All Vintage Cards Small Cap Hockey Portfolio

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The All Vintage Cards Small Cap Hockey Portfolio is a collection of ten Small-Cap (or ‘lower priced’) vintage hockey cards that we think have strong long-term investment potential. 

As we discussed in our introduction piece, we are launching three portfolios for each major sport–Large Cap, Mid Cap, and Small Cap.

For those not familiar with the lexicon, this corresponds to mutual fund portfolios in the investment world.  Small-Cap within the investment space equates to a portfolio of the equity market’s smallest companies.

For this All Vintage Cards Small Cap Value Hockey Portfolio we have selected ten cards, each with a value of $1000 or less.

Note that these selections are based on what we perceive as ‘relative’ value in the marketplace, meaning that we think these cards offer a good value versus other comparative cards. 

I will also note that this information is not investment advice, nor are we making any promises in relation to future performance.  Please use your own judgment and budget when accounting for any acquisitions of cards in this portfolio. 

Please also see our All-Vintage Cards Mid-Cap Hockey Value and All-Vintage Cards Large-Cap Hockey portfolios. 

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Total Value (as of 6/30/2021) = $5,650Average Price Per Card = $565

1951 Parkhurst Doug Harvey (RC)

Estimated Cost – VG Condition: $400


Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  The 1951 Parkhurst hockey set is chock full of hockey rookie cards of many all-time greats.  Doug Harvey isn’t well known by many younger hockey fans, but he should be.  Harvey was one of the best defenseman to ever play the game, and a great playmaker, notching 447 assists over his fourteen year career.  Ranked as the sixth best player of all time, I think Harvey’s rookie card is really undervalued by collectors.  

Current PSA Population: Not only do I think Harvey’s rookie card is overlooked, if we consider the low population on the card, and the low relative price point, it makes it even that more attractive.  PSA has graded less than 300 copies of the card. 

1957 Topps Glenn Hall (RC)

Estimated Cost – EX/MT Condition: $450


Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  Named as the 16th best player of all time by The Hockey News, Hall was without a doubt one of the best goaltenders of all time.  What Hall accomplished was simply amazing; playing every single regular season game from 1955 through 1962, along with an additional 49 playoff games with the Black Hawks and Red Wings. All in all, he reached an astonishing 551 consecutive games played in net, all without a face mask!  Often referred to as ‘Mr. Goalie’, Hall amassed 407 wins, 84 shutouts, and a career 2.49 goals against average.  

Current PSA Population: Like many other early Hockey issues, the Hall card is not very plentiful, yet still quite affordable.  PSA has graded less than 320 copies in total, and mid to high grade copies can be found for less than $500.

1965 Topps Phil Esposito (RC)

Estimated Cost – EX/MT Condition: $650


Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  Named as the 18th best player of all time by The Hockey News, Esposito was one of the best centers and goal scorers to ever play the game and a dominant force during his playing days. He got off to a slow start in his first few seasons with the Black Hawks but really came into his own after being traded to the Boston Bruins.  From 1970 to 1975, Esposito has five straight seasons of 60+ goals and is ranked #7 all time in goals scored.  His rookie card is in my eyes a relative bargain based on his successful career and the relative low population of the card.  

Current PSA Population: PSA has graded less than 450 Esposito rookie cards, making this one still in my mind quite attractive from a supply/demand perspective.

1965 Topps Phil Esposito RC PSA 8 #116

End Date: Thursday Jun-27-2024 11:31:53 EDT
Buy It on eBay for only: $5,790.00
Buy It Now on eBay

1971 OPC Guy LaFleur (RC)

Estimated Cost – NM Condition: $800


Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  Named as the 11th best player of all time by The Hockey News, LaFleur was one of the best centers and playmakers to ever play the game.   Also named as the second best player of the 1970’s (behind Bobby Orr) by the The Hockey Writers.  LaFleur was an absolute force, but he did it with style and grace. Nicknamed ‘The Flower”, LaFleur was a part of five Stanley Cup Championships with the Canadiens.  His rookie card is a must own for vintage hockey collectors.

Current PSA Population: PSA has graded roughly 1200 copies, so not rare by any means.  I should also note that LaFleur is not a part of the 1971 Topps Hockey set.  Even with the rather sizable population, we opted for a NM copy, of which PSA has graded less than 600 at NM or better.

