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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.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Trade with Bob Walk the Plank

With Matt from Bob Walk the Plank recently becoming an active blogger (he started the blog in Jan. of this year), I now have somewhere to send all those pesky Pittsburgh Pirates cards I always seem to pull! I did just that recently, completing a trade that netted me the following cards:

2011 Limited Materials Hermon Killebrew 22/199
Not only does this card go into my Baseball HOF Relic Project, but it's a jersey card of a player I'd hear about constantly as a kid from my Twins-fan dad. In addition to that, he also had one of the best bald heads in the history of MLB.


2011 Limited Materials Curt Flood 140/249
Not a hall-of-famer, but gets a major amount of recognition for fighting baseball's reserve clause, which at the time held a player to a specific team for their entire career, unless that team decided to part ways. Flood fought the system, and his legal battle with MLB led to players being able to become free agents and sign with a new team when their contract had expired. 


2011 Limited Greats David Justice Auto 182/299
Justice, on this card, is featured as a member of the Oakland Athletics, but to me,he'll always be a Brave. I'm not a fan of either team, so it doesn't really matter, but I wanted this card, because of just how big of a deal Justice was back when I began collecting. 


2005 Topps Derrek Lee All-Star Stitches Jersey
This one goes into my Chicago Cubs Collection, and features an All-Star Game Warm-Up jersey of Derrek Lee from the 2005 All-Star game in Detroit.  2005 ended up being Lee's best season in his 15-year career, becoming the NL batting champ with a .335 BA, as well has getting 199 hits and 46 home runs.


2013 Gypsy Queen Fred McGriff Mini Jersey
McGriff was only in Chicago for a season and a half, so if I can pick up a card of his as a Cub, I'm jumping at the chance.


2012 Gypsy Queen Ryne Sandberg Base
Lastly, we have a card to add to my Ryne Sandberg Collection. He was my favorite player growing up and his presence in baseball products even after his retirement allows me to continue to build my collection.


Thanks for the trade, Matt! I'll be sure to set aside any more Pirates card I pull when I buy more baseball. I tend to find quite a few.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2011-12 Contenders Jarome Iginla NHL Ink Auto

It took me a while to acquire one, but I finally got my hands on a Jarome Iginla autographed card. This one comes from 2011-12 Contenders' NHL Ink insert set and features an on-card autograph.


Iginla's autographs have eluded me for quite some time, and I'm not sure exactly why, because they are really cheap. I guess I was waiting for the right card at the right price, and when I'd find one, I'd end up missing the end of the auction. The odds were finally in my favor, as I was able to pick up this beaut for just $3.36 + shipping. Seriously.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

2005-06 Fleer Ultra Sidney Crosby Scoring Kings Jersey

I always love picking up a new Sidney Crosby card to add to my collection, especially when it's a rookie-year jersey card. This one comes from 2005-06 Fleer Ultra's Scoring Kings insert set and features a white jersey swatch inside of a die-cut crown.


Even though it does come from his rookie year, the card was still relatively affordable. The autographed cards from that year, on the other hand, fetch some MAJOR money, and most fall outside even my budget. I guess a signature is worth a whole lot more than an "event used" jersey swatch,

Friday, March 28, 2014

Case Break Plug: 2013-14 Contenders at A Cardboard Problem

Hey everyone, just wanted to give a quick plug here. The gals over at A Cardboard Problem are guaging interest on a case break of Panini's upcoming 2013-14 Contenders Hockey. Contenders is an autograph-heavy product, as each hobby box promises at least four autographed cards. With a 14-box case, we have a guaranteed 56 autographs, so it's very unlikely that any team will go away empty-handed. 
They have each team priced at $48, which is a pretty decent price, considering just how much will be opened. There's also quite a few teams available, too. At the time I'm writing this, only the Penguins (me), Rangers, Oilers, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, and Avalanche are taken, so stop by and claim your teams! (HERE is the link)

Just as a teaser of some of the great cards available, here's a look at a few that Panini released on their blog The Knight's Lance:







Thursday, March 27, 2014

Panini Redemption Redeemed: 2013-14 Select Andrew Shaw Youth Explosion

Four months after pulling this redemption from an early box of 2013-14 Panini Select, I finally have this Andrew Shaw autograph in my hands. It comes from the Youth Explosion insert set, which focuses on the game's up-and-coming players and has a sticker autograph affixed to the card surface.


