I have a card to show off today that was a total surprise when it arrived at Shoebox Legends headquarters, and seriously made my jaw drop. It was sent to me by my longtime hobby friend Douglas of Sports Cards from the Dollar Store. Before I get to that one though, here's the other card that Douglas packaged along with it:
1964-65 Topps hockey set. I had a whole bunch of these as a kid, and though they were a pain to store they are fairly unique and cool collectibles. This particular card is actually from the 2nd Year Stars insert set.
A very nice addition to my Whalers collection indeed, however here's the real star of the show:
This is a rare find as well, in the upper left hand corner you can see that the card is serial-numbered to just /12 copies. You have really outdone yourself with this one Douglas!
Verbeek, aka "The Little Ball of Hate", is one of my all-time
favorite Whalers, and one of the more under-rated players of his
generation if you ask me. He was known as a pesky and annoying opponent to face off against, the kind of guy you despise on any other team but prize when he's on your own roster. Not only that, but he could sure put the puck in the net as well.
Verbeek is not a HOFer, but he would certainly be a first ballot choice for the "Hall of Very Good" if it existed. Less than 50 players in league history have scored 500 goals or more, and Verbeek is one of a very small subset of those players not in the HOF. He remains to this day the only player in league history with both 500 goals and 2,500+ penalty minutes. Yup, under-rated for sure.
I really can't state enough just how impressive this card is in hand. It truly feels as much like a piece of memorabilia as it does a hockey card. I've had it in my possession for days now and I still smile every time I hold it. This puppy went straight into a one-touch magnetic holder (needed 130pt holder it's so thick!). It's easily my favorite Verbeek card, period, and is certainly one of the highlights of my entire Whalers collection overall.
Thank you so much Douglas! I'm really going to have to send you something nice in return. In fact, I think I have something in mind already...
Surprise #2 finally revealed - I am* finally* ready to reveal the second surprise I had up my sleeve for the Cardboard History Gallery. I didn't expect it to take as long as it did, but ...