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    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!

    Reminiscing – The Golden Bear’s 1986 Masters Comeback Win

    Reminiscing – The Golden Bear’s 1986 Masters Comeback Win

    Chris Mizzoni is a good friend of mine, works with Vintage Sports Images, and really knows his stuff. Below is a blog post on Jack Nicklaus winning the 1986 Masters.

    - Blair

     

     

    Entering the fourth round in the PGA’s 1986 Masters, 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus sat tied for ninth place at two under par. Nicklaus played his first eight holes to even par in the final round, a round which saw five different leaders. After birdies on holes 9, 10 and 11, Nicklaus bogeyed 12 to remain three back of the leaders.

     

    He would begin his legendary comeback at the 15th hole, hitting a 204-yard drive to within 12 feet of the hole. He drained the eagle putt to pull within two strokes of leader Seve Ballesteros.

     

    Nicklaus then birdied 16 to move to within one stroke of the lead. After pulling his approach into the water, Ballesteros failed to get up and down and bogeyed the hole, giving Nicklaus a share of the lead. Tom Kite made birdie at 15 to join a three-way tie for the lead. On 17, Jack hit his approach to within 18 feet and, after a long deliberation, he drained the putt for sole possession of the lead.

     

    Nicklaus then two-putted for par on 18 to post a nine under, the result of an amazing 30 on the back nine in the final round. After Ballesteros three-putted on 17 to fall out of contention, Tom Kite had a 12-foot birdie attempt to tie Nicklaus. Kite barely missed his putt on the high side that would have forced a playoff. On the 17th, Greg Norman was attempting to stage his own comeback, making a shot between two pine trees to within eight feet of the hole. He would drain the birdie putt to tie for the lead, but on 18, pushed his approach into the gallery and missed his 15-foot par putt that would have forced a playoff with Nicklaus.

     

    At 46 years old, The Golden Bear – Jack Nicklaus became the oldest winner of the Masters. He holds the record of being a six-time Masters champion. His 23 years between Masters wins is also a record that may never be broken.

     

    For additional Vintage Sports Images shots of PGA golf legend Jack Nicklaus, please visit our gallery page on the famous athlete.

    Hello World!

    Hello World!

    Hey sports fans! Welcome to the Vintage Sports Images website. As you can see, we carry a lot of very cool, rare, vintage photos of your favorite sports moment, team or hero. We specialize in hockey, football, baseball and basketball, but also feature boxing, golf, auto racing and other sports. Whatever it is, you can be assured it is a great shot. Sometimes iconic, sometimes just a “moment” in time that deserves to be seen.

    I guess that is what really got me involved in this business. I come from an arts background, specifically animation. I also played and watched sports all my life. When I first saw these images at my friend (and former owner of this business) Eric Olsen’s house while picking up our daughters for softball practice, I was struck by not only the collection of sports icons like Bobby Orr and Hank Aaron, but also by the artistic quality of these negatives and slides. The color and the composition evoked a timelessness that I thought should be shared with the world. But Eric could not talk about business ideas or anything with me as he had just signed a non-disclosure agreement with the CBC to appear on their Dragons’ Den television show.

    Some time went by and the show aired and Eric wooed all the dragons, eventually doing a deal with Bruce Croxon. Luckily for me, that deal did not close, and Eric and I were free to discuss a business plan.

    We first began the long process of digitizing the negatives and slides in high resolution. We uncovered some beauties: NHL greats Orr, Howe, Gretzky, Beliveau… Unitas, Starr, Staubach and Favre from the NFL. MLB’s Mantle, Maris, Williams, Koufax and the NBA’s Jordan, Bird, Shaq and PGA’s Palmer, Nicklaus and Tiger. Boxing’s Ali and auto racing’s Petty… the list goes on. Going through this process brought back memories of growing up and pretending to be these guys in the sandlot or schoolyard, playing touch football, ball hockey or scrub baseball.
     
    When I brought home some of the stunning canvas prints we did as tests and showed them to my kids they were blown away. Then came the inevitable “who is that guy?” followed by my shock and dismay! It was then and there I decided that these photos needed to be seen by a new generation. If you like Brady and Manning, you should know who Bart Starr was, or at least Marino and Bradshaw! If you like Rory and Spieth, then you have to know who Jack and Arnie were. If you like the way Donaldson plays 3rd base, then you have to learn a little bit about the “Human Vacuum Cleaner,” Brooks Robinson. You get the idea.

    So we decided to “Go Big or Go Home” and opened a brand new retail gallery where people could come in and see these wonderful images on the walls and talk and share stories. Kind of like the barbershop of the old days. But we are “old school meets new” because you can also sit down and have a coffee and look through the website of over 500 images on our large screen iPads. If that is not enough, you can sit and look through our master computer “Cal” (named after my dog, who was named after Iron Man and loyal Oriole Cal Ripken Jr.).  Here you can search over 50,000 images by name, team, or sport.

    We have not been disappointed in our vision. Our North Vancouver neighborhood is also home to some very cool businesses, like our next-door neighbor MAN UP Grooming – not your ordinary salon. There you can watch football and have your feet done! Then there is Hearthstone Brewery down the street (beside Indigo Books) where you can enjoy a local brew and terrific firewood oven pizza. Kitty corner to that is the Hurricane Grill, also a great place for a bite and a beer, and directly across the street from us is Boston Pizza. There are new condos and young and old actually walking around the ‘hood, which is what a community is all about, and we are happy to be a part of it!

    So if you are local, come on down and see us. The “business in the front / parking in the back” is located at 1089 Marine Drive (at Lloyd). If you are not from the Lower Mainland, please browse our website and let us know how we can help. If you get an order in before Dec. 16th we can print it for you in time for it to be under the tree!

    That’s it for now.  Tune in next time!  

    - Blair Peters