1954-55 marked the beginning of their presence in the hockey card world by Topps. That year, the company best known for baseball cards released a set of 60 cards featuring players from the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Among the 60 cards were three valuable cards belonging to goaltenders. As with all sports cards, the cards from the 1954-55 Topps set celebrated the achievements from the previous National Hockey League season.
Terry Sawchuk – Detroit Red Wings
The number 58 card in the set belongs to Terry Sawchuk of the Detroit Red Wings and has a book value of $700. In 1953-54, Terry played 67 of Detroit’s 70 regular season games and 12 more in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Along with his 12 shutouts and 1.93 goals against average, Sawchuk accumulated a whopping 31 minutes in penalties.
The Red Wings finished first overall in the six team NHL and won the Stanley Cup championship with a victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the finals. That series went the full seven games. Despite the numbers, Sawchuk did not win the Vezina Trophy in 1953-54. However, he was the award winner in the two previous seasons and in 1954-55.
Terry Sawchuk played in the National Hockey League from 1949-50 to 1969-70 with the Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1971.
Lorne Worsley – New York Rangers
Despite winning the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1952-53 with the New York Rangers, the man nicknamed Gump played the entire 1953-54 season in the WHL with the Vancouver Canucks. In fact, he played in all 70 regular season games for the Canucks and 12 of 13 in the playoffs. Vancouver placed first overall in the seven team WHL and reached the finals before losing in six to the Calgary Stampeders. Despite the loss, the Canucks outscored their opponents 18-17. With Vancouver, Worsley was awarded the George Leader Cup as league MVP and the Del Wilson Trophy as top goaltender.
Gump played in the NHL until the end of the 1973-74 season. He appeared with the Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars. Worsley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980. The number 10 card in the 1954-55 Topps set belongs to Worsley and has a book value of $200.
Al Rollins – Chicago Blackhawks
The number 26 card in the 1954-55 Topps set belongs to Al Rollins of the Blackhawks and has a book value of $80. 1953-54 was a bittersweet season for Rollins. He played 66 games for a Chicago team that won just 12 of 70 games and totalled 31 points. The Blackhawks finished 37 points behind the fifth place Rangers and 57 points behind the first place Red Wings.However, Rollins was selected as the recipient of the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Over his 66 games, he recorded a 3.23 goals against average and posted five shutouts.
Rollins played in the NHL from 1949-50 to 1959-60 with the Maple Leafs, Blackhawks and Rangers. He won the Vezina in 1950-51 with Toronto with Turk Broda backing him up. Al played all 70 games for the Maple Leafs in 1951-52 and for the Blackhawks in 1952-53 and 1956-57.