My interest in collecting is in things unordinary; the strange, the interesting, the uncanny. Often these card sets are near misses, one-offs, or complete failures. Sprawling base sets are of little value to me. Even by these standards, this set is odd. There’s defunct teams represented here–Dino Ciccarelli in a North Stars jersey and Dale Hawerchuck in a Jets (it was 2009, the Thrashers still had two years left in Atlanta), but sadly, no Whalers or Nordiques–dinosaurs, arctic animals and fish, Wonders of the World that aren’t one of the actual seven, US Presidents, Canadian Prime Ministers.
Upper Deck released this during the 2009-10 season. There’s another Champ’s set from the season before which I’ll write about in the future. In this set, there’s 580 total cards, the first 100 are normal-sized of then-current and retired players, 96 mini rookies, 192 minis, and 192 of the things listed above. The mini cards are designed to look like old tobacco cards from the early 1900’s; essentially Champ’s is the Allen and Ginter of hockey. I’m only about halfway through collecting this set (though the majority of it are mini cards, there are only two in every five card pack) including almost all the mini rookies, so I still have a long way to go. And then there’s a mess of relic and autographed inserts as well.
And Timmy, if you went back to that mask, I could forgive you.