Monday, December 24, 2012
eBay Pickup: Montreal Greats
I now have 33/89 cards from the set signed which can be seen here
I picked these up on eBay for $7.00 a piece towards my autographed Fleer Greats set. The Gump Worsley card was an auto that had to be purchased since Worsley has passed away. Mr. Beliveau on the other hand is a 50/50. I have sent a card to him but there were rumors that he quit signing after his heart attack last year and seen that it took around 400 days to see a successful return.
A classic NHL Legend that played 20 seasons in Montreal Canadiens and captured not just 1 not 2, not 3, not even 9 but 10 Stanley Cups. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.
NOTE: Beliveau does not interest me as much as Worsley since Beliveau is not a goalie like me.
Gump Worsley (Info taken from Wikipedia)
Born Lorne John Worsley in May 14, 1929 and given his famous nickname "Gump" from his friends who see a relation to him from Andy Gump, a famous character from the Gumps which was a cartoon strip that ran from February 12, 1917 until October 17, 1959.
In the fall of 1952 he was signed by the New York Rangers of the NHL, and though playing for a last place team, won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year. However, after asking for a $500 a year increase in pay, he was promptly returned to the minor leagues for the following season. Playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the WHL, he won the league most valuable player award in 1954. He resumed position as starting goaltender for the Rangers in 1954, beating out future NHL star Johnny Bower. Wearing the traditional number 1 for goaltenders, he toiled for the oft-hapless Rangers for the next nine seasons, generally playing well for poor teams.
Some more notes from his career.
Worsley was known for his wry sense of humour and various eccentricities. Early in his career with the Rangers, when he was regularly facing 40–50 shots a night, he was asked "Which team gives you the most trouble?" His reply - "The New York Rangers." Accused by Rangers' coach Phil Watson of having a beer belly, he replied, "Just goes to show you what he knows. I only drink Johnnie Walker Red."
Worsley was also an outstanding soccer player, who began his senior career with McMasterville in the Montreal League. In the summer of 1952, while playing hockey for the Saskatoon Quakers, he played for the Saskatoon all-stars against the touring Tottenham Hotspur from England at centre forward. One year later he captained Montreal Hakoah at centre half in the Canadian Challenge Trophy final, and continued his soccer career with Montreal Vickers in 1954.
He was also vehemently opposed to wearing a mask. Worsley was the second-to-last professional hockey goaltender to play without a mask - Andy Brown of the Indianapolis Racers being the final one the following season - wearing one only in the last six games of his career. Asked about why he chose to go without, he told reporters, "My face is my mask."
Worsley was also well known for his fear of flying. He suffered a nervous breakdown in the 1968–69 season after a rough flight from Montreal's Dorval Airport to Chicago on November 25 en route to Los Angeles, and received psychiatric treatment and missed action as a result. It is said that when he came out of retirement to play for the North Stars he was assured that, as Minnesota was in the central part of the continent, the team traveled less than any other in the league.