Sunday, March 31, 2019

Signature Sundays - Mike Modano!

It's been a while since I got in a Signature Sundays post, so let's squeeze one in on the last day of March here.  It's a pretty significant one too, my latest '92-93 Fleer Ultra buyback courtesy of Fleer Showcase!

You may remember that I was really penny-pinching at the beginning of the year when it came to my collection.  We had a (planned) reduction in household income that caused me to tighten my belt a bit.  Well, I was doing very well in January, having spent only $43.73 heading into the final days of the month.  Then this card popped up, and with just one click I spent more than I had the entire rest of the month.

I couldn't help myself though, what a fantastic autograph of arguably the most successful hockey player to hail from the United States.  I'm a bit obsessed with these Ultra buybacks that Upper Deck included in their Fleer Showcase product a couple of years back as it is, and on top of that I had never managed to acquire a Modano autograph for my hockey collection.  I've had a saved eBay search for these for a couple of years now and had never seen a Modano auto surface prior to this one, and with just 25 copies in existence who knows when I'd run into one again.

I love that Mike went big and bold with the autograph here, and placed it in a perfect spot on the card to really enhance its legibility.  Modano had an amazing career, and is probably the most popular Minnesota North Star/Dallas Stars player in franchise history.  He helped bring the franchise its first Stanley Cup, and was a perennial All-Star.  He still has the most career goals and most career points of any player born in the United States.  His 1,374 career points have him in the top 25 in the history of the league (though Crosby and Ovechkin may well bump him just outside that range within the next couple of seasons).

Of course I have to show the back.  As I've said many times before, this might be my favorite card back design ever created.  Simply awesome.

As is customary when I post one of these, here's the COA that corresponds to the card.

So, there you have it.  Easily one of my best purchases of 2019 so far.  I'm up to half a dozen of the autographed versions of these buybacks now, as Mike Modano joins Chris Chelios, Nick Lidstrom, Mark Messier, Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne in my collection!

Coming up later this week I've got a couple of incoming trade packages that include some buybacks, some brand new Red Sox cards, and even an autograph.  Until then, thanks for stopping by as always!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Fifteen Random Hockey Cards

The post title says it all.  Let's dive in...

The first three cards here are from the 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee release.  I think I ended up with these from purchasing a small lot where my main interest was in the high-number WHA cards.  I certainly won't turn these down though.  You won't find many cards featuring more lime green ink than this one has.

Next up, Dale Rolfe, who looks like he finished smoking a doobie about 5 minutes before this photo was taken.  Like Paul Curtis above, Dale was a defenseman.

Last but not least, Dean Prentice.  Once again the level of flourescence is pretty astounding here.  I've never been able to figure out the seemingly low placement of many of the portrait shots in this set.  It's almost like O-Pee-Chee was trying not to show the logo on the player's sweater, even though they were clearly licensed to do so.  Anyway, not exactly three perennial All-Stars there, but I think just about all hockey cards from the '70s are fun.

A lot of three 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee singles that I picked out from a quarter box a long while back packs plenty of star power though.  I should really just pony up and buy this entire set one of these days.  For now though, Bill Barber...

...Bernie Federko...

...and the great Darryl Sittler really strengthen up my '80s hockey collection for just 75 cents total.  These are mint and fairly well-centered (by '81-82 O-Pee-Chee standards anyway), wish I could find this kind of stuff in quarter boxes more often.

How about a few 1995-96 Leaf cards next.  I bought a hobby box of this stuff not long after returning to collecting, probably in 2007.  It has sat (opened) in a box since, as I kept telling myself one day I'd collate and scan them all in.  It's never going to happen, and with my new purging attitude for this year I bagged up nearly all of them and shipped them to Billy of Cardboard History.

I kept a few select singles for myself though, including any Whalers cards I needed for that team collection.

Also kept one or two superstars that I sort of half player collect, like Teemu Selanne.  There were plenty of dupes too, so Billy may have gotten copies of these cards anyway.

I hung onto a couple of the inserts from that Leaf box as well.  I have fond memories of these Studio inserts that resemble credit cards from back in the day.  Pulled Jim Carey in my box, and have one or two others that I've picked up cheap over time.  This is an insert set I'd like to complete someday.

