Sunday, 30 September 2012

How not to airbrush

The pink, floating Atlanta Flames logo is an interesting touch. I guess if they tried to make the jersey into a Leafs one, it would have looked even more laughable.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Best surprise box so far!

Those $2.00 hockey surprise boxes are addictive. Really addictive. Addictive enough that I made a trip to one especially to pick up a couple. The first contained a couple nice cards, most notably a "Biography of a Season" Tyler Seguin, along with a pack of 08-09 Upper Decks, that had a Rick Nash, Joe Thornton, along with a choice reserve Mikko Koivu. Nice stuff.

The second pack included a bag with 4 hard top loaders. An OK start. There was also a pack containing 4 goalie cards, a pack of 03-04 Victory and a jersey card pack. Even if the latter turns out to be a guy with barely a cup of coffee in the NHL, I've got my money's worth. As a fan of masks and their artwork, I started with the goalies mask. The Bowman Mark Fitzpatrick was a dud, and Niemi's is pretty bland, but the shot of Rinne's is nice:

I went for the Victory pack next. Hey, both Hossa brothers and Olaf Kolzig's Godzilla mask in the same pack? Great!

Now, let's see who the jersey card is. Jock Callander? David Vyborny? Nope.
Hey. It's actually a guy who had a pretty good career in the bigs. His goal ended the longest playoff game since the 1930s, scoring at 92:01 to beat Pittsburgh. That's actually a pretty nice find. One last look through the loot.

Wait a second. That one victory card looks a little different.

Hey! A silver parallel numbered out of 50. Sweet! Do I care that it isn't a superstar? Not one bit. Strangely it came out of the package with a dinged corner, but I really don't mind it that much. It's the first time I've pulled anything numbered out of X out of a dollar store pack.

A good morning to stop in for a quick fix.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Faces Schmaces

While the Tom Kurvers card I posted earlier this month night be an example of how not to create a card with the player's back to the camera, this one might be among the best example of how to do it.

Another beauty courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood dime bin.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

At least one good thing to take away from the Mets season

Two if you count NO-han, but that's more of a moment than something for the whole season. Hopefully, we get a card next year with a great photo of the knuckle ball grip.

Night Owl Cards, this one's for you

I probably wouldn't want to put an entirely horizontal set in binders, but with all the great photographs in the set, I always pick them up when I seem them in a repack or do a dime bin search. This beauty was from the annual outdoor game, and I remember they had to move the game to the night because it was too warm to play the game during the day. In January.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Won a contest!

Let's start at the start, as the saying goes. Matthew over at Number 5 Type Collection held a contest to determine which were the most unique monikers among rookies this year, with the prize being cards from your favourite team prior from prior to 1980. I recalled Adeiny Hechavarria of the Blue Jays, specifically how his name is routinely butchered by guest PA announcers during Junior Jays Saturdays. At least that took the title of most mispronounced name away from Edwin Encarnación.

I was among the five winners, and my loot arrived yesterday.

We open with a couple players I hadn't heard of, but at least they earned a mention in the Mets 50th Anniversary yearbook. A Ray Sadecki 1973 card, and a Ted Martinez from 1974.

I love how Ted's name on the back of the card is Teodoro Noel Martinez, and the autograph by the name reflects that. From there, it was a painful card. Although it was before my time, the Fregosi for Ryan trade still bothers me. Although the supposed no-hitter curse did finally die this year.
Now onto a slightly depressing card, although the 1972 version would probably have bothered me more.
When he was inducted in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this year, Rusty Staub said that one his greatest regrets in baseball was not having the opportunity to play for Hodges. Finally, my favourites of the bunch. You can't go wrong with any Tom Seaver card!

Even better, the 1972 card is an O-Pee-Chee! Vive la Français! Thanks for the great cards and the contest, Matthew!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Most depressing $1 pack imaginable

It really should have been an omen. I elected to grab a pack last night because a really nice Rich Peverly 2011-12 Pinnacle card on the front. On the back, was a Pelle Lindbergh card from the Between the Pipes set. I wasn't really interested in the latter, except to serve as yet another example of why you aren't supposed to drink and drive.

