Welcome to my Virtual Autographed Hockey Card Collection!
Cards In Collection: 7,373 | Cards Currently On Exhibit: 2,414 | Percent Of Collection On Exhibit: 32.7%
2017 In Review
With 2017 now in the rearview mirror, I cannot help but look back at my efforts this last year with considerable satisfaction, adding 196 new autographs and 99 new players to the collection over the last 12 months. While well off my high-water mark of 767 new autographs and 254 new players added in 2014, both 2017 sums marked substantial upticks over the previously two years in each category. Indeed, my progress last year was essentially equal to 2015 and 2016 combined (which, collectively, were 250 new autographs and 98 new players in that two-year span). Clearly the preparation for, execution of, and recovery from our family’s international transcontinental move distracted me somewhat from focusing on this hobby during 2015-16, and it was nice to finally give it some more attention.
Many of the additions to the collection this year came from Upper Deck SP Authentic. Finishing off the annual SPA Future Watch autographed rookie card subsets was a project I started in earnest in 2014 and in short order completed these sets from 2001-02 through 2012-13. With the 2013-14 set essentially complete – just awaiting a pair of outstanding redemption cards from UD – my attentions last year were focused primarily on completing the 2014-15 and 2015-16 Future Watch subsets, and starting work on the 2016-17 Future Watch subset released in June.
The 2013-14 SPA Future Watch subset inched ever so closer to completion, as one of the two outstanding redemption cards – 276 Vladimir Tarasenko – was finally fulfilled by Upper Deck after a three-year wait. That leaves the last autograph – 290 Matt Nieto – still in limbo at 42 months and counting with no ETA from Upper Deck.
My needs from the 2014-15 SPA FW subset (60 autographs) reduced to 14 autographs and will drop to just 7 autographs when completed acquisitions arrive in the mail in the next few weeks. Closing this set out will be amongst my top priorities in 2018.
I also made significant headway on the 2015-16 SPA FW subset (61 autographs) as my needs dropped to 32 autographs at year-end. And as the mail arrives in early 2018 with completed transactions, my needs will halve to just 16 autographs needed, including three pending redemptions from Upper Deck with no ETA for release. Alas, I’m missing the big autograph from the subset (226 Connor McDavid), and with a valuation of over $1,000 that will undoubtedly prove to be an expensive acquisition!
As for the 2016-17 SP FW subset (75 autographs), I’m slightly less than midway through completion of this series with 34 autographs in hand. Not too bad for a few months work, but still a long way to go.
As for other key sets I’ve been working on, I drew some degree of closure on the 2004-05 In The Game NHL Franchises release. Having completed the Canadian set (104 autographs) and Update set (19 autographs) in 2015, I finally finished the US West set (102 autographs) this year. The final card was A-PE3 Phil Esposito in Chicago colours.
Around the same time I also picked up two of the last four cards – A-RGI Rod Gilbert and A-PE2 Phil Esposito (New York) – necessary to complete the US East set (110 autographs). In one respect I could consider this set now also completed as I previously acquired versions of the final two cards – A-PE1 Phil Esposito (Boston) and A-BP2 Brad Park (New York) – in their 2016 ITG The Final Vault release format. However, while these cards were drawn from In The Game’s in-house stock, they have a “Vault” foil stamp imprinted on them to note their inclusion as part of the Final Vault release. As I would prefer unblemished cards, the hunt continues.
Securing the final autographs from the 2013-14 Upper Deck Edmonton Oilers Collection also continues to be a top focus. I scratched Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Wayne Gretzky off the want list in 2017, leaving me just 10 cards away from completing this 81 autograph set. Of course, with the remaining autographs amongst the hardest pulls of the bunch, I don’t anticipate closing out this project any time soon.
All in all, 2017 was a rewarding year. And with another 49 autographs yet to come in the mail from completed transactions over the last few weeks, the collection is off to a healthy start in 2018.
About the Project
Back in late 2012, when I told my wife Lynn that my next web project was to create a virtual collection for my autographed hockey cards, her reaction was (to my surprise, I will admit) one of great joy and tremendous support. "Finally! You'll be getting rid of all those binders and boxes filled with cards that have been cluttering up my house!" Rarely had I seen her so pleased that it just seemed unnecessarily cruel to let my real plans intrude on what to her was the arrival of a long hoped for moment. We are sufficiently removed from that conversation that I can now say "Unfortunately, my love, that isn't exactly my plan."
Rather, this site is intended as the solution to a vexing problem. When part of the fun of collecting is sharing your treasures with fellow collectors, how do you accomplish that when you live hundreds of miles away from the nearest people whom might care? The obvious answer (the internet, of course!) brings forth a host of new puzzles and challenges in terms of site construction, formatting, and layout. And hence, this is the humble beginnings of a multi-year project to place my ever growing certified autographed hockey card collection out on display.
The initial phase will see the scanning of my complete collection and the creation of galleries organized by card set. Later phases will see the development of individual player and team galleries. Various other themed exhibits may emerge from time to time. Given the size and scope of this effort, as well as the fact my collection continues to grow and evolve, I don't have any hard timelines for completion. Instead this site will likely be a continual work-in-progress, and it is my hope that each time you visit you'll see something new.
So now for the words that will break my wife's heart: All the cards displayed on this site are part of my personal permanent collection, and none of the images have been clipped or borrowed from other sites. Moreover, none of these
specific cards have been posted here for sale or trade, as I do not intend for this virtual collection to replace my physical one. (That said, I have doubles of many of these cards to trade to fill the gaps in my collection, and please don't hesitate to email me
if you would like to swap trade and want lists.)
With that, don't let me delay your tour any longer. It is my hope you'll enjoy viewing my collection as much as I enjoy sharing it with you.
Notice: The hockey-related portions of this not-for-profit, non-commercial fan web site are unaffiliated with the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club; the National Hockey League (NHL) and its member teams; the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) and its member players; and their trading card company licensees. The collectables-related portions of this not-for-profit, non-commercial fan website are unaffiliated with the respective entities. Any trademarks and images from these entities that have been used herein for editorial purposes remain the exclusive property of the original rights holders. All other elements of this web site, including but not limited to site design and content, are copyright 1993-2018 Matthew S. McCallum, all rights reserved.