Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ice Ice Baby!!!

There is just something about those little pieces of acetate that just gets me all goo-goo eyed...
I am referring to the annual set put out by our oh so favorite card producing mogul Upper Deck.  The current sets feature base cards produced on a thicker card stock and usually feature the player photo raised on the card.  The rookies are always printed on acetate (plastic) cards and garner some major attention by collectors, especially those looking for those hard to find rooks numbered to 99.

However, the first few years UD produced the cards, they were all printed on the acetate stock.  A trend that continued until the 2003-04 release when they switched to the current iteration.

OK, enough history...I happened upon an auction last week for a near complete box of the 2001-02 Upper Deck Ice release.  It featured 15 out of the 18 packs that come to a I figured lets go for it.  I ended up getting it for $16.95 with $6.95 for shipping...really a small price to pay in my mind in the quest to complete these sets!

It arrived yesterday and I wasted no time at all ripping into the packs.  Each box of 2001-02 Ice cards contained 18 packs with each pack containing 4 cards.  These sets were never loaded down with tons of inserts, just slick base cards as well as jersey, stick, and autographs (on acetate one and all). 

Odds for finding the inserts are stated on the back of the box:

The packs and box featured Pavel Bure on them.  Here is a scan of a pack front and back:

So what did I get you ask...well...plenty of base cards...a sampling of some of the cards follows:

 As for inserts...well as any of you that have purchased loose packs from eBay can attest, you are never quite sure if you are getting packs that have been tampered with or not.  HOWEVER, I can say with some certainty that my worries about tampering on these was quickly abated by ripping my first pack and seeing the following:

Well BOO-YA!!  A hit on the first pack!!  I LOVE these jersey cards!  The use of the acetate to produce the card just fits the whole ice theme so well.  The other cool feature on the card is found on the back where you can see the other side of the jersey swatch...

So I was honestly happy at this point...if the rest of the packs were base, I would have been OK with it given the ratio of 1 jersey per box hit rate...I use the word "if" because three packs later I pulled...

Oh yeah, I have a reservation for a rookie card of a player that debuts in the 2001-02 season...of course the redemption period expired seven years ago...the card itself still must hold some collectible value since it is numbered 1359/1500.  I would have to imagine that this very card is sitting in some UD warehouse waiting to see the light of day, one day hoping to be redeemed and go to a collector who will keep it forever...if it was not for that darn redemption period...I pressed on...the very next pack produced the best pull of the box in the form of UDs first hockey jersey/stick combo card for the aged Mike Modano!!!  WOOHOO!!!  Grade A hit baby!!!

So now, as you might imagine, I was absolutely thrilled with this purchase...a nice looking jersey, and sweet stick/jersey card, a numbered expired redemption card, and a bunch of base in a pear tree!!!!

But wait...what was about ONE more jersey???  Yup, just one more...

Granted it is for Patrick "I flubbed an empty net goal, landed on my @$$ and it ended up costing my team the game" know what I am talking about:

OK, so in review, I defied the odds by getting two jerseys and one jersey/stick combo card as well as nearly completing the base set (I am only missing #7 Amonte, #10 Bourque, #15 Yzerman, & #22 Gaborik)...all in all...not a back buy!!

BTW, if anyone who reads this is looking for a base cards from the set, LMK, as I have a few now!!!


Friday, August 19, 2011

UPDATED - Summertime Flying Blues - Deplane Boss-Deplane!!!! & More Adventures!!!!

Well...made a little progress...we got on the plane, all settled in...and then told we had to deplane as Philly asked the pilot to wait another hour...ho hum...

So from what I understand, this flight goes back and forth between Philly and Richmond all day long.  So now that we have waited so long, the people are now here for the later version of this things are starting to spiral a little out of control at this point...rumors are that might cancel one of the two Philly flights...

Ain't modern air travel fun???


Waiting in the ticket line at about 7:45 pm waiting to speak with a US Air rep, they finally announced that our flight had been cancelled!!!  Not much of a surprise given that other flights in and out of Philly had already been cancelled.

