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”

A Recap of Last Weekend’s Card Show

Yes, I am wearing a Penguins jersey. Why do you ask?

This past Friday and Saturday I went to the Chicago Sun-Times Sports Collectibles Convention. Apparently it was the “46th Annual” show, but this show happens twice a year and sure has hell has not been going on for 46 years. I don’t pretend to understand the show’s numbering system, but I do look forward to this twice-annual show like a pilgrim looks forward to a religious sojourn.  Continue reading “A Recap of Last Weekend’s Card Show”

1954-55 Gump Worsley & Alex Delvecchio

1954-55 Topps #10 - Lorne Worsley 1954-55 Topps #39 - Alex Delvecchio
Lately, I’ve been finding a lot of great vintage cards. My latest two vintage additions are 1954-55 Topps Hockey cards of Lorne “Gump” Worsley and Alex Delvecchio. Unfortunately, the 1954-55 Topps set is not one that I am currently focusing on. That, for me personally, is a bit of a problem, since I tend to end up owning a handful of cards from many different sets, instead of hyperfocusing on finishing one set before moving on. (More scans after the jump). Continue reading “1954-55 Gump Worsley & Alex Delvecchio”

Patrice Bergeron Substitution Card

Patrice BergeronBack in July 2012, I first asked “Where in the World is Patrice Bergeron?” This was after waiting over a year for a redemption card that would supposedly bear Bergeron’s signature and a piece of a patch from one of his game-used jerseys.

The card in question was from the 2010-11 SP Authentic set, so the fact that Upper Deck did not have this card ready to ship out in the middle of 2012 had me perplexed. Was it that Upper Deck could not get Bergeron to sign the cards? Or was it that they could not secure a patch to cut up and put on the cards? I don’t think securing a game-used Patrice Bergeron jersey would be all that difficult for Upper Deck. And Bergeron has autographed cards for me in the past. So, I don’t know what the deal is.

Then last week, I received this letter, addressing the plight of my Bergeron card:

Upper Deck LogoDear Valued Customer,

Congratulations on finding your Upper Deck redemption card(s). We appreciate your patience and support of our redemption process. We strive to obtain athletes’ autographs and/or memorabilia before we launch a product, but unfortunately that is not always possible. Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to complete your card.

We apologize we were unable to deliver the item you were hoping to receive. We have exchanged your card for another comparable item, according to the policy in place on redemption offers. Please be assured that Upper Deck strives to produce the finest, highest quality trading card products and memorabilia. Unforuntately, we are not always able to control or predict all the circumstances surrounding the procurement of autographs and/or memorabilia items. We hope you enjoy this exchanged item and that it finds a cherished place in your collection.


The Upper Deck Company

The letter didn’t really explain WHY I wasn’t getting the card, but that’s OK. Usually, when Upper Deck issues a substitution, they do not disappoint.

And in this case, they did not disappoint me. Enclosed in the padded envelope along with the form letter was this card:

2007-08 SP Authentic #201 - Tukka RaaskNeedless to say, I was floored. A 2007-08 SP Authentic Tuukka Rask rookie card, autographed on-card and serial-numbered is way cooler than a 2010-11 SP Authentic Patrice Bergeron autographed patch card–especially since said card of Bergeron does not exist.

I guess Upper Deck could have thrown an auto/patch card of any player and called it a day. Instead, they sent me a 5-year old rookie card that has since accumulated some demand in the secondary market The last two copies of this card on ebay sold for $100 and $130. This more than makes up for what was initially promised.

Coincidentally, this is the second time for me that Patrice Bergeron has been a part of an Upper Deck substitution. In 2009, the company sent me an autographed Bergeron card to compensate for a sub-par jersey card I pulled.

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Almost a Third of the 1961-62 Topps Set

45Normally, the 1961-92 Topps (don’t call it O-Pee-Chee) Hockey Set is not one I go after. I’m too fixated on 1963-64 Parkhurst and 1957-58 Topps when I go to card shows in search of vintage. But my local card shop recently acquired some 1961-62 Topps, and the prices were fair (around half  or less of “hi” Beckett). It’s hard to walk away from that when the cards have decent corers, great gloss, no creases and clean backs–especially in a larger quantity. (Pictures after the jump). Continue reading “Almost a Third of the 1961-62 Topps Set”

New PCs… Inspired by YOU

1997-98 Donruss Studio #55 - Joe Niewendyk (press proof gold)Over the past 6 years, my hockey card collecting has focused primarily on building sets (old and new) and tracking down cards of my favorite player, Chris Chelios.

I’ve broadened my horizons recently and started a few new personal collections. What makes these PCs special is that they were inspired by other card collecting bloggers.

