Tuesday, February 13, 2018

COMC Christmas: NHL & NASCAR

Combining two of my three sports into one post, since I didn't get a whole lot of either of them.

First, hockey, which has already surpassed NASCAR in my list of favorites- although, while I type this up on Sunday afternoon, I'll be watching the Busch Clash or whatever they call it now instead of the Rangers/Jets game.

I only added one of my favorite NHL Player, unlike six of my favorite NBA player and three of my favorite NASCAR driver. Just how the cards shook out this time. However, this is a serially numbered insert parallel, my first numbered card of his, so it's a good one!

 My first card from 2003-04 Black Diamond on the hockey side, and my first Leafs relic. Sorry, CrazieJoe, I got this one for me!
 Manon Rheaume made history when she played in two pre-season games for the Lightning in the 1992-93 season. I wish she had gotten into a regular season game...but it was not to be. She was exclusive to Classic at the time, which did not make NHL cards. So, she didn't get a proper NHL card until many years later when they started making "history of the sport" sets, as 2008-09 Upper Deck Masterpieces was. I had been wanting to get a card of her in Lightning gear for a while and finally found one in my price range.Even though it's a painting, not a photograph, it still counts.
 I got this one because I'm good friends with someone with the same name. and it cracks me up whenever I see a reference to this guy. And, it's SN. I didn't realize until the box arrived and I was entering the cards into my listings that it was also my first card from 2012-13 Artifacts.
 I'm sad that Jarome Iginla appears to have retired, but glad I got to see him play, at least briefly, during 2016-17. When I was reading about the sport shortly after I discovered it, he jumped out as a favorite because he has done a lot of work to try and combat diabetes, one of the many things that I have wrong with me. This is also my first card from the set, and it's numbered, so winning all around here.
This is a brand new set but is exclusive (no pun intended) to Canada, so I likely won't see it for sale anytime soon. I decided that I wanted an example for my set, and I figured, I might as well get a SN parallel, and the UD Exclusives concept has existed since 1998-99- the longest running uninterrupted parallel in cardboard history. (THAT pun was intended). I also figured, since I was hand picking a card, why not get one of the Women's Team members, thus adding a new person to my collection and slightly increasing the vastly-outnumbered portion of ladies in my sports card collection? I was only half successful on that regard, because it turned out I already had a card of her and had forgotten. She got one in Sports Illustrated For Kids about a year ago. I'm still happy to have this card. And, the other one is a Multi-Sport card and this is a hockey card, so they technically count as two different collections. She didn't make the Olympic team this year.

 I pulled a Clear Cut parallel of Brayden Schenn from my box of 2016-17 Upper Deck Series 2, and I thought it was really neat. So I looked to see if I could add some more to my collection. They are a little pricey, but with how rare they are that's not too surprising. I was able to add one each from 2016-17 Upper Deck Series 1 and 2017-18 Series 1. I've always liked clear plastic cards, and these are just plain cool.

With a tip of the hat to the similarly named but not related Kin Kinsley, I stocked up on Young Guns from 2016-17 Upper Deck series 2. I got a hobby box from my Mom for Christmas, and I had remembered Kin mentioning that thanks to E-Pack, you could get most of them for cheap on COMC. He wasn't kidding. None of these cost me more than 42 cents. All but four of them are my first card of the player - Milano, Kylington, De Leo, and Johns were previously in my collection. with Kylington and Johns joining my collection on Christmas day. The Sonny Milano is actually from series 1, I meant to only buy S2 cards but my enthusiasm got the best of me I suppose. With the Auston Matthews in series 1 I doubt I'll be able to ever afford a box so the Milano should not ever be a duplicate anyway. I know, thanks to the Matthews in particular, I can never hope to complete the 530 card Upper Deck Flagship, (I count the updates as part of the set being updated, not the set it was packed in), but I will get as many of them as I possibly can.
I was in such a rush, I accidentally purchased a copy of a card I had just gotten in the box I got for Christmas. It's not shown. Oops!

Now, I move on to the NASCAR cards I got with this Christmas present. It's only 5 of them, and only three drivers are represented.

 For some reason, NASCAR cards on COMC tend to be higher priced than NBA and NHL cards. I rarely add any from there, and if you recall I've mentioned that I wasn't able to add any Dale Jr. cards from COMC in the past. That changed, as I added two numbered cards and a relic. I don't know why that changed, but I am certainly happy about it! Dale Jr. is my all-time favorite driver, and I look at his cards regularly. I don't know if its because he's retired now (I'm unhappy about that, but with his injury history I am not too terribly upset- another bad wreck might not have been walk-away-from) Interestingly, the Stealth card that leads off this section of the post, I have the base version of. I only got one pack of 2007 Stealth, so the odds of having that base card from my sole pack must be pretty low, despite only being a 90 card set. (this one's also Refractor technology!) I had to rescan my base version recently because I had accidentally cut off the bottom white border when I originally scanned it circa 2009. The card also shows the biggest problem Dale Jr's cards have had- every Cup card from 1999-2007 were censored. Drives me nuts. Luckily, when he went to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, Budweiser did not go with him and thus, no more censorship. The Car cover from 2009 Press Pass Pieces comes from an insert set that was available only one per factory set. I got Jeff Gordon in mine, can't complain there.
The 2011 Legends Gold is just a cool card.
I make it a point not to buy current season cards as singles. I did it in the past, and then got burned by pulling another copy of the same card from a pack. More than once, which led me to swear off doing that forever, except for serially numbered cards or rare inserts. Yet, I broke that self-imposed rule for this card. Photos of cars on cards is rare. Press Pass never really figured out that a NASCAR set should show cars, and when they did throw a few out there, they went with superstars only, usually only 5 or 6 per set. Panini has done better...but still manage to do it wrong. The car cards in Select are short printed. I've done three blasters and pulled one of them. The blasters are no longer available at my local Target, sold to somebody who is not me. I figured I would risk it and buy this card. which is my first Cup car card of Matt DiBenedetto. I think it may be my first of Go FAS Racing as well, but I'm not 100% sure on that- I don't remember the new cards as well as I do the cards of the 1990s. For under a dollar, I figured I would risk getting a duplicate at some point in the future, but it seems unlikely. The Select brand returned to NASCAR in 2017 for the first time since 1995. The 1995 set (which really was all about, and had photographs from, 1994) is one of my favorite NASCAR sets and I'm one card away from completing it. Panini got the brand when they got the Pinnacle brands. Until I joined the Trading Card Database, I didn't know it had a run in baseball. I thought it was a one-and-done set for NASCAR. It has appeared in the NBA for the past several years as well. All the Select brand sets under the Panini aegis all use Chrome technology, which Panini calls Prizm.

