The color 1951 Parkhurst set
was the first modern hockey set.
The color 1951 Parkhurst set was the first modern hockey set.

With the arrival of new NHL hockey teams and the media coverage given to games and players like retired Wayne Gretzky, the collecting world is starting to take hockey cards and memorabilia much more seriously.

Unfortunately, few people realize the significance behind the sets and the amount of history of the game that they hold. Let's take for example the cream of the crop: the 1951-52 Parkhurst hockey set. The colored cards measure 1-3/4" x 2-1/2" and include a biography of the player. Also, this 105-card set has over 75 (YES - that's 75!) rookie cards, some of which are the most remembered names in hockey.

Some rookie cards in the 1951-52 Parkhurst set include:

Maurice "Rocket" Richard, famous for being a feisty player who made major headlines in the 1954-55 season. After being suspended by the NHL for misconduct during a game and banned from playing in that years playoffs, fans of Montreal took to the streets in what was to be known as the "Richard Riot." Today, we have the Richard Trophy that is awarded to the player who scores the most goals each season.

Gordie Howe, the most prolific goal scorer in hockey history into who was only out scored by Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky. Although he won the Hart Trophy for most valuable player and the Art Ross Trophy for top scoring each four times he is best known for staying loyal to a single team for quarter of a century. He was able to play in games with both of his sons and played top-flight hockey into his fifties.

"Boom Boom" Geoffrion brought to hockey one of the most feared shots - the slapshot.

Terry Sawchuk with numerous records to his name: most games appeared in, most minutes played, most shutouts and many more.


Other memorable rookie cards in this set includes:

"Terrible" Ted Lindsay (4 Cups), Bert Olmstead (5 Cups), Red Kelly (4 Cups), and Alex Delvecchio (3 Cups). Others you may also recognize are Tom Johnson, Doug Harvey, Bill Gadsby, Harry Lumley, Bill Mosienko, Marcel Pronovost and Alan Stanley.

This set also includes what I believe to be one of the most treasured cards in hockey history. Most Toronto fans could tell you about Bill Barilko and his goal on April 21, 1952 in Toronto, which brought his team to victory over their Montreal rivals to win the Stanley Cup. Sadly, Barilko, a young Toronto defenseman many considered to be the next Eddie Shore, died tragically in a plane crash while on a fishing trip the following summer.

Known for being the first set of modern hockey cards, this set is by far the rarest and most sought after hockey modern day sets. These cards are difficult to find in any shape let alone NM-MT shape.

Not many people realize that these cards were sliced with a paper trimmer (most likely with a dull blade!) and then loaded into cement mixers to collate the cards. This is why you have so many diamond-cut cards as well as soft corners. True mint cards are just so rare. Also, due to the stock of the cards, discoloration (browning) is very common in the cards. This discoloration process is almost as hard to stop as finding mint cards.

So folks, if you ever get a chance to see--or better yet own--some of these cards you should consider yourself fortunate. Personally, I have seen and handled only one complete mint set in my many years of collecting.

Crazy Canuck's gives this set his highest rating of five stars. *****

Until next time, happy collecting!

Untitled Document

1951-52 Parkhurst Hockey
Sportscard Values
Rookie Cards

NM 7

NM MT 8
MT 9
3
Butch Bouchard (R) (HOF)
100
165
350
4
Maurice Richard (R) (HOF)
1500
2225
4300
5
Bert Olmstead (R)(HOF)
100
165
350
7
Tom Johnson (R)(HOF)
90
165
350
14
Boom Boom Geoffrion (R)(HOF)
500
775
1550
15
Gerry McNeil (R)
225
300
500
19
Jim Henry (R)
100
175
300
26
Bill Quakenbush (R)(HOF)
100
170
350
37
Bill Gadsby (R)(HOF)
95
175
350
48
Doug Bentley (R)(HOF)
100
165
350
49
Bill Mosienko (R)(HOF)
100
165
350
55
Red Kelly (R)(HOF)
260
400
800
56
Ted Lindsay (R)(HOF)
260
400
800
61
Terry Sawchuk (R)(HOF)
925
1550
3200
63
Alex Delvecchio (R)(HOF)
300
475
800
66
Gordie Howe (R)(HOF)
2050
3860
6100
68
Marcel Pronovost (R)(HOF)
80
165
350
70
Harry Watson (R)(HOF)
80
165
350
72
Howie Meeker (R)
125
200
325
76
Al Rollins (R)
100
160
325
80
Fern Flaman (R)(HOF)
80
160
350
81
Max Bentley (HOF)
80
155
325
86
Teeder Kennedy (R)(HOF)
180
275
475
94
Allan Stanley (HOF)
145
225
400
104
Chuck Rayner (R)(HOF)
100
185
350
105
Jim Conacher (R)
215
535
1000
Source: March 2000 Sportscard Market Report
Although prone to discoloration, Parkhurst hockey cards are hotly pursued by collectors.
Although prone to discoloration, Parkhurst
hockey cards are hotly pursued by collectors.