Thursday, December 24, 2009
excitement of Christmas morning filling their heads.
In our family it has been a long tradition that each child gets a new pair of pajamas to wear to bed for Christmas eve.
My son, who is 4 years old, has a new pair of Montreal Canadian's pajamas. Yet today he was sporting a Toronto Maple Leafs
"Santa" hat !!! Talk about conflicted!!!
Some new mail yesterday contained my the "proceeds" of my first trade on the Sportscardfun.com website. To get things going I decided to sort my dupes from 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee Hockey to begin another set. I figured it would be easy enough for people to hit. Thanks to Terry for the first trade and a few hits to my wantlist. To be honest I have been a little underwhelmed with the response so far on sportscardfun.com. In the new year I will have to increase my postings to their trading boards to try to generate a few more trades.
May your holiday season be everything you want it to be. I will return shortly with continuations of my sequence of posts on online trading sites and new series of posts on online price guides - including the old stand-bys and a few new ones that you may not know so much about. Till next time.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Beckett.com is quite possibly the premier destination for sportscard enthusiasts in the world. Beckett's history in the hobby
dates back to 1984 with the publication of the first Beckett Baseball Card Monthly. Beckett maintains price guides for hockey, baseball, football, basketball, non-sports, mixed martial arts, and so on and so on.
Signing up for an account on the website is free and relatively simple. The website allows users to trade for free but does charge if you wish to sell your cards through their marketplace. Read the rules in the discussion group carefully. I almost got banned from the site by trying to publicize this blog!!!
There are two main ways to facilitate trades on their website, one is to post to their discussion groups (simply click on discuss in the main beckett banner). Currently the hockey discussion group
is the third most active discussion group behind baseball and football. People post wants and traders directly into the discussion board. Other users can reply directly to the thread or post a private message to you.
An alternative is to add your tradelist and wantlist to your "My Organize" section. This is relatively simple to do, just search for the card you have or need in the search box and then click the little "+" sign next to the search result. Cards can be organized in different collections and tagged as wants or needs. Other users can then search for a card they need and find it in your tradelist.
An additional advantage to this setup is the ability to have your collections priced automatically using the Beckett price guides. This option will cost you however. Subscriptions are available at about $5 per month per sport with discounts for longer term memberships and multiple sports.
Till next time folks, happy holidays!!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Recently I wrote about the 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee set, the first set I revisited from my childhood and seriously put together a high grade set. Shortly after that post Kevin Glew with PSA wrote a great article talking about the set and gave particular
stats about PSA graded cards from the set.
The article quotes one of the top vintage hockey card dealers in Canada, Gerry Chartrand, who says "The 80-81 OPC set is
probably the premier hockey set of the 80s".. "A lot of 80s sets only have one key rookie, this set has three.. Bourque, Messier and Gartner".
The article mentions (as I did!) that the Bourque Record Breaker (card #2) is difficult to find in top condition - there have only been 2 PSA 10s and five PSA 9s. The Gretzky record breaker is also reported to be very difficult. The article also mentions the tribute to the 1980 USA Olympic team which keeps the set in the minds of collectors south of the border.
The rookies from this set are in high demand with recent auction results yielding $1725 for a PSA 10 Messier and $1500 for a PSA 10 Bourque. A great article from PSA. The complete article can be found here.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Many of you are probably familiar with sportscardfun.com
Signing up for this site is free. The website consists of primarily of seven message boards: baseball, basketball, football, hockey, vintage, all other sports, and non-sports cards.
Users post trade offers to the appropriate message board and other users reply to the poster directly via an email either sent internally through the website or by regular email should a user wish to make their email address public. As far as I can tell no discussion can take place in the "discussion" groups themselves. The website provides a free webpage space for each user that can be used to post a wantlist and tradelist.
It is possible to leave feedback on trades via the website's Trusted Trader Points system. Until 10 successful trades are completed all posts to the message boards have to be approved by moderators. After 10 points you are added to the Point Standings Room in which you can compare yourself to other traders and steadily climb the ranks.
Other useful tools on the site include a Trade Tracker tool which allows you to record details of trades in progress: to whom, what, when and how and so on. If your trading really takes off this can be useful to manage multiple trades in progress and provide some details should a trade start to go off the rails.
I have completed over 250 successful trades online (that is alot of stamps!!) but I have only been a member of this site for a few days. I have made a couple of trade postings on the message boards and one trade is in progress. I will let everyone know how it works out. Till next time.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
One of the earliest that I have read about is OBC, see www.oldbaseball.com, a group with its beginnings on the Prodigy message boards of the early 1990s. The front page of their website indicates they are "celebrating 18 years of excellence". And indeed this group represents to me the gold standard of what an online trading group can be all about.
The focus of the group is collecting older baseball cards - the parameters are a little vague but I would say that most of the cards that get swapped are pre-1980 baseball.
