Friday, April 30, 2021

Jimmy Howard: Championship Ticket 1-of-1

Anyone else miss the days of Panini making hockey cards? I definitely do and today's post features an awesome card from their first year back in 2010-11. Contenders is one of the sets that I immediately think of whenever Panini hockey comes to mind.

Like I'm sure a lot of player collectors do, I search eBay pretty much daily in the hopes of not missing anything nice for my PC. Well, that persistence definitely paid off again as I was able to snag another card I had never seen or even thought I would ever have.

Here is another 1-of-1 for my Jimmy Howard collection: a Championship Ticket parallel from 2010-11 Playoff Contenders. It is a gorgeous looking card and I'm thrilled to have it. Another example of a time where I bought something immediately once I saw it on eBay.

I love the overall look of this card even if some of the actual ticket design is a bit clunky, especially the Western Conference logo. I do really like how they gave the edges of the ticket a slightly worn look. It provides a bit of realism and helps it stand out.

Just like the Black Diamond 1-of-1 I picked up years ago, the actual serial number is stamped on the back of the card. I don't usually scan and show off card backs on here, but I made another exception in this case for obvious reasons. Here's the back:

This is my second true 1-of-1 in my Howard collection and third overall. I say that because one of them is a buyback stamped 1-of-1 from that Upper Deck 30th anniversary set. I'm not sure how everyone else treats those, but I see them along the lines of printing plates.

Now I just need to find the Playoff Ticket version numbered to 100.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Jimmy Howard: 2020-21 O-Pee-Chee Error

Mistakes happen, that's just how world works sometimes. When it comes to sports cards, there are inevitably going to be some errors made on the manufacturer's side whether that be printing errors, quality issues or a number of other possibilities.

In the case of 2020-21 O-Pee-Chee card #448, the error was actually made upstream of the card manufacturer. It was on the photographer's end and unfortunately was not caught in time. The error in question: the photo used on Jimmy Howard's card is actually of his teammate Jonathan Bernier. Here's a look at the card in question. 

Its a nice looking card and I was really excited to see my main PC player was once again included in the O-Pee-Chee checklist. However, once the singles started hitting eBay I saw one of these and was immediately disappointed. The issue also carries over to the Retro parallel design, so all the possible variations of Howard's card feature Bernier.

I say disappointed because I was looking forward to chasing all these variations for my Howard collection, but now I do not plan on it since the player I'm actually collecting is on the card in name only. Some people might still chase these if it were their guy, and that's cool, but I'm not interested in these anymore.

The worst part is now that Howard has retired and never actually suited up for the 2020-21 season, this might be his last major release base card, at least for a while.

So where does that leave me? Well, since I've enjoyed making my own custom card designs for years now, I figured why not at least make myself a digital copy of this card with an actual photo of Jimmy Howard on the front? It is pretty easy cut and paste.

I'm definitely happy with how this one turned out. If only the actual card looked this nice. On a side note, it is really weird seeing Howard with those CCM pads and gloves. He wore Vaughn equipment almost his entire Red Wings career. They do look cool though.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Jimmy Howard: SPGU All-Star Skills Patch

Apparently low-numbered cards are what's hot right now for my Jimmy Howard collection. Along with the long sought after Cup card I posted yesterday, I was lucky enough to find a really good deal on another numbered card, this time a patch card out of 35.

This one is from 2019-20 Upper Deck SP Game Used, specifically the 2019 All-Star Skills Fabrics insert set. It is basically the same as the regular jersey version other than the gold coloring, the patch call out and the serial number. Its a really nice looking card overall.

The swatch on this one is really nice. It appears to be from somewhere along the edge of the crest as you can see the base red jersey material. Not bad for $10 all in.

This one also goes nicely with the regular jersey version I picked up last year. As I said when I posted that one, the coolest part about these cards is that the jersey swatches featured in the card are from the exact jersey pictured on the front, at least that how it seems.

In terms of an actual "rainbow" for these cards, there are the two I already have (regular jersey, patch) as well as a tag version serial numbered out of two. Not sure I'll ever be able to get that one, but who knows. They definitely would look nice together.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Jimmy Howard: The Cup Platinum Rookie

On the list of Jimmy Howard cards I thought I would never realistically own, the one I'm posting here today would've been pretty high on that list. When it comes to The Cup, I always wanted to at least have a copy of the standard RPA. Luckily, I was able to make that happen last year and even added the Gold Rainbow version.

My latest eBay purchase brings me one step closer to a complete 2005-06 The Cup rainbow for Howard. This one is the Platinum version and is serial numbered 05/25. It even has him pictured in his Red Wings pads and mask, which makes for a much better overall look.

The funny part about this pickup from eBay is that it actually came from the exact same seller as the regular RPA and Gold Rainbow versions I bought last year. He was actually a Howard collector himself, but was moving on from his awesome collection. I even got my Howard Future Watch rookie auto from him as well.

Now this leaves me with needing just the Black 1/1 version. I've seen a photo of it in the past so I know it has at least been pulled. Who knows if it will ever surface again, but if it does I will be sure to make an attempt to grab it. These would look amazing all together.

For now though, here is a look at all three of mine together.

Outside of the 1/1's, these are probably my top three favorite Howard cards. I mean you can't go wrong with such an iconic set design. The only thing I can improve upon with these is the quality of the swatches. A part of the Wings crest would be awesome.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Predators: Forsberg SPGU Banner Year

Do you ever come across a set that you think is awesome, but then it feels like its not all that popular with other collectors? Well, for me that is the Banner Year sets from SP Game Used, specifically the Stanley Cup Final versions. I don't know what it is about these, but I really like them and its nice to have something a little different in my PC.

