Sunday, October 2, 2011

SIGnificant Cards - Manon Rheaume 1993 Classic Hockey Art

Rheaume was the hottest hockey
commodity in 1992.
Back in the day. Heh. I hate that term. What day? Possibly the dumbest term for simply saying, "in the past" -- EVER! In 1992 hockey history was made when Manon Rheaume signed a contract with the NHLs Tampa Bay Lightning. What was so special about it? Well for starters, Manon wasn't some fresh-faced, pimply kid from Quebec. Oh wait, yes SHE was. Rheaume is the only woman to ever make it to the NHL level and while she never played in a game during the regular season, she did put on the gloves for a couple of preseason match-ups. She didn't just bend the gender myths, she owned them.

Her other accolades include Olympic silver and she was the goalie on not one, but two IIHF World Women's Championship teams. She was the hottest hockey commodity in that year and the excitement sprung from her Canadian lore, also made its way to the United States.

In 1992, and it wasn't that long ago, the whole equal playing field in sports was nowhere near what it is today and it STILL has a long way to go. Today you see it more frequently, there are more women making as big or bigger impacts on their respective sports. Look to athletes such as Danica Patrick, Maryeve Dufault, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Angela & Amber Cope in NASCAR, the tough women that play real football in the Lingerie Football League, and the amazing women in the WNBA are just a few that quickly come to mind.

I was living in Las Vegas in 1992 and there were some great trading card shows in Vegas at the time. She was the talk of many of those shows. In 1994 she signed with the Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL and Rheaume fever hit Vegas. It wasn't long before she was doing autograph signings at shows and she drew some big crowds.

I was fortunate to meet her and have her sign one of her most recognizable trading cards. The 1993 Classic Hockey Art card is #112 from the set and with a clean and personalized sig in blue, it remains one of my all-time favorite cards.

What's your favorite card? I'd love to hear about it.

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