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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

100-Card Target Hockey Re-Pack

So, for a couple years now, I've been seeing these $5 100-card Jumbo Packs at Target. They usually contain card from random years (but mostly from the last 25) and feature a special drawing point, whether it be cards of hall of famers, rookie cards, or vintage cards. For the longest time, I've mostly seen baseball, with football and basketball making the occasional appearance. Up until this point, though, I never saw hockey, so when I finally came across one at my local Target, I decided to grab one up, just to see what was inside.

Each $5 pack comes with 100 cards, five of which are guaranteed to be rookie cards, and every third pack contains a memorabilia card. Mine didn't, but I did get nine of what I think were rookie cards. I only say this because none of the rookies were together, so I can only assume that they just went with cards that had a "rookie" or "prospect" designation on them.

However, there were five rookies of MUCH bigger stature than those nine, but they weren't designated as such on the card itself. These Bowman cards were from the LOADED 1990-91 rookie class, which gave me rookie cards of Mike Modano, Ed Belfour, Jeremy Roenick, Mark Recchi, and Alexander Mogilny.

And speaking of 1990-91 Bowman, I also pulled FIVE Doug Gilmour cards. I like Gilmour a lot, but no one needs five of these.

Here's some cool cards. They aren't really vintage, because they came around at the beginning of the "Junk Wax Era," but they are from before I collected hockey cards, so they're vintage-ish to me, at least. Here's 1988-89 Topps Stickers of Wayne Gretzky and Cam Neely, as well as a 1987-88 Topps card of Brian Curran.

Here's a few cards of other major NHL stars, including Joe Sakic in the Nordiques uniform and Ron Francis in the green and white Whalers gear.

There were also a couple cards from the higher-end sets of the 1990s, with a Peter Bondra from 1994-95 Flair and a Mike Richter from 1995-96Skybox Emotion.

Lastly, for some reason, I received a basketball checklist from an NBA Hoops set. I'm not sure how this got in, but it was there. Oh well.

Overall, this was a fun little pack to open. You won't get anything major, but as you can see, there are plenty of oddities and curiosities to make it worth your five bucks.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Few More 2013 Gypsy Queen Jersey Cards

Hey, everyone. I know I've been a little bit out of it for the past week ago. I haven't been short of stuff to write about, I've just been a little bit lazy. That's really all there is to it. So, anyway, here's something.

Along with the MONSTER purchase of the redemption for the Ryne Sanberg/Ernie Banks/Billy Williams autographed relic card, I also picked up a few other relic cards from the same seller. All four of these are regular-sized jersey cards, and for $3.54 for the lot, I figured I'd grab them up and see if anyone was interested.

Originally, what brought me to the lot was the Matt Garza. I bought this in the middle of the case break that The Daily Dimwit was hosting, and unbeknownst to me, I also pulled a Garza from that case. Anyway, I have two of these cards now, so this one is up for trade. I also grabbed grey swatches from Michael Bourn and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, plus an AWESOME looking red swatch from Trevor Cahill. I don't care too much about the D-Backs, but their jerseys make for some SWEET looking relic cards.

Anyway, let me know if you guys are interested in any of these.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Big 2013 Gypsy Queen Purchase - Chicago Cubs Triple Auto Relic /10 (Sandberg, Banks, and Williams)

After (kind of) teasing an EPIC purchase I made from 2013 Gypsy Queen, I finally got it in the mail (sort of).

After sacrificing a good portion of my wax budget for the time being, I am now the proud owner of a redemption card good for a triple autographed relic card of Chicago Cubs legends Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, and Ryne Sandberg, numbered to just 10 copies (or less).

A lot of this had to do with the fact that Ryne Sandberg's, autograph is on the card.

When I was younger, my family moved around a lot. My dad worked for a power plant construction company, so naturally, in that line of work, when one job gets finished you get transferred elsewhere, to wherever the next job site is. Needless to say, we never really lived anywhere long enough for me to establish a "home team." Early on, I was a Twins guy, just because my dad was. I started developing my own baseball interests in 1989, when two things fell into place. One, we had WGN, and two, the Cubs were having a pretty good year.

When you're nine years old, and you know very little about the fundamentals of baseball, and the finer points that make one player different from another, your "favorite player" is simply just whoever is considered to be the best player on that team at that time. For me, that player was Ryne Sandberg. He was producing at the plate, and was one of the best fielders in the game, so for me, it was a no-brainer.

Fast forward to now, where I have accumulated a respectable collection of his cards, both from his playing days and present day as a retired player. The one thing I don't have, though, is an autograph of his. There's no real explanation for this. I went after a few of them on Ebay, unsuccessfully a while back, but I suppose that ever since focusing my collection more in a puck-related direction, my Sandberg collection has gone largely ignored.

