Dead Parrot Frankenset: For June, A New Streamlined Format!

This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker.

I’m trying to be better about getting things done and getting posts out here on the blog, so I’m going to use a less-wordy format this time around.  It might stick.  It might not. Feedback is welcome.

The “challengers” in this post were all provided by Shoebox Legends, who has spent the last three months has been maintaining a presence on his YouTube Channel rather than his blog. Go check it out!


Card #20

The challenger: 1993-94 O-Pee-Chee Premier Zarley Zalapski (Hartford Whalers)

Currently in the binder: 1977/78 O-Pee-Chee WHA Marc Tardif (Los Angeles Sharks and Quebec Nordiques)

The WHA card of Marc Tardif lists him with the Nordiques, but the uniform he’s shown wearing is for the Los Angeles Sharks, an original WHA team that lasted two seasons before moving to Detroit to become the Michigan Stags, then moved to Baltimore midway through that season in Detroit, and then folded at the end of the franchise’s third season. These Sharks appeared on damn few hockey cards. I like the Zalapski card, but it will take something special to dislodge this WHA card from the binder.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


Card #50

The challenger: 1995-96 Leaf Frantisek Kucera (Whalers)

Currently in the binder: 1968-69 Topps Wayne Connelly (Minnesota North Stars)

Once again, the challenger is a pretty nice card, but nice enough to defeat a vintage North Stars card? Nah.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


Card #76

The challenger: 1992-93 Upper Deck Kay Whitmore (Whalers)

This was an empty pocket in the binder, so Whitmore makes a lovely addition. This card did not complete a page, however.


Card #114

The challenger: 1988-89 O-Pee-Chee Ray Ferraro (Whalers)

This also was an empty pocket in the binder but like the previous card it does not complete a page.


Card #173

The challenger: 1995-96 Leaf Darren Turcotte (Whalers)

Currently in the binder: 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee Willi Plett (North Stars)

These 1995-96 Leaf cards are pretty nice, but more importantly, the 1982-83 Plett card is particularly uninteresting.  Very little thought went into this competition.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!

…and this also updates Page 20. Here’s the before:

…and what it is now.

I’m happy with that change!


Card #198

The challenger: 1995-96 Leaf Steven Rice (Whalers)

Currently in the binder: 1980-81 Topps Rick Ley (Hartford Whalers)

I like the Leaf card with the glimpse of a Buffalo Sabres goalie in the background. I am not a fan of 1980-81 Topps Hockey with the dumbass scratch-off gimmick, regardless of whether the scratch-off coating is still there or not. Went back and forth a tiny bit on this, but decided in favor of Leaf.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!


Wrapping up…  We added two cards to the binder and updated a page.  I also did some inventory and found that I somehow missed 4 cards.  The current totals are 333 out of a possible 396 cards (84.1%) and 17 completed pages out of 44 total pages (38.6%).

Dead Parrot Frankenset: The 1977 Reversal

This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker.

This one is a “Special Edition” post which is about revisiting hockey cards which are already in my collection.

This post came about because Joe13, a regular commenter on this blog, asked why he never saw any Cleveland Barons cards in my Dead Parrot posts.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the NHL’s Cleveland Barons, I wrote up an overview of the team’s brief history several years ago. For this post, I’ll give you a quick summary: The NHL Barons came into existence when the California Golden Seals moved to Cleveland during the summer of 1976. The move did not get officially approved until August, which was too late for Topps to work into the 1976-77 hockey set.

At the time O-Pee-Chee went to print later than Topps did, so that set listed players as the Cleveland Barons… but the photos either show a player in their Seals uniforms or airbrushed into plain white jerseys.

1977-78 Topps and O-Pee-Chee hockey were the only set to feature the Barons and their uniforms.

The team struggled in Cleveland and merged with the also-struggling Minnesota North Stars after the 1977-78 season. This time around there was time to airbrush players into North Stars uniforms and that was the end of the Barons for Topps and O-Pee-Chee.

OK, so let’s get back to the Dead Parrot binder…

When I started this Dead Parrot project, it was one of five hockey projects I’d hoped to work on.  The other four were my “Photobombing Capitals” project, which features cards where my favorite childhood team made an appearance on other players’ cards, as well as set builds for the three Topps hockey sets I’d chased as a kid…  1977-78, 1978-79 and 1979-80. My intent was to keep these projects separate, so I initially didn’t include cards from those three sets in the Dead Parrot binder.

I eventually abandoned the 1979-80 chase because I am missing the Wayne Gretzky rookie and the idea of completing the set isn’t anywhere near important enough to me to drop a large chunk of change on that bad boy.

After Joe13’s question, I looked through my binders and started to re-think the effort to complete those other sets.  I almost never see vintage hockey at card shows; Where I live there’s just no interest in them.  Chasing a set completely through online resources isn’t as much fun for me.  At any rate, I’m having much more fun with the Dead Parrot project than I would chasing sets.

