Seeing how I dropped like 30 scans on you yesterday, I thought I'd take it easy on you today and do a smaller set. Also, seeing how we are now smack dab in the middle of the NHL playoffs, I thought it would be a good time to do some hockey. I tend to describe sports like relationships...I often call baseball my wife and hockey my mistress. Come springtime, I get torn between two lovers very easily, especially when my Devils are actually winning series, rather than choking them away. Plus, granted with a speed bump or two, my Mets are also not sucking with vacuum-like precision (yet). So while I have been very busy and stressed out recently, my sports watching has been a most welcoming and relaxing oasis. It is with that I give you the 1999-2000 Upper Deck Retro McDonald's Hockey set.
This is a 35 card set featuring 15 different hockey superstars, each shown in a contemporary photo on one card and a rookie photo on another, thus properly fitting under the "retro" banner. The cards themselves are printed on thick rough cardboard stock, like old school Topps, another defining feature of the Upper Deck Retro cards.
The dual photo set up works well for some players (like Brett Hull, Patrick Roy, and Dominik Hasek) and not so well for others (Jarome Iginla and Paul Kariya) but overall it is a real nice way to present superstar players. I was always a sucker for those 1983 Topps Super Veterans and these work along the same lines.
The player selection leaves a little to be desired - no Martin Broduer? hello?!!? plus, no Gretzky, Messier, etc. - but it does capture fifteen of the best players of the turn of the century. Since this was a regional set, there might have been a method to their madness, I just can't quite figure it out. Let's look at the backs...
...they are well done...the contemporary cards have complete career stats and the rookie flashback cards have stats from their rookie years and little blurbs about their rookie exploits with matching photos to boot. These cards being Canadian, they are also written in French as well as English.
The last five cards of the set are the obligatory "rookie prospect" type cards. They actually did a pretty good job choosing five players who have had decent long careers. The only aesthetic drawback to the set, really, is that it is 35 cards, leaving that nasty nasty empty pocket. Oh well, you can't have everything.
I fell hook, line, and sinker for the Upper Deck Retro card sets. They were some of the first attempts at faux vintage and they had real personality. I voraciously collected the baseball sets
and when I found out these cards existed, I had to have them. Of
course, they were only available in Canada and as I have mentioned, I
have never been out of the country, so I went to eBay to pick up this set, when I cannot recall, and it has resided in my set binders with a few other smaller oddball sets ever since. I have oddly not chosen to put the baseball Retro sets in my set binders yet, but when I do, this set might go live with them. In fact, I have a half completed UD Football Retro set from the same time period as well, which I should get around to completing and then I can have the whole happy UD Retro family.