All the cool kids on Twitter and Instagram were opening boxes of Upper Deck Chronology Hockey Volume 1, and showing off the cool autographed cards they got.
Chronology is a “living” set that will be ongoing over multiple releases. Volume 1 was released at the end of July 2019, while Volume 2 is slated to come out in summer of 2020. This is an interesting concept, as there are thousands of retired NHL players, making the sky the limit for who might be included in this set.
A box of Chronology costs around $120 to $140 USD and contains FOUR CARDS. But three out of four are promised to be hits, so that’s enticing.
I finally got my hands on a box of Volume 1, and wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
Card #1 – Al MacInnis Base Card
There is one base card in each box of Chonology. While I don’t mind the design, it doesn’t do anything for me, either. If it didn’t say Chonology at the top, I just would have assumed that this was SP Authentic or Artifacts. This card of Al MacInnis is numbered out of 222 copies.
Card #2 – Tom Reid Franchise Heroes Autograph
The Franchise Heroes autograph cards use a prismatic foil in place of the silver foil, and it looks N-I-C-E! The signature is on-card, but you kind of expect that when you’re spending around $30/card. Reid played a long time with the Minnesota North Stars, and is currently a commentator for the Minnesota Wild. Sadly, his NHL career was cut short when he started getting rashes from his hockey equipment — much like what happened to Marian Hossa in 2017.
Card #3 – Eric Daze Letterman Autograph
This card looks great. I know that the letter is a “manufactured patch,” as it would seem like a waste to cover a letter from a game-used jersey with an autograph (although I wouldn’t complain). I watched Eric Daze in his 10-year career in Chicago, where many times he was the only bright spot for a dismal Blackhawks team. Also worth mentioning is that my card is numbered 20/20. But if 6/8 is the same as 3/4, then wouldn’t 20/20 be the same as 1/1? That must make this card a 1/1, right?
Card #4 – Eddie Shore Letterman
Old time hockey! Eddie Shore! Unfortunately, I can’t get too excited by this card. Yes, it is serial-numbered out of 35. My problem isn’t that this is a manufactured patch of a jersey letter; my problem with this card is that Eddie Shore played back when hockey players didn’t have their names stitched to the back of their sweaters. Making a “Letterman” cards of players who didn’t actually have letters on their sweaters seems like a mistake in a set that is supposed to celebrate hockey’s history.
Trading cards are a gamble, but like with 90% of the sets out there, the bigger the monetary risk, the better the hit you possibly can get. My box didn’t yield any great hit — though I am fond of the Daze card for obvious reasons — but don’t judge Chronology on what I got or didn’t get. ■
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.