Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Trading Post #37: 2x3 Heroes

As my readers know, the vast majority of my collection consists of baseball cards. That's further reflected in my blog's title and theme, though think of how awesome it would be to hear an NFL ref call "Infield Fly Rule. Automatic First Down."

Anyway, I've made mention of the occasional basketball or football card, and there are countless non-sports cards out there. But few people think of hockey cards. Hockey happens to be my second-favorite sport, and when I saw Jeff at 2x3 Heroes offer some free cards for a variety of NHL teams (some are still available), I requested the Colorado Avalanche, my hometown hockey team.

They haven't done so well in recent years, only making the playoffs once so far this decade. But I've been a fan since they moved here in 1995 from Quebec, and they've brought home two Stanley Cups in that time. In fact, the 1996 Stanley Cup was the first professional sports championship in Denver history.

1998-99 UD Choice StarQuest Blue #SQ20 Peter Forsberg
Peter Forsberg was a huge contributor to both those Cup wins, and he was part of the famed "AMP Line" with Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay.

Upper Deck only has so many designs to go around, so this is pretty similar to other StarQuest cards I've shown on this blog. Though it isn't that lovely shade of green, the dark blue might work even better with the Avalanche colors, especially these home jerseys.

2008-09 Ultra #131 Peter Forsberg
Here's another one of Forsberg in a familiar design. This was years after Fleer's bankruptcy, and some time after even Upper Deck killed the brand as far as baseball was concerned. Still, silver-bordered script lettering with a full-bleed design is textbook Fleer Ultra.

2000-01 UD Heroes #30 Alex Tanguay
Not that I'm an expert, but I don't think Topps has made a hockey card in over a decade. Most of what you'll see today is from Upper Deck, or one of their many brands. This one is also UD, though a design that's different from what I've seen before. As mentioned, Tanguay was an integral part of the AMP line when the Avs made their Stanley Cup run in 2000-2001, and here, we get a look at the Avs' road whites.

2014-15 Ultra #45 Gabriel Landeskog
Landeskog (whose first name I didn't really know until this trade package) is the current Captain of the Avalanche, filling the skates of Joe Sakic, who is one of four players with retired numbers hanging in the Pepsi Center.

Even though Fleer Ultra is long gone from the baseball world, it's worth the occasional foray into other sports to be reminded that these brands are still alive and kicking somewhere. And with a design that reminds me more of Bowman than Fleer Ultra.

2013-14 Panini Prizm #134 Ryan O'Reilly
Ryan O'Reilly was traded from the Avalanche to the Buffalo Sabres about a week ago. I never got to know him that well during his time in Denver, but I do have a shiny Panini Prizm card to document his tenure with the Avalanche.

As a baseball collector, it's downright strange to see official logos and an actual team name on a Panini card. I don't share the general dislike of Prizm that seems to be the norm in the blogosphere, but one has to consider whether it would have a different reputation if Panini had an MLB license.

2010-11 Luxury Suite #19 Matt Duchene JSY /599
One-upping that lovely shiny Prizm card is this serial-numbered relic of Matt Duchene. Hockey jerseys have a different weave than baseball uniforms, so you can see through the tiny perforations when the light hits it just right.

This may be minor, but one thing I enjoy about Denver is that our sports teams tend to have unusual colors. This burgundy isn't so common, the Rockies' purple is a rarity in MLB, and of course the Broncos have virtually trademarked the color orange.

Combine that with a serial number on the back, and you have one great PWE of hockey cards!

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