Search This Blog

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Secret Santa Gifts (Incl. Billy Williams 1/1!!!)

I guess before the 2013 calendar year is over, I should probably show off some cardboard-related Secret Santa gifts. The gift exchange I participated in was hosted by Crackin Wax, and my Secret Santa sent me some great Cubs cards.

The first one is a 1/1 Billy Williams card from 2008 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts. These Memorable Moments parallels are all numbered 1/1, and are inserted at a rate of two per case. Multiple cards of each player are issued, but what makes them 1/1s is the "Memorable Moment" featured on just this card. The moment on this particular card is from June 29th, 1969, when Williams broke Stan Musial's National League record of 895 consecutive games played.


My other two card were of David DeJesus. Both are from 2004 Bowman Sterling and feature an autograph, as well as a jersey swatch. One is the base insert, and the other is the refractor parallel, numbered 125/199. DeJesus played from most of two seasons with the Cubs before being dealt to the Washinton Nationals this past August. Four days after that trade, the Nationals traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays, where he appears to be staying, as he just signed a two-year contract.


I always liek these kind of exchanges, just because of the excitement of not knowing exactly what you are about to open when you get that manilla envelope in the mail.

Anyway, here's to a great 2013, with hopes that 2014 is even better.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sandberg/Banks/Williams Redemption: On Its Way!!!!!!!

Okay, so earlier this month, I posted on a redemption that I was waiting on from Topps. It comes from 2013 Gypsy Queen and is a triple autographed relic card of Chicago Cubs Hall-of-Famers Ryne Sandberg, Ernie Banks, and Billy Williams, numbered to 10.


I noticed that all three players had signed card that were packed out into 2013 Topps Five Star, so I was wondering, what's going on with my card from months ago? Well, I just so happened to check my Topps Redemption account, and here's what I found:


As it turns out, all of the components for this card, from the sticker autos to the memorabilia pieces, have been gathered. According to the tracking number left, the card should arrive some time this weekend, and I'll be sure to post it in all it gloriousness once I have it in hand.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Trade with Sportscards from the Dollar Store

Here's the goods from a trade I just completed with Doug from Sportscards from the Dollar Store. Well, I say "just," but the trade actually happened a while back. I just haven't posted on it yet. Anyway, usually what he sends me are set fillers, which in past trades, have allowed me to complete more sets than I can remember. He sent some more, but he also threw in a few cards for my other collections, as well.

For my Hockey HOF Relic Project, I got a Glenn Anderson jersey card from In the Game Decades: 1980s. Anderson was one of a long list of eventual hall-of-famers from the 1980s Edmonton Oilers dynasty, which included Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, and Mark Messier.


For my Sidney Crosby Collection, I got a card from Panini's 2013 Toronto Fall Expo Wrapper Redemption. Living in the U.S.A., I don't get any access to these Canada-only cards, except on the secondary market, so it's nice to get one through a trade, instead of relying on Ebay.


Lastly, the set-builders:
2010-11 Upper Deck - 48 Cards
2011-12 Certified - 31 Cards
2012-13 ITG Between the Pipes - 15 Cards
209-10 Upper Deck - 1 Card (SET COMPLETE!!!)


That's it for another great trade. With all the 2013-14 sets out now, I'm sure there will be more not too far behind!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013-14 Panini Prizm Box Break #2

I actually bought this box over a month ago, on Black Friday, but as you will see, the underwhelming contents left me in no rush to post it. This is actually my second box of 2013-14 Panini Prizm, with my first delivering a 1/1 Erik Karlsson and a James Neal auto. Based on what I had seen of other boxes being busted, I knew that I practically struck gold, as most just contain a rookie auto and a sticker dump auto, much like the one you're about to see.

Anyway, here's what I got:

Base Penguins: James Neal, Chris Kunitz


Rookies: There were a lot more in the box, but my top 6 were Filip Forsberg, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Nick Bjugstad, Emerson Etem, and Alex Chiasson


Parallels: Sam Gagner Orange Die-Cut 26/50, David Backes Pivotal Players Prizm, Justin Schultz Rookie Prizm, Christopher Nilstorp Rookie Prizm


Inserts: Gordie Howe Endless Impressions, Henrik Lundqvist Net Defenders, Alexander Semin Pivotal Players


Autographs: Nick Bjugstad Rookie Auto, Joe Finley Auto


Now, I knew I wouldn't come close to matching the awesomeness of Box #1, but it was Black Friday, and I was looking for those Black Friday redemption packs, so I decided to go with it. It did help me somewhat with my set, though, so at least not all is lost.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2012-13 Panini Prime Box Break #3

I just can't get enough of Prime, can I?

