Coming in at #18 in my countdown of 2011 pick-ups that have been neglected on the blog is one of my oldest hockey cards:
What is it? A 1954-55 Topps Hockey Ray Timgren, graded an EX-MT 6 by PSA.
When and where did I get it? Won it on eBay, way back in January.
How much did it cost me? $22.50 (plus $3 shipping).
This is one of the higher priced items in the countdown, in fact I guess if you want to be technical about it I actually went over the $25 limit by .50 cents if you count shipping. Still, for little more than a blaster I was very excited to add this card to my collection.
Ray Timgren wasn't exactly a stellar player, in fact he appeared in just 251 total NHL games over 6 seasons. He was far from an offensive threat, as is evidenced by the fact that his 7 goals, 18 assists and 25 points in the 1949-50 season were all career highs. He was a part of two Stanley Cup winning Maple Leaf teams though, in 1949 and 1951.
Obviously the fact that this is a Ray Timgren card is not what excited me about this purchase. I just thought it was great to add a hockey card to my collection that's now well over 50 years old. Even more so than that, this one is significant because the 1954-55 set was Topps' very first foray into the world of hockey cards. The set contains 60 cards in total, consisting only of players from four of the Original 6 teams (the Canadian teams, Montreal and Toronto, were left out). Even though O-Pee-Chee became the gold standard for vintage hockey cards in the following decades, the Topps sets were the ones I always collected as a kid, so to own a card from the inaugural set is pretty damn cool.
I think the 54-55 cards look fantastic in terms of design. Along the bottom are two colored bands, a blue one containing the team name within, and a red one containing the player name and position. Each card has the team's logo in one of the upper corners, leaving plenty of space for the illustrated/colorized/whatever-you-call-it player and facsimile signature, which are overlaid on a plain white background. The backs are slick too (click for a larger image if it's difficult to read):
I'm a big fan of the hockey stick with TOPPS HOCKEY on the blade that is used to divide the personal info from the small paragraph write-up on the player. Plenty of room is left at right for a decent sized cartoon as well.
I think there is only one other Ray Timgren card in existence, from the 1951-52 Parkhurst set. I guess if I can pick that one up I'd be considered a Timgren super-collector?
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