Bat-Around (Or Is It?): My Various Projects

It’s all about flexibility.

That’s what I was thinking when I was reading last week’s Night Owl Cards post about the irons he currently has in the fire. Some of the commenters suggested the topic become a “Blog Bat-Around”, and I said “Challenge accepted!”… although I’m not sure that anybody else has actually done this. No matter, I shall forge ahead!

I always have multiple projects going on, mainly because have numerous interests when it comes to my collection.  I’ll also confess to having a short attention span.

But when it all comes down to it, the go-to excuse I use is “flexibility”.

Here’s an example…

The card shows nearest to my home in Shlabotsylvania involve a 2+ hour drive, so I only get to one or two a year.  Because of of the paucity of show opportunities, I feel I can’t and shouldn’t limit things to one goal.  However, the last time I went to a show I went in with a primary goal of chasing after 1977-78 Topps Hockey, a set I started as a kid and have been giving thought to completing.

Then I got to the show – a regional show with several hundred tables – and found very little 1970’s hockey. Vintage hockey? Sure. Current hockey? Multiple dealers. 1970’s hockey? Too bad, so sad.

As a result, what had been my primary goal of the day quickly resulted in me standing in a show aisle saying “Well, poo…” (In the manliest way possible, I assure you).

That same show is rolling around in early April and I want to be ready for several possible contingencies, so I thought this post topic would allow me to contemplate just what it is that’s floating my cardboard boat right now.

Opening Current Packs
I completely understand that buying packs of current sets is a non-cost-effective way of collecting, but I’ve done it all my life, I enjoy picking up packs whenever I go into Target (and still miss when drug stores and convenience stores sold them as well) and I’m not stopping now.

It’s not even about chasing sets, because I have no illusions of completing 2018 Topps or Heritage. It’s more about having fun, acquiring cards of new players and getting a head start on my various projects involving 2018 cards.

Unfortunately in Shlabotsylvania (and, I’m guessing, elsewhere), retail Heritage is already drying up just weeks after the release. Sometimes this hobby just tries my patience.

1957 Topps Orioles Team Set
Last year, CommishBob of the must-read Five Tool Collector filled me with delight and astonishment when he sent me a Brooks Robinson rookie card, this lovely example from 1957.

Once the state of shock wore off, I decided that it would be fun to go after the team set. At that point I only had a couple, but I put a dent in it the last time, and will pursue this further at the April card show.

1966 Topps Mets Team set
This one is a “just in case things fall into place” project.

I thought this would be a relatively easy team set to complete. The Mets loaded up on past-their-prime future HOFers in the early years. Young future HOFers would come starting with Tom Seaver in 1967 and Nolan Ryan in 1968. 1966 Topps falls in a sweet spot between the two. The big names in the team set are Tug McGraw, Ron Hunt, Ken Boyer and Ed Kranepool. Sounds like an achievable goal for a collector on a budget, right?

That’s when I found that there seems to be an… ahhh, let’s say *unusual* shortage of several of the high-numbered commons such as Lou Klimchock. For example, I can go out on COMC and get nice-enough copies of hi #’s like Dick Bertell, Andre Rogers or John Sullivan for under $8. Lou Klimchock? Not a single one out there… and it doesn’t seem like there are any bargains to be found on eBay.  I’m going to keep my eye out for the three cards I need, but I won’t get my hopes up.

1979 Topps
I’ll admit, the enthusiasm isn’t really there for this project… but I need fewer than 50 cards to finish off the 1979 Topps set, and all of them are minor stars and commons.

1979 Topps is my least-favorite set of the decade, so I have to admit this is not so much a passion project as it is an “I’m out of excuses” project.  Besides, when I finish this I’ll extend my run of complete Topps sets from 1973 to 1981.

1976 SSPC
This goal’s a little dicey because I rarely find a lot of SSPC at shows.

One thing working against me is that I have only a couple of Yankees and Phillies, and an argument can be made that I should just try and buy those team sets on eBay… but I can’t decided how I want to procede on those.

1961 Topps Sports Cars
I love this non-sport set, and giggle like a child when I pick up new cards, but because it’s a small set and the only non-sports I’m chasing to any degree,  if it’s not right in front of me it tends to get forgotten.

I’m just over halfway to completion, I should ramp this one up.

1970, 1971 and 1972 Topps
These are sets I’ve had a long-term non-goal of having fun with and accumulating as many as possible without actually committing to completing the sets.

