Thursday, June 11, 2009
A thoughtful gift.
Just in case I haven't expressed how totally awesome my wife is, she arrived home last night and told me that she had been to a discount candy store and she bought me a present.
It was a pack of 1990 Topps hockey cards, complete with gum.
Let's open 'er up!
-Kelly Miller: Capitals.
-Troy Murray: Blackhawks.
again, I sorta remember him.
-Doug Brown: Devils
At this point, I'm thinking this pack might be shit. There might be a reason it only cost a dollar.
-Mark Osbourne: Maple Leafs.
Seriously, this might as well be a random name generator. I don't know any of these guys.
-Pelle Eklund: Flyers
- I sort of remember this guy, but it's hard to get too fired up about a random dude form Philly. Especially when he's named "Pelle."
-Doug Brown: Devils.
You read that right. Another fucking Doug Brown Card. I was still thrilled that my wife got me the pack, but yeah- I was getting discouraged. And then, all of a sudden:
-Barry Pederson: Penguins
Heyhey! I'd forgotten that this current member of the Boston Bruins broadcast team played for the Penguins, and let's not forget, this is the guy who went the other way for Cam Neely. This is a great card, and I'm happy, but if that's all I got in the pack that I liked, let's be honest here- Barry Pederson on the Penguins is sort of a thin broth. So who was next?
-Mario Lemieux: Penguins.
WOW! Yes, I've always hated number 66, but you can't deny he was one of the best ever, and I got that old pop I used to get when you open a pack of hockey cards, and stumble on a superstar. It was a really nice nostalgic moment. I looked it up on line, and I don't want to brag, but that card is now worth a cool dollar and fifteen cents. Bidding starts at a dollar. Up next?
Ken Linseman: Flyers.
This was a really fun one too, from a Bruins fan's perspective. Everybody loved The Rat in Boston, and this was a card from his first year in a Flyers uniform after the Dave Poulin trade. Poulin was a great Bruin too, and I feel like getting a Linseman card in a Flyer uniform is almost better than getting one of his Bruins cards, cause this way, I remember Poulin as well.
-Edmonton Times: "Gretzky Returns home to score his 1851st point"
These cards were always horseshit. Nobody wants the fake-ass Gretzky card that's not Gretzky's actual card. Still, being able to fondly remember my disdain for getting such a shit card was still kinda fun, from a nostalgia perspective.
-Rick Tocchet Flyers (89-90 Scoring leaders card)
see above. Also, screw Rick Tocchet. But yeah, you know, even though he was a shitty Bruin, you gotta kinda like the guy. Let's use this space to watch him break Claude Julien's nose again, shall we?
-Bob Carpenter: Bruins
Damn, I loved Bob Carpenter. He's another guy who's still with the Bruins organization, and he was a dandy, lemme tell you. On the face of things, he wasn't really that goddamn good. He could check and play OK, and wasn't awful, a good lunchpail Bruin, and then every now and then- like every 25 games or so, Bobby Carpenter would get these GREAT goals, and- oh wait. Shit. I'm thinking of Bob Sweeney. But Carpenter was great too. We eventually lost him to the Devils, (I think) for one reason or another and he was one of those B's you'd see in another uniform, and just wish we never let him go. Brian Rolston-esque, that guy.
Dave Chyzowski: Islanders (Top Prospect Card!)
Yeah, well that didn't work out so well for the Islanders, did it? And you Isles fans can't even blame Milbury for that one. In 1990, he was one of the best coaches in the league, bringing the Bruins to the Stanley Cup final. And these last two are something else:
Scott Stevens: Capitals.
Boy, it's hard to imagine old Scott Stevens on the Caps, isn't it? But he was. I saw that card and eagerly thought "Maybe this is a rookie card!" Wrong. He was on the caps for 8 years before he ever joined the Devils. What a player. And then, the icing on the cake, the best card in the pack:
Andy Brickley: Bruins
Wow- two members of the current Bruins broadcast team in one pack? Good times. Since there isn't much chance I'd find a card of a 15 year old Kathryn Tappen, this is about as good as it gets. Good old Brick, who was a great lunchpail Bruin, smart hockey player, and now one of the best color men in the game. When I was lucky enough to get a press pass at the Verizon Center in Washington, one of my biggest thrills was to meet, and do a quick interview with Andy Brickley. Man, does he look like a baby on that card. Funny.
Incidently, the gum, like all hockey card gum, was broken into three jagged, solid shards. Before I could stop her, my wife popped one of the shards into her mouth, made a horrible face, and ran from the room to spit it out. That's 19 year old gum. I asked her why she did it, and she said "I was curious!" This coming from a woman who won't try Indian food, and yet her driving culinary curiosity compells her to chew a piece of hockey card gum that's old enough to vote.
And I've tried that gum 19 years ago, when it was fresh.
It sucked then too.