Just a random post today with some recent hobby happenings from Shoebox Legends World Headquarters.
The week before last I was off work using up some vacation time, and since there aren't a whole lot of places to go these days I had some time to clean up a few long-neglected corners of the garage and basement.
In a large storage bin in the basement I came across quite a few wax boxes of 1990-91 Pro Set hockey (Series 1). These were purchased by my Dad during the winter of 1990, and passed down to me a few years ago when he was cleaning and purging himself. They'd sat neglected since I received them, given that I already have most of the cards in this release.
As hockey card collectors know though, while nearly
anything you can pull from a box of 1990-91 Pro Set hockey is just about worthless, there are a couple of potentially valuable cards that you can pull. Most notably, a Stanley Cup hologram insert, which is actually quite rare and expensive. As in even dinged up raw copies command hundreds of dollars when you can find them.
My wife was a good sport, as we put on a movie (Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the original Gene Wilder version - her idea, since finding a Stanley Cup hologram was akin to finding a "golden ticket") and she helped me rip through six entire hobby boxes of this stuff! This was how our kitchen trash looked after the ripping party had completed.
We pulled a few of the many variations that I actually needed for my set build, but most of the cards were dupes for me. Six Paul Gillis' were to be found, but none of them were the extremely rare "bloody nose" version that, while not quite as rare as the Stanley Cup hologram, is pretty valuable as well. Oh well.
We were not fortunate enough to pull a Stanley Cup hologram in any of the boxes. Probably the most interesting thing to come out of them was this terribly mis-cut John Druce, which my wife pulled and got a kick out of.
This one was cut so poorly that you can see the color blocks from the edge of the uncut sheet on both front and back. Aside from this oddity, and the handful of variations that were new to me and were added to my master set build, everything else from the boxes has already been shipped off to Billy from Cardboard History (Billy, if you don't want to receive any more '90-91 Pro Set just let me know, I won't be offended).
We were pretty beat after opening a full half dozen boxes, plus our movie was wrapping up by that point. I do still have a few more though, so the hunt for a hologram isn't quite done yet! It was fun involving my wife in the hobby, since the opportunity to do so has been rare traditionally.
Speaking of ripping, here's another pack of 2005 Helmar Famous Athletes. I received a few packs of this for my birthday last year, and since my birthday is rolling around again soon here in 2020 it's high time I got these ripped and posted already. Three tobacco-sized cards per pack, let's see what I got...
First is a local player who starred for the Benton Harbor baseball club, which is the area of the country where these Helmar cards are created. Don't really know much about the subject other than that, and frankly these are some of the more boring cards on the checklist given that I don't have any ties to the area.
This is more my speed! My first card of Chet Brewer of the Negro Leagues. Brewer played for the Kansas City Monarchs at one point, where he was in the starting rotation alongside the great Satchel Paige, and was later a scout in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Interesting that he's shown batting here.
This card led me to discover a 68-page PDF on Brewer's life
written by the Center for Negro League Baseball Research. I know what I'll be perusing through later tonight with the Red Sox game on in the background.
Last card in the pack, and another Negro League player with Jimmy Crutchfield. Again, my first card of the subject. I give the folks at Helmar a lot of credit for including these guys in the set and shining some light on a league that is not nearly as represented in our hobby as it should be. I'm fairly certain that this is not only my lone Jimmy Crutchfield card, but also my only card featuring the Pittsburgh Crawfords.
A great pack from a great set there. Let's look at a few more hockey cards before we call it a day though, shall we?
My latest card in an attempt to collect and showcase every WHA card from the high-numbers series of the '72-73 O-Pee-Chee set! Love the brown pads on this Les Binkley. Les saw a ton of action with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL before making the move to the WHA.
I've got a least a few more of these '72-73 WHAs in my "to be posted" box, I suppose I really should get around to adding the missing ones to my official want list soon.
During my vacation clean-out, I came across a small stack of graded hockey cards that I'd long forgotten about in a box in the basement. Most of them were 1981-82 Topps in PSA 9 holders, purchased sometime in the 2007-2009 timeframe, back when I foolishly thought I'd complete graded versions of most Topps hockey sets of the '80s.
Most of the commons I'll batch up and sell when I'm feeling a bit more motivated to list some things on eBay, but I did decide to hang onto four HOFers for my collection. First up, the above Larry Murphy rookie card. Larry was quietly one of the best defensemen of his era, with four Stanley Cup championships to his name. He was selected for enshrinement in his first year on the ballot.
This one was really interesting in that I stumbled upon it less than a month after Doug was selected for the Hockey HOF. It took him a while to make the cut, but unless you're a "small Hall" person I think you'd agree he's deserving of the honor. 800+ career points as a defenseman, with 8 All-Star game appearances and even a Norris Trophy (won the year this set came out, as a matter of fact).
Mike Gartner was an offensive superstar who could skate like the wind and had a knack for finding the back of the net. He never won a Stanley Cup (or even played in the Cup Finals), never won any individual awards, and was never named a First or Second Team All-Star even. He just "quietly" went about amassing 708 career goals, still good for 7th all-time at the time of this post. Ovechkin will pass him soon, but nobody else is remotely close, so Gartner will remain in the top 8 for years to come.
Final card for tonight, this great Denis Potvin Super Action subset card. From the time I first saw this card over 30 years ago, the photograph has stuck with me. Looks more like something you'd see in a modern Upper Deck set than an early '80s Topps release. At the time I thought it was such a great card due to its uniqueness, and I still think so.
I had a copy growing up that was one of my favorite "vintage" (to me anyway) hockey cards, and in fact I now own the original match print photo that Topps used to create the card. Check this out!
Pretty cool, huh? If you're interested here's a link to my original post
back in 2012 that goes into much more detail about this cool oddball item.
Anyway, that's about it for now. I appreciate you stopping by my little corner of the internet. Stay safe and have a great evening!