Sunday, February 28, 2016

Signature Sundays - Bobby Doerr

A really quick post for Signature Sundays this week.  Between an insane work week and then a great weekend spent with friends and family there's been little time for cards.  I did have this awesome Bobby Doerr autograph queued up to go though.  Besides, with temperatures near 60 today, and a similar forecast for tomorrow, it's really starting to feel like time for baseball here in New England.

I picked this card up at my local hobby shop many moons ago.  I know Doerr is one of those guys who has signed an insane amount of items in his long lifetime, but he was a name that was missing from my autograph collection prior to this.  As one of the all-time great Red Sox players I'm glad I've finally got him covered now.  This beautiful, on-card signature from 2003 Topps Gallery was too good to pass up, especially with a price tag under $10.

If Wikipedia is to be believed, which seems reasonable to me in this case, Bobby is the last living player who played Major League Baseball in the 1930s.  It's just so awesome to me that a 9x All-Star that first took the field in 1937 held and signed this very card.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

One Card Post - Pronger RC

What:  1993-94 Fleer Ultra #339 - Chris Pronger RC
Where:  Chris, from A Blog to Be Named Later
How Much?:  Came in trade

:  File this one under "I didn't have this already?!?!".  I can't believe I was missing this classic Chris Pronger junk wax era rookie.  There aren't a ton of HOFers that suited up for Hartford over the years, so I'm really glad this card is part of my collection now.  This is just the tip of the iceberg that is the trade package I received from Chris a few weeks ago.  The only reason it's taking me so long to thank him here on the blog is because I have so many new cards to scan, crop and inventory.  Maybe this weekend...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hockey Randomness!

Today seems as good a day as any to toss up a completely random assortment of hockey cards that have come across my desk in recent weeks.  Sort of a draft folder "catch all" of stuff that didn't make it into any other posts, but cards that I think are unique enough that they're worth showing anyway.

Like the wonderful, toothless Gordie Howe card above!  I picked this one up at my local shop at least a couple of years ago now, but only just got around to scanning and adding it to my inventoried collection.  That's a shame too, because I'd have to say this is one of the greatest images to grace any Whalers card in my entire collection.  I'd love to bust a box of this Parkhurst Champions set someday, it's full of awesome photographs like this and features some great on-card autos as well...

How about a couple of inserts from the height of the junk wax era?  I'm not sure why I love these obnoxious Scoring Power inserts from Flair, but I do.  I think I'm just a card or two away from completing this one, once I have them all I plan to feature the entire set in a post.  Don't worry, when the time comes I'll warn you to put your sunglasses on beforehand.

From '93-94 Ultra I've got a pair of Scoring King inserts, Pat LaFontaine...

...and Pierre Turgeon.  Funny that I ended up with these two players in the Sportlots order these came from, as I sometimes got them confused with each other when I was a kid.  May be in part due to the fact that they were traded for each other when I was around nine.  Anyway, moving on...

Vladimir Tarasenko is one of the most exciting young goalscorers in the game today.  If you're not familiar with him, just type his name into YouTube and sit back and enjoy!  He can really light the lamp with style, so I enjoy picking up a card or two of his from time to time.  I'm not sure about the design for this particular O-Pee-Chee retro parallel, but it was cheap enough anyway.

I grabbed a trio of O-Pee-Chee Metal Update cards at one point just because they were all guys I enjoyed watching play, and each was the minimum 18 cents price on Sportlots.

They don't scan so well, but they do look pretty sharp in person if you're a fan of Chrome/Metal cards.

Only after scanning them in did I realize the Chris Chelios is actually a "Metal X" parallel rather than a standard Metal card like the other two.  There's something wrong with the hobby when you have to scan a card in to realize what it is you're even holding.  Either way, cool Chelios.

I've always enjoyed the Canvas inserts from Upper Deck, but recently I've really started tracking down many more of them for my collection.  Aside from the faux-texture look, there are some awesome photos in this insert set year after year.  You could look at this one a dozen times and easily miss the sliver of puck at the very bottom of the shot.  A definite goal for Kane there!

A classic celebration shot of a guy who at times can be one of the more prolific scorers in the NHL.

You have to love a photo where not one part of the player or his stick is making any contact with the ice.  20-25 years ago a photo like this would have blown my mind, nowadays it's not all that uncommon.  I suppose we have Upper Deck to thank for that.