Shaw is mostly known as the guy with the stitched-up face in the 2013 Stanley Cup finals. He was sliced open with an opponent's stick in the first period of Game 6 and returned, with stitches, in the second. When he hoisted the Cup at the end of the game, his wound was still bleeding, and it was alter revealed that he also played in the finals with a broken rib. During the off-season, he auctioned off those stitches, and raised $6,500, which was donated to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.


Now THAT'S the face of a hockey player!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2011-12 Prime Sidney Crosby Prime Colors 21/22

So, I've had this card for a few weeks now, but for some reason, despite scanning it in and starting a post on it, I never actually completed it to show off just how amazing this card is.


What we have here is a Prime Colors Patch of Sidney Crosby from 2011-12 Panini Prime, serial numbered 21/22. With Prime, Panini wanted to go above and beyond what any other memorabilia-based product ever had done before, and one of the major ways they did that is through the Prime Colors insert set. What they did essentially, was take the logo off of the front of just one sweater, cut it up, and then include those pieces into the cards. So, if the serial-numbering seems like a random number, it's simply because that's how many pieces it takes to create one patch. So basically, if you were to compile all 22 Sidney Crosby Prime Colors cards, you could piece them all together to form the Pittsburgh Penguins logo from the front of his home sweater. Very cool. This one comes from the hockey stick that the penguin is holding, and despite there being more colorful versions of this card out there, the simplicity of this patch kept the price down a little bit, which worked out well for me. At this point, I just wanted to get my hands on any version of this card. I can work on getting a more colorful variation of it later.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3 Cards for the Collection from Ebay

Here's a quick look at three new cards I added to my hockey collection:

2010-11 The Cup Martin St. Louis Signature Patches 32/75
I felt the need to pick up this card after selling the Crown Royale Silhouettes card that I pulled from 2012-13 Rookie Anthology. St. Louis is always on the list of the top scorers in the NHL, winning the Art Ross Trophy twice, the Hart Trophy once, and a Stanley Cup in 2004, yet his cards are dirt cheap. This autographed patch card from The Cup was just $15.49, which is INSANE, considering how good of a player he is. He's kind of like this generation's hobby equivalent of Mike Bossy. Statistically one of the best players in the world, but his stuff can be had for next to nothing.


2013-14 Trilogy Bill Ranford Ice Scripts Autograph
I got this card primarily because I wanted something good from Ice Scripts this year. I purchased a box of 2013-14 Trilogy when it was released in the fall, and pulled a faded Bill Barber Ice Scripts auto. I sent it in to UD to get it replaced, due to a low-quality signature. I was sent in return a triple jersey card of the three goaltenders for the 2010 USA Olympic team, which was cool, but I was still out one Ice Scripts auto. I like the insert set, so I wanted to at least have one in my possession, but I wanted to get a good quality card at a great price. Luckily, I found this Bill Ranford for just a bit over $10. The card looks amazing, and more importantly, the signature looks solid and clean, so I finally got that Bill Barber replaced. Besides, who needs a stinkin' Flyer anyway?


2012-13 Rookie Anthology Jason Zucker Rookie Treasures 270/699
This card is interesting. Of course, I like this card, because its a Minnesota Wild card of one of the bigger Minnesota Wild prospects that I can add to my Minnesota Wild Collection, but also, it just looks really cool. Yeah, you get the typical green jersey swatch, but with this one, the interesting thing is the tan-colored swatch. The texturing makes it something different from the typical jersey swatch, which makes me think it comes from either one of the thicker pieces of piping on the jersey, or maybe from the collar. I really have no idea, but at the very least, it looks cool, and I'm happy to add it to my Minnesota Wild Collection.


It may seem like a random three set of cards, but for some reason, it just fits right in with what I am collecting.

Monday, March 24, 2014

2012-13 The Cup Sidney Crosby Cup Foundations Quad Jersey /25

After amassing an ever-growing Sidney Crosby Collection that has reached over 300 individual cards, I finally got my hands on one from Upper Deck The Cup. 


This one comes from 2012-13's Cup Foundations insert set and is numbered 14/25. It features four jersey swatches, and there are also variations of it that will have patch pieces and/or and autograph, with of course, lower serial numbering. I like the look of this card quite a lot. It has a dark tone overall, but the player image in the white uniform stands out really well with the contrast. They also occupy the white space where the autograph is in other variations with a faded team logo, which is much more visible in person. My only issue is that with four swatches, each of them are the same color. Of course, I knew this when I bought it, so I'm ok enough with it, but for $400+ for a tin of 5 or 6 cards, it would be nice to have something a little extra for that money. UD could, at least for this product, take the time to ensure that box purchasers are getting a little something extra for their money.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fairfield Sports Re-Pack: Hockey Memorabilia

Like the Fairfield re-pack box I posted yesterday, this one has a theme. While yesterday's was of a specific team, this one is a bit more generic, going with a hockey theme, and promising three hockey packs and one memorabilia card.