I had been talking with a guy I had met from Tolland Connecticut (Ray, who also happened to be on the same flights as me on Thursday) and we had made tentative plans to rent a car and head up to DC where I have family (and he a brother) and then make our ways home in the morning.  Also in line behind me was a guy from Manchester NH and one from southern Maine where were all also trying to get home.  We had actually joked about the four of us renting a card an as drop people off as we worked our way through New England...

He got to the front of the line explained the circumstances...the girl working the desk (who I did not find to be all that with it earlier in the day) had been dealing with lines of annoyed people for hours, but seemed to be holding up pretty well.  Her partner at the other computer at the desk had a separate phone in each ear and was talking to a person trying to get them home as well.  I have to give them a lot of credit...they were troopers who most certainly went above and beyond the call of duty for sure.

I mentioned to the girl that if she found something for him, she could kill two birds with one stone, since I was headed to the same place.  At the last minute, she found a flight from Charlotte NC to Hartford that was leaving a little after 10:00...but the last shuttle to Charlotte has just finished boarding just across the terminal...she frantically printed the ticket and we bolted to the gate...

Just before the discovery of the new flights, I had asked about retrieving my bag that I had "gate" checked (as opposed to checking it at ticketing) my bag as I was boarding the plane the first time (BTW - this is a very sneaky way to avoid those annoying ASS fees that the airlines have started they don't charge you to check at the gate...the old "Oh...I did not realize it would not fit in the overhead" trick works every time!!!).  As I started to run away, the girls asked about my which I replied loudly and with much excitement..."Keep the damn thing, the suit smells [it could use a dry cleaning], my underwear is old [and yes, the used pair may has smelled as well]...and I don't give a shit!!!!!!!" Which garnering a chuckle from the crowd in line...always looking for a laugh I am...besides, the tag had my name on it and it will makes its way here eventually.

We arrived at the gate and the attendant was frantically trying to open the door (she fumbled the code input twice)...she opened it and we bolted down the Jetway just as the flight attendant was starting to close the door!  WHEW!!!  I was perfectly fine with having to fly several hundred miles south in order to cover the same distance to get home.

Walking down the isles to find a seat, I saw many familiar faces who had all be stranded in Richmond that I talked with through-out the course of our time in limbo...all going to different places like Syracuse, Buffalo, Binghamptom...since their connections in Philly were cancelled and they had found ways home from Charlotte.   I settled into a seat in an exit row and started talking with a few of whom turned out to be headed to Hartford as well.  It seems that she had started her day much earlier in Greensboro NC (which is about halfway between Richmond and Charlotte - Geography Lesson HERE FOLKS!!!!), flown to Richmond and was supposed to be on the same flights as me to Hartford.  Very nice lady named Eve.

Since we were destined for the same place, Ray, Eve and I walked [what seemed miles] to the terminal in which our next flight was departing.  Thankfully, the flight was running only a few minutes late which gave us about an hour to kill...I noted that our terminal had a Phillips Crab House and suggested that take a reprise there while waiting for our flight, as I was famished.

Anyone who is from Maryland (which I am) will tell you that we are famous for a number of things including, but not limited too, crabs!!  For all of you sickos reading this getting a chuckle over the word, since I know that I most certainly would, crabs are a serious business in Maryland, especially along the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland's Eastern Shore (which, while it is in fact the eastern shore of Maryland, last time I checked, it does not have a western shore).  Phillips Crab House is one of the most popular places to eat in Ocean City Maryland, with people traveling hundreds and thousands of miles just to eat there (ok &,_Inc._and_Seafood_Restaurants) due to its outstanding all you can eat seafood buffet that includes, yup you guessed it, crabs!!!  Since we did not have time to enjoy the finest that Phillips had to offer, I went for a basic grilled chicken to which I added plenty of Old Bay seasoning...the Old Bay was just enough to take me back to the shores of OC and Bethany Beach DE from my youth...

