Thursday, March 6, 2014

91-92 Parkhurst Bill Guerin Rookie (XRC)

There are some cards you covet and track down right away and there are other cards that take time to land. Both taste just as sweet in my books but this one card has a story. Back in the early 90's when every kid on my street collected cards, I was slightly different than most. Many were dumping loads of cash into Upper Deck and Pro Set (which I did my fair share too), I was also very interested in the older cards. Being the early 90's prices on older cards had skyrocketed too so many were beyond my price point but I bought up rookies like Bill Barber, Eric Vial and Dennis Hextall because they were reasonably priced and old. When Parkhurst came out, it was like a perfect product. Old time name, current players and a design that was very attractive. In my personal opinion, the best looking set in 91-92 and 92-93 were the Parkhurst cards. It was like Pro Set finally did something right. The inserts were even cool.

Here is what the cards looked like:

 Front side features a Parkhurst logo and a marbleized left margin. The cards are a nice thickness with a cool gloss that at the time made them seem very premium.

Here is the back, loaded with stats and information. I really like the backs of these cards and unlike most Pro Set products, these were well done and time and care went into them.

The set was well balanced with Vets and Rookies and the price wasn't too crazy (50 bucks a box is a number that rings a bell back then). My step-dad and I went so nuts that between the two of us we built like 8 base sets (yeah I still have them all). Pro Set even came out with a series two which featured more base and rookies and I bought a bunch of those too. I recently finished the whole PHC set (I have loads of the first 5 but because I didn't go as hardcore with series 2 I didn't have many from 6-10), and I will share soon as a sets of yesteryear. But what I didn't have was the Parkhurst Update set.

You see, there was a special promotion on the back of packs of Parkhurst which allowed you to mail in a cheque or money order to get a special Update Set. I remember being a 12 year old who didn't have a chequing account or access to money orders and debating on if I should do whatever I can to order one of these sets. In the end I decided to keep my paper route money and spend it on something else and I never did get one of those sets.

A little while later, the set started appearing in the Beckett Hockey Monthly and it was listing for a pretty high price which had me a little bummed out over a missed opportunity. But, actually what would sting even more about a year after my missed chance was the inclusion of card #453. Bill Guerin quickly became my favourite player in the NHL around 1993 and I found out that Bill was included in the Parkhurst Update set. It would be the only card issued for Guerin in the 1991-92 season and since it was a mail order set it was labelled an XRC. 92-93 would see 10 Bill Guerin rookies but 91-92 held the only one I wanted.

I even got Bill to sign a 92-93 Parkhurst rookie back in 1995 as my first TTM but still I wanted that 91-92 Parkhurst Update Rookie.

While I still don't have the Update Set (if you do and want to trade it please message me, I will make it worth your while!) I do have the Bill Guerin card at last.

I had never seen this card in person before until it arrived at my door.

91-92 Parkhurst Bill Guerin Rookie (XRC) #453
 In 1991-92, Bill Guerin played 5 regular season games and 6 playoff games. Since this set features updates from the 1992 playoffs, I think there is a good chance that is where this photo came from. Bill played very well for us in spite of the Devils bowing out in the first round. Bill had 3 goals in those 6 playoff games he played in. I wonder if he knew that in three short years he would be lifting Lord Stanley's Mug?

Here is the back, lots of cool background info. The photo on the back was taken from the regular season because the Devils met up with the Rangers in round 1 and clearly Bill is lining up against a Nordique player here.

It is worth pointing out that I almost won this card two years ago when someone had a graded version up for auction. It was only graded 8.5 but I didn't care too much about condition I just wanted the card. Sure enough I was winning the auction with about 16 hours to go and the seller pulls the auction. My bid at the time was like 4 bucks. I contact the seller and he didn't like the price it was at so he pulled it but informed me he was relisting it with a BIN. So I wait and sure enough it is posted. BIN $39.99USD

So for fun I kept watching him and sure enough it wouldn't sell time after time after time....I even saw it for 5 bucks one time and then he pulled the listing and relisted for 14.99. Needless to say I wouldn't have bought the card off him for a toonie with shipping. But, I did get enjoyment out of watching the fool not sell a card that I would have gladly took off his hands for a fair price.


  1. Very cool I was totally unaware of the update set, thanks for posting and nice score on the card!

  2. I commented about four hours ago but apparently it didn't like me. That's 1 of my Holy grails for my Billy G collection. Only seen it twice. Once in a complete set that the dealer wanted way too much for. The other time was on a forum. The guy wanted $80. Just for that card. I hate you and congrats all at the same time.

  3. @shoeboxlegends Thanks! If you ever come across a complete set for a good deal get two! One for yourself because I think you would love it as its all good with Parkhurst and one for me and I will try and make it worth the trouble.

    @DFG If anyone was going to appreciate the post I knew it would be you. But at the same time, I thought you might have had it already since you are a Guerin super-collector as well. If I find one in my travels I will send it your way.

  4. I bought really heavily into this set (the Felix Pot in was the big card for me) and this post sent me scurrying off to my binder. The only PHC cards I have in the sheets are 6, 8 and 9. I can't believe I struck out on series one, so they must be in a box somewhere. I'm also fairly certain I sprung for the update set, but we're moving and I don't have the foggiest idea where it is.

    Congrats on landing that whale! That was a long time coming!

  5. Now I want to chase down the other big cards from that era - the Pro Set hologram, the Score Bobby Orrs, the rest of the bloody short prints, etc.

  6. Googled it. I think I have the '92-93 update set. The green box looks very familiar. Too bad.

    1. Yeah, I heard that there are like only 12000 copies of the 91-92 Update which is still a large number but you rarely see them pop up online. I did see one about a month or two ago for 30 bucks but I didn't have the cash to pull the trigger on it.

      I do have LOADS of the PHC's 1-5, if your addy is still the same I will send them to you! If its changed, send me an email and I will get it to you. Also, I have something else for you too so that only makes sense to send it all together.