Do you consider stickers “Rookie Cards?”
Sure, stickers lack the rigidity of their cardboard cousins, though some stickers have stiff backings.
Maybe they are not “cards” per say, but why don’t stickers carry the coveted RC designation?
Both stickers and cards are printed on paper. Stickers usually don’t have stats, but many old hockey cards didn’t have stats either.
In order to be considered a “rookie card” by Beckett’s standards, a card has to adhere to the following 3 guidelines.
- It has to be in a set licensed by the NHL and the NHL Players Association.
- It has to be in a set that is widely released–so a regional issue by an NHL team would not count.
- It has to have a print run of 99 or more copies.
Licensed sticker sets adhere to those criteria.
I don’t agree with all of Beckett’s criteria for what makes an RC an RC.
And they even bend their own rules from time to time, designating certain cards as an XRC if it is from a really obscure (yet non-regional) set. Examples are Antti Niemi’s XRC from the 2008-09 Be A Player set and Bill Guerin’s XRC from the 1991-92 Parkhurst Final Update Set.
So, why aren’t these stickers considered RCs?
Case #1 – Steven Stamkos – 2008-09 Panini Stickers
This came out in 2008-09. So did Stamkos’ rookie cards from various Upper Deck sets.
So, why isn’t this an RC? It is fully licensed and from a widespread release.
Beckett does not list this set in their Online Price Guide. Ironic, considering that a Panini album and 4 stickers came bagged with a copy of Beckett Hockey Magazine in late 2008.
Case #2 – 1985-86 Mario Lemieux O-Pee-Chee Stickers
This came out in 1985-86–the same season as Lemieux’s Topps and O-Pee-Chee rookie cards. And it was made by O-Pee-Chee, one of the “big two” of the 1970s and 1980s.
While this sticker will never have the same trade or sale value as Lemieux’s Topps or OPC rookie cards, shouldn’t it have an RC designation?
Case #3 – Brian Leetch – 1988-89 Panini and O-Pee-Chee Stickers
This sticker predates Leetch’s Topps and O-Pee-Chee rookie cards by one full year. And yet, Beckett “values” it at 50 cents and does not give it an RC–or XRC–designation.
This also came out a year before Leetch’s OPC and Topps rookie cards–and it is rigid, too. It’s actually a sticker backing. The 1988-89 O-Pee-Chee sticker set was issued on cardboard backings, with some of the backings being “Future Stars” cards like this one of Leetch.
Now, you might reason that something like this would fall under the “insert” category, because it isn’t part of the main set.
But how is a short-printed rookie card limited to 99 copies not considered an insert?
Why do stickers get no love?
I care what you think. Please voice your opinion about stickers here.