14 October 2013

hockey memorials from the dollar store

hey, we're two games into the league championship series, so now seems like a good time for some...hockey?

well, i need to acknowledge the envelope that i received the other day from sportscards from the dollar store.

doug sent along a few cards for my 'memorials' project, and didn't just stick to baseball.  now, please know that i am not attempting to acquire memorial cards from all sports as part of the project (please, no basketball) but there have been some hockey (and even a football) memorials on the blog before.  here are the hockey cards doug sent (he even provided a list letting me know for whom the patches were being worn).

1990-91 bowman jim sandlak
that's a 'babe' patch for babe pratt, worn by the vancouver canucks during the 1988-89 season.  although pratt had retired well before the canucks entered the league, he was an analyst based in vancouver who also served (according to wikipedia) as a 'goodwill ambassador' for the canucks.  he died during the first intermission of a game in december, 1988.

1997-98 pacific michael pivonka
pacific made hockey cards?  that's a patch for jack button - his initials and a bulldog.  button was an executive for the pittsburgh penguins during the early 1970's and then joined the capitals organization in 1979.  he discovered quite a few players as a scout (including mr. pivonka there) and was still working for the team as director of player personnel when he died in 1996 of leukemia.

1998-99 upper deck mvp rob zamuner
this is an odd case.  the lightning wore that shamrock '12' patch for teammate john cullen who had been diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma.  cullen was able to briefly return to the ice the following season, but retired as a player soon after.  it's good to see that cullen is still around today.

2002-03 upper deck vintage steve konowalchuk
konowalchuk is wearing a patch for the victims of september 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  i am guessing that the rangers probably wore something similar?  the kings wore the 'am' patch for their two employees who were aboard one of the hijacked planes.

2006-07 o-pee-chee scott gomez
the devils wore a 'jm' patch for their owner, john mcmullen, who died in september of 2005.  mcmullen had owned the team since 1982 when they were the colorado rockies, and moved them to new jersey.  at the time, he was also the owner of the houston astros, and remained so until 1993.

2008-09 upper deck mvp adam burish
that 'www' patch, complete with what looks like one of the blackhawk's feathers, is for the team's owner bill wirtz, who died of cancer in 2007.  the blackhawks weren't very good during his 40 years at the helm, and so fans apparently didn't care much for wirtz.  according to wikipedia, they booed during the moment of silence dedicated to wirtz at the team's 2007-08 home opener.  yikes.

2009-10 itg heroes and prospects shea weber
here's a minor league memorial.  the milwaukee admirals wore a 'ks' patch to honor their broadcaster kyle schultz who passed away in october, 2005 at the age of 41.  the patch also says 'old time hockey' which apparently was a favorite phrase of schultz's.

2009-10 upper deck mikhail grabovski
doug wrote that the leafs' 'ace' patch is for leafs' hall of famer ace bailey.  makes sense, but bailey (this is a different ace bailey than the one that worked for the kings and died on september 11, 2001) passed away in 1992.  as near as i can tell, the leafs wore this patch to mark the anniversary of an all-star benefit game held for bailey in 1934 after his career was ended by a check from behind during a game against the bruins.  that benefit served as the inspiration for what later became the league's all-star game.

2009-10 upper deck national hockey card day rick nash
nash is wearing a patch for john h mcconnell, who was the founder and owner of the columbus blue jackets.  he passed away in 2008.

2012-13 leaf certified jeff skinner
skinner is wearing a patch for former carolina hurricane josef vasicek, who was one of the players in the russian league to die in a plane crash back in september, 2011. he had been a part of the hurricanes' stanley cup championship team in 2005-06.

thanks doug for the cards - i'll show the baseball memorials eventually!

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