Sunday, October 22, 2017

Cards From the North

It's been a long time ... a very long time since I've had cards grace my mailbox so when a random package arrived from Douglas of Sportscards From the Dollar Store recently, I was giddy with excitement that someone actually sent me cards in the mail!

As always, a package from Douglas has a nice variety. As much as I like the Edd Roush card here, I think I have to talk a bit about the Royce Clayton card. Clayton was at the near the end of his career in 2006 when he was acquired by the Reds from the Nationals in a bonkers trade still questioned by some fans to this day. It was a weird trade where the Reds got Clayton, Bill Bray, Gary Majewski, and one other for Austin Kearns, Ryan Wagner, and another player. To this day, I don't think anyone is sure what the Reds were trying to accomplish with that trade. Clayton finished the year as the Reds shortstop then moved on to Toronto as a free agent after the season.

Getting new Blue Jackets cards is always a blast, especially since they may be the lone major league team in Columbus soon (another story for another day) and I'm hoping I can maybe find some decent priced ones at the card show next week. The top three are from last year's Upper Deck Champs set, which is basically their version of A&G. It was a pretty cool product and it's something I hope they bring back this year. Brandon Saad was shipped back to Chicago after two seasons but in return, the Jackets managed to steal Artemi Panarin in return in a shocker of a deal.

This card was definitely one of the best of the batch and is a fantastic addition to my Brodeur collection. It's a thick card, really shiny, and has an amazing picture on it getting Brodeur in mid-catch to save a goal. 

The other thing I can count on for Douglas to send is lots and lots of Bengals cards, and there were a lot. So I'll go through them quickly. First, there were these neat cards of past Bengals QBs, although many try to forget the Jeff Blake era.

Joe Mixon was the Bengals top pick in the draft this past summer and has seen a lot of action recently, especially since the Bengals dropped Ken Zampese as their offensive coordinator and replaced him with Bill Lazor. The offense that had been sleepy in the first two games, woke up once Lazer was installed, and Mixon seemed to get more carries.

There was also this nice batch of Andy Dalton cards. My collection of his is slowly growing with some quality additions like this.

Same can be said for A.J. Green, one of my favorite players to watch on the Bengals. I'm starting to get a decent collection of cards of his as well.

There were also a nice batch of parallels included in the package as well, these were the best of the batch.

Thanks to Douglas for sending all these great cards over, I greatly appreciate it. I'll try to find some stuff to send back to you at some point.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

That's Just (O) Pee-Chee: A Jumbo Pack of 2017-18 O-Pee-Chee

Retail jumbo packs are always fun to rip open. For about five or six bucks (the price of 1 1/2 or 2 packs in the card shop), you get about 30 cards give or take. This particular pack had 32 cards. I debated on whether or not I should've actually bought it while I was in the store as O-Pee-Chee is primarily base cards. I was fearful that if I did get it then I'd be wasting my money as it'd be base cards of players I probably don't know. I know, the moral dilemmas of a card collector. Before I thought too long and hard about it, I threw it in the cart and brought it home.

I saw a box break video online recently of the Beckett crew opening some of this so I had a pretty decent idea of what to expect. The fronts are nice and simple with some great photos and a pretty decent design, especially with the team logo featured prominently on the bottom left. These are some of the better veteran players I got from my pack.

The backs are clean as well with a simple but old-school sort of feel. And ... gasp! ... career stats!!

Here's a couple of the young stars who saw action last season. The one bad thing about this being an early season release is that it doesn't have the new crop of rookies like Nico Hischier or Nolan Patrick in it.

Here are the inserts you can expect in a jumbo pack. It's always great to get a team checklist card. The Sam Reinhart card is a retro design. I've yet to try to figure out if the retro designs are parallels or inserts, regardless I dig them.

The other issue with O-Pee-Chee being an early season release is that it still has players with their previous teams. Mike Smith is now the #1 goalie in Calgary, ironically replacing Elliott who moved on to the Flyers.

Wrapping up the pack, here's a couple of my favorites to watch from my two favorite Canadian teams. Tkachuk if you couldn't tell by the name is the son of former Coyotes and Blues star Keith Tkachuk. He's also got a brother, Brady, coming up the ranks and might be in next year's NHL draft. Larsson was what Edmonton got in return from the Devils in the Taylor Hall deal a few years ago and I really enjoyed seeing Edmonton in their playoff run last year.

Overall, I'd say I was pretty satisfied with my return on investment here. Would I get another jumbo pack for five buck? Probably as I got a good handful of players I like and some fun cards to boot. You can't really ask for much more than that.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

First Face-Off

The NHL season may already be in full swing but as far as minor league hockey goes, their season is just getting started. Case in point, my wife, son, and I went to the Cincinnati Cyclones opening game last night with a friend of ours and her son.

We managed to procure second row seats for just $15 each (not including fees) and had a really fun time throughout. We even snuck down to the first row since no one bothered to take those seats until halfway through the game. While I didn't take too many pictures, here's what the view from our seats looked like looking towards center ice ...

The game itself was pretty competitive with the Cyclones battling back from a 2-0 hole to force overtime. Ultimately though, they lost 3-2 in overtime to Kalamazoo. A pretty good crowd was on hand too but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact it was also $1 beer night so the Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller High Life was flowing like water.

All in all though, it was still a great time and I'm definitely going to try to get back to another game before the season ends. To close this out, here's a picture of my son with the Chik-Fil-A Cow ...

Thanks for reading!