The Pelle card should have set me up for what was coming up in the pack.

Cards for three of the victims of the Lokomotiv plane crash. And all within a span of 15 cards in a repack.
I really have no words to describe the feeling of finding these cards all in the same pack.

And there was also a Bob Probert card in the pack. That's a 33 percent mortality rate on players from the 80s on. There were a couple mid 90s prospect cards for guys that never panned out, and I was too worried to google them thinking they'd up the percentage.

Comprehending mortality sucks.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Good! Fresh nightmare fuel. I was running kinda low

When in doubt, quote Rifftrax.

For those wondering, this was the mascot for the now-in-Saginaw North Bay Centennials of the Ontario Hockey League. According to the card back, this was chosen as the mascot, since the Centennials were named after 100 years of rail in North Bay.

Sleep tightly, kids!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

For the Name Hall of Fame

I don't get too upset when I pull a Coach/Manager card from my dollar store grabs. Usually, they are people that played the game at some level, so I can still feel I get some sort of player card. My reaction at seeing this  in among the basketball cards was first along the lines of "What in the Sam Scratch is this?". Then I focus on the fact that the Washington Bullets cheerleaders were called the Bullettes at one point, and that a woman, somewhere in the area of the American capital is named Terri Derryberry, and all is right with the world.

Then I imagine what would be my reaction to a man named Terry Derryberry, and all I could think of is that he could look forward to a career in either children's entertainment or serial killing.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Box breaks - Dollar store style!

Who says one needs to shell out a lot of coin to break a box of cards? I can hit the dollar store and break a box for only $2.00. How? The past little while, I've noticed these showing up in the Dollarama.

I finally elected to take the plunge on one of the hockey surprise boxes today. I will say I was pleased with my finds. Firstly, there was a 100 count package of sleeves. Considering most times I'll pay $2.00 for 100 sleeves anyhow, that's already a great deal. Then there were the cards. There's apparently a random mix of cards in them. I got a pack of 90-91 Pro Set French,  a smaller pack with 4 cards from the 80's, and another one that promised 4 cards with a total book value of $5.00. Let's check some of these out.

I headed off to COMC to check out to see if the book value of the cards was anywhere close to $5.00, and apparently, the Lehtonen card alone lists for $5.00, although it was selling for $2.00. So much for my skepticism there. As for the others, I got a HOFer in Smith, a very likely one in Hasek, a likely one in Thornton and another one with a shot in Lindros. I always liked the mid 80s Blues jerseys, and I'm a sucker for cards of the last unhelmeted players.

That was actually a lot of fun. I've got to do this again.

Friday, 21 September 2012

What would get a cheapskate to pay?

The very name of this blog shows my frugality. Most of my cards originate from bargain repacks at dollar stores I notice while going around town. It's easy, and it's a quick trip down another aisle when I swing past there for coffee filters, a Sudoku book, or whatever. It's always great when I see a card peeking through the front of the pack that I had no idea existed prior to seeing it. The Barilko and Glencrosses I recently posted are the perfect example of that.

Given that, what could get me to shell out more that a dollar for a single card? Perhaps because it mentions the coolest baseball related thing I'd ever seen in person.

I'd been hunting for a Verlander card that saluted the no-hitter in Toronto ever since the 2012 cards came out. I really didn't care that I had to shell out an entire $1.50 to get this one. It was worth it just for the memories to come flooding back. Back to the only time other than a Mets visit where I rooted against the Jays in person. Heck, the game was 9-zip at the time, so any guilt in cheering for a no-no was quickly removed. The incredibly dramatic 12-pitch J.P. Arencibia at-bat that resulted in the only base runner of the day, thus breaking up El Perfecto. The fact the card even mentions that he was quickly erased on a double play, since I told the person next to me that Edwin Encarnación would just hit into a double play anyhow. And the strike out of Rajai Davis to end the game, cheering along with 23000 of my closest friends.

