Sunday, December 31, 2017

Top 12 cards of 2017

Last year, I debuted a new feature that counted down my top 12 favorite cards from the year- one from each month. I plan to keep doing that feature, and here's 2017's addition.

This year was "the year of the hockey card" as I officially began collecting them on January 15th. I experienced some incredible kindness from my fellow hockey collectors this year, as they started rolling in literally 5 days after I announced I was now collecting the NHL, and have not stopped! I started the year with exactly 3000 NHL cards, and at the close of the year, I'm pushing 9000...and most of them came to me as gifts! I've gone months throughout the year without buying any, but they kept rolling in anyway. I'm not sure exactly what I've done to be on the receiving end of such kindness, but I am eternally grateful. But while this was the year of the hockey card, I didn't stop collecting the NBA, NASCAR or Non-sports...let's see which cards show up as my favorite addition from each month. I'm going though my Excel chart listing the exact date and order I get each card as I type this up, so you'll sort of be finding out as I do- except for the fact that I'm writing the majority of the post on December 17th, and don't plan to post it until the 31st.

1957-58 Topps #66
 My very first day out buying hockey cards for  myself, and I luck into a card from 1957-58? And in this condition? Can't beat that! As I did with the NBA, I'm learning as much as I can about the history of my new sport via cards, and the NHL has a much better representation on cards than the NBA does. While this is my oldest NHL card currently, they got them starting all the way back in the 1920s, after a 1917 founding. There are even card sets issued for the professional leagues that existed before the NHL, which I would also welcome into my collection if I ever had the opportunity to.

1888 Kinney Brothers Novelties Camera
I'm still amazed I have this card...and at the kindness of fellow collectors. This is the oldest card in my collection, from 1888! I got it as a gift from fellow blogger CommishBob of The Five Tool Collector and now, 10 months later, I'm still kind of in shock! I didn't remember off the top of my head what month it arrived in, (that's why I write everything down) but I knew it would "win" it's month, whatever it was. As I am a photography buff, and set a new personal record for most photos taken in a year, week and month all during 2017, the very old school camera theme resonates with me as well. Also, I had no idea die cut cards were such an old concept. I thought they were more of a 1990s thing. I learned something new!


2006-07 Be A Player BAP Signatures #SN
March was sort of a hard one, as again I got a lot of great cards, and there are a couple that stand out. In the end, I went with my first NHL autograph, which was a gift of fellow blogger CaptKirk42. I very nearly went with a dual relic that came from Shoebox Shane or my favorite card from the box of 2017 Donruss NASCAR that I did, but a 1st of a major category of cards must take precedence.


1995 Maxx Bat Chase #8
April was my third largest month of the year in terms of new cards, and it was the toughest one to choose yet. I seriously considered the first NHL autograph I pulled from a pack, from my first hobby box of the sport, but I am actually going to go with a NASCAR card. I received a gigantic box of NASCAR cards from a friend who does not blog, and several of the 1995 Maxx insert "Bat Chase" were in there. In 1995, Bill Elliott's normally bright red Thunderbird was changed to the black Thunderbat, it is to this day one of if not my all-time favorite special paint scheme in NASCAR history. I've known about this insert set for many years and always wanted to add some of them to my collection. Now, finally, I have!

2013-14 Panini Titanium Rookie Gear Autographed Patch #RG-DMI
Another card that came to me as a gift, this time from JediJeff of 2x3 Heroes. This is an incredible card, and is my first relic from the Rangers, who have become my favorite team! And what a relic it is, clearly part of a letter! There was no competition for this month- like the 1888 Kinney Brothers Novelties card above, I knew that whatever month it was in, it would win, and it turned out to be May. If you'll notice, through the first five months of the year, I only purchased one of the cards myself!

2012 FanFare Magnificent Materials Dual #MM-AD
June breaks that streak with a card I bought for myself- one of only two I purchased on Ebay this whole year, I think. I rarely go on ebay, but occasionally I will to do some research on if something actually exists or what the actual numbering is, and I think that's what I was doing when I found this card. The glove part of the relic is awesome. The circles are rubber, and all open, although most mushed on the scanner tray. In hand they remind me of the undersea worms from the cartoon that launched the GI Joe series...maybe a couple of you will remember that. The firesuit is a piece of the Bass Pro Shops logo. I won this card for under $10, no longer remembering or caring the exact number, but I know I don't like to pay very that includes shipping.

