A Project Update

April 19, 2010

I know it’s been a year since my last update.  It’s been a busy year and I’m just going to try and update as much as I can.  I have been picking up maybe a card or two a month in the past 8 or 9 months because I am trying to keep to a budget and I have been too busy at work to be trading actively.

I have made very little progress on my ongoing projects and have made some changes.  I still struggle with setting and sticking with collecting goals.  I hope that comparing what I wanted to collect a year ago to what I am currently collecting will help me set goals and figure out what I actually want to collect.  One thing that will help with my focus is the struggle of the Panthers.  I know changes are coming to the Panthers so I don’t want to pick up any Panthers cards for the next couple of months.  This should help me focus on the sets that I need to finish.  Let’s break it down by sport:


2005-06 Upper Deck Series 1: I still need the Sidney Crosby Young Gun to complete this set.  As I’ve said before, it will be a few years before I actually buy this card.  Crosby’s gold medal winning goal probably didn’t lower the price of the card.

2006-07 MVP: I only need a few base cards to finish this set as I finished the rookies portion of the set back in the fall.  I am going to try and trade for the remaining base cards or pick up the rest on Sportlots in the next couple of months.

2007-08 SP Authentic Future Watch Autographs: I have only picked up a couple of these since my last update.  I have 25 of the 60 autographs so far with the best ones being Jonas Hiller and Brandon Dubinsky.  I still have to pick up the high priced cards in this set like Toews and Kane and I’m probably going to pick up some of these at the big Toronto Card Show in a couple of weeks.

2008-09 OPC Retro Parallels: I bought a box of OPC last fall and have made a couple of trades so I now have around 90 cards of the 800 card set including the update set.  This will be a trade target starting next month once Tax Season is over.  The one problem I have with this set is that these cards have a book value of $2.50 per common.  There is no way that one common retro card is worth a hobby pack of OPC cards which retail for about $2-3 a pack.  This is just not realistic.  But it’s the way it goes and I will try to trade as best I can.

The hockey project I’m not pursuing is the 2007-08 Upper Deck card.  I am focusing on the SP Authentic set for 2007-08 instead.  I have been picking up Panthers cards here and there but will probably wait until later in the summer when I know who the Panthers have drafted and what trades they have made.

I have not picked a 2009-2010 set to collect yet.  I’m leaning towards SP Authentic but I need to research the sell sheets to see if I like the card design.


2007 Bowman Chrome and Chrome Prospects – I haven’t really made any progress on these sets.  I still think about getting a box and going from there but I will probably try to make trades to work on these sets.

2008 Topps Heritage – I still need around 75 Short Prints between the regular and the update set.  The search for and my hesitation to spend on short prints has made me decide that even though I love the Topps Heritage designs, I am not going to collect any other Heritage sets.  It’s too much to collect 75 short prints or more each year.  I might try to build Indians sets from each year.

2008 Topps Update & Highlights – I only have around 100 of the cards of the 330 card set.  I will probably try to trade for these set needs.

I still haven’t picked a 2009 or 2010 set to collect.  I think I will go with Bowman products.  The question is whether I will go after the autograph sets or not.  Right now I’m leaning towards no and just focus on collecting the sets and the Indians autos.  The project I have abandoned was the 2005 Trilogy Signatures set which had a great design but it is not easy to find these cards and it is a  bit too ambitious for my budget.

Basketball and Football:

I am still at a standstill with both of these sports.  I did buy a box of 2009 Bowman Draft football and completed the set.  I need to make some decisions on what I want to collect and what is realistic for me to collect.

Well that didn’t help me figure out what I wanted to collect at all.  I think what I end up getting at the Toronto show in a couple of weeks to find out.

Thanks for reading.


A big pull!

June 12, 2009

My Grandfather who lives in Ohio hasn’t been well.  He has quite the card collection so he has sent a number of cards home with my Dad to give to me.  One of these packages were a number of Bowman and Topps Heritage packs.  My wife opened a 2005 Bowman Heritage pack and pulled this:

A 2005 Bowman Heritage Ryan Bruan Signs of Greatness autograph card!  The card has a BV of around $100 I think.  Now I have to figure something out.  Sell or trade?  I want to trade but I have to open my collection up a little bit to include some cards I want to collect that actually have a high BV.  Most of the cards I’m looking for are less than $10.  Maybe this could land one of the higher end 2005 Trilogy Signatures cards I’m looking for.

Thanks for reading.

Some Mail and Pack Breaks!

June 9, 2009

I purchased a couple of packs of OPC Update from Walmart last weekend and was happy to get a couple of rookie retro parallels in Drew Doughty and Ben Bishop.  My third pack had a Jeff Finger retro card.  So that’s around 20 out of the 800 total retro cards which means I have some work to do.  

