Friday, May 8, 2009

Terrible Ted's Trio

Added another three strong cards to the set this morning, including the first card. I was also able to get Prentice and Terrible Ted for great prices:

#1 Bob Armstrong $6.99
#32 Dean Prentice $7
#63 Ted Lindsay $9

Shipping for the lot was $9.50...a little steep but I did save quite a bit from the asking price by submitting a "Best Offer." These guys will be travelling east from Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. I'll post pics once they arrive.

Running Cost: $88.00
Running Shipping: $21.50
Grand Total: $109.50
Total Cards: 15/66 (~23%)
Average Cost per Card: $5.87
Average "Loaded" Cost per Card: $7.30

A Howell of a Card

Harry Howell played more games than any defenseman in major-league hockey history by the time he retired, though he never won the Stanley Cup. Howell played in a total of 1,581 contests, 1,411 in the NHL and 170 in the World Hockey Association. Born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1932, Howell was known as a dedicated, dependable player on the ice and a classy guy off it.

But more on Harry when the actual card arrives from Ottawa, Ontario.

This is another great card I think I lassoed in at a very reasonable price...I submitted a Best Offer of $11 plus $3 shipping.

Running Cost:
Running Shipping: $12.00
Grand Total: $77.01
Total Cards: 12/66 (~18%)
Average Cost per Card: $5.42
Average "Loaded" Cost per Card: $6.42

Early Morning Jackpot!

Just finished negotiating and using "Buy It Now" to add a lot of 10 cards to the infant set (or maybe it’s a toddler--or even a 'tween--since I'm now just below 17% completed). Almost as good as the price ($4 each and $8 for the Wharram) was adding 4 of the set's 13 rookie cards. But as anyone with kids knows, this is only going to get more expensive. So I'd better savor what I expect to be a rather rare inexpensive moment:

#14 KEN WHARRAM Rookie Card
#17 NORM JOHNSON Rookie Card
#33 CLAUDE LAFORGE Rookie Card

I'll post the pics once the cards arrive...they'll be making the trip from Goderich, Ontario.

The good: I added a whole whack of cards for what I would consider a fabulous price.

The bad: this also means I'm getting closer to the more expensive RCs, Howe, Hull, etc.

So now the numbers look like this:
Cost: $44.00
Shipping: $6.00
Total: $50.00

Running Cost:
Running Shipping: $9.00
Grand Total: $63.01
Total Cards: 11/66 (~17%)
Average Cost per Card: $4.91
Average "Loaded" Cost per Card: $5.73

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First Blood...1958-59 Topps #64 Al Arbour

Anxious to get started, I did what any modern day collector would do: I ran out and found the first card I could find on eBay and started bidding. I won Al in the last few minutes of the "game."

It seems fitting that Arbour would be my first card toward this set given the "recapture my youth" theme of my opening post. I was a huge New York Islanders fan growing up and can remember the thrill of Nystrom's OT winner in 1980 just as vividly as I felt the impending doom of the Oilers blocking the Isles' fifth straight Cup after Game 1 of the 1984 Finals. Of course, bespectacled Arbour was the coach of those great Islander teams.

Arbour started his playing career in 1954 with the Detroit Red Wings winning the Stanley Cup. He later skated for the Chicago Black Hawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues. Arbour also won the Stanley Cup as a player in 1960–61 with the Black Hawks and the in 1961–62 and 1963–64 with the Maple Leafs. Arbour, along with teammate Ed Litzenberger, is one of 11 players to win consecutive Stanley Cups with two different teams. Arbour was the also the first captain of expansion St. Louis when they lost in finals in 1968, 1969 and 1970 (all in 4 straight games).

He is one of the few professional athletes to wear glasses when competing. Arbour was the last NHL player to wear them on the ice. He then went on to win those four in a row with the Islanders. Arbour was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996 in the Builder category (even though his 12 career goals were given ample consideration, but paled in comparison to the standing record of 19 consecutive playoff series wins).

This is Arbour's 3rd card and his 2nd Topps issue. His rookie card is the 1953-54 Parkhurst. Al will be making his way from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I'm told he's in "Very Good" condition with light wear at the corners, no stains, a small and hard to see crease at the bottom edge of the card, no marks and a clean back.

