Thursday, June 25, 2009

Collecting Whalers - 1995 Skybox Emotion Geoff Sanderson

Growing up in Connecticut and playing hockey year round for over a decade as a kid, it was only natural that I became a fan of the local NHL franchise, the Hartford Whalers (I lived in the middle of the woods so by local I mean an hour plus drive from my parent's house). A couple of times each year, my parents would scrape together some cash, pile me and my two brothers into my mom's gigantic Chevy Astro van, and head into the city to catch a Whalers game. This started a fascination with the game of hockey that continues to this day.

Every so often I'm going to show a random Hartford Whalers card from my collection. It could be a certain player I have memories of, a set I like, or maybe a card I feel like showing just because. I'm going to start off with this...

1995 Skybox Emotion - #77 - Geoff Sanderson

I thought of this card when I pulled the Geoff Sanderson from the pack of Pro Set cards that Captain Canuck sent along. In my biased 10-year-old mind Geoff was going to be the next big superstar in the NHL. In some ways, you can't blame me, as Geoff played all 82 games in both his second and third years in the league, eclipsing the 40 goal mark in each of those seasons. He never really panned out though, and once the Whalers moved to Carolina he ended up bouncing around the league, playing for the Hurricanes, Canucks, Sabres, Blue Jackets, Coyotes, Flyers and Oilers. He's not officially retired yet, but is without a contract for the upcoming season so far.

I am more interested in the Skybox Emotion set than the Sanderson card specifically though. I like that Skybox at least tried to do something different when they released these cards, and I seem to remember them being fairly popular at the time. Even though the whole emotion thing is kind of cheesy, I really think the cards themselves hold up even against modern set designs. They're printed on nice thick, glossy card stock that I most closely associate with the mid-90's Flair baseball releases. I think the effect of bringing the player to the foreground and sort of blurring the background and washing it out with a color that fits the jersey of the featured player worked really well. The images are really crisp as well, in fact they look better than a lot of the stuff you'll find on shelves now. I may have to attack this set pretty soon, it would look awfully nice in a binder.

I seem to recall a basketball release of this stuff, and possibly a baseball set also. Does anyone know for sure?

5 comments:

Captain Canuck said...

I always hated the Whalers, though not as much as the Bruins. I think it was because of that song that they played after every goal. I felt like that chick in Major League,"I hate that fu#&*n song"

thankfully Montreal bounced them out of the playoffs abunch and I didn't have to put up with it long...

shanediaz82 said...

You're not kidding, it seemed like Montreal was responsible for ending the Whalers' season almost every year for a while there.

shanediaz82 said...

And the song you are referring to is the infamous "Brass Bonanza"...

Tomski said...

There is a basketball set, absolute best set I have ever seen. I think your review of the hockey set completely transfers to the basketball set perfectly. When these cards came out and collecting was popular, it was the gold standard. $6 per pack (if my memory serves) using mid-90's dollar evaluation...expensive. Thanks for the nostalgia and definitely get your set taken care of. I still got my rookie Grant Hill emotion card, and had it signed attending a Duke legends game. Its a cool piece on my desk at home.

Tomski said...
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