Sunday, June 15, 2008

1961 Leaf Program

I love the old game programs, just full of info and great photos. Even the ads are interesting. This one's from a Saturday night game at the Gardens vs. Detroit. Feb,25, 1961. The lineup is filled with hall of famers like Bower, Kelly, Horton, Mahovlich, Armstrong, Howe, Sawchuk and Delvecchio. (all these Leafs are present on my prized possession, 1962-63 autographed stick...more on that in a later post)

The original owner of the program filled in most of the scorecard page. It looks like the Leafs won 3-1 while being outshot 38-16. The first star of the game was Leaf rookie goalie Cesare Maniago who doesn't even appear on the line-up page. It may well have been his first ever NHL game, as he only played in 7 games that season. He would go on to star with mainly the North Stars before finishing up with the Canucks.

On the cover is Carl Brewer, who was a bit of an eccentric to say the least. He retired in 1965 at 27 years old after one too man disagreements with Punch Imlach. He played for Canada's national team for a season, spent a year in the Finnish League, returned to the NHL in 1969, retired after the '72 season. Played a year in the WHA, retired, and finally after not playing for six years, came back to the Leafs as a 41 year old in 1979-80. All through this time he was fighting for player's rights, eventually playing a main role in bringing down NHLPA boss Alan Eagleson in the 90's.

As a kid, I saw Carl Brewer on a beach in Victoria Harbour, Ontario in the early 80's...still looked pretty intimidating. Incidentally, he passed away on my birthday in 2001.

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