Sunday, June 19, 2022

I had to have it...

I had to have it. By "it", I mean a card. Recently, I went through my card scans on my computer and deleted off whatever cards I had traded, sold or given away within the past few years. I came across a card that I was fond of years ago when I pulled it but hadn't given it much thought since. It was a Hot Prospects Junior Lessard Red Hot Rookie that was serial #'ed to 100. I hadn't seen that card in ages and figured I had just sold it to someone in one of the big lots I sell to buddies across the map. After proceeding with 743 deletions of card scans, I closed my laptop and that was that. 

My wife and I decided to get our carpets cleaned about 2 months ago. The men cleaning the carpets were extremely nice and careful when they moved our couches and certain things out of the way. One of the guys named Pete came by my computer desk where I was working and said, "Hey there, I found this in your couch over there, thought you might want it." I glanced at his hand and there was a crumpled up Hot Prospects Junior Lessard card that I had been wondering where it went. Wow, it sure was beat to crap. I have no idea how it ended up in my couch like that. I thanked Pete, but said it was too far gone to be worth much of anything other than kindling. With that said, it met my garbage can.

That night I had a dream about a Junior Lessard Hot Prospects card, but it was the White version (or the White Hot parallel). The dream took place at a card show, and I haggled with a guy and purchased this card. Weird, I know. The next day, I had to have it. I scoured the internet, and I finally found one on COMC. The price tag on it was a bit more than I wanted to pay, so I went to social media asking any of my followers if they had one for sale or trade. A lot of the social media community pointed me right back in the direction of COMC...darn. 

After about a month and my internet searches basically running dry for the card, I figured I would message the owner of the Junior Lessard White Hot Rookie on twitter as we followed each other (I hate doing this, but I was desperate here). He was nice about it and said he would work with me on it. Now I am the proud owner of a 2005/06 Hot Prospects White Hot Junior Lessard Rookie /10. Thanks goes out to Sportcardheaven on COMC for helping me land my "dream card"! Eventually, I would love to dig into Junior Lessard's career and make a blog post about it...hmmm.... future post? Possibly, but for now enjoy this Junior Lessard rare Rookie Card!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Hobby Funk…

My beginning with cards started in 1986 when my grandfather found a huge boot box in a field near Johnstown, PA filled with 1986 Topps baseball cards all bound in rubber bands. My brother and I dug threw them, and picked out the players we knew. Some of them were soggy from the wet grass they laid in for possibly days on end, but others seemed to be in decent shape. My favorite of the bunch was Darryl Strawberry. I remember my mom sitting with me that summer (at age 4), and learning to read by sounding out the words on the backs of each card. So, cards have always been important to me because of that. However, lately, my focus has either shifted, or I’m just uninterested. Something just isn’t right. Not sure when it happened, or why, but the joy with every mail day, pack rip, RAK, trade, or eBay purchase just doesn’t bring the happiness it once did. I like reading other people’s mail days, pack rips, and card pick ups on social media, but when it’s my own, it seems I just set the cards aside for days, some times even weeks before I do anything with them. This is not like me at all. Maybe it’s cardboard guilt? The money I spend on cards could be going to something better like my kids savings accounts or even to my own savings account. Has anyone else ever felt like this after collecting for so long? I usually take a few months off and I’m back into the game, but this time just feels different. The hobby itself is different and to be honest, my life is a lot different. I would have never thought I would have 2 kids at all, but here we are. Does this mean I’m done? No, I don’t think so, but my purchasing, pack ripping, etc. has certainly slowed down. I’m thinking about either selling off a large chunk of stuff via a stack sale on Twitter, or just posting it all on eBay via 7 day auction just to lighten my load. When I stare at my 4 - 5,000 count boxes beside my computer desk daily, it is starting to bring me anxiety. What is the best way to get rid of a chunk of your collection? I’m up for any suggestions at this point. Anyways, I have rambled and hopefully you didn’t get too bored reading this. I’m still going to be sticking around social media and also, I’d love to start posting my Hockey Card Finds segments again from that lot of 50 hockey rookie cards I bought from that nice lady in Ohio. That is actually fun, but you may not see me post any “newer” cards for a bit before I sort whatever is going on with me. I’m in a “hobby funk”.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Hockey Card Finds: Undrafted Gem