Here's the other insert, from a Mario Lemieux-centric set.  Purging mentality or not, there are certain players I have a hard time parting with a card of if it's not a duplicate.  Lemieux is definitely on that short list.  Besides, that's a great look at a Team Canada sweater from the late '80s/early '90s.

Sticking with the inserts for a minute, here's a trio that were also plucked from a quarter box.  I've always loved Jaromir Jagr, one of the greatest professional sports careers that I've had the pleasure to witness in my lifetime.  I will never turn down a Jagr card.

A Teemu Selanne insert, his second card of this post.  I think this card was a pretty big deal for at least a short time back in the day given his absolutely incredible rookie season.  Funny to find it for a quarter all these years later.

Finally, an obvious pick-up.  I really don't know how this Donruss Rated Rookie Chris Pronger card eluded my grasp for all these years.  Always feels good to close a gap in my Whalers collection.  Speaking of which, the final card in tonight's post is certainly my personal favorite...

My latest hockey buyback!  I'm not sure how feasible completing a team set of these (#'d /25) or the 2010-11 un-numbered (but equally rare) buybacks is, but I'm certainly going to try.  Unfortunately I'm noticing hockey buybacks drawing more money recently in some cases on the secondary market.  Case in point, I was outbid only a week or so ago for two common Whalers just like this one (Dean Evason and Brad Shaw).  I set my bids at a number I thought was well high at $10 Canadian, and lost both auctions!

Oh well, just makes the challenge more enjoyable in the long run I guess.  At least I can cross defenseman Doug Crossman off the list.

Well, there you have it.  Fifteen random hockey cards.  Hope you saw something you liked, or at least that intrigued you.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Johnny's Trading Spot Red Sox - Part 1

A while back I won a contest over at Johnny's Trading Spot, and the prize package was an impressive one.  Aside from some buybacks I've already featured, I also got a healthy portion of new Red Sox cards.  Here's a smattering of twenty cards that were included...

Travis Lakins pitched well for Boston's minor league teams last year, splitting time between AA and AAA.  He fared well in a handful of Spring Training appearances this year, so maybe he'll make the big league club at some point.  If he does it'll be cool because not only will I have his first Bowman card...

...but the Camo parallel as well!

Sam Travis did get 38 plate appearances with Boston last season, and hit just .222.  Has to be hard to get into a good rhythm though with just those few games.  Maybe he'll get another crack at Major League pitching in 2019 here.

By most accounts, Jay Groome is a top-10 prospect within the organization, but he's an unknown for sure after missing the entire 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery.

I have to say, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on I really enjoy the design on this Bowman Platinum card.

Here's another one with a lot of color, courtesy of Topps Fire.  I know these cards are over-the-top loud and busy, but I like them anyway.  Probably has something to do with being a child of the '90s.

I really haven't been buying many packs, or new cards whatsoever, for the past few years, but John really helped me with some newer sets with this delivery.  Case in point, I got a trio of 2018 Topps Big League needs in Jackie Bradley Jr...

...J.D. Martinez...

...and Chris Sale.  I thought this was a fun effort by Topps last year, a good example of a "low-end" set done right if you ask me.

Here's a very yellow Star card.  Suck it, 1991 Fleer!  Al Sanders never made the Majors, but at least he got a baseball card I suppose.

Anyone who's ever dealt with these Leaf Limited cards knows they're pretty tough to scan well.

Still happy to have them though!

Three cards closer to owning every Red Sox card in existence, haha.

Some of my favorite cards in the package were the Topps Total ones.  John really contributed to my 2002 team set with five new cards.

Some great names from the team that broke the curse a couple of years after this set hit the shelves, too.

Beardless Damon.

I always enjoyed John Burkett's starts during his stint with Boston at the end of his career.  His numbers don't look that great, but to my recollection he always seemed to keep the team in the game.  He did finish with a winning record both seasons with the Red Sox.

My favorite of the bunch is this Rod Beck card, which has an air of Kenny Powers about it.  Look at that flowing mane!

I'll wrap it up for today with a couple of older Bowman cards...

...from 2015...

...and a very red Pedro Martinez Black Diamond.

