If you're not a fan of goalies.... stop reading now and head over to Crocheting for Beginners. For the rest of you, prepare for a visual feast.
In The Game has what they call their 'Cross Canada Tour' every year where at select card shops on certain days, a party is held based around opening boxes of cards. Count me in.
This year's party at Maple Leaf Sports was held yesterday.
But you don't care about that, you want to see the cards.........
To be honest, BTP has been lacking the last year or two.... suffering from the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" curse. Well this year, ITG stepped it up. They improved a product that was already top notch, and didn't wreck it. Hard to do these days.
First up, the base set. This year consisting of 200 cards, divided into sections.
Future Stars - Cards 1 - 63
Featuring some undrafted minor league players like Malcolm Subban (projected 2012 1st round draft pick) or young stars in the NHL already like playoff hero, Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals.
Next up are the Stars of the Game, Cards 64 - 99
Completed page! (it seems a concious effort by ITG to use photos whenever possible that contain both the mask, and the players face. Pure conjecture by me, but I like it.)
I had to be careful not to show off all of the '70's masks.... my personal fave.
I believe Peeters still has the record for the longest undefeated streak. And there's friend of the blog, Gary Simmons, the Cobra!
In a nod to our warm weather south of the border breatherin, Stars and Stripes. Cards 155 - 169
(kidding. kind of.) Cards 170 - 189
Can you tell Wayne never wore a mask?
And Vladimir Dzurilla, one of the best goalies in the history of hockey. too bad he never got the exposure over here that say, Vladislav Tretiak did.
Of course, I wouldn't be a collector nowadays without bitching... so if I had to come up with something I didn't like about it, it would have to be that with 3 boxes (432 cards), I'm still 13 cards short of a 200 card set. I have four cards of a lot of the players, but still missing 13. Not cool. Someone's algorithm needs adjusting.
(BTW, I want to thank Jay for giving me two boxes worth of base cards, as he was just chasing 'hits.')
Speaking of hits. Let's get to what I got in my box.
It's ITG BTP's 10th anniversary this year, so you'll see that theme pop up in several areas. Like this 10th anniversary insert set.
I ended up with Jimmy Howard, Turk Broda and Carey Price.
I am all in collecting this set... and managed to acquire quite a few from others yesterday. I'll show those off in another post. (I'm now at 25/50)
As always, these Masked Men also come in Silver ( /90 copies) and Gold ( /10 copies)
These are not die-cut like the base Ruby version. As my friend bamlinden said, finally something for the little guy.
I pulled a Gold version of Jonathan Quick. Cool. I know a Quick collector. She'll be happy.
I ended up with three autos.
First, Seth Martin. Approaching Epic on the Coolness Scale. Seth was the St Louis Blues very first goalie. (teamed with Glenn Hall)
I also pulled a Short Print, a Stars and Stripes auto of Jason Bacashihua. Jason was a 1st round pick in 2001 by Dallas. He has belonged to, in order, the Stars, Blues, Avalanche, Capitals, Avalanche again, and now the Flyers. His only NHL action was 38 games in the 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons with St Louis.
Blues hot box!
I honestly had to check online to see if ITG had made a mistake, or if that really was Drew's signature. Sadly, it is his signature. Card companies need to start holding these guys to a minimum standard. Or at least minimum letters. Something.
Relic cards are found at the same ratio as autos, 1:8 packs.
I pulled this Tomas Vokoun double relic card limited to /40 copies.
yeah, Tomas Vokoun. He follows me.
In each pack of ITG products, there's always a decoy card. (Damn pack searchers!) They used to have fun with them by putting the logos of CHL, OHL, and WHL teams on them... people like myself collected them for fun. (each decoy card is also worth 1 'point.' You can save up these points and cash 200 of them in for a special relic card from ITG in a specified time period)
Then, the fun stopped. For a few years it was just plain, bland '1 point' cards.
This year, the fun is back!
11 of them to be exact....
I managed to finish off Price, Roy and Cheevers while I was there by swapping/begging, and dumpster diving.
The others are....... still in progress.
Oh, I forgot about my other relic card out of my box.............
Vladislav Tretiak Countrymen Gold numbered /10. And peeps, that leather pad is awesome. I don't know if the Soviets used deerskin like us Canucks... maybe it's caribou or Yeti.... I don't care. It's fantastic.
So a special thanks to ITG for the Tour and the product, and to Darren at Maple Leaf Sports for his usual great hosting efforts.
If you're in Canada or the U.S.A, check out ITG's website for details on the Cross Canada Tour and the Collecting in the U.S.A. Tour.