As a kid (and definitely definitely not as an adult), I was a collector of hockey cards. I took pride in my Capitals collection. Like, I have every Pat Peake card ever made, and I don’t even care what you think.
The other night I was cleaning up my office downstairs and I noticed the above card of still Capitals coach Adam Oates, which I had completely forgotten. Please note that’s not Oatesy swinging a hockey stick – that’s a golf club. And he’s also wearing those high-waisted jeans again.
This card was produced by Be A Player (now owned by In the Game), which was a wildly popular brand of trading cards back in the day because it included so many autographs in their sets. I thought Be A Player would become one of the titans in the industry, but I can tell you when things started to go very, very wrong: in 2002-03 when they produced these hideous golf card inserts.
Signature Series will also include the Be A Player Golf Series, a 100-card insert set seeded at a rate of one card per pack. This innovative and entertaining set will appeal to hockey and golf aficionados alike.
I’m guessing this was the thought process in the board room that day: Hockey players play golf. These golf cards will attract golf fans. We’ll enter a new market! We’ll make so much money we’ll have swimming pools full of money. We’re brilliant.
Instead, these cards highlighted the sport hockey players play when they are eliminated from the playoffs. These are not cool in any way. They’re like pogs. The players look ridiculous. Who would actually want these?
Non-shockingly, Be A Player is no longer licensed by the NHL to make trading cards.
For documenting purposes, I have included some photos of cards from that set, which include a lot of former Capitals. You’re going to love the Martin Erat one.