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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!

    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.

    The ’89 Jays Made the Post Season – Can They in 2017?

    The ’89 Jays Made the Post Season – Can They in 2017?

    Chris Mizzoni is a good friend of mine, works with Vintage Sports Images, and really knows his stuff. Below is a blog post on the Blue Jays and their amazing comeback to make the post season in 1989.

     

    This season’s Toronto Blue Jays are a disappointment, to say the very least. After reaching the post season in each of the last two years, another playoff appearance was expected in 2017. However, as of this writing, that seems like an extreme long shot. Through April, after 25 games, the Jays have won only 8. There is, however, some precedence for the Blue Jays to turn it around and make a push for the playoffs. It happened in 1989, after a similar start to the season.

     

    Formed in 1977, the Jays first made the playoffs in 1985 (back when finishing first in your division was the only way – there were no wildcard spots). In 1987 and 1988, they finished each season two games behind the leader – and then came 1989. Under manager Jimy Williams, the Jays got out of the gates to a pathetic 12-24 record. The low point was a Sunday afternoon game, on May 14, that turned out to be a 13-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins. It also proved to be the last Jays game managed by Jimy Williams, as he was replaced by Cito Gaston soon after the game.

     

    Gaston had been Toronto’s hitting instructor since 1982, before reluctantly assuming the manager’s responsibilities. Despite their 12-24 record, the Jays sat only six games behind A.L. East leaders, Boston and Cleveland. Gaston immediately led them to five wins in his first six games.

     

    On Sunday, June 4, Toronto won a game in Boston that may have been the turning point of the season. They were behind by a score of 10-0 entering the 7th inning, but tied the game in the bottom of the 9th on a grand slam by catcher Ernie Whitt. The Jays won the game on a two-run homerun in the 12th inning by rookie Junior Felix to cap the improbable comeback. The win raised Gaston’s record to 11-7, but the Jays had still slipped to eight games behind the suddenly hot Baltimore Orioles.

     

    The very next day, June 5, the Blue Jays opened the brand new SkyDome (a game I attended). Although they lost the first two games at the state-of-the-art facility, buoyed by 48,000 fans every night, the Jays finally climbed back to the .500 mark on June 23. After going 12-24 under Williams, they had now gone 24-12 under Gaston.

     

    It took the Jays until the very last day of August to finally reach first place; a 5-1 win over the White Sox lifted them to a 72-62 mark and they tied with Baltimore for top spot. At this point, they were in the midst of a 22-5 run that pretty much locked up the division title. Toronto ended up winning the American League East by two games over Baltimore and would lose to the powerhouse Oakland A’s in the A.L. Championship Series.

     

    So, as the current Blue Jays sit, mired in the poorest start in franchise history, can they replicate the comeback of 1989? A few large factors are much different now than they were 28 years ago. Firstly, the Jays do not have a brand new stadium to move into, midway through the year. I firmly believe this helped to turn around their fortunes. After starting the year 7-10 at Exhibition Stadium, the Jays went 39-25 at SkyDome. Secondly, the deficit the Jays have this time around is larger. As of May 1, Toronto sits 8.5 games behind division-leading New York. The one saving grace may be the Wild Card spot, which did not exist those many years ago. The Blue Jays sit 6 games out of the second Wild Card – the exact same amount they were out of first, in 1989. Could they possibly do it again?

     

    Father’s Day is fast approaching. Check out our unique Blue Jays images for Dad. We also have historical MLB images and wooden signs.