"Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"
The words spoken by broadcaster Al Michaels as Team USA won a Gold Medal at the 1980 Winter Games will live forever in the memories of hockey fans. It came at a time when hockey was experiencing tremendous growth throughout the world and it marked the beginning of an unforgettable era of high-scoring superstars and dominant dynasties.
In The Game offers a tribute to the era with its upcoming release of Decades - 1980s.
Players from the 1980 USA Gold Medal team will be a big part of Decades, including goaltender Jim Craig and captain Mike Eruzione. The players on this team came together to defeat the mighty Soviet Union in a game that shocked the world.
"Back in 2009, In The Game surveyed collectors to determine which year they would like to see covered as part of a special trading card release. The winner was 1972, but 1980 was a very close second," said In The Game's President Dr. Brian Price.
"We knew that collectors wanted to look back at that special time for hockey but we decided to expand it to a full decade which was filled with memorable moments that ranged from the United States winning Gold to the dominance of the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers to Canada's victories at the Canada Cup in 1984 and 1987."
The 1980s also saw the debuts of many prominent players, including several members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Decades will feature many of these big names, including Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Paul Coffey, Raymond Bourque, Patrick Roy and Grant Fuhr.
Decades will have a 150-card base set along with a variety of non-memorabilia inserts that depict some of the greatest names in hockey from that time. Collectors can also expect an assortment of autograph and game-used memorabilia cards.
Some players will be signing autographs in a trading card release for the first time ever. In The Game says it "went to great lengths" to find fan favorites like Barry Pederson, Bob Sauve, Brent Ashton and Steve Payne. There are also signatures from prominent Hall of Fame members such as Mark Messier, Mike Gartner and Mike Bossy along with other names from the era such as Doug Gilmour, Harold Snepsts, Tom Barrasso and Allan Bester.
"We have recently acquired some incredible pieces of game-used memorabilia specifically for inclusion in Decades and I think collectors will appreciate the effort that we made," said Price. "It is often a challenge to find some of these jerseys and sticks but I think the end result will bring collectors closer to one of the greatest eras in hockey history."
Decades - 1980s is slated for release March 2011.