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Just a guy showing his passion about hockey cards and for one of the purest goal scorer that ever put skates : Pavel Bure. Hope you guys enjoy!

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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sunday talk #5 : My never-ending thirst for knowledge of hockey cards

While writing this article on my chair in front of my computer, I looked at the Excel spreadsheet of my list of cards of Pavel Bure and I thought "Man, I spend a ton of hours building that list". And folks, that's true. 

3358 entries later, while I just inserted the 2018-19 Upper Deck MVP Buyback into the list, I was impressed by the amount of time I search the confines of the Internet for every bit of information around cards that I didn't exist. And still today, I found some oddballs and parallels I wasn't aware of and on the counter hand, I thought some cards existed but weren't after some verifications. 

When I was a kid and didn't have any computer, I first started my by hand, writing down every card I found on the paper version of Beckett. Boy, It was a painful task, but I managed to get through. It's probably the biggest project I finished in my whole life, no joking. 

When my parents bought a computer for our school homework, I transcripted my list on a Word file. A couple of months later, when they decided that we need the Internet, I stumbled upon the online checklist version of the Beckett.

Well, it was eye-opening.

Although Bure was listed quite often in the early versions of the Beckett, he was later listed as an "unlisted star", so I missed quite a bunch of his cards. So I updated my list with all the new entries and decided, after seeing a lot of oddballs, that I put them in another list. 

Years passed and someday while stopping at my LCS, he had copies of the Charlton standard catalogue of hockey cards. Well known for their work with Canadian coins, it was a monstrous bible of every single card ever produced, from team sets to oddballs, magazine, food companies, as well as every major card companies from 1879 to present. It was at a whopping 45$ back in 2003. Too bad they didn't produce them anymore, the last edition was printed in 2005, two years later.

The infamous Charlton standard catalogue. It was the 13th edition in 2003

In that book, I found a pile of new cards and parallels, well explained in the description before the checklist of the set. It was my new go-to checklist, except for the price, which doesn't reflect the real market in my opinion. Still today, I checked some information when I'm doubtful about something. 

After that, I search the Web for other Pavel Bure collectors. I found some with a dedicated website about their collection, which was very helpful. I was able to see pictures of cards I've never seen before, as well as new entries for my checklist. Unfortunately, all these sites are shut down now, they were 10 years old. Maybe these collectors moved on with their collection. 

When I came back into collecting 3 years ago, I was a decade behind with my checklist. She was outdated and I decided to build it from scratch with everything that I have in hands. From retrieving my previous list, my Charlton catalogue and Beckett, I type my checklist all the way to 2015. Then I discover new websites that help me a lot with obscure set and parallels: Trading Card Database, Cardboard Connection, Sports Card Forum and COMC. But the biggest on them all is eBay. On this site, I found countless oddballs and variations it was crazy.

But the premise of this article is my never-ending quest for knowledge of the hobby and the world of hockey cards. For three years, I have a routine to check all these websites above, in search of new additions to my collection, but to find some undiscovered Pavel Bure cards. And I do this every. Single. Day. 

Maybe it's a disease, but for me, it's time well spent. I'm more aware of my collection and what I need. I have stories of how they were made, and when other Bure collectors went for me to seek answers about some parallels and I can help them, I feel great. Probably I'll never stop my thirst for knowledge because we never know when you'll unearth new cards! 


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