I finally decided that I would keep chasing after the 1978-79 set and keep those separate from the Dead Parrot binder – at least for now –  but I would give up on the 1977-78 set and see which cards might move into the Dead Parrot binder.

A fair chunk of the Barons from this set were just head shots and you can’t see much of the uniform, so many of them weren’t as interesting as the cards already in the Dead Parrot binder.

A fair number of cards from several teams *did* move over, and I decided to share them here.  Just to be clear, this post is not going to be the typical “Challenger/Defender” format.  All of the cards which moved over either faced a weak defender, or none at all.  I’m just going to list the cards new to the binder and make some comments about them.

1977-78 Topps #109 – Gilles Meloche

Although this isn’t a great photo by any standard, it’s one of my personal favorite Barons cards.  This one replaces a 1974-75 Topps head shot of the Seals’ Jim Neilson.

1977-78 Topps #183 – Barry Dean

This card replaces a 1990-91 Topps Whalers card

1977-78 Topps #204 – Alex Pirus

This card replaced a 1992-93 Upper Deck card of the Whalers’ Pat Verbeek

1977-78 Topps #238 Steve Jensen

This card went into an empty slot (but did not complete the page)

1977-78 Topps #252 Nelson Pyatt

This card replaces a 1990-91 Pro Set Nordiques card

1977-78 O-Pee-Chee #343 – Dave Hudson

This Dead Parrot with a photobombing Capital bumps a 1984-85 Topps card, also with a Photobombing Capital, from one project to another.

1977-78 O-Pee-Chee #384 – Len Frig

A checklist would show this card’s team as the St. Louis Blues, which is not a “Dead Parrot” team, but the photo shows Len Frig in a Cleveland Barons uniform. This card replaced a 1990-91 Topps card of Joe Sakic; despite Sakic being a far better player than Len Frig, trust me, there was no competition here.

This card also updated Page 43, which is dominated by 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee Winnipeg Jets.


And so, to wrap up…  We added one card to the total, completed no new pages and that puts us at 327 out of a possible 396 cards (82.6%) and 17 completed pages out of 44 total pages (38.6%).

Dead Parrot Frankenset: February 2021 Edition

This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker.

All of the challengers in this post were provided by Shoebox Legends and are presented in card # order

In fact, the first two cards are cards #1 and #2 from the same relatively recent set.  The challenger for slot #1, representing 2008-09 Fleer Ultra Hockey and the Atlanta Thrashers, is Ilya Kovalchuk!

Already in slot #1, representing the WHA’s Indianapolis Racers and 1990-91 Topps Hockey, it’s The Great One, Wayne Gretzky!

Even while the Gretzky card is an after-the-fact tribute card, it’s gonna be hard to displace Gretzky as an Indianapolis Racer, and Kovalchuk is not up to the task.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


Next up, challenging for slot #2 and also representing 2008-09 Fleer Ultra Hockey and the Atlanta Thrashers, it’s Eric Perrin!
!

Defending Slot #2, representing 1994-95 O-Pee-Chee Premier Hockey and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Darren Turcotte!

This Turcotte card entered the Dead Parrot Binder back this past August, but at the time I said that it wouldn’t take much to dislodge this fairly generic card (which would be fine as part of a Whalers collection, but is a little uninteresting within this project). Add to that the fact that I have many Whalers but only a couple of Thrashers, and the decision is an easy one.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!


Our third challenger is for slot #64 and represents 1993-94 Upper Deck SP and the Hartford Whalers… it’s Chris Pronger!

There is no card currently in slot #64 so Pronger goes in unopposed… and completes Page 8!

I’m happy with this page, it has a pretty nice cross-section of teams in it.


The fourth challenger, which has slot #97 in its sights, is from the 2007-08 In The Game: Between The Pipes set. Representing the WHA’s Cincinnati Stingers, it’s Michel Dion!

I’ve loved the Stingers’ logo since I was a child, so this challenger is going to be hard to beat.

Currently in slot #97, representing 1995/96 Leaf and the Quebec Nordiques, it’s Jocelyn Thibault!

This Thibault entered the binder in the same August post as the Turcotte card earlier in this post, and I do like this card… but it’s going to meet the same fate as Turcotte.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!

…and the Challenger updates Page 11!

Here’s page 11 before…

…and Page 11 as it currently stands


Five WHA cards (including two different Stingers uniforms), a California Golden Seal and a Kansas City Scout… Not too shabby!  At some point I would like to do something about that 1995 Fleer card in the upper left, but I’ll worry about upgrades when I’m closer to filling all of the pages.


The final challenger is card #255 from the 1990/91 Upper Deck set. Representing the Quebec Nordiques, it’s Daniel Dore!

