Thursday, March 12, 2015

2015 Leaf Best of Hockey Case Break - Part Two

Continuing on with the final four hits from my 2015 Leaf Best of Hockey case break, we start with some vintage goodness.

Unfortunately, it wasn't vintage greatness.

From 1960-61 Parkhurst comes this PSA Graded 7 card of Hall of Famer Alex Delvecchio. Although a great player in his day, this card is from about 600 games into his career. His rookie was much earlier... 1951-52 Parkhurst. It's a nice grade on a vintage card but this card will be hitting eBay as it doesn't really fit into my collection.

From 2007-08 Upper Deck Fleer Ultra comes this BGS Graded 9.5 short-print Ice Medallion rookie card of Jonathan Toews numbered to /100. Captain Serious is one of the best in the game and this card is almost perfect. Although I really like the card, I think another collector would appreciate it much more than I would... so it will be put up for auction as well.

From 2012-13 Panini Crown Royale comes this Silhouette Materials Signature card of Mario Lemieux. One of the greatest to play the game, the scan doesn't do the card justice. It's never a bad day when I add another Lemieux hard-signed autograph to my personal collection.

And the final hit.

The big hit.

And the hit that was perfect for me to get...

From 1986-87 O-Pee-Chee comes this PSA Graded 9 rookie card of Patrick Roy. My favourite player on my favourite team as I grew up, this is one heck of a pull. I already have two Patrick Roy rookie cards in my collection... one that my mother bought for me as a birthday present in 1991.... and one that I pulled from an unopened pack a few years ago at the Sports Card Expo in Toronto. This card, my first graded Patrick Roy rookie card, will stay with me forever!  :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2015 Leaf Best of Hockey Case Break - Part One

I've always been a fan of re-packaged products so I thought I'd take a chance on a 4-box case of 2015 Leaf Best of Hockey. The product contains one slabbed buy-back card as well as one In The Game Best Of Hockey 1/1 foil-stamped buy-back card.

In this post, I'll reveal the 4 ITG foil-stamped buy-back cards... and save the bigger hits for the next blog post.

Ready, set, go!

Originally from 2006-07 ITG International Ice comes this dual jersey Teammates card of Mario Lemieux and Martin Brodeur. When first released, this card was the silver version and numbered to seventy but now it features the 1/1 Best of Hockey foil stamp. Not a bad start!

Originally from 2009-10 ITG 1972 The Year In Hockey comes this nice Jersey Gold card of Russian Boris Mikhailov. A long-time captain of the Soviet National team, Mikhailov won Olympic gold medals in 1972 and 1976.

Originally from 2009-10 ITG Between the Pipes is this Game-Used Emblem Gold card of Glenn Hall. Nicknamed 'Mr. Goalie', the card features an emblem from Hall's St. Louis Blues jersey. He was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.

And last, but definitely not least, is my favourite card of the four.

Originally from 2009-10 ITG Between the Pipes comes this Pad Save Gold card of Patrick Roy. As shown on the back of this card, it was a 1/1 to begin with and now features a 1/1 Best of Hockey stamp on the front. The thick piece from Roy's Colorado Avalanche goalie pad is bursting out of the card. A picture just cannot do it justice.

The first three will be placed on eBay. The Pad Save card will find a home in my personal Patrick Roy collection.

Next time... the four slabbed buy-back cards!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December - A Cut Above The Rest

In December, I decided to treat myself to some boxes of 2010-11 In The Game Enshrined and some boxes of 2012-13 Panini Classics Signatures. Both products are rich in hard-signed autographs. Both products are rich in Hall of Fame players and stars of the past.

In the 2010-11 ITG Enshrined, I was lucky enough to pull one of the 1/1 Enshrined PaperCuts. The card features a cut signature of Neil Colville.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1967, Colville joined the Rangers' farm team in 1934 and quickly made his way to the pros by 1936, as centre for the "Bread Line" with his brother Mac, and Alex Shibicky. Colville won a Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1940. He also won the Allan Cup in 1942. He passed away on Boxing Day in 1987 at the age of 73.

In one of my boxes of 2012-13 Panini Classics Signatures, I set aside a larger than normal pack until the end as I had never found a thick pack in the product before. Inside was a 1/1 Bill Cowley cut signature from the Original Cuts subset.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1968, Cowley finished his career with 195 goals and 353 assists for 548 points in 549 NHL games. At the time of his retirement in 1947, he was the NHL's all-time leading point scorer, and the last active player from the St. Louis Eagles roster. Cowley died on New Year's Eve in 1993 at the age of 81.

It's pure chance to find a 1/1 cut in most products... but two in one month is just insane... especially when they're both NHL Hall of Famers!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hit of the Month - November 2014

The Sports Card Expo in Toronto always brings the opportunity for a big find or a nice hit.

This year, I opened a few boxes of 2013-14 Upper Deck Ultimate Hockey at the UD booth in return for their Priority Signings program. In one of those boxes on Friday evening, I came across this beauty.

A Nathan MacKinnon Ultimate Rookies Autograph rookie card numbered to 99!

As I'm not a rookie collector or a MacKinnon collector, I had no trouble parting with this card for a tidy sum of $750 CDN!

The buyer is happy... and so am I.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2012 Topps Archives - 1956 Relics Set Complete!

