Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Jimmy Howard: A Couple Oddballs

If there is one thing I don't have a lot of in my growing Jimmy Howard collection it would be cards from oddball sets like team issues and giveaways. Thanks to a pair of recent eBay purchases, I have two cool new cards to help boost that portion of the collection.

Up first is one from Upper Deck designed specifically for the 2014 Winter Classic. This one is card #1 in a 20-card set that features both the Red Wings and Maple Leafs. It must have been released prior to the game based on the photos. I think it would've been cooler if they waited until after the game and uses photos from the actual game. Might need to make myself a custom version. There are some great photos out there.

The design on this one is basically the same as the flagship set from 2013-14 minus the silver foil and the obvious addition of the Winter Classic logo. Not sure how many of these were made, and I haven't seen a ton of them for sale so I'm glad to have one.

While I had at least known of the card above before I bought it, this next one was completely unknown to me when I grabbed it on eBay. This one comes from a team specific arena giveaway set from Upper Deck that is based on the 2010-11 flagship set.

It is actually the exact same as the regular UD set other than the foil being removed. In this case everything is printed and the full color Upper Deck logo is used in the upper corner. The funny thing with this one is I just happened to stumble upon it as part of the full Red Wings team set that was given out at Joe Louis Arena. Not bad for less than $10.

I'm happy to have these two and will be on the lookout for any other promo/giveaway type cards I can find for Howard. I guess you never know what you're going to find sometimes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

New Side Project: Jeff Gordon

Yes, that Jeff Gordon, the race car driver from NASCAR. Now this might be a bit out of nowhere in terms of what I've been posting on here in the past, but I felt like it was a good time to throw something a little bit different into the mix. Hello racing cards!

When I was a kid, I was actually really into NASCAR for a few years. Jeff Gordon was my favorite driver and I will always remember those colorful paint jobs on his #24 DuPont cars from the 90's. I had a bunch of t-shirts and toys with those colors plastered all over them.

As far as collecting, in recent years I have diversified a bit and gotten away from exclusively collecting hockey cards. While I will never collect baseball, basketball or football, there are at least a handful of other types of cards I collect now or possibly will in the future.

I've come a long way from simply hoarding low end 90's and 00's hockey. While hockey is still my main focus, I really enjoy some of these oddball side projects like train cards and stuff for some of my favorite shows like Stranger Things, Lost and Jericho. 

I'm also a big believer in the "collect what you want and ignore what everyone else thinks" approach. Nobody is going to tell me what I should or shouldn't collect. I do this as a hobby for fun so I'm going to do it in a way that makes it enjoyable for me.

Back to the focus of this post, I've always been aware of NASCAR cards from reading other blogs (specifically Cardboard History) and what not, but I know next to nothing about them. After some initial searching on eBay and COMC, Gordon has a ton of cards out there. Since I'm treating this as a fun mini-PC project, I'm going after just the ones I like.

Here are some example of what's out there.

Honestly, I wasn't even aware that Upper Deck made NASCAR cards in the late 90's and early 2000's. There is even some overlap with the hockey designs from back then, so that's a neat tie in with my current collection. I'll probably gravitate toward those types of cards.

A quick check of the Trading Card Database shows Gordon has over 7,000 different cards out there. A lot more than I was thinking. I guess the good thing about that is I should easily be able to find a bunch of low end stuff that I actually like for this new side project.

So we'll see where this goes. I'm not making it my top priority or anything, but it will be fun to have another type of card to go after. Anyone else a NASCAR card collector?

Friday, February 12, 2021

Jimmy Howard: 2020-21 MVP Gold Script

Now that it looks like 2020-21 MVP will be Jimmy Howard's last regular card of him as an active player, I thought this one should have its own post separate from my other recent eBay pickups. Technically you could say his OPC card from 2020-21 came later, but UD screwed that up and put Jonathan Bernier on it, so that doesn't count in my book.

Here is the Gold Script version that features a nice gold facsimile signature and gold elements at the bottom of the card. I think I actually like this one the most of all the parallels, even though it is not even serial numbered. They used to be numbered to 100.

Now that I'm more actively pursuing my number one player collection, I've been paying closer attention to completing as many rainbows as I can. I just love the look of all the variations of a given card when they are all together. In the case of 2020-21 MVP, I am almost there and just need three more versions to complete this edition.

I really liked creating the visual rainbow checklist I did for my O-Pee-Chee Platinum stuff recently, so I went ahead and made another one. Here are all seven versions I am considering to be the complete rainbow. I excluded the puzzle back because I don't care for those and it would just look bad along with the rest of these.

