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Monday, September 30, 2013

Another Gretzky autograph

Yesterday was the official opening of the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. In case you missed it, I wrote about the details in an earlier post here

T-shirts were given out to volunteers..

There was a variety of booths set up, like the Ontario Special Olympics and the Kiwanis Field project.

Also in attendance was the Brantford IceCats with their temporary tattoos.

The AHL Hamilton Bulldogs also had a booth manned by Bulldog employee and Brantford native Kellen. He helped me identify players at a Bulldog practice last year

There was a booth for a new local sports magazine start-up. sportsxpress. They are starting a Brantford edition to go along with ones that are now in Hamilton, Kitchener and Waterloo. Sample magazine and trading/business card of one of the coaches.

The HHOF had a display of Gretzky memorabilia there, sticks, jerseys and trophies.

The Gretzky statue was unveiled.

 I was assigned to watch  the hallway between two of the rinks, near the volunteer room (and drinks and snacks). Before I could go to my position, I was re-assigned. to watch the VIP elevator. This sounded like a better job and maybe an in to the celebrities.

This was my post for 6 hours.
I had a list of the VIP's who were allowed up the elevator. Everyone else was, as they say, up the creek. Now I'm glad Wayne or Walter didn't try to enter my way as they weren't on the list. Hmm, I wonder what I would have done.
So on to the latest addition to my Gretzky autograph collection.

Here is one from my collection obtained IP during the 80"s.

And yes, as promised, another Gretzky autograph. Featured is former NHL'er Brent Gretzky.  Now he joins Wayne, Walter and Keith in my Gretzky autograph collection. These were all I could obtain all day.
And yes, I had a good time. Talked to some of my neighbours and friends who walked by. I also chatted with people walking by my post.

And to end the day, was a performance by Canadian R&B singer–songwriter Jully Black. That was my Sunday Sept 29 2013.

Late addition--Seems like Pavel Datsyk was in the house. He wasn't on my list and I don't recall seeing him. Missed opportunity again.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Canada Post pays tribute to Canadians’ love of hockey with new stamp series

plus a little Canadian hockey stamp history.

As National Hockey League (NHL) teams® opened their training camps in preparation for another exciting season, Canada Post recognizes the iconic jerseys of the seven Canadian NHL teams and the passion of their fans in a series of commemorative stamps and other hockey related items..
“Almost every Canadian has a memory that relates to hockey and those memories are part of who we are as a country,” says the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and responsible for Canada Post. “These stamps commemorate the joy that Canadian fans experience when they wear their favourite team’s jerseys."
 “When hockey was first featured on a Canadian stamp(issued Jan 23, 1956),  the focus was on the jersey and the word ‘Canada’ emblazoned across the chest,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post.
 “With the issue of these Canadian NHL team stamps, we turned once again to the love fans demonstrate by wearing their team’s colours not only at home games, but at all times. Team jerseys have become an incredible rallying point.”
Including this year’s issue, Canada Post has produced more than 50 NHL-themed stamps since 1992.
Canada Post and the NHL have a shared tradition in featured stamps with the first issue in October 1992. Those stamps highlighted three NHL eras: The Early Years (1917-1942), the Six-Team Years (1942-1967) and the Expansion Years (1967-1992).
 Canada Post featured the Stanley Cup® for the first time on a stamp in April 1993, commemorating its 100th anniversary
. The next two-stamp set, issued in September 1997, paid tribute to The Series of the Century between Canada and the USSR, featuring NHL players.
To commemorate the 50th NHL® All-Star Game in 2000, six stamps honoured six great players of those games.

 Canada Post and the NHL teamed up with five more All-Stars themed sets of six stamps.2001-2005
 In celebration of the Montreal Canadiens’ 100th anniversary, a four-stamp series was issued in October 2009.
 The most recent NHL issue was in November 2011, featuring three Picture Postage™ stamps celebrating the return of the Winnipeg Jets to the NHL.

Info page from DETAILS, Canada Post monthly magazine to inform of whats new for the month.
Team jersey stamp page plus other collectibles available. ,
About the NHL Team Jerseys Stamps
The stamps measure 40 mm x 32 mm with simulated perforations. The domestic stamps are denominated at the 63-cent rate and are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using five-colour lithography (Calgary), six-colour lithography (Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver) and seven-colour lithography (Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton). The stamps are pressure sensitive and the Official First Day Covers will be cancelled in: Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The stamps are available in booklets of 10.
The NHL Canadian seven-team stamp series is available from Canada Post retail outlets and online at Here is a look at the 2013 edition of Canada Post’s NHL stamps:
Montreal Canadiens®: The commemorative stamp depicts a current jersey as well as one from 1946, which shows some minor differences in detail but still proudly bears the “CH” crest that generations of Canadiens fans have come to recognize.
Ottawa Senators®: On their stamp, the Senators’ player sports a current team jersey, while a spectator in the stands shows his enthusiasm for the Senators in a 1992 jersey, the first uniform worn by the current-era team.
Toronto Maple Leafs®: In the Maple Leafs’ commemorative stamp, the player on the ice wears the current jersey, and the fan sports a vintage look from 1967, Canada’s centennial year.
Winnipeg Jets™: With its fourth stamp since November 2011, this issue features the team’s current home and away jerseys inspired by its beloved name and the community’s special relationship with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
Edmonton Oilers®: On this stamp, the player on the ice wears the Oilers’ current uniform and a fan in the stands wears a vintage jersey from 1979, the year the team joined the NHL.
Calgary Flames®: In this commemorative stamp, the Flames player shows off the club’s current uniform, while a fan proudly models his team’s first jersey, which dates back to 1980.
Vancouver Canucks®: The jerseys depicted on the commemorative stamp include the current one, seen sported by the player on the ice, and the 1997 version, worn by a cheering fan.

