The stick Ayres used in the game has also been sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame, due to the fact he is now the oldest goalie to win in their NHL debut and the only emergency goalie to ever record an official win in the league.
Ayres’ 15 minutes of fame is not yet over, however, as the trading card company Upper Deck has created a hockey card in his name.
“When we saw the moment, we were blown away by how special it was,” Chris Carlin, head of customer experience at Upper Deck, said in a phone interview with CTVNews.ca.
As a long time collector of sports cards and memorabilia let me translate: sports cards in particular have nose-dived in general popularity since their heyday in light of the Ken Griffey Jr baseball card phenomenon in 1989. To then sports cards had remained a fairly niche hobby, albeit one with many dedicated collectors particularly in North America.
However with the release that year of the Upper Deck Griffey Rookie card - complete with a hologram emblem etched into the card! - the entire card collecting industry was turned on its ear: entirely new companies emerged out of nowhere as both mass media and collectors picked up on the radically new offerings (these firms included Score, Upper Deck, Pinnacle, and Pacific Trading Cards among many_many others). During the late 1980's/early 90's, the sport-related trading card market grew exponentially, with the value of renowned players' rookie cards increasing 40 percent per year and the number of baseball card stores increasing in the US from 500 at the beginning of the 80's to over 14,000 by 1990. Who wouldn't want an investment that increased in value 40% year over year? It very quickly went from being a hobby for kids to an investment vehicle for only the very well heeled and even large investment companies.
Existing older card companies for that matter (particularly Topps Baseball in the US, O-Pee-Chee Hockey here in Canada) suddenly found new ways to re-invent themselves and massively increase both their popularity and of course sales via the release of "special" collectors editions, "game worn" cards with pieces of athlete uniforms embedded into the actual cards, and the then-new "hologram cards".
Like any bubble this one burst with gusto, inevitably so, as far too many manufacturers emerged seemingly overnight while the collector market became saturated and inundated with too many options and too many cards being printed - billions of them in fact - and increasingly at ludicrous price points out of reach for the average collector.
From a hobby in the 1950's where even superstar athletes' cards could be bought by any kid with a paper route, by the early-mid 1990's a 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie Topps card blasted past the $50K USD mark. Suddenly a paper route wasn't going to get you into that class of card trading. The entire industry ultimately crashed in 2008 due to the sheer weight and preponderance of card companies and card sets. Like any investment though - and that's what the industry has become in the last 20+ years - they are on the rise again with company consolidation and retraction and the printing of far fewer cards. It seems the big card companies have learned their lessons, since that same Mantle card, one in graded mint condition, sold for $2.8 million USD in 2018.
As nice as the David Ayres story is he is just example of a card company seizing the moment so they can exploit and market the crap out of his 15 minutes of fame. As before they'll print waaaaaay too many of these cards to be of any real monetary value in the future, but because the moment and the idea of a 42 year old Zamboni driver being thrust into a tight playoff race as the EBUG is 'special', it will immeasurably help UD to pump up sales of their hockey cards.
Edited by AllseeingEye, 01 March 2020 - 02:37 PM.