The Flint Spirits had a great 1987-88 season. Much of that success was owed to future NHLer John Cullen, who led the International Hockey League in scoring with 157 points (48 G, 109 A) in 81 games, and then led his team in the playoffs with 26 points (11 G, 15 A). Cullen was named IHL rookie of the year. Unfortunately, the Spirits lost the Turner Cup Finals to the Salt Lake Golden Eagles. Still, the team had a pretty good run, as well as a decent set of trading cards.
The 1987-88 Flint Spirits team set is a typical minor-league team issue, with darkly-lit photos and an underwhelming design. But that’s pretty normal for 1980s minor league hockey cards.
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From 1985-86 to 1990-91, both Topps and O-Pee-Chee printed special trading cards on the bottom of the boxes of hockey cards. If you think about it, these “box bottoms,” as they are usually called, are like the short prints of the vintage era because you only got four per box. You either had to buy the entire box of cards to get just four box bottoms, or find other ways to acquire them.
At a glance:
– 1987-88 O-Pee-Chee Box Bottoms
– 16 cards
– Size: 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
(sizes may vary slightly)
– Download checklist
The 1987-88 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Box Bottoms set features cards of players who led their playoff-bound teams in scoring during the regular season; that is, they were on a team that made the playoffs and led their team in scoring during the regular season. This just might be the high-water mark of hockey box bottom sets, as 12 of the 16 players here were later inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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Overlooked set has many good rookie cards
Like the previous year, this season’s O-Pee-Chee set contained 264 cards. The first 198 cards were identical to the 1987-88 Topps Hockey set – both Topps and O-Pee-Chee use the same photographs. Cards of players traded in the off-season differ slightly in this set. Players who got traded have a short text blurb mentioning the player’s new whereabouts (“Now with Black Hawks”, “Now with Maple Leafs”, and so forth). The team name on the front of the card is also changed to reflect the player’s new digs. Continue reading “Review: 1987-88 O-Pee-Chee Hockey”
Robitaille and Oates stand out in this sleeper set.
During the 1986-87 season, Topps increased its hockey set from 165 cards to 198 cards. This year continued the trend of 198 cards, as that seemed to be a comfortable number of cards for Topps to handle. Hockey cards were not popular in the United States in the 1980s – remember, there were no Topps hockey card sets for 1982-83 or 1983-84. So, it would not make sense to make their hockey sets as large as say, their annual Football set, which was usually around 396 cards. Continue reading “Review: 1987-88 Topps Hockey”