A trip to the corner store to buy a pack, or maybe more if I had enough money, of hockey cards was always a part of my childhood. With the current year’s cards by my side I was always set to watch the Saturday night game on television. Not every player was represented, but the main guys were and that was all that mattered. I would sort through those cards, memorizing all the statistics, learning where they were from and how big they were (to someone in grade school they seemed like giants!). This was a big part of my growing years and I am still a collector today. In fact, I have even been known to sell some too!
Collecting hockey cards is a tool that certainly aids in learning the game. Just a look at the back of a card tells so much information. Collecting the sets helps to learn all, or most, of the players. This is just speaking about current year cards. Older cards help to learn the history of the game. And the game is well represented. From the very early tobacco cards (quite a scarcity) through to the cards of today, a lot of knowledge will be learned of hockey.
The things you may learn can be incredible. I remember my favourite player’s card always had it mentioned that he was one of the league’s best golfers on the back. Once, now as a full-grown adult, I was at a celebrity golf tournament and did not know all the players that were participating. Simply because I knew this fact about my favourite player I brought one of his hockey cards and sure enough, although long since retired, there he was on the first tee. I was just like a child again! I even thought enough to get my picture taken with him. It was great.
You will have favourite cards, some perhaps not even from your favourite team, and those of your favourite player will be cherished. I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a time when a value wasn’t put on each card. Then you could freely admit that your best card was a beat up piece of cardboard with a picture of your best player (who just happens to be among the “commons”) on the front. It didn’t matter that there may have been a Gordie Howe, a Bobby Orr, or a Wayne Gretzky in the same set (unless, of course, one of these players happened to be your favourite!).
I don’t mind the fact that cards have become very popular collectibles. In fact that just adds to the whole aspect now that I have reached adulthood (or so my age tells me). I just don’t let that fact dominate my opinion when it comes to what I want to collect because no matter what you may want or think, you cannot collect everything out there. Collect what you enjoy and don’t let anyone tell you differently.