Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
The holiday season is here and it is a great opportunity to put together a list of some favourite vintage hockey cards. Cards always, new or old, bring out a nostalgic feeling … a warm fuzzy sort of thing. These are some cards I consider the best in terms of their attractiveness and their ability to bring back some nice memories. They may not be the most valuable, but monetary value is not the most important factor when it comes to appreciating any collection. Naturally, it would be nice if they were all gem mint, but condition won’t be mentioned for this article.
First is a 1964-65 Topps #72 Gary Dornhoefer rookie card. This card, from the infamous “tall boys” set, is also a short print. Any cards from this set are desirable, but since Dornhoefer is my all-time favourite player, it tops my list.
1966-67 Topps #35 Bobby Orr rookie card. A beautiful card from an extremely sought after set. The wood grain borders on these cards are an attractive design. This card is easily one of the most wanted cards of any collector.
One of the nicest sets ever was made by Topps in 1954-55. Any of these cards are great, but for this list #10 Gump Worsley will be the choice. One of the greatest goaltenders ever and one of the nicest men anyone could hope to meet.
No list would be complete without a vintage Parkhurst card. The next choice is #16 from the 1963-64 Parkhurst set: Tim Horton. Every collection should have a card from this Hall of Fame defenceman and this card is a beauty.
A 1970-71 O-Pee-Chee #195: Bobby Clarke rookie card. A top notch card from a top notch player who gave his best with every game. Anyone who bleeds orange and black like Bobby does makes this list.
Another tremendous card is Guy Lafleur’s rookie card from the 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee set. It is #148. I love that on the back of this card it states, “Guy will be a superstar.” Lafleur was as close to a sure thing as there ever was.
Another great set is the 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee set. From this set #185 Serge Savard stands out. There is something about the predominantly red uniforms with the green background that catches the eye.
The 1973-74 O-Pee-Chee card of Larry Robinson (#237 and his rookie card) is a beauty. This is a difficult set to collect because of the borders and this is a classic card of a very classy player.
Venturing into the eighties, it is hard not to mention Ray Bourque’s rookie card from the 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee set. This card is number 140. Another top card from another classy blueliner.
Wayne Gretzky’s #120 card from the 1988-89 Topps set is one for this list as well. It shows an important point in hockey history as the blockbuster trade of Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings just took place and he dons a new jersey.
Well, choosing ten cards to wishfully find their way into the Christmas stocking isn’t an easy task. So many players and cards were omitted. Feel free to let me know some of your favourite choices.