Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cardboard Keepers - Super Mario

Time for the next installment of Cardboard 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.

Tonight I'll induct a new card into the non-baseball collection for the first time in months.  We're in the throes of winter here in New England, and so a hockey card just seemed appropriate.  As for which one to go with, tonight's entry represents one of the best hockey cards of the '80s, and one I had in mind from the outset of this project...

Yes, it's the rookie card of the great Mario Lemieux!  Aside from being one of the most talented players ever to stick-handle a puck, he's also one of the most inspiring stories in hockey history for the way he battled through illness to return to top form.  If Wayne Gretzky's rookie card is the most iconic hockey card of the 1970s, then I submit that this card may hold that title for the following decade?

Growing up as a kid hockey fan I always wanted a copy of this card, but it was out of my "raise money by raking leaves and doing other chores" price range.  I finally scored one as an adult when, back in 2011, I unloaded a few David Krejci cards to a super collector.  The proceeds from that sale funded this card, as well as a Steven Stamkos Young Guns RC.  Coming up on 10 years in the rear-view mirror and I'm liking how that trade looks in retrospect!

I've got the Topps version, which is just fine as I was pursuing (and have since completed!) an '85-86 Topps hockey set, and this is by far the toughest card on the checklist.  I'd love to add an O-Pee-Chee version of Le Magnifique's RC to my collection someday, but it's not all that high on my hobby priority list, and given the prices they command that means I may well never see one.  Fine by me, I'm still so excited to have this copy nearly a decade after acquiring it.

This iconic card is a worthy choice for this project indeed!  Whittling down my collection or not, there's no chance I'd part with it.  Easily a top 20, and maybe even top 10, hockey card in my entire collection.

The "other" Cardboard Keepers collection is up to a full 15 cards now, and can be viewed here.  I've still got a long way to go, 985 non-baseball cards remaining to be exact.  I'll be back soon with the next card, but until then thanks as always for stopping by! 


gregory said...

Iconic card of the '80s, for sure! Congratulations on completing the '85-86 set, too.

(I only need 9 more cards to finish that set, and one of those cards is the Lemieux rookie. Maybe your post will motivate me to find one at a decent price.)

Fuji said...

Oh man... that's a sweet card. I want a Mario rookie so bad... but PSA 9 is a little to rich for my blood. I'll have to settle for an 8 (maybe a 7) probably.

Shlabotnik Report said...

It's stupid, but since I bought a lot of packs of 1985/86 Topps Hockey, I don't see the Mario rookie as being anything special... even though I know it's a biggie. I wonder if I should take advantage of having that "nothing special" card and see how far I am from a complete set (although I'm trying to cut back on my goals right now).

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