1988-89 Topps Hockey Cards Set Checklist, Details & Review

Neon and pushpins make this set stick around

The 1988-89 Topps Hockey Card set has a fun-looking design, some notable rookie cards, and a historically significant card, too. This was the third year in a row that Topps released a hockey set with 198 cards. In addition to the 198 cards, there are 33 insert stickers and 16 “box bottom” cards that were found in four-card panels on the bottom of display boxes. 

This set features bright colors and a quirky design elements. Notable rookie cards include Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Bob Probert. The Wayne Gretzky card is significant because it is the first hockey card to use a press conference photo, as Gretzky was traded from the Oilers to the Kings that summer, and a photo of Gretzky suited up with the Kings was not yet available. 

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Review: 1988-89 Los Angeles Kings Set

Trading Cards Brought to You by Smokey the Bear

At a glance:
– 1988-89 L.A. Kings Team Set
– 25 cards
– Standard Size: 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
– Download checklist

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention sponsored a set of Los Angeles Kings trading cards during the 1988-89 season. Of course, we know this Department best by their mascot, Smokey the Bear. The anthropomorphic bear told us, over the years, that “only you can prevent forest fires.” Since the set bears Smokey’s face on the front, the set is usually referred to as the “Smokey” or “Smokey the Bear” Kings set.  As is the case with most team-issued sets, many lesser-known players — as well as the coaches — are featured throughout.

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Video: SportsChannel 1989 Stanley Cup Championship Intro

This was the intro to Game 6 of the 1989 Stanley Cup Finals, which aired in the United States on SportsChannel America. The next season, SportsChannel changed the intro animation, but thankfully retained the awesome theme music. Admit it — you at least thought of playing air guitar while watching the intro. 

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

The 10 Best Hockey Cards from 1988-89

Thirty years ago, the 1988-89 hockey season was winding down. Wayne Gretzky was in his first season with the Los Angeles Kings, while the Calgary Flames would go on to win their first Stanley Cup Championship. Hockey legends Marcel Dionne and Lanny McDonald retired at the end of the season, while Guy Lafleur successfully started his three-year comeback.

It was also a simpler time for hockey card collectors. There were only two mainstream hockey sets to collect — Topps and O-Pee-Chee — and there were not yet any Eric Lindros cards for speculators to hoard. In fact, the word “hockey cards” and “investments” weren’t even uttered in the same sentence back then.

The 1988-89 season was also when I first discovered hockey — and thus started collecting hockey cards. So, here is a look at the 10 best hockey cards from the 1988-89 season. These are not necessarily the most valuable or most-rare hockey cards from that year; rather, these are cards that have significance and should be in any serious hockey card collection.

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Gretzky’s Trade to Kings Changed Hockey – and Collecting – Forever

Thirty years ago, on August 9, 1988, the biggest trade in sports was made when the Edmonton Oilers sent Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in a multiplayer deal that included draft picks and $15 million.

It was the biggest trade in history because it proved that no one was untouchable – not even a superstar player who topped the league in scoring seven of the previous eight seasons, led his team to four championships, won 23 individual awards, held 49 league records and was on the verge of breaking many more.

Gretzky’s move to the second-largest market in North America not only accelerated the growth of hockey in the United States, it sparked the eventual explosion in popularity for hockey cards and collectibles.

Read the full article at Sports Collectors Digest

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk