Friday, February 26, 2016

Andy Bathgate Autographed Card

Long-time readers will remember when I last talked about Andy Bathgate in 2012. The Hall Of Famer and former New York Rangers captain died today, at the age of 83.

For a long time, he was the lone bright spot on an awful Rangers squad, enjoying an impressive three-year run as a Hart Trophy nominee, winning it the third year, in 1958-59, ahead of Gordie Howe, Jean Béliveau, Terry Sawchuk and Dickie Moore.

After playing parts of 12 seasons with the Rangers, he then went on to play in two seasons each for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, retiring in 1970-71, before playing a final 11 games in the WHA with the Vancouver Blazers in 1974-75.

He was named to the end-of-season First All-Star and Second All-Star Teams twice apiece, playing the same position as regular honorees Howe and Maurice "Rocket" Richard. His career numbers stand at 349 goals, 624 assists and 973 points in 1069 regular-season NHL games (plus another 21-14-35 in 54 playoff games), as well as 7 points in 11 WHA games after a four-year retirement, which may be even more impressive.

He passed the point-per-game average eight times, consecutively, with highs of 40 goals and 88 points in 1958-59. He also had the most points in the league (with 84) in 1961-62 but lost the Art Ross Trophy to Bobby Hull because Hull had more goals, which meant Bathgate led the league in assists, with 56.

Looking at my previous post, it was from the turn of the millennium, before Parkinson's disease had truly taken its toll on him; you can clearly see the shaking in his signature on this card, though his signature remains fairly clear regardless:
It's card #516 from Upper Deck's 2011-12 O-Pee-Chee set (and Marquee Legends sub-set) , which he signed in thin black sharpie.

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