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Steal of a Deal: 08-09 Upper Deck Masterpieces Canvas Clippings Red Ray Bourque

December 15, 2010


As a collector, every now and then you might be fortunate enough to come across a deal that is so good you almost feel guilty for having been involved in it.  You get the sense that the seller might be absolutely desperate for cash and is unloading items at a fraction of what you would expect to have to pay.  Perhaps the seller simply does not realize what it is he/she has. 

Regardless of the reason, the deal just seems too good to be true.  Until the cash and card (or other item) have traded hands, it doesn’t seem like it could possibly ever happen.  When it finally does, you can’t contain your excitement and feel the need to tell everyone about it.

This newest series of posts, which I’ll be calling Steal of a Deal (very original, I know) will be my outlet to show off cards and memorabilia that fall under the description you see above.  There won’t be any regular schedule for them since I cannot exactly guarantee when I am going to come across a deal like I describe above, but my intention is to make this a regular a series as possible.


As I mentioned in my post about establishing a focus for my collection, the first in my series of articles about taking my collecting Toward Self-Sufficiency, I have a number of collecting projects in the works.  

One of those projects is my attempt at a master set of 2008-09 Upper Deck Masterpieces, minus any 1/1 cards.

Realistically I may never come close to finishing this project.  The multiple parallel versions of the base set, Brushstrokes autographs, and Canvas Clippings jerseys will be a major challenge, especially with the Red bordered variations limited to print runs of as little as 10.

But every now and then a small speck of light can be seen at the end of the tunnel.  For my Masterpieces project, this card represents just that.

This is the first Canvas Clippings Red Parallel that I have secured as a part of the project and I did so for the more than affordable price of just $10.  I truly could not believe that I found this card, featuring one of the game’s greatest defensemen and at a print run of just ten copies, at such a low price. 

I came across the card in the very last row at the Fall 2010 Toronto Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo at around 9 o’clock on the Friday night.  It was getting late in the night and my money was running low, as were my expectations of what I might be able to find hidden in the back row.

I was surprised by how little of the Masterpieces product I found at the show and given that it is one of the few projects I am currently allowing myself to pursue, I was pretty disappointed about my progress on this it at the show until the time that I found this card.

Somehow every other person in the building had overlooked it for about eight hours before I came across it.  When I did find it I was surprised to find it buried in a box as opposed to out in the front display of the booth and I had to do a double-take when I saw the sticker indicating the price.  I thought it was missing a zero!

If I have any complaint about the card it’s definitely the single colour, white jersey swatch.  For whatever reason, Upper Deck seems to be ignoring the growing dissatisfaction of collectors on this issue.  If you have a memorabilia swatch card that has such a miniscule print run, then make that card something extra special for the person lucky enough to pull it.

With that said, at least it’s not a swatch that in no way resembles the jersey the player is pictured in.  I would much rather have this card feature a white swatch than one with a piece of yellow and/or black from a Bourque Bruins jersey, a situation that is prevalent with a number of the players jersey cards featured in the Canvas Clippings set.

Since the time I bought this card I’ve come across only a pair of sales of cards from the same set on eBay, a Bernie Federko and a Rogie Vachon.  The sales figures on those two cards looked like this and this respectively, which makes me feel even better about the deal I got on my addition to my collection.

Those prices bring me back to reality a bit when it comes to my chances of completing this project, but like I said, every now and then you see a small speck of light at the end of the tunnel.  The more specks like this one that I find, the brighter that light will become.


Once again, another first in the growing  number of series and topics on the blog is in the books.

Do you have a story about a great deal you have come across?  If so, feel free to share it with me by sending an e-mail to bb_bros [at] hotmail [dot] com or post a comment!

Until Sunday’s third instalment in the Toward Self-Sufficiency series, all the best in your collecting pursuits!



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