Sunday, August 28, 2022

Board Advertisements on Cards, Episode 4: Nestlé Chunky

Way back in 1978, the NHL allowed teams to start selling advertising space along the boards of their rinks. By the time I was a hockey card–collecting kid in the late 1980s, the trend had caught on. From snack foods to car manufacturers to banks to fast food restaurants, board advertisements really ran the gamut—and they still do.

This series will explore some of the advertisements that also managed to make their way onto hockey cards.
Previous entries are available here.
1988-89 Topps #194, Pierre Turgeon

Here's rookie center Pierre Turgeon, getting ready for a face-off. (Note his right hand moved down about a foot from the end of his hockey stick.)

Also note the advertisement on the boards behind him.



I'm not sure I've ever eaten a Chunky bar, but I do remember seeing them on drug store candy racks back in my 1980s childhood. Simply put, it's a big, thick chunk of chocolate with raisins and roasted peanuts inside. Here's a cross-section:


And surprising to me, when I was doing some research for this post I discovered that it was introduced to the market way back in the 1930s. The original recipe contained milk chocolate, raisins, cashews, and Brazil nuts. Now that's fancy!
Here's a commercial that aired a couple of decades later:

Reporter: I beg your pardon, sir. Do all your people look like you?
Flying Saucer Pilot: 'Course not, most of them are homely.

As for Pierre Turgeon, he went on to have a tremendous NHL career. I've mentioned him before on this blog, and marveled at how the man is not yet enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Here's a quick career stat line:

1294 GP, 515 G, 812 A, 1327 PTS, 452 PIM, 190 PPG, 86 GWG

And this is where some of those stats place Turgeon in the all-time NHL rankings at the time of this writing:
190 power-play goals: 22nd
86 game-winning goals: 25th
1327 points: 34th
515 goals: 40th
Almost every player ahead of him in those categories is in the Hall of Fame. Quite a few players behind him, too.
It's also worth noting that Turgeon put up nine 30-goal seasons across his career, and was better than a point-per-game player. He averaged almost a point per game in the playoffs, too (97 points in 109 games played). His skating style and play-making ability seemed effortless. A natural talent. Unfortunately, he never played on a Stanley Cup–winning team.

Maybe his teammates were too busy eating Chunky bars like this guy:

And I think I'll conclude episode 4 of Board Advertisements on Cards right there.
How many of you have ever eaten a Chunky bar? Share your thoughts in the comment section, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

A Group Break? Of Modern Cards? Me??

So here's something different:
Recently there was an offer on Trading Card Database to join a free group break of hockey cards. Specifically, two hobby boxes and a blaster box of 2021-22 Upper Deck MVP.
I knew of MVP. I'd seen a card or two on other blogs and YouTube channels. I even knew what a blaster box was. But I'm not a modern collector, so I don't have anything like MVP in my personal collection.
In fact, if you were to look through all the posts I've made on this blog since its beginnings in 2019, you'd find a total of maybe three posts that feature modern cards. Three.
However, this was a FREE group break. And I happened to find the post on TCDB at a time when a few teams were still available to claim. So I claimed one: The New York Islanders. Then I waited for the remaining handful of teams to be claimed, and for a date of the break to be announced.
Well, those teams were claimed pretty quickly, and the day of the break came soon after, by way of a video that was posted on YouTube. I watched as the host opened up pack after pack, hoping there'd be some good Islanders cards inside some of them. Here's my haul:

In that last trio we've got an Anders Lee silver script card and a mascot card, the style of which is based on a typical "gaming" card. Here's the text:

The Islanders' ice is extra cold to protect it from the cheers of this fearsome fire breather.

I really have nothing else to say about that. But now that I've had the cards in hand, I will say that the design is not bad. And the card stock is nice. It's not the typical UV coating that you worry might brick up over time. It feels more slick. As for the mascot card, it's got much more of an iridescent look than the scanner provided.
In any case, the group break was a fun experience. Watching it online was kind of exciting. And some hits did appear for other teams, which was cool. But will I do it again sometime? I don't know. Like I mentioned, I'm not really into modern cards. I also don't collect any specific teams. And I'm not looking to expand my collection unnecessarily. But I wouldn't rule it out.
How about all of you readers and collectors? Have you participated in group breaks? Do you enjoy them? What's the best card you've received from one?
Share in the comment section, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 14, 2022

From the Favorites Box: Kevin Mitchell, 1987 Topps #653

A series where I post some thoughts about favorite cards. Previous cards in the series are available here. 

