Saturday, January 21, 2017

Seeing things? You're not crazie, my first error of the year!

One thing that has been almost totally missing from my now 4 year run on Cardboard History has been my error cards. I love error cards. Not just the dramatic ones, the minor ones too. I even wrote up a post once identifying the rarity of various kinds of errors, but I never finished it- someday I should do that. I don't get to add new errors to the collection as much as I once did, as I am bringing in less random boxes of cards than I used to be able to. I have not been to the only shop that sells the mixed boxes I love for over 2 years now, and I'm opening fewer packs and boxes than ever before.

In the past few years it's led to me adding on average one error per year since 2014.

2017's came early as a gift from CrazieJoe of CrazieJoe's Card Corner, one of the few bloggers who posts on a daily basis. A couple of months or weeks back, I don't remember exactly when, he pulled an error out of his Santa Lot and with it being an NBA card, asked my advice on it. I let him know I would love to add it to my collection, so he was kind enough to give it to me.

The fact that it's from one of my favorite sets of the between the Lockout era only adds to it's coolness.
Do you notice something different about the Chris Kaman card in the middle? It does not have the foil on the name and Ultra logo! In fact, it does- but the card went through the stamping machine in the wrong order, as the foil is visible peeking out from under the white printing surrounding his name, and the Ultra logo.

Very cool! It's my first major error from the 2004-05 Ultra set, and my first error of 2017. Hopefully since it came so early in the year I will be able to add more than one during 2017.

While I have them posted, that's a great card image on the Voshon Lenard card, which shows him holding the trophy for winning the 3-Point Shootout at the All-Star Game. All the Ultras you see here were gifts from Joe.

Thanks Joe!

I've been so lax in posting my errors that they didn't even have a label yet before I made this post. I'll make an effort in 2017 to showcase more of my error collection- I have been lucky enough to pull some spectacular ones. I've also pulled more than a few that aren't really visible in scans, like missing UV coating, or the UV coating applied on the wrong side of the card, that would not be all that interesting to see unless you see them in hand. But I love them all if they are major or minor.

Speaking of errors, I made one a few days when I didn't realize that I had hit the 300 published post marker. The pack of 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee I posted about was post #300, and now I'm already on #304. I have more than 20 ready to go in the Queue as well, including some more of my 2016 COMC Black Friday additions.

Friday, January 20, 2017

NASCAR Special Paint Scheme of the Month: 1995 Dale Earnhardt Silver Select

2017 marks my 25th anniversary of discovering the sport of NASCAR. It was December 26th, 1992, but I'm going to celebrate it all year anyway, and all of 2018 as 1993 was the first year I actually watched.

I wanted to do something special to mark my 25th Anniversary, but what? Then it hit me, how about highlighting some special paint schemes? Special Anniversary = Special Paint Schemes, It made sense! I originally conceived the idea as a weekly series, but soon realized that wouldn't work- since Press Pass never bothered to produce cards showing the cars, I would run out of cards to post before I reached the end of 2017, let alone get me through 2018. Then I thought about it some more, and realized, since it's a 25th Anniversary special series, I could do 25 posts- one per month in every month of 2017 and 2018, and a bonus post to be published on the actual 25th anniversary day. Now that...that was doable.

I knew to begin the series I would use Dale Earnhardt's 1995 Silver Select car, or at least that's what Action called it. Most sources, including NASCAR itself, call this the very first special paint scheme. But, it's not. Not by a longshot. It's not even the first Dale Earnhardt himself ran.

The first special paint scheme in NASCAR history was run in 1968, by David Pearson. The Holman-Moody Fords he usually drove were blue with a gold roof, but for at least 5 races in 1968, he drove a gold car with a blue roof, to celebrate Ford Motor Company's 65th anniversary. There are no cards of this car or most of the cars that predate the silver car shown in this post.

Dale himself drove the second and third special paint schemes in NASCAR history. He ran a reverse paint scheme at the 1985 Daytona 500, and in the 1986 Daytona 500, he ran with "Red Headed Stranger" on the hood and Farm Aid on the tail panel.

The fourth special paint scheme was run by Dale Jarrett in 1989, to promote the Ghostbusters II movie.  This car DOES appear on a card, in the 1991 K&M Sports Legends Dale Jarrett set, but I don't have it.