Here’s a rundown of my new personal collections–and the bloggers who inspired them.

Wax Stain RookieBlogger & Blog: Dave H. / Wax Stain Rookie
What he collects: New Jersey Devils rookie cards
Inspired me to collect: Rookie cards of the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks players.

2007-08 O-Pee-Chee #548 - Antti Niemi 2007-08 Upper Deck #210 - Patrick Kane

Like most collectors, Dave enjoys rookie cards. But he seems pretty keen on getting RCs of players from his favorite team, the New Jersey Devils.

This has inspired me to acquire rookie cards for each and every member of one of my favorite teams of all time, the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks. I have a lot of RCs of these guys anyway, but now I’m trying to get one of every player, including any “Black Aces” who had an NHL RC.

And here’s the catch: I am going to try and make sure that all cards are from different sets. That means that all RCs from each year must be different–no two cards from the same set in a given year. This will be tough, as a handful of players only had RCs with low print runs in sets like Be A Player or The Cup.

My Hockey Card ObsessionBlogger & Blog: “bamlinden” / My Hockey Card Obsession
What he collects: Serial-numbered cards (a.k.a. 1 vs. 100)
Inspired me to collect: Serial-numbered cards numbered 1 out of whatever.

2011 National Tony Esposito autograph  2007-08 Black Diamond #18 - Brent Seabrook

“Bamlinden” (a.k.a. Brett) started a collection some time ago called “1 vs. 100,” where he tries to get serial-numbered cards–e.g. 6/50 or 2/25 or 37/99–so long as he does not duplicate the last number. I like that idea, and decided to collect what I call “1 in a…”. Here, I try to get serial-numbered cards where the first number is 1 (1/1, 1/2, 1/3, and so forth). Doesn’t matter if it is an autograph, game-used or parallel card–so long as it is “1” out of whatever, and it is a player I like or have at least heard of.

Of course, finding a serial-numbered card that “starts” with 1 is not easy–and when you do find one, it is sometimes pricey. Plus, I’m not really sure there are any cards numbered 1/47 or 1/92.

The Real DFGBlogger & Blog: DFG / The Real DFG
What he collects: Cards of Eric Tangradi
Inspired me to collect: Cards of Carter Hutton

2010-11 Certified #208 - Carter Hutton (blue) 2011-12 Rockford IceHogs #10 - Carter Hutton

DFG (a.k.a. Tim) started collecting cards of Eric Tangradi early last year. Tangradi was a prospect for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was recently traded to the Winnipeg Jets. Tim’s decision to collect a prospect–who may or may not ultimately end up as an NHL regular–inspired me to track down cards of minor-league goaltender Carter Hutton.

Hutton appeared as a backup for the Flyers in 2009-10 for a few games, and again as a backup with the Sharks in 2010-11 for 22 games. He never actually played for either team, though. Last season, he started as the third-string goalie for the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, eventually becoming the ‘Hogs number one goalie and winning the AHL “Player of the Week” honors twice. He was called up by the Chicago Blackhawks, but again served as a backup. I am drawn to Hutton’s perseverance–he is 28 and still plugging away–and hope to see the day that he gets his well-deserved shot in the NHL. Even if it is with a team besides the Blackhawks.

Not too many cards have been made for Carter Hutton. There are /25, /5 and /1 versions of his 2010-11 Certified RC. The rest have either been non-serial numbered or minor league cards.

Hockey Card HeavenBlogger & Blog: “The Iron Lung” / Hockey Card Heaven
What he collects: Autographs of NHL player who scored 1,000 points
Inspired me to collect: Autographs of the 2010 Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks team.

2007-08 The Cup #113 - Kris Versteeg 2007-08 SP Authentic #173 - Dustin Byfuglien

Sure, this might seem redundant of my first new PC, but owning a certified autographed RC of each 2010 Blackhawks player would be an ultimate goal for me. I will put the cards in a card frame to proudly display them when I accomplish this task.

Unfortunately, many of these guys only have certified autographs picturing them with other teams (Ben Eager, Brent Sopel, Andrew Ladd), so I might just try to get a certified auto of them as a ‘Hawks player.Then again, some of them don’t even have that, so then I might resort to using some TTM autographs for this project.

I haven’t nailed down my parameters (I’m open to suggestion) but my end goal is to have an autographed card of every 2010 ‘Hawk.

Card BoardedBlogger & Blog: Paul / Card Boarded
What he collects: 1999-00 MVP Stanley Cup Edition Gold Script, Silver Script and Super Script parallels
Inspired me to collect: 1997-98 Donruss Studio Silver Press Proofs and Gold Press Proof parallels

1997-98 Donruss Studio #14 - Pavel Bure (press proof silver)   1997-98 Donruss Studio #55 - Joe Niewendyk (press proof gold)

Paul likes the 1999-00 Upper Deck MVP Stanley Cup Edition set so much that he decided to collect all the parallel versions (Gold Script, Silver Script and Super Script) of the set.

