Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Ultimate Hockey Card Set - The First Four Cards

I think most collectors are familiar with the idea of a "franken-set". This is the concept of building a numerically ordered set from a variety of different individual sets. Many of us did this in our collecting binders as kids. In recent years I've seen Ben Henry do it with 80's baseball cards (in "The 792"), dayf do it with his Allen & Ginter minis, and even Night Owl has recently embraced this concept for his night cards set. So, this idea is definitely nothing new.

I was thinking that it would be a fun lifetime project (not to mention interesting posting material) to compile a franken-set called The Ultimate Hockey Card set. This will basically be a virtual franken-set of my all-time favorite hockey cards. Following the standard rules, there can only be one card of each number, 1 through ??? For example, if I come across a great card that's #14 in it's set, but have already chosen a card #14, I'll have to bump out my previous choice in order to replace it with the new one. You know the drill. The only other rule is that I have to own any card that I select. So, you won't be seeing a Bobby Orr rookie, even though you think it may belong.

I'll start things off by selecting 4 cards for the set in this initial post. Up first is a duo from the 1979-80 Topps set:

Card #18 - 1979-80 Topps - Wayne Gretzky (RC)

Card #175 - 1979-80 Topps - Gordie Howe

I couldn't think of a better pair of cards to kick things off. In fact, can you think of a better tandem of cards from any one set than these two? You have the rookie card of the sport's all-time leading scorer, and in the very same set the final card of the game's best player to that point in time. Sort of a symbolic "passing of the torch" from one generation's greatest player to the next's. Another reason that the 1979-80 set is one of the greatest ever released. Maybe I'm biased as a Hartford Whalers fan, but I think most would agree that these are two of the best cards in one of hockey's best all-time sets.

Card #100 - 1972-73 Topps - Bobby Orr

Unlike the first two cards, this is one I have not shown previously on the blog. It seems like a pretty easy choice, it's my oldest Bobby Orr card and was released just a bit after the Bruins won the 1972 Cup. This one's got a tough spot to hold onto though, #100 is a number often reserved in a set for a card of significance, just like this one. We'll see how it does in the coming months...

Card #440 - 1990-91 Score - Eric Lindros Future Superstar

This was an easy selection for a couple of reasons. First, it's #440, so it's not going to get any competition from vintage sets or even many modern sets. Secondly, I don't care who you are, if you were collecting hockey cards in 1990-91 you wanted this card. Multiple concussions leave us asking what may have been had Lindros been able to stay healthy his entire career, but in 1990 the sky was the limit for this guy.

So, there are the first four cards in my Ultimate Hockey Card Set. You can track the set here, I will also have a link to it in my sidebar going forward. So, what do you think? Any suggestions?


Brad said...

Great idea, I may have to start something up similar.

I only just received that Lindros card this year! Crazy I know, remember that Score card featuring him in the locker room; behind him were a rack of different jerseys ... I remembering thinking that card would be worth hundreds of dollars one day! Still a nice card that I STILL don't have in my collection.

Reivax said...

I recommend a 71-72 Marcel Dionne.
I'd also recommend the Guy Lafleur of that same set, but he's much more expensive. Not sure why.

A 78-79 Mike Bossy shouldn't set you back too much.

You also need a Bobby Orr. The '66 is awesome, but, well, it's a ton of money.
Gilbert Perrault, Ken Dryden, Ron Dugay, Larry Robinson, Darryl Sittler. I could go on all night.

Anonymous said...

I like this! No argument with your first four. The '72-73 Orr is one of my half-dozen favourites of all.

What will be your highest number?

A '73 Keon is pretty neat. I just did a write-up on that. How about a '74-75 Lemaire airbrushed into a Sabres uniform?

Anonymous said...

Was trying to think of a good card for #1 that would be amenable to a Whalers/Bruins fan (there are a number of Habs there in vintage sets).

Gerry Cheevers is #1 in '68-69 Topps and '70-71 OPC (probably Topps too).

Ray Bourque is #1 in '81-82 and '84-85 OPC.

Also, Tim Horton was #1 in '60-61 and '61-62 Parkhurst.

Anonymous said...

There's a very cool '72-73 card shot through a fish-eye lens. I think it's Keith Magnuson of the Hawks.

Reivax said...

Earliest I have of Horton is 68-69, one of my favorite sets. I think that's his last Leafs card too.

shoeboxlegends said...

Thanks for the comments guys!

Brad --- I do indeed recall that Lindros card, I know I have at least one kicking around somewhere. If I can find another I'll let you know and send it your way.

Reivax --- some great suggestions there. In fact, I'm already considering one of the cards you mentioned.

1967ers --- You brought up a good point, I hadn't considered how high I'd go for numbering. I'm thinking maybe 1-500 for now, that should take me years! Your suggestions for card #1 are definitely great, and I know the Magnuson card you're referring to as well, I think I may even have it. I want to make sure I include some modern cards as well.

I should have a post with a couple more additions coming soon!

JGBlargh said...

If Ultimate includes most memorable, the card #60 - Pro Set Platinum Dave Gagner. I still see that card in my nightmares.

Anonymous said...

For modern, you need the Kolzig card with the hot dog. That's a beaut! :)

Reivax - Horton had one more with the Leafs. He was in the '69-70 set (a very cool picture, too. It's one of his best.)

I think the '78 Orr retirement card (OPC) is #300. That's a good round number.

Reivax said...

While looking for a 69-70 Tim Horton, I found another suggestion for your #1 card - the #1 for 69-70 is the Gump! It's a pretty cool picture, too.

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