Well, the truth is, I was hoping for a box of newly-reduced 2013-14 Dominion, but apparently the release date has been delayed yet again. It looks like I will have to wait until Jan. 3, so I decided to pick up the next big thing. Oh, sure, I suppose I could be patient, save my money, and have that much more to put toward Dominion, but who wants to do that?

I may have a few good qualities, but patience is not one of them.

So here we are, with my third box of prime, which contains a two-card pack of 2012-13 Dominion (So, I at least still get my Dominion fix). Seven cards. A bunch of hits. Autographs. Patches. Whatever else they decide to throw in.

Here's the video:



Taylor Hall Yellow Printing Plate 1/1
Each two-card pack of Dominion contains one base card. Now, this could be the regular base card, or a variation of it, like gold /25, emerald /5, or a 1/1 printing plate. I was lucky enough to pull one of those 1/1s, and of a pretty good player, as well. 


Here's a look at the card's backing. I love how Dominion puts an actual card back on the reverse side of the plate, instead of just slapping a sticker on it. The 1/1 designation is in the bottom left corner.


John LeClair Peerless Patches 28/40
Now, as a Penguins fan, I hate the Philadelphia Flyers, but LeClair actually played in Pittsburgh for a couple years. He won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993, and spend most of his career in Philadelphia as part of their "Legion of Doom" line, but after the NHL introduced a Salary Cap following the 2004-05 lockout, the Flyers released LeClair. He then signed with Pittsburgh and had two fairly productive years, before ending his career in Dec. 2006.


Prime Base: John Tavares 205/249
While I got a parallel  for my Dominion base card, I just got the regular version out of my Prime pack. Still, you can't go wrong with Tavares. He was the first overall draft pick in 2009. In a sometimes struggling New York Islanders team, he has been a big reason why they have been so successful, including putting a heavily-favored Pittsburgh Penguins team to the test in the 2013 NHL Playoffs.


Mario Lemieux/Patrick Roy "1984" Quad Jersey 10/100
So, this card is pretty awesome. It contains two jersey swatches each of two of the greatest players in the NHL's history. The 1984 designation is not a George Orwell reference, though. It signifies their draft class, where Lemieux went No. 1 overall to Pittsburgh, and Roy was selected 51st overall by Montreal. The 1984 class was known for an unusually high amount of eventual Hall-of-Famers picked in later rounds, like Roy in the third, Brett Hull in the sixth (117th - Calgary Flames), and Luc Robitaille in the ninth (171st - Los Angeles Kings).


Steve Yzerman/Brendan Shanahan/Igor Larionov/Nicklas Lidstrom "97" 28/50
Even though I'm not a huge Detroit Red Wings fan, but I love this card, which commemorates their 1997 Stanley Cup.  What makes this card really cool, too, is how heavy the star power is on this card, which just goes to show how loaded that team was. Yzerman, Shanahan, and Larionov are already Hockey Hall-of-Famers, and let's face it, Lidstrom's going in the very first year he's eligible. Other Hall-of-Famers on that team include Larry Murphy and Viacheslav Fetisov, who are currently in the HOF, as well as Sergei Fedorov and Chris Osgood, who will likely be inducted one day.


Jaden Schwartz Prime Rookies 188/249
With a somewhat depleted rookie class due to the 2011 NHL lockout restrictions, the three hot rookies were Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers, Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues, and  Sven Baertschi of the Calgary Flames. The 2012-13 hype had mostly to do with who was the most productive at the very end of the 2011-12 season. These players were in just a few games during that season, which is why they didn't get rookie cards that year, but in just seven games, Scwartz scored 2 goals and had 1 assist, which was enough to get on people's radar. It was also enough to get a permanent spot on the Blues roster the following season, where he played in 45 out of 48 games.


