Friday, February 5, 2016

$10 and One Hour at the Hobby Shop

Yesterday afternoon I had exactly one free hour and managed to make it by my local hobby shop for the first time in at least a couple of months.  2016 Topps was in stock, but I stayed strong to my recently revised collecting approach and passed on that.  Wasn't too difficult either, since I haven't been overly impressed with what I've seen on the web so far.  Instead, I opted for my favorite way to approach the hobby shop; grab cards from all over the place, throw them into a stack, and negotiate a price at the end. 

With limited time to browse I tackled a couple of quarter boxes of hockey cards first.  What can I say, I've been in a definite hockey mood lately and there are generally some nice cards in these. 

If you follow this blog you've probably seen me write about the SP Authentic subset Authentic Moments once or twice.  They're quickly becoming some of my favorite hockey cards of the past few years.  The photographs are generally very unique, and the concept of them being tied back to a specific moment in time is right up my alley.  This Mark Messier/Mike Richter is my first one from the 2014-15 set.

2013-14 Panini Select is a nice looking chrome set.  I'd never try collecting the set, but the retired stars that pepper the checklist are too hard to resist on the cheap.  On this particular dig I grabbed Paul Coffey from his Oilers days...

...and Phil Esposito!  Great photo choice on this one.  I know a lot of folks aren't huge on Panini but they really made some nice cards in my humble opinion.

Other than retired HOFers I'm trying to stay away from these like I said, but there were two Prizm parallels which are even shinier.  Almost blinding in the scan even.  Besides, they're also two players who have a good shot at enshrinement down the line.

Surprised to find a Patrice Bergeron parallel like this for a quarter here in New England!

One of the things I love about this shop is that the owner, who's a great guy, always has new stuff coming in and moving out.  Inventory moves like crazy, and he's always investing in new stuff whether it's vintage, modern, entire collections, you name it.  Stuff is everywhere.  I found this card buried in a monster box that had three other monster boxes on top of it on the floor in the back corner.

In fact, there were a whole load of '90s parallels and inserts in that box.  Seems like the former collection of someone who spent a lot of money 20 or so years ago.  I knew I needed this pair of Score Gold Line parallels for my Whalers collection.  I kept digging and from there it got better for a '90s fan like me.

Flair inserts!  I'm saving most of them for a post on this set at some point in the future, but I scored eight out of the ten Scoring Power inserts from the '94-95 set, including Pavel Bure here.

This junk wax insert and parallel box really turned out to be a gold mine, producing this Patrick Poulin Leaf insert.  I just realized I subconsciously used a terrible pun in that last sentence.

A trio of Center Spotlights from that same Flair set were in there too, with Mario Lemieux being the best of the three.  This makes two posts in a row featuring new Mario Lemieux cards.

Score Gold Rush parallels.  There were probably a hundred or more of these in the box.

I exercised restraint and grabbed the Whalers only, as I know I don't have many of them.  Ended up with three I needed and one dupe, not bad.

Love this Franchise Futures Arturs Irbe insert.  This was the lone card from this set in the box, definitely makes me want to track down the remaining nine.

That pretty much did it for the random box of '90s stuff.  I still had some time to kill so I grabbed another hockey quarter box and pulled a few more cards...

An obnoxiously shiny O-Pee-Chee Chrome insert of arguably an all-time top five defenseman?  Yes, please!

I grabbed this Hometown Heroes Al MacInnis insert with Douglas Corti in mind.  Looks like he doesn't have a copy either, so this will be in the next PWE I ship him.

This was just perfect, as I've got the first two cards from this insert set and Hasek here is the third on the checklist.  These are great for my small but growing collection of cards featuring the greatest trophy in sports.

Same with this one, from the previous year's PowerPlay set.

I led off this post with my first 2014-15 Authentic Moments card, but I also grabbed two from the 2012-13 set out of the quarter boxes.  The way that Discover card logo on the boards lines up with the edge of the card looks kind of odd to me.  Not my favorite from this set, but I like these enough that I'm not leaving any I don't have behind at a quarter.

The other one that was available was also a Kings card, with a photo taken just a couple of weeks after the Dustin Brown card above it.

My stack was not all hockey, just mostly.  When I saw this 1982 Topps Coca Cola Brighams card on the counter I was instantly intrigued.  I don't recall having seen these before, and sure enough it turns out this is the first one in my collection.

