Best $2 purchase ever!

I was thumbing through a binder full of miscellaneous hockey cards at the local card shop, and came across this beauty:

1974-75 O-Pee-Chee The HowesThe owner of the shop told me I could have it for two bucks. I informed him that this card was worth significantly more–even though the edges are a bit rough–but he said that I’m a good customer so he didn’t want much for it.

This card is very cool. It is from the 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA set, and depicts Hall of Famer Gordie Howe along with his two sons Mark and Marty. This was Gordie’s first card in three years–his last being in the 1971-72 sets. But this card also serves as a rookie card for both Marty and Mark–the latter who would go on to play 22 seasons of pro hockey (six in the WHA followed by 16 in the NHL).

The card is not perfect. The edges have those typical OPC rough edges, and there seems to be a bit of a blemish to the right of Marty’s head. Nonetheless, for two bucks I ain’t complaining. It might be the best $2 hockey card purchase I ever made.

New acquisitions

A few weeks back, I attended the National Sports Card Convention, which was held right outside of Chicago. I was hoping to find at least one moderately-priced card from the 1963-64 Parkhurst set.

But that did not happen. Sometimes you find what you seek, and sometimes you don’t. I think that, after nearly 20 years of hockey card collecting, the key is to be open to deals that you are not necessarily looking for. So, while I did not get any cards from that landmark set, I still made an interesting purchase, acquiring three pricey cards and two oddball items.

Did I get a good deal? Take a look and judge for yourself…

Item #1 – Bobby Orr comic

This was an insert in the 1971-72 Topps set–and coincidentally, the last of the mini comic I needed to complete the 24-book set. The last two pages have a crease on the corner (a bit “dog-eared”), but there is hardly any yellowing and the colors are still bright.

Item #2 – Marcel Dionne rookie card

I absolutely love the design of the 1971-72 sets. Since I already have the entire Topps series from that year, I decided to turn my attention to the larger O-Pee-Chee issue. Dionne was a hell of a player, and is one of the pricer cards in this set. This card is not perfect–it has soft corners at the bottom and two very light creases…so light, that I did not even notice at time of purchase.

Item #3 – 1972-73 OPC Checklist #334

The ’72-73 OPC set intrigues me because it uses many different photos than those used on the ’72-73 Topps cards. Plus, there are cards of players from the World Hockey Association. This is the most expensive checklist in the set–even more so because this is the error card variation. Card #334 was printed twice–earlier incarnations list cards 335 to 341 as “More W.H.A. Hockey Stars”, while the card printed later corrected this, listing the actual names of the players.

Here’s a close-up of the back:

This checklist is unmarked, and surprisingly in good condition, with relatively sharp corners and decent centering.

Item #4 – 1980 Kelloggs’s Olympic Stick’r Cards Team USA

A neat little find, this undersized card is also a sticker. I didn’t know the likelihood of finding one of these again, so I snapped it up. I have written about this card here.

Item #5 – 1994 World Cup Soccer Wayne Gretzky

This was from an insert set in the 1994 Upper Deck World Cup Soccer set. Apparently, Gretzky was one of several “Honorary Captains”. I think the Charlton Guide lists this at $20, but I could be mistaken.

So, what did I pay for all of this hockey goodness? The dealer sold all five of these cards to me for $60 USD. I feel I got a pretty sweet deal.

But what do you think? Did I do good? Or were the old cards too low-grade for your tastes?

2008 Blackhawks Convention – Day Three

The Show
Due to a slower-than-usual CTA train, Shellie and I did not arrive at the Blackhawks Convention on Sunday until 9:45 am. The first thing we did was head for the autograph room. I was hoping to get Dustin Byfuglien’s autograph, but he did not show up at his scheduled 9:00 am time. I guess Big Buff and the boys had a hell of a time the night before, as seemed to be the popular story/guess. Continue reading “2008 Blackhawks Convention – Day Three”

Blackhawks Convention – Day One

Today was the first day of the first-ever (and hopefully annual) Chicago Blackhawks Convention. So far, I am having mixed feelings about this event. It has been a lot of fun, but overall it has been very disorganized.

Here is a recap of what I did on the first day of this event. Continue reading “Blackhawks Convention – Day One”

1963-64 Parkhurst #2 – Don Simmons

I have acquired another card from the almighty 1963-64 Parkhurst Hockey Set. This one is of Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Don Simmons.

1963-64 Parkhurst Don SimmonsThis card is in significantly better condition than the Gordie Howe card I purchased to start my set. But this card is not without flaws: it has some light creases, as well as a “dinged” upper-right corner. But for $6, I’m not complaining.

