Compiling a list of the top 100 sports trading cards is a harder job than it sounds. Sure, you have the obvious choices, like the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, the 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan, the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky and — for those with really deep pockets — the T206 Honus Wagner.
But what comes next? In “Got ‘Em, Got ‘Em, Need ‘Em,” co-authors Stephen Laroche and Jon Waldman take on the unenviable task of listing the top 100 cards of all time. The duo does not focus solely on high-value cards. Instead, they select cards that have transcended the boundaries of their sport or that have made a historical impact on card collecting. It is a fascinating book that every collector should read.
Continue reading “Book Review: Got ‘Em, Got ‘Em, Need ‘Em”
Elmer Lach, a former Montreal Canadien and an honored member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, died on Saturday at the age of 97. He was the oldest living former member of the Les Habitants at the time of his passing. Lach played in the NHL from 1940 to 1954, and was the center of the “Punch Line” with Maurice Richard and Toe Blake on his wings. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966, and had his jersey number, 16, retired by the Habs in 2009. Despite all these accolades, Lach remained humble and fan-friendly, and always signed autographs for anyone who wrote to him. Continue reading “Thank You, Elmer Lach”
I had high hopes when reading “He Shoots, He Saves: The Story of Hockey’s Collectible Treasures.” It isn’t every day that a book about hockey collectibles comes along. Plus, the book is written by Jon Waldman, who co-authored the excellent sports trading card book “Got ‘Em, Got ‘Em, Need ‘Em,” and is a regular writer for “Beckett Hockey Magazine.” Even better, Waldman got this book published without making it your typical price guide that slavishly informs us what every scrap of paper, ink or fabric is supposedly “worth.” That’s great, because while price guides may give values, they don’t tell the whole story.
Unfortunately, with heavy heart I must confess that “He Shoots, He Saves” did not meet my high hopes. Although well written, too much of the book talks about the teams and players, while very little actually talks about the collectibles. Continue reading “Book Review: He Shoots, He Saves”
Martin Brodeur announced his retirement yesterday, ending a remarkable NHL career. During the past two-plus decades, Brodeur won many awards and set a lot of records. He also had a diverse array of hockey cards over the past 25 years. When Brodeur was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1990, trading cards were just plain pieces of cardboard. By the time Brodeur’s career ended, cards were as decorated as he was. Here’s a look at the past 25 years of Martin Brodeur’s career, illustrated with some of his best hockey cards. Continue reading “Career in Cards: Martin Brodeur”
Longtime Chicago Blackhawks fans may recognize this patch. It was issued in 1989 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Chicago Stadium, which was the home of the Blackhawks back then, as well as the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. I missed out on getting this patch when it was a giveaway in 1989. Since then, it has been on my want list — but I finally nabbed one! Continue reading “Chicago Stadium 60th Anniversary Patch”
Bobby Orr was the greatest defenseman to play hockey, period. So, when Bobby Orr writes a book, you should read it — even if that book isn’t nearly as memorable as his career. Continue reading “Book Review: Orr: My Story by Bobby Orr”
This is one of the earliest photograph of Ed Belfour as an NHL player. It predates his “Eagle” mask. In fact, this photo is so old that he’s wearing number 1. Practically every photo you find of Belfour with the Blackhawks shows him wearing number 30, which was his number from 1990 to 1997. His 1990-91 Upper Deck rookie card (and 2003-04 Topps Lost Rookies card) shows Belfour wearing number 31. But Eddie the Eagle started his career wearing number 1 for six weeks — the same number that Glenn Hall donned for a decade. Continue reading “Ed Belfour Originally Wore Number 1”
The Lost 10 Point Night: Searching for My Hockey Hero, Jim Harrison is not your typical biography. Instead of the usual formula — early days, career and post-career with current reflections woven throughout — this is a story about both the subject and the chronicler, liberally flip-flopping between past and present. The result is a book that, in many ways, is more about the journey than the destination.
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Have you ever looked at an old hockey card and wanted to know what the story was behind the photograph? Or wondered what the player thought of their own card? That is exactly what author Ken Reid thought when he wrote his new book, “Hockey Card Stories: True Tales from 59 of Your Favorite Players.” Reid, an anchor for Sportnet Central, interviewed former NHL and WHA players, picking key cards from each player’s career — sometimes their rookie card, other times just a card of interest — and talked about them. His book is a page-turner for anyone who grew up loving hockey cards. Continue reading “Book Review: Hockey Card Stories”