08/09 Upper Deck Hockey Legends Masterpieces Hobby box break, packs 5-8

2 11 2008

I’ll try and cut down a little on the commentary, and the size of the pictures, too.  Deal?

Pack 5

77 Craig MacTavish
3 Lady Bing with torn upper border
65 Manon Rheaume
25 Lanny McDonald

Two females in one pack? When was the last time you pulled that in a sports set?

For those wondering, Lady Byng was an avid hockey fan and is the creator of the Lady Byng trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct while still exhibiting  great skill on the ice. Here’s the story of the first presentation in 1925:

[Lady Byng] decided the trophy’s first winner would be Frank Nighbor of the Ottawa Senators. Late in the season, Lady Byng invited Nighbor to Rideau Hall, showed him the trophy, and asked him if the NHL would accept it as an award for its most gentlemanly player. When Nighbor said he thought it would, Lady Byng, much to Nighbor’s surprise, awarded him the trophy.

Pretty neat, eh?

Pack 6

75 Bernie Parent
27 Bobby Hull
1 Lord Stanley
52 Bob Baun

Baun scored the winning goal in overtime of Game 6 of the 1964 Stanley Cup finals while playing on a broken ankle. That’s one tough guy. The horizontal cards have all looked nice so far.

Pack 7
86 Mario Lemieux
61 Bobby Clarke
73 Willie O’Ree
5 Jari Kurri

This is the O’Ree card that I reference in an earlier post.  Why do I love it so?  Maybe it’s the odd photoshopped looking head on the defender in blue in the background.  Or maybe it’s the quiet solitude that I read in O’Ree’s face.  It’s a good painting that makes you interpret it’s art, and this one, for whatever reason, does it for me.

And how bad did O’Ree want to play in the NHL?  Not only did he break through the color barrier, he also did it while being 95% blind in one eye, a result of an errant puck to the face two seasons before his debut.  O’Ree kept his damaged eye a secret and played his first game January 18, 1958.

Pack 8

17 Wayne Gretzky
79 Mark Messier
CC-JM1 Joe Mullen Canvas Clippings with torn border
78 Wayne Gretzky
67 Alex Delvecchio

This pack captures two complaints with this product so far. First, even though the set is only 87 cards long, some players get two, three, and four cards. Yes, Wayne was a great player, and he had many memorable moments. But pick one, maybe two, and let some of the other greats work their way into this set. Save something for next year.

Second, how about some quality control? I didn’t buy this box for the inserts, and it seems to be lacking a certain wow factor as far as jerseys to begin with, but the least Upper Deck could do is assure that the big “hits” aren’t damaged when you pull them from the pack.  It would upset me even more if I had bought the box for the memorabilia cards and not the set itself.

Ah, Joe Mullen. He could have been part of the “Miracle on Ice” team in Lake Placid. but instead opted to sign an NHL contract and earn some money to help take care of his ailing father. Joe’s also the answer to the question, “Who was the first American player to score 500 goals and 1000 points?”  Remember that one on trivia night down at the local pub.

The swatch is black even though he’s pictured with the Flames, so I will ignore his season with Boston and instead imagine it’s from his years as a Stanley Cup winning Penguin. That means this swatch could have brushed against Lord Stanley’s Cup! Too bad, then, that I have to send it back.

The box so far:
Base 31 out of 87 (35%)
Canvas Clippings Brown Border: 2 – Frank Mahovlich, Joe Mullen
Masterpieces Matte Blue Border: 1 – Marcel Dionne (49/50)



One response

3 11 2008

If you don’t want to bother with sending that Mullen back, I’ll trade for it… I don’t care if it’s a little dinged up.

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