Sunday was a landmark day in my time as a trading card collector/blogger, as I received my very first trade package from another far-off country. Angus, the proprietor of the Cleveland Browns-centric blog known as Dawg Day Cards, stuffed a bubble mailer full of cards that filled needs in my collection from the distant and exotic land known as Canada. This blog now has an international flavor!
Okay... so Canada might be America's hat, but this still counts.
Anyway, in exchange for small lot of Browns cards that I'd picked up from a local garage sale, Angus was kind enough to send back a strong variety of interesting cards. Being that Angus is from hockey-land, a good majority of the mailer was stuffed with cards from the rink; however, we'll kick things off with a couple of oddballs from other sports:
I love breakfast cereal, way more than any grown man should. If I could, I'd probably eat a bowl of Frosted Flakes or Cap'n Crunch for any meal. In fact, as I type this, I'm shoveling Apple Jacks from a Ziploc bag into my gullet. I have a problem.
That said, I can only imagine how much more of a problem I'd have if baseball cards like this 1983 Cubs team card still came with cereal like Sugar Crisp. This set is a little more square than your normal set and features no player cards, but I'd still be more inclined to buy certain cereals if they had such a bonus (hint, hint Post).
My dentist would probably be foaming at the mouth...
Another lost oddball art are the old school "police cards," issued by local Police Departments to foster a trusting relationship between kids and officers across the country. Although, I do recall reading about Topps resurrecting this concept is various locales... anyone know anything more about this promotion?
At any rate, we still have the advice of the Bear's Noah Jackson to get us through; however, usually when you mix a pro athlete, police and the term "possession," things generally aren't going very well. Luckily, this time, Noah is just advising young children to take care of their own property and to respect that of others.
Appropriately. until Angus' package showed up, I didn't "possess" a Noah Jackson card for my Bears All-Time Roster Collection. Thanks for rectifying that!
Contained within this package, there was a large amount of early 00's singles, an era for which American card shops are severely lacking in, even for our own national pastime. Therefore, this was an incredibly welcome sight!
Of course, this time period was also squarely in the middle of the Blackhawk's "dark ages," when they were the laughing stock for all professional sports. Therefore, while all of the these names were needed for my Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection, most of them aren't particularly noteworthy. What a turnaround this franchise has gone through in the last ten years!
Who doesn't love getting numbered cards in a trade? Of course, Michal Barinka, again, falls into that category of "nobodies" that the Hawks employed. That said, card shops around these parts don't really stock much else besides Kane, Toews, Hossa, etc., plus some all-time legends like Hull and Mikita. Therefore, finding cards of guys like Barinka has been incredibly difficult.
I may been the only Blackhawks fan on the planet who'd be more excited to acquire a numbered card of Michal Barinka than a Marian Hossa.
Next up, we have a nice pair of horizontal heroes in Kevyn Adams and Brandon Bollig.
Don't let your eyes deceive you - that Adams is, in fact, a Chicago card, despite the Coyotes sweater. It's hard to see, but he is listed as a member of the Blackhawks organization in the difficult to read nameplate. Meanwhile, Bollig is the first member of the current dynastic period to show up in Angus' envelope, one of the few from this time I haven't already pulled in. As I mentioned earlier, Hawks cards from this era are much easier to track down.
Here we have some modern O-Pee-Chee...
.... and some vintage O-Pee-Chee! Heck yes! Vintage hockey cards are a rare sight in my neck of the woods.
Bannerman and Bulley are obviously Chicago Black Hawks, stalwarts of the club from the 80's, when they still had a space in Blackhawks. Even though he's shown as a Penguin, Boyd also spent some time in the Windy City for a couple of partial seasons (1983-85). Unfortunately, to my knowledge, he's never had a card which immortalizes his time wearing an Indian head sweater, so this Pittsburgh single will have to do if I want to complete my All-Time Roster binder.
Furthermore, we have a smattering of other future/former Blackhawks during their time with other, not-as-cool teams. I'll gladly slot these into my Blackhawks binder until if/when I can track down cards that depict them in the correct uniform.
I'm especially fond of that In the Game single of Adam Berti - I love minor league baseball cards and minor league hockey is no different in my eyes.
Speaking of In the Game, the smattering of non-Blackhawk, Blackhawks also included this card design featuring a smattering of blood. You sure don't see that design element very often!
This insert hails from ITG's 2012 product "Enforcers," which shine the spotlight on the rugged, hockey thugs charged with protecting their own players and starting trouble with the other team's men. With that in mind, the blood spatter makes quite a bit of sense.
Here, then-Duck, future-Blackhawk Sheldon Brookbank's fight with Islanders enforcer Trevor Gillies on December 10, 2010 takes center stage. It didn't really go so well for Sheldon:
Owing to it's uniqueness, this "bloody" insert might have been my favorite card in the trade package... if it weren't for the dynamite final act that Angus included at the end:
Hot damn! An authentic, vintage OPC card of a true hockey immortal... what a way to close out a trade! This beauty was definitely out of my budget for a single card purchase - you rock, Angus!
Bobby Orr's infamous tenure with Chicago was both brief and injury-riddled, so Blackhawk Orr cards aren't plentiful. Also, seeing him in a uniform other than Boston's might be jarring to some of you (maybe because it's such a bad airbrushing job). However, I'll always think of the top-tier Hall of Famer as a Blackhawk first.
Although, when it comes to my Blackhawks binder, I already have a Bobby Orr card; so, I was faced with a choice. I could get with this "Orr" I could get with that:
No contest, right?
I think I can safely assume that anyone and everyone would choose the vintage OPC rarity over the unlicensed, dime-a-dozen modern card. Easy upgrade.
Thanks again to my new favorite neighbor to the north. All told, Angus provided me a sweet new Cubs oddball, a new Bear and 19 new Blackhawks for those respective All-Time Roster Collections, including a vintage Hall of Famer... that bubble mailer packed the wallop of a hockey enforcer!
I guess it's true what they say, Canadians are exceptionally polite.
(Coincidentally, I drive a Kia Soul)