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Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

2012-13 Panini Limited Box Break #5 (Incl. a SICK Ducks Patch!!!)

Here's the follow-up to yesterday's post of my box of 2012-13 Panini Limited box, with another box of the product being opened. Like with that one, since there are just seven cards to be opened, I'll do a quick run-down of the cards I pulled, from least to best.

7 . Toronto Maple Leafs Rookie Redemption
Seriously. I bought both of these boxes at the same time and pulled the exact same Rookie Redemption Card. Yuck.


6. Jonas Hiller Base Card 2/299
Hiller has played his entire career with the Anaheim Ducks ever since being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007, and is responsible for running two goaltenders out of town. After making a strong debut in his rookie season, GM Brian Burke felt he was ready to assume a permanent role as the team's backup, so he then placed Ilya Bryzgalov on waivers, who was then picked up by the Phoenix Coyotes. During the 2008-09 NHL season, Hiller and Jean-Sebastien Giguere were splitting time in goal, but the team went with Giguere as starter for the 2009 playoffs. The following season, Hiller signed a four-year contract extension, and Giguere was traded to the Maple Leafs the day after that contract was signed.


5. Henrik Sedin Limited Captains Silver 44/49
I seem to be pulling a lot of the Sedin twins, but maybe it just seems that way because there are two of them and I can't really tell them apart, except for their jersey numbers....or the name on the card. Henrik was drafted third overall in the 199 NHL Entry Draft, one spot behind twin brother Daniel. What was considered a pretty deep draft at the time turned out to not live up to the hype, as only 16 players from the first round played in a total of at least 82 NHL games, and only four (The Sedins, Nick Boynton, and Martin Havlat) have made appearances in an NHL All Star Game.


4. Jeremy Roenick Board Members 189/199
Like the Steve Yzerman Limited Duels card I pulled from Box #4, this is a thinner card than most from Limited, and is printed on an acetate material. The card features Roenick checking some random Lightning player into the boards, and despite Roenick's time traveling from team-to-team later in his career, I love how this card has him in his Blackhawks gear. Roenick may have never won the Stanley Cup, but he is the subject of the greatest trash talking in sports history, when Patrick Roy said during a press conference, "I can't really hear what Jeremy says, because I've got my two Stanley Cup ring plugging my ears."


3. Jeremy Welsh Phenoms Redemption /499
A 2012 free agent signing of the Carolina Hurricanes, Welsh has only played in a few NHL seasons, while getting experience with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. He only played in one game during the 2011-12 season, but made it to the big time for six games this past year, getting one assist.


2. Carey Price Jumbo Jersey 27/99
This is a great looking card, not only because of the player, but because of the big, bright red jersey swatch right in the middle. The three-time NHL All-Star was named the team's starting goaltender during the 2007-08 season and has held on to the position ever since. Price played in a majority of the team's games (39) during the 2012-13 season, finishing with a 21-13 record, a 2059 GAA, and a .905 SV%.


1. Jonas Hiller Crease Cleaners Patch 2/5
Wow. This is easily the best-looking card I've pulled out of Limited this year, and second out of anything next to the Dominik Hasek patch I got out of SP Game Used.  With the longer rectangular size of the swatch on these cards, it really allowed them to showcase the different colors present, and luckily min contained a patch from the crest of the home jersey, instead of a number or nameplate, which can be a bit more restrictive, color-wise. This one contains four colors and six breaks in the fabric and appears to come specifically from the letter D in the word Ducks from the front of the team's away jersey, which like the Price card, is the one features in the card's photo.


That's it for box # 5. I know Hiller isn't the biggest name in the NHL right now, but when you pull a card that looks that great, it doesn't really matter. I'm planning on keeping the Hiller, but like the Hasek patch, I'd have no problem parting with it if the right deal came along.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

2012-13 Panini Limited Box Break #4

Along with the box of Fleer Retro and the packs of Rookie Anthology and SP Authentic, I also grabbed me up a couple boxes of 2012-13 Panini Limited. Each box of Limited contains three hits and four non-hits, but every card, hit or not, is serial numbered.

