Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hockey Card Heroes - Chris Osgood

I had an idea the other day that I wanted to start doing a feature on some of my favorite hockey cards from the late 80's-early 90's. I was going to feature one card at a time and talk about why it's a favorite, how much it's worth, and where that player is today.

I was going to focus on some obscure players like Dominic Roussel (loved the Kings growing up) or Garth Butcher (the Blues are my favorite team and I liked his name) but I thought it would be appropriate to look at an obscure card and one I got when I first started collecting hockey cards.

The year was 1991 and I was just starting to collect cards. I don't know why I did but if you were a hockey fan around that time there was a good chance you were spending some of your money on a package of O-Pee-Chee or if you had more money you were buying Upper Deck cards. 

I was 11 years old and probably making $10 a week in allowance so I was buying O-Pee-Chee. Not only did I buy O-Pee-Chee but I also started buying things Beckett the hockey card magazine and I would go to sports card shows whenever they came through Medicine Hat.

With the little allowance money that I had I would go to these card shows looking to try and sell some of my cards in the hope that I would make some cash to buy a Brett Hull rookie card or the holy grail of cards, the Wayne Gretzky Rookie card. This plan didn't work very well as the sleazy guys working the tables weren't interested in buying my Phil Housley or Dirk Graham cards (I guess collectors don't care about plus/minus ratings...).  I quickly realized that I wasn't going to get any rookie cards of the current NHL all-stars. If I wanted rookie cards I had to start with some of the players who hadn't made an impact in the NHL yet. This led me to this card:

Chris Osgood - 1991 7th Inning Sketch "Tomorrow's Stars Today  - #196

I remember getting this card in a team set at a Medicine Hat Tigers game. The set itself had a few players that would go onto have NHL careers like Rob Niedermayer, Mike Rathje, Brent Thompson, Dan Kordic, and David Cooper. 

Obviously the gem of the set is Chris Osgood who just retired a few days ago from a great NHL career that saw him win three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.

I don't know how much the card is worth but a quick look on eBay showed another Osgood/Tigers card selling for $5. I can't help but think that the card should probably be worth more than that considering his retirement and of course the talk about him going into the Hockey Hall of Fame somewhere down the road.

There is a couple of interesting things on the card worth noting. The first is you can tell that the picture taken for this card was from a Tigers road game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. You can tell because of the large ugly curtain hanging in the background which is still in Lethbridge's arena to this very day. The other funny thing is the card has Osgood's hometown as Medicine Hat but if you look at his bio on it's listed as Peace River, AB.

While I did end up collecting some cards that are worth more money than this one, this is one of my most rare and favorite cards in my collection.

p.s. I did meet Chris Osgood in '97 when he brought the Stanley Cup to Medicine Hat after he won it with the Wings but I have to say that this is one of my all-time favorite Ozzie moments.


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