Saturday, October 19, 2013

1996-97 Zenith Champion Salute set

A few months ago when I was perusing my monthly local card show, I mentioned to one of the dealers how it's hard to find hockey cards anymore.

"Hold on," he told me and then proceeded to pull out a couple of cards.

These are 1996-97 Zenith Champion Salute Promo cards of Claude Lemieux (#10) and Doug Gilmour (#13).

According to Beckett's, they were "Randomly inserted in packs at a rate of 1:23, this special commemorative insert set honors superstar veteran players who have played on a Stanley Cup championship team. The fronts feature color player photos printed on micro-etched, silver poly-laminate card stock, along with a faux "diamond" chip embedded in the Stanley Cup ring icon."

There's actually a parallel to this set, as well, "Champion Salute Diamond," which incldues an actual diamond chip, which was randomly inserted in packs at the rate of 1:350.

The regular set incudes:
1   Mark Messier                                9   Peter Forsberg
2   Wayne Gretzky                           10   Claude Lemieux  
3   Grant Fuhr                                   11   Patrick Roy
4   Paul Coffey                                 12   Chris Chelios
5   Mario Lemieux                           13   Doug Gilmour
6   Jaromir Jagr                                14   Mike Richter
7   Ron Francis                                15   Martin Brodeur
8   Joe Sakic

Actually, I thought these cards were kinda cool, so I decided to try and collect both the promo and the regular set. Here's the Ron Francis, Mike Messier, Chris Chelios and Peter Forsberg Champion Salute set.  I've even knocked out two of the goalie cards, with Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy inbound from an E-Bay purchase.

There's also two questions which quickly come to mind regarding this set: 1) According to Beckett, there's only three promo cards -- Brodeur, Forsberg and Fuhr. That can't be right, as I already have a Claude Lemieux and Gilmour Promo card, so how many promo cards are there?. 2) How can you tell if you have the diamond parallel or not, since an actual diamond chip is what makes it the parallel. Do you have to take it to a jeweler to find out if it's the parallel?

In any case, it'll be interesting to see if I can actually put a set together. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The oldest card in my hockey collection

I've missed my hockey cards. It seems as if I spend most of my time blogging about my San Diego Padres cards on Bleedin' Brown and Gold, even though the Padres baseball season is over. With hockey season well underway, I need to start showing some man love toward my first love -- my hockey collection.

So there I was, going through my 12 boxes of hockey cards and I discovered a card that I almost forgot I had. I'm a firm believer in history, so this card holds a special place in my collection and in my collecting heart, because it's also the oldest card I own.

I can't quite remember when I picked up this 1933-34 V357 Ice Kings #39 Glen "Swampy" Brydson RC. I know I got if off E-Bay for a pretty reasonable price, considering its condition. All I can remember, is that I thought it was a really cool looking card, I didn't have any cards earlier then 1969, and it's definitely a piece of hockey history. Especially since it was from the early '30s.

Even better, I discovered this scrappy right winger, born Nov. 7, 1910 in Swansea, Ontario, had played three of his eight NHL seasons with my Chicago Blackhawks, after being traded from the New York Rangers for Howie Morenz in January 1936.  According to the Hockey Hall of Fame website, "He was a decent role player for the Hawks but lost his place in the line-up part way through the 1937-38 season. Brydson spent his last four and a half pro seasons in the AHL then played a year with the senior Kingston Frontenacs before retiring in 1943."

He began his NHL career in 1930-31 with the Montreal Maroons, the team he's pictured with on this card. He played for the St. Louis Eagles (1934-35) before being picked up by the Rangers. As a Hawk, he was 14-14-29 in 75 games as a Hawk, with 58 penalty minutes.

He passed away on Dec. 9, 1993 and is buried in Toronto's Park Lawn Cemetery.

Besides the awesomeness of owning a 79-year old hockey card, these early cards present such a sense of history, especially in those early days of the NHL. I also have no doubt that each little crease and curling on this particular card has a story of its own to tell. I'm definitely looking forward to eventually expanding this segment of my hockey card collection.