What I find interesting about this card is the “old” Canadian flag–basically a British “Union Jack” with some extra red. Aesthetically, this works well as a backdrop, as the red on this flag offsets the abundance of blue of the Maple Leafs uniform.

Two down, 97 to go…

Building the set of my dreams…

I’ve always wanted a complete set of 1963-64 Parkhurst hockey cards. Since a set is very expensive, I figured I’d try and build a set one card at a time. I decided to start at the top and work my way down…

1963-64 Parkhurst Gordie HoweGordie Howe is the most expensive single in the set. This one is not in great shape. It is yellowed and there is a crease across Howe’s face. There is a pin hole right above his head which has since been filled in with blue ballpoint pen.

And yet, I don’t care. Since I don’t have $400 for an EXMT Howe card, I figured that $40 for this one–despite its poor condition–would be well worth it. Even if I get all 99 cards in comparable condition, I would be ecstatic.

One down, 98 to go…

More reasons to love The Onion

The Onion–a satire newspaper published in the U.S.–is probably the only newspaper I read consistently. Sad but true. And oh so funny. Every now and then they lampoon hockey in their Sports section. Here are some of the more recent riffs–all Red Wings related, given their success:


Giant Squid Thrown On Ice To Celebrate Red Wings Hat Trick


Evil Red Wings Owner Wario Lemieux Steals Stanley Cup


Chris Osgood Gets To Third Base With Stanley Cup
This one is a full article, and a little off color.

Also,, there’s a good chance that people who aren’t video game player will get the “Wario Lemieux” reference. Mario Lemieux was nicknamed “Super Mario” in the 1990s after the popular video game character Mario from the Super Mario Bros. games. Wario, with his big nose and twisty mustache, is the evil version of Mario.

Sal is moving…

Sorry, no pictures…but I promise that this is interesting and worth reading.

Recently, I took one giant stride towards “acting like an adult” when I decided to move in with my girlfriend Shellie. More accurately, we decided to move in with each other. But she isn’t moving in at my place, and I’m not moving in at hers; instead, we are getting a “new” place together.

I am both excited and overwhelmed. So much to do…so little time to do extracurricular stuff, like update Puck Junk with new articles.

My planned move day is this Saturday. In the interim, I have been slowly moving things to the new place, which is conveniently 1/2 block away from my current place of residence.

I have been a man of many hobbies, from collecting GI Joe and Star Wars figures, to collecting vintage Transformers–including rare Japanese imports. And, let us not forget hockey cards and collectibles. Right now, hockey seems to be my “big thing”. I’ve never gotten tired of collecting hockey cards…but there have been years when I have taken a break from it. Eight years ago, I was really into Transformers. Four years ago, my number one hobby was GI Joe action figures (from the 1980s to present).

In the past few years, I have sold off much of my toy collection. Many times, I’d ask myself “Why did I buy this?” As in, “Why did I buy these bootleg Transformers toys?” Or, “Why did I buy four of this particular GI Joe figure?”. Or “Why the hell did I decide to start collecting Captain Power, Ronin Warriors, etc. etc?”

However, I have never regretted purchasing a hockey card. Sure, I’ve sold or traded cards, but only my doubles, or to get cards I really wanted. My Pro Set cards from 1990-91 are as meaningful to me now as they were back in 1990-91.

So, I’ve decided to concentrate most of my collecting efforts on hockey cards. There is just so much variety, so much history…so much undiscovered cool stuff out there, that I feel that this is a hobby I’ll never bore of. After all, it has been almost two decades.

Back to my move. One of the bedrooms in this new apartment will be for my stuff–a haven for Sal, and where no dogs shall roam (my girlfriend has three basset hounds–good dogs, but old cards do smell like gum, and dogs like to chew on things). One of my big plans for this room is to “consolidate the collection”. I have a lot of binders full of complete hockey sets–some of them are here, but most are at my Grandma’s house. Once I am settled in, I am going to purchase some tall bookshelves to store and showcase my card collection. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and I am excited that I finally can.

I’m also going to frame and hang many of the autographed photos I’ve acquired throughout the years, including Denis Savard, Patrick Roy, Doug Wilson, Gump Worsley, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Al MacInnis.

My goal is for this room to look cool–but not too cluttered.

So, I won’t be updating this site for at least a week. I won’t have internet access at my new place until at least the middle of next week. Until then, I’ll be unpacking, building shelves, and doing the other two hundred things that need doing when you move to a new place.