Given that Jaromir Jagr is quickly moving up the ranks of the best players to ever wear skates, I've been working on acquiring some more of his cardboard from his very short stint in Boston.  This Red parallel was a retail exclusive in 2013-14 Score, at least I think it was.  Either way, I don't see them around very often and I'm happy I landed this one.

I got a nice sticker to go with it, too!  I won't be peeling this and adhering it to anything though.

Here's a great card from SP Authentic.  Upper Deck seems to think that only 4-5 guys played for the Whalers over the years.  For a while there it was Ron Francis, and the past couple seasons it seems like Mike Liut has a ton of Whalers cardboard.  I'm not complaining though, I'm grateful that any Whalers are making modern-day checklists.

More Canvas!  Big Z has certainly lost a step or two, but is it really that surprising given his age and mileage over the years?  There's definitely a strong minority here locally that is crying for Chara to be dealt by the trade deadline.  Not sure how I feel about that, guess it depends on what the return would look like...

Here's another guy who's looked less than stellar at times this year.  The problem is he's much younger than Chara, and signed for many years to come.  In all honesty though, the defensive corps is a much larger issue than goaltending is with the present team.

Possibly my favorite card in this entire post, another fantastic addition to my collection courtesy of SP Authentic.  What an awesome shot featuring two of the greatest players ever celebrating in their bright red team Canada sweaters.  In my humble opinion this is one of the nicest photos to appear on a hockey card in the last few years.

Also from SP Authentic are these great retro inserts that pay homage to the '94-95 SP set.  I don't think I'd ever pursue this entire set, but I did grab a trio of players that are significant to me.

Another great late-career card of the guy who's now the #3 all-time goal scorer in NHL history!

See what I mean about Liut?  Still a nice card though, love those brown Cooper pads.

Here's another nice Canvas card, where we see a New Jersey Devil getting crushed by Erik Karlsson.  This one came out of the lone retail tin of UD Series 1 that I picked up this year.

So did this Seguin game jersey card.  Not a bad pull, but it pales in comparison to the McDavid Young Guns I was lucky enough to land.  I'm happy to ship Tyler here out to one of my trading partners if anyone wants it?

The '95-96 Rink Collection parallels aren't nearly as nice looking as the season prior, but I was still happy to land Ron Francis here for just a quarter.  It's borderline criminal how little hobby love Ron gets.

I was really, really bummed when Boston dealt Dougie Hamilton at last year's draft, and given the state of the team's defensive unit this year I can't help but think it would have been a big plus having Dougie back there.  Then again, the Flames haven't exactly been lighting the Western Conference on fire so who knows I guess.

Numbered to 299.  Cost $1.  Really no other reason that I made this purchase, I don't even like how the card looks, honestly.

I really enjoyed the 2013-14 Score hockey set, though I doubt I'll ever complete it given how enormous the checklist is.  I do have a couple of notable RCs to share though in Dougie Hamilton...

...and Calder winner Jonathan Huberdeau!  I really love the makeup of the Panthers team, and if the Bruins can't win it all this year (which looks to be the case) I'd certainly love to see Florida hoist the Cup.

Last card for today, we started off the post with a toothless subject so let's end with one!  Tell me that is not one of the coolest baby photos you've ever seen?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Signature Sundays - Better Than 2016 Topps

Another Sunday, another 2005 Baseball Heroes autograph...

I was fortunate enough to win this beautiful Al Kaline on eBay recently, and it marks my 16th Emerald Autograph from this set.  It's just my second of the horizontal, painted variety though (each player on the checklist had four standard vertical cards and one painted horizontal one).  A nice, bold autograph of arguably the greatest Detroit Tiger of all-time, and that's a franchise that's been around a while!

This card is actually my second Kaline of the five that are on the checklist; I posted the first over four years ago now.  That's all the proof you need that patience is a virtue with this set.  With just 99 of each of these autographed cards in existence they don't pop up all that often, so I'm lucky if I land more than a handful per year.

I was the only person to place a bid on this one, which opened at $19.99, so I kind of view it as my reward for exercising restraint and not buying a single blaster of 2016 Topps baseball.  Still haven't seen one of those ugly cards in person yet, but I sure am pleased with this one!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

COMC (Clearing Out My Chest)

I just shipped myself the last few months worth of cards from my COMC inventory, so I need to make some room in my card chest before they arrive.  Towards that end, I pulled and scanned some individual cards this afternoon from the drawers holding COMC loot, until I ran out of both time and motivation.

