Friday, May 13, 2011

Out With The New, In With The Old - WHA Lot

Time for my third and final (for now) Out with the New, In with the Old post. Basically these consist of me flipping a newer card that I pulled from a pack for vintage goodness. So far I flipped a 2010-11 Score Jordan Eberle Hot Rookie SP for two graded Johnny Pesky cards, and traded away a P.K. Subban Young Guns rookie for a 1968-69 Topps Phil Esposito. In my opinion I saved the best for last, but you decide for yourself.

Back in March of last year, I pulled this Logan Couture Young Guns rookie from a 2009-10 Upper Deck Series 2 wax box:

At the time, I was pretty bummed about the box as a whole, Couture was probably the best of the Young Guns I pulled. He hadn't seen much, if any, NHL action at that time, plus I was aggravated that I got 2 figure skater cards as inserts in the box. Really Upper Deck?

I learned though that sometimes what appears to be a crap box can turn out pretty decent in the long run. Fast forward a year and you have Couture turning in a fantastic rookie season, in fact he's even a (strong) candidate for the Calder Trophy this season. I capitalized on the hype by listing my card on eBay back in February when he was on a scoring tear, and in fact was leading all rookie scorers. The auction fetched $24.50, which I was very pleased with. You'll never believe what I was able to pick up with the PayPal balance. For less money than I made off the Couture card I won this:

1977-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA - #50 - Bobby Hull

I haven't really posted about it yet, but the 77-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA set is one I've been working on for quite some time. There are a ton of issues with centering and rough edges with this set, pretty much par for the course for O-Pee-Chee at that time. I'm not doing a graded set, but I have been trying to find PSA 8 versions of the two big cards from the set (Hull and Howe) for some time now, and I was beyond pleased to snag this well centered Bobby Hull for $22.

Here's the crazy part though...my $22 didn't just net me the Bobby Hull. The auction was actually for a lot of 5 O-Pee-Chee WHA cards. Check out the other 4!

1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA - #50 - Bobby Hull

My very first 1974-75 WHA card, and not a bad one to start with! I don't care for the 74-75 design as much as I do the 77-78's, but talk about a nice throw-in card. Before this auction win I didn't have any vintage Hull's in the collection, now I have two.

I do like the 74-75 backs quite a bit. Just the fact that they have a cartoon automatically makes them better than the 77-78 backs. Interesting that the back refers to Bobby Hull as Mr. Hockey. Bobby's known as The Golden Jet, not Mr. Hockey. No matter, the other 3 cards in the lot are the real Mr. Hockey!

1977-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA - #1 - Gordie Howe

Very nice, the other big card I was missing from the 77-78 set, card #1 commemorating Howe's 1,000th goal. Sure, this one's off-center from left to right and from top to bottom, but it's got 4 good corners with no scratches, scuffs or creases and has pretty good overall visual appeal. I'll track down a PSA 8 to go with my Bobby Hull someday, but for now this one is more than acceptable in my set. I love the see-through boards in the background and the classic O-Pee-Chee "Now with..." designation on the front.

You can see how the copyright print at the bottom of the back is cut off, and at the top of the back you can see a faint trace of the copyright print from the card that was above it on the uncut sheet. I think the watermarked number 9 is a nice touch.

1976-77 O-Pee-Chee WHA - #50 - Gordie Howe

My first 76-77 WHA card. I like the design that O-Pee-Chee went with this year, I may have to try completing this one once I've gotten through 77-78.


1975-76 O-Pee-Chee WHA - #66 - Gordie Howe All-Star

Possibly my favorite card in the lot. I love the way the All-Star subset looks in this set. Unlike all the other WHA cards in this lot, the back contains full stats for Howe's career, which at that point was a lot of information to cram onto the back of a single card:

That about wraps it up. No offense to Logan Couture, but I think this was an absolute steal. I doubt there's a hockey card collector out there anywhere that would take that single Young Guns rookie card over these vintage Howe's and Hull's.

4 comments:

handcollated said...

Nice haul, man.

Dave H said...

Well done! *Claps*

I think my collection could use some more WHA, and looks like deals can be had!

Kazi said...

Hmmm---Logan vs Gordie--let me think--Yup, Gordie wins out big time

1967ers said...

You got that lot for $22? Unreal. The '75-76 All-Star Howe goes for that by itself more often than not.

Just from experience, '75-76 is far and away the toughest of the WHA sets to put together in high grade. They were made in smaller quantities and the centering was horrific. '76-77 is probably the best in terms of content and execution. The high series of '72-73 OPC is a hoot because of all the teams you never see again.

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