Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hartford Whalers Want List

This is my Want List for my Hartford Whalers collection. Cards in bold are on the way via trade. Sets for which I have already accumulated every possible Whalers card are listed at the end.

1985-86 Topps
19, 34, 43, 58, 74, 88, 103, 118, 140, 162
Stickers: #25

1990-91 Score
21, 83, 99, 134, 172, 192, 212, 237, 259, 276, 302

1990-91 Score Rookie/Traded

1991-92 Bowman

15, 17

1994-95 Parkhurst
92, 93, 94, 97, 98, 99, 100, 274

1995-96 Skybox Impact
73, 74, 77

1996-97 Upper Deck Collector's Choice
MVP Gold: UD26 (Brendan Shanahan)

2001-02 Topps Archives

2006-07 Parkhurst
50, 139

2008-09 In the Game Between the Pipes

2008-09 Upper Deck Champ's

2009-10 In the Game 1972 The Year in Hockey
147, 149, 150

2009-10 In the Game Between the Pipes


2011-12 O-Pee-Chee
Main Set: #530

*For my reference, all sets that have been either completed or added to the above want list:

1985-86 Topps (Master Set)
1990-91 Score (Main Set)
1991-92 Upper Deck (Euro Stars)
1992-93 Upper Deck (Main Set)
1994-95 Parkhurst (Main Set)

Friday, September 24, 2010

On the Radar - 1994-95 Upper Deck SP Hockey

A little while ago I picked up a huge stack of 1994-95 Upper Deck SP hockey for about the price of a pack. I really like the cards and it's only a 195 card set, so hand collating it isn't entirely overwhelming. I probably ended up with over 200 cards altogether, and I finally got around to sorting and scanning them. Here are a just a handful of favorites:

Roenick vs. Tkachuk, not a bad faceoff duo.

Awesome photo of Nicholls scooting the puck across the goal line from behind the net.

Sean Burke showing a Senator who's boss.

Hextall taking a rest in front of the Flyers' bench. I love all the spare sticks behind the players.

This card is all about facial expression. Not only Pavel's, but check out that woman in the audience right behind the glass.

Finally, we have a very young Jarome Iginla in the Premier Prospects subset.

I've added all of the cards I need to my Want List, if anyone's looking to get rid of some let's trade! I've collected a few of the Die Cut inserts and would be willing to trade for any of those as well.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Share of the Million

I was watching the MLB Network the other day and saw an advertisement for the Topps Million Card Giveaway. I had nearly forgotten that I redeemed a few of these codes that I pulled from 2010 Series 1 Topps packs earlier in the year. I neglected the site after obtaining my cards, never did any trading or shipping. I redeemed 7 cards in all, and actually did reasonably well. I decided to ship 5 of them and within a couple of days they were on my doorstep. Not bad Topps.

We'll start with the oldest of the 5, a 1958 Topps Tony Taylor. Pretty cool card, it's actually Taylor's rookie. He had an 19 year career in the bigs, a good portion of it spent playing second base with the Philadelphia Phillies. He played in over 2,000 games, had more than 2,000 hits and was an All-Star in 1960.

This card was clearly loved by it's previous owner(s), it's the most beat up of the cards I had shipped. I don't mind though, it's better than nothing, which is the version of the card I had before. Here are the other 4 from worst to best:

2005 Topps Tim Wakefield. I went back and forth on whether to bother shipping this one. This set doesn't do much for me, but I don't think I have any of the Red Sox from this one and it's got a pretty nice shot of Wake throwing his signature knuckleball.

The back is kind of nice too. They got the vital player info, full career stats and little blurb about the player, and still managed to fit in a photo. I like the little career strikeout box, I'm not sure what the little field diagram next to it signifies. Anyone?

1975 Topps Mike Anderson. Getting a little better. I know nothing about Anderson but I'll gladly add a '75 Topps to my collection. The card is mint too. Sort of a strange photo, looks like it may have been taken at a training complex or something.

1967 Topps Smoky Burgess. I was definitely looking forward to getting this one. Shortly after I redeemed it Steve of White Sox Cards posted about it.

It's easier to tell looking at the back, but it's definitely miscut. Other than that it's in good shape, sharp corners, no creases and good color. Finally, my favorite card in the bunch:

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I love the 1959 Topps set and that I plan to start picking up more of them. This one's in great shape and features your 1960 National League MVP Dick Groat. The Pirates logo is awesome as well.

As much as I like the '59 fronts, the backs are definitely lacking in my opinion. I like the cartoon though. Well there you have it. I thought this was a fun promotion that worked really well for Topps. I know I purchased more packs of 2010 Topps than I would've without the redemption program. Considering I only redeemed 7 codes I think I did great with a Red Sox need, a '75 Topps, a card from the 60's and two cards from the 50's. Here are the two cards I didn't bother shipping:

Anyone want to trade?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Cardinals in the Background

Here's a 1960 Topps card of Bob Miller I recently added to the collection for a measly 2 bucks. The two things I liked most about the card were the Rawlings patch on Bob's glove and the background scenery featuring a few Cardinals players in what would appear to be pre-game warm-ups.