My COMC purchases tend to be primarily split between baseball and hockey.  I'd say baseball has a slight numbers advantage, but you wouldn't know it from today's post as I drew baseball card after baseball card.  Not a bad thing, as with pitchers and catchers reporting this last week America's pastime is on everyone's mind.

In the lead-off spot we've got a great dugout shot courtesy of '54 Bowman.  I'm still amazed at how cheap these can sometimes be had for, with Bob Avila here setting me back an even dollar.  Online or in person, this is a solid "dollar box" pick-up any way you slice it.

Still plodding away at the Framed parallels from the inaugural Gypsy Queen set.  There are a hundred cards in the set and they're each available in Green Framed (un-numbered retail) and Paper Framed (#'d /999) versions.  Matt Cain represents my 41st Paper Framed card, nearing the halfway point after all these years...

I know this Leaf Memories buyback is basically proof that I'm a total sucker, but I couldn't resist a Red Sox card numbered to /20 for just $1.25.  Besides, '90 Leaf was a big deal when I was collecting as a kid the first time around so I've always had a soft spot for the set.  I wish I could say this was the only one of these Leaf Memories buybacks I've ever purchased, but that would be a lie.

I miss the Legends variations that Topps had in the flagship and Update sets for a few years there.  I check once in a while to see whether I can get any at a real bargain, and when a Red Sox version fits that bill it's an easy purchase.  A really interesting shot of Jimmie Foxx here that I don't recall seeing on many other, if any other, cards.

I think most baseball fans who were alive at the time recall that Jeff Bagwell was originally property of the Red Sox, but in case that was before your time or you never knew here's your proof.  A great early card of the slugger here, and for someone who grew up in the state of Connecticut it's even got some local ties.

At card #7 in the set, Al Pilarcik has already assumed his place on the very first page of my '59 Topps binder.  I haven't been making much progress on this set to be honest, but I couldn't leave this one behind on the site at 67 cents.

Like I said above, I'm a huge fan of the Legends variations.  If it's a Cognac parallel from the 2011 set, even better.  For a buck even this was maybe the most satisfying Hank Aaron purchase I've ever made, love it.

This Mike Napoli is the only "Black Static Refractor" I own.  These are numbered to just /35.  At less than $2 I was essentially powerless to resist.

I normally avoid football cards.  I enjoy the sport, but baseball and hockey keep me busy enough when it comes to collecting.  Once in a while though, if I'm really bored, I'll browse around for a cheap card or two.  This one serves as a nice reminder of New England's last Super Bowl championship since it's from 2014, and also features one of the most important members of that team.  Besides, I adore the baseball Bubbles Refractors so was excited to pick-up my first football one.  Numbered to /99, too!


When presented with cheap acetate Tek cards, my willpower simply shrivels.  I love that Crime Dog is depicted in an ugly Devil Rays get-up on this one.

Anyone who attempted to collect the Goudey set that Upper Deck put out in 2007 knows what a pain the 88 short-print cards are to find at a reasonable price.  This was the set that got me back into collecting, and I'm still plugging away at them after all these years.  I have a dozen left now, and it would really feel satisfying if I could somehow put this set to bed in 2016.

Been a Nolan Ryan fan since I first got into cards in the late '80s/early '90s.  I also think Topps did a fantastic job with 2014 Finest, so this one just made sense.

Not exactly a spectacular looking card, but it plugged a hole in my '72 Topps team set for just a few dimes, and the condition is pretty good.

I don't consider myself a player collector these days, but there are certain guys I'll browse around for cheap cards of from time to time.  Bartolo Colon has become one of those guys in recent years, as he seems to defy age (and his physique) to find success on the mound year after year.  His cards don't really seem to demand much of a premium, either.  This Bowman Green parallel for example, numbered to /150, came my way when the seller accepted my offer of 60 cents.

I've been working on a 2013 Topps Chrome team set rainbow since the team won the World Series that year.  The Blue refractors are numbered to /199, and the 67 cents I paid for this one seemed more than fair.

After all that baseball, let's finish it off with the lone hockey card I pulled from the chest this afternoon...

That is one sweet Gretzky!  I'll spare you my ramblings on the Rink Collection parallels since you've heard them before if you read my blog.  Suffice it to say I'm very excited to add one of the bigger cards from the 1994-95 set to my collection.  An awesome shot of The Great One playing the puck as he floats through mid-air!

A pretty random assortment there, but it does a good job of illustrating why COMC is my single favorite site to purchase cards from online...
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