Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Joy of Micro Collecting Update with Complete New York Rangers Retired Numbers Autographs

When I wrote my original article on The Joy Of Micro Collecting I was looking for creative solutions to keep me collecting but that wouldn't consume large amounts of time.  Coming up with small collecting tasks that I could complete easily and quickly was a revelation for me and greatly satisfied my completionist tendencies.

Choosing to collect on-card autograph cards of all the players that have numbers retired by the New York Rangers was the perfect start to my micro collecting back in 2015.
There were only 8 players with retired numbers and I already had 3 of them. (Side note, I don't include Gretzky in this group because his number was retired by the league, not by the Rangers.)

It didn't take long to complete this collection. Considering six years had past since the last number to be retired, I considered this Micro Collection to be complete, so I moved on to other projects.

Then, out of the blue, the Rangers announced in August of 2017 they would retire Jean Ratelle's number 19 in 2018.

Now my collection was incomplete.

But I only needed one card to get things up to date. Sounded like an easy thing to do. Then I looked at how many on-card autographs he signed. That's when I figured out I had a task on my hands.

While there were plenty of sticker autos to be had, there were only 2 real options for on-card autographs. First option was 2001-02 Fleer Greats of the Game and the second was 2003-04 Parkhurst Original Six New York #/90.  There was a Boston version of the Parkhurst, but... no.

I tried the social media route, giving a shout out to Upper Deck and Panini that it might be a great opportunity to secure Ratelle.


It was quite a while before I could even locate a Ratelle auto. Sure, there were just released 2017-18 Leaf Ultimate Hockey sticker autos, but once again... no.

Then a 2001-02 Fleer Greats of the Game appeared, but asking was $100. There was no way. Even offering half seemed high.

The Rangers retired Ratelle's number, months past and still no on-card auto to be found. All the while those Leaf stickers greeting me in the morning, as if to say "you might as well cave and pick me up."

But... no.

And good thing I didn't because along came a listing for one of the 2003-04 Parkhurst Original Six New York #/90. 
Asking was $80. Better than the Fleer, more reasonable for a lower numbered card, still high in my opinion. After an initial offer that I felt was fair for both of us was rejected, I let it sit there for close to a month. No movement so perhaps I was not far off in my assessment. By pure coincidence I bid and won a card from the same seller that was a steal. After some quick back and forth negotiation to take advantage of an expiring coupon, I basically got the card for less than I had originally offered.
Big win.

And it's a bold, clean signature on a cool card.  It looks great with my other Rangers Retired Numbers.


  1. Nice pick up and a sweet little (micro) collection. I just scored the Ratelle from the same set but had him in a Bruins uniform. He was a need for my Bruins autograph collection. Did yours come via "thepath"? You may want to start looking for a Vic Hadfield as I believe his jersey will be retired by the Rangers next season.

  2. That's beautiful.

    Hope you've got one of the King ready for when the time comes.

  3. Congratulations on completing that project! Very cool. Maybe I should do this for the San Jose Sharks. Wait. They haven't retired any #'s yet. Except for #99 of course.