Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Randomness...

It's a cold, rainy Saturday morning here, perfect day to catch up on the backlog of cards stacked up on my desk.

Here's my third '72-73 O-Pee-Chee WHA card. Jean Payette was near the end of his career here. He'd play 112 games with Quebec in the WHA (his only career WHA or NHL games), move on to a couple of other leagues and retire in 1975. The card's in great shape, probably the best of the three I've accumulated so far. How about that sweater!

The card back tells us that an auto accident had an impact on his career, something I didn't come across online.

Switching over to baseball, here's a card that was a favorite of mine back in the '90s. I had one of these that I pulled from a pack as a 9 or 10 year old and it was one of my most prized childhood cards. I'm not sure where that card is, but I picked up a replacement on COMC for $1.00. The Frank Thomas from this set was highly sought after at the time, I wouldn't mind picking one up.

Next we have a couple of '90s Pavel Bure inserts I grabbed months ago at the hobby shop. This one's a 1994-95 Leaf Limited Gold card, and it looks much better in person than it does here. The early '90s Canucks uniform works well with a gold reflective card.

As you can see, this one's "limited" to just 2,500 copies. Interesting card, and it was cheap enough. I like the next one a bit more though:

Also from 1994-95, this is an Elite Series insert from the Donruss set. This is a really nice looking shiny insert, with scalloped edges almost like a vintage Deckle Edge card.

I would definitely like to complete this 10-card insert set, or at least pick up the Fedorov.

Here are 4 1974 O-Pee-Chee Red Sox cards from 1967ers' recent trade package. Don Newhauser appeared in 3 2/3 innings over two games in 1974. His 9.82 ERA in those appearances was a good indicator that he'd never pitch in the Majors again.

Miller was a long time Red Sox player. He started and finished his career in Boston. Sandwiched in between was a 3-year stint with the Angels.

Danny finished second to Yaz for the AL batting title in the pitching-dominated 1968 season. Yaz hit .301, Cater .290.

I also found one '78 O-Pee-Chee that I neglected to show with the rest of them earlier this month, this 1977 Home Run Leaders card. Great shot of Hall-of-Famer Jim Rice on this one. I've got more cards from 1967ers still to come.

Finally, here are a couple of inserts I stumbled across recently that I had completely forgotten about. These were about the only good thing to come out of 1991-92 Score. I've still got the original two that I pulled from packs over 20 years ago, Wayne Gretzky...

...and Jaromir Jagr. The highlight of Jagr's card is most definitely the back though. He sported one of the most fierce mullets of his time, and Score really captures it in all its glory:

I'll be back with something a little less random soon.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Ultimate Hockey Card Set - Card #113

Been a while since I did one of these posts. Today we'll choose card #113 for the franken-set of my all-time favorite hockey cards...

Not surprisingly, #113 is not exactly a number that belongs to All-Stars or Hall-of-Famers in most sets. Most of my #113s are like this Scott Young card here, nothing exceptional or really out of the ordinary.

Here's another one, decent player, decent card, but just nothing that special about it.

Peter Stastny is certainly worthy of inclusion somewhere in the set, and this card is unique for sure. The thing is, when I think of Stastny I think of the Nordiques, not the New Jersey Devils.

Steve Yzerman is one of the best players featured on any of my #113s. While the 1995-96 Upper Deck set is great, this card did not make the cut. Besides, I selected Yzerman's rookie card a while back so he's in the set already as it is.

The runner-up was this 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee Kevin Lowe. '82-83 O-Pee-Chee is one of my favorite sets of the '80s. Lowe himself should be one of the first few people to come to mind when you think of the Edmonton Oilers. He was the team's first-ever NHL draft pick, has played more NHL games (both regular season and playoffs) in an Oilers sweater than anyone else, and scored the team's first goal (assisted by Gretzky). Since the end of his playing career he has served within the Edmonton organization as an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, Executive Vice President, and President of Hockey Operations (the role he currently holds). Huh, maybe I made the wrong choice here? Here's the card I'm going with over Lowe:

1989-90 Topps - #113 - Joe Sakic (RC)

This was the obvious choice for me for a few reasons. First of all, I've been putting a lot of effort into my 1980-81 through 1989-90 hockey sets lately, and I have a soft spot for the 1989-90 set in particular as it was the first I ever collected as a kid. I'd like to add at least one card from each year of the decade to this franken-set and Sakic's rookie seemed like the best choice from '89-90.

