Tuesday, July 29, 2008

1963 Leafs Media Guide

I have a plethora of old media guides, season preview and record books. This one goes nicely with my previously discussed autographed stick from the same season.
The "Big M" is pictured on the cover battling "Terrible" Ted Green. Mahovlich was coming off a First Team All-Star season in 62-63, which would be his last truely great year with the Buds. He would never tally more than 56 points in each of his remaining 5 years with the blue and white. He did however garner Second Team nods in both '64 and '65 mainly because of the dirth of quality Left Wingers in the league after Bobby Hull. Johnny Bucyk was about the only other competition, and he arguably was better either year as he out-pointed Frank in each one.
The other "top" LW's in the loop over those two seasons were; Detroit's Parker MacDonald and a young Paul Henderson, Montreal's Dave Balon and Gilles Tremblay, Fred Stanfield of the Hawks, and the Rangers Dean Prentice and Vic Hadfield who was at least 5 years away from stardom. The top season from any of these guys was 46 by MacDonald.
Mahovlich would of course make up for these two weak selections by grabbing second team honours in '69 and '70 with the Wings and a final first team pick with the Habs in '72 with a career high 96 points.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Slap Shot....Mexico

A lobby card released for the Mexican market where the title translates to Todo Vale.
This captures one of the climax scenes in the film in which a distraught Joe McGrath chews out his team for playing like a "bunch of....pussies", when "every scout in the National League" is in attendance. My favourite part of this scene is McGrath's glowing white socks worn with his three piece suit. Perhaps he got dressing tips from his old pal Jackie St.Pierre. (if you get this reference from the movie, you're good).
McGrath was played by the legendary Strother Martin, better know for his roles in Cool Hand Luke and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He guested on Gilligan's Island as a man living on the island alone for a radio contest. Martin actually hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in April, 1980 mere months before his death.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Gretzky Rookie Program

Early career Gretzky stuff...anything, I don't care, I want it. This is one of my faves, a program with him on the cover from the 1979-80 season. Game was Jan, 26, '80 which was Gretz's 19th birthday. Opponent was my beloved Leafs, and proving true to form the Oilers won 8-3, with Wayner getting "only" two assists.
One page in the program lists the current NHL leaders up to Jan, 21. Gretzky, after 44 games sat in sixth place with 67 points, Marcel Dionne sat first with 91. This means that over his final 36 games he'd gather 70 points, almost 2 per game. Definitely a precursor of things to come. He'd gain 24 points on "Le Petit Castor" over those games.
The Leafs at the time were led by Darryl Sittler who had 41 points through 38 games. He would also turn it up in the second half, picking up 56 points in his last 35 games. Sittler was always one of my favourites, and the way he was run out of town a few seasons later by Ballard was a shame. The 80's were not a good time for Leaf fans, nor were the 70's or 90's for that matter. I have faith that this millenium holds at least one Cup for us diehards.

1963 World Series Program

Keeping with the theme, "sports collectables received from family members" is this great old program. My grandfather drove down to Yankee Stadium from Toronto and attended a 1963 series game. It would have either been Oct. 2nd or 3rd of '63 as the Yankees were swept by the Dodgers. He would have been one of over 66,000 attendees to either game, and saw some of the greatest stars of the.
In this series the Dodgers pitching of Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale et al dominated the Yankee sluggers, Elston Howard, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. The Bronx Bombers scored only 4 runs in the 4 games, one of the lowest totals ever in a World Series.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

1962-63 Leafs Signed Stick

Here it is, the pride of the collection. 1962-63 Maple Leafs autographed stick. This was obtained back then by my father. He got it from an uncle of his who apparently was the "barber of the Leafs". It's not a game-used stick, it was made solely for autographing...these are real signatures of some of the greats of all-time. Frank Mahovlich, Johnny Bower, Dave Keon, Red Kelly, George Armstrong and Punch Imlach. The rarest signature of them all would have to be Tim Horton pictured above at the top right.
Below the stick in the lower photo is cards from that era of the eighteen of players on the stick.

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