I’ve made efforts to break the sets down into smaller goals, like chasing down all of the Expos from these three sets.

I’ve also tried sub-goals like trying to complete the lower series… For example, I’ve got all of the 1972 commons through the 5th series…  6th and 7th are a different matter.

1969 High #’ed Cards For The Expansion Teams
Why the expansion teams?  There’s something I love about players shown wearing what was, at the time, a brand spanking new uniform.

Why high numbers?  Because that love doesn’t spread to tightly-cropped photos of capless guys in California Angels jerseys.



I gave some thought to a clever subject line, but this is a post full of random scans which I’d meant to post before but never did.  “Stuff” works just fine.

As a fan of hockey and a fan of doughnuts, I felt like I should own at least one card of Tim Horton. It works out well that this card shows him with the Rangers, which was my father’s team.

Just in case anybody things I’m being facetious, hockey player Tim Horton opened the doughnut shop which evolved into the Tim Hortons chain of today. Horton himself was a HOFer who played over 20 seaons, mainly with the Maple Leafs, and died in a car accident while still an active NHL player in 1974.

One of my many back-burnered projects is to complete the 1977-78 Topps Hockey set. In a failed attempt to kick-start the project, I picked up a couple of needed key cards, like this one of HOFer Guy Lafleur.

Here’s another one, the rookie card for goalie Mike Palmateer, who was a favorite of mine from his time with the Washington Capitals.

This card just makes me laugh… Not only because it’s a goofy photo of Bobby Bonilla…

…But it also reminds me of the episode of M*A*S*H where Charles was sitting for a portrait painted by Colonel Potter, but spent the entire session complaining. The kicker at the end was that finished portrait:

R.I.P, David Ogden Stiers.

I’ve never been a basketball fan… When I was a kid I did give it a good try; I wanted to like every team sport. In the end, I had a better appreciation of lacrosse (specifically the indoor one-and-done Long Island Tomahawks) than I ever did of basketball.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate basketball cards. I’ve always really liked the design of the 1957-58 Topps Basketball set, but you know what?  Even the commons from that set are budget-busting.

Then I discovered that Topps did a 50th Anniversary insert reprint in 2007, and I said “Hey, good enough for me!” …especially when I found some in a dime box.  I picked up a couple of Hall-Of-Famers in Bill Russell…

…And Dolph Schayes, who played his entire career with the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers franchise.

I hadn’t even realized that the Syracuse Nats had become the Sixers until I did some quickie quickie research for this post. Guess I should’ve saved this card for a “Forgotten Franchises” post. Here’s the back of the Schayes card.

Update: These cards are way more than I’d realized; see comments for details.

I have to admit, there’s a small part of me that wishes that 2018 Topps Heritage had cards like this, even if they were just variations.

During the Olympics I saw a segment about the 1960 Gold-medal winning USA hockey team… They had some game footage, and I am always jarred by the sight of goalies who aren’t wearing a mask (like Gilles Gilbert here):

I was watching the footage thinking “Have you lost your mind? Go put a mask on RIGHT NOW, young man!”

I understand it was a different game then, but it still freaks me out a bit.

John Bednarski rookie card!  Wooooo!

John Bednarski’s only card!  Wooooo!  I remember Bednarski’s name from when my Dad watched Rangers games on TV, but I couldn’t tell you anything about him other than he played for the Rangers.

It’s funny… I bought hockey cards in 1975 (more because they were cards than because of hockey), and I got into hockey cards for hockey reasons in 1977, but in the meantime I completely missed the 1976 set, which is kind of a shame because I think that “1976 Joe” would’ve really liked these cards.

After hockey, basketball and baseball, I feel like I should include some football. Here are two 1968 cards that I got cheap (25 cents each, I think) mainly because I like the 1968 design… it’s basically the 1957 basketball cards all over again, don’t care who’s on the card, just like the cards.

I could tell you about these players, but it would just be regurgitating Wikipedia. Look it up yerself, ya lazy bum!

Olympic Hockey Customs – One Final Batch (With A Touch Of Wunder)

After the women’s gold medal hockey game, I decided that I should make a few more customs, so I made two for the USA and two for Canada…

…But after seeing how the German men’s team beat top-seeded Sweden and then hockey powerhouse Canada to make it to the Gold Medal game, I thought I’d add a “bonus” card to the batch.