Vincent Lecavalier Prime Namesakes 70/75
These  may be "manufactured" relics, but still, they are just cool cards. The idea with these cards is to recreate a player's nameplate, and have them sign the individual letters. Of course, with 75, there's going to be plenty of repeats, especially with "A" and "E," which are repeated in his name to begin with. These cards really seem to work best with teams who just use one color for the letter. I purchased a Sidney Crosby Prime Namesakes card from the 2011-12 product, and with two colors being used for a border around the letter, there wasn't enough solid surface to sign on the letter, so he had to sign on the open space on the jersey material next to it. Either way, that doesn't matter, because this Lecavalier is a great looking card!


Well, that's it for this box. I didn't get any monster pulls, like the Prime Ties card out of Box #1, or the Gordie Howe autograph out of Box #2, but that was still a pretty impressive break. I'm really looking forward to 2013-14 Dominion coming out next week, but if that product doesn't quite measure up to expectations, I know that Prime will still take great care of me.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013-14 Black Diamond Box Break

With a little bit of Christmas money to burn, I decided to pick up a box of 2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond. I purchased two boxes of this product last year, and ended up not only with two base sets, but loads of cool multiple jersey cards and really cool inserts.

Each box of Black Diamond guarantees two dual-jersey cards, along with three quad-diamond cards, and a bonus pack of Upper Deck Ice, which contains one Ice Premieres rookie card. Along with that, there are also pleenty of hit-worthy inserts, like Lustrous Rookies, Lustrous Stars, and Lustrous All-Time Greats, which are either case hits or multiple-case hits, as well as Championship Rings and Gemography

Anyway, here's the video of my break, with scans to follow:



Upper Deck Ice Bonus Pack: PK Subban, Sergei Bobrovsky, Tyler Ennis, Derek Stepan, Connor Carrick 336/999


Dual Diamond: Larry Robinson, Roberto Luongo, Daniel Sedin, Vincent Damphousse, Markus Naslund, Ryan Kesler, Braden Holtby


Triple Diamond: Peter Forsberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Doug Gilmour


Triple Diamond Rookie Gems: Joakim Nordstrom, Tanner Pearson, Austin Watson


Quad Diamond Rookie Gems: Jacob Trouba, Boone Jenner
Quad Diamond All Star: Pavel Bure


Parallel: Brendan Gallagher Quad Diamond Rookie Gems Ruby 123/150


Championship Rings: Daniel Carcillo


Dual Jersey: Nail Yakupov, Brendan Gallagher


I was very happy with what I found from this box. While I was able to pull complete base sets (1-100) from each of my boxes last year, that wasn't the case with this year's product. Still, I got some pretty good dual jersey cards, with both players being some of the hottest rookies from this year's double rookie class. Plus, I got that FANTASTIC looking Championship rings card. I pulled a Simon Gagne from last year's Black Diamond, and I think Upper Deck did a MUCH better job with this year's version. It keeps all the features that makes the card cool, but it makes the ring bigger and brighter, and slaps it down right on the front of the card.

Black Diamond is affordable, gives you a good value, and gives you a few bonuses that are sure to impress. If you're looking for a fun box to open, I would definitely give this one a shot.

Christmas Goodies: Edmonton Oilers Gear and a McFarlane Figure

Hopefully, everyone had a great Christmas. Mine was fantastic. I spent time with family, ate some great food, and got some cool presents. I even got some cool sports-related gifts from the parents. Now, I know most of these gifts would work for a 15-year-old, but even at 33, they still work for me. I guess I'll never grow up.

First off, my folks got me an Edmonton Oilers replica jersey. I know I'm a Penguins guy, but my dad is working up in Edmonton right now, so when they asked for gift ideas, Edmonton Oilers stuff was the first thing that came to mind. Not only is it a jersey, though, but a throwback, as it is the version that the team wore from 1979-1996. VERY cool.


My other Oilers gift was a set of four coasters. These came in a hockey puck case, because they are shaped exactly like a hockey puck. Each of the black rubber discs contain an Oilers theme, and the sides of the coasters have a rough surface, just like an actual hockey puck. They are a bit smaller in circumference than most coasters are, but they are the perfect size for holding a bottle of Labatt Blue.




