Thursday, August 16, 2012

I find it hard to put these cards down

Back in July I came across a post by Dave over at the Wax Stain Rookie (by the way if you're not reading it on a regular basis, you should be) where he mentioned a find at a local LCS of some OPC from 1976-77.

The post featured a Jack Valiquette RC, and the memories just came flooding back.  After a couple of emails back and forth, I secured about 600-700 cards from Dave for a great price.

These cards have created several problems. I don't want to sort them.  I don't want to put them in binders.   I don't want to figure out how many cards I need to finish the set.  I don't even want to take them out of the original box that Dave shipped them in.

Every time I look at that box, and start flipping through the cards, I turn into the 9 year old kid who bought them back in the 70's.  It scares the hell out of me.  Why?

Because unlike the '77 Topps cards that I used to buy when I was a 9 year old, these hockey cards are timeless for me.  It is a group of players with names like Dunc Wilson, Dave Schultz, Bunny Larocque, Gary Smith and so on that take me back to a time over 35 years ago when the game was simpler.  The times were simpler. 

I was a kid who had found collecting to be a joy, and that is something that will follow me until the day I stop breathing.

Cards like this remind me of a better day...

The old California Golden Seals uniforms.  Not the greatest of greens that was used, but still a retro uni that brings back memories.  The Seals were one of two teams that actually transferred cities that summer, the 2nd being the Kansas City Scouts, who moved to Colorado to become the Rockies (not the baseball team....the hockey team)

Something you will never see again.  A player wearing a head band on the ice.  Awesome.

Nick names were great back then as well...this guy was the "Iron Man" (not Robert Downey Jr.)

No relation to Felix
914 straight games.  Many thought it a streak that would never be broken.  Doug Jarvis came along and ended that thought, by playing 964 straight (the equivalent of roughly 12 NHL seasons).

There were many Maple Leafs cards in the box, but this guy was my favorite of the bunch, the pride of Summerside...

I saw Errol Thompson on the Hockey Day in Canada broadcast last winter from Summerside, P.E.I., and he looks better now than he did in the 70's!  

The box is a great mix of posed shots such as the Thompson card above, and on ice photos similar to the Unger, poor lighting and all.

To Dave, who graciously sent me this box of hockey've created a monster.  The same monster that prowled the Danforth back in the 70's in pursuit of cardboard gold.

Thank you Dave.

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. If I could ever muster the energy, I'd totally start collecting Colorado Rockies hockey cards. They had such great sweaters and bitchin mustaches back then.

  2. I am super pleased you are enjoying the box and no matter what you do with them in the end, it clearly seems that the box has found the right home!

    Great post Robert, certainly reminds me of the day when there was no hits to chase and each card was appreciated as much as the other.

  3. Love the old time hockey. I live in the "South" ... and even I think there should be more teams in Canada and less where ice cannot freeze without a Zamboni.

    I've added you to my blog roll.