How Much Are Old Hockey Cards Worth? [Facts!]

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It’s that time of year again. The days are getting longer, the sun is shining more frequently, and everyone is looking forward to the start of a new hockey season. It doesn’t come quite as often as some people would like, but as soon as it does, they couldn’t contain their excitement. Hockey is back!

Hockey is a game that has been around for many years and, like many sports and games, has seen its share of popularity and excitement increase over time. One of the most interesting things about hockey is how much it has changed throughout the years. In modern times, the rules and gameplay have shifted considerably, but older cards and memorabilia from yesteryear still have a lot of value especially because they provide a unique insight into how the game used to be played.

What Makes Old Hockey Cards So Special?

There are a few things that make older hockey cards so interesting. First, the way that the cards were designed and produced change over time. One thing that hasn’t changed is the cardboard backing which was originally made of paper. Back in the day, thick, heavy card stock was more expensive, so using paper as a backing material provided a more affordable alternative. The other materials used to make the cards change over the years too, some being more affordable while others being luxuries. Back in the 50s and early 60s, baseball cards were almost all printed on cardboard since plastic was not yet used to make baseball card stands and wallets.

One of the biggest changes that happened with hockey cards was the start of the NHL/NHLPA monopoly. In the first six months of 1967 alone, the price of a Topps hockey card increased by 85%, up to a whopping $1.75 each. Even after the start of the season, the price of a Topps card remained high. A common issue that fans experienced in those days was that the cards would arrive in random order and it would take weeks or even months before they could complete a set. Today, the lack of order, randomness, and extreme fluctuations in price make older hockey cards much more interesting and valuable. This is because the cards allow for a glimpse into how much things cost in those days rather than the current fanfare surrounding the game and its associated merchandise. The last few years have seen a resurgence in the popularity of old hockey cards, with people valuing them more than ever before.

Where Are All These Cards From?

Many old hockey cards come from Canada, particularly Ontario and Quebec. Both provinces provided an abundance of talent for the sport, with many players able to play at an international level. The presence of so many good players made it easy for people to get into the hobby. In the early days, people were more likely to specialize in collecting cards for their favorite players or teams instead of simply buying them to complete a set. Today, the presence of so many entry-level hockey teams provides a never-ending opportunity to complete a set for each team.

There are many stories associated with some of these cards. For example, when Wayne Gretzky was in the prime of his career, he was known to be a bit of a prankster. One of his favorite pranks was to pull a prank on an unsuspecting person by putting that individual’s name and number on a piece of cardboard and sticking it on a coat hook. He would then leave them a note with their clothes, asking them to please get their coat. Naturally, the note contained a subtle hint as to what had happened (e.g., it might say, “Did you get your coat and your numbers cleaned?”). Since Gretzky is still one of the most recognizable and well-liked hockey players of all time, it’s not hard to guess that many of the old cards bearing his name are still in circulation today.

The Most Popular Old Hockey Cards

Although many types of old hockey cards existed, the most popular ones were always those featuring big-name players from the previous decades. The increase in popularity of old cards is probably due to several factors. First, players from the 40s, 50s, and early 60s were the cream of the crop and many of them are still among the most popular players in the game today. They are also the most sought-after cards because of their scarcity and the fact that they were once valued so highly. In the early days, if somebody had a spare $600, they could have bought 100 of these cards. These days, the same purchase would only cost you about $60.

Along with players, many of the most popular types of old hockey cards featured famous teams and storied franchises. People have always loved to collect cards that feature their favorite teams and players, and the fact that many of these cards are now highly collectible makes them that much more interesting. If you’re a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, there are plenty of old cards featuring the team which are now worth a decent amount of money.

One of the more interesting things regarding old hockey cards is how they’ve transcended time. If somebody asked you what the most exciting thing about hockey is, you’d probably say it’s the speed and violence of the game. While those things haven’t changed, the equipment and physical appearance of the sport have – and that makes old hockey cards even more special.

Some people also collect old hockey cards because of the nostalgia factor. They love to look back and remember what the game was like back in the day when it was just a lot more fun to play. While we can never go back and play hockey the way it was, we can always look back at these cards and appreciate how much the game has changed – and how much it has stayed the same – over the years.

The days of randomly stacked hockey cards are over. These days, enthusiasts have the opportunity to complete a set for each team via the Internet. Today, old hockey cards prove that while the game may have changed, the appeal and value of the sport has not.

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