As I get closer to completing my low-grade 1956 Topps Baseball set, I thought the 2012 Topps Archives Baseball Relics set would be a nice addition to it.

Created in the same design as the classic vintage set, it includes some current players as well as some Hall of Famers including the great Roberto Clemente. Fittingly, it contains 56 cards with either jersey swatches or pieces from game-used bats.

Rarely do I attempt to complete insert sets. Often, the only sets which I complete are due to the fact that a single box includes all of the base cards in a set and it's just a matter of putting them in numerical order.

It's rewarding to find a design and subset that you like and then put the time and effort into finishing it. This 56-card set took me about two years to finish!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Awesome Card of the Week

Normally, I'm not a fan of cards with sticker autographs. In general, I find them to be eye-sores and I don't have many in my collection. However, there are exceptions to every rule.

A recent box break of 2013-14 Panini Contenders Hockey had this beauty in it.

A quadruple autograph of 3 Hall of Fame players (Brett Hull, Grant Fuhr, and Dale Hawerchuk)... and Chris Pronger, who will be in the Hall of Fame someday himself.  And as a bonus, it's numbered to only /20.

This one will be staying in my collection... regardless of my dislike of sticker autographs. I'm not warming to sticker autographs but let's just say it's not an 'all-out-war' anymore!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 Leaf Legends of the Diamond Case Break

This product intrigued me.

2014 Leaf Legends of the Diamond contains 4 boxes per case with 2 cards in each box. Each box contains one 1/1 sketch card of a Hall of Fame baseball player and one pre-1970 graded card of a Hall of Fame baseball player (or a player who could be argued should be there).

With only 250 cases, I thought what the heck. It's fun to take a chance on a risky product now and then. Also, being a fan of vintage cards, it was a chance to get some unique cards in my collection.

My sketch cards were:

1. Martin Dihigo (inducted 1977) - sketched by Matthew Amor

According to Wikipedia, Dihigo's combined Dominican, American, Cuban, and Mexican statistics resulted in a lifetime .302 career batting average with 130 home runs (eleven seasons worth of home run totals are missing) and a 252-132 pitching record.

2. Jim Palmer (inducted 1990) - sketched by Daniel Gorman

Jim Palmer (268-152 with 2,212 Ks) has been considered one of the best pitchers in major-league history. Palmer is the only pitcher in big-league history to win World Series games in three decades.

3. Cool Papa Bell (inducted 1974) - sketched by Jay Pangan

Bell is considered by many baseball observers to have been one of the fastest men ever to play the game.  He ranked 66th on a list of the greatest baseball players published by The Sporting News in 1999.

4. Miller Huggins (inducted 1964) - sketched by Brian Kong

Huggins played second base for the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals. He managed the Cardinals and New York Yankees (1918–1929), including the Murderers' Row teams of the 1920's that won six American League (AL) pennants and three World Series championships.

My favourite sketch card is the Huggins. I have a few Brian Kong sketches which he did for 2013 Leaf Best of Hockey and I really like his black-and-white style.

As for the four pre-1970's cards, I didn't hit the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle but I did get some really impressive pieces to add to my personal collection.

1. Pete Rose - 1967 Topps #430 (PSA/DNA certified autograph)

This would be one of the cards mentioned in Leaf's advertising caveats... it could be argued that he should be in the Hall of Fame. Of course, despite his impressive MLB stats, Pete Rose will probably never be elected to Cooperstown regardless of his 4,256 hits. As a nice added surprise, this Pete Rose slabbed card has his certified autograph.

2. Jim Bottomley - 1933 Goudey RC #44 (SGC 55 Grade)

Inducted to Cooperstown in 1974, Bottomley set the major league record with 12 RBIs in a single game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1924 (since tied by Mark Whiten in 1993). In 1928, he hit .325 with 31 home runs and 136 RBIs, leading the league in home runs and RBIs. He also became the second MLB player in history to join the 20–20–20 club. That year, he won the League Award, given to the MVP of the National League.

3. Duke Snider - 1951 Bowman #32 (PSA 5 Grade)

In Snider's 18-year career he batted .295 with 407 home runs and 1,333 RBI in 2,143 games. Inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1980, Snider was also known as a popular and respected TV/radio analyst and play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres from 1969 to 1971 and for the Montreal Expos from 1973 to 1986.

4. Mel Ott - 1933 Goudey RC #207 (PSA 3 Grade)

In his 22-season career with the New York Giants, Ott batted .304 with 511 home runs, 1,860 RBIs, 1,859 runs, 2,876 hits, 488 doubles, 72 triples, 89 stolen bases, a .414 on-base percentage, and a .533 slugging average. He passed Rogers Hornsby to become the all-time NL home run leader in 1937 and held that title until Willie Mays passed him in 1966. Inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1951, Ott also has the distinction of being the first manager to be ejected from both games of a doubleheader, when the Giants lost both games to the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 9, 1946.

So those are my eight cards.

I was quite pleased to get two graded 1933 Goudey rookie cards. The Mel Ott RC shows a Beckett value of about $400 so it is definitely the 'hit' of the case. Being a Canadian and growing up watching the Expos, it was great to see the Duke Snider card from one of his first seasons too. The Pete Rose autograph was a great bonus as well.

2014 Leaf Legends of the Diamond is not for everyone and is probably 'hit or miss' depending on the box or case. However, I'm quite pleased with my results.