and whomever has the card corresponding to that packs stat, gets all the cards. Fun.
But yeah, you know me. I lost horribly. Dangerous game. Very addicting. And I really would cry the first time I pulled an auto of my favourite player only to have to give it away because someone pulled the heaviest lineman.

Of course that doesn't mean I left empty handed. Before I left the house, my loving wife told me to quit bringing home hockey and get something good for a change. That's her subtle way of telling me she wants to open some football. Yes dear.
So I brought home a box of 2009 Upper Deck Icons Football for us/her to open. More on that later. (Sneakpeek hint: redemption)

Thanks for the good times Darren! Check out Maple Leaf Sports if you're in or near Calgary.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Card Blog League

so last night was the live draft of the second annual Card Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League sponsered by none other than Punk Rock Paint.

12 sportscard blogs going head to head, all season long. Let's see who I'm bringing to battle.

Starting Lineup;

Catcher - Brian McCann - always nice to get one of the top two catchers in baseball... if you don't get one of these two, wait until the last round to draft one because the rest don't matter.

1st base - Michael Cuddyer - 32 Homers 100 rbi's... okay pick

2nd base - Ian Kinsler - my SB guy, hopefully the average climbs this year.

3rd base - Alex Rodriguez - I missed the first round and Arod was my autopick. Could be worse.

SS - Yunel Escobar - 100 runs scored, 85 rbi's and a .300 avg. Nice.

OF - Josh Hamilton - I hope he's not injured anymore.

OF - Jason Kubel - 30 homers, 100 rbi's and a .300 average. Why have I not heard of him?

OF - Jason Heyward - I had to.... I just had to...

Utility - Adam LaRoche - 25-30 homers and 85 rbi's, all in the second half.

BENCH - Jeff Francoeur, Alcides Escobar, and Martin Prado

SP - Josh Johnson - time to step up young man.

SP - Jair Jurrjens - quickly becoming an ace... please be healthy

SP - Tommy Hanson - 'nuff said.

SP - J.A. Happ - another youngin'

SP - Rickey Romero - I couldn't stop...

SP - Madison Bumgarner - I hope he finds where he left his fastball...

SP - Jorge Del La Rosa - 16 wins and 200 K's last year? In Colorado???

RP - Rafael Soriano

RP - Ryan Franklin

RP - David Aardsma

RP - Peter Moylan

Ladies and Gentlemen... your 2010 Card Blog League Champions

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hmm... I don't think so...

It's great to show an illustrated "how to", but....
I can't see it happening. First, I don't think kids collect and/or trade cards anymore.
Second, I certainly don't think they "flip" cards anymore either.

You might think i pulled out an old Tuff Stuff from the early '80's or something.... but no, it's from a brand new magazine. The February issue of The Wantlist.

Anybody want to bring some of their cards over for a game?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Card Shop Party Goodie Bag...

Okay, first up, for those of you who didn't read my last post, click HERE and read it first, or you might not know what the hell is going on.

Are we all up to speed now? Good. The main theme was In The Games 2009/10 Heroes and Prospects set. The key guy everyone wants is Taylor Hall. Remember that name. Taylor.

BTW, if Upper Deck or Topps decides that this post is worth reading, pay attention. You'll learn how to do sticker autos the right way. The way collector's will still chase after them and snap them up like Tic Tacs.

Example #1
Damn! Wrong Taylor. Oh well. This Taylor was a third round pick of Nashville last summer.

Example #2
Damn! Wrong Taylor again! This Taylor was a second round pick of San Jose last summer. The Taylor we wanted will be the first overall pick of Edmonton this summer. Yes. I can predict the future.
Now is that not the way to do sticker autos? Fabulous.
Onto the relics...
Maxime first started playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League at 15. He is eligible for this upcoming draft. I was still trying to master long division at 15.

Oliver Roy was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in last summer's draft. Oliver. We're all very sorry about that.

Joey Hishon is eligible for this upcoing draft. Last season Joey scored 37 goals and 81 points in 65 games.
And this is the big one...
Not just a regular Landon Ferraro....
but a made just for me Landon Ferraro.
All in all a great time was had by all in attendance. And there were a lot in attendance. At any one time there were between 30-35 people crammed into Darren's tiny shop. I got to meet some folks that post on some of the boards, and came home with some really cool cards. Can't beat that.