For the first time in a couple of months I stopped off at the local hobby shop late last week. Boy was I glad I made the stop too, as the 1970s hockey monster box had been loaded up with fresh cards since I had been there last. I kept my cost in check by sticking mainly to quarter cards. I'll save the rest of the goods for another post later this week, but here is the entirety of my quarter box haul, over 60 cards in total...
The majority of the cards came from the 1973-74 Topps set. 1973-74 has long been ignored in my vintage hockey collection, I think I had less than 20 of these beforehand, with quite a few of them in poor condition.
The first 6 cards in the set are these league leader cards, but with names like the Esposito brothers, Bobby Clarke and Ken Dryden on the others this was the only one available for a quarter. The goons never seem to get much collector love.
I chose the 50+ 73-74s I ended up with largely based on condition. While I'm not actively chasing this set yet, I'd eventually love to complete all of the 70s and 80s Topps sets. With few exceptions the cards I grabbed are crease-free, gum stain free, wax stain free, have four good corners, decent to perfect centering and good overall visual appeal. These are cards that will go into my set binders and for the most part never need to be replaced or upgraded. Can't complain for a mere quarter!
Unger's card was one of those "few exceptions" I just referred to as far as condition. Its only flaw is that it's badly mis-cut, I couldn't leave it behind just because of that. Interesting perspective used in this photo, that's got to be one of the largest hockey pucks on any card I own.
I think I've said this before, but to me the 73-74 set has always been one that is either hit or miss. Some of the staged, posed shots bore me to death, but there are some really great horizontal cards featuring in-game action photos that are just fantastic. I love that the average kid opening this pack 30+ years ago had no way of telling which player Andre Boudrias even is in this crowded photo.
The All-Star cards are one of the things I like most about this design.
One of my favorite things about cards from the 1970s is looking at the impact that culture and fashion had on the athletes. Just look at the transformation undergone by Henry Boucha between his 1973-74 Topps card above a his 1974-75 card from just a year later:
Interesting shot of Plager making his case to the ref.
This photo is pretty close to the one used on Corrigan's card the following year.
Ed's was one of the few cards I picked up that I already owned, but it's definitely an upgrade over my other copy:
One of the tough guys featured on the PIM Leaders card that led off the post.
Pretty badly off-center but I was sold when I saw Rogatien Vachon staring at me from the lower right corner.
I believe that's the one and only Gump Worsley in the first row far right. Doesn't get much better than vintage team cards.
What an airbrushed mess. Isn't there supposed to be a 'Hawks logo somewhere on that sweater?
It might be a bit off-center, but this is much better than my previous, significantly more wrinkled copy of this card:
Another cool action photo. Is everyone airbrushed in this one?
Had this one already, but again this card is a gigantic upgrade condition-wise. My former copy had some serious wrinkling going on:
In addition to the huge chunk of 73-74 Topps cards, I also had my want list handy and managed to knock a handful of cards off towards my 74-75 and 79-80 Topps sets. For 1974-75 we have...
Joe's card is pretty significantly diamond-cut. Oh well, good enough for now.
Here are the 79-80s:
Admittedly not the most exciting four cards from 1979-80 Topps, but I'm four cards closer nonetheless. That's not all though, I saved my favorite 8 cards from the box for last:
It's not everyday that you get a quality scrum captured on cardboard.
Any card with a great mask like that in the quarter box is coming home with me.
This team card is especially significant as the Broad Street Bullies would win their first of two consecutive Cups in the 1973-74 season.
A Hall-of-Famer from one of the greatest vintage hockey sets ever released for a quarter? This is where it started to feel almost like stealing...
Easily one of the better cards in this lot, great stuff.
I love the coach cards from 74-75 Topps, and Emile Francis' card is particularly nice since he went on to work in the Hartford Whalers organization. I picked these cards up last Thursday, and the very next day Michael over at Collecting for Kicks posted his own Emile Francis card, a sweet auto if I do say so myself.
I know it's off-center, but for this card to be in the quarter box is absolutely criminal. If there were ten of these in there I would have grabbed all ten. Finally, the absolute steal of the day...
I had to do a triple-take when I came across this one in the pile. The rookie card of one of the decade's top enforcers. This card doesn't even belong in a dollar box much less a quarter box. If my extremely old Beckett can be relied on, this one's got a book value of $12.
All said and done, that's 53 1973-74 total Topps cards, better than 1/4 of the 198-card set. On top of that, I knocked 8 cards off of my 1974-75 Topps want list and got another 5 towards my 1979-80 set. 66 cards total, for what should have come to a total of $16.50. Because it had been a while though, and because the shop owner is just that kind of guy, he gave me the lot for $10. $10!!! That may have been my all-time best raid of the quarter box!
Tommy John and Me - Tommy John turned 75 today. Well, I'm trying to whip up this post quickly in the evening of May 22nd, but we'll see if I finish it before bedtime. My glo...