The other part of it is simply that because I waited so long to get his autograph, I wanted the first one I acquired to be a BIG one.

Mission accomplished.

The only drawback to this is that I only "technically" own this card, as it is a redemption. I'm ok with waiting for it, though. Knowing that although there are only 10 of these, one of them will soon be in my collection, makes me feel pretty good, even if there's a little bit of impatience sprinkled in. Also, most of these triple auto relic cards seem to be redemptions, which is a little surprising, considering these are done with stickers, that they couldn't scrounge up 10 stickers of Sandberg, Banks, and Williams.

I was, however, able to find a different card from this set on Ebay, just to take a look at the layout, and I must say, it's pretty awesome.

The one concern I have is this. Over the years, Topps has used different types of stickers for their autographs, as evidenced by this card. If you look closely, you'll see that George Brett's autograph is done on a silver foil sticker (older), while Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt signed on a clear sticker (newer). I'll admit, I'll be happy with whatever I get, but hopefully, they can keep the stickers consistent with my Cubs card. With as much money as I spent on the redemption, it would make it look thrown together and a little sloppy.

Still, I like with this one how they mixed up then relics, with one guy getting a solid swatch, one guy getting a pinstripe, and one guy getting a bat piece. The variety they placed on this one for the relic pieces helps make up for the inconsistent sticker material.

Still, who cares about these guys? Bring me my Cubs!!!!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

David Savard Rookie Patch Auto from 2011-12 Dominion

Here's yet another card for my 2011-12 Dominion Rookie Autographed Patch Collection: David Savard, numbered 152/199.

Savard was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the fourth round (94th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut during the 2011-12 season, scoring two goals and eight assists in 31 games. This season, however, Savard has only played in three NHL games, going scoreless with a -3 rating.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cheapo Geno Jersey Card from 2010-11 Dominion

I know that most of my Dominion purchases come from the 2011-12 release, but when the right deal comes along, I'll go to the 2010-11 set, as is the case with this great-looking All Decade jersey card, numbered 31/99.

This card cost me a whole $4.69 with free shipping! I couldn't believe it myself when the auction ended, but with a high-end product, that's an INSANE deal for a jersey card of the league's reigning MVP. One of my favorite things about this card, too, is that the swatch matches the sweater worn by Malkin in the photo, which just adds this extra level of coolness to it.

Let's hope I can find some other crazy deals, just like this!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Redemption Replacement Roulette: James Neal Auto Relic!!!

I just received the results of my latest round of Redemption Replacement Roulette, and boy, this was a big one.

The original card came from 2011-12 Dominion. When the product was released, I was looking around for some of the cheaper hits. This was before I started compiling the Rookie Auto Patches, so if I found anything at all with a decent enough price point, I snatched it up.

The redemption I picked up, in this case, was an autographed rookie card of Anaheim Ducks left winger Patrick Maroon for only 5 bucks. As an added bonus, and I didn't realize it until I redeemed the code, but the card was actually a gold parallel, which is numbered to just 25 copies, which I figured would be good for maybe a little bit extra "equal value" when the replacement time came.

Sure enough, the waiting period had passed without a response, so I called Panini up and requested another card. As usual, I requested a card of a player from the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the customer service associate warned me that it was likely he would be unable to replace the card with another from the Dominion set. I was actually happy to hear that, because the likely Penguins replacement would have likely been one of the rookie auto patch cards that I already have.

A week later, I found a manilla envelope from Irving, TX and was ECSTATIC to open it and discover this card:

This card comes from 2012-13 Limited and features a jumbo swatch of James Neal's jersey, along with his autograph, and is serial numbered 10/49. A couple of observations on this transaction. First of all, this has to be my second biggest upgrade, next to the Evgeni Malkin for Kyle Okposo replacement, of course. Second of all, this shows that they are integrating their 2012-13 products into their replacement supply, which is good, because I've got enough Joe Vitale and Simon Despres autos to last me a lifetime.

What I gave up was a high-end rookie card autographed by a guy who went pointless in two NHL games last year before picking up two goals in 11 games this year, for a medium-end autographed jersey card of a guy who picked up 81 points (40 goals, 41 assists) in 80 games last season, and currently is sitting at 10th in the league with 18 goals.

I'd call this one another victory.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

2013 Gypsy Queen Value Pack Break

Along with the blaster box I picked up of 2013 Gypsy Queen last week, I also grabbed me a "Value Pack" rack pack of the cards. Each Value Pack contains three six-card retail packs, plus a fourth pack, which contains three white framed parallels.

