Sunday, June 24, 2018

Signature Sundays - Rolling the Dice with Another Redemption

Last year I did something that I've typically avoided during my time in this hobby, and took a shot on a somewhat expensive redemption card.  I really didn't like the concept of "hoping" that the company in question (Upper Deck in this case) would come through with the promised card, but the redemption was for a card that I wanted badly and would have precious few chances to land so I went for it.

In the end it worked out quite well, as Upper Deck supplied the promised card and this sweet Jagr buyback auto became one of my best additions of 2017.  Since I had a positive outcome last year I decided to roll the dice again here in 2018 with another redemption from this same release.

This particular card is one I wanted as badly or maybe even more so than the Jagr.  In fact, I saved an eBay search for it months before I even knew whether it existed or not.  After a good long wait, and a couple of missed opportunities, I ended up winning the redemption card on eBay.

When it arrived I dutifully scratched and plugged my code in at Upper Deck's website.  I fully expected to see some sort of message that the card would ship soon, as the other examples I'd lost out on were the actual, redeemed card.  You can imagine my surprise when I was greeted with "the athlete has committed to signing soon, thank you for your patience".

Another few weeks passed, and then one day I found a FedEx label stuck to my front door with the signature required box checked.  The sender was The Upper Deck Company; my card was here.  Behold!

Ain't she a beaut'?  I love that Teemu went big and bold with the signature, looks great!

The second I heard that there were '92-93 Ultra buybacks included in the 2016-17 Fleer Showcase release I immediately thought of this card.  I was a rabid 10-year-old hockey player and fan when Selanne burst onto the scene and recorded 76 goals (a rookie record that still stands and may never be broken) and 132 points in 1992-93 with the Jets.  He was right up there with Eric Lindros in terms of guys with tremendous hobby buzz who could potentially take the torch from the Gretzkys and Lemieuxs of the world.  Collectors were crazy for both players, and I spent many hours trying to emulate them at the rink, and with my street hockey stick and net in the back yard.

While Teemu did have a card in the 1991-92 Upper Deck set, he was depicted with team Finland on that one.  Besides, since he didn't debut in the NHL until the '92-93 season I always considered this Ultra card and his '92-93 Upper Deck card to be his true rookies.  I love the post-shot follow through photo on this card, and of course the iconic (for those of us who are children of the '90s anyway) gold foil ROOKIE ribbon affixed to the Ultra logo is the icing on the cake.

'92-93 Ultra is one of those rare sets where the design of the back of the card is so good that I feel compelled to show them every time.  Nice that you get a look at both the home and away Jets sweaters here as well.

The sticker on the back of the card is matched by serial number to the CoA, which as I've said before is nice with a card of this magnitude.

This card seems to be very highly coveted on the secondary market, which is no surprise.  Getting a redemption really paid off here, as I haven't seen any of the live cards fetch below triple digits on eBay, and the last two that surfaced sold for almost exactly twice what I paid for mine.  Admittedly it's a very small sample size, but I couldn't be more pleased with my redemption experience with Upper Deck to date.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is one of my single favorite pickups in the entire 10+ years since I got back into the hobby.  I never thought I'd be fortunate enough to have an autograph of The Finnish Flash at all, but to have the HOFer, 600-goal scorer and Stanley Cup champion's John Hancock on this particular card is just awesome. 

Like the Jagr, I smile every time I look at it.  I always told myself that in the future if my priorities or interests changed and I decided to sell off my collection, I'd keep a small box (a shoebox, of course) with a select few favorites to remember my second run in the hobby.  This card would, without a doubt, have a spot in that box.

Are you old enough to remember Selanne's breakout season in 1992-93?  Can you think of anyone else who has generated that much hype in their rookie campaign since?  Sidney Crosby?  Connor McDavid maybe?


Fuji said...

Wowza. Both of these cards are amazing.

Anonymous said...

It almost looks like he's shooting a flaming puck!

Chris said...

Fantastic Finnish Flash auto! Your patience paid off for sure! I remember that '92-93 goal race very well, my friends and I kept checking the box scores to see if Selanne and/or Alex Mogilny scored. Imagine the hobby hype Selanne would have had in today's market - 76 goals as a rookie?!??! It's too bad that was his high-water mark, would have liked to see him make a run at 92.

Greg Zakwin said...

congrats on the Teemu!!

Pro Set Cards said...

Those two belong on a mantle! Great job and glad it paid off taking the risks.

GCA said...

And it's his birthday! Happy 47th Teemu!

Unknown said...

Any chance you still have the Jagr and it's available? I'm trying to complete the set!

shoeboxlegends said...

Yes I do, and unfortunately no it's not! Thanks for inquiring and for your comment, but that Jagr is one of the prizes of my hockey card collection. I hope you can find one of the other 24 copies, I'm sure you can if you stay at it!

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