I've got enough Red Sox cards still to go from this package to cover at least one or two more posts.  Until then, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 18, 2019


Well, I certainly didn't intend to go well over a week without posting here.  It's just been one of those stretches where life hasn't afforded me much spare time for my hobby.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very fortunate and not complaining by any means, but there's simply been little time for baseball cards of late.

For example, last week my work schedule looked like this:

Monday - Providence, RI
Tuesday - Hartford, CT
Wednesday - Providence, RI
Thursday - Boston, MA
Friday - Manchester, NH

Add to that some busy but fun weekends of doing things like watching an Irish band play at a pub on St Patrick's Day, or going to a brewery where you can throw axes (yes, that's a thing), and here we are.

You didn't come here to read my ranting about lack of free time though, you came here to see sports cards.  So here are a few random ones in an attempt to make this vaguely resemble a normal post...

Isn't that a beauty?  I won this in the contest a few months back on Night Owl Cards.  This was the card I had my eye on right out of the gate.  There were quite a few folks who got to pick before me, and I was convinced Willie would be gone by the time my turn came around.  In the end, it all worked out though.  I'm very late in posting this, but thanks for a great contest and a great card Greg!

Look at all those stats!  A whole lotta red and italic print there, that's for sure.

Here's a random one.  I picked up this hand-cut "strip" card shortly after I returned to the hobby back in 2007.  For whatever reason it never made it onto the blog until now, just about 12 years down the line.  Better late than never as they say.

Here's a better look at the front.  This is a Braves card, not a Red Sox card, and to be honest it's one I probably wouldn't spend the money on today.  It wasn't exactly a pick-up that broke the bank at $12.01, but still.

I don't know why I scanned it, but here you are.  The most boring card back in history.

A Ray Bourque Starting Lineup card from 1993 that's been in my "To Be Blogged" folder for way too long.

Let's close it out by looking at a handful of cards from my latest COMC order.  I've been really into 1958 Topps baseball lately, so I grabbed this Willard Nixon because I assumed it would be a new '58 for me as well as a new Red Sox card.  I have so few '58s that I didn't bother checking what I already owned when I picked this one up, and that was a mistake as it turns out I already had a copy Nixon.  In better shape, too.  At least I paid just 63 cents for it.

A fun card here, I don't know too many Star Wars fans that don't like Yoda.  While I don't collect Star Wars cards with any serious level of commitment, I couldn't pass up this Blue Rainbow parallel from 2016 Star Wars Tek for $1.75.  I have six of these parallels now, which are serial-numbered to /99.

Inspired largely by the great 'Desert Island Binder' series at The Shlabotnik Report, I've been on the lookout for some cheap copies of my favorite cards of the '80s.  Randy Johnson's 1989 Donruss Rated Rookie card was an obvious choice at 65 cents.  Love this one.

In the same vein, and picked up the same day, this '87 Cal Ripken is minty fresh and set me back just two quarters.  A classic card of one of my favorite boyhood players.  At two-for-a-buck these are the kind of pick-ups I should be making on COMC all day long.

I'd never heard of these Top Draft Pick promo cards that Upper Deck produced last year until I ran across this one while searching for Mathew Barzal cards a while back.  It was $2.75 and the seller wasn't accepting offers, a bit pricey for my normal COMC endeavors.  I was in full on Barzal prospector mode at the time though, and snatched it up anyway.  I was an impressionable young collector when Upper Deck released their inaugural hockey set, so that design carries some weight with me.

When it comes to buybacks, I typically stick to Topps and Topps Heritage on the baseball side.  I've always sort of half-collected Julio Franco though, so this 2017 Bowman buyback of his '90 Bowman release was too tempting to resist at 72 cents.  Now that is how you crop a photo!

We'll call it quits for tonight with this '64 Eddie Fisher.  I grabbed this one because, much like the '58 Topps flagship set, I've been drawn to the '64s lately when it comes to the '60s.  I've already landed the Koufax and Pete Rose cards from this set earlier this year, so figured I'd look around for some decent condition cheapies.  Fisher fit the bill at 52 cents.

That's all I've got time for right now.  I promise it won't be over a week before you hear from me again.  Thanks as always for stopping by!
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