I really enjoyed reading Ken Reid’s Hockey Card Stories. The book was full of incredible interviews and hockey history. Reid’s connection to the game and players through the lens of his youth and his adult life was refreshing, heartfelt, and engaging. This article highlights a few cards I got a kick out of learning about.
1974 OPC #161 Don Cherry
First, Cherry said he could not believe that he had a knot that big in his tie. But more importantly, he said the tie was airbrushed! He remembered wearing a blue tie.
1980 OPC #164 Penalty Minute Leaders
Reid wrote, “If you are going to be on a hockey card, why wouldn’t you look happy about it? Jimmy Mann may hold the distinction of being the happiest-looking guy to ever grace a Penalty Minutes Leaders card.” He was smiling because he had made it to the NHL!
1977 OPC #26 Orest Kindrachuk
Kindrachuk doesn’t remember who he got into a fight with, but when asked about the picture, he said, “They got a thousand pictures and they gotta use that one?”
1983 OPC #116 Corrado Micalef
Even Micalef admits that the mask has a bit of a horror look; it’s kind of scary. Ernie Higgins designed it.
1975 OPC #189 Bill Clement
After reading this book, I’m confident OPC/Topps made more errors and did more airbrushing on hockey cards than they did for the other three major sports combined. And Clement’s card is described as the greatest and worst airbrush job in the history of hockey cards. Clement had just been sent to the Capitals from the Flyers, and Reid described the card as having a crayon-like feel.
1976 OPC WHA #54 Bryan Maxwell
Speaking of airbrushing, they airbrushed the uniform straight off of Bryan Maxwell for his 1976 OPC WHA card…but wait, that’s not even Bryan Maxwell in the picture; it’s Mike Bartley!
1971 OPC #20 Phil Esposito
I never noticed that Esposito was wearing “the sweetest slacks you will ever see.”
I highly encourage any hockey, sports fan, or card collector to pick up a copy of Hockey Card Stories, if for no reason other than Ken Reid’s mockery of vintage hairstyles. And, of course, he has a section on my favorite airbrushed hockey hilarity; happy collecting!
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