Friday, January 30, 2009
Last night my job afforded me the opportunity to catch the B's in action for the first time this season. The seats were in a luxury suite which made the experience even better. Here's a great shot my co-worker took before the game. Food and drink were free, so as you can tell we showed up quite a while before the opening face off:
The game itself was a nail-biter. The Bruins quite frankly looked flat and uninspired for the first two periods and it looked like it was going to be a terrible game to see. New Jersey had jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the time the 3rd period had started, and were settling in for a period of defensive play and protecting the lead.
The Bruins came alive in the final period though, netting 3 unanswered goals and taking the lead on Dennis Wideman's one timer with 6:30 to go. Luckily, I was seated behind the goal that the Bruins were shooting at in the 1st and 3rd periods so I had a great view of comeback. The Fleet Center was packed and the crowd was going wild as the Bruins mounted their attack in the 3rd. This was the first Bruins game that I'd gone to since last season, and the difference between that last game and this one was incredible. The arena was actually full last night, pretty amazing when you think that just a couple of years ago they painted every other seat black so the empty stands wouldn't look so bad!
In the end, the Bruins choked away the lead allowing the Devils to tie the game with 1:45 left. Even worse the Devils netted the game-winner just over a minute into overtime. At least the Bruins were able to get 1 point, which is better than I expected after the first 2 dismal periods. It was a great experience all around, hopefully I can make it to another game before season is over.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
In reality, McDonald was actually a very skilled player who scored over 1,000 points in his 18-year NHL career and is a member of the NHL Hall of Fame. Lanny's 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee card (pictured above), which I recently picked up for a whopping 10 cents, has quickly become one of my favorites. I think it's the blatant advertising for Molson on the front of Lanny's jersey. This kind of thing would never fly in the NHL these days. It just seems fitting though, Lanny strikes me as the kind of guy who would enjoy a nice cold Molson. This obviously looks like it's just a practice jersey, which is supported by the fact that the stands behind Lanny are completely devoid of fans. This Bill Masterson Trophy Winner card from the very same O-Pee-Chee set shows Lanny in what is clearly real game action, sans Molson advertisement:
Monday, January 26, 2009
I bought a rack pack of 2008 O-Pee-Chee hockey a while back and it instantly became my favorite hockey set of 2008 (with Upper Deck's base and Masterpieces sets not far behind). After picking up another rack pack, a blaster, and about a half dozen hobby packs, I decided I was going to build the set and ponied up for a wax box. I paid $63.00 for the box, which contains 36 packs, 6 cards per pack.
The highlight of this product for me though is the Retro parallel cards. Inserted at one per pack, these cards are actually a parallel to the base set on a 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee design. Normally I absolutely detest parallel cards. As a set builder, I generally complain that they simply take up space in a pack that could've been occupied by a base card, and quite simply cause you to bust more wax in order to hand collate your set. 2008 O-Pee-Chee is different though, and in this case the parallels were one of the main things that drew me to purchase this box. These cards have been in very high demand with hockey collectors. I've seen some individual parallels sell for more than $10 a piece on eBay. Topps and Upper Deck should learn something here, if they have to include parallels in a set it would do them a lot of good to model them after a vintage design.
OK, down to the nitty gritty, here's a breakdown of exactly what I received in this box:
Base Cards: 146 (70 doubles)
Marquee Rookies: 8 (1 double)
Legends: 6 (4 doubles)
Team Checklists: 2
Season Highlights Inserts: 2
Retro: 36 (12 base, 13 Marquee Rookies, 11 Legends)
Gold Parallels (of course Upper Deck had to screw it up and include another worthless parallel): 9
Award Winners Inserts: 2
Stat Leaders Inserts: 3
Second Team All-Star Inserts: 1
Winter Classic Inserts: 1 (as expected, they fall 1:box)
Retro Rainbow Inserts (same as the Retro parallel but shiny and #'d to 100): 2
Not a bad box at all. The guarantee of 36 Retro parallel cards, the great design of the base set, the inclusion of Legends cards, and the myriad of subsets made this a great box. In fact, I liked this box so much (and was still so far from completing a set) that I purchased another wax box (which I'm about half-way through ripping). And now, here are 5 cards from the box that I especially liked:
#593 - Tony Esposito - Chicago Blackhawks (Retro Parallel) - Here's a meeting of my two favorite parts of the set, a retro parallel and a Legends card. How beautiful is this card?
#490 - Manny Fernandez - Boston Bruins - I chose this card simply because I think it effectively illustrates how great the base cards look with the team color integrated into the border.
#595 - Lanny McDonald - Calgary Flames (Legends) - Here's one of the Legends short print cards. I chose Lanny because his fabulous mustache always cracked me and my brothers up when we were younger. Strangely, Lanny's is the only Legends card I've obtained so far with a black and white photo. I'm not sure why they chose black and white for a player who played so recently and has so many color photos available.
3M-PRB - Brian Rolston/Pierre-Marc Bouchard/Mark Parrish - Minnesota Wild - I think these triple jersey cards fall one per box. I didn't pull the best card possible, but I've watched quite a few Wild games this year and I think their defensive-minded playing style (behind coach Jacques Lemaire) is going to get them into the playoffs again in the weak Western Conference.
#584 - Wayne Gretzky - Edmonton Oilers (Retro Parallel) - Booyah! I'd seen this card go for as much as $15 on eBay, and it was the single card that I wanted to pull more than any other when I purchased the box. There was a huge smile on my face when I ripped open a pack and saw this card at the back.
This box was worth the $63 without a doubt, I can't wait to finish ripping my second one and then chasing down some of the cards I'm missing!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I received one such great deal in the mail just the other day. This package contained a David Krejci card that I purchased a couple of months back. Krejci is my favorite player, and I picked up a few of his high-end cards a while ago. He's quickly risen to become one of the elite young players in the NHL though, and as a result I've been priced out of becoming a Krejci super-collector.