Memories. That's why I'll occasionally spend a smidgen more.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The ubiquitous URL

It seems that every advertisement of any type has the URL for the company appear somewhere in the ad itself. Myself, I've been on the net in some form since I got an account at my University back in 1994 and used a Trumpet newsreader to communicate with the rest of the class, and read numerous groups in the alt.* and rec.* hierarchy.

I can't recall when I started noticing that companies were starting to give out their URL in their ads, but I think this was the first time I really noticed it so publicly. I was living in Ottawa at the time, and with my move, I'd adopted the Senators as my favourite team. The team had finally ditched the downtown Civic Center (which was disappointing, as I could have walked to games there) and had moved out to Kanata and the Palladium. Within a month or so, the arena was renamed the Corel Center.

So, it only became natural that Damian Rhodes' would get a new mask, and that it would work this newfangled Internet thing into it.

And if you look on the side of the mask, you'll see the URL for the Ottawa Senators.

In a disappointing move, when there was a recent Between The Pipes issued for Damian, and featuring the mask, the URL was not there. Boo. But that mask signified the first time I started noticing URLs outside of the Internet world.

Horizontal perfection

I love everything about this card. The retro uniform. The alignment that perfectly shows the full extension of the swing. The fact that such a great card was made for somebody who had yet to morph into a marquee player. Even better, when you flip the card over, you see a nice picture of Sosa sporting the retro cap as well. All this, and there were 19 more cards in the pack, just for one measly buck.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The perfect card photo

I love everything about this card picture. First and foremost, the picture is of a Met, which always makes me want to pull a card out of whatever bin or binder I find it in. Secondly, you can't help but be drawn to the incredible joy on Justin Turner's face as he is celebrating a walk-off win with Angel Pagan. Thirdly, the celebration is framed perfectly. In between the elated players, there's a member of the Chicago Cubs walking off the field dejectedly. It couldn't have been set up any better if it was a posed shot. Fourthly, the featured celebrator is a journeyman type player. It is great to see a likely highlight of the man's career preserved forever on cardboard.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

If I could define the 1970's

By only using one hockey card, this would be it:

The mustache. The flowing hair. The headband. The colour scheme of a defunct/relocated team and a reference to another defunct/relocated team. Sometimes, a picture can really be worth 1000 words. Thank you, Henry Boucha for making us laugh about love ... again.

Monday, 17 September 2012

The depressing side of these cards

Coming across players that you know have passed away, especially ones that you have memories of during their playing days. I even think the Cerutti and Heyward ones came from the same 30 card repack (10 baseball, 10 football and 10 basketball).

It's even worst when the first thing you think of when you see the card is "Didn't he pass away some time ago?", such as happened when I pulled out a Stephane Morin


The dollar store hockey repacks seemingly always feature a lot of early 90's cards. I must have a half dozen Neil Wilkinson cards from 1991 when he was picked in the expansion draft by the San Jose Sharks. In all of the posed shots, he's rocking an incredible, albeit stereotypical hockey haircut. Deciding which one I liked best was a challenge, but I went for this one, where he also seems to be going for the "What?!? The cameraman told me to look dreamy." look.

I still wish I'd come across (although I do already have it in an album) his 1990 card from Upper Deck where the back features something really rare for a card - a fight.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Almost perfection

There are so many reasons for me to like this card. A great picture of a great mask. A guy who is currently with the Senators and a flashback to one of the earliest hockey card sets I ever made an effort to collect in full.

So, why would I hate this card?

Just pick up any card from this parallel set. They feel thin and very fragile. I spent much of the day looking through early 90s baseball cards, and they felt more solid than this card. It feels more like a dollar store playing card than a collectible hockey card.

And that's disappointing. I wouldn't mind this if this was a card produced as some sort of promotional 'stay in school'-ish set by the Denver Police. But I really expect more when I see the name 'Upper Deck' on a card.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

1991 Studio had Steve Lake with the bird

1992 Studio had this one!

Egads. Most puzzling is that the back of the card states nothing about his obsession with swords, knives or any sharp object. Jose Lind, I don't care if Michael Keaton is your favourite actor - I want to know why you're posing with the sword.