Secondly, and most importantly, Sakic was no slouch. 2 Stanley Cup Championships, 15th all-time in career goals scored, 8th all-time in career points, and twenty years spent with just a single franchise. Joe's a shoe-in for the Hall-of-Fame for sure.

Finally, this gave me a chance to select my very first Quebec Nordiques card, which was long overdue. If you can get past the fact that it's from the '89-90 Topps set, it's actually a significant card and one that I think just edges out the '82-83 O-Pee-Chee Kevin Lowe.

The Ultimate Hockey Card Set, now at 14 cards and counting, can be found here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sweet Satisfaction - My 1985-86 Topps Pelle Lindbergh

Earlier this month Wax Stain Rookie had a post about an Al MacInnis rookie that, while not exactly super valuable, was hard for him to come by for whatever reason. I commented on the post at the time that I was having some similar trouble tracking down a 1985-86 Topps Pelle Lindbergh rookie. I've been just a few cards away from completing the '85-86 Topps set for what feels like forever now, and for months and months I just couldn't find one of these for sale (including eBay) in a condition that I was satisfied with.

As luck would have it, just a few days after leaving that comment I got a hit on my saved eBay search and learned that a seller had just listed 3 of them in mint condition. I picked the one I liked best, placed my bid, and about a week later this was waiting for me in the mailbox:

I was willing to bid up to $9 on this card, which might have been overpaying a bit, but given how long I had searched for it I didn't mind. Luckily I won with the minimum bid of $1.99 (plus $1.95 shipping). This was the most satisfaction I've gotten out of this hobby for less than $5 in quite some time. I think the low selling price was helped by the fact that the seller listed 3 at the same exact time. Supply and demand, eBay 101.

This was a good lesson in patience I guess. Pelle is now safe at home between Dale Hawerchuk and Dennis Maruk in my '85-86 Topps binder. Now I'm down to just two cards left, #8 Rod Langway and #120 Wayne Gretzky.

If you're interested, I've ripped a couple more of the junk wax packs I picked up this past weekend, 1991 Fleer Football and 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee hockey.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Random 7-Card eBay Hockey Lot

Cards are piling up around here faster than I can catalog them and post about them. In an attempt to catch up, here are 7 random hockey cards purchased on eBay that have all arrived recently...

1988-89 Topps - #66 - Brett Hull (RC)

True, there's a heavy dose of airbrushing on this card, but it's still a classic. Hull is one of the game's all-time snipers, and it's great that his rookie card can be had in mint condition for less than 10 bucks. I already had a PSA-graded copy but needed a raw card for my set binder. This card will garner some serious consideration when I get around to choosing #66 for The Ultimate Hockey Card Set.

1988-89 Topps - #116 - Patrick Roy

Another '88-89 Topps set need, Patrick's 3rd year card.

1988-89 Topps - #194 - Pierre Turgeon (RC)

Turgeon was the first overall pick in the 1987 entry draft, and I remember being a huge fan of this guy when I was young. In fact, I used to have a puck with a picture of Turgeon superimposed on it that I picked up at the pro shop at a Hartford Whalers game back in the day. He had a great career with 500+ goals and ended at better than a point-per-game over his 1,294 games played.

1988-89 Topps - #120 - Wayne Gretzky

One of my favorite cards from the decade, period. This symbolizes perhaps the most significant trade in NHL history. I already had a graded copy of this one, in fact I chose it as one of my Top 60 hockey cards a while back, but like the Hull rookie this one will go into the '88-89 Topps binder.

1974-75 Topps - #28 - Bruins Team Leaders

One of the final cards towards my 1974-75 Topps set. Anything from the '70s with Bobby Orr on the front is tough to come by, so I was pleased to snatch this one up for just a couple bucks with free shipping.

1974-75 Topps - #129 - Phil Esposito All-Star

After Phil here, I'm now just 5 cards away from finishing this one! All I've got left is the NHL Assist Leaders card, Bobby Orr All-Star, Borje Salming, Guy Lafleur and Bobby Clarke.

