Friday, November 27, 2009

Box Break - 1992-93 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey

A while back, I picked up a hobby box of 1992-93 Upper Deck Series 1 hockey at the local hobby shop. I have a ton of 90-91 and 91-92 Upper Deck cards in my collection, but after that it pretty much drops off until 2007-08 when I started collecting again, so when I saw this for $12 I couldn't pass it up. 36 packs, 15 cards per pack for a total of 540 cards. The Series 1 set is 440 cards, here's a quick breakdown of what the box yielded:

Base Set: 334 cards (76% of set)
Inserts: 4
Doubles/Triples/Quadruples (Yes, Quadruples...): 202

Let's take a look at the goods, in numerical order:

#7 - Pat Verbeek - Hartford Whalers Team Checklist - The first 24 cards in the set are the illustrated team checklist cards. They each feature an portrait and an action shot. I somehow missed getting cards 10 - 18, which was a sign of things to come as far as collation goes.

#25 - Wayne Gretzky - Los Angeles Kings - Not one of the Great One's greatest cards by any means. Rather than an action shot, we get Wayne kneeling an an empty rink with a spot-lit (is that a word?) goal in the background.

#28 - Jaromir Jagr - Pittsburgh Penguins - I've seen this trail effect on other Upper Deck cards before, including a Red Sox Collector's Choice card I pulled about a year ago.

#29 - Brett Hull - St. Louis Blues - Another strange pose on Hull's card. I guess it's memorable at least...

#33 - Wayne Gretzky - 1500 Assists - Another illustrated card, signifying Gretzky's 1500th career assist. Not points, assists. He finished just shy of 2,000 in his career. What else can you even say about that? Amazing.

#34 - New York Rangers - Presidents Trophy - The Rangers amassed 105 points in the 1991-92 season, the only team to top the 100 point mark. Unfortunately they ran into the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs.

#37 - Keith, Wayne & Brent Gretzky - Bloodlines - This set has so many subsets in it that it's practically ridiculous. Bloodlines depicts NHL brothers. Also included in this subset are Joe Sakic and his brother, and the Courtnall's.

#49 - Murray Craven - Hartford Whalers - Murray had just come to the Whalers the previous season from the Flyers for Kevin Dineen, one of many horrible trades the Whalers made in the early 90's.

#76 - Kay Whitmore - Hartford Whalers - Kay was shipped of to the Canucks before seeing any action with Hartford in 92-93.

#88 - Eric Lindros - Philadelphia Flyers - Lindros had an impressive rookie campaign in 1992-93, with 41 goals, 75 points and 147 penalty minutes in just 61 games.

#105 - Rob Ramage - Tampa Bay Lightning - Click on Rob's card for a large image and tell me what you see in the background. I almost flipped right by this one without even noticing...

#121 - Mats Sundin - Quebec Nordiques - No, the Maple Leafs were not the only team Mats played for prior to the Canucks.

#148 - Paul Broten - New York Rangers - Paul looks like he's headed for some pain here.

#156 - Pavel Bure - Vancouver Canucks - I did get a nice representation of horizontal cards in my box, which is a plus in my book.

#167 - Alexander Mogilny - Buffalo Sabres - Another great horizontal card. The crowded action scenes are some of my favorite cards if done right.

#181 - Bob Bassen - St. Louis Blues - Another great example.

#186 - Curtis Joseph - St. Louis Blues - I don't think you're getting to that one Cujo...

#235 - Peter Forsberg - World Junior Tournament - Another of the seemingly unending subsets. I really like Sweden's jerseys.

#237 - Stanley Cup Centennial - I'm guessing this photo depicts the Montreal AAA club that won the first two Stanley Cups in the late 1800's. Can anyone confirm that? That is a sweet logo! This is probably my second favorite card from the box.

#252 - Bobby Holik - Hartford Whalers

#255 - Joe Sakic - Quebec Nordiques - Pretty much included this one for the Nordiques logo.

#273 - Frank Pietrangelo - Hartford Whalers - Hartford got this guy from Pittsburgh, but he never really panned out. I wonder what happened to his gatorade?

#285 - Theo Fleury - Calgary Flames - Did anyone see the recent interview with Theo on ESPN? I forget what show it was on but it was definitely interesting. He revealed how he was molested for years by one of his junior coaches and hit rock bottom after a downward spiral of strippers, booze, guns and cocaine. Apparently he's got a book out about it. Surprising stuff...

#288 - Andrew Cassels - Hartford Whalers

#291 - Ron Francis - Pittsburgh Penguins - One of the most under-appreciated hockey players of all-time.

#293 - Geoff Sanderson - Hartford Whalers - Geoff was the Whalers' leading scorer in 1992-93.

