Here's another random single picked up from the hobby shop a couple weeks back, on the same trip as the Carlton Fisk and Johnny Bench cards I've posted. There is some decent hockey representation at the shop, but overall baseball dominates, which is pretty typical in my area. That's why I was psyched when I stumbled across this card in the 1/2 off bin:
In absolute mint condition, perfectly centered, and with a price tag of less than 5 bucks, this was the one card I knew I was leaving the store with. Jean is a true gentleman who exemplifies everything that is great about the sport of hockey, and this is coming from a Whalers/Bruins fan! There's not much I can say about his career that Casey at Drop the Gloves hasn't already done a better job of, so I'll just say that I agree with everything in his post.
It's only fitting that someone who is such a true gentleman would be the most successful player/executive in hockey history. Of all his amazing career statistics, it's the number of Stanley Cup Championships he won that is most impressive. Ten as a player, and another seven as an executive. I think ten Stanley Cups as a player is one of those records that will likely never be broken, and seventeen total? Forget about it!
I'm a sucker for the 1970-71 design too, what a great looking set. I'm actually ashamed to admit this is only my third 70-71 Topps card, and also just my third Beliveau card (and the only one that's a true vintage card from his playing days). I'll be looking to rectify that in the near future.
Here's the back of the card. The cartoons vary from back to back. They are much more realistic looking than many Topps cartoons, but without being tailored to each individual player they lack the character that some of the others possess. That being said I think the backs still come together quite nicely.
If I'm not mistaken this is Beliveau's final Topps card, which is kind of cool. He hung up the skates after the 70-71 season. What's amazing to me is that in his nineteenth and final season, he still recorded better than a point per game (76 points in 70 games played).
I'll be enjoying this card for a long time to come!
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