An intentional Leafs Dollarama purchase

What could get a Senators-loving, Leafs-hating fan like myself to shell out $1.00 + HST for a repack of 15 cards, with a Maple Leaf visible in the front of the pack?

Yes. This will. An Upper Deck Masterpieces card, no matter the team, will make me consider the purchase. A Masterpieces card of a man who has scored one of the most famous goals in hockey, and who has been immortalized both in hockey lore and a Tragically Hip song? One of the most Canadian songs ever?  Most certainly. The only way this could have been a more Canadian is if some Neil Young was playing when I made the purchase.

I stole this from a hockey card, I keep tucked up under...

Cards like this are why I love the dollar store bags.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

More Collect-A-Books

This is the second of the four that I fished out of Calgary geocaches is now here. I do find it neat on cards when the information on cards (such as these items, or cards such as the early Donruss Studio) refer to family members who would become big leaguers themselves. In this case, Kyle.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A rare A&G pack break for me

I took my lunch break to make my weekly trip over to the card store for a few packs of OPC hockey (Nicest card today - a retro Tyler Seguin, a rare time when the most valuable card in the set is also my favourite of the pack(s)). I saw some A&G and decided to splurge on a pack.

Let's see:

#12 - Bryce Harper - Nationals
#41 - Clayton Kershaw - Dodgers
#73 - Jordan Zimmerman - Nationals
#113 - Meadowlark Lemon - Globetrotters(!)
#125 - Ben Revere - Twins
#165 - Alex Avila - Tigers
#327 - Jon Lester (mini) - Red Sox
WIN12 - Minni Minoso - White Sox

The Harper is the reason I always try to have a hard toploader in my desk - just in case I come across a keeper (which I thought would be the Seguin). Those Lemon and Minoso cards are really sweet as well and definitely candidates for the ol' permanent binder as well.

I've been too hockey-centric as of late, so back to some good old baseball cards, and a rather unfortunate one today. Much like the Tom Kurvers one I posted a couple days back, this is another one that makes one wonder why they chose such an unflattering shot on a player's card. Unlike the Kurvers, at least is an interesting action shot, set beautifully against the ivy of Wrigley Field.

Unfortunately, it appears he hasn't even come close to making the catch, with a very visible baseball dropping down for extra bases.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Two out of three ain't bad

Occasionally, I'll do a big time splurge and shell out a few bucks for the packs of the new stuff. Rarely do I bother to make even the minutest effort to finish the set. But it can be refreshing to rip open a new pack. I can judge how much I'll enjoy a pack my the first card I see.

New O-Pee-Chee? Kyle Turris rocking the Senators heritage jersey? WIN!
New Score? Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, also in a heritage jersey? YES!
New Topps football? An airbrushed/photochopped Tim Tebow? Ugh. And that was before this weekend's Bills/Jets game.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Worst.Hockey. Card. Photo. Ever.

I'll confess to having glommed this scan from a google image search. I found this one today, and put it down to the side because it was so incredible in its awfulness that this one had to end up in the ol' keeper binder. And now I can't find it! ARGH! So, this one will have to do. I think this was the first one that showed up while looking for "Tom Kurvers" and Parkhurst.

Egads. I'm thinking this was a Toronto Maple Leaf fan still bitter over the trade that sent Kurvers to T.O. in exchange for a first round pick, that, due to the Leafs consistent awfulness, seemed destined to be Eric Lindros. Quebec, however, was even worse that year, and the draft pick ended up being Scott Niedermayer. Which, given concussions and the whatnot, probably ended up being the better choice.

But, I digress.

He isn't even facing the camera! If this was today I would seriously be accusing them of photoshopping in the Isles jersey on some random teammate.  Plus, it really isn't a good 'crash the net' when you're the focus of the shot, and you're knocking over your own goalie in a scrum by the net.

