Sunday Fun-Day Fun-Facts

28 February 2010

DeWayne Buice was born in 1957 in Lynwood, California. Buice was a Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played two seasons for the California Angels and part of a season for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was awarded Pitcher of the Year and Rolaids Relief Man in 1987. Buice is one of only six pitchers in the Angels’ history to strike out at least 100 batters in a season without starting a game. He played in his final game on June 27, 1989 but continued to make appearances in the minor leagues into the 2000s but only for teams in which he had an ownership stake. Buice finished with a career record of 9 wins, 11 losses, 20 saves, 157 strikeouts and a 4.23 earned run average over a 2½-year MLB career. Buice is currently a co-owner of the Reno Astros.

More importantly to collectors, Buice was one of the original managing partners of the Upper Deck trading cards company and he held that position from 1988 to 2000. Buice was in downtown California one evening in November 1987 looking for a Chinese restaurant. He went into a baseball card shop called “The Upper Deck” and asked the person working there whether they knew of the restaurant. Buice and owner Bill Hemrick struck up a friendship which led to Buice having an autograph signing at the store. Within weeks, Buice had become one of Hemrick’s business partners.

Bill Hemrick and Paul Sumner were starting a card company called Upper Deck but the players union was not planning on accepting another card company for another three years. Buice was told that if he could help secure Upper Deck a license, he would receive a 12 percent stake in the company. Buice became a key figure in getting MLBPA officials to agree to a meeting. By the end of the 1988 season, Henrick and Summer received the license and were making baseball cards. Although the future partnership was not always peaceful, Buice remains a key figure behind one of the hobby’s giants.

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Card companies continue to pull out all the stops in 2010. After the recent news of Topps Million Card Giveaway, another Topps product has released exciting informaiton of its own. UFC’s President Dana White has announced on Twitter that Topps has randomly inserted 10 autographed cards in its newest release that will win one lucky fan the opportunity to sit side-by-side with the man in charge!

The first collector to pull this special triple autographed card featuring Chuck Liddell, Dana White, and Tito Ortiz from the new Topps UFC Main Event will win the ultimate UFC behind the scenes access. The amazing opportunity will allow the winner and a friend to be flown to Las Vegas, Nevada to be Dana White’s personal guests at the UFC Training Center. The winners will tour the gym and meet the coaches and fighters competing in the upcoming Ultimate Fighter 12 reality series on Spike TV. The winners will also sit cage-side with Dana White during one of the The Ultimate Fighter preliminary matches.

There are a total of 10 of these triple autographed cards randomly seeded in packs. The other nine lucky UFC fans pulling this card will receive a pair of UFC gloves signed by White, Liddell, and Ortiz.

In recent years, UFC has gained massive popularity in the sporting world and their inaugural releases into the sports card market have been met by eager collectors craving cards beyond the four major sports. The opportunity to own the triple autograph card alone would have most collectors more than satisfied however the added bonus should see this product reach new heights.

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Golden Three-Peat!

26 February 2010

The Canadian women’s hockey team have done it again. Led by an 18-year-old scoring phenom and a 23-year-old goalie who was considered as nothing more than a back-up just a few months ago, Canada skated to a 2-0 victory over their rivals from the United States and seized its third straight Olympic gold medal.

Marie-Philip Poulin of Beauceville, Que. scored two goals on U.S. netminder Jessie Vetter to lead the charge in her first Olympic Games. After easy wins in their preliminary games, Canada kept the medal momentum going Thursday evening as the women’s hockey team grabbed the gold in a convincing win over the United States. Poulin was a dynamo and goaltender Shannon Szabados of Edmonton made 28 saves to notch the first-ever shutout win in an Olympic women’s hockey final.

Jayna Hefford was the story early in the tournament with her scoring prowess but Shannon Szabados became the story at the end as she was impenetrable in the Canadian net, making 28 saves. Many saves made jaws drop and the crowd erupt.

Team captain Hayley Wickenheiser and the Canadian women errupted in celebration before a deafening crowd as the final buzzer sounded. As the two teams received their medals, there was an outpouring of sportsmanship from the fans for Finland, the bronze medallists, and particularly for the silver-medal-winning rivals from the U.S.

Although there has never been an abundance of female hockey cards on the market, there have been a smattering over the years. This season’s O-Pee-Chee set contains all of the women in the Canadian Heroes subset and Upper Deck Series 2 contain some cards of the players competing at the Olympics. In The Game’s O’Canada set from 2007 has base cards, autos, and memorabilia cards of most women on the Canadian team three years ago. 1997-98 UD Collectors Choice also contains a great selection of the women’s hockey team including rookie cards of Wickenheiser and former captain Cassie Campbell.

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It was a red letter day for Canada at the Olympics with 1 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze. All of medals won by women! A gold and a silver in the bobsleigh. A silver in short-track speed skating relay. And most impressively, a bronze medal from Clara Hughes, her sixth career Olympic medal spanning both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Also a big shout-out to Heather Moyse from the women’s gold medal bobsleigh team from Prince Edward Island!

Heading into the evening, the main focus of every person in Canada was on the quarter-final men’s hockey game between Canada and Russia. The expected battle between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin never happened as they were both in the background during this game. Canada scored early and often on Evgeni Nabokov to skate away with a 7-3 victory and move into the semi-finals versus Slovakia.

The real story of the game was Roberto Luongo who has taken the reigns from Martin Brodeur and won his third game from three starts in the Olympics. Luongo saw the bench after beating Norway 8-0 but returned to the crease to beat Germany and Russia after Brodeur’s lacklustre efforts versus Switzerland and the Americans.

Entering the final few games of the men’s hockey tournament, this will be the time to see who shines. Long-term hockey card values could be effected forever with a great performance in the semi-finals and finals. At this point in time, Roberto Luongo and Eric Staal have the greatest potential due to their efforts for Canada. Ryan Miller in the American goal has been outstanding as well. And let’s not forget Jaroslav Halak who is making the Slovakians look like top contenders for gold in 2010 in Vancouver. The story will continue to unfold until Sunday night. Enjoy the ride.

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2009-10 Between The Pipes from In The Game will continue to deliver an incredible array of game-used memorabilia cards and autographs for goaltender collectors. Goalies have always been, and will always be, a hobby cornerstone. Due to their popularity, Between The Pipes features more goalie autograph cards and memorabilia card than anywhere else in the hobby.

This season, each box of 2009-10 Between The Pipes will have 18 packs with 9 cards per pack. All inserts will be seeded 1:8 packs. This means that, on average, each box of Between The Pipes will have 8 hits!

In The Game has just released the first peek at this season’s checklist. Although not complete, it has many collectors drooling already.

Between The Pipes Preliminary Checklist

The 150-card Base Set will include 4 subsets:
Future Stars, Stars of the Game, Greats of the Game, and The Rival League.

The GoalieGraph autograph set will contain over 125 different autograph cards.

There will be five different non-memorabilia inserts:
AHL Rookies, CHL Rookies, Gold Metal Masks, Tribute, and the always popular Net Brawlers.

There are nineteen different Authentic Game-Used memorabilia inserts including:

Game-Used Jersey
Game-Used Number
Game-Used Emblem
Pad Save
Glove Save
Stick Save
He Shoots He Scores
International Crease
Home Grown
Complete Package
Complete Jersey
Mega Star
Complete Logo
Made To Order

Anyone need an oxygen mask? That’s a dizzying number of phenomenal hits.

2009-10 In The Game Between The Pipes will be released on March 25, 2010 from Canada Card World.

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