Saturday, March 10, 2012
Murray Bannerman: 3 Autographed Cards
Murray Bannerman is an All-Star-caliber goalie (two AS games) who played all of his NHL career (minus one period) with the Chicago Blackhawks. He started as the legendary Tony Esposito's backup and pretty much took the job away from 1982 onwards.
I sent these three cards and a fan letter to his home on February 10th, 2012 (I could have also tried the Hawks' address, seeing as he still does charitable work with other team alumni) and received all three back, signed in black sharpie, on March 3rd, 2012. Three weeks for a legendary return!
This card is special for so many reasons. The Hawks' jersey, of course, has always been among the greatest in sports, the picture at the bottom with the mustache rules, and catching Bannerman mid-movement, skating from one side of the net to the other, skates in a 'T' like you learn as a kid, reminiscent of the Hanrahan's move in Slap Shot when he's told his wife is ''a lesbian'', before he goes nuts The card itself is from Topps' 1984-85 O-Pee-Chee set (card #27), a beautiful set.
As I mentioned before (in this Stan Smyl post in particular), the above card is from the first set I actually collected, purchasing pack after pack, at a rate of at least one per day (35 cents for 7 cards and a stick of gum was perfect for my 8-year old self), Topps' 1986-87 O-Pee-Chee set (card #180). It features Bannerman in an idle position, waiting for play to start again, with a nice view of the brand of equipment he wore (Brown).
Of course, it's nearly impossible to mention Murray Bannerman without talking about his mask, one of the most recognizable in the history of the NHL, as featured in this card from In The Game's 2010-11 Between The Pipes set (card #148, part of the Greats Of The Game sub-set). It features an aboriginal head (not a geisha as some have awkwardly suggested) that is totally in tune with the team's logo. These will soon be framed and hung with my Glenn Hall Autographed Framed Lithograph on a ''Hawks' goalies'' section of my living room wall.