I wanted to do this using a different card design than I’d used so far, but what do I use? I thought about some of the designs which had been voted on for last year’s World Baseball Classic set, and I was strongly considering using the 1966 Topps Hockey design when inspiration hit…

There are those calling the German team’s performance a “Wunder auf Eis” (Miracle on ice)… What better design to use for ein Wunder than the 1976 Wunder – ahhh – WONDER Bread football design?

Christian Ehrhoff is the one player on this team I am familiar with… He played in the NHL from 2007 to 2016 with the Sharks, Sabres, Canucks and other teams.

I would love to see Germany finish off this Wunder auf Eis, but win or lose this is an incredible accomplishment for this team.

So for those who hadn’t seen it – SPOILER ALERT – the USA women’s team beat Canada in a shootout. I don’t love the idea of settling a Gold Medal with a shootout, but it is what it is.

Most of the key players for each team already had their customs, but I wanted to go back and fill in a couple of more…

Dani Cameranesi was the USA’s leading scorer, scoring three goals and two assists in five games.

She also scored two goals in the semi-final win over Finland which put them into the Gold Medal game.

Maddie Rooney was the goaltender for the Gold Medal game, shut out the Finns in the semi-final, and carried a 1.16 GPA in the Olympics.

Meghan Agosta had two goals, three assists and a plus/minus of 7.

This had been Agosta’s fourth Olympics, having won Gold in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Melodie Daoust was Canada’s leading scorer with three goals and four assists. Like Agosta, she also had a plus/minus of 7.

She also has one of my favorite names in the Olympics… “DA-OOOOOOO!”

So that’s it for Olympic Hockey, but that’s not it for the Olympics… I’m going to have one more batch of Olympic Curling custom cards coming… but first, I’m going to be back tomorrow with some baseball customs… Remember baseball? Baseball is coming.


Because I’m a sucker for flattery, I have created and added two more customs for USA players Gigi Marvin and Amanda Pelkey. Enjoy!

Another Batch Of Olympic Custom Cards (Curling & Hockey)

I’m enjoying the Olympics, but I’ve got to admit it’s too much, too quickly.  I was doing an OK job of keeping up with the mixed doubles curling that more-or-less opened the Olympics for me, but once it got into men’s and women’s curling and men’s and women’s hockey and watching some figure skating with Mrs. S… It feels like I can’t keep up no matter how I try.

It almost seems like they should divide it up somehow… Maybe do the “Men’s Olympics” and the “Women’s Olympics” at separate times.

I have to admit, mixed doubles grew on me this time around.  During previous exposure to it, I felt like it was just a weird spinoff sport, but I think I gained an appreciation for the speed and excitement it brings… not better, not worse, but different.

As an American I was, of course, rooting for the Hamiltons, but once they fell out of contention I was pulling for the Canadian team of Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris.  I’d gained an appreciation for Lawes four years ago when she was part of the Gold-winning women’s team in Sochi, and I was happy to see them win (even if I didn’t get a chance to watch them win…)

In their game against the USA, the Swiss Mixed Doubles team won in the final end by scoring six…  And I will point out that in Mixed Doubles each team only throws six rocks to begin with, so this is an Olympic record which literally cannot be broken.

That seemed to be the way it went with the Hamiltons… Good play overall which got undone by bad ends.

The Swiss pair of Jenny Perret and Martin Rios won the Silver medal.  The US team had too many moments like the last end against the Swiss, and finished 7th overall.

I hadn’t really seen the Russian mixed doubles team, but two of my friends were telling me about how much they enjoyed their matches… and then I found out that a lot of men enjoyed watching the Russians… specifically because of Anastasia Bryzgalova.

The women’s competition, as I write this, is somewhat upside down.  At one point the Canadian women were a shocking 0-3 (and took out their frustrations by beating Nina Roth’s USA team 11-3 in 7 ends), while Japan was 3-0 and Korea and China were also near the top.

Over on the men’s side, Sweden is rolling along at 6-0, while the Canadian and Swiss teams aren’t far behind.

Next week – and possibly during the week – I’ll have more curling customs.

Quick mini-rant here… I have to say that many of the Olympic websites suck, at least for hockey and curling.  They give you high-level information and background pieces on individual players, but if you want to find out any details or statistics… well, why would you want to do that?  Thank goodness for the websites of the World Curling Federation and the International Ice Hockey Federation.

