Of the four major sports (baseball, basketball, football, and hockey), the one I know the least about is hockey, both professional hockey history and vintage hockey cards. To overcome this shortcoming, I try and connect with hobby experts, and when it comes to hockey, no one has done more to educate collectors than Bobby Burrell. And Burrell printed a fantastic guide in November 2015, with the help of an amazing group of the hobby’s top experts.
The guide is organized into three parts; standard hockey card sets, food & company issue premiums, and collectibles & merchandise.
So, here are five things I learned by reading Bobby Burrell’s amazing Vintage Hockey Card And Collectible Price Guide.
The First Known Hockey Card Set
The first hockey card set featured players from the seven teams in the National Hockey Association league during its first season; that set is the 1910 Imperial Tobacco – C56 set.
Reuse of Uncut Sheets
The 1952-53 Parkhurst hockey cards were packed in display boxes made from uncut sheets from the previous year.
The 1968-69 Topps hockey cards were Topps’ first official hockey set offered in the USA (other than the 1966 test issue). Topps released their cards in November, while OPC released theirs in January.
As an oddball collector, TCMA has always been fascinating to me. And over their entire history, TCMA only printed a single hockey issue; the 1981-82 set had 13 cards and featured Bobby Orr.
In 1982 “Face-Off Soap” made a set of 21 NHL Team logo discs that were imbedded in puck-shaped soap cakes. Canadians REALLY love hockey.
The book is out of print, but Burrell sold me a copy directly. I suspect one will cost you close to $100 these days, but it’s well worth the money if you’re into the hobby; happy collecting!