Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Land of Lincoln

As you all might be aware, Illinois is known as "the Land of Lincoln;" it's on our license plates and everything.  After all, Abraham Lincoln, while he was born in Kentucky, got his legal and political career started in the state's capital of Springfield and was even interred there after his assassination.

However, don't go running away from me yet - this isn't going to be a history lesson of a post (although, I did minor in history in college), I've simply discovered a second Land of Lincoln that I was heretofore unaware of:  Canada.

Whaaaaaaaaa?   What does one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country have to do with our neighbors to the north?  Well, nothing really, at least not directly.  However, the coin on which his likeness is featured recently landed me a whole bunch of new hockey cards for my Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection:

That's right, you've heard of dimeboxes; now, feast your eyes on the contents of a (virtual) penny box,, including these two gems in photo selection from 1998 UD.

When I have downtime, I often like the just browse for Cubs, Bears and/or Blackhawks cards on Ebay and sort the results by "lowest price + shipping."  The reasons why are as follows:  A) any cards that I buy because I'm just really bored better be inexpensive.  B)  In general, I'm a pretty well-known cheapskate.

Hahahahahaha, see what I did there?  I wrote cheap"SKATE" and this is a post about hockey cards! I'm so very clever.

Anyway, the search results for Blackhawks showed a couple of hundred listings from a single seller in Canada who was selling a bunch of hockey singles with a starting bid at one measly cent and no shipping cost.  It's pretty clear that the vendor was busting some old complete sets and likely just wanted them gone.  Well, in the words of the great Lt. Aldo Raine...

The only catch here was that the listings did not include pictures or team affiliations, so if prospective buyers wanted to search out specific teams, they'd have to do some tireless research.  Challenge accepted!

Unfortunately for me, my hours of flipping through listings turned up only one actual Blackhawks card (at least, where I eventually won the auction).  On the plus side, I did uncover several future and former Chicago hockey players hiding in plain sight.  For a penny a piece, I can always upgrade to black and red later.

Since there were so many cards to be had, I made it a bit of a game to see how many I could win without going past the initial bid.  I didn't expect to come away with more than a couple, after all, who could pass up such cheap auctions.  However, as you can see, I did quite a bit better than I expected.

The cards are all base and from the over-production era through today, so it's not like I was robbing a bank and getting Connor McDavid's Young Guns card for a copper Lincoln.  Nevertheless, if I thought dimeboxes were a minor miracle for my building my burgeoning Blackhawks collection, this was like a godsend.

I was especially happy to walk away with some bigger names from the current dynasty.

The 90's were also heavily represented in my haul - including a former captain in Martin LaPointe. The Redwings might be to the Blackhawks as the Packers are to Bears; but, I'll let this slide for a wheat back.

Additionally, there was a healthy smattering of the 21st century to be had too:

I'm especially fond of the 2012-13 UD Michal Handzus on the bottom left and the 2008-09 Craig MacDonald OPC Retro on the next to it.  For Handzus, I enjoy the minimalistic design of the set and I'm quite fond of the Hawks double-dipper for his staving off elimination in Game 5 of the 2014 Western Conference Finals with a game-winning goal in double OT against LA.

As for MacDonald, the blue border looks really nice with the blue in the Lightning jerseys.  That said, it's actually the back of the card that really does it for me:

I absolutely adore the skate found on the reverse of this set - it's a charming little touch and as a relatively new hockey collector, these sorts of details still have power over me.

Since MacDonald only played a handful of games for the team in 2007, no Hawks card was ever produced of him, I won't have to feel obligated to change it out.  That's okay with me.

As a closing act, I was even able to lock down a card of the latest player to breeze into Chicago:

Rob Scuderi was acquired in a trade for the ineffective and injury-plagued Trevor Daley with Pittsburgh not even ten days ago.  It was, in fact, the first player-for-player trade of the 2015-16 season.

Unfortunately, the Hawks' new defenseman took a puck to the face in last night's tilt against the Stars when a slapshot errantly deflected off of another stick.  Scuderi immediately collapsed to the ice - it was quite the frightening scene.  Thankfully though, the early reports are that Rob is okay and no serious injury was sustained.

I should note, however, that this card was a little more expensive, ten times more expensive!  Which, of course, only made it a dime, so I think I can live with that.  This card was listed about a week after I won all of the rest with a starting price of ten cents; thus, I think the seller decided to up his starting price a tad after I went nuts.

Who says pennies are worthless?

And this is why I sort my Ebay searches for "lowest price + shipping," you just never know what deals you're going to find.  In total, I was able to add 21 new players to my Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection for about 50 cents.  How about that?

So, that's the story of how I discovered that Illinois is not the only "Land of Lincoln" on this continent - go Canada!  Has anyone else ever been fortunate enough to run across penny cards?  If so, what were you able to find?

In the meantime, I'll allow the Beatles to play me out...


  1. I've bought from that same seller and like yourself did all the extra research that was involved. Ended up with 21 cards for around $2.00 w/free shipping. The most expensive card bought cost was 21 cents. Those new 10 cent prices are still tough to pass on.

  2. I liked Daley, but man was he hot and cold. Some days he looked like we scored a hell of a great 5th defense man, but more days he just couldn't understand his position.