I didn’t remember Dore at all, so I looked him up… He was drafted 5th overall but played in just 17 NHL games, 16 of which came before this card was issued.  So much for that “Star Rookie” designation.

Holding down the #255 slot, representing 1990/91 Bowman and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Peter Sidorkiewicz

Sidorkiewicz is another recent addition to the binder, having entered this past October. At the time I waffled between this card and a different Upper Deck Nordique card, but I settled on the Bowman Whalers card. I’ve grown more comfortable with that choice, and to be honest if I were going to switch this card I’d go back to that original Joe Sakic card… but nothing of the sort is happening today.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


And so, to wrap up…  We added a card to the binder and completed a page.  That puts us at 326 out of a possible 396 cards (82.3%) and 17 completed pages out of 44 total pages (38.6%).

The next time around I’m going to dip into some 1970s hockey cards I got at a show a year ago.

Dead Parrot Frankenset: Belated January 2021 Edition

This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker.

This is “Belated January” because it was originally intended for last week, but I couldn’t get my act together.  Nobody would know any different if I called it “February”, but I’m trying to make myself feel obligated to now post an additional Dead Parrot post this month and call that one “February”.

For this post, all of the challengers come from Shoebox Legends and are all early-to-mid 1990s Hartford Whalers… it wasn’t completely intentional to get all 1990s Whaler-y, but I also didn’t stop it from happening.

First up, challenging for slot #32 and representing 1995-96 Panini NHL Album Stickers, it’s a foil Whalers logo!

Much to my excitement, there is no card in slot #32 AND this sticker completes Page 4!!!

…And it’s a pretty nice-looking page as well!  In case you’re wondering, the 1977-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA card of Robbie Ftorek lists him as “Now with Cincinnati Stingers” but shows him in a Phoenix Roadrunners uniform.  The Roadrunners folded the previous season, which is how Ftorek ended up with the Stingers.  BTW, I love how the two major hockey teams that have played in Phoenix are the Roadrunners and the Coyotes.  Seems like the Coyotes should play their games in Acme Arena.

Before I go too far down the Looney Tunes rabbit hole, let’s move on to the next challenger.


Challenging for slot 534, representing 1990-91 Upper Deck Hockey, it’s Bobby Holik (conveniently photographed in front of an Upper Deck ad)!

There’s a whistle on the play, though… This is card #534 and as of right now the Dead Parrot binder goes only up to #396.  I’ve got a couple of extra pages in the binder for these “high numbers” if I ever decide to extend this project.


Next up… competing for slot #96 and representing 1991-92 Parkhurst, it’s Bobby Holik AGAIN!

Currently in slot #96, representing 1976-77 O-Pee-Chee WHA Hockey and the Birmingham Bulls (or possibly the Toronto Toros, as the team moved prior to the 1976-77 season), it’s Peter Marrin!

Today isn’t Bobby Holik’s day because he’s still not getting into the main part of the Dead Parrot binder.  A 1990s Whaler card has to be something special to beat out a Bulls/Toros card.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


The fourth challenger, aiming for slot #297 and representing 1992-93 Pinnacle, is Eric Weinrich! For some reason, I’m always surprised at how many different 1990s hockey sets there were.

The defender, representing 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee and the Quebec Nordiques, it’s Wally Weir!

Neither card is particularly noteworthy, so I’ll just say that 1980s beats 1990s for this project… but since OPC sets are numbered by team, I might come back and revisit this matchup if the page this card is on ends up being overly Nordique-y.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


Fifth challenger for today is going for slot #311… Representing 1995-96 Upper Deck, it’s Nelson Emerson!

Already in slot 372, representing 1990-91 Topps and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Ron Francis!

Whaler-on-Whaler action!  I much prefer the green Whalers uniforms to the blue ones, and neither card is great, but Francis is hunched over and you can’t see the logo. For that reason alone I’m going with Nelson Emerson.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!


The last challenger for today is going for slot #372… Representing 1994-95 Upper Deck, it’s Jocelyn Lemiuex!

I’d never seen a 1994-95 UD Hockey card before this one… it’s not a bad-looking design (but it looks better in person where the silver foil doesn’t show up a black like in these scans).

As it turns out, there wasn’t a card in slot 372, so this one goes straight into the binder! It doesn’t update or complete a page, but it leaves a page with just one open slot to fill.


And so, to wrap up…  Not counting the “high numbered” Upper Deck card, we added two cards to the binder and completed a page.  That puts us at 325 out of a possible 396 cards (82.1%) and 16 completed pages out of 44 total pages (36.4%).

I’d better get started on the next post if I’m going to finish it before the end of the month.

Dead Parrot Frankenset: December 2020 Edition

This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker.

