1996-97 Upper Deck Collector's Choice
Scotty Bowman's Winning Formula
Wayne Gretzky #290
I'm not sure how I picked this card up as it was about 16 years ago but it was definitely via an elementary school trade. As you can tell from the corners of the card, it was passed along a few other hands before it eventually landed into mine.
This Wayne Gretzky card from the subset "Scotty Bowman's Winning Formula" is a little different from others I've seen/held - you can't really see it from the scan but the texture on the card is almost like the UD Canvas cards Upper Deck recently released inside their 2011-12 flagship product. You can see how the surface is oddly textured a little more clearly on the left side of the card, among the dark area.
Also Gretzky sporting a New York Rangers jersey was something else that added to the collectibility of this card for me 16 years ago. "The Great One" had just signed a contract with the Bluehsirts, reuniting him with former Oilers teammate Mark Messier; Upper Deck released a photo op base card during that period signifying the reunion which I also remember being hot in the hands of us twelve-year-olds.
I've always liked the 1996-97 Collector's Choice set and these days it holds a nostalgic factor - colorful base cards, 3 Star Selections, Captain Tomorrow, Bowman's Winning Formula; all featuring players who I grew up watching. The set really takes me on a trip down memory lane, collecting hockey cards with my friends at school and all the other personal memories that came out of it.
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