My 2nd article in Beckett Hockey

Beckett Hockey #209My geek joy continues! This month, my second article for Beckett Hockey Magazine was published.

Entitled Pro Set Story, it is a retro review of the 1990-91 Pro Set Hockey Set, as well as a short overview of the Pro Set Company. The article appears on pages 20-22 of issue 209, which just came out last week. Continue reading “My 2nd article in Beckett Hockey”

Bought some "Old Guns"

This weekend, I picked up several 2003-04 Upper Deck Young Guns cards. Seeing as how these cards are from five years ago, the players depicted aren’t necessarily “young” anymore – at least, not “Patrick Kane young”. Most of the YGs in the group were common, but here are the best of the lot:

Eric Staal
#206 – Eric Staal

Joffrey Lupul
#202 – Joffrey Lupul

Matt Stajan
#242 – Matt Stajan

Milan Michalek
#238 – Milan Michalek

Alexander Semin
#219 – Alexander Semin

Now I have most of the expensive Young Guns from this set. I don’t have the Marc-Andre Fleury card yet, which will be a bit of an expense. Otherwise, I think it’s pretty much downhill from here.

If anyone has Young Guns from this set for trade–especially commons–drop me a line.

Thank you Martin!

I would like to thank Martin Van Olst of Edmonton, Alberta for generously sending some hockey cards my way, including this one…

Jets Sticker

Martin kindly sent me the last five 1987-88 Topps insert stickers I needed to complete my set, as well as some other random cards I needed for some of my sets-in-progress.

Martin–thank you for your generosity. I hope that I can locate some of the cards you need.

I voted today

No, I did not vote for the next President of the United States…that happens next month.

Instead, I (an American, go figure) voted for what I thought should be the new theme for “Hockey Night in Canada”.

Personally, I liked Canadian Gold by Colin Oberst better than the other finalist. Have a listen…

Now, you’re probably wondering why an American would care about this. Back in 1989, my family got a satellite dish–one of those big ones that are five feet in diameter. Not only could I watch a lot more hockey games than what was shown on SportsChannel at the time, but I could watch Hockey Night in Canada. I watched HNIC almost every weekend until I moved away to college. Like millions of other people The Hockey Theme grew on me. It is an awesome tune.

After not seeing Hockey Night In Canada for about a decade, I’ve decided to subscribe to the NHL Center Ice package, which means I can finally hear Don Cherry’s wisdom once more. But I’m kind of bummed that that totally badass tune will no longer be the precursor to the (usually) awesome match-up shown by CBC that night.

Tonight, I watched the Canucks/Flames game. CBC showed both anthem finalists during the second intermission, and Canadian Gold is the one I like better. Let’s hope it wins!

Puck Junk is 1 today

Puck Junk 1st AnniversaryWow, I must have had like ten other things on my mind if I just now realized that PuckJunk.com has reached its first anniversary.

I launched this site on October 5, 2007, although it had been an idea I wanted to do since late 2006. Once I decided to quit my 40-hour a week job as a web designer to concentrate on teaching and freelance, the abundance of free time allowed me to develop, launch and maintain this site.

But while my passion for all things hockey has not diminished, my free time has. While I was able to crank out 35 assorted articles from October to December 2007 (plus random blog posts), my output from January to September has been less than that–only 32 “real” articles as of this writing…though I do seem to be doing a lot of random blog posts about hockey stuff more so than last year.

A few things have gone down that have taken up a lot of my free time. I started dating this girl named Shellie in January, and things have worked out well–so well, that we are now living together. No complaints from her about my collecting habits, here, as she has hobbies of her own. Plus, I’m starting to get her “into” hockey.

Another thing that I have mentioned is that I started Graduate School. That is also eating up a good portion of my “free time”. As much as I love writing about old sets of cards, the idea of getting straight As in Grad School right now is a bit more appealing to me. Not only am I going back to college, but I am also writing for the school’s paper.

