Eric Lindros will have his number 88 retired by the Philadelphia Flyers tonight in a pregame ceremony. He made the double-eight famous during his eight seasons with the Flyers. Lindros had a lot of hockey cards made during his career — many even before he even skated in an NHL game. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of his more offbeat cards. So, here are 10 Eric Lindros hockey cards that are strange, odd or just downright ridiculous.
Thor’s Bigger Brother
1999-2000 Kraft Global Superheroes #10
Included with Lunchables (Mmmmmmm….Lunchables!) during the 1999-2000 season were these postcard-sized “Global Superheroes” cards, which featured drawings of NHL players as heroes. Lindros’ card used his nickname — “The Big E” — as his superhero alter ego. (You can see all of these cards here.)
All Your Eights are Belong to Us
1992-93 Upper Deck Arena Oversized Giveaways – The Crazy 8’s
Before Lindros centered the “Legion of Doom,” he centered a line with Mark Recchi and Brent Fedyk called “The Crazy 8’s.” The line was named as such because Recchi wore number 8, Fedyk wore 18 and Lindros, of course, wore 88. This oversize (8.5″ x 11″) trading card was given out at a Flyers home game vs. the Maple Leafs on April 4, 1993.
World’s Toughest Figure Skater
1997 Sports Illustrated for Kids #623
Every issue of the magazine Sports Illustrated for Kids came with nine trading cards, perforated so you could pull them apart. Sometimes, Sports Illustrated for Kids made funny April Fools Day cards, such as this one of Paul Kariya. This card came in the October 1997 issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids, and is meant to be a funny Halloween costume idea for Lindros. The back of the cards claims that no one would dare laugh at him if he ever did dress as one. I agree.
Hey, Batter, Batter!
1990 Score Rookie & Traded Baseball #100T
OK, technically this is a baseball card — but it is of a hockey player. Lindros once took batting practice with the Toronto Blue Jays. Score, who had signed the future hockey superstar to an exclusive trading card deal, decided to capitalize on this opportunity to include Lindros in their 1990 Score Rookie & Traded Baseball card set, forcing many hockey card collectors to buy a set of baseball cards. (You can read more about this card here.)
Hockey’s #1 Boy Band
1991-92 “New Kids on the Ice” Unlicensed card
Many enterprising individuals made unlicensed trading cards during the 1990s, hoping to cash in on the trading card craze and make a quick buck. Eric Lindros was often the subject of these fake cards. (More about this card here.)
The $15 Million Question
1989-90 Seventh Inning Sketch #195 – Where in 91?
Long-defunct trading card company Seventh Inning Sketch issued a set of OHL hockey cards in 1989-90. The 200-card set had four cards of Lindros, including this one that asked “Where in 91?” To which everyone unanimously replied, “Obviously not Quebec!”
1992-93 Upper Deck #88
When Upper Deck issued their 1992-93 hockey card set, they didn’t have a photo of Lindros with the Flyers — so they created one, superimposing his head on Rod Brind’Amour’s shoulders and “88” on his sleeves. The card was somewhat controversial, and the long-standing practice of head-swapping on trading cards was retired shortly thereafter.
“A Real Corker!”
Lindros wrote an autobiography in 1991, entitled “Fire and Ice.” Three special Score trading cards were available via mail as tie-in promotion with the book. One card showed Lindros at 20 months old, learning how to skate. The back of the card explains that Lindros didn’t start playing hockey until six and-a-half years of age, and that when he got his first set of equipment, he was so excited that he wore it all day long. Lindros had over 35,000 — yes, over thirty-five thousand — of these three-card sets stashed at his parents house. He sold them on the Classic Auctions website back in November. The lot received one bid of $300.
1991-92 Score American #354
Usually, millionaires or U.S. Presidents commission portrait paintings. At 18, and even before he played in an NHL game, Score had this painting of Lindros created, and put it on a card in the 1991-92 Score Hockey set.
The Ace of Hearts
1995-96 Bicycle NHL Aces – Ace of Hearts playing card
Playing card company Bicycle released a set of playing cards in 1995-96 called “NHL Aces,” which used photos of NHL players. Lindros was the Ace of Hearts in that deck — as well as an ace in our hearts. ■
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk. ■