Saturday, January 14, 2017

Classic Auctions Win = 70% Milestone Reached

All of these autographs come from a single lot I won from Classic Auctions. It was a bittersweet win because it wasn't the lot I had wanted, that was a signed 1940s minor league program that went for a few hundred dollars more than I could have afforded. It was also somewhat of a sentimental win for me. I've long drooled over Classic Auction's stuff but have never been in the market to bid. Finally working a career job, I have a little disposable income and this represents a new direction in my collection, chasing rarer vintage signatures. I actually won these for rather cheap, with the opening bid, or not much more than it. The lot I won included a few signed pictures and a few signed programs. The pictures were of the lot and it was difficult to identify exactly all the signatures I was buying. My trained eyes were able to identity more than a few nice ones and I judged it worth the asking price. Part of the fun in getting a lot of signatures like this for me is identifying all the autographs. I ended up with 22 new NHL autographs and 5 new WHA autographs. A nice haul. I also added dozens of autographs to my growing tradelists.

The grand total of unique NHL autographs now stands at 5,214 for 70% of everyone who's ever played in the NHL. When I started this collection over a decade ago I never would have thought I'd be able to get so far. I'm 25 so at this rate, and my love of collecting hasn't showed any sings of slowing, I should be able to make it close to the impossible 100% goal. I'm confident there's a few older guys from the 1920s who's signatures I'll never see, but if I stay with it I should be able to get the majority of the rare ones. My lifetime goal is to complete the collection enough to make it something the HHOF would take when I go. All my signatures must fit in a binder (organized by years of debut, then alphabetically) so although its quite large in terms of quantity, it only takes up one bookshelf and its a blast to flip through.

Starting with a 1967 Red Wings Vs Penguins program:
Red Wings Autographs:

For the collection:
Baz Bastien
It was a 1967 team photo that confirmed this autograph for me. I thought it might be Bastien but couldn't fill in the blanks as to why he would have signed the program until I saw him listed as the team's assistant GM. As a young goalie, Baz Bastien tended goal for 5 NHL games with the 1945/46 Toronto Maple Leafs. His career was cut short when a puck to the face caused him to lose an eye. From 1976 to 1983 he was General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, his career ending abruptly with his unfortunate death in a car accident at 63 years of age.

Roy Edwards
Roy Edwards spent a decade playing pro before the 1967 expansion draft gave him the big break he needed. Edwards was drafted by the Penguins in the expansion draft and then traded to the Red Wings shortly after. From 1967 to 1974 Edwards appeared between the pipes in 236 regular season games, mostly with Detroit but also playing with Pittsburgh. He's also notable for being the "goalie on hand" for the 1960 Chicago Blackhawks. Although he never played a game for the club, he got his name on the Stanley Cup, listed as "Allan R Edwards." He passed away in 1999 at 62. 

Jim Peters
I had tried writing to Peters a couple times at a couple different addresses but kept getting RTS. From 1964 to 1975 Peters played over 300 games in the NHL between the Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Kings. His father, Jimmy Peters sr., also spent over a decade in the NHL.

Extras: Ted Hampson, Dean Prentice, Alex Delvecchio, Bill Gadsby, Bert Mashall, Norm Ullman, Doug Barkley, Sid Abel and Gary Bergman

Pittsburgh Penguins autographs:

For the collection:
Bill Speer
This was a rare signature I couldn't identify right away. Without another Speer autograph to refer to, I wasn't 100% sure it was him (he wasn't with the team all season) until I turned to the rosters. Filled in by hand, Speer had been added to the lineup by whoever had attended the game. That confirmed it for me and i'm now 100% its Speer. Had I any doubt at all, I would have added it to my small pile of questionable autographs that don't get added to my collection. Speer is most notable for helping the Boston Bruins win the 1970 Stanley Cup. The defenceman played over 100 games in both the NHL and WHA. Speer died in a snowmobile accident at only 46 in 1989.