1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA - #30 - Gerry Cheevers

My favorite card in the lot, and another great addition to my steadily growing WHA collection. I've wanted this one for a couple of years now, and it will look pretty good next to the Jacques Plante I just picked up from this set.

Oh, and if you're bored and in the mood to see a junk wax pack rip, I've just posted a pack of 1990-91 Topps hockey over on A Pack a Day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rooster and the Gang - 1978 O-Pee-Chee Red Sox

I've got a few trade packages backed up here that I need to post, so today I'll continue with a few more cards from 1967ers' recent package. So far I've shown some 1971 and 1972 O-Pee-Chee Red Sox are the 1978 O-Pee-Chee Sox that were in the package:

First up is The Rooster, Rick Burleson. Going through these cards made me remember just how good a team the Red Sox had in '78. I wasn't born yet, but growing up a Red Sox fan I've heard plenty of stories about the painful one-game playoff where the Yankees topped the Red Sox for the AL East title. To this day if you're at Fenway for a Sox/Yankees game you're bound to hear at least one "Bucky F***ing Dent" uttered...

Fred Lynn appeared in 150 games in 1978, the most he ever played in a single season over the course of his career. He hit .298 with 22 HR and 82 RBI. Not bad numbers but nothing compared to the .333/39/122 line (all career highs) he'd put up the following year when he'd finish fourth in AL MVP voting.

After two fantastic seasons out of the bullpen in 1976 (for the Twins) and 1977 (for the Red Sox), Campbell's numbers began to decline in 1978.

Denny's got a card in the 1978 set, but he never played in another MLB game after 1977.

1978 was Luis' final season with the Red Sox. He was signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees after the season. This shot of Tiant about to sign some autographs is one of my favorite photos in the lot.

Here's a look at the lighter, easier-to-read backs. I chose to show Tiant's because he'd been around quite a while by the time this set came out so there are plenty of stats. Here's a darker '78 Topps back for comparison:

This card was very much appreciated! I've been casually collecting Yaz for a while now, just because he's one of the all-time great Red Sox players, and because his cards can be had relatively cheap given how good he was. Before this package arrived though I didn't have any O-Pee-Chee Yastrzemskis!

1978 was without question the best season of Jim Rice's Hall of Fame career. He led the AL in games played (163 thanks to the 1 game playoff), at bats, hits, triples, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, OPS and total bases! Pretty easy to see why he was elected the American League MVP...

Fisk appeared in a career high 157 games in '78 and finished 9th in AL MVP voting.

I'm pretty sure this lot puts me just one or two cards shy of a '78 O-Pee-Chee Red Sox team set. Thanks 1967ers!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NHL 50 Goal Scorers - The 2000s

Last week Steven Stamkos netted goals 49 and 50 of the season against the Boston Bruins. It's certain that he'll capture the Rocket Richard trophy as the NHL's goal leader, and unless Evgeni Malkin goes ballistic over the Penguins' final few games Stamkos will likely be the only 50 goal scorer this season. This got me thinking, and I figured that a small "50 Goal Season" collection would be an interesting idea...basically every player who ever recorded 50 in a single season represented on a card from that particular season.

This will obviously get more and more difficult (and costly) as I work my way backwards, but I could get the 2000-2011 cards cheap enough that combined with what I already had in the collection I was able to knock out this post for less than $10 shipped (Sportlots). Since I haven't purchased any 2011-12 cards at all, the Stamkos Artifacts card above was part of my purchase. I think it looks alright considering it cost me 35 cents. So, let's work our way backwards and see who's topped the 50 mark since the turn of the century...


Corey Perry - 50 Goals in 82 Games

Perry was the lone 50 goal man last season. He reached the plateau in impressive fashion with goals 48, 49 and 50 coming in a single game against the Sharks (one of the last few Ducks games of the season). Already had this Pinnacle card in the collection and it seemed like an appropriate photo.


Alex Ovechkin - 50 Goals in 72 Games

Stamkos will likely score again this year and come in with a total greater than 50, but in going through this list it's amazing just how many guys managed exactly 50. Will Ovechkin ever score 50 again? I say no.

Steven Stamkos - 51 Goals in 82 Games

2011-12 will be Stamkos' second 50 goal season. In 2009-10 he recorded 51, which was good enough to share the NHL lead with this guy...

