Thursday, September 28, 2017

1951-52 Parkhurst "The First Modern Set"

The first hockey card set of the modern era is considered to be 1951-52 Parkhurst. The set features cards that are below current standard size. The card backs are blank and the stats are placed on the front of the card.

Growing up collecting in the 80s and 90s before the internet, the 1951 cards were VERY tough to come by. They were almost like a myth to me, rarely did I ever see them in person through local shows, antique malls and flea markets. On the occasion I would see a very over priced common in low grade.

A few years ago, I decided to chase after the "Winning Goal' card featuring Bill Barilko. At shows I never saw the card priced out below $100 and those lower end cards had peeling on the back from being placed in an album. Over the years of hunting for one, I started to realize how affordable the 1951 set can be with the exception of a few players.

Through some research I discovered that the 1951 set was sorted through a cement mixer and packaged by hand. This is why some of the cards are very tough to find in High Grade. Not the biggest challenge for me as I am happy with the cards in lower grade.

Currently I am at almost 30 cards for the set, which features 105 different players. My goal is to be 50 percent done the set by the end of 2017! Ten of the cards I have are graded by PSA and these cards look really great in the holders.

Certainly the last card I will need for the set will be the Gordie Howe rookie which is now going for $1,000+ even in low grade. Looks like I will have a lot of selling to do to save up for a card like that!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

First Post in Almost 5 Years....The Curious Case of Allan Bester

Hello All!

It has been almost 5 years since I last posted on here! I am alive and well, still active in the hobby without taking a break at any point since I last posted. During my inactive streak I have grown my career, married and became a Father. Over the years I have casually checked in to follow some of you and always hoped I would make a return to blogging.

Today I randomly started thinking about Allan Bester, mainly his return to the NHL in the 1995-96 season with the Dallas Stars as an injury replacement for Andy Moog and Darcy Wakaluk. I was hoping he got a card during that season, however it was just with the Edge Ice Minor League set, which I might add is a beautiful set and very hard to track down sealed boxes of. During his ten game stint with the Stars he went 4-5-1 with a 3.00 GAA and .899 save percentage, which doesn't sound great, however Moog did not fair much better on a team that only won 25 games.

Bester burst onto the scene during the 1983-84 Season as an injury replacement for Mike Palmateer and after several games was returned to Junior. He was later recalled and ended up playing 32 games and leading the team with wins. He also averaged 38 shots against a game as a teenager.

From 1986-1990 he became a full-time NHL player, however he split starts with other goalies, primarily Ken Wregget. He never quite established himself and began an odyssey through the Minor Leagues from the 90-91 season to when he retired in 97-98.

While doing research for my post, I actually came across this picture of Bester in a Ducks uniform and found information stating he had signed with Ducks as a free agent but was buried in the Minor Leagues, never making it into an NHL game with them.

Today Bester is working a Sales position  in the Hospitality Industry in the Orlando area, which is where he played his last Pro Hockey game. Bester showed a lot of promise as a young goalie but never seemed to play on strong teams and was at a disadvantage due to being relatively short for a goalie at 5"7. He certainly gave a lot of young Leafs fans in the 80's something to cheer about with his work ethic and acrobatic style of goaltending.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New Site & New Blog

I have not been posting much as I have been getting my new site ready:

Please check it out! I have begun to scan my collection and it's still a work in progress.

I also will just be posting on my blog @ the 90's collector, so make sure to follow me over at the new site!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

1997-98 Pinnacle Inside: Reflections 15 Years Later

1997-98 brings back fond memories every time I think about the product released that season. It was my last year of grade school and the last year of my child/teenage years that I collected seriously. While I always thought that I gave up collecting for the usual reason in high school: girls, reflecting on it now it had a lot to do with the direction of the hobby. 1998-99 saw many changes such as the Pinnacle/Donruss companies folding and many of the companies shifting to producing memorabilia cards, which increased the cost of the manufacturing process. Packs were no longer in the $1-$3 range, with many of the products being at $5 plus a pack.

The last really good memory I have of collecting in my child/teen years involve the Pinnacle Inside cans. For those who did not collect in the late 90's, Pinnacle produced a brand of trading cards that featured cards inside a can. While the idea itself was quite neat, the tension of holding the can in your hands on the car ride home was almost too much. The can could only be opened with a can opener.

Christmas of 1997 my family, as we always did, went to Church on Christmas Eve. My Mom had forgotten to purchase milk earlier that day and we were forced to find an open convenience store on the way home. When we finally did, the store had a small Pinnacle Inside can display at the front register. I stared at the cans in amazement, not knowing that a product in a can existed. My Mom, knowing how much I loved John Vanbiesbrouck, told me she would buy one can for me with his picture on the side.

Upon returning home, I slipped into my PJ's while my Dad threw a log on the fire and tuned into some Christmas specials. I got to open my can by the fire and still to this day my memories of that night are so vivid almost fifteen years later.

While I wish I could say I hit something big in that can, the best card in the pack was a coaches collection insert of Pat Lafontaine. I still have the card to this day.

Finding sealed cans can be pretty tough now, although every few years I manage to bump into a few at card shows. Hopefully one day I can finish the master set for this under appreciated product.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Contest Over at Punk Junk

Sal over at Puck Junk is having a great contest! The contest will focus on helping set collectors finish off sets. All of the rules are posted over on Punk Junk, however in a nut shell you post one card at a time that you need. If someone has this card they will respond and send you the card for free!

Goals and assists are awarded for helping other people out and at the end Sal will send out prize packs to the people who scored the highest!

Please check out Punk Junk for all the details.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blaine Lacher: Not Just a Flash in the Pan

Summer is over and it's time to get back focusing on hockey! Lately I have been thinking a lot about the short and brief career of Blaine Lacher.

He burst on the scene in the lock out shortened season of 1994-95 as a relative unknown after a strong college career. In his only full season in the NHL (actually his only full pro season in any league) he posted a 19-11-2 record with 4 shutouts and a 2.41 goals against average. Lacher was never the same again after his rookie season and drifted into obscurity after retiring part way through the 1996-97 season.

His story is living proof how quickly success can come and how quickly it can go away. To many his career was a flash in the pan, however I don't view it that way. He spent four years at a great school, played in the NHL, which is what almost every hockey player dreams of and he found success, even if it was only for a short period of time.

Upon searching for Lacher's where abouts, I was mainly looking to see if he still continued to play hockey after leaving the pro ranks for good. From what I found, it seems he was active in senior men's leagues until about 2004. After that the trail went cold and it seems his competitive days in hockey were over . He would have been 34 years old when he left hockey for good.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

1997-98 Donruss Priority Box Break

I bought this box at the spring expo for $10 and was saving it for a day when I really needed a break. Work was tough this week, I broke the box Friday night. My hopes were that I would pull a stamp of approval card limited to /100 copies and an opening day issue postcard.

The box featured 15 packs, 10 large packs with a 4X6 postcard and 5 regular packs with a stamp. This was one of the coolest ideas in the late 90's and it's a shame that this set gets hardly any love at all.

The direct deposit inserts are numbered to just /3000 copies and have a silver foil background.

The postmaster generals is a twenty card goalie set limited to /1500 sets. I had previously pulled a Garth Snow back in the day when my local dollar store was selling these packs.

I did manage to pull an opening day issue limited to /1000 copies. This scan really shows me that I need to clean off my scanner.

In my first pack I hit the stamp of approval card! It may be of the slow footed Jason Allison, however I am still very happy. The cards are numbered to /100 and you aren't guaranteed one in every box.

A pretty good break for only $10!