Here's a card-by-card breakdown of this box that I have ranked from least to best, or at least how I see it.

7. Jordan Eberle base card 35/299
My lone base card from this pack is of Edmonton Oilers right winger Jordan Eberle. The 2008 first-round draft pick may not be one of the Oilers' three consecutive first overall selections, but he has become one of the team's biggest contributors and best players, scoring 16 goals and 21 assists in 48 games.


6. Toronto Maple Leafs Rookie Redemption
Due to the lockout, the NHLPA is not allowing companies to print official rookie cards of players debuting in the 2012-13 season until their 2013-14 releases. To get around that, Panini printed rookie redemption cards, which will be redeemed for rookie cards of those players once they are able to be released. This one is for the Maple Leafs, and I'm not sure who is the likely candidate for this card. I redeemed it, so I guess I'll just have to wait a couple months and see who shows up at my door.


5. Scott Clemmensen Gold Parallel 13/25
With only 150 base cards in the set, I'm not sure how the backup goaltender for the Florida Panthers gets a card, but either way, here he is. Clemmensen played in 19 games (11 started) during the 2012-13 season, ending with a 3-7 win/loss record, a 3.67 GAA, and a .874 save percentage.


4. Steve Yzerman Limited Duels 13/99
This card of the legendary Red Wings' captain is a die-cut puzzle piece with the lightning bolt on the left hand side cut like a puzzle piece to match up with a corresponding card of Joe Sakic. Most cards from Limited feature a thicker card stock, but this one is a bit slimmer, as it is done on an acetate material, with the photo and foil printed on the clear surface.


3. Kari Lehtonen Jumbo Jersey 79/99
One funny thing I have noticed is that I have been pulling more jumbo jersey cards than I have been pulling regular jersey cards. I think the ratio after 5 boxes (including patches) is 3-2, which isn't a huge margin, but still. Anyway, this one features Kari Lehtonen, goaltender for the Dallas Stars, my former "home" team. Lehtonen played in the majority of the team's games during the 2012-13 season, finishing with a 15-14 record in 36 games.


2. Casey Cizikas Phenoms Gold /25
Not counting the rookie redemptions, which are kind of a different thing, three out of the five boxes of Limited I have opened have contained autograph redemptions. Now, I'm not as critical with redemptions as some are, especially with Panini due to their great customer service/redemption replacement department, but it's something worth noting. Anyway, this redemption is good for a gold parallel of the Phenoms auto of New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas. Most Phenoms cards are autographed on a piece of white fapbric nest to a patch of their team's logo. The parallels, however, have a different patch. According to one already listed on Ebay, this one will have a patch of the logo from the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from Montreal, where Cizikas was selected by the Islanders in the fourth round.


1. Dan Girardi Jumbo Patch 6/10
This is a GREAT looking patch card from the New York Rangers' defenseman.  I'm not sure, though, if this patch comes from the jersey number, name plate, or from the lettering on the front of the jersey, but either way, I have an awesome looking, three-colored, jumbo patch card. After going undrafted, Girardi signed with the Rangers and has been climbing up the ladder, and twice has gained "interim alternate captain" status when Marc Staal gets injured. I suppose when Staal eventually heads to Carolina (you know that's going to happen) Girardi will get that "A" permanently affixed to his sweater.


That's it for this one. I still have one more to do, and just as a teaser for box #5, if you think that the Girardi is a cool looking patch card, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

2012-13 Fleer Retro Mini Box Break #2

I've already opened up one box of Upper Deck's 2012-13 Fleer Retro, so with some money burning a hole in my pocket, and my LCS running out of boxes of Rookie Anthology and SP Authentic, I decided to try my hand at another, and see how it would turn out. 

I didn't get any Penguins base cards, unless you count Jarome Iginla, who is featured on his card as a member of the Calgary Flames, and I got that card in my first box anyway, so let's just take a look at the inserts and hits.