Sidney Crosby - 51 Goals in 81 Games

I'm not a Penguins fan but I really, really, really wish that Sidney had been able to stay healthy these last couple of years. The guy just plain puts up points and wins whenever he's in the lineup. It's a shame to think of all the would-be Crosby highlights that we've missed out on. As a fan of an Eastern Conference team, I'll admit that I'm absolutely terrified at the prospect of facing the Pens in the playoffs this year.


Alex Ovechkin - 56 Goals in 79 Games

Just a single 50 goal campaign in '08-09, familiar face Alexander Ovechkin. Someday I will complete this O-Pee-Chee retro set...


Jarome Iginla - 50 Goals in 82 Games

The Flames' captain appeared in every game for his team in 2007-08 and scored exactly 50 times. He will appear again on this list.

Ilya Kovalchuk - 52 Goals in 79 Games

I got a weird feeling looking at this card and remembering that the Atlanta Thrashers are already a "former" team. Ilya goes down as the team's only 50 goal scorer. He will also appear again on this list.

Alex Ovechkin - 65 Goals in 82 Games

Ovechkin bested both of the other 50 goal guys in 2007-08 with 65 goals! This was the highest single season total since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96, and hasn't been topped since. Like Kovalchuk and Iginla, Ovechkin will also appear here again (and already has twice!).


Dany Heatley - 50 Goals in 82 Games

Heatley's another guy who reached the milestone exactly.

Vincent Lecavalier - 52 Goals in 82 Games

Lecavalier just beat out Heatley by 2 goals, with each player appearing in all 82 games for their team.


Dany Heatley - 50 Goals in 82 Games

2005-06 saw the most 50 goal scorers of the decade, with 5 players reaching the feat. Heatley landed on 50 exactly, as he would again the next season.

Alex Ovechkin - 52 Goals in 81 Games (Rookie Season)

The Great 8 topped 50 in his very first season. I don't own any Ovechkin rookies, and I wasn't about to spend too much on one for this collection, so I settled on this Parkhurst card. This one seemed more appropriate anyway given that it pays tribute to Alex becoming the second rookie in history to score 50+ goals and 100+ points.

Ilya Kovalchuk - 52 Goals in 78 Games

Jaromir Jagr - 54 Goals in 82 Games

2005-06 was the third time that Jagr hit 50 in a season. He would have captured the Rocket Richard trophy in '05-06 if it weren't for this guy:

Jonathan Cheechoo - 56 Goals in 82 Games

Jonathan is probably the one name on this list for the 2000s that your average hockey fan might not guess. Cheechoo's numbers plummeted extremely quickly. His 56 goals in '05-06 were due in large part to playing on a line with Joe Thornton. Over the next three years his goal totals would drop to 37, then to 23, then to 12. San Jose then dealt him to Ottawa where he put up just 5 goals in 61 games in 2009-10. He hasn't played an NHL game since, and likely never will again. Talk about a quick decline...


No games played due to NHL lockout...


Nobody hit the 50-goal mark in 03-04. Jarome Iginla, Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash each tallied 41 to pace the league.


Milan Hejduk - 50 Goals in 82 Games

The lone 50 goal scorer in 2002-03 was Milan Hejduk. He's racked up 370 goals and counting in his NHL career, and he's played that entire career with Colorado. Hejduk may be nearing the end though, as he's on pace for his lowest goal total this year since his rookie season in 1998-99.


Jarome Iginla - 52 Goals in 82 Games


Jaromir Jagr - 52 Goals in 81 Games

Three of my favorite childhood players all reached the 50 goal milestone in the first season after the turn of the century. Jagr scored 52 with the Pens...

Joe Sakic - 54 Goals in 82 Games

Sakic's 54 goals in 2000-01 were the most he'd record in a single season over the course of his career...

Pavel Bure - 59 Goals in 82 Games

The Russian Rocket led the league in 2000-01, lighting the lamp 59 times. Pavel topped 50 quite a few times, his 437 career goals are very impressive when you consider he played only 702 games. I think had he stayed healthier he could have definitely been a Hall-of-Famer.

So there are your 50 goal scorers from 2000-01 through the present season. Next up I'll have a significantly longer post on the 1990s. Hope you enjoyed!
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