(Ed. Note: Here's a new feature on Puck Daddy that is officially endorsed by Y! Sports blog overlord Jamie Mottram: "Card Bored," which features Sean Leahy's adventures in the nostalgic joys and unintentional hilarity of the hockey card industry.)
Do you remember the sheer excitement you had as a kid when you saved up enough money for a couple of packs of hockey cards? The smell of the plastic gum was just a primer for what lay underneath.
You quickly sorted through the pack hoping to find your favorite player or that of a big name star or rookie. Unfortunately, you found yourself more disappointed than not.
"Dammit! I got three Dave Chyzowski's in this pack!"
Every once in a while you hit gold and rushed to put the card in one of those plastic top loaders. For me, one of those times was back in 1992. My brother and I had split a box of 1992-93 Upper Deck Series One cards, which probably cost us $20 total (today, you might need to sell a kidney for a box of four packs, twelve cards total). I ripped open a few packs in hope of finding a Mario Lemieux or even a Paul Kariya World Junior Championship card. Kariya, at the time, had been the rookie I planned to follow once he hit the National Hockey League. What I found inside was even better: An Eric Lindros card.
I almost flipped out. At the time, the Lindros card was worth about $7 according to the sports card collectors' bible, Beckett Magazine. I was rich! If I wanted to, I could flip this card for, like, five more packs of cards and maybe even complete the whole set!
Ah, the joys of being young. Currently, that Lindros card is hovering between the $2-$4 mark on eBay.
I should have sold high.
From time to time, I'll be delving into the dark, sordid history of hockey cards and bringing you some of the best cardboard photography. Join me, won't you?
1976-77 O-Pee-Chee Henry Boucha
Some guys thought about wearing helmets. Others loved the feeling of the cold wind through their hair as they skated up ice. Henry Boucha was a rebel and a disco god. He was well known around the Kansas City club scene and it was all due to his golden headband. Amazingly, the photographer caught Boucha in action during one of his only 28 games in a Scouts uniform.
1992 Ultimate Original 6 Sid Abel
Here's Detroit Red Wings legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Sid Abel wearing a Detroit throwback jersey that the team wore when he was about 10 years old. Some wisenheimers might take a quick glance at this card and think, "Hey, I thought Chris Chelios was a righty."
Wayne Grizzly 1992 Action Hockey Freaks
High on Hockey has a great post about what was inside of an individual pack of these cards. After you see the very first card found, you'll be sorry you never found these at your local stationary store. Here you see "The Grizzly One" playing for the Los Angeles Pollutions. If you were a fan of Garbage Pail Kids, then this set is for you.
1990-91 Score Jaromir Jagr
The photo on this card is priceless and as Jamie Mottram accurately described, Jagr is letting his bangs breathe. His pose also pretty much sums up his career after he left the Pittsburgh Penguins: uninterested.