First up, challenging for slot #16 and representing 1975-76 Topps and the Minnesota North Stars, it’s Blake Dunlop!

Currently in slot #16, representing 1982-83 Topps Album Stickers and the Quebec Nordiques it’s…

…um…

“1982 Stanley Cup Playoff Game Action”!

I’ve had these stickers since 1983, but they’re largely placeholders for this project.  In a very easy decision…

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!

…and improves a completed page!  (Although you’ll have to take my word for it because I forgot to scan the “before” page).

 


This next card, challenging for slot 55, comes from a card show in January. Representing 1976-77 Topps Hockey and the Kansas City Scouts, it’s Denis Herron!

Oh, I love me some Kansas City Scouts!  There aren’t enough uniforms in pro sports which feature all three primary colors (It’s good enough for Superman, it should be good enough for a pro athlete!)

Currently in slot 55, representing 1977-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Tom Webster!

I hate to bump a WHA card from the binder, but the photo on the Tom Webster card isn’t the greatest, and I’ve got plenty of Whalers and not a lot of Scouts.  Because of this…

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!


Next up… competing for slot #143 and representing 1980-81 Topps Hockey and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Mike Rogers!

 

Currently in slot 143, representing 1979-80 Topps Hockey and the Atlanta Flames, it’s Phil Russell!


This isn’t a easy decision, but I like 1979-80 Topps over the scratched-off 1980-81 Topps, and I prefer Atlanta Flames cards because they’re less common than Whalers… Hopefully I won’t end up going too far and eliminating too many Whalers, but I don’t think I’m anywhere close to that yet.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


The next card is a contender for for slot #190. Representing 1975-76 Topps and the California Golden Seals, it’s Gilles Meloche!


Any card with full goalie equipment stands a good chance of winning.

Already in slot 190, representing 1982-83 Topps Hockey Album Stickers and the Minnesota North Stars, it’s Neal Broten!

It’s funny that we’ve got two similar battles between 1975 and 1982 in the same post, but it works that way sometimes.

This one is easy peasy lemon squeezy.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!


Last challenger for today is going for slot #202… Representing 1976-77 Topps and the Atlanta Flames, it’s Curt Bennett!

Already in slot 202, representing 1979-80 Topps and the Winnipeg Jets, it’s Morris Lukowich!

Neither card is great at showing off the team’s uniforms, but I don’t think I’d get any arguments that the Curt Bennett card has a much better overall photo.

For the fourth time out of five in this post…

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!


And so, to wrap up… There weren’t any new additions to the binder this time, which means I’m staying at 323 out of a possible 396 cards (81.6%) and 15 completed pages out of 44 total pages (31.8%).

Dead Parrot Frankenset: October 2020 Edition

This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker.

Some, but not all of today’s challengers came to me in a package from Shane of the Shoebox Legends blog. I’ll highlight those as I go along.

One of the cards from Shane is this 1990-91 Score Hockey challenger for slot 229. Representing the Quebec Nordiques, it’s Mario Marois!

I remember Marois from when he broke into the NHL with the Rangers in the late 1970’s, and his name is fun to say (Mar-WHAH).  This is also a pretty nice photo, so this card is certainly a strong contender to make the binder.

Currently in slot #229, representing 1979-80 Topps and the NHL Colorado Rockies, it’s Jack Valiquette!

I love cards of the original Hockey Rockies, so despite my warm feelings about Marois, it’s not enough to evict Valiquette or 1979-80 Topps

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


This next card, challenging for slot 213, comes from a card show in January. Representing 1980-81 Topps Hockey (the set with the stupid scratch-off gimmick) and the NHL’s Rockies, it’s Rob Ramage!

I’ve already told you how I feel about the Rockies, the question is whether the Rockieness of the card is offset by the scratch-off puck.

Currently in slot 213, representing 1990-91 Topps Hockey and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Kevin Dineen!

There’s nothing special about this Dineen card, plus I’ve got plenty of 1990-91 Topps cards and Whalers, so I’m going with Ramage on this one.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!


Next up… competing for slot #255 and representing 1990-91 Bowman Hockey and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Peter Sidorkiewicz!  (I believe this one came from Shoebox Legends, but I’m not 100% positive now

Currently in slot 255, representing 1993-93 Upper Deck Hockey and the Quebec Nordiques, it’s Joe Sakic!


I went back and forth on this one…  This card would change a nice complete page, and having the Bowman card would make it slightly less glossy than it currently is, plus that page is pretty heavy on the Nordiques.  After much deliberation, I decided to go with Sidorkiewicz.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!

Here is the updated page 29:

I know it’s a little samey-same now with 2 Bowman Whalers and 3 Pro Set Nordiques, but I will stick with my decision.

 


The next challenger, which also came from that January show, is a contender for for slot #321. Representing 1975-76 Topps and the Minnesota North Stars, it’s a team leaders card featuring Dennis Hextall and Bill Goldsworthy!

