Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Leo Boivin Autographed Card

I'm so close to my goal of having posted daily this month, I just need 5 posts in the next couple of days to make up for the past few days where I couldn't spare time. We'll start with a choice card: Leo Boivin, of the Boston Bruins, card #9 of the 1964-65 Parkhurst ''Tall Boy'' set.

Usually, Parkhurst sets in the late 50s and early 60s only had players from a few teams, mostly the Montréal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, as the brand hadn't secured the rights of other teams, but this particular series also had Bruins cards, obviously. This set was actually manufactured by Upper Deck (for Parkhurst) but commemorates the 1963-64 season, mimicking what Parkhurst would have released as its 1964-65 set.

Boivin wasn't a high-scoring defender, but was the heaviest hitter, defensively, pretty much the Scott Stevens of his era. Even the back of his card states it:
There is no more respected defenseman in the NHL for his remarkable bodychecking ability. With his exceptionally low center of gravity, Boivin is able to deliver devastating hip checks in the manner of 1930s backline legends such as Bruins' hero Eddie Shore. A ten-year veteran at Boston Garden, Leo reached a personal goal-scoring high last year with ten goals.
Oh, yeah, a Big Bad Bruin, just like we love them. Well, at 5'7'', maybe a Tiny Bad Bruin. After two forgettable seasons with the Leafs, Boivin played in Boston for 12 seasons, participating in 3 All Star games, 2 Stanley Cup finals and being named captain of the team - a little bit like Ray Bourque, but without the offensive upside.

After the Bruins, he played in parts of two seasons each for the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota North Stars, before becoming a scout for (and twice the interim head coach of) the St. Louis Blues.

He was voted in the Hockey Hall Of Fame in 1986, and was kind enough to add that to his signature, which was written in blue sharpie and was acquired in person at a Legends Of Hockey game in which he didn't play but was coaching in the 1990s - the card itself was purchased off a friend, who found it in a shoe box in the back of a closet, along with other cards from the dead wax era.

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