Rookie Card of the Beloved Phil Esposito
As a young man, Phil played hard enough to earn a spot onto the Minor League Teepees where he went on to impress the scouts of the Chicago Blackhawks and was given the chance at the pro level in the season of 1963-64. He has one official rookie card.
My consistency in posting lately has been on ice too. We recently sold our house, moved into a rental, and have started plans to build ourselves a new home. Busy, busy, busy and it has been taking away some of my blogging time. Enough of that though, back to Phil.
The Worst Trade in History?
His career in Chicago was short-lived, mainly because he couldn’t get along with Blackhawks management. By the end of the 1967 season, he was traded by Chicago to the Boston Bruins.
This trade has arguably been one of the worst in Chicago Blackhawks history and one of the best in Boston Bruins history. This trade paired Esposito with another All-Time Great, Bobby Orr.
The two complimented each other’s style of play and brought much success to the Bruins. If Orr couldn’t find a score he would pass the puck to Esposito who would typically be planted in the slot right in front of the net.
Key Components to Esposito’s Game
Esposito wouldn’t hit the puck very hard like some centers, instead, his talent was in his quickness and accuracy.
Phil Esposito was also known for being big and strong, he was hard to move. He would stand in front of the net and you couldn’t get him to move, everyone knew what the strategy was but you couldn’t do anything about it.
Goal scoring for him was being in front of the net, in the right place at the right time all the while utilizing his speed and accuracy of the puck. The moment the puck hit his stick it was gone, imitating a carom in billiards.
Career Stats & Accomplishments
The most memorable moment of Phil’s career was in the 1972 Summit Series when Canada hosted Russia. The series was not going very well and the Canadian fans began booing their team.
Esposito in a live interview immediately after one of the games rebuked the Canadian fans:
“If the Russian fans boo their players in Moscow like you people are booing us, I’ll come back and apologize personally to every one of you, but I really don’t think that will happen. We gave it and are doing our best. All of us guys are really disheartened…
We came out here because we love Canada. They’re a good hockey team, and we don’t know what we could do better, but I promise we will figure it out. But it’s totally ridiculous – I don’t think it is fair that we should be booed.
The fans responded to Esposito and embraced him. Later that year Esposito won the 1972 Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s outstanding male athlete of the year and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Other accomplishments include 2x Stanley Cup Winner | 8x All-Star | 2x Hart Memorial Trophy | 2x Ted Lindsay Award | 5x Art Ross Trophy.
Career Stats: Goals 717 | Assist 873 | Points 1590 | Game Winning Goals 118.
Rookie Card of Hall of Famer
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The 1965 Hockey Set houses 128 cards. The cards were grouped together by the team which is a concept I’ve always liked. The cards were printed in Canada this is why there is a French translation following the English translation.
The card design is phenomenal. I love the colors on the front of this card, the red Blackhawks uniform pops in front of that blue background.
The card back screams pure vintage and I’m wondering if any of you hockey aficionado’s knows the answer to the trivia question?
As of April 2019, raw copies can be purchased for $60.00-$140.00; graded Excellent-Mint copies (6) sell between $330.00-$450.00 and a Near Mint – Mint copy (8) sells in the $900.00-$1400.00 range.
On 4/22/19 a PSA 9 sold for $4,200.51 respectively.