Saturday, September 28, 2019

Keepers! Brass Bonanza

Time for the next installment of Keepers, a thought experiment in which I theoretically whittle my entire collection down to just 2,000 cards; 1,000 baseball keepers, and 1,000 "other" keepers.

Today we add a whopping ten cards to the other keepers collection, with these ten being among the greatest cards in my Hartford Whalers collection...

I've been a fan of the Whalers since attending their games and their summer hockey camps as a kid.  My brothers and I tuned into every broadcast we could catch, and were faithful members of the "Junior Whalers" club for many years.  To this day, I don't think there's anything on the hockey side of collecting that gives me more joy than picking up new Whalers cards.

Well, back during the 2010-11 season Panini included a ten card autograph set called Brass Bonanza (the name of the unforgettable theme song for the team) in their ultra high-end Dominion release that paid homage to the boys in green and blue.  The design was really striking and, as you can see with the Bobby Hull card above, each card featured a bold, blue on-card autograph.

This Whalers fan and hockey card collector in me was hooked, and I knew right away that I had to make every reasonable effort to complete the set.  It was quite a challenge, with the cards serial-numbered to just /50.  On top of that, the first two cards in the set, Bobby Hull and Brendan Shanahan, were short-printed and numbered to just /24!

After many watched auctions and failed bids, I was finally able to complete my set, and boy did it feel good.

The player selection was somewhat random, with the first three guys being players who weren't in town all that long.

The rest of the checklist contains more familiar faces that the fans knew and loved for many years.

With one notable exception, that is!

Panini did a great job of selecting some of the better players on the team from across the couple of decades that they existed, and as a result there's a good variety of different uniform styles depicted among the small set.

Even tough guy and penalty minute accumulator Tiger Williams made the cut.

As for goaltenders, Sean Burke or Peter Sidorkiewicz may have been more fitting, but Panini apparently had access to Daryl Reaugh so here we are.  I'll take it!

This might be my favorite among my many Ron Francis autographs.  I honestly don't have anything negative to say about the design here at all.  These really feel like they're from a high-end release, and they're significantly thick and heavy, too.

Completing this insert set was a challenge that took many months, and the end result was quite possibly the absolute pinnacle of my ever-expanding Whalers collection.  When I conceived of this keepers idea, I knew this grouping needed to be among the first cards to make the cut for the non-baseball album.

The "other keepers" collection is up to a full 14 cards now, and can be viewed here.  I've still got a long way to go, 986 non-baseball cards remaining to be exact.  I'll be back soon with the next batch, but until then thanks as always for stopping by!


The Shlabotnik Report said...

That's a beautiful set! I can't emphasize enough how strange Bobby Hull looks in a Whalers sweater.

Fuji said...

Wowza. Completing this set is quite the accomplishment. Congratulations! I can totally see why this would be included in your "keepers" stack

gregory said...

I'm hearing Brass Bonanza in my head right now (probably the Sega Hockey version). Nice card selections, for sure. Glad to see Chicken Parm made the cut. He was a favorite of mine when he played for the Islanders.

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