Last week I was on vacation from work. Though I hoped to get in more posts than usual as a result, I ended up going the entire week without a single post, or any time for cards at all for that matter. Anyway, it was a good week regardless and it was actually nice to take a break from both cards and the job for a while. I did have some time to kill on Friday afternoon though, and heard there was a card show at a local mall about 20 minutes from my house.
I was excited to check out a show. The opportunity doesn't present itself to me very often, so it has literally been years since I've been to one. When I arrived I was disappointed to see that the "show" was actually about 6 or 7 total dealers set up in the middle of the mall, one of which was the local hobby shop I frequent. I made the best of the situation though, and with my very limited budget added some great cards to my collection, courtesy of one friendly gentleman who was the only person there with any vintage hockey. With the NHL season having kicked off the day before, and the Bruins opening game the very next day, I knew I was in the mood for hockey rather than baseball. Here's what I picked up, newest to oldest:
I was able to knock 10 cards off of my 1979-80 Topps needs list. Some of them are pretty decent ones too, like this league leaders card featuring Lafleur, Bossy and Trottier.
A couple of commons. Don Maloney is now the GM of the Phoenix Coyotes, in case you cared...
Charlie Simmer rookie card. Casual modern-day NHL fans may not be familiar with Simmer, but when this card came out he was about to begin his first of two consecutive 56-goal seasons. He was a very solid scorer who tallied almost exactly a point per game during his NHL career (711 points in 712 games).
The first Topps card of Simmer's linemate, Dave Taylor (he has a card in the 78-79 O-Pee-Chee set). Those of you who watched the 40th Anniversary Canucks/Kings game this weekend saw these sweet old-school jerseys sported by the Kings. You also saw Kings leading scorer Anze Kopitar catch a brutal (albeit accidental) stick to the face. It's never good when you see the trainer picking up parts of teeth off the ice. Shudder... The best part is Kopitar still played the 3rd period. If you want to know why hockey is my favorite sport this is a good example.
Bobby Smith rookie. Stupidly, I accidentally purchased two of these, a mistake I also made with the league leaders card that led off this post. If anyone wants to trade let me know! My last 4 79-80 Topps are guys that had been around the league a while:
Guy Lafleur's base card is definitely one of my favorites in the lot, that KOHO wood stick is great.
Back to back Canadien Hall-of-Famers.
Rounding out the lot we have Stan the Man with his trademark bulbous helmet. Only ten cards, but some great players in this lot, not to mention the Simmer RC, Dave Taylor, and Bobby Smith RC are 3 of the top 10 most valuable cards in the set.
I grabbed this one single card from the 1976-77 Topps set. I have very few cards from this set, in fact this is just my 12th, but I couldn't pass up this trio of Hall-of-Famers.
I'm always looking to add a new Tony Esposito to my collection. This is a 1976-77 Topps glossy insert, smaller than an average card and with rounded corners.
1975-76 Topps Rogatien Vachon. Another set I have precious few cards from. Even though I wish more of the 1970s hockey sets used game action photos, this one is pretty decent. Another set I've been working on for quite some time is 1974-75 Topps. I managed to find a dozen cards I needed, and like the 79-80 needs I found, some of these were pretty good cards:
Second year card of Islanders stopper Billy Smith.
A couple of Bruins' greats, Phil Esposito...
...and The Chief, Johnny Bucyk!
A Jacques Lemaire with one rough corner.
Another set of Hall-of-Famer teammates, this time from the New York Rangers. Jean Ratelle...
...and Brad Park. Brad is also featured on the Rangers leaders card that I picked up...
I needed the Kings leaders card as well. Butch Goring's haircut kills me.
The last 4 I grabbed from 1974-75 Topps are from the trophy winners subset that appears at the very end of the set.
I had to have this card even though I don't really collect 73-74 Topps and I'm not familiar with Terry Harper. The photo is awesome though and it works so well as a horizontal card. I love the facial expression on Harper as Jack Egers of the Blues pursues him.
I grabbed a couple of goalies from this set as well.
This Cesare Maniago card is perhaps my favorite card of the lot from the show. What a great photo.
I picked up 9 cards from the 1971-72 Topps set. This is definitely one of the top 3, maybe even top 2 designs of the decade.
I have to confess that when I picked this one out it was based solely on the fact that I didn't have it already and that I liked the North Stars jersey. I had no idea until looking it up afterwards that Grant won the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year and also had a 50-goal season.
Red was born in 1939. He is the active coach for Michigan's college hockey team. Let that sink in a minute...
I learned about Magnuson's life when I pulled his card out of a 1978-79 Topps pack not too long ago...
Another card of Hall-of-Famer Ratelle.
The final 1971-72 card is this great shutout leaders card. Esposito was the main reason I wanted this one. That does it for the 70's, but I added a few cards from the 60's as well. My very first 1969-70 Topps cards:
Sadly, Stewart is probably most known for being involved in the accidental death of teammate and roommate, Hall-of-Fame goaltender Terry Sawchuk. Just after the 1969-70 season that this card represents came to an end, the two players were involved in a drunken argument/wrestling match and Sawchuk died as a result of his injuries.
Murray, a five-time All-Star, had already enjoyed his best years (with the Boston Bruins) before this card came out.
I don't know much about Ehman, I picked this one up solely because of the sweet Oakland Seals logo. Finally, wrapping things up, I found 11 cards from the 1968-69 Topps set, the very first in my collection:
The design is pretty nice, and the backs of these cards are done just as well as the fronts:
We get only one year of stats, but making up for that fact is the gigantic cartoon!
The background pictures on these cards are re-used throughout the set. Sometimes different portions of the same picture are shown. For example, look at the background on this Ken Wharram card. Now, look at the background on the Marotte card just above it. Same picture, except the Marotte background is offset a bit to the left, revealing a player's leg that is not visible on the Wharram card.
This is probably the best cartoon of the 11 cards I purchased.
This Doug Roberts was the only one that was miscut, but it's the one I wanted most for sentimental reasons.
Well, there you have it. I was happy with how I did given my limited budget and this sad excuse for a show. I've got some more post ideas lined up for October, so hopefully I can get back to my (semi) regular posting schedule soon.
Extra Bases - I'm heading to Pittsburgh this weekend for my brother in laws bachelor party. Should be a good time full of drink, food and shenanigans. We are even hittin...