Bobby Clarke Rookie Cards

With the 17th Overall pick, of the 2nd Round in the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft, the Philidelphia Flyers selected Bobby Clarke from the Flin Flon Bombers. Bobby Clarke has one official rookie card and we’ll be looking at two other rookie year cards.

I was wanting to up my Hockey Greats category while watching my beloved Cubbies play the Phillies, I was surprised to hear that the Phillies were in first place the week prior.

I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps they found inspiration in the Eagles winning the Super Bowl. So I decided, why not keep the Philly theme going and show some brotherly love to All-Time Great, Bobby Clarke.

Clarke Chosen to Lead

Clarke played his entire 15-year career with the Philadelphia Flyers and to this day remains the face of the franchise. Although he displayed talent he was the 17th pick of the 2nd Round in 1969. Teams did not want to take the chance on him because of his known diabetic condition, they questioned his stamina for an entire NHL season.

Philadelphia took their chances on Clarke and he debuted in the NHL in 1969 at the young age of 20 and by age 23 he became the captain of the Flyers, the reason for that position is because of his extreme work ethic.

Clarke became the inspirational leader of the team and it was something that happened naturally as the team bonded with Clarke as the captain.

Clarke an Intimidating Force

Bobby Clarke was tough, mean, and aggressive. His mental approach to the game of hockey was incompatible with anyone else in the league. His philosophy was, “never back down” as he would never accept defeat. This toughness and competitive nature were over the top but that’s what it took to win.

However, it was that competitive nature that gained Bobby Clarke a reputation. In fact, he flirted with being a dirty player but that was the very thing that gave him and the Flyers that psychological edge over their opponents.

By the mid-70’s the Philadelphia Flyers, and their rough house tactics, gained a reputation and were nicknamed The Broad Street Bullies – with a win at all cost mentality, and with Bobby Clarke in the lead, opponents feared going to Philadelphia. The Flyers were NHL Champions in 1974 & 1975.

Career Stats & Accomplishments

Career Summary: Games Played 1,144 | Goals 358 | Assist 852 | Points 1,210

NHL Accomplishments:

  • 3x Hart Memorial Trophy (1972, 74, 75) – which is an award given to a most valuable player award.
  • 2x Stanley Cup Winner (1974-75)
  • Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1971) – given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication.
  • Ted Lindsay Award (1972) – given to the most outstanding player in the regular season as judged by the members of the NHL Players Association.
  • Frank J. Selke Trophy (1982) – given to the player who demonstrates the most skill on the defensive side of the game.
  • Hall of Fame Induction (1987)

Rookie Card of Hall of Famer

BOBBY CLARKE

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1970-71 O-Pee-Chee, #195

 

For the third year in a row, O-Pee-Chee increased its set size, this year 264 cards were offered to collectors. Card 195 of this set is of our featured Hall of Famer. I really enjoy the abbreviated team name towards the bottom of the card.

The front photo shows a young Bobby Clarke with a full set of teeth which later in his career definitely changed as Clarke was proud of his huge, missing, front toothless smile.

At first, the background had me really confused, was that the headlights of a Mack truck headed towards him? Or perhaps the ditch lights of locomotive?! Actually, this 1970 design included these “spot-lights” to accent the card’s background.

The card back speaks vintage with that green cardboard, vector image of a hockey guy, and a text box with the player bio. Of course since O-Pee-Chee is a Canadian company card shows player commentary in both English and French languages.

As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $20.00-$60.00 depending on condition; graded near mint copies (7’s) sell for around $110.00; near mint-mint copies (8’s) sell in the $287.00 range. And mint copies (9’s) can be had for around $1,135.00 respectively.


Rookie Year Cards of Hall of Famer

Bobby Clarke


1970 Dad’s Cookies, #15

This is a 144 card set and measures 1-7/8″ X 5-3/8.” The cards were inserted into specially marked packages of Dad’s Cookies and Hat-Trick milk chocolate cookie bars. These food and beverage beauties were distributed in Canada.

The long slender card design allows for a sizeable photo of Bobby Clarke, although not a true rookie card it was released in his rookie year and therefore carries some hobby weight.

What I find most interesting about this one is the stats typically displayed on the card back are now proudly displayed on the card front. Speaking of the card back not much to brag about except for basic set info and a Decal Special Offer in both English & French languages.


1970 Esso Power Players, (Card Number N/A)

In 1970, the NHL Players Association teamed up with Imperial Oil. When customers stopped by any Canadian, Esso Gas Stations, customers received a pack of sticker cards with any fuel purchase. Soft and hardcover sticker albums were also available, or a plastic wallet was another option and it housed the sticker cards.

Cards measure 1-1/2″ X 2-1/8″ and although not a true rookie card it definitely falls under, oddball cards, that feature a Hall of Fame hockey player in his rookie year.

The design of the card front features an action photo with purple outlines. The back of the sticker card is obviously blank.


Sources:
Bobby Clarke Stats | Hockey-Reference.com https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/c/clarkbo01.html (accessed June 2, 2018).
Wikipedia contributors, “Esso Power Players,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Esso_Power_Players&oldid=980662721 (accessed June 2, 2018).
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