I may live in Texas now, but I grew up an hour south of Pittsburgh, in the 1980s and 1990s. The fans there are a particularly rabid species of fairweather. I remember that (during my lifetime) prior to the early 1990s, you didn’t find nearly the amount of Steelers fans during the late Chuck Noll years that you found once Bill Cowher turned the Steelers around. After about 1992, Pirates fans were pretty scarce as well. Don’t get me wrong, both fan bases have some hardcore fans, but they aren’t the every day “fan.”
The Penguins are the Pittsburgh team of my youth that I remember having the most success. Having Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Tom Barrasso (among others) they were certainly a yearly threat, and fun to watch. I was a Blackhawks fan. I wouldn’t have admitted this at the time, but I did have a soft spot for the Penguins, particularly Lemieux and Jagr.
I’ve been watching all of the hockey box breaks on Beckett over the past few months. When the guys pulled a Mario Lemieux auto in their 2014-15 Upper Deck Ice break, they decided to give it away through a contest. Of course, I entered. Luckily for me, the randomizer drew my name and after getting them my address, the beauty below arrived yesterday.
I scanned the card but because of the thick casing, it came out very blurry. It’s serial #02/25 and this beauty is staying in my small Lemieux PC. Within the last year, I picked up my other two autos. I love that both have a black and gold feel to the entire piece.
This was my first Lemieux autograph ever. I picked it up around a year ago at a card show when I was still living in Indianapolis. It’s serial numbered out of 49, but I can’t tell you which number. This beauty is currently with Beckett to be graded.
Shortly before I left Indianapolis, Andy at Baseball Card Exchange showed me this item that he had in his shop. It’s not certified, but he guaranteed me that it is, and that’s enough for me. He told me that if I got it authenticated and it came back fake, he would take it back. I’m not selling it, so no need to get it authenticated. However, it’s wonderful to know that the offer is there if I ever wanted to.
Of all my Lemieux items, this is the one that I’ve had the longest. I can’t even recall the circumstances on how I got this, but I’m thinking that it was an actual winner card of mine. As a teenager, I absolutely loved the “You Crash the Game” cards. I bet that over time, I ended up with over 50 winners.
The first two of these were picked up via trades on Sports Card Forum. I was really happy about the 1986-87 Topps. The last one was picked up at one of the monthly cards shows in my area within the last few months.
I was in the previously mentioned Baseball Card Exchange one day and someone walked in looking to cash in on the cards they had in their youth. As everyone reading this expects, he was greatly disappointed. However, after Andy (politely) declined to buy, he told me there were a few cards in there I might like. The two 1992-93 Bowman cards were two of the three I picked up. I got them for a buck each, and mostly for nostalgia sake. This was the first Bowman set where they went from a cardboard looking back to one that had full color like the front. The 2014-15 isn’t anything special, but it’s a short print and I got it from a box, also likely picked up at Baseball Card Exchange.
I remember how cool the “Hat Trick Artists” cards were to a 14 or 15 year old boy, so when I came across this on Collector Revolution a year or so ago, I picked it up. It may not be worth much, but it’s just a very visually appealing card. Remember, the point of the hobby is to have fun!
Nothing special here, just some others I’ve held on to for old time’s sake. I do wish that Upper Deck would bring back the Team Checklist art cards. I’m sure that a lot of people can’t fathom it, but some of us do miss the old, simple days of card collecting.
Thanks for taking a look. If you like what we’re doing, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and also look through some other pieces on the site. I’m still looking for more folks that would like to contribute, so let me know if you are! You can follow me on Twitter at@kin_kinsley, @beansbcardblog and @DFW_Card_Shows.