While Team-Issued cards might not be the fanciest tools in your hockey card shed, they are very unique additions to add to any collection. After my recent addition to my collection this afternoon, this inspired today's blog post that focuses on the not-so-well-known pieces in some of your collections... The Team-Issued cards.
First off, what do I mean when I say "Team-Issued"?
A Team-Issued card (or any item, really), is a collectible that was officially released by the team itself or in close partnership with the team. These items can range from cards, jersey's, equipment, or promotion items. I'm sure I'm missing a few, but you get the idea. These items were specifically made for the members of the team, or for the team to use as promotional initiatives to giveaway to fans, seasonticket holders, etc. These items are usually not publically availible on the secondary market and are typically only availible for a limited time.
Since these items ar exclusively released by the team, the complete print run or means of distrubution are usually very mysterious, making them great collectible pieces. Circling back around to hockey cards, which tend to have print run information readily availible or printed on the actual card, team-issued cards rarely have that and are only around for either a particular game, private team signing, promotional event, or randomly given away over the course of a season. Since they are most-likely given out to casual hobbyist, most of them will never be listed up for sale on places like eBay or COMC, making them harder to come across, even if a lot were printed. I often see this with Arena Giveaway cards, which are given out to fans who attended a particular Home game.
I really enjoy seeing fellow collectors add these types of cards to their collections, because it usually adds an extra level of research or patience in order to acquire them. You can wait for the newest Upper Deck product to release and pickup cards of your particular player, but team-issued pieces can take a collection to the next level, since they are naturally harder to acquire for the average collector. While Team-Issued cards are sometimes not always the highest quality in the world, they can also makeup for it by having a unique design or story behind it that regular cards do not.
This addition to my Jhonas Enroth collection this afternoon is an Oversized 2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres Team Issued Photo Card. These photo cards were released in 2011 by the Buffalo Sabres. While these might not look like much, after some quick research, I figured out why I hadn't seen one of these before today:
At the start of the 2011-2012 campaign, the Buffalo Sabres travelled overseas as part of the 2011 NHL Premiere event to open the regular season that year. During the European tour, a few members of the Buffalo Sabres visited a local medical clinic in Landstuhl, Germany, where these photo cards were given out to fans. A very kind gesture from the players. While these were most-likely also given out to more Sabres fans back in Buffalo upon their return, it's cool to hear that these photo cards were originally made to be distributed in Germany during the NHL Premiere event.
While additions like this aren't common for me, it's always fun when you can connect the dots and add a little bit of historical relevance to the things I pickup for my PC.
Do you have any cool Team-Issued cards in your collection? If so, I'd love to hear about them!
Aaron / creasecollector
These Team-Issued Photo Cards were first handled out by Buffalo Sabres players at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on October 3, 2011 in Landstuhl, Germany. This trip was during the Sabres' Multi-Game 2011 NHL Premiere Series in Europe. Jhonas Enroth can be seen on the left-hand side with some of these photo cards of himself that he was giving out to fans that day.
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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