I like this card because it features the North Stars original logo and it’s fairly unique for the Dead Parrot project.

As it turns out, slot 321 is open, so this card goes straight into the binder!


Now entering the arena, fighting for slot 288, again from 1992-93 Upper Deck Hockey and representing the Whalers, it’s Andrew Cassels! (Seems like I’ve been through a lot of cards of Andrew Cassels).  This card is also from Shane.

Currently in slot #288, representing 1984-85 O-Pee-Chee and the Quebec Nordiques, it’s Andre Savard!

At first I thought maybe I should go with Cassels since the Savard card could find a good home in my Photobombing Capitals binder… but then I realized that the Cassels card *also* has a Photobombing Capital, so regardless of which card wins, the loser becomes part of the Photobombing project.

Both cards are perfectly fine for this project, but Cassels isn’t quite up to the task of dislodging a card that’s already in the binder.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


Last challenger for today has a story behind it.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently found a misplaced padded envelope which had been shipped from COMC late in 2018.   Among the cards in that shipment was one that I bought specifically to fill out a page in this Dead Parrot project… Page 23 had 8 cards in it and an empty pocket just waiting for a card #207 to put in it.

This 1992-93 Parkhurst card of the Winnepeg Jets’ Bob Essensa was purchased because it is card #207…

And so, two years after being bought for this very purpose, Card #207 goes into the slot and completes page 23!!!

That’s a pretty good mix of cards, and I’m happy to complete another page!  In case you were wondering, the Detroit Falcons played in the early 1930’s and would change their name to the Detroit Red Wings.


And so, to wrap up… that’s two new additions to the binder, which means I’ve got 323 out of a possible 396 cards.  That puts this binder at 81.6% full!

I completed one page which brings me to 15 completed pages out of 44 total pages… that’s 31.8%.

As always, a big thanks to “Shoebox Shane” for his tremendous help with this project!

The More I Organize, The Worse It Seems (Plus Weigh-In #68)

Because we have a maintenance plan with an HVAC company, and because the HVAC tech scheduled for today has to get to the attic by walking through Shlabotnik World HQ (the spare bedroom I took over), I spent part of this weekend cleaning up the large piles of crap that have accumulated.

In cleaning up a bunch of used padded envelopes, I picked up one that didn’t feel empty… and it was from COMC and had a postage date of December 2018. With a sense of dread I looked in the envelope hoping to just find empty toploaders but instead found a small COMC shipment that I’d forgotten about.

This goes both ways emotionally. One on hand, it’s a fun discovery, like putting on a jacket for the first time since last spring and finding $20 in the pocket.

On the other hand, these cards had been forgotten for nearly 2 years, which just depresses the heck out of me, organization-wise.  Every time I think I’ve turned the corner with the organization of my collection I run across a 22 month old package to let me know that I’ve got a long way to go.

Anyhoo, I figured I’d try to make the most of it by making a post out of my newly-rediscovered collectibles (some of which had appeared here when I originally received them), and throw in one of my quarterly weigh-ins because I’m due for one anyway.

I’ll start off with this Japanese 1993 BBM card of former Giant & Angel Max Venable.  Max Venable’s legal name is William McKinley Venable, which makes me wonder if he was named after the 25th president of the United States.  At any rate, this was a cheap Japanese card I couldn’t walk away from.

I’m not much of a collector of recent hockey cards, but five years ago I was watching a college hockey game when this freshman named Jack Eichel caught my eye.  Eichel is currently the captain of the Buffalo Sabres and is probably as close as I come to having a favorite NHL player.  This 2017-18 UD Canvas card was too nice to pass by.

I’m something of a Brian Roberts collector because my wife is a big fan of his (she’ll still make a point of watching Orioles games where he’s part of the broadcast). This 2012 Topps Sticker was filling in one of the gaps in my collection. I think that, excluding relics, autographs and parallels, I was only missing a couple more major issues of his… I guess maybe I should finish that off someday.

I’d already featured this card about 20 months ago, but I’ll share it again because it got the biggest “Oh, that’s riiiiiiiiiiiiight” out of all of these cards. From what I’ve seen on YouTube, Miki Nishimura has an interesting approach, her backswing brings the ball almost directly over her head.

This is my fifth card of a professional bowler, which I think ties it with Cricket in the overall “standings” of sports represented in my collection. Hmmm, maybe I should do a post about that. The top three would be Baseball, Hockey & Football but then there’s a huge dropoff after that. I’m guessing Basketball would be next, but I don’t think I have more than a couple of binder pages of hoops (and that’s counting Harlem Globetrotter cards).

Two more that I’ve already featured in this blog… 1974 Topps Stamps. I was very excited about these at the time, but now it’s kind of “Yeah, I should chase the set at some time”.