My three packs were 2011-12 Pinnacle, 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee, and 2008-09 Victory. 


Out of those three packs, my top card from each one was a Ty Conklin Winter Classic insert from O-Pee-Chee, a Ryan Miller/Tyler Ennis Foundation Tandems East insert from Pinnacle, and a Mike Iggulden rookie card from Victory.


Lastly, my promised memorabilia card was a 2008-09 Upper Deck Ice Ilya Zubov Fresh Threads dual jersey card. Zubov played 10 games during the 2008-09 season, but after failing to make the pro team the following season, he left the Senators, and has been playing in Russia ever since.


Nothing too exciting, but that's usually what can be expected to find from these things. Still, they can be fun to open, and having a guaranteed hit for just $10 doesn't hurt either.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fairfield Sports Re-Pack: Minnesota Fan Box

While perusing the card aisle at my local Target a while back, I came across one of the infamous Fairfield re-packs. As far as I can tell, the company just puts retail packs together and resells them at an affordable price, but every now and then, they come across some interesting themes.

Being in Minnesota, naturally, I was able to find a "Minnesota Fan Box." This collection combines three unopened football card packs along with a guaranteed memorabilia or autographed card of a Minnesota Vikings player.


My three packs were 2012 Strata, 2012 Prime, and 2008 Gridiron Gear. I'm pretty sure all three are retail packs.


There really wasn't a whole lot of excitement out of the packs. The top cards out of each of the packs were an Andre Johnson base card from Strata, a David Wilson blue parallel from Prime, and an Aaron Rodgers base card from Gridiron Gear.


My guaranteed hit, which was packaged separately and not as part of the packs, was a 2006 Rookies & Stars Tarvaris Jackson Freshman Orientation jersey card, numbered 93/125. Jackson had a good couple of years with Minnesota, but wasn't able to hold on to his starting job. He did, however, end up in Seattle this year, and became the first backup quarterback in 13 years to play in the Superbowl, so things worked out pretty well in the end.


Most of these are pretty anticlimactic, I think, especially when you consider that all of these hits are purchased separately and inserted in the box. I'd imagine you'll find mostly $1 relics & autos, but maybe there are a few good ones in there somewhere.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Redemption Replacement Roulette: 2011-12 Certified Simon Despres Rookie Auto/Jersey

Well, it was bound to happen at some point, but with as many redemption replacements as I have done with Panini, I finally have my first repeater.

The card I replaced was a Jeremy Welsh Phenoms autograph from 2012-13 Limited. With Limited being a mid-season release, but later-released cards of Welsh being included in Prime and Dominion, I figured I wasn't going to see it any time soo, so I asked for another.

Here's what Panini sent in return:


This card is an autographed jersey card of Simon Despres from 2011-12 Certified, numbered 210/299. I first got this card back in July of 2013, as a replacement for two redemptions. These cards serve as the base rookie cards for the set and feature one large piece of fabric inside of a die-cut "ROOKIE." As I said, I already own this card, so if anyone is interested, it is up for trade, so just let me know.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Topps Redemption Redeemed: 2013 Tier One Brian McCann Copper Auto /25

I don't mind playing the Redemption Replacement Game with Panini or Upper Deck, because I've experienced, and read about, a number of successes when it comes to trading in those long-standing, unfulfilled cards. Topps, however, is a different story.  I have yet to read of a single success when it comes to redemption replacement. Usually, it goes one of two ways. Either you'll get a card from a fictional sticker autograph set that was produced just to fill redemptions, or you'll get some scrub auto from a Bowman prospect set.

Luckily, my last remaining redemption card came in the mail without me having to roll those loaded dice.


This is an autographed card of Brian McCann from 2013 Topps Tier One. It comes from the Crowd-Pleaser Autographs insert set, and is a copper parallel, numbered 19/25. The base version of these autographed cards are numbered to /299, and are on a white background and signed in blue ink, which actually looks pretty cool in and of itself. The parallels, however, get really cool. Each of the parallels has a black background, which really makes the player's image stand out. The cards are super rare, too, with different colored ink used depending on the rarity, with copper (red) numbered to 25, silver numbered to 10 and gold numbered to 1.