Anyone know who any of the 3 players in the background are? At first I thought the guy on the left just might be Bob Gibson, who wore #58 but now I'm not so sure. I'm not a very good sleuth and this is a particularly challenging one. Anyway, here's the back of the card:

As you see from the cartoon, Bob was a local guy who signed with the hometown Cards. In fact, he was a star high school pitcher who signed after graduating with St. Louis and received a $20,000 signing bonus. He was never a superstar at the Major League level but he was a decent pitcher who managed an 18 year career.

Friday, September 17, 2010

From the Dollar Box - Something Vintage, Something New

Here's another quick post, 2 cards plucked from the dollar box at the local hobby shop. One vintage baseball card, one new (or newer) card. We'll start with the vintage:

1959 Topps - #237 - Run Preventers - The 1959 set is really starting to grow on me. In fact, I would rank it right up there with '52, '53 and '57 Topps as one of my favorite sets from the decade. Aside from that, the combo cards featured in the 50's and 60's Topps sets are some of my favorite vintage cards period. I really like the concept and they are a good way to get the top players of the day at a cheaper price than regular base cards.

This particular card features 3 of the lesser-known (at least to casual baseball fans) Yankee players from their era of domination. Gil McDougald, the 1951 AL Rookie of the Year, played for 10 years, all with the Yankees, and reached the World Series 8 times. Not too shabby! "Bullet Bob" Turley wore pinstripes from 1955 to 1962, and when this card came out was coming off of a 21 win season. Those 21 wins combined with a sub-3.00 ERA were good enough for the AL Cy Young award. Finally, Bobby Richardson was a tremendous fielder (5 time Gold Glove winner) and clutch hitter in his time in New York. He was named MVP of the 1960 World Series (of course the Yankees lost) when he hit .367 with a grand slam, two doubles, two triples and 12 RBI.

1990 Score Rookie/Traded - #100T - Eric Lindros - Here's the newer card, a 1990 Score Rookie/Traded Eric Lindros. You can make the argument (and you're 100% correct) that I overpaid for this one, but I recall this being one of the most coveted baseball cards within my group of childhood friends at one point, so it was more of a sentimental/nostalgic purchase. As you can see from the back of the card, Lindros was one of many two-sport stars at the time:

I'm ashamed to admit that before reading this I had no idea that pitcher Kirk McCaskill was actually a very good hockey player and was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the '81 entry draft. Obviously we all know how Lindros' hockey career turned out, but it's interesting to wonder how well he would've done with a career in Major League Baseball. I'm sure if nothing else he wouldn't have suffered nearly as many concussions!

Hockey collectors out there, did any of you purchase a Score Rookie/Traded set back in the day just to get your hands on this card?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Box Break - 1992-93 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey

Completing the 1992-93 Upper Deck hockey set has been a collecting goal of mine for quite some time. While sentimentally it's a step down from Upper Deck's first two hockey releases, there are still some great cards to be had. Sure, I probably could have bought the entire set on eBay for 10 bucks, but where's the fun in that? I wanted to hand collate this one like I used to do when I was a kid. I got a pretty good start a while back when I busted a Series 1 hobby box. When I recently discovered a great local hobby shop, this Series 2 hobby box was one of my first purchases.

Series 1 was all about Gretzky, Series 2 is all about Gordie Howe. In addition to being on the box cover, there are random Gordie Howe Hockey Heroes inserts found in these packs. Gordie is also featured on the back of the box:

The box contains 36 packs, 15 cards per pack. Each 15 card pack contained a mix of cards from Series 1 and Series 2, with the average pack containing 9 Series 1 cards and 6 Series 2 cards. Here are my favorites from the box. We'll start with Series 1, comprised of cards 1 - 440. I'll only show my favorite Series 1 cards from the box that I did not already have from my previous box break. Altogether I pulled 321 Series 1 cards, 246 unique cards with 75 doubles, and of those 246 I needed 71 for my set:

#14 - Ottawa Senators Checklist - This set is absolutely loaded with subsets, as you'll soon see. The first 24 cards are these illustrated team checklist cards. I still needed 9 of them after my Series 1 box break, and I happened to pull all 9 in this box, so that was a win.

#16 - Pittsburgh Penguins Checklist - I always liked these illustrated team checklists, which are also featured in the early Upper Deck baseball releases (and maybe football too?). The paintings are well done and they provide a nice cover for a team set.

#17 - Quebec Nordiques Checklist - One more team checklist, I couldn't resist posting this because of the sweet Nordiques logo in the background.