The latest addition to my Predators set from eBay is part of the 2017-18 SP Game Used set and features Filip Forsberg along with a piece of a banner used during the festivities surrounding the 2017 Stanley Cup Final between Nashville and Pittsburgh.

This one goes nicely with the Josi that I picked up a while back. In fact, both have nice two-colored yellow banner pieces, which look great with their uniforms. There are actually four Predators in the set, which leaves me needing the P.K. Subban and Pekka Rinne versions.

Even though my team ended up losing that year, these cards and any that show the Preds in the Final for that matter are cool little reminders of how much fun it was watching that playoff run. I think I mentioned this on one of my Knights posts, but I'm leaning toward focusing my Preds collection on players that were part of that 2017 team. 

These Banner Year cards along with the MVP Postseason cards specifically focus on the Final and all have images taken during that actual series. I think these will be my primary Preds focus moving forward, along with any base cards with pictures from the Final.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Golden Knights: Reilly Smith Super Script

Continuing with the Golden Knights theme around here, in addition to the SCE Super Script of Pacioretty, I was able to grab a regular Super Script of Reilly Smith from the same seller.

This one is card #31 in the set and is serial numbered 23/25. I really like the look of that MVP design other than the large black bar they placed behind the signatures. I understand it makes them stand out more, but it would've looked better without it.

Another thing I really like about this one is how they made the MVP logo and the actual serial number in the same rainbow foil as the signature. If only they had done the same thing to the UD logo. That would make it almost perfect.

On a side note, as far as my Golden Knights collection goes, I am leaning towards focusing on the players from the inaugural season. That was when I really got into following this team and it was a great time watching them make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

For whatever reason, I have not really been following any of my teams as closely anymore, which in turn means I've got less interest in picking up their cards. At least with the players from that first season, I have more of a connection to them having followed them all the way to the Final. Same goes for my Predators collection and their 2017 run to the Final.

Friday, April 16, 2021

SCE Tribute Update

Well, its been a little while since my last update on this set. The last one I picked up was all the way back in June of last year. That's ok though as I've been treating this almost as a side project. While I want to get them all eventually, they just are not as high of a priority.

This one actually came paired with another Super Script, which I will share in a separate post later on. It is a Max Pacioretty numbered 06/25.

There are 100 cards in this set and I have three total now, so still quite a ways to go if I want to complete it. From a team perspective, I at least have one third of the Knights from this set. The other two are Marc-Andre Fleury and Mark Stone.

While I really love the idea of this tribute to my favorite set, I feel like they missed on a few things trying to re-create the design. The most glaring difference to me is the cross-hatch pattern extending all the way to the bottom of the card. It just looks off. One of these days I'll put together a post detailing all of these differences.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Jimmy Howard: BTP Masked Men

With my main player collection being a goalie, I am always excited to add Masks or Masked Men cards. When it comes to Jimmy Howard, he's had some amazing looking cards in those sets over the years. I have a few already and thanks to eBay I now have four more.

Up first and my favorite of the bunch is this Masked Men 5 card from 2012-13 Between The Pipes. This one just looks great in person with the ruby rainbow foil. I even think the painting type image on the front looks even better than previous versions where they did have real photos. Definitely one of my new favorite Howard cards.

Along with that one, and all the way from Russia I might add, is the Masked Men Memorabilia card from the same set. This one uses the same painting like image and turns the card sideways allowing for a cool jersey swatch on the right-hand side.

Up next is one that's been on my wantlist for quite a while now, a Gold version of the Masked Men 4 card from 2011-12 Between the Pipes. This one goes nicely with the ruby die-cut version I picked up recently. It looks a lot nicer in person than it does in the scan.

Keeping with the gold theme, I was also able to grab this nice Masked Men II card from 2009-10 BTP. This one also did not scan very well, but looks great in person. As far as Howard's masks go, this one with the dials of retired numbers on either side was always a favorite of mine. Sports cars on masks always look cool, right?

So that's it for today. These four help put a nice dent in the wantlist as far as the Masked Men cards. I'll have to sit down one of these days and actually come up with a list of what I still need. I'm guessing there are a few more gold versions I'm missing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Jimmy Howard: 2019-20 MVP Super Scripts

If I had to choose my current favorite "rainbow" combination of base cards and parallels, it would be tough for me to choose between Upper Deck's MVP Script parallels and their awesome colored parallels from O-Pee-Chee Platinum. Luckily for me, Jimmy Howard has been included in both sets in recent years so I am able to chase some of each.

I might give MVP a slight edge because I've loved the Super Script parallels for over 20 years now, going all the way back to 1999-00 when I pulled my first one. That would be the Hasek that started my set build for the Stanley Cup Edition Super Scripts.

Howard has Super Scripts in pretty much every MVP set between 2014-15 and 2020-21, so there are definitely some for me to go after. I believe the only one I have before now was the 2021 version as well as its lower numbered Black counterpart.

It is funny how things work out sometimes because now I have both the Super Script and Black versions for 2019-20 MVP thanks to some more recent eBay purchases. The Black version is a beautiful card as you can see from the scan below.

While I really like the rainbow foil on the standard Super Script, the big black bar across the middle of the card kind of brings it down a notch if you ask me. I understand wanting to make the signature stand out more, but this just looks odd.

The other funny coincidence here is that this Black was numbered 2/5, which is the exact same numbering as the other Black from 2020-21. What are the odds that I get both of these MVP Black Scripts and they are the same serial number?

Here's a look an my visual rainbow checklist for this one:

As you can see I've still got a few to track down, but I do have the two lowest print runs out of the way, so that's definitely a good thing. We'll see how long it takes. The Gold Script will probably be the hardest to find at this point. It was for the 2020-21 version.