Knocked down, with your crotch perilously close to your goalie's face. Poor, Tom. Not only is he the answer to an unfortunate trivia question, but he's on one of the worst hockey cards ever.

And of course, I'd still much rather pull a card of this nature from a pack than pretty much any marquee non-Ottawa player.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A hologram card - Yay! Wait a sec...

I can't believe I actually found a hologram in one of those dollar packs. Sure, it is of Peter Ahola, who spent the rest of his career bouncing around the minors and Europe. But it is a hologram, and the total common box quality of the player would make me more excited than finding a Lidstrom or Hasek, also who were all Euro-Rookies.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Same player - Two great photos

Dollar store packs usually have two cards facing out on each side, making it quite easy to scan through them for an interesting picture or two. Facing out usually are the most important players in the pack, although I often find hidden gems in the middle. These two immediately grabbed my eye, and I couldn't resist them for these photographs alone. The fact that one of them had a Cam Neely card I didn't have on the opposite side was just a bonus.

Curtis Glencross might not be a household name, but the man sure can produce a great card. In this case, back-to-back ones from the same company. The latter of the two has incredibly well done depth with the pucks he's knocking on to the ice at the Joe Louis arena. The former might be too red for some, but considering the team, I don't mind it at all. If he was still with the Blue Jackets at the time, I'd be less enthused.

Plus, looking at some of his other cards over at COMC, the action shot on his 11-12 Pinnacle one is also pretty sweet. I'll have to start checking the singles boxes to see if he threepeat with a great card this year.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Stuff I will Always Buy - Great Catch #1

I don't care if the guy isn't on one of my favourite teams. Have a picture like this visible in the front of the (re)package and I will always be shelling over my loonie + HST.

Stuff lie this makes me hope that memorable grabs from the likes of Mike Trout and Rajai Davis get immortalized on cardboard in 2013.

Monday, 3 September 2012


This posting will cover a card that did not originate in any sort of dollar store, to the best of my knowledge. This is something that I pulled out of a geocache out in Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta. While searching for caches on the morning of the 2009 Grey Cup "Illegal substitution, too many men on the field, Saskatchewan. It's a ten yard penalty, we'll repeat first down". Anyhow, in 4 different containers, I came across some 1991 Collect-A-Books, which I had never heard of prior to this. Needless to say, I swapped cards into the cache and picked up all 4 of them. They were Lenny Dykstra, Ben McDonald, Doug Drabek and Thurman Munson. All of which will probably end up scanned and shown here at some point. I think this was the first of the 4 I found that beautiful fall morning in Calgary.

When I put them beside a standard card, they are just a smidgen smaller (maybe a millimeter or 3) and the same width.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

This card is just plain wrong. Finding a Tony Batista card that does not show his incredibly wacky batting stance is like having poutine with Velveeta on it. Blasphemy!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Good With The Bad - The Bad

Unfortunately, mixed in with the Diamond King & Nellie Fox package was this less-than-pleasant find.

Coming across cards from the 80s and 90s, I often wonder what happened to the players. This one, though, I didn't need to head off to wikipedia for a look. This is one I remembered easily. Not because I recall seeing Mel Hall Transport trucks in and around Southern Ontario. This one I recall because I remembered the sportscast where he was convicted of raping an underage girl and getting sentenced to 45 years in jail. If he gets parole, maybe he'll see this post in 20 years or so.

The Good With The Bad - The Good

I recently grabbed one batch of 20 baseball cards, with the only one visible in the pack being an Action Packed Nellie Fox and what appeared to be a bunch of 1989 Donruss behind it. However as a Criminal Minds fan, I had to pick it up just for the Fox card. That's most certainly going to appear here soon, but what I found flipping through the Donruss cards made me happy.

Not one, not two, but three Diamond Kings back-to-back-to-back in it. I didn't care who they were of, getting that neat run in the pack made the set more than worth it. One being a HOFer, even moreso. Are they worth much? Monetarily, no. But a fun find that brought back great memories of finding even 1 DK in a pack made it great.