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Richard Vs Howe pricing

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  • Richard Vs Howe pricing

    Similar to the Delvecchio,Lindsay,Kelly thread I was wondering why people thought there is such a price disparity between Gordie Howe and Maurice
    Richard RC's. I get that most greatest player lists put Howe 3rd and Richard between 5 and 8 but that is not a big discrepancy. As popular as Howe was - Richard was also hugely popular. I liken it to the comparison between Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle RC's. The difference in pricing is a lot bigger then the difference in ranking. I can see the popularity difference between Mays and Mantle and some other factors causing a difference in pricing but it does not seem like that with Howe and Richard.

  • #2
    I really appreciate both - they are two of my all time favourites. But the gap between them was massive in my opinion. When I posed this question to Frank Mahovlich (not trying to name drop...I don’t know him, but met him simply as a fan asking for an autograph a couple of times) Rocket had passed but Gordie was still with us. The Big M’s answer was that he did not want to disrespect the dead. Of course, he played against both many times. In terms of stats, individual trophies, and scoring titles, I feel there is a lot of distance between the two. Rocket was probably more fun to watch. Culturally, Rocket was so much more important. But as a hockey player? I’d take Gordie a thousand out of a thousand times without hesitation. I should mention that I never saw either play (live), and have only seen a few recordings. I base most of my opinions on readings from or about that time period.


    • #3
      I think these are some really interesting discussions!

      As for Howe and Richard, it's hard not to have great respect for each of them. I'm sure that Howe is much more well known due to the length of his career and being at the top of the scoring records for so long. But Richard accomplished amazing things, especially in his ability to score consistently. He was so popular in Montreal that when he was suspended for the remainder of the season and playoffs, it led to riots in Montreal.

      When I got into collecting hockey, it was the early 90's and graded cards didn't exist yet. In addition no one bought cards online. Everyone went to card shops or shows and the dealers all used the Beckett or Charlton for pricing. I wonder if a lot of the pricing still in effect today came from the pricing of these guides. I never look at a price guide any longer since so many cards are graded and every grade goes for a different price. Vintage card prices truly seem to be driven by the market and they fluctuate more than they used to. Maybe Howe's rookie is so valuable partly due to the value given by the price guides of the 1990's.

      I would love to know what some of the players of that era had to say about Richard vs. Howe! That would be the best way to learn the truth.


      • #4
        This is an excellent topic.

        Here is why the Gordie Howe RC sells for more: Americans just love him! This is because he played on American teams his whole career (Detroit, Houston, Hartford, etc.). and as a result of this, there are lots of American collectors who just want this particular card.

        I think in Canada, Richard and Howe are viewed as equals (with the exception of Quebec of course). This is not true in the US though. This is due to Richard being a Frenchman who spent his whole entire career playing for Montreal. These two are probably the biggest reasons why Americans never found him too appealing.

        Oh, and did you guys notice that the top 4 greatest NHL players of all time played on American teams? If Gretzky had been a Frenchman who spent his whole career playing for Montreal, then today he would be viewed differently.


        • #5
          6 Hart Trophies vs 1. That’s a massive gap. Howe is a top 3 all time player whereas Richard is somewhere between 5 and 10 IMO.


          • hart2004
            hart2004 commented
            Editing a comment
            Agreed in full.

        • #6
          In the 50s, they were closer to on par; the battle raged over who was better. In the 60s, Howe overtook the retired Rocket in career accomplishments. In the 70s, the gap became massive. In some ways, it is similar to Sid/Ovi. At the beginning, they were rather equal. A few years in, despite living in Nova Scotia and having watched Sid play live as a youngster, I felt Ovi was better. Now, it has flip flopped I would think permanently, and Sid has clearly been the better player and had a better career. The Sid/Ovi debate, once gripping, seems absurd to many of us now. That is not to imply that Sid is at Gordie's level (he isn't) or that Ovi is at Rocket's level (he isn't).

          Many, myself included, consider Gordie the greatest player of all time. I value longevity and all-around play (including toughness) quite a bit. The former disqualifies Orr, through no fault of his own. The latter disqualifies Gretzky. (Again that is just my own very contestable criteria.) But here's my point: people may argue over the order of Howe, Orr, and Gretzky, and any order makes sense depending on your criteria. But not too many - if any - serious hockey journalists include Rocket in the discussion of hockey's greatest player of all time. To me, he comes soon after with the likes of Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk, Howie Morenz, Eddie Shore etc.


          • Puck_That
            Puck_That commented
            Editing a comment
            VERY well written!

          • Billyberu
            Billyberu commented
            Editing a comment
            I try not to compare players that played in different era's in their prime. The game has evolved. Look at how good McDavid is offensively in todays NHL. Others may say where is he on the scoring leader board. Put someone on his wing and see where he would be. Easily 20+ points more! Luckily I get to watch him every game! Do I think he will ever beat Gretzky's scoring records...not in a million years. Different time...different game.

