Friday, November 25, 2016

Perhaps the best ever.... 1956 Montreal Canadiens

This is the last in the three part series of my card show team photo buying spree. Today's shows the Publicity shot given out to celebrate the 1956-57 Montreal Canadiens. It's printed on a higher quality newsprint that has a bit of stiffness to it. (and my scanner nicely cut off the left side border)

This is the team that in the 1955-56 season, went 45-15-10 on their way to the first of five consecutive Stanley Cup Championships. A record that still stands today.

The Hardware. (from left to right)

Art Ross (scoring champion) Jean Beliveau
Hart (MVP - Original trophy, not used today) Jean Beliveau
Stanley Cup
Prince of Wales  ( eastern conference champions)
Vezina (Best goaltender) Jacques Plante
Norris (Best defenseman)  Doug Harvey

New for 56/57
That's Maurice Richard front and center wearing the Captain's "C" on his sweater after the retirement of former captain, Butch Bouchard.

Fun Facts
William Northey, old dude behind the Stanley Cup, was responsible for two rules changes still in effect today.
He pressured the NHL to switch from two, thirty minute halves, to three, twenty minute periods.
He also was responsible for the removal of the "Rover" position, cutting the number of players on the ice for each team to six.
Can you imagine another player for each team skating around out there? Lunacy.

There are thirteen Hall of Famers in that picture. Thirteen. On one team. Wow.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cleveland Barons Inaugural Year.... 1976-77

More card show purchases. Along the same theme, original press photos given out by the team.
Today we have the first year Cleveland Barons. Fresh from Oakland and under new ownership.

A little too many dudes in bad suits for my liking, but other than that, it's golden.

Cleveland played two years in Ohio before merging with the existing Minnesota North Stars. As of this writing they are the last pro franchise of the big four to cease operations. Dennis Maruk (short guy, middle, top row) was the last former Baron (and Seal) to play in the NHL, retiring in 1989.

The price on this was unbelievably cheap compared to my Los Angeles Sharks one. Reason being this one is not in perfect condition.

The back has issues.

Someone had lovingly glued it onto a wall or into a scrap book. To some, that makes this undesirable. To me, it makes it fascinating.
Was it a young child putting up pictures of their heroes? A relative of someone in the organization? A crazy stalker fan obsessed with bad suits?
Whatever.... I love it.

Next up, going back, way back. A team you've probably heard of.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

WHA Inaugural Year - Los Angeles Sharks

The WHA, or World Hockey Association began with the 1972-73 season with twelve teams. One of them being the Los Angeles Sharks.
The Sharks would play two seasons in L.A. before moving to Detroit for the 74/75 season as the Michigan Stags. Unable to compete with the Red Wings, they once again moved, this time mid season on January 18, 1975 to Baltimore to play as the Blades.
They franchise would fold at the end of the season.

But at the very beginning, not unlike every Maple Leaf season, the franchise was full of hope. Excitement.
Look at these happy, smiling faces.

What we have here is an original 8x10 Los Angeles Sharks team press photo. My scanner cut off a bit on the right side, but all the info is there.

I picked up this little beauty at our annual gimungo card show last weekend. Okay, it wasn't THAT gimungo, but everything is relevant.
I oogled it all weekend, and at the close of the show late Sunday, I pounced.
Okay, not so much as pounced as pleaded for a better price. But it worked. (obviously)

Keeping the WHA history alive... one little bit at a time.

(Oh, isn't it odd that the 1972 Sharks had better uniforms than the 2016 San Jose Sharks?)