92-93: Jeff Skinner, Dion Phaneuf
93-94: Adam Henrique
94-95: Johan Fanzen, Josh Gorges


Like my first box, I got a 1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems parallel, but this time, it was a lower serial-number and a bigger name, with a blue  Jonathan Quick, numbered 29/50.


I also pulled another parallel of another top-quality goaltender with a Legacy Collection parallel of Henrik Lundqvist from the 1997-98 Flair Showcase Row 2 insert set, numbered 130/150.


My big insert of the break, though, came in the form of an Evgeni Malkin card based on the 1997-98 EX 2001 set. I'm not sure how the original cards were made, but for these, Upper Deck does something similar to the Championship Rings card from Black Diamond. Basically, they take a clear acetate material, which can be seen on the left side of the card, and then a second layer containing the foil and the player photo is placed on top of that. Out of the two boxes, this is EASILY the coolest non-autographed card that I have pulled.


My three autos were a little disappointing, in that all three came from the 1669-97 Skybox Autographics set, which is the most common auto set out of Fleer Retro. I do, however, like the Bobby Ryan, if for no other reason than the fact that he was selected No. 2 in the 2005 NHL entry draft right behind Sidney Crosby. Patrick O'Sullivan may have the most Irish-sounding name in the NHL, but his signature look like he fell asleep in the middle of signing his sticker. As a Penguins fan, the O'Reilly would have been cool, had I not acquired the card just a few weeks earlier.


My inserts were much better on this box, but I found the three autos to be a little lacking. It's not that I have a major problem with getting autos of rookies and mid-level NHLers, it's that I'd at least like some veriety, like I found in box #1.

Anyway, pretty much anything is up for trade, except, of course the Malkin and (maybe) the Bobby Ryan, but if anything else grabs your attention, be sure to let me know.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Eight Packs of 2012-13 SP Authentic

Like with yesterday's Rookie Anthology post, 2012-13 SP Authentic is another set I was hoping to purchase a box of, only to discover there were no boxes left at my LCS. They did, however, have a few packs left, so I picked up the last eight out of the box, just to give the product a good sample. 

I won't go too much into the base cards, but I will say that my only Penguin out of eight packs of five cards was Evgeni Malkin. 


SP Authentic also featured updates of previously released sets, inserting rookie cards from MVP and what would have been Upper Deck Series 2 at a rate of 1:Box for MVP and 1:6 packs for Series 2. I got one of each, with a Guillame Latendresse from Series 2 and a Jake Allen Rookie card from MVP.


Upper Deck also paid tribute to their original "SP" set from 1994-95, with current players on the classic design. These are inserted 1:6 packs and I got 2 of them with Gabriel Landeskog and Jordan Eberle.


I also got 2 Authentic Moments cards, which recognize great performances of a player's career, like when Ron Francis took the Hartford Whalers to their only playoff series victory while the franchis was in Hartford and Taylor Hall's hat trick in a blowout vs. Chicago.


Autographs are inserted into packs of SP Authentic in every eight packs, so grabbing eight packs out of a 24 pack box, I was bound to pull at least one, right? Well, the odds were on my side, and I was lucky enough that the collation gave me one, a Riley Sheahan Sign of the Times on-card autograph. Apart from playing in only one NHL game in each of the past two season's, Sheahan is most famous for being pulled over while driving drunk at over 4 times the legal limit, while wearing a purple Telletubbies costume.


All in all, I'd say I did ok here. Nothing epic, but the risk of buying loose packs is that depending on how the collation goes, you could get lucky, or you could get unlucky. I was just happy to meet the odds.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Four Packs of 2012-13 Rookie Anthology

After busting open a pretty successful box of 2012-13 Rookie Anthology a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try my luck with another. Unfortunately,  all of the boxes at my LCS sold out, but I did pick up the last four packs that they had, and all things considered, I did ok.

