Thursday, August 30, 2018

Wayne Gretzky...Phenom or Phony?

I recently picked up this hockey magazine from November 1978 for two reasons; a Maple Leaf (Tiger Williams) is pictured on the cover, and there's an article about a young Wayne Gretzky inside.
Written by Shirley Fischler, wife of Stan and a renowned hockey writer herself. 
Fischler describes the 17-year old Gretzky as having "fresh good looks" in "well-worn khaki jeans, denim t-shirt and Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap". Gretzky is quoted,"I let my agent, Gus (Badali), carry the money. I just want enough cash to pay my expenses."He also states, "In my life, girls always came third, after hockey and school."
What I really like are the fairly rare photos of Gretz in a pre-season photo-shoot wearing the Indianapolis Racers jersey. He of course played a mere 8 games for Indy, collecting 6 points. The trade to Edmonton on November 2, 1978 happened likely as this magazine was hitting the newsstands. The rest is history. I'd say the 17-year old "fresh" kid was certainly a phenom instead of a phony. 

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