Dunc McCallum
From 1965 to 1971 defenceman Dunc McCallum played 187 regular season games in the NHL. He made his NHL debut with the 1965/66 New York Rangers but only played 2 games for the club. The rest of McCallum's NHL career was spent with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He later spent two seasons in the WHA, playing for the Houston Aeros and Chicago Cougars. McCallum passed away in 1983 at only 43.

Bob Dillabough
From 1961 to 1970 Bob Dillabough played 300 career regular season+playoff games in the NHL. He was a member of the Red Wings, Bruins, Penguins and Oakland Seals. He also spent a season in the WHA, scoring 8 goals and 16 points in 72 games with the 1972/73 Cleveland Crusaders. Dillabough passed away in 1997 at only 55 after a hard life of uranium mining post hockey took its tole.

Extras: Red Sullivan, Andy Bathgate, Val Fonteyne, Ab McDonald, Leo Boivin, Hank Bassen, Paul Andrea, Ken Schinkel, Noel Price


1973/74 WHA Alberta Oilers team signed sheet.
This page is a dream for an autograph collector like me. Autographs all are clear and well spaced.

For the collection:
Len Lunde
From 1958 to 1971 Len Lunde played well over 300 games in the NHL, dressing with the Red Wings, Blackhawks, North Stars and Canucks. He retired to coach the Finnish national team at the 1973 World Championships but returned to play a full season with the WHA's 1973/74 Oilers. Lunde passed away in 2010.

Brian McKenzie
Brian McKenzie scored 1 goal and 2 points in 6 career NHL games with the 1971/72 Pittsburgh Penguins. He later played 87 games in the WHA between the Edmonton Oilers and Indianapolis Racers. I was never able to find an address for McKenzie so I was especially happy to add this.

Chris Worthy
From 1968 to 1971 Chris Worthy played 26 NHL games with the Oakland and then California Seals. From 1973 to 1976 Worthy played 81 games in the WHA for the Edmonton Oilers. Worthy, who was born in England but raised in Canada, passed away in 2007 from cancer at 59.

Jim McCrimmon
Defenceman Jim McCrimmon played 2 career NHL games with the 1974/75 St. Louis Blues. From 1973 to 1975 McCrimmon was a member of the WHA's Edmonton Oilers. Additionally, he later played 5 more games in the WHA with the 1975/76 Calgary Cowboys.

Bob Fitchner
Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1970, Bob Fitchner signed in the WHA with the Edmonton Oilers in 1973. From then until the league folded he played over 400 games in the WHA, scoring over 200 points. In the Rebel League he dressed with the Oilers, Racers and Nordiques, helping Quebec win the league championship in 1977.  Fitchner followed the Nords into the NHL, making his debut in the league almost a decade after he was drafted. From 1979 to 1981 he played 78 NHL games with Quebec, scoring 12 goals and 32 points. 

The next 5 get added to my WHA only autographs
Ian Wilkie
From 1972 to 1974 Ian Wilkie appeared in 33 regular season WHA games. He played for the New York Raiders, Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers. He had originally been drafted by the Montreal Canadiens but attended University after junior and only later signed in the WHA. He went back to University after hockey and had a very successful business career. 

Tom Gilmore
From 1972 to 1975 Tom Gilmore played over 200 games in the WHA, suiting up for the Los Angeles Sharks and Edmonton Oilers. He scored 48 goals and over 100 points over his WHA career. Gilmore was an undrafted University of Denver alumni when he signed with the LA Sharks. Tom's son, Patrick Gilmore, is a notable actor who had a recurring role on Stargate. 

Rusty Patenaude
From 1974 to 1977 Rusty Patenaude played five full seasons with the Alberta/Edmonton Oilers. In 1977/78 he played his last season of pro with the WHA's Indianapolis Racers. Patenaude, originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins, scored 159 goals and 290 points in 431 regular season WHA games. His best season was a 42 goal year with the 1975/76 Oilers.

Roger Cote
 Defenceman Roger Cote spent over a decade in the AHL in the 1960s, but was never able to crack an NHL roster. The World Hockey Association gave him, and many more players, a new opportunity and from 1972 to 1974 he played 155 games with the Alberta/Edmonton Oilers.

