Sunday, March 31, 2013

Whaler Ink - Gordie Howe!

Today is the 85th birthday of one of the best players to ever lace up a pair of skates, Gordie Howe!  To celebrate, today's post features a Howe card, and represents one of the best new pieces to enter my hockey card collection so far in 2013.

When I was a youth hockey player back in the day, I was afforded the opportunity to meet Mr. Hockey at a card and memorabilia show in Connecticut.  I even got a nice Red Wings puck signed by him, which I still have to this day.  Since I got back into collecting in 2007, I've wanted an autographed card of Gordie to go with it.  Prices are generally high though, as you'd expect for a Hall-of-Famer and one of the all-time legends of the game.  If I was going to shell out $60+ for an autographed card, I wanted to really make it worth it.  Recently I stumbled upon a card that fit the bill, and after some haggling back and forth with the seller this gem arrived in my mailbox:

Not bad, huh?  As you'd imagine, the majority of the Howe autos out there depict him with Detroit, but I wanted one showing him in Whalers jersey instead.  I was drawn to this card, which was distributed by Upper Deck at the 2011 Canadian Spring Expo, by the fantastic photograph as well as its relative scarcity.  With just 15 hand-numbered copies in existence, and having only ever seen this particular example myself, it was entirely possible that I'd never have another chance to own one of these.  The auto is a sticker, but it doesn't bother me in this case just because this card met all of my other criteria.

Here's the back, with a paragraph authenticating the autograph and a nice big Whalers logo.  I think it's safe to say this immediately becomes one of my best Hartford Whalers cards.  Right now it sits proudly displayed on the bookshelf in my office/card room, where I'll hopefully enjoy it for many years to come. 

Happy 85th Gordie!!!

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