Here's a quick look at what my pack got me

My white framed parallels were of Brooks Robinson, Andy Pettitte, and Andrew McCutchen

I also got 1 SP, of Mike Trout, along with Johan Santana No-Hitters, Jason Heyward Sliding Stars, and Miguel Montero Collisions at the Plate

My three minis were of Tim Lincecum, Paul O'Neill, and Brandon Belt

Well, there ya go. Nothing too spectacular, but at $9.47, it's worth taking a shot at.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

More Dominion Autographed Patch Cards

Okay, I'll admit. I have been going a little Dominion crazy the last couple of weeks. But with the product having been out for a while, prices are starting to drop on a lot of the Rookie autographed patch cards. What's a hockey collector supposed to do?

These two cards came from the seller, and at $30 shipped for the pair, I'd say I made out pretty well.

Adam Larsson Peerless Patches 3/40

Larsson was selected by the New Jersey Devils with the fourth overall pick of the 2011 NHL entry draft. After two seasons in the Swedish Junior League (J20) and three years in the Swedish Elite League, he was ready to start right away in the NHL. He played in 65 games with the Devils during the 2011-12 season, scoring two goals and 16 assists. Adam's father, Robert, was actually drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round of the 1988 draft, but never made the jump to North American Hockey.

Ben Scrivens Rookie Autographed Patch 43/199

This one was the more expensive of the two, but considering his role, and where he plays, I was surprised it went for so little. Anyway, Scrivens went undrafted, but signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 28, 2010, and was called up during the 2011-12 season, where he totaled a 4-5 record in 12 appearances, with a .313 goals against average and a .902 save percentage. He has been with the Leafs for the 2012-13 season as James Reimer's permanent backup, and has helped get the Leafs into some serious playoff contention.

Erik Condra Rookie Patch Auto from 2011-12 Dominion

Hey, look! More Dominion!

This one comes in the form of a Erik Condra autographed patch card, numbered 110/199.

Condra was a seventh round (211th overall) draft pick by the Ottawa Senators in 2006. He split time between Ottawa and the AHL's Binghampton Senators in 2010-11, but during the 2011-12 campaign, he was a full-time NHLer. He played in 81 games for Ottawa, scoring 8 goals and 17 assists, and even picked up a goal during the playoffs. This season, Condra has appeared in 41 games, picking up three goals and eight assists.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Roman Horak Rookie Patch Auto from 2011-12 Dominion

I added one more card to my collection of autographed patch rookies from 2011-12 Dominion with this Roman Horak numbered 180/19.

Horak was drafted by the New York Rangers in the fifth round (127th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and was traded with two draft picks to the Calgary Flames for Tim Erixon and a fifth round pick. Erixon would later on be part of the deal that sent Rick Nash to the Rangers. Horak made his NHL debut with the Flames in the 2011-12 season, and spent most of the year with the pro club, getting three goals and eight assists in 63 games. He has spent most of this season, however, with the Abbotsford Heat, but is currently with the Flames, where he has scored one goal and three assists in 12 games.

Friday, April 12, 2013

2013 Gypsy Queen Box Break

After making a HUGE single-card purchase on 2013 Gypsy Queen (I'll post on that when it gets here), I didn't think I'd be able to get my hands on a hobby box of the product. I opened up three from 2012, with some fantastic results, and was hoping to do the same, but figured I'd have to play the waiting game. Luckily for me, I somehow got paid for 16 hours of holiday pay (Easter & Good Friday, I'm guessing) so I had a few extra dollars in my pocket.

Anyway, off to my LCS to pick up some Gypsy Queen!

I shot a video of the box being busted, but as always, if you don't feel like watching it, I've scanned all the good stuff.

Here's a quick look at the hits, parallels, and inserts that I pulled from my box.

Hits: Brett Jackson Autograph, Yasmani Grandal Autograph, Andre Ethier Relic, Jake Peavy Mini Framed Mini Relic

Parallels: Andre Ethier Sepia Mini 25/50, Daniel Murphy Green Mini 42/99, Matt Cain Black Mini 72/199, Vance Worley Blue Paper Frame 458/499

 SPs: Ryan Braun, Elvis Andrus, Cliff Lee, Gio Gonzalez, Jim Bunning, Bob Lemon

I'm not going to list the name of every mini I got, but if you want to take a look, the group of 10 is from the box topper and the group of 21 were pulled from packs.

