Terry Sawchuck Hockey Cards

Terry Sawchuk (1929-1970) played 21 seasons in the NHL as a goalie for several teams, including the Detroit Red Wings, the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leaf’s, Boston Bruins, and Los Angeles Kings.

Sawchuk put up great stats as a goaltender. At the time of his tragic death, Sawchuk led league history with both 447 wins and 103 shutouts. Since then, his wins record has been beaten by five goaltenders, and his shutouts has been taken down by only one player.

Born in the North End of Winnipeg, Sawchuk lived there for several years until his family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He was impacted by the death of two of his three brothers as children. Plenty of people speculated that Sawchuk suffered from lifelong depression

When he was twelve years old, Sawchuk mangled his elbow during a rugby match. He was terrified to tell his parents, so he tried to let it heal on its own. Unfortunately, the improper healing led to decreased utility of his right arm and it was several inches shorter than his left.

Despite the disability, Sawchuk was unbelievably talented at goalie. He was scouted at 14, and the Detroit Red Wings coach asked him to workout for the team. He was instantly signed to an amateur contract.

Like many outstanding athletes, Sawchuk astounded onlookers in many sports. Had he been born in the United States, he most likely would have made it to MLB.

After high school (which he did not graduate), Sawchuk zoomed through the developmental system of the Red Wings. The Red Wings had total faith in Sawchuk, and even though goalie Harry Lumley had led the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup victory, he was traded anyway because the management were so set on their backup Sawchuk’s potential.

Sawchuk lived up to his potential, and he was a valuable member of excellent teams the Detroit Red Wings. He was a highly valued goaltender as he moved throughout the league from team to team.

The NHL was quite rough back then. The stories of Sawchuk’s fortitude, resilience, and toughness are incredible. He received around 400 stitches throughout his career on his face. Life Magazine tried to show his facial injuries with a make up artists for a photo shoot. The make up artist said there was not enough room on Sawchuk’s face to show all of the injuries.

Lordosis, mononucleosis, ruptured discs, a collapsed lung, broken foot, severed tendons, and three surgeries on his old right elbow injury, Sawchuk played around and through all of it.

Sawchuk brawled with his Rangers teammate Ron Stewart at the end of the 1970 season. The two had been drinking, the fight got out of hand, and Sawchuk died from complications of a bleeding liver.

Sawchuk was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his final season. He is one of ten players to receive an exemption from the three year waiting player. There are a limited number of cards that represent Sawchuk, but they do a good job at representing an important early player.

1951 Parkhurst Terry Sawchuk Rookie Card

Parkhurst holds the honor of Sawchuk’s rookie card in the 1951 set. The cards measure 1 ¾” x 2 ½” with 105 cards in total. The 1951 Parkhurst set is the reintroduction of hockey cards since the paper rationing of World War II. The other major rookie card is Maurice Richard. Sawchuk was placed at card #61.

There are over 300 cards registered by PSA of Sawchuk which is good news for collectors. There are even a few top graded cards.

The most recent sale of a PSA Mint 9 card was for $7,800 in December of 2019. With $1,000, collectors would need only drop to a PSA 6.

1954 Topps Terry Sawchuk

Topps dropped into the rink in 1954 with a nice set. There are 60 cards, and they measure 2 ⅝” x 3 ¾”. Only the American teams were represented, and the two remaining Canadian teams were left for Parkhurst. As Sawchuk played for Detroit, he was only utilized by Topps.

Sawchuk is at card number 58, and he is a key to set. Gordie Howe, Harry Howell, and Alex Delvecchio are other keys.

There are over 450 cards registered by PSA, but top graded cards will be difficult to track down. The most expensive registered sale is $5,824.48 for a PSA 8.5 in 2009. Prices drop fast, and $1,000 should get you a PSA 7 no problem.

1957 Topps Terry Sawchuk

Sawchuk was not on the 1955 Parkhurst, and there were no hockey cards from a major brand in 1956. Topps returned for the same deal in 1957; Topps would cover the American teams, and Parkhurst had the Canadian teams. There were 66 cards of standard size. Major rookie cards include Johnny Bucyk, Glenn Hall, Pierre Pilote, and Norm Ullman.

Sawchuk is positioned at card #35. His name is misspelled as “Sawchuck.”

There are only 200 cards registered by PSA. The most recent sale of PSA Mint 9 went for $4,300 in 2017. Mint condition cards are quite uncommon, and there are many more PSA 8’s around. Prices fall fast, so would only need about $500 for a PSA 8.

1970 O-Pee-Chee Terry Sawchuk

This is not an expensive Sawchuk card. It’s after his death, which typically brings the value of the card down. In fact, the card is fairly cheap, and it only reaches $200 in Mint condition.

However, it is a nice card that memorializes Sawchuk right after his death. It features a large portrait of Sawchuk smiling, and the picture is captioned by “In Memory of one of Hockey’s Greatest Goalies.” It’s a different kind of card for a different kind of story, a different kind of player.

If you drop to a PSA 5 or 6 or so, you can grab a copy for $20. There should be a good number of copies floating around.


Much of Sawchuk’s career is covered by just Parkhurst, which is somewhat unfortunate. Collectors should feel fortunate that Sawchuk stuck around (he briefly retired in 1957) in order to see him on Topps and O-Pee-Chee cardboard. Regardless, Sawchuk had a tremendous career, and we are fortunate that is hallowed by a few excellent cards.