So, while I don’t always write on this site as much as I’d like to, it is always on my mind. Hopefully, with the hockey season now upon us, I’ll be able to get some new reviews up soon.

Best $2 purchase ever!

I was thumbing through a binder full of miscellaneous hockey cards at the local card shop, and came across this beauty:

1974-75 O-Pee-Chee The HowesThe owner of the shop told me I could have it for two bucks. I informed him that this card was worth significantly more–even though the edges are a bit rough–but he said that I’m a good customer so he didn’t want much for it.

This card is very cool. It is from the 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA set, and depicts Hall of Famer Gordie Howe along with his two sons Mark and Marty. This was Gordie’s first card in three years–his last being in the 1971-72 sets. But this card also serves as a rookie card for both Marty and Mark–the latter who would go on to play 22 seasons of pro hockey (six in the WHA followed by 16 in the NHL).

The card is not perfect. The edges have those typical OPC rough edges, and there seems to be a bit of a blemish to the right of Marty’s head. Nonetheless, for two bucks I ain’t complaining. It might be the best $2 hockey card purchase I ever made.

New acquisitions

A few weeks back, I attended the National Sports Card Convention, which was held right outside of Chicago. I was hoping to find at least one moderately-priced card from the 1963-64 Parkhurst set.

But that did not happen. Sometimes you find what you seek, and sometimes you don’t. I think that, after nearly 20 years of hockey card collecting, the key is to be open to deals that you are not necessarily looking for. So, while I did not get any cards from that landmark set, I still made an interesting purchase, acquiring three pricey cards and two oddball items.

Did I get a good deal? Take a look and judge for yourself…

Item #1 – Bobby Orr comic

This was an insert in the 1971-72 Topps set–and coincidentally, the last of the mini comic I needed to complete the 24-book set. The last two pages have a crease on the corner (a bit “dog-eared”), but there is hardly any yellowing and the colors are still bright.

Item #2 – Marcel Dionne rookie card

I absolutely love the design of the 1971-72 sets. Since I already have the entire Topps series from that year, I decided to turn my attention to the larger O-Pee-Chee issue. Dionne was a hell of a player, and is one of the pricer cards in this set. This card is not perfect–it has soft corners at the bottom and two very light creases…so light, that I did not even notice at time of purchase.

Item #3 – 1972-73 OPC Checklist #334

The ’72-73 OPC set intrigues me because it uses many different photos than those used on the ’72-73 Topps cards. Plus, there are cards of players from the World Hockey Association. This is the most expensive checklist in the set–even more so because this is the error card variation. Card #334 was printed twice–earlier incarnations list cards 335 to 341 as “More W.H.A. Hockey Stars”, while the card printed later corrected this, listing the actual names of the players.

Here’s a close-up of the back:

This checklist is unmarked, and surprisingly in good condition, with relatively sharp corners and decent centering.

Item #4 – 1980 Kelloggs’s Olympic Stick’r Cards Team USA

A neat little find, this undersized card is also a sticker. I didn’t know the likelihood of finding one of these again, so I snapped it up. I have written about this card here.

Item #5 – 1994 World Cup Soccer Wayne Gretzky

This was from an insert set in the 1994 Upper Deck World Cup Soccer set. Apparently, Gretzky was one of several “Honorary Captains”. I think the Charlton Guide lists this at $20, but I could be mistaken.

So, what did I pay for all of this hockey goodness? The dealer sold all five of these cards to me for $60 USD. I feel I got a pretty sweet deal.

But what do you think? Did I do good? Or were the old cards too low-grade for your tastes?

2008 Blackhawks Convention – Day Three

The Show
Due to a slower-than-usual CTA train, Shellie and I did not arrive at the Blackhawks Convention on Sunday until 9:45 am. The first thing we did was head for the autograph room. I was hoping to get Dustin Byfuglien’s autograph, but he did not show up at his scheduled 9:00 am time. I guess Big Buff and the boys had a hell of a time the night before, as seemed to be the popular story/guess. Continue reading “2008 Blackhawks Convention – Day Three”