An Epic Haul of 1951-52 Parkhurst Cards

Some are Good some are Fair…and one is particularly “Terrible”

1951-52 Parkhurst Hockey CardsI’ve been meaning to “blog about this” for a while. Back in November, I went to a card show near Chicago and met up with fellow bloggers Justin, Tim and fellow ‘Hawks fan Nick. We hung out for a bit, traded cards, then went back to perusing the show floor. I was a few paces behind Justin and Tim when something caught my eye, causing me to drift away from the group. Distracting me was a stack of cards with a small sign reading:

1951-52 Parkhurst Cards $8 and Up

Parkies! Even better–the first-ever Parkies! You’re more likely to see King Kong riding a unicorn around downtown Chicago than you are to find 1951-52 Parkies at a card show in the Windy City.

After some haggling with the dealer, I ended up with 38 cards from the Godfather of Hockey Card Sets.Where else would I be able to get so many cards from this set at once?

These Parkies were not in the greatest shape, but weren’t all that expensive either. Most cost me $10 each–some cost less, some cost more. That may seem pricey for substandard grade cards–but remember, old Parkies are hardly the stuff of garage sales here in the U.S.

1951-52 Parkhurst #2 - Paul Meger 1951-52 Parkhurst #6 - Jim "Bud" MacPherson   The last card in the group is so awesome that I have to show it twice as big:

#56 – Robert “Ted” Lindsay (a.k.a. Terrible Ted Lindsay) RC
I have never seen a Ted Lindsay rookie card before. This one was priced around 25% of “book” because of the crease (which is visible on the front, but strangely not on the back) and the rounded corners.

This is a tough set to put together. I almost never see any of these at card shows in/near Chicago. And with rookie cards of Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk and Maurice Richard valued at over $1,000 each, I may never complete this set.

Still, it is cool to finally own a chunk of hockey history, even in a lesser grade. But these are really old cards–let’s see how good we all look at 60 years!


Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

12 thoughts on “An Epic Haul of 1951-52 Parkhurst Cards”

  1. This cards are really classic — today’s mass produced, glossy stuff can’t hold a candle to these really beautiful art objects. And although at $1000 the Howe and Richard rookies are expensive, considering they are the Babe Ruths of hockey and the very short print run of this series, it is probably a good investment ( how many of these in good shape can there be?)

    I have a Hy Buller card in my collection – it is in great shape!

    With the current design trends now predicting the revisiting of old printing technologies, it may not be long before we see a retro Parkie set, complete with black and white photos tipped in with colour that are slightly misregistered.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

      1. I’ve seen those … they are a good contemporary attempt – but they lack the imperfections of the Parkie black and white photos, which are colourized with primary and secondary colours in a very coarse (pre Photoshop) manner.

          1. You can call me old school …
            But this has jogged my memory … there was an insert series in the 1994-95 Parkhurst that was aesthetically closer to the originals. I believe there were six different players. The 51-52 style cards were centred and die cut on a larger piece of card sock approximately the shape of the old “Tall Boys” and were titled in red “1964-65, Canadian American Greats”. The backs were not printed. I have #2 in the series – Alex Levinsky — but still intact.

            Perhaps you or someone else on the Board might know more about these inserts and the rest of the players featured on them. I know the Alex did not have a card in the 51-52 set. He had been retired for a while by then. I believe Levinsky played on the first Toronto Maple Leaf Stanley Cup winning team and won a second Stanley with Chicago.

            1. There were 12 cards in that set–1 through 6 were issued in Canadian packs, and 7 through 12 were issued in American packs.

              I myself have numbers 10 (Bun Cook) and 11 (Ching Johnson). One day, I hope to have the rest of them, along with the other insert cards from the Tall Boys set.

  2. Hi folks – It’s great to see these vintage Parkhurst cards. I had all 105 back in 1951-52, and put them in a blue cardboard album as supplied by the Parkhurst Company, so they stayed in good shape. Also had all of the cards for the following two seasons, which were somewhat larger in format and had better-quality images. Had them in albums too.

    Even better: I had the full set of the 1952 “Big Four” Canadian football cards (what is now the Eastern division, Montreal Alouettes, Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders & Hamilton Tiger Cats). Also produced by Parkhurst, I think, they were black & white. No. 73 was really hard to get.

    Unfortunately I was a messy kid and my parents threw all these cards out when they were cleaning my room. I can’t blame them, my room was a wreck. But what do you think they would be worth today? Oh yeah, the football cards were also in an album.

  3. I have just started collecting this set. Common cards Are roughly 25-35 Canadian dollars and the better players aRe much more. Just wondering if you kept on trying to finish the set.


    1. Hi Mark, I may have picked up a 51-52 Parkie here and there, but I have not focused much on trying to complete the set over the past few years. One day, I’d like to have the full set, or the full set minus the key cards 🙂

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