If anyone is interested in this card make me an offer. I have no problem trading it, but then again, if the right offer doesn't come along I'm perfectly happy keeping it. This is a pretty rare card of a good player, that looks amazing, and has a really cool-looking signature to it. I'm just glad Topps was able to come through with this one.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2013-14 Crown Royale Box Break

One of the more popular Panini hockey products makes its return as Crown Royale gets its first full release in 2 years. The product was one of the ones cut last season, as lockout based restrictions forced card companies to scale things back. 2013-14 brings things back to a full release, with hobby boxes containing just four packs of five cards, each pack contains one autograph or jersey card, with one of those guaranteed to be an autograph. Of course, each product has their big drawing point, and with Crown Royale, it is their Silhouette cards. After watching a few on-line breaks, each one has contained one Silhouette card, but I'm not sure if that's an "official" collation, or if it's just coincidental.

Anyway, here's a video of my box, with scans to follow:


I've said it before, but I think that Crown Royale is the one brand that can basically put out the same-looking product every year, and people will still eat it up. Now, I'm not saying that as an insult, it's actually a compliment. What that is a tribute to, is finding something interesting and different, sticking to it, and being careful not to let those elements bleed into your other sets. Either that, or maybe people just like the idea of a die-cut base set.


Apart from the base cards, I did pull one Rookie Royalty card of Drew LeBlanc, numbered 470/499. These cards are modeled directly after their base counterparts, but feature a gold foil on the crown, instead of silver. The interesting thing about these, though, is the set numbering. Cards 1-100 are base, cards 101-200 are Rookie Silhouettes, cards 201-215 are Rookie Royalty, and cards 216-240 are Rookie Royalty Signatures. These 15 cards are the only non-autographed rookie cards in the set.


Sovreign Sigs seems to be Crown Royale's "sticker dump," insert set. There are some stars, but the majority of players in this insert set are players who were rookies the past year or two and may or may not have made their permanent mark with an NHL team. That being said, if I was going to pull one, this Riley Sheahan was a pretty good one to pull. After playing in just one game each of the previous two seasons, Sheahan has suited up for the Detroit Red Wings in 26 games this season, and has been quite productive, scoring five goals and ten assists. Let's hope the 2010 first-round draft pick can keep it going.


What I really like about Crown Royale is that they really put a lot of bright, bold, colorful designs in their insert sets, as seen in this Mythology Materials card of Doug Gilmour. The set, using "Mythology" as a reference to the past, features retired players, most of whom are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Gilmour was inducted in 2011, allowing me to add this card to my Hockey HOF Relic Project.


I'm always happy to pull a Seth Jones card, especially when it looks as great as this Coat of Arms prime jersey card, numbered 41/50. Jones was one of the most highly-touted prospects going into the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and was projected to go as high as #1. After his home-team Colorado Avalanche selected Nathan MacKinnon, Jones fell to #4, behind Aleksander Barkov (Florida) and Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay). While Jones was drafted from the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, he spent two years with the USHL's USA National Development Program, but that was just before I moved up to Fargo and started attending Fargo Force games on a regular basis.


Lastly, I got a Silhouette! This one is of Dallas Stars rookie Alex Chiasson and is the prime jersey version, numbered 1/99. Getting any of these cards in hand will immediately let you know why it is such a draw for the Crown Royale product line. Unlike most other Crown Royale inserts, they actually hold back a little bit on the design of these cards, allowing the necessary elements to stand out. For one, there is plenty of white space on the bottom to give the player plenty of rook for a signature, and they place the serial number right next to it, which allows it to be clearly visible. This year, they took the player's image away from the center of the swatch window and moved it to the right side of the card. This allows not only for them to place a larger player image on the card, but also to give a much wider open space for the different colors of the jersey.


The four packs per box, with four base cards per pack design isn't great for set-builders, but man, Crown Royale is a fantastic product to open. From top to bottom, base, inserts, and hits ALL look amazing, and it's one of the more fun box breaks you'll get out of hockey. If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, pick a box up. You're sure to find something you'll enjoy out of it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Henry Boucha Autographed Puck and Photograph

At Sunday's Fargo Force game, there was a special appearance by former NHL-er Henry Boucha, who was selling copies of his autobiography, as well as signing autographs for the fans. Of course, being the collector that I am, I had to get something signed, and brought along a Minnesota North Stars puck.


