Saturday, May 26, 2012

Completed Set - 1988-89 Topps Hockey

I mentioned recently that I've been making some really good headway towards my goal of completing the entire '80s Topps hockey run.  Today's post features my most recently completed set, 1988-89 Topps hockey.  I just finished this one off a few weeks ago, and I've finally gotten all the cards scanned, sorted and filed away in their appropriate place within my hockey binders.  This set isn't too challenging to complete at just 198 cards.  Sure, I could have picked up a complete set for less than $50, but I ended up hand-collating mine over the period of a couple of years which felt more rewarding in the end.

My 198 cards came from all over the place; the local hobby shop, online sites like eBay and Sportlots, and even trades with fellow bloggers.  The final card that I was missing was #23, Gord Kluzak:

This seems like an odd card to have left at the very end of my set quest.  The strange thing is that I'm now only about a dozen or so cards shy of the 1988-89 O-Pee-Chee set, and Kluzak is one of the few I'm missing there as well.  This must have been a popular card back in the day.  Anyway, let's take a look at some of the other cards that are a bit more interesting than Gord here.  Here are some selected favorites, in numerical order:

#1 - Mario Lemieux

I always liked this card growing up, and you could do a lot worse than Lemieux to start off a set.  Topps\O-Pee-Chee would lead off their flagship set with Mario the following year as well.  This card will get some consideration for The Ultimate Hockey Card Set when I get around to choosing a #1.

As far as the design goes, I used to despise these cards, but they've grown on me a bit over the years.  I still think the push pin is kind of cheesy, but it's not the worst Topps hockey design.  In fact, it's not even the worst Topps hockey design of the decade (more on that later).

The card backs are pretty uneventful.  I guess they sort of fit with the fronts, not horrible but not exactly exciting either.

#3 - Joel Quenneville
Sal was nice enough to get the O-Pee-Chee version of this card autographed for me a couple of years ago.  It's still one of my favorite Hartford Whalers autos.

#6 - Mark Howe

The most recent Howe to be elected to the Hall-of-Fame...

#16 - Joe Nieuwendyk

Another recent Hall-of-Fame inductee.  This is Joe's rookie card.

#22 - Peter Stastny

#29 - Pat Verbeek

A great early card of the "little ball of hate", from before he joined my beloved Whalers.

#31 - Chris Nilan

This one's for Captain Canuck.

#34 - Ron Hextall

#36 - Kevin Dineen

#49 - Chris Chelios

#51 - Darren Pang

This is one of the better-known cards from this set.  In fact, Topps selected it for their 2001-02 Archives hockey set.

#52 - Ron Francis

This has always been one of my favorite Ron Francis cards.  When I think of Francis, I picture Ron in green Whalers sweater, with the captain's 'C' on his shoulder, and half shield on his helmet, exactly as he appears in this photo.

#58 - Cam Neely

#65 - Dale Hawerchuk

#66 - Brett Hull

Brett Hull's rookie is probably the most recognizable and most valuable card in the set.  Hull was one of the best pure scorers to ever lace up a pair of skates, but his rookie card isn't one of the nicer looking Hall-of-Fame rookies if you ask me.  The heavily airbrushed, grainy photo just leaves a little to be desired.  Still a classic card though, and even though it's not the most aesthetically pleasing piece of cardboard it still holds some weight as one of the top rookies of the late '80s.

#70 - Dale Hunter

#73 - Ray Bourque

#85 - Dave Tippett

It's amazing to me just how many former Hartford Whalers have gone on to coach NHL franchises.

#93 - Mark Messier

#97 - Bryan Trottier

#110 - Hakan Loob

One of the best all-time hockey names, Hakan Loob of the Flames.

#114 - Ray Ferraro

#116 - Patrick Roy

I always wondered why a better photo of Roy wasn't used on this one.  Sort of an odd card if you ask me.

#120 - Wayne Gretzky

I think this Gretzky card may be my personal favorite from the '88-89 set.  I've talked about this before, but I like that it symbolizes one of the most significant trades in hockey history.  In fact, I chose this as one of my Top 60 Hockey Cards a while ago.  It's been almost a couple of years now since I composed that list, might be time for a refresh...

#122 - Brendan Shanahan

Shanahan is the second most sought after rookie from this set, after the Hull.  Brendan's card looks a lot better than Brett's though.  I picked my copy up at the hobby shop last summer for around $6.

#123 - Pat LaFontaine

#124 - Luc Robitaille

#125 - Ed Olczyk

Olczyk's card features he and his Leafs teammates listening to a pre-game National Anthem.  This was a different photo, something you didn't see too often, at least at the time.

#127 - Mike Liut

#135 - Dirk Graham

Dirk has the distinction of "best mustache in the set".

#136 - Ulf Samuelsson

#141 - Larry Murphy

#147 - Jari Kurri

#161 - Adam Oates

#163 - Dave Andreychuk

#164 - Dave Babych

#169 - Bernie Nicholls

#175 - Dino Ciccarelli

Love that North Stars sweater...

#179 - Paul Coffey

I always forget that in addition to his 3 Cups with the Oilers, Coffey won another with Pittsburgh in 1991.

#190 - John Anderson

#192 - Rod Langway

#194 - Pierre Turgeon

The 1989-90 Topps/O-Pee-Chee set was the first I collected as a kid.  I had precious few cards from any sets older than that.  Of the handful of '88-89 Topps cards I owned, the Turgeon rookie was my most prized.  I thought this card would be worth a ton of money one day.  For now I think I'll keep my day job.

#196 - Steve Yzerman

Closing things out we've got Stevie Y.  This was a pretty fun set to put together.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you can snag a complete set for a pretty reasonable price if you look around a bit.  The Hull, Shanahan, Turgeon and Nieuwendyk rookies, combined with the great Gretzky card make this a somewhat essential set for any good hockey collection.

I had already completed the 1987-88 Topps and 1989-90 Topps sets, so with this one complete I've now got the final 3 sets of the decade knocked off.  I'm getting there, slowly but surely...

5 comments:

Matthew R said...

Dave Tippett played (and is playing) a large role in saving hockey in Phoenix.

1967ers said...

Nicely done! I remember when those came out. I thought it was a step up at the time, in terms of design. I'm not sure which you're thinking of for the worst 80s design, but I hated 85-86 and 87-88 when they came out. 1985-86 is growing on me a tad, but I still have no time for '87-88.

Olczyk, Secord and Osborne were a pretty solid line.

Dave H said...

Congrats! I love that feeling of sliding the last card into a binder to make a set complete. This set has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Maybe it is because of the old days when Hull Topps rookies were going for a C-note.

Christer Hellström said...

Hi, I'm from Sweden and a long time collector of Canucks card but it seems almost impossible to find the sticker insert #24 Canucks logo with pucks from this year.
Do you by any chanse know anyone that have that card for sale ?

Best regards Christer Hellstrom
gino_odjick2001@yahoo.se

Christer Hellström said...

Hi, I'm from Sweden and a long time collector of Canucks card but it seems almost impossible to find the sticker insert #24 Canucks logo with pucks from this year.
Do you by any chanse know anyone that have that card for sale ?

Best regards Christer Hellstrom
gino_odjick2001@yahoo.se

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