Without further ado...
The idea of taking a piece of game-used memorabilia, cutting it up, and embedding it into a card might be boring to a lot of collectors in today's hobby. Most aren't very rare and even when they are... we have to rely on the card company's certificate of authenticity or lack thereof.
It's kind of a shame, because there was a time when pulling one of these nifty and innovative cards made you feel like you won the lottery.
Today's post is about one of those cards.
Twenty years ago, In The Game purchased a pair of Georges Vézina game-used goalie pads. He is one of the nine hall of famers inducted as part of the Inaugural Class of 1945 and the annual award given to the best goalie in the league is named after him.
The company quickly captured the attention of collectors when they decided to cut up the pads and embed them into cards. It's one thing to cut up a Mike Trout jersey in this era, since he probably wears a dozen or more throughout a normal season. But these particular pads are believed to be the only ones Vézina used during his time with the Montreal Canadians from 1917 to 1925. If that's true, they're one-of-a-kind and many people felt like they should be preserved at the Hockey Hall of Fame and not butchered.
But the fate of these pads had already been determined and the hunt to pull one of these memorabilia cards was officially on. As you might have guessed, the cards were very, very, very tough to pull. They were inserted into packs at a rate of 1:2,400 which is 1:100 boxes. I've never pulled anything quite as epic as one of these cards, but my buddy Nate did.
Check it out:
2000-01 Be A Player Memorabilia Vezina Memorabilia #V-9
Nate wasn't a huge card collector, but he'd bust a box from time to time searching for Sergei Federov cards. Not sure if he found any in this box, but I'm sure he didn't really care after he opened the pack and saw this card. I can't remember the specifics, but I'm guessing we both celebrated like he won the lottery.
He eventually donated the card to my collection... where it still resides to this day. We joke about it from time to time, because I think I ended up giving him a box of Hostess mini powdered donuts in return. Those delicious treats were key pieces of trade bait in several of our hockey card transactions. Of course it wasn't an official trade. Just two buddies hooking each other up.
The set honors a bunch of Vezina Trophy winners, which is why Patrick Roy is also featured on the the front of this card. He won the award three times in a span of four seasons and is recognized three times in this set. This particular card celebrates him winning the award in 1992.
Prices for singles have dropped significantly over the past twenty years, but they don't pop up on the secondary market very frequently, so building this set would be a challenge.
Speaking of challenges, I might as well kill two birds with one stone and use this card as my Day 5 submission for Tim B.'s 7 Day Trading Card Challenge, which is to show off your favorite "other" sport card in your collection.
This Vezina was one of the first cards that came to mind when thinking about this particular challenge.
Here are a few others that were in the running:
Soccer: 1979 Topps NASL Stickers #23
My soccer collection is tiny with the majority of the singles being autographs or memorabilia cards of Chris Wondolowski. None of them stood out to me as much as this forty-one year old sticker.
Olympic: 2009 UD Goodwin Champions Autograph #A-YA
Until they create a trading card of Evelyn Kawamoto (my mom's cousin), this autograph will be my favorite Olympic trading card. Yamaguchi was my celebrity college crush back in the early 90's and a Bay Area legend.
UFC: 2016 Topps Museum Collection Archival Autographs #AA-AC
My favorite fighter is Jon Jones... and I do own an autographed card of his. However I'd choose Arianny over him any day of the week.
Boxing: 1956 Adventure R749 #22
This card features Sugar Ray Robinson (one of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all-time) and Bobo Olsen (one of my father's all-time favorite boxers), which makes this my all-time favorite boxing card.
I'm a huge fan of the Leaf Originals wrestling autographs and it came down to my favorite wrestler, Ricky Steamboat and the guy who got me interested in wrestling. It was a tough decision, but I went with the latter.
Surfing: 2009 UD Goodwin Champions Autographs #A-TC
Thanks to my cousins in Hawaii and movies like North Shore, I was very into professional surfing back in the mid 80's... and Tom Curren was my favorite surfer. His autograph isn't much to look at, but this is hands down my favorite surfer card.
Horse Racing: 2012 Panini Golden Age Museum Age Authentic Collection #20
I don't really follow horse racing. But do you really need to in order to appreciate a card like this? I pulled this card out of a pack myself... and it definitely felt like I won the lottery.
Well that's all I have for today. Here is your question of the day:
Have you ever opened a pack of cards and felt like you just won the lottery?
What's the best card (either sentimental or monetary) you ever pulled from a pack?
Happy Thursday and sayonara!