For all that I like my old cards to be as minty as I can get away with, I do understand the appeal of a card that was clearly cherished by some kid however many years ago.
I can imagine the first owner of some old cards spreading them across the floor while the radio/TV played in the background, visualizing the players working their feats of magic. (For me, this was generally when the dog would come charging through the room, destroying everything I’d so carefully laid out.)
They went to school in pockets, they were flipped against the wall. The more beloved the cards, the worse they looked by the end of the year.
There’s a particular authenticity to those cards. They were used as they were meant to be and it shows.
Now, while I can imagine the sorts of things that happened to most cards, I have no idea what on earth happened to this Eddie Shore.
Eddie was the most prominent defenseman of the 1930s. There was no Norris Trophy to be won during his career, but he took home four Harts as NHL MVP. He was a seven-time first-team all-star on defense and had one second-team selection as well. The only reason he didn’t have more selections than that was that there were no all-star teams chosen the first four years of his career.
He was one of the prime puck movers of his era and could rush with the best of them – and he was one nasty piece of work. I’m astonished that he only led the league in penalties once. He was in the top four on five other occasions. Eddie was more than happy to maim you if he felt you’d crossed him, much as Ace Bailey found out. (See “who had the first retired number in professional sports.” )
This card is from the 1933-34 Series A OPC release – the very same season he attacked Bailey and ended his career. I have visions of some irate Bailey fan tearing it to shreds while it was still unknown whether he’d live or not. Of course, if it were me, the first tear would have gone right across the centre, or maybe through Shore’s head. This person left the image intact and managed to tear about 1/4 of the material away without creasing it, which seems kind of hard to do. That seems more controlled than enraged.
Whatever the motivation, it ended up working for me. Purchased at a now-closed (but unbelieveably awesome) card shop in Barrie, Ontario in about 1983 or ’84, three-quarters of an Eddie Shore cost me the princely sum of one dollar. Complete Eddies in good shape would start in the multiple hundreds of dollars today.