 Racing Champions is special to me. I discovered the sport via a big box of Racing Champions cars on 12/26/1992 and they remained my favorite for as long as they had the license, which was 2005. They practically invented the concept of diecast replicas of NASCAR cars, and they did invent the concept of putting trading cards with them. I have realized, a little while ago, that when NASCAR took away RC's license is when my disconnect with the sport really began. But that's a whole other topic. I have the largest known Racing Champions NASCAR diecast collection in the world. I've worked hard to build it, and in fact, when I was mostly out of cards in the 2007-08 time period, it's because a large portion of the money was going towards getting the Racing Champions cars I always wanted but never had. I estimate that I am under 200 cars away from having every single one they produced in 1/64 scale, although I constantly find promos and variations I never knew existed. Before I got diabetes, I would buy them when I did, but now I can't afford to do that anymore. I will, however, pick up some from time to time, and I have a list of cars that I would buy if I could find them, because I looked for so long and never could.

One thing I would change, though, is HOW I collected them. I got a lot of them second hand, loose, without cards. Others, I would get the five packs, which didn't come with cards (but usually had an exclusive car or two). That latter way is how I got the 1999 Jimmy Spencer car. If I could go back to 1999...I would have done things a little differently. I would have still gotten the 5-pack, due to the exclusive car, but I would have gotten the individually issued car as well, because it came with the card. The 1999 year was unusual for Racing Champions. Most of the cars were reissued several times during the year with a different card design. That year, and that year only, the card was shaped to fit the package, die cut and oversize. Hard to store. The issue number was not printed on the card but only on the bottom right corner of the package. Jimmy Spencer only got two of the 82 numbered issues, one for the standard scheme and one for the gold scheme. I got the gold one when it was new, but I didn't get the card for the red standard scheme until finding it on COMC. The more popular cars- Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Burton in particular- had lots of cards in the set, and the only way to tell them apart at this late stage is to find a copy of them for sale on Ebay. Luckily, most are easily found still. Unfortunately, both of Jimmy Spencer's cars and cards were censored, as he was sponsored by Winston.
This is the car this card would have come with, or darn close to it. RC would modify the cars as the season went along, to more accurately reflect the actual car, so the 5-pack car may not match the single packed car exactly. However, the 5-pack is the only one I have.
I try to search for Racing Champions cards on COMC once a month or so- or whenever I get some money, at least- and I rarely find any I don't already have...only coming up with this one in the last year. But it's one more I didn't have previously, so I'm still happy about that!
This card is #40, by the way.

Only one more post to finish off my COMC Christmas.


  1. Great cards! I wish I had followed though on posting my COMC haul-but I enjoy reading about yours. The clear cut cards are very cool, but yeah they're not cheap. I was able to snag a Travis Zajac for under $3..mostly because he's Travis Zajac. The Iginla Trilogy is nice; I thouht maybe he'd finish his career on an Olympic team like Brian Gionta is doing for the US. Not sure why Iggy isn't reppin team Canada, but those gold Exclusives are nice. I wish UD would make a Team USA set. (maybe if they beat Canada?)

    1. I really want a set of Olympic cards that covers all the winners- not just one or two players from some sports. Licensing kills a good thing again.

      Nice find on the Zajac. Did you see him lay the beat down on Radko Gudas last week?

      I am hearing that Gionta will be back in the NHL after the Olympics...

  2. Earnhardt cards are great....will miss him though. And you should go after the rest of the diecast you are missing.

    1. For sure. At least Martin Truex and Darrell Wallace are there to really root for.

  3. I don’t follow NASCAR as much as I used to, but th Cards are still cool! You had quite a haul!

    1. Thank you! I sure did. It's amazing the cool stuff you can find for good prices.

  4. I don't follow NASCAR, but I've considered collecting the Racing Champions cards since they kind of remind me of SLU cards. I might need to see if there are any cheap lots on eBay. As for hockey... I love the Rheaume. Definitely a big time hockey story in the 90's. And UD Masterpieces if one of the greatest product lines ever.

    1. I have some available if you are interested. Not too many but enough to pad a bubble mailer I suspect.

      I like the masterpiece set myself. I have 5 now from the NHL set and 3 from NBA. I need to up those numbers!

  5. So....no chance you happened to get two of the Sundin cards huh? ;)