Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back Checking Gordie Howe

There are two perspectives in which you can look at a hockey set. The set is a look at the season past, much like the recent releases of Score or the set is a look at the upcoming season and what players you can expect in the NHL during the year of release. Regardless of the perspective, the stats are always from the season previous and usually (at least since 1990, if you played the year before you had a card the following year).

Well here is Gordie Howe's last card. I just recently picked it up and really landed it for a relative steal of a deal considering its condition and the fact I needed it for my set. This card is sharp. I scanned the front and stole a pic of the back because my scan didn't turn out so well and I am too lazy! 

Here is the iconic front.

Here is the back, and I would like you to notice the stats. This card isn't showing Gordie Howe's final season. This is showing his last WHA season, but for Gordie Howe fans, we all know he had 41 points in his final NHL season in 79-80. That means, depending on your perspective, there should likely have been a card made of him in 80-81. However, there wasn't and the above card is the last from his active playing days. 

What makes things even stranger, is this:

These posters were released 1 per pack as part of the 80-81 Topps release. Notice anyone in the first row 4th from the left? Yep that is Gordie. 

So even though he wasn't part of the original release, he did end up in the set as an insert. Too bad though, because it would have been pretty cool to have seen what that card might have looked like. But then again, there is something cool about Gordie's last card appearing in the same set as Wayne's first card.


  1. I love this card! I scored one in NMT condition along with two Bobby Clarkes from the same set.
    I paid less than $4.00 for all three cards including shipping. I feel like I got a heck of a deal.

  2. One of my all-time favorite hockey cards to this day. Made the top-60 list I did a couple years back, and I would say it's top-10 most likely. Looks like you got a really nice copy.

  3. That's one of the greats, that card. I was always a little annoyed there was no '80-81 card as I'd have loved to have seen that entire career on the back of a single card.

  4. Yeah I totally agree that this card certainly is cool and if it wasn't for Gretzky, I think it might be the best card in the set. Still, sometimes I wonder what that 80-81 could have been.

    Another way to look at it, if you look at the photo, it is a Whalers and Oilers game. How cool would it have been if Gretzky was the player skating by instead of whoever it is...(Blair Callighen?)