Beckett Hockey

1998-99 Upper Deck #234 Martin St. Louis

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PSA Gem Mint 10: 24 (17%)

BGS Gem Mint 9.5: 18 (20%)

BGS Pristine 10: 0 (0%)

St. Louis spent his entire career trying to make people believe. A small man playing what was at the time a big man’s game, he went undra ed despite a standout career at the University of Vermont. He turned pro with the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjack­s, scoring 16 goals and 50 points in 55 games. at output convinced the Calgary Flames to sign him as a free agent, but the team barely gave him a chance and let him go two seasons later.

It was the best thing that could have happened to him. St. Louis signed with the Lightning and went on to become one of the most prolific scoring wings of his generation. He tallied 953 points in 972 games with the Bolts, setting a franchise record. He helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 2004 and was named Tampa Bay’s captain in 2013-14.

His best season was 2003-04 when he led the NHL with 94 points and won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the League’s most valuable player and the Lester B. Pearson Award as its most outstandin­g player.

It was a career that caught everyone’s attention and won him countless collectors who scooped up his five 1998-99 RCs. So why isn’t this card more heavily graded? Simple – those striated silver foil edges were highly susceptibl­e to chipping and other damage, making Gem Mint copies more scarce than 5-foot-8 NHL superstars. The last confirmed sale of a PSA 10 copy topped $500 back in 2021. While there may be more Gem-worthy copies out there, the condition sensitivit­y of this card suggests there aren’t many.

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