The fifth special paint scheme was driven by Morgan Shepherd in 1993, when an alternate, eagle design was used on the hood of his car at least at the first Darlington race, possibly others. I would not have remembered it's existence if it was not shown in the NASCAR Yearbook, which leads me to another point- there may be others I don't know of or don't remember.

The sixth, seventh and 8th special paint schemes were all run by Kyle Petty, one in 1993 and two in 1994. In 1993 he ran a tribute to his father, Richard Petty on the trunk lid at the Daytona 500 only (where he won the pole- this was the first race I ever saw). During 1994 he ran a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hood and at the final race of the year, the sponsor, Mello Yello, had a tribute to Kyle himself on the sides of the car, thanking him for being their driver since 1991.

Finally, we get to 1995. 1995 was the year that special paint schemes really took off, and it was at the Winston that it all kicked in. From that race forward, special paint schemes have been a staple of NASCAR, culminating in the 2016 Southern 500 when 38 of 40 cars had a special paint scheme, the most in NASCAR history.

While the silver car may not be the first, it certainly is the one that made it popular. Earnhardt would drive a special paint scheme at The Winston (The All-Star race) every year for the rest of his career, and more than likely his Winston specials may appear in this program again.

The Silver car was run to celebrate Winston's 25th anniversary being the title sponsor of the sport, but unfortunately for Earnhardt, his night ended 10 laps short of the end, when he was taken out in a multi-car accident, finishing 14th in the 20 car field. I never saw the race, as it was on a TV channel we didn't get, but I believe he was battling for the lead at the time.
The accident is actually shown on 1996 Ultra #200, but I don't have that card.

The Silver car appears on a number of cards:
1995 Action Packed Winston Cup Country Jumbos #1, 2 and 4, probably 3 as well but I have not seen it
1995 Maxx Premier Plus special card, unknown number
1996 Ultra #200
1996 Ultra Golden Memories #4 (back only)
2002 Dale Earnhardt: The Artist's Series #63

The final card in the list is the card shown, as it's the only one in my collection. This somewhat mysterious series has no year or maker's info anywhere on the cards. It was sold through QVC's "For Race Fans Only" show in 2002, which is where I got it, as a factory set. The entire series is painted by artist Bill Purdom.
Here's a diecast replica, which shows the unique contingency placement of the We Care logo, normally found on the side of the car at the rear bumper. The car raced with it in the position shown on this die cast, which, as near as I can tell, was the only car to ever race with it in that location.
Here is a 1/24 scale plastic model I build of the car in 2004. Please keep in mind I had absolutely no idea what I was doing so it's not very accurate, it was the first NASCAR model I built when I finally felt confident enough in my skills to begin building them. I was unaware of the proper contingency placement at the time of building, and someday I plan to do another which in theory would be better as I have somewhat better skills now, and more knowledge of how to do it more accurately, plus access to more accurate decals.
Finally, here's a photo of the real car on track. I do not know the source of the photo or the photographer. I found it on a NASCAR message board in 2008. Based on this being taken in the sunlight, it must have been taken during practice.
Future posts in this series won't be so long, but being the first one, I had to give a little history of the special paint scheme before I really got into it.

Thanks for reading, and expect February's post to go live during the Daytona 500.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I knew I was close, but it turns out I was closer than I thought. Back in late 2015 I wanted to know how many people I had in my collection. I had the stats for the NBA and NASCAR, but not everything else- the other sports and non-sports. So, I spent more than a week going through all my cards that were non-NBA or NASCAR and making a listing in Excel. I was above 8000 but I don't remember the exact number. I crossed 9000 early in 2016 and with the cards from the other three sports that I was given in 2016, pretty much every one was a new person.

I thought I began 2017 at 9920something. But I forgot the 1995 Traks Valvoline set, which covered the history of auto racing- giving cards to many early drivers, and covering a lot of early Indy car drivers, missing from my collection otherwise. This set needs to be discussed further, and I will, but with that 101 card set, I knew most would be new people for me- about 1/6th of the set is the only card ever made for the people it shows.

It did the trick! My total number of people in my collection is now at 10,012. Unbelievable!

Here's person #10,000:

Since I've made it my goal to get as many different people into my collection as possible, the number has gone up and up, and now...10 thousand different people appear in my collection.

