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    The Leafs take the '64 Cup

    The Leafs take the '64 Cup

    On April 25, 1964 the Toronto Maple Leafs won their third consecutive Stanley Cup with a 4-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. In winning the Cup in 1962 and 1963 the Leafs never once had a series go the full seven games, the 1964 playoffs were far different.

    Finishing the regular season with 78 points in 70 games, good for third place in the NHL, they drew a match up with the first place Canadiens in the semi-finals. Toronto fell behind 3 games to 2 before heading home to a Johnny Bower shutout in game six by a score of 3-0. Back in Montreal, for game seven, the Leafs took the series with a 3-1 behind Dave Keon’s hat trick and advanced to the Cup final against Detroit.

    Once again, Toronto fell behind in the series 3 games to 2, but in this case the sixth game would be on the road. Toronto would prevail in overtime on the famous Bobby Baunbroken leg goal” to send the Stanley Cup final to game seven back at Maple Leaf Gardens. Andy Bathgate gave Toronto a lead three minutes into the deciding match and it remained 1-0 through two periods. Dave Keon and Red Kelly each scored six minutes into the final period and Captain George Armstrong iced the game as Bower recorded his second shutout of the post-season.  Frank Mahovlich topped Toronto with 15 points in the 14 playoff matches while Dave Keon led the way with 7 goals. The Leafs would win one more Stanley Cup in 1967, and are still waiting to get back to this day.

    Perfect Father’s Day Gift – The U.S. Open

    Perfect Father’s Day Gift – The U.S. Open

    Being asked to write a blog post on the 2017 United States Open Championship at Erin Hills golf course is a pretty great gig. I watch golf every weekend, from February to September. I love watching golf. I love playing golf. I even love practicing golf.
    The U.S. Open always makes me think about golf great, Arnold Palmer, who won the U.S. Open in 1960. We lost this PGA legend – also known as “The King” – in September of last year and without him, there seems to be quite a void at this year’s events.
    This iconic tournament also makes me think of the greatest golfer of all time – Jack Nicklaus. “The Golden Bear” won this PGA tournament in 1962, 1967, 1972 and 1980. It looks like his record of 18 major championships will be intact for years to come (and may never be broken).
    I see that some oddsmakers are calling on Dustin Johnson to repeat as U.S. Open Champion, with Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day rounding out the top four spots. I am going out on a limb here and saying that Jon Rahm will win it. He was the low amateur (tied for 23rd spot) in 2016 and has been playing very well this year. He is currently fourth on the FedExCup standings and won this year’s Farmers Insurance Open. This kid can get it done.
    I also think we should watch for Sergio Garcia coming off his major win at this year’s Masters. And don’t count out Jason Dufner; he won the Memorial a couple weeks ago. (Yes, he choked a bit on Saturday – but got it done on Sunday.) I always like to watch Patrick Reed and Henrik Stenson too. With his extremely short backswing, I find it hard to watch Brandt Snedeker’s putting stroke, but it works for him and I am sure that he’ll be in the mix. Hopefully all of these golfers will be in contention to make it a Sunday to remember.
    What a great way to celebrate Father’s Day – by watching one of the PGA’s premier events.
    Happy Father’s Day!

    Muhammad Ali Stings Like a Bee

    When I think of Muhammad Ali, I remember huddling around the TV with my father in the early ‘70s, watching him. I was mesmerized by the boxing legend, who could easily back up his hilarious trash talking.

    Check out some of Ali’s best knockouts.

    Born Cassius Clay, he won the gold medal at the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics in the light heavyweight division. He won the WBA, WBC and lineal heavyweight titles in 1964 when he beat Sonny Liston. Clay renounced his “slave name” in 1965, when he converted to Islam and became Muhammad Ali. In 1967, Ali was found guilty of draft evasion during the Vietnam War. He lost his license to box, was stripped of his heavyweight titles, and had his passport taken by the court (so he couldn’t go overseas to fight). Four years later, he appealed the conviction and won. In 1971, he lost the “Fight of the Century” to Joe Frazier. He beat George Foreman for the world championship title in 1974 – and defended the title 10 times, over the next three years, including beating Joe Frazier in the “Thriller in Manila.”

    There are numerous movies and documentaries about Ali. An all-time favorite is When We Were Kings – about the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” championship fight against George Foreman.

    Sports Illustrated ranked him as the greatest athlete of the 20th century, having been the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion. He was one of five athletes of my time (the list includes Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson) that I had to watch. Ali’s press conferences made me laugh and, as an athlete, he was incredible.

    Was there a dry eye in North America as one of the greatest boxers of all time lit the torch at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony?

    Muhammad Ali passed away last year at the age of 74.

    In writing this post, I have been humming the song Black Superman. I’ll leave it with you – to remind you of Muhammad Ali’s greatness.

