Saturday, May 16, 2020

In The Game Really Had Game

Since 1910 hockey cards have existed in many different configurations and the evolution over the past 110 years has shown collectors many advancements. Are those advancements good ones? Since 2000 when In The Game made history but cutting up history for their 2000-01 Be A Player Memorabilia Set collectors and fans have had mixed feelings. As a whole, I'd say it has been positive as many more sets would feature "memorabilia" pieces embedded in cards and there is a whole culture of collectors who live and breathe "APRs".

There has also been cards on CD, virtual cards and many other different iterations. Autographs on card, on sticker and even pieces of table clothes and banners from special NHL events. Personally, I like some of the changes but there are many I can live without. However, for ever fan out there who dislikes much of this stuff, there are others who use products like e-Pack all the time and strive to complete rainbows and chase "Bounties".

I have become disillusioned a bit by the many products that are out there today which really are just repeats of other ideas that were lukewarm received at best the first time. Is it laziness in companies like Upper Deck or is it just a case where collectors really only care about the top 5% players in the league and the rest are nothing more than just filler cards? Once upon a time the jersey card was a chase card which was the result of truly beating some incredible odds. Today even low production numbered jersey cards from high end products leave you with a card that may be worth no more than a couple bucks on the secondary market. Collecting isn't necessarily about the money but for a fan of someone like Duncan Keith, what motivation is there to drop 200 bucks on a box when you could just by that card for 5 bucks on eBay? The answer is simple, gambling. The hope you could land the $1000 autograph or rookie that box is potentially hiding.

As a person who has always loved vintage, this has just confirmed for me that vintage cards are one way to keep my passion going when it comes to the hobby and there really is no shortage of very cool and very fun vintage sets out there. However, not all modern cards are junk. I also have found myself appreciating the many cards that In The Game has put out over the years (specifically from 2000-2015). So today I am going to share one such card.

2009-2010 ITG Superlative Vol 2 Milt Schmidt Patch SP /15

The front of this card is what truly makes this a winner and for what the back is lacking in my opinion the front is making up for it. You get a good photo of Milt on the front and you are coupling it with an amazing patch which you can completely picture where it came from on his jersey. What you don't see is loads of foiling and modern embellishments which you get on many cards today. 

 Here is the back side of the card. Very plain and while I'd love to see something about Milt or at least some vitals, you are treated to a write up explaining what you are seeing on the front of the card. Try and find that on most modern cards today. I have both bought and pulled cards which did leave me puzzled wondering what article of clothing or gear was my "player worn" piece originated as when it was on the player.

As I finish up this post I want to make something very clear, I am not shitting on any one company or any one collector. If there is something out there you like/love, chase it, collect it and don't let the opinions of others diminish your enjoyment of that pursuit. For myself, I have changed over the past couple years and while I still appreciate the memorabilia card, the need to own 30-40 pieces of a single player definitely isn't there anymore. With that being said, please keep enjoying your finds and successes and I will continue to do so myself and share them on here.

8 comments:

  1. Can't believe it's already been 20 years since Brian Price and ITG cut up Vezina's goalie pads. I remember the controversy surrounding their decision. In fact, I'm sure there are people who are still pretty upset about it. My buddy pulled one of those relics and traded it to me. Maybe I'll dig it out and write up a post.

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    1. Wow. I am in the same boat and can't believe how long ago it has been. It honestly feels like I just started collecting 20 years ago and not the 30 it actually has been.

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    2. Ugh. Next year is 40 years for me. Although... there were a few breaks here and there... so it's more like 32 to 34 years. Regardless... I feel old :)

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  2. Well said vintage is the way to go I might as well buy LottoMax instead of a box pretty much same ROI welcome back

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    1. So very true! That's why I stick to lotto tickets over boxes.

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  3. Thanks for the kind words... sometimes people weren't so nice in their comments about In The Game releases. It was a pleasure to work on projects for In The Game for over a decade and I am glad to see this card have a home.

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    1. My pleasure and well earned I assure you. There are many that were made during your tenure that I hope to either discover or obtain in the future.

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  4. That's an absolute beauty! I'm sure you're honored to own that one, congrats. Most relics don't do much for me but that one is really stellar.

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