There are many opinions out there when it comes to the "relic" card. Some collectors love them, some hate them, others are altogether indifferent. I guess I fall into this last category. I've probably got around 30 or 40 of them in my hockey collection, but I'd say around 3/4 of those ended up there by pure chance, either by a random trade or pulled from a pack. There are only a handful that I've actually sought out individually and consider keepers in my collection. Today's card is an example:
This is an Original 6 Arena Relic from 2000-01 Topps Heritage hockey. While I'm sort of apathetic towards relic cards on the whole, I'm even less enthusiastic about arena or stadium relics and "event-worn" relics. To me, if the jersey swatch, bat, or stick piece wasn't even used in an actual game it just doesn't have the same appeal. In this case though, I had to bite. If Topps can be trusted, then the small piece of wood on this card came from the old Boston Garden. As a venue that I experienced first hand once or twice as a kid, this is actually kind of cool.
The Garden hosted NHL games as far back as 1928(!), and as recently as 1995 (it was destroyed in 1997 and is now a parking lot). That means Milt Schmidt played his home games there, but it was around so long that Bourque and Gretzky played in the very same arena. I only saw a couple of Whalers/Bruins games there myself, but the garden was home to much more than just hockey and Celtics basketball. The Beatles played there on their first US tour. The Who played there as well, and so did Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam.
The card doesn't say anything about the relic, which is a pet peeve of mine. For all I know, this came from a folding table in one of the arena's offices. Since I don't know, I'll just assume that it came from a beer-stained, paint chipped seat. Either way, I thought it was an interesting card and something a little different for my slowly expanding Schmidt collection.
What's your take on relic cards? Do you typically keep them, or trade them away?
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