Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Ultimate Hockey Card Set - Card #59

Today's post is the first selection of 2012 for The Ultimate Hockey Card Set. I'm not sure if it's because I've already covered some of the obvious choices, or because I'm getting more and more cards inventoried by the day, but choosing these cards seems to be getting harder with each post. Today we'll look at card #59...

Card #59 from my favorite parallel set, 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Retro, features the game's last 50-goal scorer. Perry was the only player to notch 50 last year, capturing the Rocket Richard trophy. This year the Ducks are struggling mightily, and Corey has 14 goals in 37 games, which puts him outside the top 30 goal scorers in the league.

I'm not sure if this is considered a true rookie card (my guess is that it isn't), but I thought this card #59 from 2007-08's In The Game O Canada set was interesting. There were much better options than this though, and the card I went with is much older.

Ugh, two Canadiens in a row! Patrick here is much more deserving of inclusion in this set than Carey Price is, but it won't be this card that does it (even though it certainly is a nice looking piece of cardboard). This card is 13 years older than the Carey Price above it, but still nowhere near as old as the card I selected.

Moving backwards through time we have Super Mario, card #59 from the 1990-91 Upper Deck set. A decent card from the junk wax heyday, but I've already selected a Mario Lemieux card for the set. That's not to say that there won't be multiple cards of certain players when all is said and done, but this won't be the card to start that trend. How about a little older?

Mike Gartner occupies spot 59 in the 1986-87 Topps set. He's an under-rated scorer for sure, and was one hell of a skater. This is pretty much a horrible photo though, not one of his finer cards.

Getting warmer. I've always been partial to the 1981-82 set and the team leaders subset features some pretty big names.

Looking back a year further, I found that card 59 in the '80-81 Topps set is also a team leader card, and of my beloved Whalers no less! Blaine Stoughton was quite a scorer, but the scratch-off design of '80-81 Topps has always bothered me, and it looks particularly awful on the leader cards where roughly 1/3 of the surface area of the card is black scratch-off material.

Card #59 in the 1978-79 Topps set is none other than Mike Milbury. Those old school skates look pretty funny nowadays.

The runner up is this Bobby Hull card from the 1970 Dad's Cookies set. I've actually got a couple of these Dad's Cookies cards. As you can tell, they are definitely not standard sized cards. They measure 1 7/8" wide and about 5 3/8" tall. These cards are a unique, cheaper alternative to some of the other sets from the era. I think I would like this oddball set much more though if the players weren't all shown in the same NHLPA sweater. The cards aren't truly numbered, but every checklist I've located online lists Hull as #59 in the set. I think this is just where he happens to fall when the set is arranged alphabetically by last name. I don't actually know if these were included with cookies back in the day, or if these were some type of wrapper mail-away promotion. Can anyone shed some light on this in the comments?

Well, those are the runners-up, let's take a look at the winner:

1954-55 Parkhurst - #59 - Milt Schmidt

I already talked about Milt's amazing life in my very first post of the year, so I'll spare you the details here. For some time now I've wanted to add a card of Milt from his playing days to my collection. Because of the fact that the bulk of his career was played during an era where there weren't really any sets being released, there aren't many choices. By my count there were just 6 cards of Milt produced during his career as a player:
  • 1940-41 O-Pee-Chee V301-2 (never seen this card in real life or even on eBay for that matter)
  • 1951-52 Parkhurst
  • 1952-53 Parkhurst
  • 1953-54 Parkhurst
  • 1954-55 Parkhurst
  • 1954-55 Topps (Milt is the final card in the set, making this a tough one to come by in good condition)
When I recently had an opportunity to snatch up one of the 6, I jumped at the chance. I was amazed when I emerged from a flurry of last-minute bidding activity with this card for slightly less than the cost of a blaster. This is my very first 1954-55 Parkhurst card and it's a thing of beauty when held in person. Milt is pictured on the front wearing his vintage B's gear and sporting the captain's "C". As far as condition goes, I'm amazed at the shape this card is in, given that it's well over 50 years old at this point. Nicely centered, crease free, and four clean corners. I also found it interesting to see how similar the facsimile signature on this card is to the autograph from his 2006-07 Parkhurst card I showed a few days ago. This set is unique in that the card numbers are displayed prominently in a red box on the card front.

The backs of the '54-55 Parkhurst cards aren't spectacular, especially compared to the large, full-color fronts, but they're not half bad either. One year of stats plus bio in both English and French.

Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to pick up another of Milt's cards at some point, but for now I'm extremely happy to have this one in hand.

The Ultimate Hockey Card Set, now at 12 cards and counting, can be viewed here.


Drop The Gloves! said...

Milt is getting a lot of love lately between you and JBlargh and it's about time!

Love that '54-'55 card; his cards are criminally underpriced.

Like you, I've never seen the '40-'41 OPC. You've seen the '51-'52 I picked up a few months ago, right? You NEED to go to that Shriner's show, man. I'll meet up witcha!

Anonymous said...

Very nice! You had me worried for a second at the Milbury.... ;)

That's such a great set and there isn't a posed shot in the entire thing. That's the last time that would be true for a good 20+ years.

Parkhurst backs didn't have a lot of glitz, but this left room for a lot of text. All the best write-ups are on Parkhurst cards.

1970-71 Dad's cookies actually did come in packs of cookies, but they must have had a warehouse full of it left over because high-end examples are all over the place. If you shop, the entire set can be had for ~$150, which is unreal for a 40-year-old set with Orr, Howe, Hull, Clarke/Perreault rookies etc.

shoeboxlegends said...

Casey, I did see the '51-52 on your blog a few months back and drooled over it. I'd love to make the Shriner's show sometime, I've heard so many things about it but have never made the trip.

1967ers, thanks for the info on Dad's Cookies!

Sal said...

I don't think you are allowed to say "Ducks" and "mighty" in the same sentence without paying a royalty to Disney.

Damn. Now I want cookies...

shoeboxlegends said...

Hahaha, great observation Sal! I didn't even realize I had done that!

Michael said...

Love all the cards but I definitely am happy with the final decision! Great post!

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