While I wasn't necessarily interested in the book, I still was able to send some cash his way by purchasing this photograph of him with the Minnesota North Stars, which he signed and personalized to me.


Considered by many to be one of the greatest high school hockey players in Minnesota's history, Boucha gained national recognition as a member of Team USA at the 1972 Winter Olympics. He scored 2 goals and 4 assists in 6 games, and was drafted 16th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1971 NHL Draft, and made his NHL debut after the '72 Olympics were over, playing 16 games at the end of the 1971-72 season. He would eventually play six seasons in the NHL with the Red Wings, Minnesota North Stars, Kansas City Scouts, and Colorado Rockies, but an eye injury forced him to end his career early in 1976.

A full-blooded Ojibwe, Boucha hails from Warroad, MN, a small town known for its ability to churn out Olympic hockey players. In addition to the Silver-Medal-winning Boucha, there's also Gordon Christian (Silver, 1956), Bill Christian (Gold, 1960), Roger Christian (Gold, 1960), Dave Christian (Gold, 1980), Gisele "Gigi" Marvin (Women's Silver, 2010 & 2014), and T.J. Oshie (2014). Boucha, as well as Dave, Bill, and Roger Christian, are all members of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

 We don't usually get a lot of autograph opportunities up here in the Fargo/Moorhead area, but when we do, it's nice to have that opportunity with somebody so successful and highly regarded in his sport.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Teemu Kivihalme Autographed Puck

After having to spend a good portion of the last couple of Fargo Force hockey games trying to wrangle in a five-year-old and two-year-old, we finally wised up and got a sitter for the game that took place yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my girls, but watching a hockey game is a whole different experience when you're able to, you know, actually watch the game. Unfortunately at this game, after starting off with a 2-1 lead, the Force let three unanswered goals in on the way to a 4-2 loss. Despite yet another loss, my wife & I had a fun time, as we always do at Force games.

After each home game, one player featured as that game's "Player Spotlight," is made available to sign autographs and meet the fans. This game's featured player was defenseman Teemu Kivihalme.


He is, I think, the only player on the Force with NHL ties, as he was drafted in the fifth round (140th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators. Instead of trying to make the jump directly into pro hockey, Kivihalme will go the college route, as he has committed to play for Colorado College. So far this season, Kivihalme has notched 2 goals and 9 assists in 40 games. With such a tough season this year, the stats for all players are lower than they usually are, but with an NHL team securing his rights and a college career ahead of him, Kivihalme still has plenty of time to develop into a great hockey player.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

2012-13 The Cup James Neal Cup Foundations Quad Patch 3/10

Like the Pavel Bure card from 2012-13 The Cup, the James Neal quad patch card I pulled also soon departed my possession when we needed some extra money for plane tickets this past winter. It was a great card, but sacrifices needed to be made, and it was one of the first cards to go, but it was still a card that I missed. Luckily for me, despite the rarity of it, I was recently able to get my hands on another copy of the same card.


This one is numbered 3/10 and comes from the Cup Foundations insert set, and features four patch pieces of his Dallas Stars jersey, who he last played for in 2010-11. I absolutely love this card, but the only thing that would make it better would be that bottom left swatch. With so many colors and seams in the other three, that one just seems out of place. Not only that, but I sold my original card for around $45, and purchased this one for $30, which tells me that either I had good timing, or something like a single-colored patch instead of a multi-colored one dropped the price of the card by 33%. That's a great deal if you're a buyer, but as a seller, it's a bit discouraging when a card you have has an automatic value reduction, just because the card company couldn't take the time to make sure a card is done in a proper way. Let's hope that this issue is addressed as part of the "added value" we will supposedly get with an exclusive hockey card licensee. Let's get on this, Upper Deck!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

2013-14 SPX Crosby Winning Materials Dual Jersey Card

One of my newest Sidney Crosby cards comes from one of Upper Deck's newest releases: 2013-14 SPX. This one is a dual jersey card from their base memorabilia insert set, Winning Materials.


Each of the Winning Materials cards features two swatches of fabric, with a variation numbered to 15 that features a patch piece and a stick piece. This is the un-numbered version, but it still looks really cool. While Upper Deck is notorious for same-colored swatches on multi-swatch cards, they managed to give me two different colors here, with both being the team colors, black and gold.

Friday, March 14, 2014

2010-11 Artifacts Sidney Crosby/Alex Ovechkin Tundra Tandems Patch 5/40

Now, here's a fantastic card. I was lucky enough to add this penomenal-looking card to my collection: a 2010-11 Artifacts Tundra Tandems Dual patch card of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, numbered 5/40.


