This is definitely going to be a departure from the norm for this blog. I have only written about hockey once here, and even that was tangentially related to Josh Hamilton, when I delved in Nate Hagemo’s troubled path in the world.
Yesterday was one of those all time great days. It ended up with me having a fairly certain offer to start a post doctoral fellowship part time in January, while I finish writing my progress report and thesis. I also had a couple of boxes to break. My favorite product of all time is In The Game’s 2007-08 O Canada Hockey product. Its a niche filler to be sure, but it is my niche.
For those who are unfamiliar with the product, O Canada pays tribute to the Hockey Canada teams of the previous year. Team Canada’s National Women’s Team, National Junior Team and National Under-18 Team all won gold medals in their respective world championships. Every member of those teams has a card in this product. There are also a few notable Team Canada alumni (Joe Sakic, Eric Lindros, Marc-Andre Fleury) and some notable international foes (Alexander Ovechkin, Chris Chelios, Mike Modano). That’s the base set in a nutshell. You can follow my progress in trying to get the base set signed over at my Hockey TTM Blog.
I love this product, because there isn’t a card in the set that I don’t enjoy pulling from a pack. I don’t like the Montreal Canadiens, but seeing Carey Price in his Team Canada uniform brings back fond memories of him stoning the US in a semi-final shootout. My major set building project since the product came out was to put together all the autographed and game used cards for the three ‘teams’ featured in the base set. I finished that off a few months ago, and it is my happiest hobby moment. The set features some of the great young stars in the game today – Steven Stamkos, Carey Price, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty, Luke Schenn and Kyle Turris. The Women’s Team cards are some of my favorites as well. I actually played minor hockey for two seasons with two time Olympic gold medalist Colleen Sostorics, so it is really exciting to have cards to collect. The scans are quite large, so I’m not going to insert them into the blog entry (its getting to be long enough already) but you can check out my completed collections here (Women’s GU, Under-18 GU, WJHC GU, Women’s Autos, Under-18 Autos, WJHC Autos, Dual Jerseys w/ Women’s Team Members).
Even though I am finished with my projects, I still like to break the odd box. I love the cards, and the boxes are quite reasonably priced now. ITG has a great method of deterring pack searchers and rewarding box breakers at the same time. Each pack that doesn’t contain a GU card, contains a decoy card worth 1 point. If you collect 250 of these points, they can be redeemed for a special edition GU card from the product numbered /20. It means all the packs are basically the same size, and you get a little something extra. Once these programs have expired, the box prices usually drop quite a bit, which is the case for O Canada.
With that excessively long preamble out of the way, let’s get on to my two box break of O Canada. You are guaranteed two hits per box, with jerseys and autos falling 1:18 packs – so there is the chance of an ‘extra’ hit as well in each 24 pack box.
Game Used Jersey
A solid box. Since being drafted by the Leafs, Schenn has quickly become one of the hottest rookies on the market. This card features an actual GU jersey swatch, as opposed to photoshoot pieces from his rookie year cards. Labonte is one of the goalies who is always in the mix for Team Canada’s Women’s team. She actually played briefly in the QMJHL, and Upper Deck issued cards of her in one of their minor league sets.
That’s pretty much my best pull ever right there. Carey Price is one of the hottest names in hockey, and this is an amazing looking memorabilia piece. It features a swatch of his jersey, a number patch, an emblem patch and the fight strap.
I’ll be back to Hamilton and baseball sometime this week. I have been rather busy with work and other things. I just wanted to share a bit of my non-baseball luck with the blogging world.