Anyone else going after a complete rainbow from this set? The hardest part is obviously the Black /5, but hey at least it isn't a straight up 1 of 1. The other haven't been too hard to track down, although it was probably easier as I got them relatively close to the release.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Jimmy Howard: Recent Additions

Now that Jimmy Howard is officially retired from the NHL, I can focus on the cards he already has out there and not worry about too many new ones. I don't see myself slowing down on this project at all and I've been on a good run of new Howard pickups lately.

While most of them have come from eBay, I made use of another great site again recently: Sportlots. I've made a few purchases there before and everything has gone smoothly. This time I found a great deal and grabbed eight new cards for just over $4 including shipping.

Up first is my favorite of the lot, a black parallel from 2013-14 Score. This is one of those hard to find parallels that I have only ever seen only once or twice since its release. For what essentially turned out to be $0.50, I couldn't put this in the cart fast enough.

The next one is a really cool base card that I've had on the want list for years now. This is card #56 from 2013-14 SPx. I always like getting cards that show Howard in his ice berg pads, those were sweet. I just wish they would've used a different picture on the right.

Fast forward to 2020-21 and we have a base card from MVP. This one will go nicely with the Super Script and Black Super Script that I already have. Now I just need to work on getting a few other versions to give myself another complete rainbow.

Sticking with MVP, up next is base card from 2019-20. If I had to choose, I would give a slight edge to the more recent design, but this one is still pretty nice. The neat thing about this one is it shows one of Howard's Hockey Fights Cancer masks.

Speaking of rainbows I'm working on, this base card from 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Platinum gets me one step closer to one that I really want to complete. We'll see though, the Golden Treasures 1/1 seems pretty unlikely for me to land at this point, but who knows.

One thing that I don't have a ton of in my Howard collection is cards showing him with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. This one is from 2011-12 ITG Heroes and Prospects helps add to that total. I actually really like the look of the design of this set.

Up next is a base card from 2019-20 O-Pee-Chee, which has a special notation about his appearance in the 2019 All Star game. That was his second appearance and third time being voted into the game. This one also has a few parallel versions for me to chase.

The last one from Sportlots is a base card from 2019-20 Parkhurst. A quick check of TCDB shows there are likely four other versions of this card for me to chase now: Silver, Gold, ePack Bronze and ePack Gold. Five cards total doesn't seem too bad.

These next two are courtesy of @BreaksRaccoon from Twitter. They were nice enough to reach out and send me a couple of new base cards for my Howard collection. Up first is card #185 from 2018-19 MVP. I actually like this version of MVP with all the lines.

The other was card #82 from 2018-19 O-Pee-Chee. This is the regular base version. I now need to track down the other eight versions: Silver, Gold, Red, Red Blank Back, Retro, Retro Blank Back, Retro Black, Retro Scratch-Off. Those would all look good together.

So that's ten new cards for my Howard collection, which puts me somewhere north of 200. Exactly where, I am not completely sure. I will need to do an actual re-count of everything one of these days. Even at 200+ cards, I still love finding new ones for this project.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

SCE Gold Script Update

I've said this on here before, but when it comes to my MVP Stanley Cup Edition project, I've always focused more on the Super Scripts. The Golds will always be secondary, but still an important part of my collection. I'm always on the lookout for both and was lucky enough to find four more Golds recently. Two from eBay and two from Twitter.

Up first from eBay is card #84 featuring Luc Robitaille of the Los Angeles Kings. This one is serial numbered 040/100. The surprising part is this one only ended up costing $2 plus shipping. Can't beat that for a 668 goal scorer. If only it were serial numbered 020.

The other one from the same seller was card #85 featuring Zigmund Palffy of the Los Angeles Kings. This one was serial numbered 099/100. I would have to check, but I think this is the first one I've got with that number. I wonder how many of 1-100 I actually have.

The next two come from Twitter once again. Another special thanks to @OTB_Cards for hooking me up again for my set build. The first one is #41 featuring Byron Ritchie of the Carolina Hurricanes and is serial numbered 071/100.

The second is card #73 featuring Alexander Selivanov of the Edmonton Oilers. This one is serial numbered 086/100 and completes another rainbow for my set build.

These four bring me to 85 out of 220 for my set, which actually brings them into a tie with the Super Scripts. I can't remember the last time these were this even. It will be interesting to see how many complete rainbows I've got now. I would guess at least a dozen. 

SCE Gold Script Total: 85/220