I also received two pieces of hockey mail in the last couple of weeks.  I was able to win a Jonas Hiller Future Watch auto for my 2007-08 set for a good price.  Then my deal of the month was picking up a Nathan Horton/David Booth 2008-09 BAP Double Signatures card for around $4 CDN shipped.  I’m not a huge fan of the 2008-09 BAP design this year since the stickers are a little too prominent on the cards.  

I have three more Future Watch autos incoming:  Dubinsky, Mitchell and Chipchura so once they arrive I will have 24 of the 60 autos which is the farthest I’ve gotten on one of these auto set projects.  

I have also made some trades on The Bench and have completed my 2008 Topps Series 2 baseball set.  I also picked up around 80 2004 Topps Heritage singles in a trade to start that set.  I am very close to completing my 2008 Topps Heritage base and update non-SP sets.  I still have a lot of SP’s to pick up but that will happen in the future.  I won’t be buying another box of Heritage High #’s so that is a plus.

I have to make some more progress on football and basketball projects which are at a standstill right now.  But that will change later this summer.

Thanks for reading.

Latest mail!

May 18, 2009

It’s not an exciting mail day but on Friday I received 3 2006-07 MVP rookies I needed: Jonas Johansson, Matt Koalska and Ryan Caldwell.  I have purchased most of the rookies I needed for this set and I only need Malkin and Staal once my mail comes in plus a few commons.  So hopefully this set gets completed in the next month or two.  

I budget a bit of cash from every paycheque for cards.  I just made a nice purchase for my Future Watch auto project on EBay earlier.  I was really happy with the price I won the card with.  I will scan it in once it comes in the mail.

Thanks for reading.

2007 Bowman Chrome Prospect #BC3 – Shawn O’Malley

May 17, 2009


Shawn O’Malley is the third card in the 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects set.  He was a fifth round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2006.  He has moved up a level each year from rookie ball in 2006 to high A ball this year where he is the starting shortstop.  His hitting stats show that he has average on-base skills and next to no power with slugging percentages around .300 in his career so far.  He is not listed in Tampa’s top 20-30 prospects in John Sickel’s blog (www.minorleagueball.com).  Looking on other blogs it looks like the one talent O’Malley has is speed.  He stole 28 bases last year but was caught 14 times as well which may mean he needs to learn how to read pitchers.  Shawn was the Rays’ 30th best prospect according to Baseball America earlier this year.  

For O’Malley to become a major leaguer he is going to have to be an above average fielder and probably will have to show some versatility to become a utility player.  If he can learn to cut down on his times caught stealing then someday he may make the majors as a utility player who can also be a pinch runner.  He is only 21 so he has time to develop.

2007 Bowman Chrome Prospect #BC2 – Jason Taylor

May 8, 2009


Our second prospect review is Jason Taylor.  Jason was selected in the second round of the 2006 draft by the Royals.  He did not play in 2007 because he was suspended by the Royals.  He was drafted as a third baseman and played with Burlington of the Midwest League in A ball in 2008.  He did put up some decent numbers (.242/.372/.418, 17HR, 40SB).  He was moved to first base since he had trouble with third.  It sounds like from prospect reports I have read that he is an excellent athlete.  Unfortunately he has been suspended for a “drug of abuse” and is missing the first 50 games of this season.  He will probably play at high A ball when his suspension is over.  It seems like Taylor has the tools and potential to be a major leaguer but two lengthy suspensions means that he has to prove that he has the discipline and is willing to get his life in order to get there.

2 down and a number of prospects to review.  Thanks for reading and feedback is welcome.

2007 Bowman Chrome Prospect #BC1 Cooper Brannon

May 6, 2009


As I’m ready to watch 2008-09 NBA MVP LeBron James and the Cavs take on the Hawks for Game 1 of the second round of the NBA playoffs I am starting a new feature that will look back at the 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects set and see where these prospects are now.  We start with a pretty cool story with Cooper Brannon.  

Brannon was a US Marine who lost his pinkie finger of his non-pitching (left) hand on his second tour of duty in Iraq.  According to the back of the above card Brannon was signed by the Padres after he met Sandy Alderson at a radio show.  He pitched 26 innings for the rookie Arizona League AZL Padres and did not have very impressive numbers which is understandable since he was never drafted and hadn’t played baseball since high school in 2003.  He pitched with the Eugene Emeralds in short season A ball last year and pitched 21 innings, again without impressive numbers.  

I have to work on my research.  I’m not sure if Brannon is going to be pitching in 2009.  He is not on San Diego’s full season A team’s roster.  He may play in Eugene again this year but short season A ball doesn’t start until June.  I will keep an eye on the short season rosters to see if Brannon plays professional baseball this year.  It doesn’t look like Brannon will ever play major league ball but he is a heck of a story and I hope he has enjoyed playing professional baseball if he is done. 

What a start!  The beauty of going through cards, especially cards from a while ago is that you find out about stories like this.  Hopefully the rest of the prospects have something interesting to say about each player.

Thanks for reading.