Sorry...back to the present...we ate, boarded our final flight of the evening, went up, went down, deplaned, bid each other a final handshake goodbye...and went our separate directions.  An anti-climatic ending to a rather whirlwind two day trip to Richmond...all I can say is that after all of this...I so better get this job!!!

Summertime Flying Blues

I am sure as hell not talking about them boys from St. Louis... I sit again in an airport (Richmond Virginia) playing the waiting game.  My flight to Philly was was supposed to leave at 3:30, it was bumped to 4:36 by the time I got to the game, then our plane arrives at 4:30 and the pilot informs the gate they they have been asked by Philly to wait another now its somewhere around 6:00 we "might" be leaving.  At least my new connecting flight in Philly is not until 8:40 (to Hartford) there is still a pretty good chance that I make that one...maybe...

The trip down here was the pretty much the same song and dance...the 11:30 am flight was already delayed an hour by the time I got to the airport.  So 12:30 turned to 1:15 turned to 2:00 and we were finally off.  Was supposed to get into Richmond at here at 6:00.

At least I have the laptop, a good box, seasons 1 & 2 of The Office, and ok wi-fi.  If only I had a few packs to rip...I would so welcome a chance to satify that little craving..but until thent I will have to let the blog A Pack to be Named Later ( help me out for now.

Could be worse...I could be stuck in Pittsburgh...LOL

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Recent Pack Pick-ups

So I was running late (ok to be honest, the cell alarm went off at 6 am and I decided that I just did not want to get up...a very rare occurance) for work on Thursday last week and just so happened to be driving by my I decided to stop in and see what might be available.  I picked up six packs of 2010-11 Donsuss and one Pinnacle.

Ended up pulling a Cody Almond (I hear he is nuts) Rated Rookie, a Tough Times Tim Hunter and a Nathan Lawson Ice Breakers Rookie as well as the following:

and...wait for it...

That is a nice thick piece of jersey much so that it is bulging out of the card.  It looks to be the seam from the forearm of the jersey shown in the picture (well maybe not that one specifically).

Been a while since I had a decent jersey pull so I was pleased.

Watcha think?

Also, I have a box of 09-10 Champs and Ultra on the way from Dave & Adam's so I will post anything good I pull in the next few days.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grand Theft Larceny - eBay Style!

So I happened upon a little lot of cards earlier last week on eBay with very little in the way of a description and a picture of the 20 or so cards in the lot (  So as I am one to do if I am even moderately interested in a lot, I will bid the minimum and watch it over the course of its listing to see if it moves.  Part of the reason for bidding as opposed to just watching is that I might like the cards and if I get it for $.99 I am not going to complain, and part of it is to see how much it will go for (lets call it "market research").  Anywho, back to the story...

I bid the minimum and waited to see what happened.  From just the picture, I saw what appeared to be a number of 2010-11 Black Diamond cards including a Luongo Team Canada die-cut, a 4 diamond Joe Thornton and a Jamie McBain RC as well an assortment of other cards.

Well the cards arrived today...lets see what we received...

For you younger collectors, inserts and parallels are the norm in packs these days...however, back in the day (70's and 80's) the best you could expect in terms of an insert was an All-Star or Helmet numbers sticker...of course all of that changed in 1990-91 when Upper Deck introduced the first set of know the ones that made the player move (somewhat) when you tilted them?  They evolved over the following two years and UD produced a moderately nice set in 1992-93 featuring a Euro-Rookie Team that included the Dominator as well as Lidstrom, Bure, Ahola (HI!), Semak, and Forslund.  Having bought enough 1992-93 packs to build a house out of, I have seen my share of these over the years, but its always a nice to look back to the past.

Kind of a neat looking card produced by Leaf/Donruss from the mid-90's.  I don't have any of these, so its a nice addition.

Fleer went through this phase in the mid-late 90's that incorporated a metallic look to their cards.  This one from an insert set that featured this look as well doing a vertigo kinda thing with the spiral...ok, gonna blow some chunks dizzy...

