Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ringing in the New Year with Prizm & Pumpsie

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm going to kick the year off right by highlighting one of the larger and more amazing trade packages I received in all of 2016, from my friend Douglas, aka Sportscards from the Dollar Store.

I actually received Douglas' package weeks ago, but the holiday season is always tough on the calendar and I just couldn't seem to find the time to get these scanned in.

It's not totally my fault though, I blame Douglas for sending me over a hundred cards that I was missing towards the 2013-14 Panini Prizm hockey set!

I try to scan and inventory each individual card that comes across my desk.  I'm always backlogged to some extent, but getting over 100 cards in a single trade package really backed me up for a bit.  We collectors/bloggers face some real challenges.

As you can see, the lot wasn't all scrubs or commons either, I received some of the best players in the league here.

Got both of the Koivu brothers; Saku...

...and Mikko.

Shane Doan, who recently played in his 1500th NHL game and holds virtually every significant offensive record in Jets/Coyotes franchise history.  Great first name, too.

Best of all, Douglas included a bunch of the short-printed rookie cards as well.  Always fun seeing where some of these players are just a handful of years after the set's release.  Emerson Etem has bounced around between the NHL and AHL, had brief stints with the Canucks and Rangers and is back in the Anaheim organization.

Rickard Rakell was probably the best rookie to spill out of this package.  Rakell signed a 6-year extension with Anaheim after netting 20 goals last season.  Seems like a wise signing by the team, as he's scored 16 times already in just 27 games played this year.  This guy could be a scoring stud for the Ducks for years to come, maybe a key piece to inherit the team from guys like Perry and Getzlaf.

Played in over 120 games with the Avalanche, but is now playing with the Cardiff Devils in the EIHL.

Alex Petrovic is still with the Panthers, and has patrolled the blue line for 16 games this season, and over 125 career NHL games to this point.

Played just two games with the Predators, bombed with their AHL affiliate, and is now playing back in Finland.

Played in 44 games with the Devils, another dozen with the Canadiens last year, and has yet to see NHL action so far in 2016-17.

Thomas Hickey has become a full-time player for the Islanders, and has been essentially locked in as a member of their defensive corps since before this card was even issued.  Defensemen don't get a whole lot of hobby love generally, but Hickey is a solid player.

Gryba has played in 50 NHL games or more each of the last three seasons.  He's with Edmonton now, and even scored the game-winner for them a couple of nights ago.

I like this card because Nick Petrecki has played in just one single career NHL game, with the Sharks in 2012-13.  That was enough to get him a card in this set.  Given that he is an unrestricted free agent it looks likely that he'll never see NHL action again, making this a unique card.  Junk to some, but I would rather get an obscure part of hockey history covered in my collection than accumulate my 100th Sidney Crosby card.

Currently with the Maple Leafs, though he has appeared in just a single NHL game so far in the 2016-17 season.  68 total NHL games played to date.

That's a wrap on the Prizm content, I'm not going to subject you to all 100+ cards or anything like that.  Just because Prizm made up the bulk of the box doesn't mean there weren't some other gems to be found.

Like some solid additions to my ever-growing Hartford Whalers collection.  Things are still a bit of a mess for me organizationally at the moment due to the Zistle situation, but as I move everything over to Google Sheets I hope to have a handle on exactly how many unique Whalers cards I have soon.  I know it's greater than 1,500 at this point.

This Donruss Elite Brendan Shanahan scanned like garbage, but I assure you it looks much nicer than this in hand.

Rounding out the trio of basic Whalers cards is Glen Wesley.  Just had a conversation with my dad about him over the holidays, basically along the lines of how it was hard to root for him as a Whaler after absolutely detesting him as a Bruin for all those years prior.

How awesome (in a bad, '90s way) is this card?  I've got a few Burke autos but this is the first to feature his "axe", haha.  Pinnacle sure did some interesting things with these Be A Player sets.  As someone who counts playing guitar among his other hobbies I probably appreciate this one more than most.  This would typically steal the show in terms of any trade package, but as you'll see below there were three items that topped even this one in my mind.

Before we get to that however, here's a wrinkled copy of Alain Cote's '82-83 O-Pee-Chee card.  Hey, it allows me to scratch a number off my want list for this set, and I can always upgrade it later.

I had to look this one up, which probably tells you how out of touch I am with modern releases.  I guess this was an insert in the Topps flagship set this past year.  It's also the closest thing I have at the moment to a '54 Williams.

Alright, now let's get down to the "big three" items, starting with this beautiful double relic of the greatest Hartford Whaler of all-time, Ron Francis!  Generally speaking, relic cards don't get me too excited, but Whalers relics certainly do.  This one in particular is just incredible, and I love that one of the two swatches is that familiar Whaler green.  Definitely one of the nicest cards I received in a trade in 2016, period.

Technically, this item came in a second package as it was too large to fit in the other.  As a Whalers fan, this is the definition of obscure.  Can you name the player?  This is Martin Hamrlik, older brother of NHL regular Roman Hamrlik.  Martin, a defenseman, was selected in the second round (31st overall) of the 1991 NHL entry draft by the Whalers.  Martin never played an NHL game, and eventually returned to the Czech Republic where he enjoyed a long career that wrapped up in 2013.

I never thought I'd be the proud owner of an over-sized Martin Hamrlik autographed photo, but there you go.  Douglas was even kind enough to include the proper Ultra Pro sheet to store this in, so I can safely tuck it away in a binder.  Very cool.

1960 Topps #317 - Pumpsie Green

Here was the main piece of the package, and the card that resulted in this exchange to begin with.  I had always remembered Douglas pulling this awesome buyback rookie card of the man who at long last integrated the Red Sox.  When I decided recently that I was ready to part with my 2016 Topps Now Bartolo Colon HR card, I thought of Douglas right away and proposed a one-for-one swap for Pumpsie here.

This might be my single favorite buyback yet, and I know the Colon card is absurdly expensive/tough to get, so I'd say this was one of those trades where both parties really enhanced their collections and came out on top.  Will Pumpsie here make my buyback franken-set though?

A John Candelaria rookie card stands in his way.  Ouch.  I was hoping this one would be in the franken-set for the long haul, especially since Candelaria tossed a no-no the year this card was printed up.

At the end of the day though, my Red Sox bias is going to show through here, and I'm going with Pumpsie.  It's just too great a card for a Sox fan like myself, like I said one of my favorite buybacks to date, period.

Douglas, this was maybe the best package of cards you've ever sent me.  Thank you!  I pretty much exhausted the rest of what I had for you with my last mailing, but rest assured I will be on the lookout for more stuff when I get to a show or the local hobby shop here.

A great start to 2017 here as far as my collection goes!


Tony Burbs said...

That Burke is absolutely glorious. Rock on, Sean!

Billy Kingsley said...

Cool stuff, I love the 13-14 Prizm set.

Kin Kinsley said...

I have some of those Prizm cards...would like to help you out with the set if I have any you can contact me at

Metallattorney said...

I love the Pumpsie card. That Candaleria didn't stand a chance.

JediJeff said...

Martin Hamrlik is trying to steal your girlfriend.

Coast To Posts said...

The amount of short-printed rookies from that Prizm set is a little overwhelming for me. I tip my hat to you for taking it on.

Adam Sanders said...

Those Prizm cards are awesome.

Marc said...

The generosity of bloggers never ceases to amaze me. The Francis Treasured Swatches sure is sweet with the two different colors.

Glen Wesley...................... basically along the lines of how it was hard to root for him as a Whaler after absolutely loving him as a Bruin for all those years prior.

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