2008/09 Upper Deck Legends Masterpieces Hockey hobby box break, Packs 1-4

31 10 2008

That’s probably one of the longest titles ever here on the blog. The box has eighteen 4 card packs, which I hope will augment my previously opened packs and give me a complete set. Initially I was going to blog the whole box in one post, but I’m far too wordy so far.  Here’s the first four, and we’ll see where the next packs lead.

Inside the box, an average of four memorabilia cards, with at least one autograph. And a whole bunch of colored frame parallels, too.

5×8 Box Topper
XL-GH Mr. Hockey

I was hoping for a Ranger, but of all the non Rangers to get, you can’t complain about Mr. Hockey. Unless you wish Upper Deck would use his real name.

Pack 1

14 Ray Bourque
69 Gilbert Perrault
84 Mark Messier
56 Dino Ciccarelli

My first thought on seeing this card? I wonder which injury this moment is supposed to depict, because it looks like Mark’s in a lot of pain. Messier actually did something that his former teammate Wayne Gretzky never did, and that’s win a Stanley Cup without the other one. There’s three Messier cards in the set. This is my least favorite.

Pack 2

5 Jari Kurri
55 Jean Beliveau
15 Ray Bourque
46 Bobby Hull

The Beliveau’s a beauty, isn’t it? That’s his 10th Stanley Cup he’s holding there, yet he only gets one card in the set. Ray Bourque? Three cards. Go figure.  And I’ve already pulled two of them.

Pack 3
76 Andy Bathgate
48 Ray Bourque
54 Stan Mikita
59 Marcel Dionne some colored short print 49/50

Three packs, three Bourques – a clean sweep!

It looks like this is from the Cup Finals in 1988, when high temperatures caused a thick fog to settle over the ice at the old Boston Garden.  Then, after the Bruins had come back from being down 3-1 to tie the game in the second period and appeared to be gaining some sort of momentum, a generator blew and the power went out.  Shortly after, the game was scrapped and rescheduled (per NHL bylaws) to be the new Game 7, if necessary.  Game 4 was moved to Edmonton, where the Oilers won easily and swept the Stanley Cup.  That summer, Gretzky would be traded south of the border.

In fact, I’m now noticing small dates in the text of the cards.  Sure enough, May 24th, 1988.

Pack 4

68 Dale Hawerchuck
24 Pat Lafontaine
CC-FM2 frank Mahovlich Canvas Clippings with a torn upper border
43 Clark Gillies
81 Mario Lemieux

This isn’t the card I pulled (still no scanner), but it shows the swatch I got. It’s either from his days with the Canadians or the Red Wings, and suffers from dissonance because he’s pictured with the Maple Leafs. Even odder is that there’s a CC-FM1 that pictures him with the Canadians. Either way it’s going back because of the torn border. Hopefully I get the same colorful swatch I pulled here.

Two fun facts about Frank: 1) He’s currently in the Canadian Senate, and 2) He spent time playing for the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA with a movie star:

While with the Bulls, Mahovlich was placed on an unproductive line with Frank Beaton and Dave Hanson, one of the Hanson Brothers who had been in the movie Slap Shot. According to John Brophy, when a reporter asked Mahovlich what was wrong, he replied, “I don’t know, but I seem to play a lot better with [Gordie] Howe and [Alex] Delvecchio.”

And just so you don’t think Frank’s a slouch of a player, he won six Stanley Cups and was ranked the 27th greatest player of all time according to The Hockey News’ Top 100 players list published in 1998.

So far, so good.  I’m liking these cards more and more, and even a damaged border can’t bring me down.  Still three more “hits” and a parallel lurking somewhere…

The box so far:
Base: 15 out of 87 (17%)
Canvas Clippings Brown Border: 1 – Frank Mahovlich
Masterpieces Matte Blue Border: 1 – Marcel Dionne (49/50)

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