There's rookie Kevin Mitchell on a sunny day at Shea Stadium, emerging from his home-plate slide in a cloud of dirt and dust. His facial expression shows childlike exuberance. In all the excitement and commotion, the ball may have even gotten past Expos catcher Mike Fitzgerald. 
As for the home crowd in the background? They’re all on their feet. On top of that, you have a great view of those classic 1980s Mets uniforms. And if this photo was taken the previous year, 1986, then it's a photo from their World Series championship season.
Now that's a baseball card.
For more on the photo itself, it was likely taken on June 25, 1986, when the Mets hosted the Expos.
Here's the play-by-play breakdown that led to Mitchell's enthusiastic slide:
In the bottom of the 4th inning, Darryl Strawberry doubled to left field off Expos pitcher Andy McGaffigan. Then George Foster grounded out, moving Strawberry to third. Kevin Mitchell stepped up to the plate and delivered another double, scoring Strawberry to put the Mets on the board and setting the score at 2–1 Expos. Then, on a Ray Knight single, Mitchell scored from second to tie the game, sliding home with panache as you see on the card above. Knight advanced to second on the throw home. Pitcher Sid Fernandez would then drive Knight home to make it 3–2, and the Mets would tack on a fourth run that inning. They'd end up winning the game by a score of 5–2. Lots of fun for the fans at Shea.

Mitchell would help the Mets win their 1986 World Series championship too, and at season's end finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting behind Todd Worrell and Robby Thompson. (Will Clark finished 5th, Barry Bonds 6th.)
However, that winter he would be traded to San Diego, and then soon after to San Francisco, where he'd really shine. In 1989 he had a year for the ages, taking home the NL MVP award ahead of Will Clark, Pedro Guerrero, and Ryne Sandberg. He'd also win the Silver Slugger award and take part in the All-Star game.
Here's his 1989 stat line (bold = career best): 
154 GP, 543 AB, 100 R, 158 H, 34 2B, 6 3B, 47 HR (led both leagues), 125 RBI (led both leagues), .291 AVG,.388 OBP, .635 SLG (led both leagues), 32 intentional walks (led both leagues)

Oh, and there was also this play:

What a season. 
Unfortunately, knee and wrist injuries really hampered Mitchell from 1991 onward. He'd bounce around from Seattle to Cincinnati to Boston to Oakland, never playing more than 100 games a season for any of those teams. He retired in 1998 at the age of 36.

But for the youthful spirit of baseball—sliding across home plate, scoring a run, getting your uniform dirty, and the exuberance that it all brings—1987 Topps #653 has a spot in my box of favorite cards.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Battle of the Bands: A Summary (And Giveaway)

What a tournament. 
We had top seeds dominate, we had lower-ranked seeds cause upsets, we had wise decisions that led to victories, we had poor decisions that led to defeat. We had intense battles. We had great music. And at the end of it all, Led Zeppelin were crowned champions.
A sincere thanks to all of you who've followed the tourney over the past 7 Sundays. I enjoyed writing out all the battles, reconnected with some great bands that I hadn't listened to in a while, and discovered from the comments section that quite a few of you card collectors and bloggers have a passion for rock music as well. Pretty cool! 
I hope you clicked on the videos and links in each battle. Most of them featured live performances from the contesting bands that week, and I find that those live performances are often better and more interesting than the studio versions of the same songs.
I also think rock and roll pairs very well with 1970s trading card designs, which is why I chose a '70s design for these rock band cards in the first place.

And that brings me back to the reason for this summary.
As a way of showing my appreciation for your readership, I'm going to send a small prize to all of you who left a comment on any of the battles throughout the tournament:
One card of your choice from the rock band set! 
Here's the list of commenters (blogs in parentheses):
Crocodile (Crocodile Sports Cards)
Fuji (The Chronicles of Fuji)
Elliptical Man (The View from the Third Floor)
GCA (The Collective Mind)
Brett Alan (none)
Bo (Baseball Cards Come to Life!)
Matt (Diamond Jesters)
Jon (A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts)
Jafronius (A Pack To Be Named Later)
Night Owl (Night Owl Cards)
Bulldog (Nothing if not Random)
Jim from Downingtown (multiple blogs)
If you see your name above, congratulations! You've earned the card.
Just leave a comment below with your card choice. I've got plenty of each band, so please do choose whichever one you'd like. (And if you know someone who might be interested in any of these cards, feel free to send them a link to my eBay store. I've even got the complete set available at a discounted price.)
I should have most of your mailing addresses from previous giveaways here on the blog, but if you haven't participated in any previous giveaways, please send me that information.
My email address is available on my blogger profile page

You can also message me on TCDB.
Thanks again for following along. If you missed any of the battles, I've added a tab to the toolbar at the top of this blog for convenient access.

Rock on, collectors. Rock on.