Bush League

1991-92 Upper Deck card #47 – White House Welcome

George Bush & Mario LemieuxToday is Election Day in the United States. No matter who wins the vote for President of the United States – though I pray it is Barack Obama – at least it can no longer be George W. Bush. Needless to say, the last eight years under “W” were not the greatest of times – from the 9/11 Attacks in 2001 to the economy being in the worst shape since the Great Depression, to fighting wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Anyway, all this hatin’ on George W. Bush got me thinking about his dad, George H.W. Bush, who was President from 1989 to 1992. The elder Bush actually appears on a hockey card in the 1991-92 Upper Deck set. Continue reading “Bush League”

Card of the Week: I Has a Hot Dog

1995-96 Pinnacle card #134 – Olaf Kolzig

Olaf KolzigOlaf Kolzig was not what you’d call a “hot dog” during the early days of his long NHL tenure. The first five years of his pro career were mostly spent in the minor leagues, while the next three were spent playing second fiddle to former All-Star goaltender Jim Carey. Back then, “Olie the Goalie” spent more time riding the pine than stopping pucks.

During Kolzig’s time as a backup, he was shown on a Pinnacle hockey card, sitting on the bench and enjoying a hot dog – with his name spelled out in the mustard! Continue reading “Card of the Week: I Has a Hot Dog”

2008-09 Legends Masterpiece box breakdown

This weekend, I purchased my first box of hockey cards from the new season–2008-09 Upper Deck Legends Masterpieces. I was at Target and bought one of those “blaster boxes”, which contained 8 packs for the low, low price of $20.

By the way, eight packs for $20 is not a low price, especially considering that you only get four cards per pack. Counting sales tax (10.25% in Chicago), that makes each individual card “cost” about 69 cents each.

But are they worth it? I’m a sucker for “art cards”. One of my favorite sets is the old Hockey Hall of Fame postcard set. Since this Legends Masterpieces set is composed solely of artistic renderings of famous players and memorable moments, I thought I’d give these a shot.

I know blaster boxes don’t have great odds having any sort of insert card. This one in particular was devoid of any insert, chase or special cards–only base cards here. I’ve listed a pack-by-pack breakdown of what I got in the box:

Pack 1
#66 – Marty McSorley
#47 – Grant Fuhr
#32 – Phil Esposito
#76 – Andy Bathgate

Pack 2
#62 – The Sutters
#35 – Jarri Kurri
#38 – Wayne Gretzky
#12 – Mario Lemieux

Pack 3
#24 – Pat LaFontaine
#68 – Dale Hawerchuk
#23 – Mike Bossy
#85 – Mr. Hockey

Pack 4
#65 – Manon Rheaume
#25 – Lanny McDonald
#14 – Ray Bourque
#69 – Gilbert Perreault

Pack 5
#51 – Johnny Bower
#80 – Mr. Hockey
#38 – Wayne Gretzky (again!)
#31 – Tony Esposito

Pack 6
#40 – Rick Vaive
#21 – Patrick Roy
#49 – Brian Leetch
#9 – Richard Brodeur

Pack 7
#33 – Bobby Orr
#58 – Peter Stastny
#72 – Eddie Shack
#13 – Lester Patrick

Pack 8
#3 – Lady Byng
#28 – Bobby Hull & Mr. Hockey
#77 – Craig MacTavish
#60 – Rod Langway

As for the cards themselves, they are printed on a thicker card stock that has some texture, as well as embossed gold ink. I still think that the asking price for these is too high.

Fortunately, I only got one duplicate card–and that was of Wayne Gretzky, so I’m sure I’ll be able to trade it to someone.

I’ll post a review once I get the entire base set. In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite cards from the set so far…

Review: 2007-08 Victory Hockey Update

100-card update to complete a set you probably didn’t buy

2007-08 Victory #253 - Daniel BriereVictory is one strange little set. The first 245 cards were released in packs and boxes towards the end of August 2007 – almost six weeks before the start of the hockey season.

The next 100 cards – known as the “Update Set” – are actually inserts in packs of Upper Deck Series 2. Continue reading “Review: 2007-08 Victory Hockey Update”

Opening 530 sticker packs is not fun

I recently purchased 530 packs of 1995-96 Panini Hockey stickers, and let me tell you, opening 530 packs of stickers is not fun!

I imagine that this would be the hobby equivalent of shelling peanuts. As much as I loved buying and opening packs of Panini Hockey Stickers back in the day, it just isn’t the same. Now, it’s more akin to factory work–you do the same thing over and over and over until you just don’t care. There are no insert or chase cards to hope for, and (somewhat ironically) the wrappers tend to stick to the top sticker, making these a bit of a challenge to unwrap. Fortunately, the top sticker is a shiny, foil sticker, so any paper that sticks can be removed without damaging the sticker itself

I purchased this large lot of sticker packs with the delusion of being to complete eight or nine sets. After all, 530 packs would be a total of 3,180 stickers. Since each set contains 306 stickers, you could theoretically make ten complete sets and have 120 leftover stickers.

Theoretically? I am delusional. After opening 100 or so packs, I was quickly reminded on how bad the collation on these old Panini sets were. I’d end up getting like 12 of one particular sticker, and none of some other sticker. So, while I got a ton of stickers of guys like Eric Lindros, Ray Bourque and Mike Richter, what I’d really hope for is stickers of Mark Tinordi or Ian Laperriere, because those two seemed impossible to come by in these packs.

When all was said and done, I only completed three sets! I am five stickers short of competing a fourth set, 15 stickers shy of a fifth set and would need an additional 30 stickers for a sixth set.

On the flip side, I have 1,394 duplicate stickers I don’t need, as well as a bunch of sticker albums (each album came with 10 packs).

Should anyone have duplicates from this set, perhaps we can work out a trade? The stickers I need are posted in my Want List.

Likewise, if anyone needs an album, I’d be willing to give you one for just the cost of shipping.

Card of the Week: Soccer, Eh?

1993 World Cup Soccer #HC4 & 1994 World Cup Soccer #C8 – Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky Soccer Card 1993During the 1990s, several spokesmen for trading card companies would sometimes promote cards of sports they did not play. You had Eric Lindros on a Score baseball card, Rocket Ishmail on a Classic hockey card and Wayne Gretzky on an Upper Deck soccer card.

Because nothing — and I mean NOTHING — says soccer like Wayne Gretzky. Continue reading “Card of the Week: Soccer, Eh?”

Review: 1999-00 Cleveland Lumberjacks team set

Pre-NHL card of goalie Nabokov keep this set from being forgettable

1999-00 Cleveland Lumberjacks - Evgeni Nabokov

Given away at a home game in November 1999, the Cleveland Lumberjacks team set contains 24 cards. The ‘Jacks were a minor-league hockey team in the old International Hockey League (IHL). Formerly in Muskegon, the Lumberjacks were the top minor-league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins for 14 years until 1997. In 1999, the team became affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks. Thus, this set has mostly Blackhawks’ prospects and minor leaguers. It does, however, have a card of future superstar San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni NabokovContinue reading “Review: 1999-00 Cleveland Lumberjacks team set”