Friday, October 3, 2014

Jimmy Mann Wanted More Hockey Cards

Mann's Rookie card
I have started reading the terrific new book from Ken Reid titled "Hockey Card Stories". One of his first tales is about ex-goon Jimmy Mann and the fact that he had cards issued for two of his NHL seasons. Reid exlplains;
This (rookie card pictured above) is one of the few (hockey cards) out there of Jimmy Mann. He played in the NHL until the 1987/88 season. He wasn't always up in the Big Leagues for the final few years of his career, but he says that's not why he stopped showing up on cards. He has his own theory as to why he only had three cards.

"My second year is when I hit Paul Gardner."

"Eagleson (NHLPA Head and Gardner's lawyer) blackballed me for the rest of my career with cards. After that hit, I never had a card. He blackballed me because I broke Gardner's jaw and finished his career, and Eagleson never put my name in for another card again."
Rookie season PIM Leader card

I wrote about this very incident a few years back here and actually got a nice email from Gardner himself about it. An interesting theory from Mann, but I really think it's a bit far-fetched for him to think he was blackballed and short-changed some hockey card issues. Honestly, if anything, Jimmy Mann had TOO MANY hockey cards made of him and not just because I'm slightly biased towards Gardner. I'll give Jimmy Mann his rookie card issue for 1980/81 as it was his rookie year and he played 72 games. Even his 81/82 issue is questionable as he played a mere 37 games with only 6 points and 105 pims, but when you look at who he may have replaced in the next few sets it's difficult to justify his inclusion.

These are the guys who Mann would have had a chance to replace for the 1982/83 set. He had a similar season to his second year with 37 games but this time only 5 points and 79 pims.

43 Denis Cyr RC
44 Bill Clement
48 Steve Konroyd RC
59 Howard Walker RC
75 Glen Sharpley
80 John Barrett RC
86 Greg Joly
118 Tom Roulston RC
316 Normand Aubin RC
322 Billy Harris
342 Marc Crawford RC
352 Gerry Minor
354 Gary Lupul RC
382 Craig Levie RC
387 Bryan Maxwell

There is no way Mann was going to replace a rookie card with the numbers he put up in 81/82 and even the cards of Clement, Sharpley, Harris and Maxwell were more deserving than Mann's. Greg Joly and Gerry Minor were about the only two that Mann may have had a case against, hardly conspiracy worthy.

The 1983/84 O-Pee-Chee issue offered even less players that Mann could have bumped from the set, especially after putting up a season of 1 assist, 73 pims in 40 games.

8 Mats Hallin RC
88 Greg Meredith RC
131 Ken Solheim RC
132 Bob Manno
229 Garry Howatt
294 Rick Lapointe
382 Wade Campbell RC

Again, rookie cards are fully acceptable and really the only one that was less deserving than Mann to be included was Bob Manno who did not even play in the NHL in 82/83 spending the year playing in Italy. He was however an All-Star the year previous and had signed as a free-agent inthe summer of 1983.

Jimmy Mann would never again play even a half season in the NHL in his career so no cards were warranted after 1984. I question if even his second season issue of 1981/82 was even deserved. I think he may have deserved ONLY his rookie season card. Check out the players who were not included in the set with their stats from 80/81 (GP-G-A-P). Mann in his second year remember was 37-3-3-6.

Bobby Schmautz, Van 73-27-34-61
Merlin Malinowski, Col 69-25-37-62
Jean Pronovost, Wash 80-22-36-58
Joe Micheletti,Stl 63-4-27-31
Craig Norwich Col 34-7-23-30
Wes Jarvis, Wash 55-9-14-23
Tim Tookey, Wash 29-10-13-23
Lance Nethery, NYR 33-11-12-23
Phil Esposito, NYR 41-7-13-20
Ralph Klassen, Stl 66-6-12-18
Terry Murray, Phi 71-1-17-18
Doug Smail, Win 30-10-8-18
Serge Savard, Mtl 77-4-13-17
Dave Lumley, Edm 53-7-9-16
Anders Steen, Win 42-5-11-16
Ray Neufeld, Hart 52-5-10-15
Chris Nilan, Mtl 57-7-8-15
Larry Playfair, Buf 75-3-9-12
Guy Lapointe, Mtl 33-1-9-10
Jack Carlson , Minn 43-7-2-9
Barry Melrose, Tor  75-3-6-9

Phil Esposito's last season doesn't get a card, but Jimmy Mann's second one does? Also Hall of Famers Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe aren't included nor are fine seasons by Schmautz, Malinowski and Pronovost. How about guys who never got a card made of them, Wes Jarvis, Tim Tookey, Anders Steen or real-life Hanson brother Jack Carlson?

I think Jimmy Mann should be happy with the fact that he at least had two seasons worth of hockey cards. 
Mann's rather un-deserving 2nd year card

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