64 different sports are covered in my collection, plus non-sports, with the NBA leading the way with most people, which should not be much of a surprise as the NBA collection takes up more than half of my collection totals. Most of those 64 sports come from the Olympic and SI for Kids sets, which I decided to label the person by sport instead of simply "Olympics" for example.

I only counted real people, IE, no characters. Each person also had to get a card by themselves, no shared cards, team cards, league leaders, etc.

I'm amazed and thrilled by this...this is a big deal. I am not going to stop though. My goal is still to get as many different people represented in my collection as possible, and now I have hockey to chase as well. I am not sure it's totally accurate- I just found somebody missing from the list who I have three cards of, so human error- especially considering which human we're talking about here- is very much possible. (Niklas Sundstrom was the person I missed)

To me, this is such a big deal that I could pull a Michael Jordan autograph tomorrow, and this would still be more of a thrill to me.

Someday I hope to know exactly how many cards I have of each person, but that's years and years in the future...

I think I'll celebrate by opening a pack of hockey cards that I got this past Saturday or two, the same day I hit the milestone.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

December 2016 trade recap

This is by far the latest I've ever posted a trade recap, but finally, here it is.

I made only two trades in the month of December, both on the Trading Card Database. Both of them were with people I've traded with in the past and one of them actually completed a very large set.

First to arrive was with RUWrong, which was the 4th trade I've done with him. Mostly I got newer cards from him, but I got 4 cards from 1991-92 Skybox as well and one that was not new but replaced one that was damaged in the flood of 2/5/15. I didn't scan any of them yet.
I also got two cards from 2012-13 Past & Present, 2 from 2013-14 Hoops and the bulk of the trade was 9 cards from 2014-15 Hoops. That was the Panini era Hoops set I had the least of, but I'm slowly getting there.
The highlight from this trade for me was that one of the 2014-15 Hoops cards was of somebody not in my collection previously, Alec Brown.

You may be wondering who Alec Brown is? Well, he was the 50th pick of the 2014 NBA draft, spent 2014-15 and 2016-17 in the D-League, and played in Spain in 2015-16. He has never played in the NBA, and his entire professional career (D-League and Spain combined) is a grand total of 62 games. he has twice been on the Suns' pre-season roster, in 2014 and 2016, but did not make the team either year. The only cards he's ever gotten are this Hoops card and it's parallel. and he was, I believe, the last person from the set missing from my collection.

I love to get cards of obscure players. The more obscure the better. But if superstars are more your thing, that was covered too:

Tim Duncan of course being one of the all-time greats.

My favorite photo of the 9 cards was this one.

I'm always going to favor behind the glass photos. Always. Hickson is out of the League right now. I am surprised by that. While not a superstar I thought he would be picked up by some team but nobody offered a contract when he came up as a free agent after last season.

Just because I did scan it, here's Jimmy Butler from the 2013-14 Hoops set.
The second trade was with cabz05 and it was a larger trade, and was almost totally 1990s- my favorite decade. It arrived on 12/30 but I decided to save it for the next day, meaning I got cards on the first day of the year and the last day, the first time that ever happened I believe.  This trade covered a wide variety of sets:
5 from 1989-90 Hoops, 1 each from 1991-92 Skybox, 1992-93 Topps, 1992-93 Ultra, 1993-94 Stadium Club, 1993-94 Upper Deck Special Edition, 1994-95 Topps, 1995-96 Ultra, 1997-98 Collector's Choice, 1997-98 Fleer, 1997-98 Hoops and 1997-98 Stadium Club. 8 from 1995-96 Topps and 12 from 1994-95 Ultra, the Ultra set with the lowest completion percentage from the 1990s in my collection. Ultra, of course, being my favorite brand.

First things first: I completed 1991-92 Skybox! At 659 cards, this is the largest set in NBA history, by a wide margin. (The second largest is 514 cards) The sad thing is that I got a box of Series II for Christmas several years ago and though I got a stack of duplicates more than 100 cards high I did not get them all...but now I have them, finally!
Here is the last card I needed:
It's not even an NBA card, but I don't mind, as I also am a big Olympics fan, as has been well documented, so I don't get unhappy when they are included in my NBA sets.

With these cards I am now one card away from 1992-93 Topps and 1993-94 Upper Deck Special Edition, and only two cards away from 1989-90 Hoops and 1992-93 Ultra. Hopefully I can knock them off my Wantlist by the conclusion of 2017!

