I have been purposely avoiding all mention of the NHL this season for obvious reasons. There is still a small part of me that genuinely likes the sport, the sport just really, really doesn't seem to like me all that much. My Hockey Love was kindled a bit this morning when I saw on Waxaholic that Eddie Belfour was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Eddie is my favorite goalie. Basically all my favorite players (Eddie, Chelios, Coffey, Roenick, Yzerman, Bourque) are ones I enjoyed playing in EA Sports Hockey '93. It's mildly disconcerting that my favorite players are not only all retired but getting inducted to the Hall of Fame, but right now I have about a thousand reminders of my impending mortality surrounding me at all times so this one didn't faze me much. I guess this is a good time to show off my Eddie Belfour relic card!
In 2000ish, I was big into Yahoo! Auctions. There were no listing fees unlike eBay so all kinds of cheapo common stuff was on there and sellers who combined shipping made it worth buying the cheapniss. That doesn't mean I only bought cheap stuff on there, I got a crazy Jamal Anderson football relic card from some Upper Deck set that had part of the logo in the leather swatch for some dude in the Philippines. I also got a signed Hank Aaron baseball. I also got a redemption card for an Eddie Belfour stick!
Eddie's stick! I could hold Eddie Belfour's hockey stick in my hands and commit felonious assault with it if I chose! At least I thought it was a stick. Both redemption cards and relic cards were really new in 2000, so somehow I thought that the "Memorabilia" part of the memorabilia redemption was the entire bloody stick instead of a little sliver of it on the card. I ended up winning it for $35 which kinda blew my auction budget but it was worth it. I got the redemption card, read the thing carefully and realized it was for a card, not a stick. That was cool. I had paid $30 for a jersey card of Kurt Warner at the time so $35 wasn't too terrible considering the card was actually from a favorite player. I sent in the card, waited a while and got this:
A pack of Stadium Club
And TWO Chris Pronger jersey cards.
Also the dreaded "We're sorry, but we included a card on the pre-sell checklist that we decided to never make so here's some crap you don't want instead. We sincerely hope you pulled this out of a pack and just decided to send it in for the hell of it and didn't actually blow real money on a redemption card like an idiot. Here's a halfhearted apology that isn't even necessary because we know that you're hopelessly hooked and will continue to buy our shit regardless. Hugs and kisses, Topps" form letter. OOPS. So there's my Eddie Belfour relic card. For some reason I lost interested in hockey cards a couple of years after that. I also learned my lesson on redemption cards. I got a good laugh about it a decade later though!