2014 Panini Black Friday Tools of the Trade NBA #8
July was the hardest month yet, as there were three cards I was having a hard time choosing from. This one, which I got from Wes of Jaybarkerfan's junk/Willinghammer Rising's World Cup of Trading, the Wade Boggs autograph -which I count as part of my Simpsons collection that came from Gavin, or my first NHL stick relic, which came with a patch on the card as well. But this one is the one that takes it, mainly because it's such an unusual piece. It's my first and to date only towel relic, and even though it's an NBA player, it's actually a multi-sport release. We have now crossed halfway through the year and not an NBA card has appeared...surprising. August isn't one either.

1994 Press Pass Authentics Autograph Jeff Gordon (NNO)
August was another one that I knew, back in August, what card would be the winner. Instead of writing about what this card means to me again, I'm just going to link to the post I wrote about it when it arrived, from COMC. : "The Biggest of the Big Guns" I don't really do many single card posts, but this one got one. Honestly, this is probably the winner for favorite new addition of the year. November's card is a spectacular one, and the other months are no slouches either, but getting my hands on Jeff's autograph...not sure that can be topped.

2012-13 Prizm Autograph #36
Finally, an NBA card proper makes the list! I've written about Jimmer Fredette a few times, and I've written about this card before. Jimmer is sort of a semi-local guy. He's from Glens Falls, NY, which is basically, in my mind, Lake George, which is my favorite place in the world. I've spent much time in Lake George area over the years, including in Glens Falls. In fact, one of my earliest memories of collecting the NBA is opening a pack of 1995-96 Stadium Club in the Long John Silver's that used to be there, and was the best fast food ever...but closed right after fact, it was probably the last time I was there. Anyway, Jimmer didn't really make it in the NBA, and is now playing in China. But he's still someone I would consider a "Hometown Hero" despite the 3 hours away his home town actually is. I've wanted his autograph for a while, but one has eluded me...until this September, when I got one...while on vacation in Lake George, naturally! The month was actually my second lightest of the year- only 270 new cards-but this one, due to the Lake George connection, didn't have much chance of "losing" the month. By the way, it only cost me $5, which is a total shock to me. The auto is a little faded, which may have played a role.

1994 Action Packed #31

October was a tough one to choose. It was my largest month of the year, seeing me take in a whopping 3009 cards, thanks to my friend Joel Freedman, who sent me a 21 pound box of cards, and another friend who sent me a 10 pound box of cards! Joel doesn't blog but does read, Thanks Joel! There are some cards that I really like a lot from this month that aren't going to get the nod, which is a shame. But I had to with the card from 1994 Action Packed shown above. My all-time favorite NASCAR set, this set has so many memories for me, every time I see a card from the set, it brings me a smile. I got most of the ones I needed to complete the set from Tim. If anyone has any newer Anaheim Angels or Dodgers cards they want to move to a new home, Tim collects the teams and I owe him for the cards he sent me. I have been meaning to look for some cards locally, but health has been preventing me from doing so on my own.

2015-16 Upper Deck Portfolio Profiles Quad Materials Premium Series Gold #PM4-WG
November was my lightest month of the year- only 235 new cards. Even if there were a lot more, this one would have been the #1 card for the month....I mean, how could it not be? It's one of the greatest cards I've pulled in my 29 years in the hobby. If I hadn't been chasing a Jeff Gordon autograph since 1994, I'd declare this the card of the year, hands down.

 Another tough one, I got a lot of great cards, mostly at Christmas. But I think I had to go with myself...I didn't the last time, and I probably should have. So this time I will! As a bonus, this one got me a PID on the Trading Card Database, my favorite website ever. (even moreso than my own)

I mentioned in last year's post that I would retroactively do a Top 12 for 2014 and 2015, but I never got to it. Hopefully I will in 2018.

In Memoriam 2017

Every year I post a tribute to the people who pass away during the year that appear in my collection. Again, I have cards of some people who we have lost but have not scanned them yet.
The NBA was particularly hard hit this year, again.

Ted Christopher 1958-2017
Dave Creighton 1930-2017

Barry Dodson 1953-2017

Darryl Edestrand 1945-2017. I just got this card December 19th.

Bill Ellis 1933-2017

Bob Glidden 1944-2017

Dick Gordon 1929-2017
Dallas Green 1934-2017

Frank Hamblin 1941-2017

Pete Hamilton 1942-2017

Connie Hawkins 1942-2017

Bruce Hill 1942-2017. I actually talked with him on Facebook once.

