1 card.... 10 years in the making.
Yep, you could say this mail day has been a work in progress for quite sometime, as I finally picked up this 2008-2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Blank Back parallel for my collection after 10 years of searching for it. Crazy, right!?
If you need a refresher on all things O-Pee-Chee Blank Back related, you can read the article I wrote about these super rare parallels.
But out of all the cards out there in the world, why this card?
During the course of the 2010-11 season, Mike was my weekly one-on-one goalie coach with John Elkin's Goalie School when I was playing my last year of minor hockey here in Toronto, Ontario. At the time, I had never had any formal goalie coaching in my life, so being able to learn from a former professional goalie was an incredible experience.
Hearing him talk about the game, the position, his time on the reality TV show Making The Cut, his brief stint with the New York Islanders, was very cool. Not to mention how kind of a person he was, it just made my time practicing that much more enjoyable to finish up my final year of competitive hockey before joining the "Beer League" ranks. Since then, I have kept up with Mike from time-to-time over the years and even sent him a few cards for him to frame up with his NHL Debut jersey you see pictured in his rookie cards. Very, very cool.
As for the card collection, once I found out that Mike had a few cards made of himself (which he didn't even know about until his buddies told him about!), I decided to grab one of his Upper Deck MVP rookie cards for him to sign and he was all for it. Being the goalie collector that I am, I created a list and decided to chase after some of the other cards that he has (Just 38 non-1/1 cards) to try to complete the collection, parallels and all.
The OPC Retro Blank Back and Artifacts Gold Spectrum Rookie /5 are the last two cards I need to "finish" this collection. While the Artifacts /5 is a great card that I would still love to acquire for my collection, the OPC Blank Back parallels have always been some of my favourite type of paralleled card, mainly due to the mystery behind them. Since Mike's OPC Retro rookie card came out of the 2008-2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee boxed product, unknown to collectors at the time, was part of the first set of Blank Back parallels ever made (a yearly 'tradition' still continued in every year of OPC since then), which makes this card even cooler.
The hunt was on.
Years went by and I had never seen a copy of his OPC Retro Blank Back card - until last week, when one finally popped up for auction on eBay. I received the card today and it looks even better in-hand. While I don't usually want to wait over 10 years to cross a card off the want list, sometimes that's how the hobby goes.
As I gain more experience in this hobby, it becomes abundantly clear how much the fancy cards don't really matter and you just need to collect the cards that you enjoy and can attach some fun memories to. As rare as this card is, it definitely checks that box.
If you want to check out my entire Mike Mole card collection, please click here.
Until next time, Happy Collecting.
- Aaron / creasecollector
Author - Aaron
I've been collecting Hockey cards since the late 90's. Mainly the goalies since 2005. I also Co-Host a Hockey Card Podcast.
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