Eight New 1965-66 Topps Hockey Cards

Feel the vintage! I picked up eight cards from the 1965-66 Topps Hockey set. I need a ton of cards from this set, so eight really doesn’t bring me that much closer to completion. Still, vintage is vintage, and these are in pretty decent shape. Anyway, enjoy the images.

96-Milt-SchmidtMilt Schmidt

118-Doug-MohnsDoug Mohns

100-Bob-Woytowich  Bob Woytovich

70-Bobby-RosseauBobby Rosseau

53-Billy-HarrisBilly Harris

34-Murray-OliverMurray Oliver

33-Al-LangoisAl Langlois

8-Claude-ProvostClaude Provost (…and that’s a square jaw if I ever saw one.)

Two Niemi XRCs, One Low Price

RR-313_white RR-313_niemi_red
I’ve wanted an Antti Niemi “XRC” for some time now. Even though Niemi had numerous cards during the 2009-10 season — recognized by Beckett as his true rookie cards — he did have a few cards released the prior season, like these two from the 2008-09 Be A Player Hockey set. There’s also a version without the jersey swatch.

Beckett recognizes Niemi’s 2009-10 cards as his true rookie cards. Why these count as XRCs, I don’t know. XRC is a designation for a rookie card that was released in some hard-to-get manner, such as a traded set, a mail-away or a redemption. I believe these cards were actually mailed out to redemption winners in 2010 — meaning that Niemi’s 2009-10 cards came out before these 2008-09 cards; though I am not 100% sure.

Usually, I’m not too fond of jersey cards, but these are of one of the heroes of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions. In the opinion of many fans, it was Niemi and not Jonathan Toews who should have won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the 2010 playoff MVP. I agree.

RR-313_niemi_redThis card is serial-numbered 82 of 99 and has a red swatch from an, ahem, event-used sweater.

RR-313_whiteAnd the other Niemi not-a-real-RC-card is numbered 97 of 99 and has a white event-used jersey swatch, with just a touch of black at the top. I wonder if both of these swatches are from the same sweater…or from the same event.

RR-313_backThe back of the card states that the “memorabilia” was worn in a rookie photo shoot. I’m guessing that Upper Deck had the players scrimmage, since all of Niemi’s early hockey cards show him wearing a helmet, as if he was in a game or at least a scrimmage.

OK, so the swatches aren’t game-used and they only show Niemi from the waist up. But I finally have Niemi’s “first” NHL card. After seeing this card offered between $15 and $30, I managed to snag these two in the same eBay auction for an absolute steal: $6.66 — and that included shipping. Once again, my patience has paid off.

Cards I purchased at the 2013 National

howeTruth be told, I did not enjoy the 2013 National as much as I enjoyed the 2011 National.This was because I had less money to spend this time around. However, there was far less hockey this time around too. So, I had less to spend — and less to spend it on. I couldn’t be impulsive and had to carefully weight anybig purchases, but I dug around and still found a few treasures for bargain prices. Continue reading “Cards I purchased at the 2013 National”

Autographs I got at the 2013 National

bannerman_8x10_4Two weeks later, and I am still wading through the stack of cards and other assorted goodies that I got at the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention. I’ve busted boxes, found many cool singles and acquired a lot of new autographs for my collection.

When I went to the National, I paid for a VIP ticket, which included 12 autographs from the “VIP Signers”–basically, the ex-athletes who were signing autographs for around $15 to $25. You get a sheet of tickets that have the athlete’s name printed on it. What I did on the first day of the show was trade tickets. If someone was wearing a Cubs jersey, I asked them if they would trade me their Ed Olcyzk or Murray Bannerman ticket for, say, a Jerome Walton ticket. Most people were willing to trade, and some even gave me their tickets for the ex-Hawks without wanting anything in return.

Here’s a rundown of the autographs I got at the 2013 National:

Do not adjust your monitor. This is indeed a football card.
Do not adjust your monitor. This is indeed a football card.

On Wednesday, former Chicago Bears running back Neal Anderson was signing autographs for free. You did not need an autograph ticket, and since I got into the show early I was able to get in and out of his line rather quickly.

I decided to get Anderson’s rookie card autographed. Not much of a decision, as it is one of the few football cards I’ve kept from my childhood, for sentimental reasons.

When it was my turn to get Anderson’s autograph, I said “I’ve had this card since I got it in a pack of cards from 1988, and I’m excited to finally get it autographed.”

“Well,” he cheerfully replied, “I’m excited to sign it for you.” He seemed to mean it too. Anderson appeared to be having a good time talking with fans and shaking hands.