Steven Holcomb 1980-2017
Darrall Imhoff 1938-2017

George Irvine 1948-2017

Steve "Snapper" Jones 1942-2017. This was the first ABA card I ever got.

Toby Kimball 1942-2017

Jim McDaniels 1948-2017

Fab Melo 1990-2017

Bud Moore 1925-2017. He stormed the beaches on D-Day and received several Purple Hearts.

Paul "L'il Bud" Moore 1941-2017. The two Moores are not related.

Justin Reed 1982-2017

Kenny Sears 1933-2017

Charles Shackleford 1966-2017

Mark Smith 1954-2017

Dave Stallworth 1941-2017. He had a heart attack during his career and played afterwords!

Skeeter Swift 1946-2017

Roland Taylor 1946-2017

Robert Yates 1943-2017
Later today I will post my top 12 cards of the year.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Ho, Ho, Whoa! Christmas Cards 2017

My family always gives me cards for Christmas. Always. The last time they didn't was not in this century, let alone decade! (I don't know the exact year, it was sometime before I began keeping records on my collection in 1998) I was not expecting too much this year...but I got a ton!
I got: 3 hobby boxes, 9 blasters, 24 packs of Panini stickers (Something I stressed that I wanted) and a random assortment of other packs. It took me from around 10:30 AM to after 5 PM to open them all, although I did take a couple hours out for some other stuff....including spending some of the $100 my brother gave me for COMC!

Honestly, I was hoping I would get this year's UD Series 1 and maybe a blaster or two and a pack of Panini stickers or two, and I would have been happy if that had been all I received. Totally, truly. But, it wasn't! Now, since I know I won't finish listing these in my paper listing and Excel listings (OCD, remember), and I won't scan any until they are listed, I took some pictures of some of the highlights. There are a couple other highlights I missed, but you shall see them in a future post.

Here are some of the "hits" I got...and a MAJOR personal milestone!
 Jaylen Brown rookie year auto....nice! I'm watching him on TV as I type this.
 Perhaps my biggest name "hit" of the day. Draisaitl is the #2 player on the Oilers, after Connor McDavid.
 First time I've seen one of these clear parallels. They are really great. And rare! One in every 90 packs, so one per 4 boxes. I'm glad I pulled one. Wish they were not as rare because I'd love to get some more of them. Perhaps that COMC gift from my brother will be used for that...
 Another view
 Only my second card of his
 Not my first auto of Peters, but my best. Really stinks that Red Horse closed up in mid-season and left him without a ride, even worse was that he was contending for the title at the time.
 My first card of Corey LaJoie, and it's numbered! The Hemric Purple parallel is two per box, I also got Martin Truex Jr. who I didn't think to photograph. Dale Jr. is the base card. Only my second card of Hemric, and something like 700th of Dale Jr, my all-time favorite.
 The base and Ruby Murray came out of the same pack, back to back.
 My Ruby from the second box was a retired player.
 I believe, off the top of my head, that this is the first Brooklyn era relic I've pulled. I can't remember anymore. It's only my second card of him, too.
 This was actually the first hit of the day, but I didn't think to take a photo when I first opened it so I did it while the post composition page for this post you are reading was already open on my computer.
I hit an auto and a jersey in the same box! That's pretty cool. I also got my first card of Brady Skjei, (Pronounced Shay) who has become one of my favorite Rangers. I had been wanting a card of him for a while, and I  ended up getting two today. And...he gets to take part in my MAJOR personal milestone! This photo, well, it's the 10,000th I've taken in 2017. I started numbering the photos in order of being taken several years ago, as it helps me keep them from being jumbled, and in theory I can sort my website to show them in proper order if they don't upload in the right order, which has already happened a few times. It also plays to my OCD tendencies. My previous record was somewhere in the 5000s, I think. I crossed that in September and knew every photo I would take after that would increase the new personal record, but I didn't think that I would hit 10,000 this year. I was wrong! I don't know my previous exact record, but I know I've never hit 10,000. (I really need to make a list, but it would require paging though my entire website, and I have almost 400,000 images on it) I figured I would hit it next year- my brother and I are going to add in a weekly car show (and I have a tendency of photographing every car at a show if I can, even if I've already photographed it dozens of times) but it turns out I hit it this year. I was able to do this because I took almost 5000 photos in a week in a 3 car show week. I may never do it again, but I am thrilled I was able to do it at all.

I'm actually pretty happy today, even though my health is acting up and physically I feel pretty awful.
And we had a White Christmas!

I hope everyone had as good a day as I did today.