There are a lot of cards I just turn my head away from and ignore. Not because they aren't nice cards, but because I just can't focus on too many pieces of cardboard out there. I've got enough on my plate as it is.
But when the goal is to hunt down some sweet deals....the eyes open up a little wider.
And when I saw this beauty sitting in a $5 box, I decided to strike.
2012/13 In The Game History Of Hockey
Great Moments In Hockey
#NN - First Goalie To Score Silver /40
Nowhere on the front of this card does it say the name Billy Smith, but I knew exactly who this card showed when I laid eyes on it. And yes, he was the first goalie ever to be credited with scoring a goal.
Now the photo has him in a shooting position....but make no mistake, he did not fire the puck down the ice like you've seen may times since. More on that in a moment.
When I saw this card, I immediately thought of a card from my youth. A card that really represented a lot in terms of my collecting life.
#5 Billy Smith
This was sitting on the front page of my collecting binder. Center square. The very first set I collected, the very first set I finished. I was 8 years old at the time.
I didn't quite understand at that time how or why Billy Smith was credited with scoring a goal. All I knew is that Billy Smith did something no other goalie had ever done. That made him cool in my books.
The back of the card might lend more of an explanation...
Here's the video evidence (it's short)...
It took me a few years to realize that Billy never really shot the puck. And in fact, it wasn't until Ron Hextall did it right that I fully realized that it was nothing more than a bizarre set of circumstances that allowed Billy to receive credit.
Which is why I decided to pick up the History Of Hockey art card celebrating this important moment. It's a nice rendering and includes a piece of Smith's jersey. But really, it was the price that did it for me. I had seen this card at $40, then $30, even $10 and not a sniff from me.
For $5.....I'll do it. I'm contemplating cracking it out of the slab. It's a nice card. And I might just hunt down the 80/81 offering to match it up with.