Ron Climie
Ron Climie scored 98 goals and 204 points in 249 career regular season games in the WHA. He was a member of the Ottawa Nationals, Edmonton Oilers and New England Whalers. He scored a career high 38 goals with the 1973/74 Oilers, leading the team in scoring and representing them at his second WHA All-Star game. Climie was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 1970 and spent a couple season's playing for the CHL affiliate, the Kansas City Blues, but was never able to crack the parent club's roster.

extras: Jim Harrison, Ross Perkins, Val Fonteyne, Al Hamilton, Steve Carlyle, Blair MacDonald, Ken Baird, Bob Falkenberg, Eddie Joyal, Doug Barrie, Bob Wall, Jack Norris


1970/71 LA Kings Signed Sheet:
If you look closely, this one was much more difficult to cut up that the Oilers page. With some of the autographs so close together, I had to make some unfortunate sacrifices. Juha Widing's autograph was a painful one to cut though because he's long deceased and I needed his signature. I had to sacrifice it because it ran through the Flett and Mickey signatures. With Mickey's autograph being rarer than Widings, and me being a fan of Flett, it was the clear choice to keep the other two. My girlfriend saw me in agony over this, "well why can't you just keep them all?" she asks. Well, its because I'm too anal with my autographs. I have to be able to put it in its proper place (the proper year of debut binder, then organized alphabetically) so dual signatures just don't work.  

For the collection:
Bill Flett
Bill "Cowboy" Flett spent almost 2 decades playing pro hockey in the 1960s and 70s. He played nearly 700 regular season games in the NHL and almost 200 regular season games in the WHA. Flett's best season as a 43 goals season with the 1972/73 Philly Flyers and then in 1974 he won a Stanley Cup with the Flyers. Flett suffered from alcoholism for many years after hockey and died in 1999 at only 55 from liver failure.

Larry Mickey
From 1964 to 1975 Larry Mickey played 301 career regular season+playoff games in the NHL, dressing with the Blackhawks, Rangers, Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Kings, Flyers and Sabres. In 1967 Mickey's wife died in a car crash while he was driving, something that stuck with him for the rest of his life. He had a difficult time after his hockey career had ended and when his third wife left him, Mickey committed suicided at just 38.

Lucien Grenier
Lucien Grenier made his NHL debut in the playoffs with the 1969 Montreal Canadiens, playing 2 games. The Habs won the Stanley Cup but didn't choose to include Grenier's name on the trophy even though he qualified for the honor. From 1969 to 1972 Grenier played 150+ NHL games between the Habs and Los Angeles Kings. I've never seen a TTM success from Grenier so its a nice find.

Larry Cahan
Cahan might be best known for being involved in the NHL's only only on ice fatality, being one of the players who checked Bill Masterton in 1968, causing Masterton to his his head on the ice and later die. If was, of course and accident, but deeply affected Cahan. From 1954 to 1971 Larry Cahan played 665 career regular season games in the NHL and later spent a season in the WHA. Cahan passed away in 1992 at 58. 

Extras: Paul Curtis, Doug Robinson, Bob Berry, Bob Pulford, Gord Labossier, Mike Byers, Ed Shack,  Gilles Marotte, Dale Hoganson, Noel Price, Matt Ravlich, Jack Norris/Denis Dejordy


For the collection:
Tommy Williams
I just needed 1 autograph from this sheet but it turned out to be a good one. A nice, clean autograph of Tommy Williams, who was for a long time the undisputed best American born player in the NHL. From 1961 to 1976 he played 663 regular season games in the NHL, scoring 161 goals and 430 points. He was a member of the Bruins, North Stars, Golden Seals, Capitals and the WHA's New England Whalers. Internationally, Williams won a Gold medal at the 1960 Olympics as a youngster with USA. His brother, Butch Williams, also played in the NHL. Unfortunately, Williams' personal life was marred by tragedy, his wife died a young woman, his son died in his young twenties and Williams himself passed away in 1992 at only 51. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981. 