Toronto Maple Leaf team page of items available.
About the NHL Team Logos Stamps
The stamps measure 24 mm x 20 mm with simulated perforations. The domestic stamps are denominated at the 63-cent rate and are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using four-colour lithography (Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary) and five-colour lithography (Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver). The stamps are pressure sensitive and the Official First Day Covers will be cancelled in Toronto, Ontario. The stamps are available in coils of 50.
To purchase philatelic products, please visit
There are also a slew of other items available. Now a trip to the post office lets you do one stop NHL shopping.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gretzky is in the house


Now that I have your attention
 I'm talking about Wayne, not Paulina and not my house.
No, I'm talking about the "new" Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.
The $64-million renovation is nearing completion. The new features in the complex include a 4-pad arena a 25-metre pool and hydro-therapy pool to complement the 65-metre pool. The facility also features a fitness studio, fully-equipped weight room, dry land training room, indoor track, gymnasium, football field, and more.

Inspiring Greatness is a free event, taking place this Sunday, September 29 from noon to 6 p.m. Made possible by presenting sponsorship from the OLG Casino Brantford, Inspiring Greatness will showcase the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre with entertainment, free activities and tours for people of all ages.
This Grand Opening Passport lists nine different stops you can make to see different components of the complex.
Gretzky will be a part of the opening ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m., which will include the unveiling of the Gretzky Project statue of him with the Stanley Cup facing life-sized statues of a younger self with his parents, Walter and Phyllis
Also at 4:00 PM,  Multi Juno award singer Jully Black performs (main stage) ​​
It has also been confirmed that Wayne will be in attendance (ergo, in the house). It has also been confirmed that I have been selected to be a volunteer at this event. I'll find out Thursday what I'll be doing and get a sense of what will be going on.
Hopefully I can get some pictures (maybe Paulina will be there) and who knows what else to share here on my blog.
Can't wait.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Theres no biz two

like sports biz or a sports business card. I have written previously on receiving autographs through the mail of Noel Picard here. He also included this signed business card.


Like I've mentioned in the past, I frequently requested business cards. It's another "collectible" in my collection.
I've also mentioned in past of getting IP autographs at the Labatts Original Six hockey tournament. Here are a pair of ticket stubs from Aug 1983

Three games this night in the round robin tournament. Toronto vs Chicago, Detroit vs New York and Montreal vs Boston. The thrifty person that I am, I had  a complimentary ducat plus had to pay $3.00 for the other. I'd say that was money well spent. And who remembers BASS ticket outlets.
I have all kinds of "stuff" like this that I will continue to bring out and do my show and tell.
Writing about Buds and Labatts is making me think of other things to do right now than blog.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

There's no biz

There sure is. As I have written in the past, when I was doing TTM, there wasn't a lot of options of things to get signed. Since this was before the explosion of card companies, I had good old OPC and Topps. When I did send requests, I asked if they had a business card they could send back. Having the address but not knowing if they were still working or not, it was worth a shot. Tonight I will show one of the ones I received that also contained a small note and autograph.

Former WHA and NHL goalie Dave Dryden.
Did you know
Dave Dryden serves the distinction of creating (as well as being the first goaltender to employ) the modern day goaltending mask consisting of a fiberglass mask with a cage.
I also got some cards signed but getting the business card was a bonus.
Now this was received sometime during the 80's. I was curious and did a check on Canada 411. It appears he is still at that address with the same phone number and still signing.
It will be interesting to see how many of my remaining business cards have valid addresses still.


Monday, September 9, 2013

My Charmed Mistress Who’s the Boss at Melrose Place

No, I’m not referring to my wife. I’m sure she fits one of those descriptions. But today I’ll be deviating a bit from my usual hockey autographs.
(this one’s for you Dave H)
During my hounding experiences, I have managed to obtain a few signatures of other celebrities besides hockey. One of those times was at the Wayne Gretzky Celebrity Tennis Tournament that was held here in Brantford during the 80’s. I have posted cards I got signed in previous posts. Here are two I got of Alyssa Milano. I believe she would have been around 14 at the time. But knowing that she would be there and I would have behind the scenes access, I was prepared. I took a couple of pages from my daughter’s teen magazines. Having attended a few of these events, I found this one no different. Gracious signers all. Anyhow, here are the pair.(of pictures)
With hockey season in the wind, a change of pace from all the guys. I’ll probably show some more of these in the future.