End of mini-rant

In men’s hockey, the qualification playoffs start on Tuesday with the USA taking on Slovakia with the winner taking on the Czech Republic 24 hours later.  I guess this is why you want to finish in the top four and get a bye…

Over in women’s hockey, the playoffs start late tonight with the US taking on Finland and Canada matching up against the Olympic Athletes From Russia.  The OAR team lost all three games in the preliminary round and were outscored 15 goals to 1, but came alive in the quarter-finals and beat previously-undefeated Switzerland 6-2.

Brianna Decker is in her second Olympics (she had an assist in the preliminary round) and in 2012 won the Kazmaier Award given to the top collegiate player in the US.

It’s interesting… All of the photos I used came from “media day” photo sessions. All of the Americans smiled, but many of the Canadians, like Ann-Renee Desbiens, had their game faces going.

Desbiens has played only in the opening game of the preliminary round, but shutout the OAR team 5-0.

Kacey Bellamy is another player in her third Olympics;  she’s also played in eight world championships.  She scored a goal in the preliminary round;  somewhat unusual since she plays defense.

One thing I’ve found interesting about following the women’s competition is how many of the players – not just Americans – played NCAA hockey.  Natalie Spooner is from the Greater Toronto Area but set school records while playing for Ohio State.

Since some readers have been asking me… I haven’t decided how far I’m going to go with these hockey customs.  I believe the “set” currently stands at 16, and I’ve shared all of the ones I’ve made to this point.  I could be done, but if a player has a particularly noteworthy playoff or if someone nicely asks me to make one for a player I haven’t done yet, I can be persuaded to crank out a couple more.

There *will* be more curling customs;  hockey was a side-trip that ended up being more than I’d intended (because I was so happy with the way they turned out).

Sick Day: Featuring A Gathering Of Cards From COMC

As I mentioned in my last post, I got my butt whupped by a bad cold.  I ended up taking a sick day, but felt better after spending much of yesterday snoozing on the couch, watching curling and hockey and getting sucked in to an episode of “Law & Order:  SVU”.  I certainly didn’t see THAT plot twist coming… neither did Ice-T.

Later in the afternoon I was feeling kinda restless, but still without enough brainpower to do more than share a bunch of semi-recent acquisitions and comment on them… So that’s what you’re getting today.

You might remember that last summer I found a $3 1990-91 Topps Hockey Factory Set

…And given the general lack of focus in my hobby objectives of late, it will come as no surprise that I still haven’t figured out what I want to do with this set.  I’m still toying with the idea of using the set as the basis of a hockey Frankenset, but I need to fish or cut bait on that idea.

I did have an idea that I should try to chase down all of the 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards on my wantlist so that I can just wipe my hands of this entire year’s worth of hockey cards.  I bought a number of those cards, but this is the most interesting:

This is from an OPC subset which featured players from the various Soviet teams which played a series of exhibitions against NHL teams.  I remember Sergei Nemchinov from his 6 years with the Rangers, and while I’ve never truly been a fan of the Broadway Blueshirts, my father was such a devoted fan that Rangers cards from the 1970’s through the 1990’s hold a fair amount of nostalgia value for me.

Speaking of family connections, Mrs. Shlabotnik is a die-hard Orioles fan whose two all-time favorite players were Cal Ripken and Brian Roberts.  She doesn’t share my passion for baseball cards, but I still maintain a semi-passive player collection for both players (she does appreciate the cards when she sees them).  Here’s the latest addition to the Brian Roberts PC.

This is a 2005 MLB Showdown card, the last year for that brand. Is it wrong to say I miss a manufacturer when I never bought a single pack at the time?  To be fair, I don’t really remember seeing packs around…

OK, there’s a bit of backstory to the next featured card… Back in 1977 I pulled this card out of a pack:

I’d never heard of Chuck Hartenstein before pulling this card, and I never really heard anything about him after pulling this card. I always assumed he was a one-and-done guy from a first-year franchise.

…And then I ran across this card:


Turns out ol’ Chuck pitched for the Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals and Red Sox before the Blue Jays were even a glint in their daddy’s eye (so to speak). He pitched exclusively in AAA from 1971 to 1976, which is why I’d never heard of him when I pulled the card. Here’s a fun Chuck Fact: He made his Major League debut in 1965 as a pinch-runner, but didn’t actually pitch in a Major League game until the following year.