    Vintage Sports Images – First Annual Sports Day Event

    Vintage Sports Images – First Annual Sports Day Event

    Think about it for a minute… who is the most difficult person in your life to buy for? I will bet that it’s your dad and that makes shopping for Father’s Day a bit of a challenge. I want to change all of that.


    Not only do I want you to find the perfect – and unique – gift for dear old Dad or Granddad, I also want you and your family to have fun doing it. You can even bring Dad along for the fun and let him pick out his own gift.


    This Saturday, June 3rd we are hosting our first annual Sports Day event, a pre-Father’s Day shopping extravaganza, at Vintage Sports Images in North Vancouver. There will be fabulous food from local establishments in the parking lot, a baseball hitting competition and tips from BC's Softball Team Gold Medalist Lauren Taylor in the store (yes, there’s a batting cage in here!), a Great Goalie Giveaway shooting competition (see if you can beat Ken Dryden), a Floorball+ hockey skills clinic from Greg Beaudin and Pavel Barber (in our parking lot), beautiful unique canvases, rare sports prizes and so much more.


    We are proud to be donating 10% of the proceeds from sales during this event to the Canadian Mental Health Association (North and West Vancouver).


    Gifts for Dad are now 10% off in-store, until Father’s Day… but you don’t have to tell him that. We have NHL images, NFL images, MLB images, NBA images, PGA images – we even have boxing images, signed NHL jerseys and many other sports memorabilia items available for sale.


    The Vintage Sports Images gallery is currently showing our full Father’s Day Collection, which includes a range of rare sports memorabilia that will make any sports fan giddy. We offer you (or Dad) the chance to own never-before-seen images of such greats as Jackie Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr., Ted Lindsay, Bart Starr, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Muhammad Ali. These rare prints are available for purchase as a canvas or framed prints, just in time to buy that special father figure in your life a present that will be enjoyed for many years.


    We have a ton of cool Leafs stuff – from a signed Dave Keon jersey and game-used pucks turned into bottle openers to small canvasses and wooden signs for under $100! We have a lot of Bobby Orr and Bruins memorabilia – signed jerseys and prints. We have great Habs stuff, including the great Ken Dryden and Guy Lafleur. We have the Red Wings with the great Steve Yzerman and Terry Sawchuck, the Chicago Blackhawks including “The Golden Jet” – Bobby Hull and Tony Esposito. Of course we have Gretzky and Messier and the Oilers. We have a Canucks game-used stick bottle opener and a Bure signed jersey. Check out our Flyers prints of Bobby Clarke and Eric Lindros. We have a Minnesota North Stars image starring the great Gump Worsley – who has his own fanbase!


    We have a great goalie collection (Ken Dryden, Gary Smith, Glen Hall, Tony O, Gumper, Parent, Sawchuck…).


    We are also featuring the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Pittsburg Steelers and San Francisco 49ers.


    We have prints of baseball greats Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. We have memorabilia from the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Is anyone a Jays and Mariners fan? We have prints and memorabilia such as cufflinks, watches, bat bottle openers and classic wooden signs. And we can’t forget about the Cubs, SF Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers, Cardinals, Expos, Tigers, Orioles and Indians – yes we have stuff from them too.


    We hope to see you here for the event June 3rd 2017. We’re going to have a blast!


    For event updates and schedules, or to share the event with friends, check out our Facebook event page.

    A Major Week for Major League Baseball

     

     

    Last week was a busy week in the world of baseball history. First off, Hank Aaron was named number three on MLB’s list of the top ten most iconic home runs in Major League history. For a while, Babe Ruth was the king of baseball, no doubt about it! If there was a record for home runs, chances are The Babe had it in the bag. Then along comes Hammerin’ Hank Aaron on April 8, 1974, in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers to hit his 715th home run, beating The Babe’s record and becoming the new home run champion!

    Next up, we have the 50th anniversary of the St. Louis Cardinals 1967 World Series win against the Boston Red Sox. To commemorate the occasion, the Cardinals capped the pregame ceremony with a first pitch from Bob Gibson to Tim McCarver. In 1967, Gibson was a very key player in the Cardinals World Series win. After having been off with a broken leg just months prior, Gibson would start and win game seven against the Boston Red Sox.

     

     

    And to top off a spectacular week, we have Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who hit a first-pitch sinker down the third baseline against the White Sox at Angel Stadium. The hit increased his career RBI total to 1,846, breaking his tie with legend Carl Yastrzemski and giving Pujols possession of 11th place on the all-time RBI list.

    Who wouldn’t want to remember these moments for decades to come? And with our amazing Hank Aaron, Bob Gibson and Carl Yastrzemski canvas prints in store, you can easily give Dad (or yourself) a piece of sports history. Come on down to our Vintage Sports Images showroom and receive 10% off these prints for Father’s Day or browse the rest of our awesome Father’s Day Collection and give Dad the gift of a moment in history.

    If you think you can throw like Gibson or hit like Aaron or Yaz, then come to our store at 1089 Marine Drive in North Vancouver on June 3rd. From 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. we will be holding a competition to win a baseball print.