Here's the pack-by-pack breakdown:

Brandon Sutter, Corey Perry, Evander Kane, Scott Clemmensen, Anze Kopitar Hart Contenders 792/999


 Pack 2: Jonathan Quick, Carey Price, Jimmy Howard, Brandon Dubinsky, Michael Hutchinson Elite Rookie 366/999


Pack 3: Brandon Sutter, Scott Clemmensen, Sheldon Souray, Loui Eriksson, Steve Ott, Roberto Luongo Titanium Game Worn Gear jersey.


Pack 4: Marc-Andre Fleury, Tuukka Rask, Jonas Gustavsson, Mike Ribiero, Mike Smith, John Tavares Crown Royale Lords of the NHL jersey


Well, I scored 50% on the hit-per-pack ratio, which beats the odds of an unopened box, and with Luongo and Tavares, I pulled hits of players with good name value. All things considered, I'd say I did pretty good.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sidney Crosby Dominion Jersey, Plus a Jordan Staal

With all of the 2011-12 Domoinion cards that I have been buying lately, the one thing I hadn't gotten my hands on was a base Dominion Jersey cards of Sidney Crosby. That is, until now.

I already have a Dominion jersey card from the 2010-11 release, so naturally, I needed to get one from the most recent year. The card is serial numbered 36/50 and features a plain white swatch. On this particular card, like the other Dominion Crosby jersey card that I have, they basically, just took the regular base card, cut a whole, and placed a piece of fabric there, which I'm ok with. This is a great looking card and a much welcome addition to my collection,



In addition to the Dominion Crosby, I also picked me up a Jordan Staal jersey card from 2011-12 Limited. This one is numbered 95/99, and like the Crosby, this one is a case of taking the regular base card, cutting a hole, and inserting a piece of fabric, and also like the Crosby, it's too great looking of a card to have any kind of problem with that. Besides, even though Staal is no longer a Penguin, his cards are dirt cheap, and as long as he's wearing the black and gold, I'll take it.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Bunch of Cards from Ebay

Yet again, I went on Ebay, found a card I liked, and fell into the ol' "See Other Items" trap. The seller was offering free shipping, which is good, because then I don't have to try do any math to make sure I don't go over my spending limit, but bad, because it made it that much easier to click on "Bid."

Still, I managed to keep things somewhat contained, and for about 75% of what most hobby boxes go for, I got the following 12 cards:


2010-11 Donruss Fans of the Game Michael Ontkean auto


Ontkean, if you can't tell from the card's photo, played the role of Ned Braden, "a college graduate, and an American citizen,"  in the 1977 movie Slap Shot. While the Hanson brothers, who have their own Fans of the Game cards, are the more recognizable characters from the film, the story mainly centers around the conflict between Braden and player/coach Reg Dunlop (Paul Newman) over turning the team into a goon squad. Ontkean also has a Scratching the Surface auto card from 2011-12 Crown Royale, but since he's featured in his Charlestown Chiefs gear here, this was the card I had to have.

2012-13 Fleer Retro Metal Universe Hardware Sidney Crosby


This card is from Upper Deck's tribute to Fleer hockey cards, Fleer Retro. This specific insert is seeded at just 1:108 packs, almost making it a case hit, but just falling short of the mark (120 packs). Championship Hardware is based on the 1997-98 Fleer Metal Universe insert set, which recognizes NHL award winners.

2012-13 Fleer Retro Brad Richards auto


I know that Richards' production has slipped, and he'll likely be the teams compliance buy-out during the summer, but at only five bucks, I figured it would be a good purchase. It'll be interesting to see where he heads this off-season.
2012-13 Fleer Retro Skybox Autographics Chris Kunitz


This is actually my first certified auto of Kunitz in a Penguins uniform, but my third auto of his in total. With my other two, one has him in a Ducks sweater, and the other has him with the Penguins, but is an IP auto.

