Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I just can't let it go

Flipping through the cable channels and I keep coming across Fox LA's (or whatever the channel is) "Kings Stanley Cup Parade" show. Ugh.

So to counterbalance the negative vibes I'm shuffling through more of Chris' vintage Rangers cards that came last week. Behold the magic:

Now THAT is a 'well loved' card. But kind of like with my first college girlfriend, I don't really mind. This is a '54-'55 Nick Mickoski. He played for the Rangers from 1947 through 1955. During his career he played for the Blackhawks, Bruins and Wings in addition to the Blueshirts, all four of the U.S. based NHL teams. Ironically the '54 Topps set contained players from only those four teams. Parkhust issued a (equally sweet) set of nothing but Leafs and Habs. I love the cartoon and the reference to Mickoski as "Tricky Nick".

This 1961 Topps Albert 'Junior' Langlois is the card that Chris promised to send me in the first place. He said he'd add a friend of two. Boy, did he ever. Langlois played for the Rangers and several other clubs during a career that lasted into the late '60s. 

And here is something I hadn't noticed until now. Look at the background photo Topps used. The Wings player seen on the right hand side is wearing one of those rudimentary 'helmets'. Hockey players have worn helmets since the 1930s in one form of another but that leather one doesn't show up much. 

These next cards are of players that I'm very familiar with. Harry Howell play f-o-r-e-v-e-r! 24 seasons overall, 17 with the Rangers. I remember seeing him play for New Jersey during the WHA's days here in Houston and wondering how the hell he could still skate.

Every team, since the dawn of hockey time, has had a guy the fans love to, well, maybe not hate, but wish he was traded or cut. Rod Seiling was that guy on my Rangers teams in the late 60s. I don't know why everyone wanted him gone. He was a solid defensive blueliner.

Gilles Villemure was Eddie Giacomin's back-up for awhile and commentators always pulled out the 'he could start for most teams' business. And it was probably true. He got more and more playing time as Giacomin aged and he shared the Vezina Trophy with Eddie G. in 1971. But when the Rangers traded Giacomin (that hurts me even to think about it today) Villemure got the job and he wasn't quite as good as he had been as a platoon goalie.

Oh, and he looks like my ex-uncle Ralph.

Al MacNeil played for the Rangers and the Houston Apollos and I'm sure I saw him play for both teams I really don't remember him except as the coach who was canned by the Canadiens after winning a Cup in the early '70s.

So there's another handful of the great vintage hockey cardboard I got from Chris.