1971 O-Pee-Chee Guy Lafleur Rookie Montreal Canadiens HOF No. 148 VG/Excellent

End Date: Wednesday Jun-26-2024 17:33:56 EDT
Buy It on eBay for only: $328.41
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1978 OPC Mike Bossy (RC)

Estimated Cost – NM-MT Condition: $400


Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  Considered to be one of the best snipers to ever play the game and ranked as the 20th best player overall by The Hockey News.  Bossy was a big time scorer, stringing together eight consecutive years of 50+ goals, while winning four Stanley Cup Championships with the NY Islanders.  Bossy is the #22 Ranked goal scorer of all time, a number that would have likely been a lot higher if his career wasn’t cut short due to injuries at the age of 30.  

Current PSA Population: We went with Bossy’s OPC rookie card versus his Topps card — due to the slightly lower population — there are roughly 920 OPC copies that have been graded versus over 1300 Topps copies

1980 Topps Wayne Gretzky #250

Estimated Cost – NM-MT Condition: $400


Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  Why not stock up on the non-rookie cards of the ‘Great One’?  I still like the non rookie cards for some of the big time hockey players and this is a perfect example of one that is still relatively affordable in higher grades.  This is a rare example where we chose the Topps version over the OPC.  

There is one major difference–on the Topps card, on the bottom right, the puck has an area where the player’s name can be scratched off.  This doesn’t exist on the OPC card (the player’s name is shown) and it makes the Topps cards harder to find in good (unscratched condition).

Current PSA Population: The 1980 Topps #250 Gretzky has a lower population versus the 1980 OPC Gretzky (~1700 Topps vs ~2200 OPC) and the Topps card is harder to find in high grade.  Oddly enough, OPC copies tend to sell for a bit more, but we’re here to say the Topps in higher grades is a better investment.  

1980 OPC Mark Messier (RC)

Estimated Cost – NM-MT Condition: $550


Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  If we’re assembling a portfolio of some of the game’s best, we have to include the rookie card for Mark Messier, one of the best to play the game.  Messier is considered one of the best all-around hockey players, and he was often overshadowed by teammate Wayne Gretzky while with the Oilers.  However, Messier was a force on his own and is ranked #3 overall in all time points in the NHL

Current PSA Population: Note that oddly enough, Messier does not have a 1980 Topps card so we are left with his OPC rookie card, which admittedly has a pretty high population–over 2500 have been graded by PSA, although, we have gone with a NM-MT copy–and about 1200 or close to half have a PSA grade of 8 or higher.  So not necessarily a rare card, but one that still should continue to have strong demand. 

1983 Vachon Wayne Gretzky

Estimated Cost – GEM MINT Condition: $600


Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  This is definitely more of an oddball issue, and might not be for everyone, but this is one that I think should be worth more than it is.  While not a rookie of Gretzky, it was issued for the 83-84 season by Vachon Foods, thus making it a fourth year card.  Vachon made snack cakes and the cards were issued in panels of two cards inside the box of snacks.  Thus, uncut panels of the two cards can carry a premium. 

Current PSA Population: PSA has graded only 108 single Gretzky cards and only 5 of the uncut panels with Gretzky and Alan Jere.  PSA 10 copies sell for between $500 to $600 which I think is a steal. 

1984 OPC Steve Yzerman (RC)

Estimated Cost – MINT Condition: $850


Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  Named the #17 Best Player of all time by the USA Today, Yzerman was an offensive force, and ranks as the seventh overall all-time scorer in the NHL.  

Current PSA Population: PSA has graded over 4000 copies, so it can be hard to get excited about a card with such as a large supply, but if we look at the cards graded at PSA 9 or above, the total is only 1100+.  Still a widely available card, but I like the longer term potential due to Yzerman’s place in the history books. 

1990 UD French Jaromir Jagr (RC)

Estimated Cost – GEM-MINT Condition: $450

Why We Selected It For The Portfolio:  There’s no question that Jaromir Jagr was one of the best to play the game.  In the early 1990’s, hockey card companies started producing US and French versions of cards, similar to Topps and OPC.  The 1990 UD French Jaromir Jagr Rookie card is the most valuable of all Jagr rookie cards and in my mind, the one to own (in high grade) for good long term investment potential. 

Current PSA Population: If we examine the difference between the US and French UD sets, the Jagr US version has been graded nearly 3000 times, whereas the French version has been graded only 400+ times.  And only 135 PSA 10 French Jagr cards have been graded.  In my opinion, at the current value ($500), I think it’s a steal. 

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