Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Unidentified Vintage Photo, Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings

Mackell, Kennedy, Stewart, Lindsay, Chadwick
The photo above is a beautifully re-coloured photo originally found in the Toronto Archives. It has been painstakingly re-coloured by Mark Truelove of . This is only one of the many terrific works he has on his website, many of them sports related. The only problem with using city archive sites is usually, there are no names attached to the images describing the photo. This is where the fun begins.

Firstly, the one thing this photo does have is an exact date. April 16, 1949, the day the Maple Leafs became the first team ever to win the Cup in three straight years. Toronto had finished the 1948/49 season under .500 with 57 points in 60 games, losing  five of their last six regular season games. They got hot at the right time though. In winning the Cup, they won eight of nine games including a four game sweep of the first place Red Wings in the final. 

The problem with this photo is that no numbers are visible, fortunately the faces are fairly easy to identify. Of the four players in the picture, the two Maple Leafs are obvious to most fans of old time hockey. On the left is Fleming Mackell, and next to him is captain Ted Kennedy. 19 year-old Mackell would score 6 points in 9 playoff games in 1949 while Kennedy led the Leafs with 8. The Red Wing facing camera is a left shooter judging by his right hand holding the top of his stick and facial identification pegs him as defenceman Jack Stewart. (see below for comparison)
The Red Wing with his head turned away from the camera offers one great clue. Look carefully at his stick and you see the number "7" hand-written in multiple places on it. None other than Ted Lindsay. The hairline and profile of the face match as well. One other confirmation is the fact that he is just about the same height as Mackell who is at the same depth of field in the photo as him. Lindsay stood 5'8", Mackell 5'7". The official attempting to break up the melee appears to be be Bill "Big Whistle" Chadwick who is listed as having worked the game. Compare to the photo below and it looks to be him.

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