Thursday, July 30, 2009
That doesn't mean that it hurts any less when you find out the truth. I tried to stay positive and tell myself that Ortiz's slump at the beginning of the season had nothing to do with performance enhancers, but in the back of my mind there was that nagging feeling, which appears to have now been confirmed. I won't lie, that miraculous 2004 World Series Championship seems a little less magical in light of this.
I'm really getting sick of baseball...
Any time I scored a goal playing youth hockey, I would arrive home, retrieve my 1989 Topps album, pull a puck sticker off of one of these cards and affix it to the back of my helmet. I think adorning my helmet with the stickers was just as exciting as actually scoring a goal for me. Since my original Whalers sticker was missing the pucks, I picked this one up in a lot a while back on SportsBuy as a replacement.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The base cards are what you've come to expect from Upper Deck after the two Masterpieces baseball releases. The hockey release has the same canvas-like feel to the front of the cards with a small blurb on the back along with the artist's signature. I always appreciate a chance to add a Lanny McDonald card to my collection. After opening the retail box I still needed 3 cards, and Lanny was one of them.
One major improvement from the baseball set in my opinion is that the hockey release is Legends Masterpieces, as opposed to just regular old Masterpieces like the baseball sets. What this basically means is that the entire 87 card set is comprised of notable players, most of them Hall of Famers, from the NHL's past. There are no rookie cards of the hottest young player, cards with presidents on them, or any of that nonsense. One of my favorites from the set shows Bobby Orr's infamous goal.
The checklist features a couple of great goalie cards. Everything about this card is great, the brown pads, the old school Kings jersey, and the mask. Runner up goes to Richard Brodeur's card featuring the Canuck's V jersey.
Willie O'Ree earns a card as the first African American to play in the National Hockey League. I'm pretty sure this is the only O'Ree card in my collection. I'm going to have to look around to see what other cards he has out there...
The retail box yielded 3 of these brown border parallels, but Tony O was definitely the best. This card looks so good I probably would've tracked it down individually had I not pulled it. I'd like to pick up some more of these some day, but my card buying ban is at 9 days and counting, so it'll have to wait. And now, some random hits that I picked up to supplement my retail box...
I picked up the Glenn Anderson above, this Borje Salming card, and the Luc Robitaille I showed off a while back from the same seller for $1.75 each. Borje is one of the most under-rated players of the 70's and early 80's and is a member of the hockey Hall of Fame.
Here is the one hit I pulled from my retail box. I don't think Clark will ever be considered Hall of Fame material, but I do remember him being one of the most exciting players to watch in the early 90's.
After finishing the retail box, I still wanted one thing. The Brushstrokes auto inserts from this set are maybe the best looking cards out of any of them. They are on-card autos, which I absolutely love, and there are signatures of some pretty impressive players to be had. Since I was on a budget though, I settled on this Bill Dineen card. Although I don't know much about Dineen, it only set me back a couple of bucks and Bill is the father of one of my favorite Whalers players, Kevin Dineen. Speaking of the Whalers, my one gripe about the set is that there is no Ron Francis card. I guess 4th all-time in NHL points and 2 Stanley Cups isn't enough to be considered a Legends Masterpiece? Where's the love Upper Deck?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Well, I haven't purchased any cards since my SportsLots order last Friday, and it got me to thinking. What's the longest I've gone without any type of card purchase whatsoever since I got back into the hobby over 2 years ago? I doubt I've gone an entire month in that time span without at least picking up a stray pack. I've decided that I'm going to try not to make one singe card purchase for at least 30 days, maybe even longer. In a hobby that revolves around the newest releases where something seems to be coming out just about every week, I'm going to buck the trend and instead spend the next month further organizing my collection and enjoying the cards I do have. Furthermore I'm going to try to sell some unwanted items on eBay during this stretch, simultaneously freeing up room in my card closet and stocking my PayPal account for when the releases I am looking forward to hit the shelves in September. I will still be trading but I'm going to try not spending so much as a dime on cards for 30 days. Will I make it? Today is day 7, we'll see.
I'm interested to know, what's the longest any of you have gone without purchasing cards during a time when you were still "actively collecting"?
Friday, July 17, 2009
Everyone is familiar with the no-hitter Buchholz threw in just his second career start late in 2007 against the Orioles. 2008 was a rocky year for Clay though, and he was optioned back to AA Portland in the Red Sox organization. He's been battling his way back through the minor leagues and has been absolutely dominating at AAA Pawtucket so far this year. If he were on any other club in the majors he would've been called up weeks if not months ago, but the wealth of starting pitching this year has left him without an opening until now.
Some theorize that Clay is getting the start in Toronto to showcase him to the Blue Jays organization and fans, as he is one of the names that has come up in the Roy Halladay trade rumors. The club named Clay the starter days ago, claiming they wanted a definite starter for Friday night, and this prevented the pitching staff to have to adapt to whether or not Tim Wakefield and Josh Beckett ended up pitching in the All-Star game (neither did).