So here are my stats on this card, as well as my running totals:

Cost: $10.01
Shipping: $3.00
Total: $13.01

Running Cost: $10.01
Running Shipping: $3.00
Grand Total: $13.01

Comments? Good buy? Did I overpay?

The Quest for 1958-59 Topps

Sitting here at my desk I've decided to conquer the 1958-59 Topps hockey card set. Why the 1958-59 issue? Partly just because. I used to be a huge hockey collector back in the 1980s. Had absolutely everything from 1969-70 to 1990-91. Then--like most collectors-- I fell out of love once it become impossible and unmanageable (and impractical for someone paying for college) to continue collecting the crazy number of issues put on the market.

I consider myself lucky that I was able to sell most of my collection at a time (early 1990s) when I could still get a reasonable percentage of my initial "investment" back. I was also lucky to have started collecting in the 1980s when prices were reasonable (even if I was making only $4 or $5 an hour at my summer-time jobs). At the time I was a just a kid collecting hockey cards. Most of my weekly pay check would get spent in one of two places...the local convenience store buying wax packs or through the mail (that's how we purchased cards "back in the day"). My mom set up my first checking account just so she wouldn't have to write all the checks for me.

I remember buying a WHOLE WAX CASE of 1984-85 OPC when it came out and splitting it with a friend. It was a lot of money at the time. I ended up with 20+ gem mint sets. I can remember a fist-full of Yzerman RCs. But therein lied the bacame about the value of the cards. It was the first time I'd purchased any cards with the intention of "making some money" and not simply adding to my collection. I now consider it the beginning of the end.

Which brings us back to 1958-59. Ironically, I never had any of these cards in my collection other than the Hull RC. As good a reason as any to make it my target.

Its also manageable in terms of being only 66 cards. Most of the cards are reasonable priced...except of course for the aforementioned Hull. I actually possessed a Hull RC in the past that I bought back in the early 1990s for what I remember being less than $100. About now I wish I had that card would be a great starting point for the set.

Any how, here is a run down of the cards I'll be searching for:

1958-59 Topps Hockey
Bilingual backed cards depicting the players on the four US NHL teams: Boston, Chicago, Detroit and New York. Contains 66 cards with 13 rookies.

1 Bob Armstrong
2 Terry Sawchuk
3 Glen Skov
4 Leo Labine
5 Dollard St. Laurent
6 Danny Lewicki
7 John Hanna RC
8 Gordie Howe
9 Vic Stasiuk
10 Larry Regan
11 Forbes Kennedy
12 Elmer Vasko
13 Glenn Hall
14 Ken Wharram RC
15 Len Lunde RC
16 Ed Litzenberger
17 Norm Johnson RC
18 Earl Ingarfield RC
19 Les Colwill RC
20 Leo Boivin
21 Andy Bathgate
22 Johnny Wilson
23 Larry Cahan
24 Marcel Pronovost
25 Larry Hillman
26 Jim Bartlett RC
27 Nick Mickoski
28 Larry Popein
29 Fleming Mackell
30 Eddie Shack RC
31 Jack Evans
32 Dean Prentice
33 Claude LaForge RC
34 Bill Gadsby
35 Bronco Horvath
36 Pierre Pilote
37 Earl Balfour
38 Gus Mortson
39 Lorne "Gump" Worsley
40 Johnny Bucyk
41 Lou Fontinato
42 Tod Sloan
43 Charlie Burns RC
44 Don Simmons
45 Jerry Toppazzini
46 Andy Hebenton
47 Pete Goegan RC
48 George "Red" Sullivan
49 Hank Ciesla RC
50 Doug Mohns
51 Jean-Guy Gendron
52 Alex Delvecchio
53 Eric Nesterenko
54 Camille Henry
55 Lorne Ferguson
56 Fern Flaman
57 Earl "Dutch" Reibel
58 Warren Godfrey
59 Ron Murphy
60 Harry Howell
61 Leonard "Red" Kelly
62 Don McKenney
63 Ted Lindsay
64 Al Arbour
65 Norm Ullman
66 Bobby Hull RC