Extras added to tradelist: JP Parise, Barry Gibbs, Lou Nanne, Claude Larose, Danny Grant, Bill Goldsworthy


Minnesota North Stars team signed:

For the collection:
Steve Jensen
From 1975 to 1982 Steve Jensen played 438 regular season games in the NHL, scoring 113 goals and 221 points. He split that time between the Minnesota North Stars and Los Angeles Kings. Internationally, Jensen represented America at the 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1983 World Championships, 1976 Olympics and 1977 Canada Cup.

Jim Roberts (b. 1956)
This Jim Roberts played over 100 games in the NHL between 1976 and 1979, all with the Minnesota North Stars. He was claimed by Winnipeg in the 1979 expansion draft but never suited up for the Jets.
I also noticed that Jim Roberts' 1978/79 OPC hockey card has an error on the back, it features a signatures of the other Jim Roberts, you can clearly see the difference here and its and clearly matched to the other Jim Robert's autograph.

Extras added to tradelist: Pete LoPresti, Ales Pirus, Fred Barret, Charlie Burns, Tom Younghans, Tom Reid, Pierre Jarry


Another multi-singed North Stars item:

Two for the collection:
Paul Shmyr
Paul Shmyre was a solid defenceman who, from 1968 to 1982, played 343 regular season games in the NHL and another 511 games in the WHA. In the NHL he was a member of the Blackhawks, Golden Seals, North Stars and Whalers. In the WHA he played for the Cleveland Crusaders, San Diego Mariners and Edmonton Oilers. In the Rebel League, Shmyre was a perennial top defender, being named to the league's All-Star teams in 1973, 1974, 1976 and 1979 and in 1976 was named the WHA's best defenceman. He was captain of the 1978/79 Edmonton Oilers, Wayne Gretzky's rookie team. When the league folded Shmyre was third all-time in WHA games played by any player. In the NHL, from 1979 to 1981 he was captain of the Minnesota North Stars, leading them a Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup finals in 1981. Internationally, he's also notable for being named to team Canada's 1974 Summit Series team. He passed away from cancer in 2004 at just 58.

Brad Maxwell
From 1977 to 1987 Brad Maxwell played over 600 games in the NHL. The defenceman was a member of the North Stars, Nordiques, Maples Leafs, Canucks and Rangers. He exploded for 73 points from the blueline with the 1983/84 North Stars and was named to the NHL's 1984 All-Star team. Internationally, Maxwell represented Canada at the 1978 and 1982 World Championships, bringing home a Bronze medal each time. I actually just sent a TTM request to Maxwell, but I'm happy to have this one for now.

Extras added to tradelist: Glen Sharpley, Tim Young, Fred Ahern, Gary Edwards, Louis Levasseur, Craig Hartsburg, Pierre Jarry


The last couple I forgot to scan the pages before cutting them up, but they were both signed pages from Minnesota North Stars programs.

Dave Cressman
From 1974 to 1976 Dave Cressman played 85 games in the NHL for the Minnesota North Stars, scoring 6 goals and 14 points. He was drafted by the North Stars in 1970 but put his pro career on hold to attend the University of Guelph, not exactly a place known for its hockey development program, and he beat the odds to make it to the NHL anyway.

Pierre Jarry
Jarry is an impossible TTM signer so I was happy to get this. From 1971 to 1978 he played 344 regular season games in the NHL, scoring 88 goals and 205 points having suited up with the Rangers, Leafs, Wings and North Stars. He also spent part of the 1977/78 season in the WHA with the Edmonton Oilers.

Extras: Dean Talafous, Steve Jensen, Ernie Hicke, Glenn Sather, Bryan Hextall, Bill Hogaboam, Pete Lopresti, Lou Nanne, Mike Antonovich, Blake Dunlop, Tom Reid, Fred Barrett. And from the other: Dean Talafous, Ron Zanussi, Tom Younghans, Per-Olov Brasar, Brad Maxwell, Lou Nanne, Nick Beverley, Tim Young, Paul Harrison/Pete Lopresti, Kent-Erik Andersson, Steve Jensen, Alex Pirus, Glen Sharpley, Fred Barrett, Roland Eriksson, Jerry Engele, Pierre Jarry

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