Lastly, also from my parents, I also got a Willie Stargell McFarlane Sportspicks figure. While the Chicago Cubs are my baseball team, I love old-timey baseball of any kind, but the real reason my dad picked it out for me, was simply because he found it for a good price at a garage sale. It will soon be freed from its plastic prison and placed right next to my other baseball McFarlanes.


Well, that's it. I'm not sure if anyone else cares about any of this stuff, but I think it's pretty cool.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

James Neal 2012-13 Dominion Peerless Patches

Third out of three from the group of Peerless Patches cards I purchased last month, is the one I came in for in the first place. This one is of James Neal, and is numbered 22/40.


The card features a sweet-looking patch from the team's previous third jersey. It most likely comes from the "N" on the bottom of the jersey crest. I know I've written about Neal before on many different occassions, and specifically, how awesome he is statistically. Here's a new perspective, though. Neal was the third round pick of my fantasy hockey team, Moves Like Jagr, but despite being a third-round pick, my season seems to be living or dying based on whether or not Neal plays. During the first part of the year, with him out injured, I didn't win one single week. Then he came back, and I started finally lighting up the scoreboard. Now, while he was out for a week and a half with a suspension, it's back to the basement again. Hopefully with him back in the lineup, I can finally get myself a few more wins.

Jay Bouwmeester 2012-13 Dominion Peerless Patches

I posted a Jason Zucker Peerless Patches card earlier today, but there were three in total that I purchased from the same seller. Number two is a Jay Bouwmeester, numbered 37/40


Bouwmeester was acquired by the St. Louis Blues at the 2013 trade deadline in a deal that sent goaltender Reto Berra and a first round draft pick to the Calgary Flames. He has been regarded as a top NHL defenseman ever since his draft year of 2002, where he was selected third overall by the Florida Panthers, behind Rick Nash (1st, Columbus Blue Jackets) and Kari Lehtonen (2nd, Atlanta Thrashers). What I really like about this card is how quickly they were able to capture a photo of Bouwmeester in his new uniform. Even though the patch is from a Calgary Flames sweater, I can overlook that, due to the lack of time available to acquire a Blues jersey.

Jason Zucker 2012-13 Dominion Peerless Patches

While going on a bit of a Dominion spending spree last month, one of the cards I picked up was a Jason Zucker Peerless Patches card, numbered 8/40


Zucker is one of the 2012-13 rookies to make it to the Peerless Patches set. He played in just six games during the 2011-12 season, but made it up for 20 during the following year, scoring four goals and one assist. This season, he has been going back and forth between Minnesota and the AHL's Iowa Wild. So far, Zucker has played 7 games in Minnesota this season, but is currently playing in the AHL.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Logan Couture Autograph from 2011-12 UD Ultimate collection

Here's a card I bought, simply for the fact that I figured it would be a good idea to have an autograph of his: a 2011-12 Ultimate Collection Logan Couture Ultimate Signatures card.


A ninth overall draft pick by the San Jose Sharks in 2007, Couture figures to be a big part of San Jose's future. Couture has made an impact in each of his NHL seasons, but he really made his presence felt in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, playing in all 48 regular season games and 11 playoff games. During tyhat season, Couture led the team in goals (21), game-winning goals (5), shots (151), and power play goals (7).

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rhett Bomar Autograph from 2009 UD NFL Draft Edition

Sam Houston State University doesn't really have enough alumni in the NFL to start a collection, but on the rare occurance that someone makes it to the show, I like to grab up a few of his cards. My most recent SHSU cardboard purchase was an autographed Rhett Bomar card from 2009 Upper Deck NFL Draft Edition.


This card features an on-card autograph of Bomar's, which is cool, but the coolest part, by far, has to be the
fact that he is featured in his Bearkats orange and white, with the SHSU logo proudly displayed on the bottom left of the card.

After lighting it up in college, Bomar was selected in the fifth round by the New York Giants in the 2009 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Bomar never made it into an NFL game, serving mostly on practice squads for the Giants, Minnesota Vikings, and Oakland Raiders.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 Totally Certified Football 3-Box Break Loot

I participated in a three-box break of 2013 Totally Certified football that I had bought into on Ebay. I picked my Texans and was just hoping that I would luck out with something. I ended up with just one card, but it ended up being a hit, specifically, a Ray Graham Freshman Phenoms card, numbered 104/499.


