More things one notices – the error in the Gretzky RC

Wayne Gretzky RC - 1979-80 OPC

I still think the Howe is cooler.

Yesterday I thought I had a neat little factoid about Glen Hanlon – that in his first 3 1/3 NHL games (4 appearances), he had two shutouts and was lit up for 9 goals in the remaining 80 minutes.

Stephen waded in to correct this.  The card, sadly (but perhaps not surprisingly) is wrong.  Hanlon did play 200 minutes and gave up the 9 goals, but there was nary a shutout to be seen.  My go-to site for that sort of thing doesn’t have Hanlon games going back that far, but Hockey Reference confirms this, so there you go.

Now, that’s a little irritating but it isn’t the first mistake on a card and certainly wasn’t the last.  It’s not even the only error on a rookie from that set.  The most famous card released that year contained an error, as well.

The error isn’t immediately obvious, but look at his stat line:

wayne Gretzky RC - 1979-80 OPC back

I have to check whether the later cards still say “purchased from Indianapolis.” That’s kind of neat.

It all looks relatively straightforward, but Wayne actually played 80 games as a WHA rookie, not 60.  (I checked this time before posting.)

The interesting thing about this error is not just that nobody caught it in time to get 1979-80 correct, but they carried the error forward for years.  Each Gretzky card between 1980-81 and 1983-84 showed him playing 8 games for Indianapolis and 52 for Edmonton and did his career totals accordingly.  It wasn’t until 1984-85 that this was finally corrected.

So now I need to check the rest of Hanlon’s cards to see when they fixed the shutout thing.


This entry was posted in Body Snatchers and Other Oddities, OPC, Vintage Hockey and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to More things one notices – the error in the Gretzky RC

  1. Spezzal Teams Playa says:

    Unfortunately, my kid brother pilfered much of my 1980 set, but I can tell you that Hanlon’s 1981 card has him recording zero shutouts in his first cup of coffee.

    Interesting that in the two intervening years, Glen did not change his hair, his turtleneck, his V-uniform, or his habit of carrying his helmet and trapper onto the ice in his right hand.

    In other words, I call bullshit on his 1981 portrait. It was clearly snapped 30 seconds before his 1979 portrait.

    • 1967ers says:

      An old picture snuck in there in place of a new one?!?!? I’m sure that NEVER happened. 🙂

      Actually, that makes me wonder just what was the oldest picture anyone tried to get away with on a card. When I did the Richard Mulhern thing, that picture was at least two years old, but I know of a 50’s card with a shot that’s at least six years older. Hmm.

  2. Spezzal Teams Playa says:

    I suppose photographers of the day can be forgiven. After all, with the use of nitrate film, the casualty rate in dark rooms must have been near 50%. This is why we are lucky to have surviving footage of the Miracle on Ice and the Summit Series, but no film of the Pride of a Nation Series pitting Bohemia versus Prussia, other than the .gif of 4th-liner Gavrilo taking Frankie Ferdinand hard into the corner.

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