Any time I can get a new card from 1995-96 Ultra is a good day. It's been years since I got any new ones. One of my goals is to have every base card of the 1995-96 season, and this trade brought me 9 closer.
Although a Maverick here Harris spent many years as the Nets' 6th Man.

Some 1995-96 Topps, the 1995-96 Flagship least well represented in my collection for some reason.

Two guys who I associate with each of their teams in the 1990s and Doug Christie on the Knicks...that's a rarity. Christie played 12 games with the Knicks in 1994-95 and 21 with the Knicks in 1995-96, before being traded to the Raptors. This is the only card issued of him in the 1995-96 season and I believe the only one as a member of the New York Knicks. The only one I'm not sure on is the 1994-95 Panini Sticker, and I'm not totally sure than even counts anyway. The Panini stickers are usually early season so it's probably showing him as a Laker.

Here are some of the 1994-95 Ultra cards I got in this trade.
 I'm not sure if Juwan Howard is impressed or disgusted...
 The best photo of the cards.
 One problem 1994-95 Ultra suffered from was being cropped much too closely. It's like there was a rule that they couldn't show feet. Jaren Jackson was undrafted but won a championship with the Spurs.

The 1994-95 Ultra set was the first to have silver and gold foil on every card and foil on both sides. That was a selling point in 1994. I don't mind foil, but a lot of the Ultra cards had a problem with it not being applied right...there's not supposed to be a drop shadow, as is visible on the Dan Schayes card. Some of them are so badly off, it really detracts from the card. Like so:

An otherwise very good card is held back by the poorly aligned foil name.

In a bit of an ironic twist, I got some of the same cards from Kerry of Cards on Cards just a few days later. They were both in the mail to me at the same time. The good thing is, at least one of them is a conditional upgrade, as one of the cards I got previously but did not scan (Trevor Wilson) had a printing flaw. I'm glad I held off, and hopefully I will get the scan made of the new one in time when I post about that package. (I did- this was written first but is being posted almost a week later)

Here are some of the other cards I got in the trade. I didn't scan the 1989-90 Hoops cards yet.

That's all there was for trades in the month of December. A light month, but I got some great cards!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My first pack of O-Pee-Chee brand cards, ever

There are some brands that stand the test of time. Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck, Press Pass, Panini, those are all major brands that I've opened hundreds of packs of....with no disrespect intended to the card companies that were around for a while but never reached the "Big Three" level, now big 4 with Panini on the scene.
The one that really counts but has been outside of my collecting parameters is O-Pee-Chee, the Canadian card company. Technically the oldest card company around today, O-Pee-Chee issued it's first cards in 1934, a full 15 years before Topps' first card release. Originally issuing cards on it's own but eventually partnering with Topps and now Upper Deck to produce the cards, the company is still it's own entity, at least if Wikipedia is to be believed, although at this point in time it's more about the name tradition than selling gum (which, as I show below, is a very good thing)

However, O-Pee-Chee has been mostly outside my collecting parameters. They DID issue Star Wars sets which are very much in my collection focus, and other non-sports sets that I would have been interested in if I had found them...but I've never seen them. I don't know if they are truly rare or I just don't have the right contacts. Keep in mind that I was totally out of non-sports cards from 1997-2009.

O-Pee-Chee never released an NBA set, to the best of my knowledge, despite the fact that the first ever NBA game was actually held in Canada. The Toronto Huskies, who hosted (and lost) the first game, folded after only one season, and the NBA did not return to Canada until 1995. (In fact, there's not a single Toronto Huskies card ever made, I believe, though their jersey does appear as a throwback on at least one card showing the Toronto Raptors)

But now...finally, in 2017, I've begun collecting hockey. O-Pee-Chee and Hockey have a very long history, dating back to the aforementioned set of 1933. Since I began the active collecting of hockey cards by hitting my local source for vintage packs, two sealed packs of 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee were procured by me and this is the breakdown for my very first pack of O-Pee-Chee cards, ever!

