The Mall and the Met

I’ve recently re-focused my collecting to the eighties and early-nineties, back to when I first started watching hockey. The golden days before Bettman, expansion into markets that didn’t want hockey, and routine lockouts. This means there will be a lot of posts about sets like 1990-91 Upper Deck. Eventually I’ll do an in-depth look at the entire set, it’s so great–especially the photography. But for now, I’d like to take a look at John Tonelli’s base card. I love this card. He’s celebrating like he just netted an overtime winner in Game 7 of the Cup finals when, in all likelihood, he probably just put the Kings up 5-1 midway through the third on a Tuesday night in January in Hartford. Or maybe he just found out there was a sale at Sam Goody down the hall. (Fun fact: The Whalers played in a mall.) Even though it breaks my heart a little to say it, this is a great photo. It’s got everything: a candid, emotional shot with a great sweater, great logo, and great mustache.

The back of the card is even better, with Tonelli doing some sexy stretching in the old Met Center.


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