Friday, February 24, 2012

Réjean Houle: 6 Autographed Items

Réjean Houle is a very affable man. If Jean Béliveau defines class, Houle defines generosity. Whether it was as a player, a team ambassador, even when he was the Montréal Canadiens' general manager, he was always available to meet and greet fans at games and charity events - the complete opposite of current GM Pierre Gauthier.

I had met Houle in person and written about it (and his career) in 2010, but I've come into possession of a few of his Habs' cards of late and decided to write him on February 13th, 2012, sending him a fan letter praising his work in creating the Habs' Alumni Association from scratch (another very generous move) with three cards, and he sent back not just the 3 cards, but threw in the Molson Export one and signed the two index cards I use as protection - and I received them on the 21st - barely a week later! Short of delivering them to me in person, I don't know what else he could have done.

He signed everything in black sharpie, adding his playing number (15) on the index cards as well.

Here's a look at the cards:

These two cards are identical - except for the state they're in. They're from Topps' 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee set (card #183). It doesn't show too much in the scan, but they carry a typical OPC flaw: they weren't cut evenly - the one on the left has less white space on top, more at the bottom than the one on the left.

This card is my favourtie Houle card - yes, even more than his Québec Nordiques one from the previous post. It's from the 1978-79 O-Pee-Chee collection from Topps (card #227, my third autographed card from that set), and shows Houle sporting a black eye. He wasn't a fighter, but he never backed away from anything either.

And finally a 1999 Molson Export Habs card like the one he'd signed for me in person - except he added his number to it that first time.

Great stuff!

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