First out was the one per pack insert, which documents the Soviet Red Army team.
Unfortunately, the back of this card has had gum resting against it for the past 27 years, and was severely damaged by it. I really, really wish gum had never been put with cards in the first place.
I wasn't even successful in removing all the gum off it- you can see there is some of it still stuck over the word Army in the 1989 stat line, and elsewhere. I got as much off of it as I could, and then put the card in a penny sleeve, which I made the scans through. It's unfortunate that it took this damage because it is the first hockey insert I pulled in my new sport's endeavor. And all because of the gum.

Whenever I see a card of the Soviet national team (which from what I've gathered this essentially is) I can't help but think of the line from Simpsons, "In Soviet Union, Review watches you!" and changing it in my head to "In Soviet Union, Cards collect You!"

Dave Chyzowzki was the first standard player card to come out of the pack. Even though I'm planning to collect the entire league fate seems to be pushing me towards the Islanders as I've simply got more access to them, and then I've been pulling them in the packs I've been opening. It's all good in my book (well, except the gum damage)
New York Rangers team card came next. I love the concept of team cards and wish they still existed. I don't know who any of these guys here are yet, but someday I hope to.

Steve Larmer is the first of two Chicago Blackhawks to appear in the pack. 
Randy Carlyle came out of the pack next. You don't see many balding athletes, but the back of the card attests that 1990-91 was his 16th year in the NHL. Great team logo, also!
Dave Andreychuk makes all three teams from my home state represented in one pack. We actually stopped at a Tim Horton's in Buffalo once, just throwing that out there...
Yvon Corriveau puts the Hartford Whalers into this pack as well. Although the team is gone I tend to lean towards considering them my "home" team. I've been to Hartford more times than I've been to Buffalo or NYC combined and one of my local card shops is actually in Connecticut. And they wore green, long my favorite color.

A northeast hot pack? Perhaps, as the New Jersey Devils make an appearance as well!

Denis Savard is the last card out of the pack, and it shows him as a Blackhawks player, with the Blackhawks color coding and team banner, but texts on Now with Canadiens. I suppose that makes this a Canadiens card and not a Blackhawks card, thus negating my caption for Steve Larmer. Unfortunately this card is also damaged, I'm not sure if the gum did it or if the wax did it, but you can see the damage on the top right corner.

Here's the back of the standard NHL player card. All of them have some of the brown spotting but some are worse than others.
I love the color scheme they chose for this year, mint green and blue on white. It works really well. You can see the red spots by the card number, especially.

The design looks more 1980s than 1990s but to me that is not a bad thing in any way. shape or form.

Overall a fun pack to open despite the damage. It's not every day you can open your very first pack of one of the major brands in the hobby, after all!

Here's what the pack looks like.

Next post I will be back to the NBA with my December trade recap. I have had it written for several days but have been putting it off as I am exploring the world of hockey.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Life as a hockey collector

After yesterday's surprise announcement that I have gotten into the NHL, I decided today to start actively adding to the collection. With a little help from my mom and brother, I visited my favorite shopping place here in the Hudson Valley, which is an antique mall with 4 different card dealers. One of those dealers is my favorite vintage dealer I've mentioned several times in the past.

I knew there were dealers with packs of cards there...
so packs I got. That's 9 packs of 2014-15 MVP, 4 of 1991-92 Stadium Club (I think- might be 1990-91? Not sure yet), 4 of 1990-91 Pro Set, 2 of 1993-94 Parkhurst, 2 of 1991-92 Upper Deck, 1 of 2001-02 Victory and 2 of 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee. The MVP cost me a dollar each, the rest cost me 50 cents each. I've never opened anything from O-Pee-Chee ever, that will be my first. I really wish they didn't include gum, I know the top card is going to be pretty much ruined because of it. I've never opened any of these sets and I will be digging into some after I hit post. 1990-91 Pro Set is in the early lead as my favorite NHL set, I have a bunch of them I got in January 2015 (The Epic Mailday where my hockey collection went from 28 cards to 2800 in one day)

Then, I hit my vintage dealer. My vintage dealer has had some incredible stuff here, and you've been seeing cards that came from him since I started the blog...I discovered him less than 2 month before I started Cardboard History.

All he had, for the most part, were Rangers and Islanders.

Sorry for the blurriness, these are taken with my cell phone and I guess I'm still learning how to take good pictures of cards with it. (the same phone that is allowing me to watch hockey, in fact! Watching Islanders/Hurricanes as I type!) I went through the binders and tried to pick out each set that he had. I don't even know what year these are all from yet, and not all of the sets are actually new to my collection, but for a dollar or less each, I'm not going to complain! 