Back in late 2011, the Orioles took Ryan Flaherty from the Cubs in that winter’s Rule V draft. “Flash” stuck with the team and became a very versatile part of manager Buck Showalter’s roster, having played every position but pitcher, catcher and center field. I decided to make a modest effort to chase down his cardboard (there ain’t a lot of it). The latest example of this is from the 2010 Upper Deck World Of Sports set and shows Ryan from his days with Vanderbilt University.

So I get this card and what happens? Flaherty, a free agent, signs a minor league contract with the Phillies. Don’t it just figure. It’s still a fun addition to my modest Flash PC. I think I have more cards of him with Vanderbilt, Team USA and a couple of minor league teams than with the O’s.

That’s all I had planned for this post, but you know what? I feel like there’s more in me… I’m going to forge ahead!

Here’s another 1990-91 OPC card featuring someone who Rangers color analyst Bill “The Big Whistle” Chadwick always referred to as “Young Greschner”, and that’s what I think of whenever I see Ron Greschner.

As the little O-Pee-Chee note on the front of the card indicates, Greschner was released the summer before and would never play again, so this card serves as a career-capper.

I have to admit, these 1981 Kellogg’s cards are growing on me… and they’re relatively easy to come by… It’s not the first time I’ve thought of chasing this set as a WTF goal.

I wasn’t a fan of “Louisiana Lightning” at the time – he WAS a Yankee, after all – but I have to admit that I look back on him more fondly than I expected I would.

Here’s another Kellogg’s card, and one which gives some insight into why Ross Grimsley had the nickname “Crazy Eyes”.

Another 1970 Topps which was part of my back-burnered quest/excuse to obtain cards featuring the Topps All-Star Rookie Trophy.

Ted Sizemore was the 1969 Rookie Of The Year and even got a tiny amount of MVP consideration.  He had a nice 12-year career, but would never factor in to any awards voting again.

I’ll wrap things up with this 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites card of someone who truly does justice to the brand’s name, Don Zimmer.

The only thing which would make this card better is if they used blue for the “Zimmer” and “BROOKLYN DODGERS” text.

Olympic Women’s Hockey Customs: Bloodlines

Last weekend I did a post featuring a number of Olympic custom cards, largely of the USA and Canada women’s hockey teams. In researching the post and the growing set of customs I’m making, it struck me how many of these players come from hockey families.

…Not that I’m encouraging anyone to watch women’s hockey solely because former Capital Bill Mikkelson’s daughter plays for Team Canada;  nevertheless, the stories add a bit of interest (and give me an excuse to feature more customs).

Canadian forward Sarah Nurse is a cousin to Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse, and another cousin is Kia Nurse, who plays for the UConn Huskies… And to add one more I found out about while watching the game this morning, her uncle is former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Nurse just turned 23 and is in her first Olympics, but has experience in high-pressure situations;  in all four of her years at the U. of Wisconsin she played in the NCAA Frozen Four.

Amanda Kessel is the highest-paid player in the National Women’s Hockey League, was on the team which won Silver in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and has two hockey-playing brothers.  Her brother Phil is a right winger with the Penguins, and her brother Blake was drafted by the Islanders and is currently playing in Europe.

In 2013 Kessel won the Patty Kazmaier Award given to the top player in NCAA women’s hockey.  That year she was on a U. of Minnesota team which went 41-0-0 and, of course, won the NCAA championship.  I’ll have more about that 2013 Minnesota team in a minute.

Laura Stacey is the great granddaughter of Hockey HOFer “King” Clancy, who has been named one of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time.

Stacey is in her first Olympics, but was on Team Canada for the 2017 Women’s World Championship.

There are at least two pairs of sisters who are playing in the Olympics. Most obvious of those two pairs are twins Monique Lamoureux-Morando…

…and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, both of whom have played for Team USA for a number of years and are in their third Olympic games.

The thought of putting the two of them together on a custom hockey card made me think of Ed & John O’Brien who shared a 1954 Topps baseball card, so I attempted to do something along those lines;  their two hyphenated names take up a lot more space than “Ed & John O’Brien”

My favorite sister story involves Hannah and Marissa Brandt.  Marissa was born in South Korea and was adopted by American parents when she was 4 months old.  Hannah was born after Marissa was adopted, and the two of them grew up together and played hockey together.