It was all the rage in the early-90's to feature players who participated in the annual IIHF World Junior Championships in their home country's colors.  They were in base sets and inserts a plenty, including the set below that featured Mr. Allison (who during warm-ups before a game while he was a rookie with the Capitals missed the empty net with shots a number of times...I proclaimed to my girlfriend that he could not hit the broadside of a barn if he was standing a foot away from it...sadly he went on to have pretty good career so I have not lived it down since).

Another card from the afore-mentioned 92-93 Upper Deck set that, surprisingly, I did not have!!

I saw this card in the picture but was not sure who it was.  It turns out it is Petr OK...never played a game in the NHL and part of a season in the AHL.  At least its an on-card auto...right??
Still with me???  Here is where this gets interesting...

Card #7 - 08-09 Black Diamond #188 Roberto Luongo (Quad)
I don't have a lot of cards from the 08-09 set, so this was a nice addition to my collection!

Excellent!  One of my favorite American players of all time!  Sweet!  Unfortunately, the sides of cards have some wear...but its still a nice card and a welcome addition to the collection!
McCabe has played with six teams over the course of his career and put up 528 points (145 goals) in 1135 games.  Respect...
Yup, there's that Jumbo-Joe card!  One of the league's premier top line centers!  Had a bit of a dip in his production last year (21-49-70) posting his lowest point totals since his last full season with the B's in 03-04 while playing 80 games.  Will Havlat be enough to return Joe to form for 11-12?  We shall see.  Nice card!

Yup, as I noted at the start, here it is!  Will this be his year to finally claim the cup?  I feel for you Canucks fans, so close last year...BTW - this card is available for trade if anyone is interested...I am looking for any UD Ice Jersey cards from either before or after the lockout (before preferred, but I will take what I can get).

Card #12 - 2010-11 Black Diamond #180 Jamie McBain RC
Yup, there it I noted in the opening.  Woohoo...only six triple diamond RCs left...WTFMcBain...its FREAKING JEFF SKINNER!!!!  Scratch that crap out from should read:

Card #12 - 2010-11 Black Diamond #213 Jeff Skinner RC
The current NHL Rookie of the Year Jeff Skinner!!  Need I saw more???  This freaking lot just went from pretty good to f-in great!!!  WOW!!!!

BTW - I HATE MY SCANNER...these cards look so much better in person...

On with the rest of the cards from the I really care at this point seeings as how I went from thinking I had picked up another XXX diamond to quad city!  But I shall press on...

Yes sir, not a bad pick-up if I say so myself...not as good as a JEFF SKINNER DB RC...but still nice!  This lot just keeps giving huh???   BTW this card is also comments above still apply about trades.

OK, not bad...Jason give me a nice raised lip like you are annoyed would you???  PERFECT!  HOLD THAT LOOK!!  An annoyed Arnott!!

Dem R ducks...A R NOTT...they R TOO! Moving on...

Very nice!  I actually have a number of Victory black cards from 08-09, but none from 09-10...I like! of the seven different parallels found in 08-09 Artifacts...hope he able to resume his career...if not, he should be allowed to cold-cock Cooke right on the kisser for ending his career!!

Time to get JIGGY with it!!!  Will JS be the answer to the Aves goal tending woes in 2011-12 or will Capitals sendoff Varlamov stay healthy and emerge as a #1 goalie (the Aves brass must think so after giving up their 2012 1st and a 2nd in 2012/2013)?  After serving up three different goalies in 2010-11 to the wolves (Budaj, Elliot, Anderson)...not one of the three ended up with a GAA below 3.20 or save percentage above just might be a LONG year for anyone manning the nets in Colorado!
And lastly but not leastly...the only card in the lot that appeared to be a base...Was not a base! 

The Mule potted 28 goals after missing most of 09-10 with a torn ACL.  Not a bad ending to what turns to be a really good lot of cards!!

So, what do you think??  Worth the $6.00 ($0.99 + $4.99 shipping)???  Lock my ass up and throw away the key cause that seller got robbed blind!!!!