While it was a hit, unfortunately, it wasn't much of a hit. Graham was an undrafted free-agent signee of the Houston Texans in April, but was released from the team in August. Three months later, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and is currently assigned to their practice squad.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Trade with The Real DFG

After seeing a cool Phil Kessel autograph I wanted on The Real DFG blog, I set in motion a trade that got this fantastic piece of cardboard in my hands. This one comes from 2012-13 Panini Limited Monikers, and is the silver parallel, numbered 16/49. It being the silver version, it features the team's alternate logo, instead of the base version. While I am not a particularly big Maple Leafs fan, I always figure it will be a good idea to get my hands on an auto of such a good player, if such an opportunity comes.


What I was not expecting, though, was the INSANE amount of set-building help that was included along with the Kessel. In total, Tim sent me 90 cards to help build a few sets I am currently working on from four different sets. I got 59 cards from 2013-14 Prizm, 3 cards from 2013-14 Artifacts, 9 cards from 2013-14 Select, and 19 cards from 2013-14 Upper Deck.


Thanks for a great trade, and I look forward to our next one.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Nathan MacKinnon Case Hit from 4 Packs of 2013-14 Black Diamond

Okay, since I know I have some impending car repairs, which will no doubt set me back quite a bit of funds that would otherwise be used for cards, I had to settle for four packs of 2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond, instead of a full box. Still, despite having to trim down my budget, this experience proves that sometimes you don't have to break the bank to get one of the cards you really want.

Here's a pack-by-pack breakdown of the four:

Pack 1:Johan Franzen, Ryan Johansen, Jimmy Howard, Jacob Markstrom, Marc-Andre Fleury Double Diamond


Pack 2: Ryan Suter, Kris Versteeg, Brandon Saad, David Legwand, Ryan Smyth Double Diamond


Pack 3: Tyler Bozak, Lars Eller, Jake Muzzin, Nicklas Backstrom, Phil Kessel Double Diamond


Chris Kunitz, Jonathan Bernier, Jiri Tlusty, Nathan MacKinnon Lustrous Rookies


While each box of Black Diamond are guaranteed to contain two dual jersey cards, it's their inserts that are really the big draw for this product. Lustrous Rookies are inserted at a rate of 1:240 packs, or one per case, and I managed to pull the big one, with 2013 number one draft pick Nathan MacKinnon. What really makes these cards cool is the window on the left side of the card, which allows for the player's image to be seen from both the front...


and the back of the card.  This method is also used for their Lustrous Stars, Lustrous All-Time Greats, and Hardware Heroes insert sets, all of which can command high dollar on the secondary market if you pull the right player


Insert sets like these just go to show that you don't always have to pull the guaranteed hits to find something amazing.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Autographs, Patches, and a Glove

Not so recently, I picked up a significant lot of autographs, patches, and other memorabilia cards, but just haven't had the time to get them posted. I got some REALLY good cards, for a total price of about $64 shipped, which is pretty impressive, considering some of the pieces I acquired.

Anyway, here's a very quick look at 11 of my newest hockey cards:

2012-13 Dominion Peerless Patches Martin St. Louis 19/40


2011-12 Pinnacle Game Night Autograph Ondrej Pavelev 


2012-13 Limited Autographed Jumbo Jersey Saku Koivu 28/49


2012-13 Dominion Autographed Patch Rookie Parallel Mat Clark 5/73


2012-13 Dominion Autographed Patch Cody Goloubef 3/60


2012-13 Limited Monikers Bobby Ryan 28/99


2012-13 Prime Brett Hull Prime Gloves 24/25


2012-13 Limited Monikers Ryan Miller 66/99


2012-13 Limited Phenoms Chris Kreider 322/499


2013-14 Trilogy Autograph Brad Marchand


2012-13 SPX Lot of 24 (w/Sidney Crosby)


There you have it. I'll be keeping the Crosby, Hull, Miller, and St. Louis, but any of the others are up for trade, so let me know if you are interested.