Time for another installment of Cheap Slabs, where I dispel the myth that graded cards are always expensive to acquire. In case this is your first Cheap Slabs post, the rules are simple; the graded card cannot have set me back more than $25 before shipping in order to qualify for this ongoing series.
Today's card came in well below that, as you'll see. It was one of those cases where I was not searching for the card specifically, in fact I didn't even know that it existed, but once I stumbled upon it I simply could not turn down the bargain.
Check it out!
Now, I've gone on record many times stating that I'm not really big on game-used relic or patch cards. It's just not an area of our hobby that I've ever really focused on much. Still, when I came across this really nice looking tri-color patch of a legit star player, I was instantly intrigued. With just minutes to go, nobody had even placed a very reasonable $8.25 opening bid on this card, if you can believe that. I threw down a bid of less than $10 and lo and behold, a few minutes later the card was mine for $8.25 plus a couple bucks shipping.
John Tavares is certainly a recognizable name in the NHL, on the precipice of 350 career goals and 800 career points already, and only entering into his age-30 season whenever the NHL gets back underway here. He doesn't have any individual hardware to his name, and has never won the Stanley Cup, but if he can change either of those two things his case for the HOF starts to look pretty good. Heck, even if he can't achieve either of those objectives, he may still get in based on career stats alone. With quite a few good years left in front of him, it's not inconceivable that he could surpass the 550-goal or 1,200-point plateaus.
Either way, this is a striking card of a man who's pretty well under-represented in my hockey card collection to date. I never acquired his Young Guns rookie, and in fact didn't really have a single Tavares card of note prior to hauling this one in. Tri-color patch, some nice foil shine, and serial-numbered to just /25. Easily my best card of the star center who's now with the Maple Leafs.
The back of the card is actually somewhat important in this case, as the material on the front is certified by Upper Deck not as "event-worn", or as "having been worn by the player", but as "certified to us as having been used in an official NHL game". Very important distinction there, at last to this collector.
If the NHL would put some type of clause into their agreement with Upper Deck that would only allow for game-used relics like this, and eliminate the event-worn crap, I might actually be more into relic and patch cards than I am. Wishful thinking, I know!
So there you have it, a real beauty, especially when you factor in the price point. It'll be fun to hang onto this card and watch how John's career progresses over the next few years with the Leafs and beyond. Maybe someday I'll be able to say that I got a graded, game-used patch card of a HOFer, serial-numbered to /25, for less than $10. And if not, I've certainly blown $8 and change on much dumber things than this in my life.
How about you? When is the last time that you purchased a card that you really weren't even looking for, based solely on last-minute impulse? If you have a recent example, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.
Thanks as always for stopping by!