I also snagged this die-cut Mo Vaughn from 1997 Upper Deck SP.  The Red Sox count goes up by just two on this trip, back to hockey now...

A pre-beard Henrik Zetterberg card is an old Henrik Zetterberg card.  Topps sure made some nice hockey cards.  At this point I had just a few minutes left, but did one more quick sweep of the shop.

I found a small stack of some more recent hockey singles, just sitting loose on a shelf.  Three of those came home with me.  Though he didn't quite live up to expectations with the Bruins, there was a mild amount of hype when he first came to the team, and for that reason I'll always gravitate just a bit towards Carl Soderberg cards.  I've got a certified autograph or two of his already, so it was nice to land his standard O-Pee-Chee rookie.

I'm definitely one of those collectors who enjoys a card of a star player with a team you don't normally associate him with.  For that reason I simply couldn't resist this late-career Daniel Alfredsson from his time with Detroit.

This might have been my score of the day.  Though his super hot start is a ways in the rear view mirror now, and he's come back down to Earth a bit, Nathan MacKinnon's cards seem to still be relatively sought after.  I didn't have a proper rookie card of his until now, and while I could see how some would maybe find this design to be a bit much, I like it.

I love these Traxx parallels from 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Platinum, and I rarely run across them for whatever reason.  Even lowly commons seem to go for at least a buck or two on Sportlots or COMC.

Here's the final card I picked out on the day, my first Between the Pipes Masked Men insert.  The one and only reason I don't have more of these is that this is the first one I've ever seen in person.  Very cool card.

When the owner, John, thumbed through my stack and asked me how ten bucks sounded I didn't even try to talk him down.  Seemed more than reasonable in my estimation, and it was certainly a fun (and cheap) way to kill some time.

Also, because John is such a solid guy, he noticed that I had a few of those Authentic Moments cards in my stack.  It just so happens he had some Upper Deck promo packs featuring those very cards and he let me pick any one I wanted.

These are five-card packs wrapped in clear cellophane.  On top is this small fold-out guide to card collecting featuring everyone's favorite young star.  Clearly geared towards kids entering the hobby, it had some basic info about the different sets and types of collectors out there on one side, and a glossary of common collecting terms on the reverse.

The pack itself contained five cards, all from the 2014-15 Authentic Moments subset!  My pack didn't get off to the most exciting start, seems like the folks at Upper Deck were stretching a bit including an early-season game where Seguin and Benn each registered two points in this set.

Things began looking up from there though, as I scored my second Nathan MacKinnon card of the day.  This one pays tribute to a much more appropriate feat, and that is Nathan leading all rookies in goals, assists and points in 2013-14.

Here's a perfect example of everything I love about this subset.  I don't think I've seen this photo of Brian Leetch used on too many other cards, if any.  Also I'm shocked that it took until 1994 for an American-born player to win the Conn Smythe?!?!

While maybe not the best photo in the set, I was very happy to pull this Jaromir Jagr as I've sort of half begun collecting him in recent months.  What he's doing with the Panthers at his age this year is nothing short of inspiring.

The final card in my pack, and my final card of the day, is another one for my Stanley Cup collection.  I love the concept of The Great One and his father on the same card, definitely the only card in my collection that I can say that about.

I feel like I say this every time I leave the shop, but I'm not sure there's anywhere I could have made $10 stretch further, or had more fun spending it.  I definitely hope it's not another two months before I'm able to make it back there...


Jeff Jones said...

That Pavel Bure card is AWESOME, looks like 10 bucks well spent.

Hackenbush said...

What's that, like 50 cool cards for 10 bucks? Much better than a similar amount of random Topps baseball. Good job!

Mark Kaz said...

Lots to like there. No matter the sport, you really can't beat '90s inserts. I like that Irbe especially. I have a couple of his cards from that era and was always partial to them b/c of his, er, different helmet/mask.

Tim B. said...

Awesome stuff! I love that Jagr and the Brighams Coca Cola card. I'm going to have to start looking for those.

Mark Hoyle said...

Looks like a great hour spent digging at Central,St.

Marc said...

Man, you made out like a bandit. Bergy and Espo for a quarter each?! Utterly amazing finds.

Baseballislife1984 said...

Looks like a fun time with some nice cards found!

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