In any event, I'm glad real baseball is back and I'm looking forward to tonight's game!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Well this was pretty much what I expected. Nice looking cards but nothing too exciting and definitely overpriced at 5 cards for $3. I believe there are numbered rookie cards that are the big hit in this set. It seems more geared towards the box buster or prospector than the average set collector.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
At 18 cards a pack it took a while to slug through the rest of the box, but I'm proud to say I stuck with my guns and just a couple of hours later have a nice sorted set and a gigantic stack of doubles, both of which I will be adding to Zistle later this week. I'll save the full breakdown of the set for my Completed Set post once it's finished. In the meantime, there's only one problem...
I AM MISSING CARD NUMBER 7! If anyone out there happens to have a spare Mel Ott #7 card hanging around that they'd like to send, I can send you a whole bunch of Conlon in return, or anything else you might be interested in for that matter. Yes, I can pick the card up for about 10-20 cents online, but I figured I would reach out to other collectors first to see if I could get a 2-way trade going rather than pay shipping for a single common. Anyone have it?
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Puzzle Piece 1 of 9
Thursday, July 9, 2009
The sports card blogosphere is in a total frenzy over the release of '09 Allen & Ginter baseball, which officially hit shelves yesterday. Like most collectors I absolutely LOVE the Allen & Ginter line of cards, but there were a few problems facing me with this latest release. First and foremost, I'm trying to be a bit stricter with my card budget these past few months, and I just can't justify the $150+ I'd have to spend on two hobby boxes just to get a start on completing my set. That money will go towards the 3rd of 4 weddings that I'll be attending this summer, ugh. Not only that but I can't deal with the prospect of trying to hand collate another set right now. I'm behind on trades to begin with (packages for Captain Canuck, Sal, Slette and hopefully one or two other people will be going out early next week). I don't have the time or energy to spend scouring eBay for short prints or those last few inserts I need. I still haven't completed my 08-09 O-Pee-Chee and Upper Deck hockey sets, and the 09-10 releases are just around the corner. Even my 2008 Allen & Ginter set is in terrible shape, for some reason I didn't pick up a lot of those last year. So, how did I solve my problem? I cheated... I don't usually buy sets like this, but in this case how could I resist? For the exact price of a single hobby box of Allen & Ginter, I picked up the entire base set, all 50 SPs, the entire 75-card National Pride insert set, and the 25-card baseball highlight sketch insert set (which I am particularly excited about).
Yes, this is disappointing in some ways. I don't get to experience the excitement of ripping a wax box, something I haven't done in quite some time actually. Maybe that hobby box I actually had in my cart at one point on http://www.atlantasportscards.com/ (thanks Dayf!) contained a 1/1 pubic hair of some historic figure that I could've sold and paid off my car with, I'll never know. Here's what I do know; I've got a binder loaded with fresh Ultra Pro pages and ready to go, and I couldn't be more excited that this entire 450 card set is going to be a part of my collection. I don't have to spend the next 6 months trying to finish this thing. I had $15 left in my PayPal account that I had forgotten about as well, so I was only hit for $58 in the end. If I feel like it, I can always pick up some packs at the hobby shop for a shot at inserts and to give me some trading bait. What do you think? Is this set collector sacrilege or have you bought completed sets like this?
I've rambled on long enough. Remember that pack of cards at the beginning of this post? While I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Allen & Ginter set, here's a pack of 1999-2000 Upper Deck cards that McDonald's apparently gave away to commemorate the career of the Great One, Wayne Gretzky. The pack contains only 3 cards, and I'm sure I paid too much for it at $2, but I had never heard of this set so it piqued my interest.
Puzzle Piece 5 of 9 - If anyone out there has the other 8 of these, you know how to get a hold of me!
This is actually a really nice little set of cards. There are only 15 in the set (plus the 9 puzzle pieces). I bought another pack at the same time which I've yet to open. Once I do I'm chasing down the others I need for sure.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
While you're there I would highly recommend reading through the backlog of posts if you've never been on the site. It's an absolutely awesome site focusing on all things hockey. The posts run the gamut from vintage cards to video games and other oddball items. There is a ton of great stuff there, whether you're a die-hard NHL fan or someone who couldn't even name 5 teams, I'm sure there is something that will interest you. Sal, who runs the site, is as nice a guy as you'll meet in the blogging community and has become one of my favorite trading partners as well.
Since Sal is a Blackhawks fan, this post is also the perfect chance for me to show off this gem, a 1962-63 Topps Murray Balfour I recently picked up. Murray's been battered, creased and stained over the years, but it's the oldest hockey card I own and a welcome piece in my collection.