          • exodus
            exodus commented
            Editing a comment
            Agree on your first paragraph. Well said. While you can not compare players in different eras, you can look at what player dominated his era the most. Gretzky did not because Mario put up the same numbers. Both are great. Gordie did not dominate, as others were up there with him in scoring. Bobby Orr dominated his era. There was no other like him. In 1970, seven out of the top ten scoring leaders in the NHL were Boston Bruins. All because of Orr. No defensemen ever put up numbers like Orr did in that era, and Phil Esposito never put up numbers in Chicago or NY like he did when he played with Orr. Plus, we all know the answer to the question, "Who would win a five on five if five Bobby Orr's played five Wayne Gretzky's?" Anyway, fun debate, and all different opinions on this subject.

        • #7
          Look at how many people were able to see Richard play on TV and compare that to how many people were able to see Howe- big difference.


          • #8
            <<I try not to compare players that played in different era's in their prime. The game has evolved.>>

            The game has become more advanced, but so has everything else - nutrition, training, equipment, medicine, etc. During Gordie's time, things were really bad and on top of all that the players were treated like animals. For example, when he first started playing for the Red Wings, the players once had to sleep inside the Olympia Stadium. There were hundreds of rats that paid them a visit, and they were up all night killing them with their sticks! Imagine McDavid having to go through something like that. If guys like Gordie and Maurice played today, they would murder other players on the ice. Oh, and Gordie would probably play in the NHL for 40 seasons.


            • #9
              When I compare players across eras, I just ignore differences in training, nutrition, smoking & drinking habits etc.
              If Turk Broda was an NHLer now, he'd likely be in shape (he'd have to be). If Guy Lafleur was in the league now, I'm guessing the smokes during game time might have to go. So I make those allowances. Similarly, I don't give credit for the training advancements to current players any more than I hold 1928 training habits against those folks. These are cultural/social phenomena as we all know - not individual markers. But exodus makes a tremendously important point - that the gap between Gordie and his peers (Rocket/Beliveau), or Gretzky and his (Mario), was smaller than the gap between Orr and his (the underrated Park was awesome, but not in the same league). But his short career dooms him to second on my list just because Gordie played so, so long. That said, I would never argue with anyone who had Orr - or Gretzky - first. Those are reasonable opinions to be sure.


              • #10
                I think the reasons are 1) Richard was a Quebecer who played for Montreal, Howe played for an American team 2) Howe was very fan friendly, Richard was surly with fans 3) Richard was great in the 40's pretty much before television, while Howe played so long we all got to see him play.
                BTW, I think Richard is underrated in those rankings as in his day there was no more feared player when he had the puck, and remember all those Stanley Cups that he won.
                FWIW, I think their cards should be priced a lot closer in value.


                • ViewFromStLou
                  ViewFromStLou commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree with much of what you say but not wth the part about "Richard was surly with fans". I'm not sure where this comes from?

                  The one time in my life that I got to meet "The Rocket", he couldn't have been friendlier or nicer to me and my wife. That goes for his agent at the time as well. His agent Mr. Roy could see that I was a big fan & arranged for "the Rocket" to pose with us for a couple of photos after he was through signing autographs. A completely unexpected & much appreciated gesture.

                  On the very few occasions I got to chat briefly with "Mr. Hockey", I found him to be very friendly & willing to take a moment to converse as well.
                  Maurice Richard had a great career. He was a tremendous competitor and a cultural icon.

                  Gordie Howe was an extraordinary player and set so many records during his career. His longevity at the professional level is unsurpassed.
                  Their careers overlapped but do not really represent the same era.

                  How do you compare greatness?
                  I will leave the ranking to others.
                  Both players meant a lot to us growing up. There's no French blood in my ancestry but Maurice Richard was my favorite growing up.
                  The marketplace will determine the values.

              • #11
                I think that the two RC should be the same value or close, but It s a natural behavior to ideolize a person in which we can identify. Maurice Richard was a french-canadian, so the Quebecois loved him...but they represent only 20-22 % of Canada...and USA is a only-english market. It is understandable that hockey fans identify more to Gordie Howe. More popular = more wanted = more $


                • #12
                  I don't want to step on any toes, but I don't buy the argument that the price gap can be attributed to the fact that Rocket was a Francophone. Beliveau, Lemieux and Roy are all French, and I don't think their status in the hobby is hurt by that fact. For me, Gordie was just head and shoulders above Rocket. While Rocket was the better player early in Howe's career, for the 10 years from 1950-1960, Gordie outscored the Rocket 9 times, often by wide margins. Rocket retired in 1960, and Gordie continued dominating pro hockey for another 20 years. We're comparing the greatest of all time against one of the "merely" all-time greats. The premium is well deserved IMO.


                  • #13
                    Originally posted by skelly423 View Post
                    I don't want to step on any toes, but I don't buy the argument that the price gap can be attributed to the fact that Rocket was a Francophone. Beliveau, Lemieux and Roy are all French, and I don't think their status in the hobby is hurt by that fact.
                    The 1953 Parkhurst Jean Beliveau RC is way undervalued. You can pick-up a beautiful PSA 6 example for a little over a thousand - that's nothing. Here is a man who won 10 cups as a player and 7 as an executive; scored 500+ goals in his career; two Hart trophies, etc.

                    As for Lemieux and Roy, well, I'm not going to get into discussing modern cards because I don't know too much about them, nor do I care about them.