After the success of their baseball set in 1989, Upper Deck jumped into the hockey card market with a 1990-91 release that they promoted with cards of Wayne Gretzky and Patrick Roy (cards 241A and 241B). However, just as they did with baseball, Upper Deck also promoted their hockey set in the early 90s with serial-numbered commemorative sheets. Hockey didn’t have an established Old-Timer Series for Upper Deck to sponsor and highlight their cards through, so they predominantly distributed these sheets at NHL games. In this article, I’ll highlight four Upper Deck Hockey Commemorative Sheet sets.
1990-91 Upper Deck Hockey Commemorative Sheets
TCDB lists 11 total blank-backed 8 1/2″ x 11″ commemorative sheets in its checklist for this “set” of sheets. Upper Deck distributed them at various NHL games to promote their first hockey set. They’re all serial-numbered.
Upper Deck released the first sheet at the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings on November 17, 1990.
Here are a few other examples.
Upper Deck released two sheets as part of the 42nd NHL All-Star Game at Chicago Stadium on January 19, 1991, as well.
There was also a sheet dated June 21, 1991, to honor “six players selected by the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association as the most proficient at their respective positions in their first year of competitions in the National Hockey League.” Given the date, I’m unsure how Upper Deck distributed this sheet. Notice the gold emblem in the lower right corner doesn’t have a 1990/1991 date like the others; it’s a 1991 Limited Edition Collector Series Sheet.
1991-92 Upper Deck Hockey Promotional Sheets
TCDB lists the 1991-92 Upper Deck sheets as Promotional rather than Commemorative Sheets for some reason, so I’ll stick with that for the section heading, but the concept was the same as the previous series of sheets. However, there appear to be 19 different ones that were used to promote the 1991-92 set.
Here are a pair of examples: one used as a promotion at the Flames vs. Rangers game on November 4, 1991, and another that was used at the Rangers vs. Capital game on February 7, 1992.
And while I mentioned that Upper Deck didn’t sponsor a Heroes of Hockey Series as they did in Baseball, this year, there was an Alumni Heroes of Hockey game that was played on January 17, 1992, between the 1974/75 Stanley Cup Champion Flyers and a team of legendary NGL stars the day before the 43rd NHL All-Star Game.
The next night, on January 18, Upper Deck distributed sheets honoring the Wales and Campbell Conference All-Star Teams.
1992-93 Upper Deck Hockey Commemorative Sheets
There are 17 items listed in TCDB’s checklist of Upper Deck Commemorative sheets used to promote the 1992-93 hockey set. The majority were given away at NHL games; again, there was a pair for Campbell and Wales All-Stars, but there was also one for the 1991-92 Upper Deck All-Rookie Team, a Hockey Heroes pair for Gordie Howe, and one for the New York Rangers as the Defending NHL Regular Season Champions. Here are a few examples.
1992-93 Upper Deck Hockey Wayne Gretzky Hockey Heroes Commemorative Sheet
The Gretzky Heroes sheet wasn’t available at a game; it was a mail-in wrapper redemption that numbered to 29166.
The terms required users to send a sheet offer card, 15 foil pack wrappers from’ 92-93 Low Series Hockey, and $2.95 via check or money order to:
There was a series of Hockey Heroes: Wayne Gretzky cards inserted in Low Series packs at a rate of 1:18.
Conclusion and Further Reading
Just like the baseball sheets, the Upper Deck hockey commemorative sheets can each be picked up for just a few dollars; however, a few examples exist (like the Gordie Howe pictured above) that are signed, which will cost quite a bit more. I suspect there aren’t a lot of collectors who have tracked down all 48 Upper Deck hockey sheets; it would make for an incredible collection to view in a binder. Now, don’t forget to subscribe to the site so you don’t miss the next two parts of this series on Upper Deck Sheets. The basketball and football sheets come out next!
If you’re into hockey cards, you might also be interested in:
- My article, Exploring 1990s Hockey Insert Sets: 1993-94 and 1994-95 Donruss Elite Inserts.
- This article explores another tool Upper Deck used to promote their cards, the autograph heroes series inserts – in 1991, the hockey hero was Brett Hull.
- And 6 Pricey Junk Wax Era PSA 10 Graded Hockey Cards includes the 1992 Upper Deck Chris Pronger card.
Happy collecting, and don’t forget to sign up for The Post War Crds Newsletter!