Then I decided to hit the showcase...
 I paid half of what is marked...the hologram is Wayne Gretzky. You all know my love of holograms, lol. So, my hockey collection now goes back into the 1950s! Previous oldest card was 1969-70. That I also got from the same dealer over a year ago, in fact.

But that wasn't all. I decided to finally get the rest of the 1954 Topps Scoop cards, which I have loved since I discovered the set. I didn't want to spend that much money but I really wanted to put a finish to these, so I can work on getting some of the other stuff he's got and not feel guilty for leaving these behind. Every single one of these I've shown on the blog has come from this dealer.

And then I saw he had a case in the showcase he didn't have before...
1938's Horrors of War! One of the most storied, more legendary, most important non-sports sets ever made. This is my 2nd and 3rd cards from the set.

Then, having already spent way more than I expected, I visited the final dealer, who I have actually known for more than 20 years now. Back int he 1990s he used to run the card shows we had in the mall most weekends, but has now moved to the current location and the card shows went away around the year 2000. He's the hardest to shop from- everything is in large boxes in random order, sometimes in runs from sets, but sometimes truly haphazard. It's not uncommon to find 3 sports in a row. I liken going through the boxes to prospecting, if you are willing to do the work you can find some real gems. I was only able to go through one full box and portions of two others before my back gave out, but I still ended up getting exactly 100 cards.
Here's just some highlights. From the bottom left to right and up: my first card from this year's Absolute Basketball, which I didn't even know was out yet, two cards SN to 25, the TJ McConnell is only my third card of him. A new Elton! I pulled and got every hockey card I found, including one from that famous 1970s set. (my first) The Brodeur is a SN card, I think a parallel, but I'm not 100% sure yet. I still have so much to learn. The top card is beat to heck but it's an Essential Credentials card, not something that you come across very often, and it's SN 25/53. I like my current cards to be in a little better shape, but with any Essential Credentials card, I will make an exception. I may have added hockey to the fold, but I am still an NBA, Non-Sport and NASCAR collector as well.

Oh by the way, not all the cards I got today were for my own collection. I've mentioned several times that various bloggers have sent me stuff without asking anything in return...well...I might be changing that soon...but I'm not going to tell you if you are going to be getting some cards, it'll be a surprise.

I had a great day, and I have not even begun to research the cards I got yet, nor break into the packs. It won't be the first hockey packs I open- I've dabbled a little in the past- but they will be the first where I now consider myself a true hockey collector.

Better late than never!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Cardboard History on Ice

No, I'm not talking about those creepy Disney things like Lion King on Ice. I'm talking about this kind of ice:

These four cards were just scans I had easily accessible.

Yes, I think it was inevitable, really. I've officially become a fan of the NHL.

I've said in the past, it always surprised me that I never got into watching the NHL. To wit:
My favorite sport to play in school (and the only one I was good at) was floor hockey
I used to watch Roller hockey when it was on ESPN
Field Hockey is one of my favorite Olympic events
I generally prefer cold weather activities and sporting events related to same, IE, the ice in hockey

But I never did. I've watched a few games in the past, but it didn't "stick". I realized now why that is: I couldn't see the puck. You see, I have very poor eyesight. Without my glasses, I'm pretty much blind. I can see colors but I can't see any details farther than 3 inches away from me. Even with my glasses my vision is not all that good. When it was on my TV, I couldn't see the puck.

Then, in November, the new Las Vegas team announced their logo. After reading a discussion about it on the Trading Card database, I wanted to see it, so I put on NHL TV on my phone to see the new logo. I left it on while I did other card stuff, and I ended up enjoying what I was seeing. My TV has been slowly dying for the past several months, and I've mostly switched to watching everything on my phone. Since I have that set up directly to the left of my computer, I've actually been doing more watching of sports than I have for years, literally. Looking over to my TV would give me a headache if I did it too much, so I would mostly listen and look up when I heard something interesting going on.

On my phone, even though it's smaller, I can see the puck! I can see everything and I can even read the bottom scroll.

