Better late than never though.
For this offering, I'm sticking with the Between The Pipes theme that has dominated my posts for the past few days. But this time I'm going way back to one of the earlier incarnations and a subset that I had never seen before (and have never seen since).
Now remember, this was a time when In The Game had an NHL license. So don't be surprised when you see team logos and such.
2002/03 In The Game
Between The Pipes
Home & Away subset
The name says it all. Home & Away. The cards are one of the few offerings to show two primary photos on the front of the card. In this instance, one with the goalie wearing his home jersey and the other in his away jersey.
Now in the 02/03 season, the home jerseys were still the white and the away offerings were the dark colors. It wasn't until the following season that the NHL made the change (and I'm still getting used to it).
This 30-card set is a part of the 150-card base set that Between The Pipes put out that year. The cards were thicker than usual and had a foil-type front. A pretty nice look and feel for base cards at the time (and would still be seen as impressive today).
Speaking of, the background has small squares (4 rows worth) along the top and a thick bar along the bottom (which acts as a separator between the home and away photo). Faintly within the lower bar is the team logo, team color and net mesh (you'll have to trust me.....the foil did not scan well).
What I like about the photos is that they work together. The size difference plays well with the home and away theme and the consistency from card to card is nice. It makes the 9-page sheet pop a little more.
The text on the front is minimal with the product and subset name in the top left and the player name along the bottom right. It's not too bad, but the player's name is a little messy sitting on top of a few more of those small silver squares.
The big one is the amount of white space. There is way too much. The card number looks like it's stranded on its own little island and the logos along the bottom (which are minimal) are what my eye is drawn to immediately.....not a good thing.
Simple lines separate some minimal stats along the left (boooooooo) and a tidbit about the player. While I appreciate the information presented on the back, I feel like there is so much more that could have been done.
Taking a closer look at the stats, I will give ITG credit for offering up home and away stats from the previous year. An interesting and unique presentation that goes perfectly with the theme of the card. That said, I still think more could have been done.
What I'm surprised to see missing is the player's name, team and vitals. Most of the time, these are norms for card backs. And it's not like there wasn't room for it.
At the end of the day, this is an eye-catching set that would be a fun build for any goalie lover. Because it's part of the base card set, I would expect singles (if you can find them.....most people don't lug around base cards from a decade ago) to be pretty cheap (a quarter a piece.....and that's on the high end).
What this subset also offers is a glimpse at the top goalies in the league back a decade ago (Potvin, Richter, Giguere) and some of the great masks they wore (the away shot of Steve Shields shows off his cool Cheevers tribute lid).
A fun, inexpensive build......and a good hunt too (if you don't go the ebay route).
3 out of 5