I wasn’t prepared for how tiny these are.

OK, one last thing before I move on… Last week I was looking at a local big box retailer to see if they had 2020 Topps factory sets. I didn’t expect to find any and I didn’t, but I was greatly surprised to find jumbo packs of 2020 Topps Archives. I don’t have a huge interest in Archives, but since it had been two months since I bought any sort of baseball product and three months since I bought anything more interesting than Topps Album Stickers, I decided to pull the trigger.

I will admit that they look a little bit better in-hand than they do online. I’m still not a fan of the set in general, but I’m a little more open to pickup up cards from the 1974 “subset”. I only pulled commons from my pack, but here’s my favorite of the bunch.

One of many admittedly picky issues I have with Archives is that the originals are generally very colorful, but something about the way Archives is printed – or maybe it’s the cardstock? – leaves the bright colors very muted. From top to bottom these are 1974 Rany Jones, 2020 Max Scherzer, 1974 Chris Speier, 2020 Brandon Crawford.

OK, I think that’s about all I’m going to say about 2020 Archives here.


On to the Weigh-in part!  Posting updates on the organizing and streamlining of my collection gives me a look at the big picture, keeps me honest and helps with motivation and/or guilt.

I’ve been doing this for *nine* years! I didn’t fully realize it’s been that long.

Changes since the last weigh-in (from 7/6/2020 to 10/10/2020):
Net change in the collection: +102 (320 added, 218 removed)
Net change to the # of cards in the house: +132 (289 in, 157 out)

If I had another week or two, this number would be much better…. I’ve got a couple of hundred cards which I need to sit down and remove from my database, but I haven’t had a chance to do the clerical work yet.

Totals since I started tracking on 10/16/2011:
Total # of cards purged from the collection, to date: 14,139
Net change to the collection, to date: +6,368

Totals to date:
Total # of cards which have left the house, to date: 52,853
Net change to the number of cards in the house, to date: -13,845

Size of the collection:
Number of individual cards tracked in my Access database: 70,841
Number of cards that make up the sets flagged as completed in my Access database: 12,491

…which means I’ve got at least 83,332 cards in my collection

Money spent on cards:
This quarter (this does not count money spent on show admission, shipping, supplies, etc): $40.90

$40.90 over the course of three months is as low as my spending’s been in years. If you take out the two shows I went to in January and February, my 2020 spending averages out to $20.98/month, which is minuscule for me.

Average per month for 2020: $65.57 so far
Average per month for 2019: $80.38
Average per month for 2018: $79.03
Average per month for 2017: $43.63
Average per month for 2016:  $36.11

I didn’t track my spending before 2016.

Size of my MS Access card database:
I track my collection in a Microsoft Access database of my own creation. There’s quite a bit of work involved in keeping it up-to-date, so I like to satisfy my own curiosity by finding out how much information is currently in my database.

My database currently contains 967 set definitions (up 12 from the last weigh-in) and 241,248 card definitions (up 2,954 from the last weigh-in).

It’s important to point out that this is merely the number of sets and cards which are represented within my database; for example, although I have no cards from 1949 Bowman, that set represents 1 set definition and 240 card definitions.

One more card from that COMC shipment… THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!!!!

 

 

 

 

Dead Parrot Frankenset: Shoebox Legends Edition for August 12

This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker.

All of today’s challengers came to me in a package from Shane, the owner and proprietor of the Shoebox Legends blog.

Shane sent me several cards from 1995-96 Leaf Hockey, a nice-looking set I’d never seen before. I’m going to feature three cards from that set in this post, starting with card #53. Representing the original Winnipeg Jets, it’s Michal Grosek!

Currently in slot #53, representing 1977-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA and the Cincinnati Stingers, it’s Dennis Sobchuk!

Anyone who’s been following this series knows that cards of the WHA’s Cincinnati Stingers are damn near untouchable. They were a team whose logos and uniforms I loved as a kid, and that love carries over into the present day. Apologies to the shiny Leaf set, but…

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


In the last Dead Parrot post, I’d mentioned that there was a page in my binder that had just one spot to fill, and that I was going to cheat a little by looking through all my pending cards and seeing if I had a card #179 to complete that page.  Right now I’m going to feature that card… Representing 1992-93 O-Pee-Chee Hockey and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Michel Picard!

This card completes Page 20 and brings the number of completed pages up to 14 out of 44 pages (based on this Frankenset being 396 cards)…

That’s a pretty nice looking page, even if it is a little heavy on 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee North Stars.  I would love to move that Steve Payne card in the upper left corner over to my “Photobombing Capitals” binder.

I’ve been meaning to write about that Gordie Howe card (middle row on the left) for a while, let me throw that in as a “bonus cards” while I’m thinking of it.