Since November, I've been secretly watching On the Fly every night, and catching games when I could. I find it's not as easy as it is with the NBA, because they don't repeat as much. Other than the local MSG broadcasts of the Rangers and occasionally the Devils they don't seem to repeat. As I'm usually awake in the middle of the night, I usually sleep through the games. But I have managed to see a few, and I'm sure in time my schedule will come around and I'll be able to see more. (Due to my health issues my schedule is constantly changing- it's very frustrating, actually). The NBA games of the night usually repeat 4 to 5 times, however many fit in until roughly 1 PM the next day. It's not uncommon for me to watch all or part of 5 or more games in a day. This is probably because I have League Pass. That's going to play a role when my schedule comes back around- I can watch the repeats of the NBA games, and watch the non-repeating NHL games live. I don't know if their version of League Pass repeats like the NBA version does, but I don't have the funds to find out.

I did take a little break for the Simpsons marathon that started on Thanksgiving, but I took a break from the NBA for that also, and you all know by now how much the NBA means to me.

I've also been reading up on the history of the NHL. Wikipedia has a ton of information. I've read the history, I've read the rules, I've read about the lore of the league and the history of some specific teams, with the intent to read all of the team's histories as time goes on. I also had the idea to see if I could find games on YouTube- and I was able to. I've now watched games as old as 1960! There's still a lot more to watch but there's plenty of time for that. Finding full games isn't always easy, mostly it's highlights. That's fine too- it's all new to me, it may be old news to everyone else but not to me. Most of the highlight reels on YouTube are fights instead of great goals or saves, though...

There are some things I don't know yet. For instance, I read they got rid of the tie due to shootouts yet the records still include three numbers. Wins and losses is pretty self explanatory, but what is the third number? I'm sure there's more I don't know, but if I knew what it was it wouldn't be in the list of things I don't know, right? What I don't know far outweighs what I do.

I have not picked a favorite player or team yet. Although I am located in the state of New York I don't associate with NYC and being in my home state does not automatically give the Rangers or Islanders an edge- Buffalo is so far away that they are not even shown on TV here. (About an 8 hour car ride- I'm literally closer to the Boston Bruins than I am the Buffalo Sabres). The fact that I can see Rangers games on local TV- and occasionally the Devils and Islanders as well- may mean I watch more of them than any other team, though...but I tend to go "big picture" when I do sports, and will watch any team, any time. Even my least favorite NBA team is watched regularly when they are on. That's not to say that the Rangers or Islanders may not become my favorite team anyway. Time will tell as I see and learn more.

One thing I really like is that they don't have stoppages in play every three seconds like the NBA does at the end of games. They also don't run out the clock, at least in the games I've watched. That always drives me insane with the NBA. One game I watched this past week was well in hand and yet they were still going at it full force at the very end of the game, with the clock running out and they weren't just standing there- they were still playing!

Now, this is a card blog and I think you know what that means...however...I don't really have the funds to take on a new sport full time. To be honest, I am barely hanging in with the NBA and NASCAR. Having to spend $500 or more a month on the medicine that keeps me alive is not really conducive for chasing cards like I want to, you know? In the 2016-17 NBA season I've purchased a grand total of 1 blaster for myself. I did get a box of Hoops and Donruss as gifts but if it wasn't for them I'd have about 55 cards to the entire season.

So, here's what I'd like to do: I'd like to turn the thousands upon thousands of NBA and NASCAR duplicates into NHL hockey cards. As I have so few (exactly 3000, but a good number of them can stand an upgrade) you can now consider me a source to dump your unwanted overproduction era duplicates :) I have my tradelists on the Database in the right column on my blog, and I've got boxes upon boxes of cards not listed that I've gotten since I last updated those in 2014. Who's up for trading? My goal is to eventually type up my trade lists similar to my wantlist up at the very top of the page but I am not quite ready yet for that.

With that said, don't be too surprised to see a repack, some actual packs, or perhaps even a blaster from time to time, as finances allow.

One other thing to say- the blogosphere played a role in this. I found myself really enjoying the hockey posts on the various blogs...quite a bit. I want in on that action, LOL. My friend Ricky, who doesn't blog, sent me about 2500 of the 3000 I got and I need to thank him as well.

Here's a couple of  posts I've written in the past that are somewhat germane to this post:
Expanding Horizons Recapturing a long-lost sense of wonder  Epic Mailday Part 1 (note- I never posted part 2)