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.

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