 2012-13 Fleer Retro Skybox Autographics Cal O’Reilly


Even though he is a Penguin on this card, I have really never heard of this guy. As it turns out, there is a reason for that. His Penguins career lasted all of six games during the 2011-12 season. He now plays for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL.

2012-13 Fleer Retro Skybox Autographics Dany Heatley


I know a lot of people dislike Heatley, and I'm sure with  good reason, but he's a decent player, who plays for the local team, so why the heck not?
2012-13 Limited Stanley Cup Winners Denis Potvin auto 25/99


I love that Panini continued the Stanley Cup Winners insert set from last year, even if it isn't quite as cool as the black card w/ silver ink from 2011-12. Still, it is an on-card auto of a hall of famer and four-time Stanley Cup champion, and this card only set me back $5.55.
2012-13 Limited Travels Joe Nieuwendyk triple jersey 62/99


I've already done a post on why I'm a fan of Nieuwendyk, so I won't get into it again, but I will say how much I love how they were able to track down a jersey of each of his first three NHL teams for this card. And as an added bonus, all three swatches are different colors.
2012-13 Limited Freshman Jumbo Scott Glennie auto jersey 32/99


Glennie was the eighth overall pick of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. So far, he has only one NHL game under his belt, so time will still have to tell on whether or not he finds any success in the NHL.

2011-12 Dominion rookie patch auto Erik Gustafsson 5/199


I picked up card mainly as an addition to my Dominion auto patch rookies collection. Unfortunately the "patch" is just solid white, but at the price I got it for, I can over look the details.
2011-12 Dominion Mammoth prime jersey Colin Greening 20/25


Greening was a seventh round draft pick (205th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, but ever since making his NHL debut during the 2010-11 season, he has been a mainstay on the Senators' roster, missing only one game in the past two season. 
2013 Museum Collection Primary Pieces quad jersey Starlin Castro 57/99

 Lastly, I decided to pick up a baseball card to add to my Cubs collection. With Anthony Rizzo seemingly taking over as the Cubs' go-to guy for autos and relics, it's nice to see Castro still get some play.

Well, that's it for this group. Great cards. Great prices. Who could ask for anything more?

Friday, June 21, 2013

2013 Topps Archives Box Break

After having a GREAT experience with 2012 Topps Archives, (pulling a Bryce Harper Auto Redemption) I decided to give this year's a shoat with the purchase of a hobby box from my LCS. Now, I may not have pulled another MONSTER of a hit. but I was happy with what I found.

The base cards are modeled after the 1972, 1982, 1985, and 1990 card designs, similarly to what they do with heritage, with a mixture of current and former players.  It seems a little odd that three of the designs are from an eight year time period, but maybe they wanted to go with sets that won't be done in Heritage for quite a while.



Here's a quick breakdown of the inserts that I pulled from the box.
SPs: Kent Hrbek, Vince Coleman, Jesse Orosco, Juan Samuek, Charlie Hough, Otis Nixon


Tall Boys: Cal Ripken, Jr., Kevin Mitchell, Ryan Braun, Gio Gonzalez, Chris Sale


Vintage Vault Redemption


1969 4-in-1 Stickers: Tony Gwynn/Wade Boggs/Cal Ripken, Jr./Ryne Sandberg, Mike Trout/Bryce Harper/Ryan Braun/Matt Kemp, Vince Coleman, Rickey Henderson/Otis Nixon/Kenny Lofton

1972 Basketball Design: Tony Gwynn


Gold: Prince Fielder 110/199, Derek Holland 56/199


1998 Stadium Triumvirate: Cliff Lee
1997 Gallery of Heroes: Cal Ripken, Jr. 


Autos: Kent Hrbek, Mookie Wilson


Well, there you have it. Not a bad box at all and the two autos are pretty cool, too. I'm definitely keeping the Hrbek, as I remember watching the Twins with my dad when I was younger, before I became a Cubs fan, and considering what other autos are out there, the Mookie is a pretty good pull as well.