The groups directory of members lists about 120 current members. The activities of the group are overseen by an advisory board which sets policy and rules of conduct. There is an application process. Quoting from their website:
All new applicants must be recommended by a current OBC member who has been a member for a minimum of 2 years. This Member or another Member will be assigned to serve as his mentor for a period of six months. The new applicants must also have two additional sponsors from current OBC members who have been members for a minimum of 2 years(OBCAC 5/00) (Revised AC 8/27/08). Each of the above 3 sponsors must provide a written recommendation for the applicant. At that time go to the application page and fill out the application. It normally takes 2 to 3 weeks for approval.
As compared to other trading venues online this may seem to be not worth the bother. But from my own experience with the Canadian Sports Card Traders (I will highlight the CSCT in a future post) the trust and friendship that can result from a group like this is well worth the effort.
I have developed quite an interest in pre 1980 O-Pee-Chee baseball cards and I hope to join this fine group in the near future. I will let everyone know how I make out. Till next time.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Probably my favourite is the V252 set - another favourite search to add to Ebay.
Here are a few images that I hope you enjoy. If you are interested in learning a little more about Pre-War Hockey read the
following article from PSA - it is a little dated now but a great read.
What are your favourites? Write a comment on let us know. Till next time.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee set was the first set I went after seriously when I first began to collect again in university. I had a stack of these cards that I purchased as a kid - or were purchased for me (I was 6!), however these were in "childhood" condition (a term that is being used by more and more sellers on Ebay). So I initially used these as fillers and went from there.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
As I mentioned a few days back I store the bulk of my cards in a 48 drawer library card catalog cabinet like the one pictured to the right (Image liberally borrowed from a crafter who also sees the appeal of these units!). Just search google images for library card catalog. These units not only provide functional storage for cards, thread, ribbons, buttons, nails, screws etc. they also act as a nice piece of furniture. Many of the units are made of solid hardwood - oak in my case, and would look right at home in a home den or library.
But what about your binders which store the 9 pocket pages ? Currently mine is a hodge podge of mismatched binders, some decent looking ones from Ultra Pro, others just basic D-ring units from Office Depot. At some point I would like to buy a large quantity of nice matching albums and take the time to type up nice identifiers for the spines. MJ Roop - now out of business had beautiful (but very expensive) albums which came custom ordered for each particular set. Something like the binders pictured on the top right with protective sleeves.
Unfortunately when it comes to spending the limited hobby budget I always find something I want more than nice binders. What about decent looking boxes to store completed sets which don't make it to the binders? You know that 89-90 O-Pee-Chee set that you want to keep but don't feel like filling a $10 dollar binder with $10 dollars in 9 pocket pages. Like most people I have a ton of the plain white cardboard boxes of various lengths - half of which are marked up with the scars of past contents. Feel free to share your ideas - who knows maybe if you can make the stuff look somewhat appealing the wife or better half will allow you to take it out of those big rubbermaid containers. Till next time.
OK first rule of card trading - don't show your hand. Never admit how much you need a card, indeed this article discusses best strategies should you ever have someone's white whale or should you have one on your wantlist.
I tend to take a more laid back approach. My complete wantlist is posted on my public website by set, so it is it not much of a challenge to see I am down to one or two cards.
In my case I have no sets with single final cards on the wantlist. I do, however, have two sets from the mid to late 1990s which are down to 2 cards:
1997-98 Upper Deck SPx
Needed: # 17 (Doug Weight), 42 (Jagr)
Game Films: F6 Kariya, F10 Sundin
I didn't buy a single pack of 97-98 SPX (fairly expensive stuff in 1998) and I obtained most of the cards in large quantity purchase I made. When I finally sorted the cards I was only 10-12 away from the small 50 card set so I figured I would compile a list. Early on traders from the Canadian Sports Card Trader Group (of which I was an original charter member) quickly whittled the list away. But as happens quite frequently sets that don't get finished shortly after release can sit and languish. The McDonald's game films (see the elusive Sundin above!) were fairly tough pulls, I managed to get a few the old fashioned way (eating fries and opening packs!!) the rest were purchased directly or obtained by trades. Can you help beach a whale? Till next time.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
So the snow fell and fell and fell. 38 cm in total. With the high winds the drifts were a couple of feet in places. A lot of shovelling and a sore back this morning - probably no huge need to hit the gym today.
Good morning, well the snow is falling in St. John's, NL, Canada. This will be our first significant snow fall of the year. It is a classic nor'easter - a low pressure system off the east coast of the US/Canada where the rotation of the system causes the winds to hit land from the north-easterly direction - couple that with temps below freezing and you guessed it - snow! high winds! The forecast is calling for about 20cm (or 8 inches) but the range is about 20-40cm so who knows.