#151 - Jim Hrivnak - The set provides some good variation, not every photo is an action shot which I think is nice.

#190 - Jon Casey - The photography is high quality, just as you'd expect from Upper Deck.

#194 - Dave Christian - Dave just took a spill but is not giving up on the play. There's a lesson to be learned here kids!

#204 - Pat Verbeek - Another good shot of Verbeek along the boards, a split-second before he catches the puck with his glove.

#233 - Mikael Renberg - World Junior Tournament - Here's another subset, commemorating the World Junior Tournament. This tournament is a place for the top hockey nations to showcase their under-20 talent. The stacked Swede team (featuring Renberg, Forsberg, Naslund and Nylander) had the 4 top scorers in the tournament in 1992, but finished with a Silver medal. Renberg is one of those players I thought would be huge in the NHL as a kid, but never really panned out.

#262 - Bill Ranford - I never get tired of overhead shots on goalie cards.

#263 - Petr Nedved - Nedved was a bit of a disappointment as well, although not as much as Renberg was. He did manage to tally over 700 career points in close to 1,000 career NHL games, but he had a reputation for soft play and his best years came when he was on a stacked Pittsburgh Penguins team (with Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis).

#264 - Rod Brind'Amour

#265 - Ray Bourque

#267 - Vladimir Konstantinov - One of the sad stories in modern sports.

#270 - Kelly Hrudey - You try doing that with full goalie gear on!

#284 - Brian Leetch

#364 - Keith Tkachuk - Rookie Report - Another subset, Rookie Report. I miss the Winnipeg Jets.

#385 - Trevor Kidd - 1992 Ice Hockey Championship - Yet another subset and yet another tournament! Kidd's Canadian team was ousted by Finland in the quarter-finals.

That does it for the Series 1 cards I needed. Series 2 is comprised of cards 441 - 660. I pulled 212 of these in the box, 52 were doubles and as I didn't have any Series 2 cards to begin with I needed all 160 different cards I pulled. Here are my favorites:

#447 - Nick Kypreos - You know I am going to show most if not all of the Whalers cards. 1992-93 was Kypreos' only full season with Hartford.

#449 - Bob Sweeney

#453 - Lethal Lines - New York Rangers - This subset is literally 3 or 4 cards in its totality. I guess I've seen worse, and I do like that the team's venue is depicted in the background of each photo.

#454 - Lethal Lines - Pittsburgh Penguins - Nice shot of the Igloo.

#456 - Lethal Lines - Buffalo Sabres

#461 - Dino Ciccarelli - Nice shot of a post-goal celebration, you can see the excited crowd behind the glass.

#470 - Eric Lindros - Very similar shot to the Ciccarelli card. 1992-93 was Lindros' first season in the NHL after all the hype and buildup, and he did not disappoint. He lit the lamp 41 times in just 61 games. He would've been a Hall-of-Famer no questions asked if it weren't for the injuries.

#480 - Peter Sidorkiewicz

#512 - Terry Yake - I may have mentioned this before but my brothers and I always referred to this guy as "Teriyaki".

#518 - Sean Burke

#520 - Mikael Nylander - With former Whaler Ulf Samuelsson in the background.

#532 - Ron Hextall - I always forget that Hextall played a single season with the Nordiques. This is probably my favorite photo in the box, with Ron flashing the leather (even though it looks like the shot was maybe going wide).

#533 - Keith Jones - Rookie card of the Vs. network analyst.

#538 - Mike McPhee - I don't know why, but I just like this photo.

#544 - Brian Bradley - Nice horizontal shot of some in-game action.

#546 - Steve Chiasson - Like Konstantinov, Chiasson is one of the truly sad stories of the NHL. After being eliminated from the playoffs in 1999, he left a team party with a blood alcohol level of .27 refusing both a taxi and a ride home from a teammate. He wrecked his truck and was killed on impact. A sad reminder of what drinking and driving can result in.

#553 - Eric Weinrich - I bet you didn't realize Weinrich spent a year in Hartford.

#554 - Young Guns Checklist - Cards 554 - 583 make up the Young Guns subset. I liked the Young Guns cards a lot more when they were found at the same odds as all the other cards. Nowadays they are short printed, something like 1 in 4 packs, and get ridiculously expensive for star players. They are the single reason I haven't completed a master set of Upper Deck hockey since I got back into collecting. Anyway, enough complaining, there are some good Young Guns cards in this set.

#557 - Patrick Poulin - Young Guns - Poulin had actually played a single NHL game with Hartford in 1991-92 before this card came out. His first full campaign in 1992-93 was fairly successful. He scored 51 points in 81 games. How did the Whalers respond? By trading him just a few games into the next season. Sigh.

