Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mail - 4,700 Autographs

26 new NHL alumni autographs to show in this mail post increases the grand total to exactly 4,700 unique NHL player signatures. The common theme in this post is actually that most of the players have passed away.

One of the most frustrating things about collecting autographs is that being dead doesn't mean the player's signature is worth anything. If even a devout hockey fan wouldn't recognized the player's name, odds are the signature isn't worth anything, even though the player is deceased. Enter an ebay seller who listed a bunch of signatures from recently deceased players. While I'm used to seeing the same signatures sit and sit on ebay for prices that are way to high, this seller had some shockingly reasonable prices. Shout out to fellow collector Kingsley who told me I should check out the seller's stuff. A couple emails later and I had negotiated a deal for a big package of signatures. 

Save the first few autographs that I made some customs with, you'll notice a consistent design, I'd LOVE to find out the story on these signed index cards. I have a feeling that it was, at one time, a mega collection that was sold off into many parts. I know they're authentic and I've even seen autographs from this collection used in ITG/UD cut autograph cards. Does anyone know the backstory on the collector who made them? 

Stay tuned for a couple big mails posts to start the new year. I have a stack of TTM returns to scan and document. I'm also holding hope that I'll get a package from COMC.com full of autographs. I requested them to be shipped almost two months ago and they were sent shortly thereafter. I haven't had a package from the site go missing yet but I'm losing hope. It usually never takes more than a couple weeks for anything from the States to get here. I guess there's a possibility that since its a larger package it was delayed by customs. In any case, I had bought some great signatures that I'm anxiously awaiting. I should reach the 5,000 autograph mark shortly into 2016. 

Ed Hoekstra
Ed Hoekstra was a long time pro hockey player who spent one season in the NHL and a couple in the WHA. He played 70 career NHL games with the inaugural 1967/68 Philadelphia Flyers and in the 1970s saw time with the WHA's Houston Aeros. He died in 2011 after being hit by a car.

Bobby Ring
Goalie Bob Ring played one career game in the NHL. He suited up for the 1965/66 Boston Bruins.

Terry Caffery
The 3rd overall pick of the 1966 NHL draft, Terry Caffery played 14 games in the NHL between the Blackhawks and North Stars. He's best known for his 3 seasons in the WHA as a member of the New England Whalers and Calgary Cowboys. His brother, Jack, also played in the NHL.

Joe Bretto
Hulking 6'1 250lbs defenceman Joe Bretto played 3 career NHL games, all with the 1944/45 Chicago Blackhawks. Known as "The Brute", he was a tough customer. He passed away in 2007 at 94.

Gus Giesebrecht
From 1938 to 1942 Gus Giesebrecht played 135 regular season NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings. He left hockey to join WWII were he saw combat action in Europe. Giesebrecht decided not to return to pro hockey after the war. He died in 2006 at 90. 

Nick Mickoski
From 1948 to 1960 Nick Mickoski played over 700 career NHL games. He was a member of the Rangers, Blackhawks, Red Wings and Bruins. He was named an NHL All-Star in 1956. He later became a coach and spent a couple season in the WHA as an assistant with the Winnipeg Jets. He passed away in 2002.

Peanuts O'Flaherty
From 1940 to 1942 John "Peanuts" O'Flaherty scored 5 goals in 21 career NHL games with the New York/Brooklyn Americans. His son, Gerry, also went on to play in the NHL.

Al Dewsbury
Defenceman Al Dewsbury is most notable for winning the Stanley Cup as a member of the 1950 Detroit Red Wings. He also represented the Chicago Blackhawks at the 1951 NHL All-Star game. From 1946 to 1956 he played 350+ career NHL games. Dewsbury passed away in 2006.

Ed Dorohoy
A long time pro hockey player, Eddie Dorohoy only spent one season in the NHL. He was held pointless in 16 career games with the 1948/49 Montreal Canadiens. He passed away in 2009 at 80.

Bill Orban
From 1967 to 1970 Bill Orban played over 100 games in the NHL between the Blackhawks and North Stars.

Steve Black
From 1949 to 1951 Steve Black played over 100 games in the NHL between the Red Wings and Blackhawks. He's most notable for being a member of Gordie Howe's 1950 Detroit Red Wings who captured the Stanley Cup. He passed away in 2008 at 81.