#304 - John Cullen - Hartford Whalers

#305 - Mike Modano - Dallas Stars

#310 - Don Beaupre - Washington Capitals - Great shot of Don stretching out during warm-ups.

#316 - Zarley Zalapski - Hartford Whalers

#323 - James Black - Hartford Whalers - I don't remember this guy. At all.

#327 - Mark Recchi - Philadelphia Flyers - Current Boston Bruin! Man this guy's been around forever. And now, for my absolute favorite card from the box...

#337 - Sergei Bautin - Russian Stars - Ouch!

#338 - Igor Korolev - Russian Stars - Russian Stars, yet another subset. How about that moustache?

#357 - Vladimir Konstantinov - Detroit Red Wings - Rookie Report - Yet another subset, Rookie Report. Vladimir's story is a sad one.

#362 - Pavel Bure - Vancouver Canucks - Rookie Report

#363 - Nicklas Lidstrom - Detroit Red Wings - Rookie Report - Another guy that's been around forever, and is still at the top of his game. Unquestionably one of the greatest defensemen of all-time.

#366 - Dominik Hasek - Chicago Blackhawks - Rookie Report - Dominik saw some action in 1990-91, and even more in 1991-92, yet he gets a Rookie Report card.

#374 - Mats Sundin - Sweden - Here's another subset, the 92 Ice Hockey World Championship Pool A Seniors subset. Come on...

#375 - Peter Forsberg - Sweden - Here's Forsberg's card from the same subset.

#377 - Tommy Soderstrom - Sweden

#397 - Scott Young - Team USA - I remember Scott as a Whaler, and then later a St. Louis Blues player, but here he's featured as part of the Team USA subset.

#408 - Martin Brodeur - New Jersey Devils - Star Rookies - Martin just set the record this afternoon for most minutes played all-time by an NHL goaltender. The Devils stole the game on the road in a shootout against the Bruins too. Damn you Martin!

#412 - Shawn McEachern - Pittsburgh Penguins - Great horizontal shot. That looks like a ho0k by today's rules.

#417 - Vladimir Vujtek - Montreal Canadiens - Star Rookies - Mullet of the box, hands down.

#419 - Keith Tkachuk - Winnipeg Jets - Star Rookies - It was pretty cool to actually pull quite a few cards in this box depicting players who are still in action today.

#423 - Back to Back - Brett Hull/Wayne Gretzky - This card commemorates Wayne and Brett scoring 50 goals in 50 games in back to back seasons. The NHL only recognizes a "50 in 50" if the player scores 50 goals in his team's first 50 games, not a player's first 50 individual games. This impressive feat has been accomplished by only 5 players in NHL history, so to do it in back to back seasons is extremely impressive.

#428 - Andrei Lomakin - Philadelphia Flyers - Interesting overhead shot, you don't see this angle too often on player cards.

#429 - Tomas Forslund - Calgary Flames - This has gotta be one of the few hockey cards I own featuring bubble gum.

#436 - Mario Lemieux - Pittsburgh Penguins - Conn Smythe Trophy - The last few cards in the base set are the major trophy winners from the previous season. Super Mario had actually won the Conn Smythe the last two seasons heading into 92-93. That about wraps it up for the base set. Here are the 4 inserts I pulled:

#ERT2 - Nicklas Lidstrom - Euro-Rookie Team - Definitely did not have any of these in my collection. They don't scan well but these are actually pretty cool hologram cards. Can't complain about pulling the Lidstrom either.

#ERT3 - Dominik Hasek - Euro-Rookie Team - Second of two Euro-Rookie Team cards. Hasek was a good pull as well. Without checking, I want to say this set consists of only 7 cards and I think the Lidstrom and Hasek are probably the two best (with Pavel Bure coming in a close second).

Wayne Gretzky Hockey Heroes - #10 of 18 - There were Wayne Gretzky Hockey Heroes cards inserted into packs of Series 1 Upper Deck, with Gordie Howe Heroes cards inserted into Series 2.

Wayne Gretzky Heroes - #18 of 18 (Checklist) - I was kind of bummed that one of the two Gretzky Heroes cards I pulled was the checklist, but I'd like to collect this entire insert set someday, so I guess I'll need it.

Well, that's all she wrote. I wouldn't recommend this set for the casual hockey card collector. The design isn't great, and the set is way too fragmented with a ton of subsets. Upper Deck was definitely caught up in the rookie/European trends of the early 90's card releases and as a result you get quite a few cards of guys you never heard of and who never amounted to much in the NHL. For the completist though, Upper Deck's base sets are essential, and I had a ton of fun opening this box for $12.


PatsCards said...

I remember those Lindros and Jagr cards being some of the most sought after at the time of their release.

What is in the background of that Ramage card? Is it a topless woman? That's my guess at least.

Mark Staffieri said...

The cards may not be that valuable, but it was still a fun set. Great memories

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