Collisions at the Plate: Brian McCann, Gary Carter, Salvador Perez

Dealing Aces: Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Strasburg, Chris Sale

Glove Stories: Derek Jeter, Manny Machado, Jayson Werth, Gregor Blanco

No-Hitters: Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, Jim Abbott, Matt Cain, Philip Humber, Homer Bailey

Sliding Stars: Ozzie Smith, Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward, Austin Jackson

There you have it. I'm trying to build the set, so if anyone wants to help me out, anything except for the Brett Jackson is up for trade, so just let me know.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2013 Gypsy Queen Case Break Loot from The Daily Dimwit

With 2013 Gypsy Queen releasing, Sam at The Daily Dimwit, who is a big Gypsy Queen fan himself, put together a case break of the product. I'm a Cubs fan, and one thing I know about Sam is that he has quite a knack for pulling Cubs hits, so before anyone else had the chance, I had to claim my boys.

Each case contained 10 boxes, and each box "should" contain two autographs and two relics. There are also photo variations, mini autos, cards embedded with coins, and lots of other crazy ideas that Topps came up with.

Anyway, Sam did not disappoint, as the Cubs were responsible for 3 out of the 39 hits (one box was short), including the big hit for me, a redemption for an autographed card of Hall-of-Famer Billy Williams.

If I remember right, this was the first hit of the break, kicking things off in a BIG way. Williams was the 1961 Rookie of the Year, and elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, after playing on a legendary Cubs roster with names like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Ferguson Jenkins. His number 26 was retired by the Cubs in 1987.

However, the card is no longer mine. Before the break even finished, a friend of Sam's got in contact with me via Twitter, inquiring about the card. Now, my policy is that nothing in my collection is off-limits, as long as the right deal comes along. He offered me another Billy Williams auto in exchange for this one, and I took the deal. I'll be sure to post that one when it gets here.

And yeah, I'll also be purchasing another Billy Williams redemption off of Ebay, because I still really want this card.

My other two hits were of the same guy, Matt Garza, but luckily the cards were different. I got a regular sized relic and a mini-framed relic, both with different colors of fabric. I never understood why Topps does both of these with Gypsy Queen, but whatever.

I must say, I like when card companies serial number their parallels, as long as those numbers were low. Previously, their sepia minis were the only ones numbered, with green and black minis defined solely by their per-box ratio. This year, however, they numbered their green minis to 99 and their black minis to 199. Like the hits, I was lucky enough to pull three such cards: Anthony Rizzo sepia 33/50, Bruce Sutter green 23/99, and Andre Dawson black 82/199.

There were also plenty of minis, including box-topper photo variations of Starlin Castro and Ernie Banks. I do like how they scrapped the different backs this year. I thought they were unnecessary, and like it so much better when they just change the color on the front instead. It just makes it easier to determine what's what.

I also got a full team set of the Cubs. There are a total of 13 cards, with 12 base cards and one SP of Bruce Sutter. With Sam being an Astros fan, he was lamenting how there is literally only ONE card from his hometown team in the set. I don't know if he counted, but it would piss him off to no end to know that there are THIRTEEN Cubs to his ONE Astro.

Lastly, there were also some inserts. In order to prevent people from getting ten of the same card, he dispersed the duplicates evenly among the participants. As I was putting this together, I realized that there were no Cubs inserts, which seemed a little weird. Thirteen base cards and no inserts?

Sure enough, that's the case. Still, Topps made up for it with their inclusion in the hits. They have autographs of Williams, Rizzo, and Brett Jackson, relics of Garza, Castro, and Fred McGriff (who is not included in the base set), and a unbelievable triple auto relic card of Banks, Williams, and Ryne Sandberg. But no regular insert cards.

I also got a total of 26 other base cards that were shared from other people's duplicates.

I love doing case breaks when I am able to, simply because there's a pretty good chance of you walking away with something. In this case, luckily enough, I came away with a pretty impressive pile of Cubs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Seven-Card Dominion Purchase From Ebay

While looking for some additions for my 2011-12 Panini Dominion Autographed Patch Rookies collection, I checked on the dreaded "see other items" link on one of the cards I was looking at. One rookie turned into seven cards and more money that I planned on spending, but I was able to add quite a few really cool cards to the collection.

Anyway, here's the loot.

Joe Nieuwendyk Autographed Patch 13/60

My hockey card history with Nieuwendyk dates back all the way to 1990-91 Pro Set. Not only is that set known for actually devaluing the cardboard it was printed on, but it was also known for being LITTERED with error cards right when that craze was happening. Nieuwendyk had one or the toughest to find errors in the set that year with (surprise!) a misspelled name. He was later traded to my (then) home-state Dallas Stars and won a cup for the team in 1999, so even though I don't care at all about the New Jersey Devils, I felt compelled to pick up this fantastic-looking card of his.

