In The Game Trading Cards has signed Gordie Howe to a deal that will place his autographs and game-used memorabilia in its upcoming hockey card products.
“It has been several years since Mr. Howe was prominently featured as part of In The Game’s products and we are incredibly pleased to be working with him once again,” said company President Dr. Brian Price. “Our working relationship goes back even farther than that and collectors will be pleased to have an opportunity to get more cards of one of hockey’s greatest icons.”
Howe was part of the first modern era hockey card set from Parkhurst back in 1951-52 and his cards have been highly sought-after ever since. During the 1991-92 season, Price began working as a sub-licensor under Pro Set and brought back the legendary Parkhurst trading card brand to modern collectors. The series not only featured the top stars of the day but also had a special insert set which prominently featured Howe. At the time, inserts were a relatively new concept with collectors.
Howe last appeared on In The Game products in 2001-02.
Collectors can expect to find autograph and game-used memorabilia cards of Howe in many of the products that are part of In The Game’s 2012 lineup starting with Heroes and Prospects, which releases on February 23.
Howe was born in Floral, Saskatchewan on March 31, 1928 and joined the Detroit Red Wings as an 18-year-old for the 1946-47 season. He quickly became one of the NHL’s top stars and led his club to four Stanley Cup championships in the 1950s. Over 25 seasons in the Motor City, Gordie became the league’s all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points before retiring for the first time at the end of the 1970-71 campaign. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame soon after.
After two seasons on the sidelines, Howe returned to action with the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association and played alongside two of his sons, Mark and Marty. Over the course of six WHA campaigns, the trio ranked among hockey’s biggest stars and he continued to put up strong numbers. They signed with the New England Whalers in 1977 and went back to the NHL two years later as members of the expansion Hartford Whalers. The 1979-80 season was his last but he would skate in his final NHL All-Star Game and made a memorable return to Detroit to score his 801st and final regular season goal on April 6, 1980.
Despite retiring soon after, Howe was still active in the hockey world and once the sports memorabilia industry took off, he became a popular show guest. In 1997-98, he became the first player to skate in a professional game in six different decades when he took to the ice with the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League. In 2008, he became the first person to be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the NHL. Adored by fans everywhere, his career is spoken of in reverent tones for being a complete player that could score, lead and play without fear.