If you can't tell already, I really love this card. For one, you get arguably the best two players in the world, who will be forever linked throughout their careers, and still seem to be in competition for that title. You have Ovechkin with three Hart Trophies, three Art Ross Trophies, and one Rocket Richard trophy, but hasn't come anywhere near the Stanley Cup, and you have Crosby with just one Hart and one Art Ross, but two Olympic Gold Medals and one Stanley Cup. Apart from just how great of players each of them are, this card is really cool because of the great patch pieces included. You get multiple colors on each, both I think, coming from the jersey numbers. That's exactly the way a patch should be: multiple colors and seems. Let's knock it off with this single-colored patch stuff that's been way too prevalent in cards, especially from Upper Deck.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2010-11 SP Game Used Edition Sidney Crosby Jersey

While I've been going after some high-end Sidney Crosby cards, filled with autographs, prime jersey pieces, and patches, every now and then it's nice to get something basic. In this case, it is an Authentic Fabrics card of Crosby from 2010-11 Upper Deck SP Game Used Edition.


No serial-numbering, no multi-colored jersey pieces, just a plain black jersey swatch. Of course, the colored swatches are more preferable to their white counterparts, but the other thing to keep in mind is how the color of the swatch fits in with the design of the card itself. And in this case, black is better.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

National Hockey Card Day Canada Pack

As an added bonus to that amazing Evgeni Malkin patch card that I posted on Monday, the seller threw in a pack of National Hockey Card Day Canada cards. This works out great for me, since one, I was working during this year's NHCD and unable to participate, and two, I live in the United States.


Each of these packs contain five cards of the 20-card set, and all of the players featured are either Canadian or playing on a Canadian team. Since the biggest stars on the Pittsburgh Penguins come from the Great White North, this would be the only way for me to get my hands on them, and I certainly did, pulling both a Sidney Crosby and a Mario Lemieux. The other three card were rookies, and I did pretty good on them, too, pulling a Nathan MacKinnon, Nail Yakupov, and Dougie Hamilton.


I always love a good bonus, especially when it results in me adding card to my collections of my two favorite hockey players. Of course, it wouldn't be too difficult to just purchase them on the secondary market, but it's much more fun to pull them from a surprise pack of cards.

Monday, March 10, 2014

2011-12 Panini Prime Evgeni Malkin Captain's Cloth 1/2

So, between the time I got super-excited about my Brooks Orpik Captain's Cloth card, and the time I ended up posting it, I made a purchase for this bad boy:


From 2011-12 Panini Prime, this is an Evgeni Malkin Captain's Cloth card numbered 1/2, featuring the upper half of his alternate captain "A" off of his home jersey. The letter is very well-framed, with only a slight amount of the top being cut off, with the detail of the shoulder seam being visible on the left. In its inaugural set, Panini chose to dispense with a lot of detail and design on the front of the card, making the patch the star. Instead, they saved most of the extras for the back side of the card.


Comparing the two, I must say, I still like the 2012-13 version better. Of course, Malkin carries MUCH more star power than Orpik, but what Panini discovered was that they were still able to put some design, and even a player photo, on the front side without taking much space away from the patch itself. I also like how they kept the slant of the letter with the 2012-13 version, as that's how it actually sits on the sweater.


Now all I have left is to get my hands on a Crosby. Considering how much sellers want for those, though, I'm not sure of my chances. Still, even if I never get one, I am absolutely thrilled to have these two as some of the top items in my Pittsburgh Penguins Collection.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Group Break Loot from Cardboard Collections

After a long absence from blog-hosted group breaks, I signed up for one hosted by Colbey at Cardboard Collections. This break in particular was for two boxes of 2014 Donruss, and of course, I had to claim my Cubbies.

Unfortunately for me, the north side boys were severely lacking here, as I was only able to score four base cards, including duplicates of Starlin Castro.


15 teams were claimed, leaving each participant with an additional randomed team. My second team ended up being the Chicago White Sox, which did better. Not only did I get a card of newly-elected hall-of-famer Frank Thomas, but I did pretty well with the inserts two. I managed to pull Paul Konerko from Hall Worthy, a Chris Sale from Diamond Kings, and an Erik Johnson from The Rookies.



While group breaks are nowhere near as plentiful now in the blog world as they used to be, they are a lot of fun to participate in, and I always jump at the chance whenever I see one. Thanks for keeping the group breaks going, Colbey!