Zack Kassian, Rookie Auto Patch 3/99, Peerless Patches 17/40

Of course, I needed the rookie cards, but I was able to pick up the Peerless Patches card as well, and at a good enough price that I'll probably just end up flipping it to try and make more money back. Anyway, both of Kassian's cards have a Buffalo Sabres jersey, along with a Vancouver Canucks photo, due to the trade that brought him to Vancouver for Cody Hodgson. He was a first round pick (13th overall) in 2009 for Buffalo, and was brought up to the team in 2011. Between the two teams, he played in 44 games during the 2011-12 season, totaling four goals and six assists. He has played in 30 games this season, with six goals and three assists.

Justin Faulk Rookie Auto Patch 109/199, Tomas Vincour Rookie Auto Patch 100/199

Faulk was a second round (37th overall) pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, and made his NHL debut suring the 2011-12 season. This year, he has remained with the Hurricanes, scoring three goals and seven assists in 28 games. He went out with a sprained MCL on March 19th, but was reactivated from the IR this past Tuesday.

Vincour was a fifth round (129th overall) pick in the 2009 draft by the Stars. 2012-13 is actually his third NHL season, and he had previously been splitting time between Dallas and their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars. After posting two goals and one assists in 15 games this season, Vincour was traded to the Colorado Avalanche at this year's trade deadline for defenseman Cameron Gaunce.

 Colten Teubert Rookie Auto 68/199, Joe Finley Rookie Auto 190/199

 Teubert was a first round (13th overall) pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, adn was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in a deal that brought Dustin Penner to L.A. He notched one assist in 24 games with the Oilers during the 2011-12 season, but has yet to be called up this year.

Finley was selected in the first round (27th overall) by the Washington Capitals in the 2005 draft, but made the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres in 2011-12, but did not register a point in five games with the pro club. Right before the 2012-13 was set to begin, he was claimed off of waivers by the New York Islanders, where he has gotten one assist in 16 games.

Well, that's it for that lot. There are quite a few great additions to the collection and a couple for the trade bait folder, but there's still some more Dominion to come, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

2013 Gypsy Queen Blaster Break

After seeing all of this Gypsy Queen being opened, I decided I had to jump in for myself. Now, usually, I would do so by purchasing 2 or 3 boxes and trying to build the rest of the set through trades. This year is different, mostly because I decided to pool that money to make a MONSTER purchase of a single card from the set instead. (More on that in a week or two when I finally get that purchase in hand).

Still, I wanted to at least open some of the product, so I picked up a blaster from my local Wal-Mart.

I did pretty well, with the hit of the blaster EASILY being a Cal Ripken Jr. sepia mini, numbered 11/50. I like Ripken quite a lot, but am not a huge collector of his. Luckily for me, his cards fetch quite a premium on the secondary market, so of course, I immediately threw the card up on Ebay.

I also got two SPs of Cliff Lee and Gio Gonzalez, along with Ryan Braun Sliding Stars and Salvador Perez Collisions at the Plate

My other inserts were Bryce Harper Glove Stories, Dealing Aces of Stephen Strasburg and Roy Halladay, and No-Hitters of Jered Weaver and Kevin Millwood.

Apart from the Ripken, I also got minis of Josh Hamilton, Rod Carew, John Smoltz, Jim Rice, Elvis Andrus, Jason Motte, and Darin Ruf

Lastly, I only got 1 Cub from the blaster, but I got just the one I wanted with Ryne Sandberg.

I've always liked Gypsy Queen, and this year is no different. Maybe I'll pick up a hobby box or two down the line, but for now, I'll just enjoy making back my money with that Ripken mini.

Monday, April 8, 2013

My Newest Card of the Newest Penguin - Brenden Morrow

With the trade deadline looming a couple of weeks ago, the Penguins made a big splash, trading for Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray, and Jussi Jokinen. Of course, this immediately caused me to scramble through my hockey card collection, looking for cool cards of any of these guys, and in Morrow's case, it also led to a purchase.

Morrow's cards can be found dirt cheap on Ebay, such as this autographed prime jersey card from 2011-12 Panini Tianium. It is numbered 17/25, and was purchased for just $15 shipped, which for me, was a steal. His new home has him as a left wing on a line with Jokinen at center and Pascal Dupuis on right wing, and he has so far picked up one assist in six games. The former Stars captain has been brought in purely as a rental player for the rest of this season, and with the Penguins sitting at first place in the East, there's a pretty good chance for him to win his first Stanley Cup.