1996-97 Black Diamond #103 Patrick Marleau
PSA Gem Mint 10: 16 (20%)
BGS Gem Mint 9.5: 15 (27%)
BGS Pristine 10: 0 (0%)
Here’s something crazy to consider about Marleau, who set the all-time regular-season games played record with his 1,798th appearance in April last year: If not for the 2004-05 lockout and three shortened seasons (2012-13, 2019-20, and 2020-21) he would have obliterated Gordie Howe’s old mark and set his sights on 2,000 games. Amazing.
Longevity wasn’t Marleau’s only superpower. He is one of just 43 players in league history with at least 500 goals and 1,000 career points and set San Jose franchise records for goals (518) and points (1,102). And while he never won a Cup, he stands 14th on the NHL all-time postseason goals list and
50th in playoff points. The second pick in the 1997 dra did win two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada (2010, 2014), as well as gold at the 2003 World Championships and the 2004 World Cup. Little wonder then that he’s regarded as one of the most popular players of his generation.
While most collectors focus on his 1996-97 Upper Deck RC, it’s the Black Diamond that’s more valuable and tougher to track down. That’s especially true in high grade, with just 31 Gem Mint copies in existence. The edges are what typically knock this single out of gem consideration, a result of the foil substrate and some apparently rough handling on the way to packaging. At this point, it’s unlikely that many more copies will be added to the population – something to remember when he ultimately comes up for consideration by the Hall of Fame.