For now I'll just enjoy the cards I was able to pick up before he gained notoriety. I grabbed this 2007 O-Pee-Chee Premier card which is autographed, contains 4 jersey swatches, and is serial numbered to 299. Even though this was shipped all the way from Sweden, the seller charged a mere $3.00 for shipping costs, and I got the card with shipping included for about the price of a blaster.
Not a bad looking card, huh? I think it's safe to say this is the only card in my collection that has been in Sweden!
While I'm on the subject, I find it absolutely ridiculous that Krejci was not invited to participate in the NHL's Youngstars game. The NHL All-Star game is a joke to me as it is, an event that I think is put together mainly to provide a fun weekend for large corporate sponsors. I wish someone could justify why Krejci was left off of the sophomore roster. As far as I know, the players for the Youngstars game are chosen by the NHL, not fan voting. At age 22, this guy is 11th in the league in scoring, with 52 points in just 47 games, more points than anyone else who is participating in the Youngstars game. I heard a statistic recently that he has more points than anyone in the league since November 19th. Let me state that again. Nobody has tallied more points (not Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, or Sidney Crosby) since November 19th than David Krejci. He's been the single hottest player in the league for over 2 months now, yet has been left out of the Youngstars game! Not only that but his playing style and puck-handling is very exciting to watch, he's the exact type of player I would think the NHL would want to showcase over the All-Star weekend. What a joke.
I'd be interested in knowing what anyone who's reading this thinks of the NHL All-Star game? I am alone in thinking that the whole thing is pretty pointless?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
And now, for my favorite part of the package, a dozen or so 1970 Topps cards!
Once again a couple of Red Sox cards and a gently loved checklist.
Thanks once again for another great package John! These cards really brightened my day. I've got a stack of cards started to send back your way, hopefully very soon. On an unrelated note, I've gotten pretty tired of looking at the 1986 Topps League Leaders set, so for the short-term I'll be switching the slideshow back to cards featured on this blog.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
I'm still torn between sticking with the original goal of a graded set or selling off a bunch of my graded 1953 Topps and picking up a few "gently loved" cards instead. In the meantime, I'm going to keep plugging away with the first 1953 Topps card of 2009, Howie Judson.
Howie had a fairly boring career, pitching a grand total of just over 600 innings across 7 seasons. Howie's pictured here in the twilight of his career, in the first of what would be his final 2 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. He played for the Chicago White Sox in his first 5 seasons before going to Cincinnati. It seems that Judson worked primarily out of the bull-pen, although he did start a career high 14 games for Chicago in 1951.
Howie's career 17-37 record and 4.29 ERA make him easily forgettable, but his concerned look combined with the cloudy sky and scoreboard in the background make for a pretty nice looking card.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The 2008 Legends Masterpieces hockey set is one of my favorite hockey sets so far this year, so when I saw this Robitaille Canvas Clippings card for $1.75 I had to go for it. I love the look of these cards. The card itself is actually set back inside the darker frame. You can't go wrong with a jersey card of a sure fire Hall of Famer for under $2. Robitaille had an impressive career, recording 4 100 point seasons. He retired with the most career goals (668) and points (1,394) for a left winger. The only thing that would've made this card better would be if they had pictured him in the older 90's style Kings uniform.
On a side note, if anyone can help me with completing this set I'd love to trade. If you've got any of the cards on my Want List please get in touch with me and maybe we can work something out.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I never had much Access experience except for a crappy data entry job I had in college, so I'm sure I butchered this thing and any developer who knows anything about Access or Visual Basic programming would probably laugh their ass off, but this works for me. Just a simple logo, a few fields that I care to track, and a place for a scan of each card. What's nice is that these fields will now all be totally searchable.
If anyone out there has knowledge of Microsoft Access and would like to try to improve upon this I'd love to pass it along to be cleaned up and made better...
Monday, January 5, 2009
For at least a few years there in the 80s, Topps released League Leaders sets. These were mini, glossy cards that showcased some of the statistical leaders from the previous season. I snagged a wax box of the 1986 cards a while back for literally a few dollars. I opened up just enough packs to complete my set, and have been sending them out in trades since.
The 1986 version has little to no similarity to regular 1986 Topps cards, and instead features a very simple plain white background with a small photo of the player. This is far from the world's greatest set of baseball cards, but they have some nostalgic value to me, and I think it's a decent oddball set. For your viewing pleasure, you will now find the entire 66 card set being displayed in the slide show at right.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
John sent a really great package in return. Included were 3 of the remaining 2007 Goudey cards that I needed (2 of them short prints). Strangely enough, John sent along the Alex Rodriguez Heads Up short print pictured above just days after I had received the plain background variation in the trade with Dan from Saints of the Cheap Seats.
Also included were 2 2007 Topps Heritage short prints. Hopefully I'll complete this one some day...
John threw in what must be close to a 2008 Allen & Ginter Red Sox team set. Believe it or not I needed all 8 of these when I received his package.
This Conlon Collection card was probably my favorite in the whole package. I really love this set, and since most of my original cards were lost, this is the lone Conlon card in my collection.
A small assortment of 70s cards were thrown in as well. Really digging the old school Braves uniform on this Norm Miller card.
Friday, January 2, 2009
I sent some cards over to Danny at Saints of the Cheap Seats, and in return he sent me some stuff off of my want list. Included in his package were 3 2007 Goudey cards (2 of them short prints, including the A-Rod card pictured above), a handful of Topps Heritage cards that I needed, and about a dozen 2008 Upper Deck cards, including the Vlad below. Thanks for the great cards Danny, this really helped with the 2 baseball sets that I want to complete most!