Normally, I pass on parallels (other than those featuring Chris Chelios), but Paul seems to be enjoying his quest for variations.This got me thinking that it would be a fun challenge to try and track down parallel versions of one of my favorite sets, 1997-98 Donruss Studio, which features stunning portraits of the best NHLers that year. There are Press Proof Silver and Press Proof Gold parallels, non-serial numbered but limited to 1,000 and 250 copies respectively.

So far, I have about half of the Press Proof Silver parallels, but only 1 Press Proof Gold parallel. Most eBay sellers want upwards of $30 for a Gold parallel, so this will definitely be an exercise in patience.

Thanks to my fellow bloggers who have inspired me to take on some exciting new collecting challenges. I will still build sets and collect Chelios cards, but you have given me some new and interesting pursuits for 2013.

Collecting Resolutions for 2013

The “new year” is not so new anymore. Last year, I posted my collecting resolutions (and did pretty well, I might add). Because writing about them makes keeps me honest, here are my five collecting resolutions for 2013.

misc_stacks1. No more “miscellaneous stacks”
Many times I’ll buy interesting looking cards from the quarter boxes at a card show, but not really know what sets they are from.Or a fellow collector will toss in a few extra cards when trading with me. Over time, these “miscellaneous cards” pile up, but never get put away.

No more. For 2013, I pledge to do away with miscellaneous stacks or miscellaneous boxes (the cumulative result of many miscellaneous stacks). This is time consuming, as I have to look up the card on the Beckett Online Price Guide to figure out what it is. But my desk is practically overrun with cards that need to be put away.

Find it. Figure it out. File it away.

1000_roenicks2. Acquire 1,000 Jeremy Roenick rookie cards
I remember when Jeremy Roenick’s 1990-91 Upper Deck rookie card was a solid $5 card, and his O-Pee-Chee Premier RC eclipsed the $10 mark. Even though his rookie cards are nearly “worthless” now, I get a bit of a child-like thrill when I find one in a quarter box at a show…followed by a touch of sadness that the card ain’t what it used to be.

So, I decided that I would “rescue” every Roenick RC that I find, put it in a gold-lettered  “Rookie Card” top loader, and file it away in my collection, where it will be appreciated.

Crazy, right? But it makes me happy, so at the end of the day that is what collecting is really all about.

So far, I have rounded up roughly 500 various rookie cards of J.R.–many from the Score American set. I eventually want to have at least 100 of each RC, including Upper Deck French, Panini stickers and Score Young Superstars.

missing3. Complete 36 sets in 2013
Last year, I “killed off” 23 different sets that needed a few cards–that’s almost 2 sets a month. I have a 50 page Word Document as my want list (what’s posted here is only a portion), and much of my list is just sets needing a handful of cards.

This year, I want to try and complete 36 sets–that’s a pace of 3 sets per month. January is over, so I’ll have to make up for lost time. But if I take proactive approach, this should be an easy resolution to accomplish.

4. Exercise more
Wait, sorry. That’s for my non-collecting resolutions of 2013. Next up…

base4. Sell off or otherwise get rid of some commons / base cards
I’ve been a pretty active hockey card collector since early June of 2006, buying many packs and boxes of different sets. Unforutnately, all those commons and base cards accumulate. Sure, some get used for through-the-mail autograph requests, but most just sit in two-column shoeboxes, waiting to get traded.

This year, I am going to do something with all these base cards from Upper Deck, Score, Donruss, O-Pee-Chee, Parkhurst, Pinnacle and such. I may not get a nickel a card, but I need the space. And having all these extras do not make me younger, more handsome, or more attractive to women. So, out they go! Maybe one of my local card shops will give me a bit of store credit for them, which I will use to buy vintage cards, which WILL make me younger, more handsome AND more attractive to women. (If only…)

Stan Mikita Rookie Card5. Get some “Grails”
A hundred bucks might get you one vintage card, or it might get you a hobby box yielding 100 or more cards. I think it is easier for me to justify spending lots of money on new stuff instead of old stuff. I’m going to try and change that up this year, and put my hobby dollars to focusing on some grails. I need a Stan Mikita rookie card for my 1960-61 Topps set. I’d like to get some O-Pee-Chee insert sets from the 1970s, and I still need a lot of cards to finish my 1963-64 Parkhurst set. I will still buy new cards, but I’m going to try and get some vintage grails this year.

With January already gone, I only have 11 months to meet my goals. Wish me luck!