As you may recall, I grew up in Rochester, New York. The main local grocery store in my suburban town was Loblaw's, which I know now is a Canadian company (and still in business the last time I was in Toronto on business.) As you likely also know, hockey is the Canadian sport*. Well, during the 1974-1975 hockey season, Loblaw's passed out strips of hockey stickers and coupons. Seeing as how my mother shopped at Loblaw;s, I came to acquire the stickers. My mother, usually frugal to the point of making Mr. Lincoln cry, did spring for the sticker album.
And, so I spent that hockey season carefully pasting stickers in the album. I never did finish it and, my mother also being quite unsentimental, it was thrown out at some point in the intervening years. I occasionally think about it and, during a recent bout of nostalgia, looked for the stickers on EBay. Sure enough they are out there. So, I found an auction with a reasonable starting point and made my bid. As you can guess, I won and now I am going to show you. In no particular order:
Living in Rochester, I was a Sabres fan, even though the local team, the Americans or Amerks, were the Boston farm club. Dontcha just love that old time goalie mask?
Another crazy mask! Cesare had a 190-257-97 record with 3.27 Goals Against Average in 16 NHL seasons.
One of two Hockey Hall of Fame inductees I got with the lot of stickers.
Another goalie with a long career. The only reason I am showing this, though, is that wild mask. It just makes me laugh.
This picture was taken as Mohns was entering his last NHL season. He was 41 at the time and had been in the league since 1953. Some of the people he played against probably weren't even alive when Mohns started in the NHL.
The other Hall of Famer in the group.
Marson was the only black player in the album. Come to find out, he wasn't the first player of African descent in the NHL. That honor went to Willie O'Ree, also known as the "Jackie Robinson of ice hockey" who played in the NHL in the 1957-58 and 1960-61 seasons. Marson was, I suppose you could say, the Larry Doby of ice hockey, being the second black player in the NHL. This was his rookie card/sticker.
I swear a lot of the players look like they had auditioned for the lead role in the movie Joe Dirt. I was the 1970's, after all.
I just can't get enough of those masks.
I guess I am going to have to try and put the set together. The albums are as scarce as hen's teeth, so at the moment, these stickers are going into Ultra Pro sheets.
*True Story: One time I was in Toronto on business and ended up going out to a very fancy restaurant for dinner with group of associates. We are talking art on the wall fancy. The waiters dressed head to toe in black fancy. Nonetheless there was a large TV on one wall playing the Leafs game. That is when I finally grasped what hockey meant to Canada.
Question: Anyone interested in the duplicates?
Up Next: I finally (hopefully) get that card I spent a buttload of money on.
What I am listening to: Polk County by Della Mae