In 2005, I started to get the collecting itch again after purging most of my collection in 2002 to assist with the purchase of my first house. With $10 burning a hole in my pocket at a flea market in Ohio, I purchased a lot of 50 hockey rookie cards from an older lady selling mostly knitted dolls.  She wouldn't let me look inside the small box, but she said her son had collected up until a few years ago and these were his "leftovers." I figured most of the cards were commons and I remember when I got back to my house, I had heard of a few of the guys, but some of the cards were from players in the 1970's. Not all are in the best shape, but for $10, what do you want? After a while, I decided just to put the box in the corner of my closet and I simply forgot about it. So, 14 years later, I decided I would take out a card from the box at random and write a small post about the player. I have been counting down from 50. Here goes:

48. 1982/83 OPC J-F Sauve Rookie Card #33

I am seeing a trend while going through this box of rookies. Most of them had very impressive junior careers. J-F Sauve is no different. Sauve was born in Sainte-Genevieve, Quebec on January 23, 1960. Before making the NHL, however, Sauve would play in the QMJHL for the Trois Riveres Draveurs. This is where J-F would make his mark. Standing at only 5'6", Sauve would use his speed to his advantage. In his first QMJHL action during the 1977-78 season, J-F suited up for 6 games and almost averaged a point per game scoring 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists). He also played in the playoffs and performed admirably averaging a point per game (13GP, 13 points). The Draveurs even captured the President's Cup that year. The next season in 1978-79, Sauve took junior hockey by storm. In the 72 games played in regular season, he put up 176 points! This would earn him the Jean Beliveau trophy as the leagues leading scorer. The Draveurs eventually won the President's Cup yet again and Sauve led the way scoring 19 goals and 19 assists (38 points) in only 13 games! J-F was named the Guy Lafleur Trophy winner (Playoff MVP) due to his strong playoff play. This wouldn't be the only hardware he took home in that season as he also won the Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy as the most Sportsmanlike Player, an award he would eventually win the next season as well (1979-80). His final junior season, Sauve continued to light up the Q, and surpassed his point total from the previous season and scored 187 points! This would help him take home another Jean Beliveau trophy as leagues leading scorer. After the Draveurs were eliminated from playoffs, Sauve would set his sights on the NHL.

After the 1979 entry draft concluded, J-F did not receive a phone call, meaning he would go undrafted. The Buffalo Sabres eventually would reach out and ask him to attend training camp as an undrafted free agent. The Sabres ended up sending Sauve down to the AHL to play for the Rochester Americans. In one and a half seasons, (59 games played), Sauve continued his scoring success and potted 30 goals to go along with 55 assists for 85 points. This would lead to his eventual call-up to the NHL during the 1980-81 season. In his first 20 games, he would put up 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists). From what I can gather, Sauve would be up and down in the NHL and AHL although still racking up points at both levels. For whatever reason (possibly his small frame) it does not appear that the Sabres had Sauve in their future plans because during the 1983 season, Sauve, along with Tony McKegney and Andre Savard were packaged in a deal for Real Cloutier and a 1st Round Draft Pick. Playing with the Nordiques, Sauve would eventually put up his most points in a season in the 1985-86 campaign with 56 (16 goals and 40 assists). In 1986-87, J-F would get the injury bug and sit out most of the season, playing in only 14 games. Sadly, this would be his last NHL season. His NHL numbers are very impressive though for an undrafted 5'6" Center with 65 goals, 138 assists for 203 points in 290 NHL games. 

In 1987, J-F signed in the Swiss-A league to suit up for Fribourg-Gotteron HC. In 1988, he tried to crack the Detroit Red Wings squad in camp, but didn't make the cut and was sent down to the AHL to play for the Adirondack Red Wings. After 16 games, scoring 26 points and not receiving a call-up to the NHL, Sauve decided to go back to the Swiss-A league and play for Fribourg-Gotteron HC again. After that season concluded, he would then play in France for 2 seasons and light it up with 155 points in 55 games before retiring from the game of hockey at the age of 31 after having his son, Max. 

Sauve has great bloodlines. His brother Bob Sauve was a goaltender who was selected in the 1st Round by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1975 Draft that played 14 seasons in the NHL with Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago and New Jersey. J-F is also the uncle of Phillippe Sauve, a goaltender who was selected in the 2nd round in the 1998 NHL Draft that played for Colorado, Calgary, Phoenix and Boston in the NHL. He's also the dad of Maxime Sauve who was born during his time in France. Max was drafted in the 2nd Round of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins. He would go on to suit up for 1 game with them during the 2011-12 season. 

It seems that J-F played in the wrong era. He was a great junior player that probably would be a superstar in today's NHL. It seems just like Jacques Locas from my previous post found here that Sauve's height probably made him an afterthought to most NHL GM's or he would have been elite. It was a tougher game back then and a lot of players had to fight to survive on the ice. Either way, I am proud to own this rookie card of a great hockey player, Jean-Francois Sauve. 


Thanks for reading.