I thanked him for the autograph, and for coming to the show. I can’t say I was the only one who got a football card signed, but most others were either getting Anderson’s autograph on a photo or a mini football helmet.

olczyk_8x10_1Thursday was the first full day of the show. Former ‘Hawks player and current TV color commentator Ed Olczyk was signing autographs. Through trades and a few “gifts” from fellow attendees, I ended up getting eight items autographed by Olczyk. You can see the rest of the items here on my autograph blog.

bannerman_5x7On Saturday, former Blackhawks goaltender Murray Bannerman was signing autographs. In all, I ended up with 11 tickets for Bannerman’s ‘graph, which was way more than I needed. I gave three tickets away and got eight items signed, including this 5″x7″ photo of Bannerman as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. He played one game — only 20 minutes — with the Canucks in 1978 before he was traded to the Blackhawks. You can also see the rest of the items here on my autograph blog.

auto_toewsOn Sunday, I pulled this card of baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. from an Upper Deck redemption pack and promptly traded it to another collector for this autographed card of Jonathan Toews. (You can read more about the redemption programs at the show here).

reardonOne of the dealers — all the way at the back of the room — had this 1983 Cartophilium Hall of Fame card signed by Ken Reardon, who passed away in 2008. I love this set, and could not pass up the opportunity to get this card. Plus, the price was very reasonable.

misc_autographsFinally, I purchased a few cheap autographed cards over the weekend. The autographed cards of Benoit Cote and Greg Andrusak were 25 cents each.The Stephen Weiss signed mini card was $4. The 2010-11 Panini Certified autographs of Bobby Butler, Justin Mercier and Brandon Yip were $1 each.

Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my cool non-autographed finds from the show.

1963-64 Parkhurst #97 – Dale Balon

1963-64 Parkhurst #97 - Dale BalonWow, has it really been eight months since I last purchased a card from the 1963-64 Parkhurst Hockey set? Yes, yes it has. I did not find any Parkies from that year back at the card show in March, and I haven’t done much eBay shopping lately.

Anyway, this “common card” of Dale Balon was $12. A little steep for a common, until I noticed how perfect the corners on this card are. The only real flaw is that bit of discoloration (dirt?) along the bottom left edge. Even the borders and back are a little less aged  than usual.

And thus, I’ve taken another small step towards completing this set.

Parkhurst Percent Counter: 69%

2013 Blackhawks Convention day 3 recap

hawks_convention_logoThe third and final day of the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks Convention was only four hours long, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. However, wristbands for the first group of players would be distributed at 8:30 a.m. There was an outside chance that I could get Bobby Hull’s autograph, as wristband distribution for “The Golden Jet” was at 9:30 a.m. However, fans had already started lining up for Hull — as early as 5 a.m.! Guessing that there were probably more than 315 fans in the line for Hull, I turned my attention elsewhere. Good thing I did, too. Continue reading “2013 Blackhawks Convention day 3 recap”

2013 Blackhawks Convention day 2 recap

hawks_convention_logoSaturday, July 27, 2013
The second day of the Chicago Blackhawks Convention is also the longest, starting at 9 a.m. and going all the way to 7:30 p.m.

One of my “big goals” for this convention was to get as many retired players as possible to sign this book: Continue reading “2013 Blackhawks Convention day 2 recap”

2013 Blackhawks Convention day 1 recap

hawks_convention_logoThis past weekend, I attended the 6th Annual Chicago Blackhawks Convention. The convention is an opportunity for fans to get autographs from the players, attend panel discussions with players and coaches, buy hockey memorabilia, see all the NHL trophies — including the Stanley Cup — and engage in other activities.

Although every year I tell myself that I am going to focus more on attending the panels, I usually spend most of the show getting autographs. And this year, I got autographs from many current and retired players. Continue reading “2013 Blackhawks Convention day 1 recap”

My Fourth of July Hockey Card Ritual

opc_sticker_boxMost people in the United States spend the Fourth of July by either barbecuing some hamburgers or blowing up fireworks. My love for explosives ended in my mid-twenties, when I realized that losing a hand while lighting a faulty firework would be a stupid way to end my career as a web designer.

I still love hamburgers, though, and will go to a barbecue if invited. Otherwise, I use the Fourth of July – especially if it is part of a holiday weekend — as an excuse to “hole up” and focus on a dorky, hockey card enjoyment spree.

This started in 2008, when I purchased over 500 packs of 1995-96 Panini stickers, and opened and collated them over Fourth of July weekend. Since then, I’ve tried to have some cheap wax on hand to open and sort, while the idiots outside get drunk and shoot off their M-80s in the 90-degree Chicago heat.

For this go-around, I have on-tap two boxes of 1988-89 O-Pee-Chee stickers (48 packs each) and two boxes of 1990-91 Panini stickers (100 packs each). I actually need a set of 1990-91 Panini stickers, and hopefully will get a set or two out of the deal, considering how amazingly bad Panini hockey stickers collate.

go_ahead_coverThe OPC stickers, once sorted, will end up on my Complete Sets for Trade page, as I already have two complete sets (one in a sticker album, the other in 9-card pages) and surely don’t need any more.

The bad news, if you could really call it that, is that my dork-out hockey card session will be cut short by Anime Midwest — a Japanese cartoon, comic book and video game convention that my friends insisted on going to.  I love Japanese comics and cartoons, and would love to get my hands on the Go Ahead comic series  (right) if I find it at the con.

That’s one dorky hobby interrupted by another.

A Trio of Tony-O

1970-71 O-Pee-Chee #153 - Tony Esposito A little while back, I went to a card show and bought some vintage hockey cards. Three of them were early O-Pee-Chee cards of one of the best Chicago Blackhawks ever, Tony Esposito–aka “Tony-O.”

I never saw Tony-O play. He was my Aunt’s favorite player back in the 1970s. When I got into hockey, she loaned me her Tony Esposito Blackhawks jersey. So, Esposito was a personal favorite of mine. At age 15, I saved up enough money to buy a Tony Esposito rookie card.

And now, over two decades later, I finally picked up the next few cards from the Hall of Fame netminder’s career. Continue reading “A Trio of Tony-O”