#559 - Martin Straka - Young Guns - I always thought this guy was better than he actually was, probably because he was so fast in the EA Sports hockey games of the 90's. He did have one fantastic season in 2000-01 though, amassing 95 points for the Pens.

#563 - Darius Kasparaitis - Young Guns

#569 - Robert Petrovicky - Young Guns - Petrovicky has been out of the NHL for close to a decade, but still plays professionally in Slovakia!

#573 - Alexei Kovalev - Young Guns - Does anybody else remember the ESPN team referring to this guy as Kovalov constantly when he first came into the league? I sure do.

#574 - Teemu Selanne - Young Guns - Best Young Guns card in the set, hands down. Teemu is still playing and is still effective too.

#584 - World Junior Championships Checklist - Cards 584 - 619 commemorate the 1993 World Junior Hockey Championships. As you can tell from the checklist, team Canada took the gold, downing Sweden.

#585 - Manny Legace - There are a lot of good early cards of future NHL players in this subset. Legace is still playing in the league and is currently with the Carolina Hurricanes organization.

#586 - Paul Kariya - The most "valuable" card in the entire 1992-93 set, this one "books" at $8. You can probably buy a wax box for about that. Whatever, still a cool card.

#587 - Alexandre Daigle - Just posted about him a couple of days ago, HUGE draft bust.

#591 - Chris Pronger - Pronger's rookie card, also one of the more valued cards in the set.

#595 - Peter Forsberg - Forsberg crushed the competition in this tournament. Even though his team didn't win it all, he set a tournament record with 31 points!

#597 - Niklas Sundstrom - Sundstrom had a good tournament as well, with 10 goals and 4 assists.

#602 - Pavol Demitra

#609 - Adam Deadmarsh

#613 - Viktor Kozlov - Viktor scored his first career playoff goal in 2009 after 15 years in the NHL!

#615 - Jere Lehtinen - I don't believe Jere is signed by anyone for the upcoming NHL season, could his career be at an end?

#617 - Saku Koivu - Saku is still at it and still effective. He scored over 50 points last year for Anaheim. Finally, we have one more subset to finish things off. Cards 620 - 640 are the "Profiles" subset.

#621 - Wayne Gretzky - Profiles - These are pretty cheesy, they each show the player standing in front of their locker, and in most cases they are displaying something related to a hobby or interest outside of the NHL. I don't think Gretzky ever did anything except practice though, so his card is pretty boring.

#622 - Jaromir Jagr - Profiles - Apparently Jagr did little else other than play hockey as well. How about that terrible Upper Deck jacket? You're making millions buddy, I don't think you need to wear a free coat.

#626 - Ray Bourque - Profiles - Ray is apparently an avid golfer when not at the rink.

#629 - Chris Chelios - Profiles - I thought this card was kind of cool, you can tell Chelios is proud of his sons. Ready to feel old? Dean (on the left) played hockey as a freshman at Michigan State last year, and Jake (on the right) is playing with the Chicago Steel of the USHL.

#633 - Alexei Kovalev - Profiles - Apparently a soccer fan...

#637 - Adam Oates - Profiles

#638 - Denis Savard - Profiles - Savard is holding a photo of some horses. Not much more to say about that.

#639 - Doug Gilmour - Profiles - Gilmour is apparently bad to the bone. I see very little hockey equipment in his "locker". That sums up the base set, now onto the inserts:

#CC16 - Scott Lachance - Calder Candidates - Needless to say Lachance did not win the Calder Trophy.

#AC3 - Steve Heinze - AmeriCan Hologram - Not a huge fan of these, pretty weak design if you ask me.

#AC4 - Scott Lachance - AmeriCan Hologram - Another Lachance, great...

Heroes #21 - The First "Production Line" - These were pretty much the only inserts I actually enjoyed pulling. Continuing the Heroes insert set, Howe's cards are numbered 19 - 27 with a non-numbered header card (Hull's Heroes cards from the 91-92 set were numbers 1 - 9, and Gretzky's from 92-93 Series 1 were numbers 10 - 18).

Heroes #23 - Six-Time Hart Trophy Winner - Great card, unfortunately I pulled two. Anyone want to trade?

Heroes #27 - Checklist - Here's the checklist, you'll recognize it from the back of the box at the top of the post.

To close things out, here are my 5 favorite card backs from the box.

Man those Nordiques jerseys were fantastic.

I'm a sucker for horizontal in-game photos.

Don't drop it!

The back of Teriyaki's card. I think this photo does a good job of encapsulating the drive and emotion of hockey players as these two struggle along the boards.

Finally we have Jim Hrivnak who appears as though he's about to give up a goal.

Well, that wraps it up. For 15 bucks this box was a ton of fun to open and got me a lot closer to completing my set. If anyone has doubles from this junk wax era set (Sal, Captain?) let me know, I'd love to complete this one and take it off the list!
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