A couple of weeks ago I added what I think is a pretty spectacular card to my hockey collection. It's one I've been searching out for a couple of years now, a "white whale". I think it's my new favorite hockey card. Of course it's #24 in its set, and it's being selected for my Ultimate Hockey Card franken-set. Just how much do I like this card? Enough to select it for the set over this here absolutely awesome #24 from my collection:
Yes, it pains me to say this, but the 1992-93 Topps Stadium Club Wayne Presley card will not
be inducted into The Ultimate Hockey Card Set. This card has a lot going for it. Early '90s hog? Check (that might even be a four-wheeler). Biker gloves? Check. Denim on denim? Hell yeah, Wayne Presley doesn't follow fashion trends, he sets
fashion trends. Initially I thought maybe this photo had actually been taken on the set of Top Gun, but it turns out that film came out a few years earlier, and Wayne Presley was not a cast member. If I had a runner-up hockey franken-set I'd include this card, but unfortunately as it stands Wayne and his bad-ass jean jacket are out...
Let's check out some of the other runners-up for #24...
This Andy Moog is an '81-82 O-Pee-Chee reprint from the 2001-02 Topps/O-Pee-Chee Archives set. I've been just a few cards away from finishing this set for what seems like forever now. They're tricky to track down for whatever reason.
This Brett Hull card doesn't look great in the scan, but it's a Sportflics-style card from the '96-97 Pinnacle McDonald's set. I'm pretty sure this one is from either the quarter or dime box at the local hobby shop.
I always liked the Canada Cup subset at the beginning of the '91-92 Upper Deck flagship set. There were some pretty great players included, and seeing them in their international sweaters was something a little different at the time. Jari Kurri, shown here as captain of team Finland, is a great example.
Card #24 in the 1984-85 O-Pee-Chee set belongs to Hall-of-Famer Gilbert Perreault. This wouldn't have been a bad choice at all. I want to include as many teams in the set as possible, and as Sabres go Perreault would be an obvious pick. Unfortunately for Gil there was just too much competition for this spot.
#24 from the 1985-86 7-Eleven set features the Clarence S. Campbell Trophy, awarded annually to the Western Conference Champions in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This certainly would have been an appropriate choice, given that the Kings just took home this trophy a week or so ago and are now up 1-0 on the Devils in the Cup Finals.
Peter Stastny has card #24 in one of my favorite '90s insert sets, '92-93 Fleer Ultra Imports. I've decided that inserts can be included in the set. After all, this card has a #24 on the back just like any other. This one's not making the cut anyway. This isn't the first time Stastny's been snubbed, better luck next time Peter...
I've got a couple of #24 WHA cards. From the '75-76 set, a terribly off-centered Gene Peacosh of the San Diego Mariners...
...and from the '77-78 set, Ron Plumb of the Cincinnati Stingers. Great logo, but there's no way this one's making the cut.
This 2006-07 Parkhurst Richard Brodeur has some good elements. In the end though, even the JOFA helmet, brown pads and the "flying V" Canucks sweater couldn't push this one to the top of the list.
Alexander Mogilny's Upper Deck rookie card happens to be #24. The original "Alexander the Great" was an exciting player during an era when I was really into both hockey and cards as a kid, so he's always been a favorite.
1994-95 Upper Deck SP has Eddie Belfour featured on card #24. Ed's a Hall-of-Famer now, and I love the photo chosen for this one. This card was also tempting because I've yet to choose a Blackhawks card for the set. For now that trend is going to continue though.
Here's a card that, had it not been for my recent acquisition, would have been in the running alongside the Wayne Presley that led off this post. The '74-75 Topps Jacques Lemaire is a well-known card, in fact this was even thrown out as a suggestion for the set in the comments on an earlier post. Of course, the reason this card has drawn attention is the fact that Jacques never played a single game for the Sabres. An interesting card, and Lemaire is also a member of the Hall of Fame. Unbelievably though, the Sabres are getting shafted for the fourth time in this post.
I've dragged this out long enough, here's my recent acquisition, and the card I'm going with for the set:
1933 Goudey Sport Kings - #24 - Howie Morenz
This Howie Morenz is from the 1933 Sport Kings set released by The Goudey Gum Co. The 48-card set paid tribute to the top athletes from the world of sports, everything from baseball and hockey to wrestling and dog-sledding. The checklist includes names like Babe Ruth, Red Grange and Ty Cobb. The design is a classic, and has been recycled countless times throughout the years, including the Upper Deck Goudey baseball sets from a few years back. Each card features a portrait of the subject front and center against a plain colored background, with the Sport Kings Gum banner along the top, and a silhouette of the subject's sport along the bottom, above the name. The cards are nearly square at 2 3/8" x 2 7/8".
There are four hockey players represented in the Sport Kings set; Howie Morenz here, Eddie Shore, Ace Bailey and Ching Johnson. Someday I would love to acquire the other three, particularly the Shore, but for now I'm thrilled to have the Morenz card.
I won't bore you with a long summary of the life and career of Howie Morenz, I've kept you long enough already. I'd say this nearly 80-year-old piece of cardboard depicting one of hockey's greatest players (and one of the 9 original Hockey Hall of Fame inductees) certainly deserves a spot in my franken-set. This will surely be a favorite in my collection for years to come.
The Ultimate Hockey Card Set, now at 16 cards and counting, can be seen here