This card had been something of a “White Whaler” for me, partially because I waffled for the longest time about how hard to go after this set, given that I don’t have the very big dollar Gretzky rookie.  The photo makes the card… even though it’s in an NHL set and shows the Whalers and the Oilers, you can tell it’s a WHA action shot because of the gold trim and the New England Whalers logo on Gordie’s uniform.


Getting back to 1995-96 Leaf… competing for slot #97 and representing the Quebec Nordiques (even though the card says “Colorado Avalanche” after a franchise move to Denver), it’s Jocelyn Thibault!

Currently in slot 97, representing 1991-92 Score Canadian Hockey and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Todd Krygier!

This card just entered the binder earlier this year after it dislodged a shiny Topps Finest Nordique… but in this case, the goalie shot works nicely in the binder page, because now the entire bottom row is filled with goalies (as you’ll see in a moment)…

And so…
THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!

Page 11 is updated in the process, and you can see how this page is anchored by 3 goalies (well, the third one isn’t obvious from the photo, but Mike Liut was a goaltender, so just take my word for it).  I’ll be happer with this page once I’ve replaced that 1995 Fleer card in the upper left, but that’s a minor concern at this stage.


The next challenger, contending for slot #2 and representing 1994-95 O-Pee-Chee Premier and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Darren Turcotte!

This card confused the heck out of me because it just says “Premier Hockey” on the front, but it’s not clear whether it’s O-Pee-Chee or Topps Premier. In either case, the copyright information lists Topps, but the tip off is that the back of this card is bilingual.

Slot #2, much to my surprise, had been empty. This card enters the binder even though it’s a fairly generic-looking card (even if it is “Premier”). I’m thinking that this card will lose some future battle, especially since there is no shortage of challengers with low numbers like 2.

But that’s a matter for another day.


Last challenger for today is #11, again from the 1995-96 Leaf set and features Andrei Nikolishin of the Hartford Whalers!

Currently in slot #11, representing 1979-80 Topps and the Minnesota North Stars, it’s Greg Smith!

My kneejerk reaction was to stick with 1979-80 Topps, as well as the somewhat less represented North Stars (the binder has a lot of Whalers), and because of that…

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED… for now, anyway…

The more I think about it, the less certain I am about this one. The photo on the Leaf card is a lot nicer than Greg Smith waiting for a faceoff. Anybody have any input on this one?

If I do make a change, I’ll try to remember to mention it in the next Dead Parrot post.


To wrap up… that’s two new additions to the binder, which means I’ve got 321 out of a possible 396 cards.  That puts this binder just over 81% full!

As mentioned earlier in the post, I completed one page which brings me to 14 completed pages out of 44 total pages.

Dead Parrot Frankenset for July 15, 2020

This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker.

All of today’s challengers are from the 1980-81 Topps Hockey set (the one with the annoying scratch-off “Who Am I?” game). To keep things from getting too repetitive, I made sure not to duplicate any of the teams in that 1980-81 set.

The first challenger for slot #178, representing the Quebec Nordiques, it’s Real Cloutier!

I have to admit, it makes me smile to see the boards not covered with ads.

There currently isn’t a card in slot #178, so this card goes right into the binder and leaves me one card short of completing the page. I need a card #’ed 179 to complete the page, and as luck would have it, a recent package I got from Shoebox Legends Shane has a card #’ed 179 in it, so I’m going to include that in the next Dead Parrot post.


Next up is card #237 representing the Minnesota North Stars, it’s Gary Sargent!

(If this card wins, I’m going to scratch more of the black crap off of this card)

Currently in the binder, representing the Minnesota North Stars and 1991-92 Topps Hockey, it’s Jon Casey!

Although you can’t see much of the glorious North Stars logo on Casey’s card, and the logo featured as part of the card design is the yucky 1990’s version of the North Stars logo, I feel that this is a better card and the Gary Sargent card isn’t quite interesting enough to dislodge it.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!

Moving on…


Our third card, representing slot #205 and the Winnipeg Jets it’s Pierre Hamel!  This card hasn’t been scratched yet, but trust me, it’s Pierre Hamel.

Hamel played 69 games over four seasons… mostly with the Jets, but he played 5 games for the Maple Leafs as well.  This is his rookie card.

Currently in slot #205, representing the Jets and 1982-83 Topps Hockey Album Stickers, it’s Morris Lukowich!

It’s hard to tell from a scan, but these hockey stickers are the same size as most 1980’s Topps stickers, a little bit smaller than 2″ x 3″.

These stickers I have in the Dead Parrot binder are mainly placeholders as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t think any of them have beaten a challenger yet… and while the Hamel card is nothing exciting, it still beats a sticker.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!


The next challenger, contending for slot #239 and representing the Colorado Rockies, it’s Rene Robert!