Roland Rousseau
Roland "Rollie" Rousseau played 2 career NHL games with the 1952/53 Montreal Canadiens, a hard roster to crack since the team went on to win that season's Stanley Cup. His bothers, Bobby and Guy, also played in the NHL.
Jack Stanfield
Jack Stanfield's only game in the NHL came during the 1966 Stanley Cup playoffs with the Blackhawks. He later played a couple seasons in the WHA with the Houston Aeros and the Howe family. Jack's brothers, Fred and Jim, also played in the NHL.

Vic Lynn
From 1942 to 1954 Vic Lynn played well over 300 games in the NHL. Lynn is very notable for being the only player to dress for all six of the 'original six' NHL teams; Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Boston, New York and Detroit. He won the Stanley Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1947, 1948 and 1949. He passed away at 85 in 2010.

Jack Jackson
Jack Jackson played 1 season, 48 career games, in the NHL with the 1946/47 Chicago Blackhawks. He passed away this past August.

Vern Kaiser
Vern Kaiser spent one season in the NHL, playing 50 game with the 1950/51 Montreal Canadiens. He also saw a couple games in the playoffs, where the Habs eventually lost in the finals to Toronto. Kaiser died in 2011. 

Max McNab
Between 1947 and 1951 Max McNab played well over 100 games in the NHL. He won the Stanley Cup in 1950 with the Detroit Red Wings. McNab went into management after retiring from as a player. He was General Manager of the Washington Capitals from 1976 to 1981 and GM of the New Jersey Devils from 1983 to 1987. His son, Peter, went on to become a star NHLer. Max passed away in 2007.

Ted Lanyon
Defenceman Ted Lanyon played 5 career NHL games for the 1967/68 Pittsburgh Penguins. He passed away from cancer in 2008 at 68.

Paul Stewart
Paul Stewart is best know as an NHL official. He refereed over 1,000 games. He was, however, a player before becoming a referee. He played 21 NHL games for the 1979/80 Quebec Nordiques and had previously spent time in the WHA with the Cincinnati Stingers.

Ed Harrison
From 1947 to 1951 Ed Harrison played over 200 regular season+playoff games in the NHL. He spent most of that time with the Bruins but also saw some time with the New York Rangers. He passed away in 2012.

Hub Anslow
Hub Anslow played 2 games for the 1947/48 New York Rangers. He passed away in 2006.

Don O'Donaghue
From 1967 to 1972 Don O'Donaghue played 125 regular season games in the NHL with the Oakland/California Seals. He later played a couple season in the WHA. O'Danhughe died of cancer in 2007.

Galen Head
Galen Head played 1 NHL game with the 1967/68 Detroit Red Wings. He's best known as a long time member of the real life Johnston Jets team that inspired the movie Slap Shot, a film Head also had an uncredited role in. You can read a lengthy article about his life here

Barry Wilkins
From 1966 to 1976 Barry Wilkins played over 400 regular season+playoff games in the NHL. He most notable for scoring the first NHL goal in Vancouver Canucks history in 1970. Wilkins died of cancer in 2011 at just 64.

Fran Huck
Fran Huck played just under 100 career NHL games between the Montreal Canadiens and St. Louis Blues. He later went on to play five years in the WHA, dressing for the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Fighting Saints. He was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame for his role on Team Canada. He helped them bring home a bronze at the 1968 Olympics. I've tried writing to Huck, a long time lawyer, a couple times but have yet to get anything back. 

Chris Minard
The only NHL autograph from this post that wasn't part of the big package. This comes from a small trade with a Pittsburgh based collector; thanks Dennis! Chris Minard played 40 games in the NHL between 2007 and 2010. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers. He played a number of regular season games for the 2009 Penguins team that won the Stanley Cup. Minard didn't get his name engraved on the trophy but was awarded a Cup ring by Pittsburgh.


Autographs 27, 28 and 29 of this mail post fall outside of my NHL player collection. The first two came along with the big package of this mail post. The last autograph is a cheap ebay win.

Bryan Lewis
From 1966 all they way through the 1980s Bryan Lewis officiated well over 1000 NHL games. He was Director of Officiating for the NHL all through the 1990s. A pretty great inscription too, "Referees are Humans!"

Terry Gregson
Another signature for my NHL officials stash, Terry Gregson was an NHL referee from 1981 to 2004. He officiated many notable games, including the 1994 and 1999 Stanley Cup finals. From 2009 to 2013 he was Director of Officiating for the NHL.

Brigette Lacquette
Defenceman Brigette Lacquette was recently named a member of Team Canada's National team. She won a Silver medal at the 2015 IIHF Women's World Championships. She played NCAA hockey in the US with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. This is my first autograph from this year's Upper Deck Team Canada release that features a bunch of new women signers. 

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