Hannah made Team USA;  She was a teammate of Amanda Kessel on that 2013 Minnesota team, which also included several other women playing in PyeongChang:  Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin (who got a custom in the last post) and Finland’s Mira Jalosuo and Noora Raty.

Marissa played Division III hockey and thought her competitive hockey days were over once she graduated;  until people with the South Korean team found out about Marissa and recruited her to join them.

Marissa is playing under her birth name, Park Yoon Jung, but I’ve noticed that the NBC announcers covering the Switzerland – Korea game referred to her as Marissa Brandt.

Switching To Olympic Mode: Hockey (Not What You Expect) And Curling

Even though the Opening Ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games is on Friday, the Curling competition starts Thursday morning at 9am… that’s Korean time;  On the Eastern Time Zone, that’s 7pm Wednesday night.  The Olympics are almost here!

Along with Curling, I enjoy watching Olympic Hockey… The international competition is fun, and I prefer the way the game is played on the wider international rink.

…But this time around, many of the world’s best hockey players – and pretty much all of North America’s best hockey players – will be playing in the NHL rather than skating in PyeongChang.

I get the impression that a Gold Medal for the USA would be “Miracle On Ice 2: Electric Boogaloo”. I don’t recognize any names on the Canadian roster, but then again I don’t really follow the NHL anymore.

So what’s a hockey fan to do?

Maybe Hilary Knight has a suggestion…

I’m thinking that Women’s Ice Hockey should be interesting. In Sochi, the Canadian team beat the US team in OT in the gold medal game; this is after the US was leading 2-0 in the third. In addition, all of the Gold Medals in the 18-year history of the Women’s World Championships have gone to either the US or Canada, with the US winning 8 of the past 10 but Canada having a 10-8 overall record in those games.

Hilary Knight is one of the key players for the US Women, and one of several on the team who is playing their 3rd Olympic games. She was also in the 2014 Topps Olympic and Paralympic Hopefuls set…

There are no Olympic Hockey players represented in the 2018 set… Not that I would know first-hand because I’ve yet to see so much as a pack anywhere in Shlabotsylvania.

Getting back to that 2014 Gold Medal game… The game-tying and game-winning goals were both scored by Marie-Philip Poulin, who’s the captain of the Canadian team.

Poulin has scored 8 goals and 12 points over the course of 10 Olympic games. She was also a star player for Boston University.

Meghan Duggan is the captain of the US team. Like Hilary Knight, she’s appeared in two prior Olympics, winning Silver both times.

She won three NCAA championships with the University of Wisconsin and was named the country’s best collegiate women’s hockey player in 2011.

If you don’t think that Meaghan Mikkelson lives and breathes hockey, her son’s name is Calder. He was named through nominations and voting on Twitter, but her great uncle, Jimmy McFadden, won the Calder Trophy in 1950, and her father, Bill Mikkelson was on an AHL team which won the Calder Cup.

Meaghan won two Olympic Gold Medals, two NCAA titles with the Wisconsin Badgers, and was, along with Olympic teammate Natalie Spooner, a runner-up in season 2 of “The Amazing Race Canada”. I had no idea there was a Canadian version, but then again I’ve never watched “The Amazing Race” (or much of any reality TV).

Before I get away from the family connections… Her brother Brendan played for the Ducks, Flames and Lightning, and her dad, Bill Mikkelson, played in the NHL for the Kings, Islanders and Capitals.

This is far from the only family connections involved with the USA and Canada Women’s Hockey teams… I’ll touch on some more another time.

I had fun creating these customs based on the 1968-69 Topps & O-Pee-Chee Hockey sets, and I made a bunch more of them. You’ll be seeing more at some point… hopefully you’ll regard that as a good thing.

Before I get away from the Olympics entirely, I’ll remind you that I’ve also been working on a Curling set based on the 1975 Topps baseball design. I’m essentially burning off this next card which falls under the category of “This is why Olympic cards aren’t a ‘thing'”.

I made this custom in November as I was under the impression that Team Sidorova would be representing Russia in Pyeongchang. Well, not only has Russia been banned (and replaced by “Olympic Athletes From Russia”), but I just found out this morning that Team Sidorova lost the non-Russian trials at the end of December and Victoria Moiseeva’s team will pseudo-represent Russia starting this week.

But don’t fret…the Norwegians ARE coming, and they’re bringing their pants!