Aside from featuring the Colorado Rockies, a personal favorite Dead Parrot team, this card is also in nicer condition than any other 1980-81 card Topps Hockey I have… the scratch-off crap is flawless and I won’t think of scratching it off.

Currently in that slot, representing 1993-94 Upper Deck Hockey and the Quebec Nordiques… it’s Niklas Andersson!

The photo isn’t bad, but the design is pretty busy and you can’t see much of the Nordiques uniform… In other words, it’s nowhere nearly up to the task of defeating a Hockey Rockie!

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!


Last card for today is #198, features Rick Ley of the Hartford Whalers, and goes straight into the binder because that particular pocket is empty!

I think I’m going to try to clean this card up a little…


OK, so that’s two new additions to the binder, which means I’ve got 319 out of a possible 396 cards.  That puts this binder just shy of 81% full!

In previous posts I talked about the percentage of the binder being “complete”, but I decided to change the wording because the binder will fill up but the project will never truly be complete in my eyes.

I didn’t complete any pages this time around, so we still stand at 13 completed pages out of 44 total pages.

Dead Parrot Frankenset for May 27th, 2020

This is the latest in a series on an ongoing project, a “Dead Parrot” Frankenset which features cards of NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch). The Frankenset consists of a binder containing 44 sheets and the goal is to have it filled with cards numbered from 1 to 396, with each slot filled with a card featuring a hockey team that has gone to meet its maker.

All of today’s challengers come from a card show I went to in January.

The first challenger for slot #85, representing 1975-76 Topps and the Atlanta Flames, it’s… the Atlanta Flames!

Team cards are awfully hard to beat as far as this project goes.

Currently in slot #85, representing 1992-93 O-Pee-Chee Premier Hockey and the Hartford Whalers, it’s Patrick Poulin!

Poulin completed a page just over two months ago, and while it’s a nice card, it can’t hold up against a team of Dead Parrots.

THE CHALLENGER IS VICTORIOUS!

…and a complete Page 10 is upgraded in the process. Here’s how it looked about a month ago when it was last upgraded…

…and here’s what it looks like now:

Page 10 just keeps getting better.


Next up is card #92 from 1976/77 Topps, representing the Kansas City Scouts, it’s Chuck Arnason!

Chuck looks very happy, and why wouldn’t he be?  He just completed Page 11!!!

Now that’s a nice page featuring four different WHA cards (the two in the bottom row are from from some fairly recent sets by  “In The Game”).

Getting back to Chuck Arnason… I looked at his record and he may just be the Captain of any Dead Parrot team.  Aside from some uninteresting teams like the Canadiens and the Penguins, he played for the Atlanta Flames, Kansas City Scouts, Colorado Rockies (who were, of course, the relocated Scouts), the Cleveland Barons and the Minnesota North Stars!  Unfortunately his time with the Flames and Barons didn’t make it to cardboard, but it’s almost made up for by the fact that his 1978/79 O-Pee-Chee lists him with the North Stars and shows him in a Rockies uniform.  I *must* get that card.

Moving on…


Our third card, representing slot #218, 1980/81 Topps and the Minnesota North Stars… It’s Glen Sharpley!  And this goes right into an open slot on Page 25, so there’s no battle going on here.  I like this card, it will put up a fight against any future challengers.


The next challenger happens to be from the same set and on the same page… Contending for slot #223 and representing 1980/81 Topps and the Quebec Nordiques, it’s goaltender Michel Dion!

If you’re wondering why there’s that big black oval on the card, this set came out of packs with a scratch-off “Who Am I?” quiz.  No, the back of the card doesn’t include the player’s name.

Currently in that slot, representing 1990/91 Topps and the Winnipeg Jets, it’s goaltender Steph Beauregard!

As a card of Steph Beauregard, I’m sure there are better ones out there… but as a game shot that features two Winnipeg Jets logos, well…

This one is a tough choice, both are nice cards, but I think I like the Beauregard better. Feel free to talk me out of it.

THE CHALLENGER IS DEFEATED!


Last battle for today is for slot #253… Representing 1975/76 Topps Hockey and the California Golden Seals, it’s Al MacAdam!

Currently in that slot, representing 1990/91 Pro Set and the Quebec Nordiques, it’s Mario Marois!

I like Mario Marois from his time with the Rangers, but Page 29 already has 5.25 Nordiques on it, so it’s time for another upgrade.

Here’s the page as it was in October (when I was attempting to photograph pages rather than scanning them):

Here’s the page now:

If you had been wondering how a page could have “.25 of a Nordique” on it, it’s because of that card in the lower right that features the four teams which moved from the WHA to the NHL.


OK, so that’s two new additions to the binder, which means I’ve got 317 out of a possible 396 cards, and that puts this project at 80% complete!  After a long while of slow progress, I’m happy that this is moving along better now.