Tuesday, May 18, 2021

O-Pee-Chee Wrap-Up

Some quick updates:

I'm getting my second Covid shot this afternoon, right after I get out of work. I plan to take tomorrow off, even if I don't have any side effects. I should be able to catch up with all of you if I do stay home. 

Thank you all for the support on my last post. I'm feeling much better now. Hope is a powerful thing.

John from Johnny's Trading Spot sent me a huge box of cards. I'm still sifting through them all. I'm gonna need another Red Sox binder. And a thousand penny sleeves. Are they still 'penny' sleeves, or should we call them 'nickel' sleeves now?

My best friend from high school called me last week. We hadn't talked since before the pandemic. Guess what we discussed? Sports cards. He's one of the crowd who returned to the hobby last year and started investing in high-grade rookie cards. It was great to catch up with him and speculate on which players might be worth investing in now, and sharing our buying/selling successes.

I've actually cashed out a lot of my graded cards. My 9th-ranked 1984 O-Pee-Chee hockey set has been dissolved.

Those last 56 cards were mostly commons. 40 of them never surface, and even if each card were readily available they would be well over $10 each at this point. I figured it would be easier to sell off what I have than to complete a slabbed set.

Surprisingly, it was. I received $3,000 (pre-fee) for three boxes of 100+ cards graded PSA 9 & 10.

Then I sold a lot of nine Wayne Gretzky cards for $611, PSA 10 singles of Paul Coffey ($63) and Dale Hawerchuk ($31), a PSA 9 Dave Andreychuk RC ($53), four PSA 10 Maple Leafs ($61) and three PSA 9 Canadiens ($21). I'm not sure how much the set build cost me over the years but after these sales I had more than $3,500 and I kept thirteen cards as a memento of my second most ambitious collecting project:

Keeper #1 is card #1. This Ray Bourque single is very tough to find centered, and I had to cough up $27.99 for this copy. That was actually a good deal; I've seen PSA 9 Bourques sell for up to $50. 

Here's the star of the set, or so I thought. I bought this Stevie Y rookie card $170.99 five years ago. It sells for close to $800 now despite being fairly abundant in this grade. 

By the way, most of these cards were scanned on my old scanner which is why they look a little grainy. 

This is the only Gem Mint 10 single I saved. Bought this Chico Resch for $20.50 in 2009, the year I officially started this set. I'm tempted to start a Chico PC someday.

Pat Verbeek played for two of my favorite teams - the Devils and the Whalers - so I'm definitely saving his RC. I think I have a raw copy in my Devils binder, but it never hurts to have an extra.

Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine's RC is another top tier card in this set. I'd had my eye on this one since the early 1990s and brought it home five years ago for just $22.50 shipped.

Another Hall of Famer rookie card, this Doug Gilmour is a little extra special to me. I bought an ungraded set (for $140) in 2009 and selected a few singles to submit to PSA. This "Killer" RC was the best of the bunch; a PSA 9 copy sells for about $300 today.

This second year Scott Stevens pairs nicely with my PSA 9 rookie card from 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee. I might even decide to do a full run of OPC Stevens cards some day.

I've always considered the rookie cards of Hall of Famers to be the big draw of this set. However, when it comes to high-grade singles the Great One appears to have passed Yzerman in resale value. I sold my 1983-84 PSA 9 Gretzky but I don't plan to part with this card.

Jari Kurri's card is a keeper, too. I've always been a fan of Wayne Gretzky's wingman. 

Chris Chelios is my least favorite of the "big five" rookie cards in this set. I didn't necessarily need to keep it but I like having all of the key cards in my collection. 

To be honest I have no real reason for adding this Thomas Gradin to my 'keeper' pile. I just felt like keeping a Canucks card.

...aside from this Cam Neely rookie card, of course. This is the sixth rookie card of a Hall of Famer in the '84-85 set; the only one I sold was Dave Andreychuk. 


The last one of my keepers is this Tim Kerr team card. I considered saving the Sylvain Turgeon Whalers team leaders, which was a PSA 10. However this was the one subset single I wanted to keep because it was the last team leader card I needed - and it took me over a decade to track it down. 

I do have a few ungraded cards from this set but I have no plans to add any more at the moment. While it is one of my all-time favorites I've seen enough of it for a while. 

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway, and I'm not sure which team to root for this summer. I was happy with two of the past three Cup winners (Washington and Tampa) and it would be nice to see a second Caps cup. Other than that I'd be fine with the Islanders, Bruins, Knights, Panthers, or Oilers skating with Lord Stanley. 

And then there's this guy. 

If the Leafs emerge from the Canadian division I might have to cheer hard for them. I know Toronto fans would be insufferable if their team won the Stanley Cup but they've waited long enough. And I haven't wanted a Joe to win this much since November.


Who are you cheering for this postseason?

Thanks for reading!



  1. That's quite the stash.

    Resch wins the round.

    Looks like Gretzky's avoiding contact, per usual.

  2. Personally rooting for the Caps again. Also wouldn't mind if the Islanders win, just because my father-in-law is rooting for them...

  3. Glad things are better, have fun with that box (theres more inside than RedSox though)

  4. I've already had my second shot...had a pretty sore arm for about a day. Definitely worth taking the day off.

  5. I so want to make up a story that penny sleeves are actually named after someone named Penny (Hardaway?), but I won't.

    Not really rooting for anyone in the playoffs with my Rangers out of it. Just rooting against the Islanders! I guess it would be nice to see a Canadian team win for a change.

  6. Congratulations on lining some nice change to your pants pockets. I've sort of stalled out on my sales, but hope to add some new stuff today or this weekend. As for the NHL Playoffs, I'm not too invested. I'll casually root for Vegas... only because my mom would have been rooting for them. It would be cool to see Big Joe finally have the opportunity to raise The Cup over his head, so if the Leafs win, I'd be cool with that as well.

  7. I like your strategy of selling off a bunch of the slabs for some profit and then keeping a few for nostalgic (and monetary) value.

    Islanders or Edmonton would be my choices for the championship this season. But I also agree that it would be cool to see Thornton lifting the Cup -- even if it's with Toronto.

  8. This is the only time I wish I had graded cards. I just sold my Jake deGrom rookie for $88. Nice, but not the crazy prices it would go for if it was graded.

    I'm not really rooting for anyone in NHL playoffs, although it would be nice to see a long-established team win, that is if it's not the Penguins and definitely not the Bruins.

  9. Congrats on your profits; I'm sure a part of you was sad to break it up. I also hope your friend isn't one of the flippers that's ruining the hobby.