“Imagine it or not.”
“Unbelievable however true.”
Name them what you’ll however some occasions which have taken place within the hockey world — off-ice in addition to on — have been uncommon to say the least.
How about Corridor of Fame hockey brothers Buck and Frank Boucher taking part in in opposition to Corridor of Fame baseball gamers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees?
Their assembly on the baseball diamond befell within the fall of 1930 at a stadium in Hull, Quebec, throughout the river from Ottawa, Ontario, dwelling of the Boucher household.
Ruth and Gehrig had been on an offseason barnstorming tour whereas the Bouchers had been working their farm previous to leaving for his or her respective NHL coaching camps, Frank with the New York Rangers and Buck, the Montreal Maroons.
“Buck and I had been invited to play,” Frank later revealed to me when he was common supervisor of the Rangers in 1954-55. “Naturally, we accepted as a result of this was an enormous deal. The Hull ballpark overflowed for Babe and Lou.
“Despite the fact that we had been baseball amateurs, there was plenty of pressure surrounding the sport. Naturally, the large attraction was Babe and the followers got here to see him belt dwelling runs.”
Because it occurred Buck wound up in heart subject, a place he had by no means performed earlier than. He additionally was utilizing one in every of Frank’s gloves, which intensified Buck’s problem.
Curiously, the Hull pitcher had The Babe buffaloed on many deliveries and Ruth was getting miffed over his uncommon droop. Now it was the highest of the ninth inning with The Sultan of Swat at bat for the final time.
The pitch was a juicy one which enticed Babe to swing. The gang was transfixed because the horsehide sailed deep to proper heart with Buck in sizzling pursuit.
“Buck was taking part in approach again in deepest heart and towards proper,” Frank Boucher recalled. “Because the ball began to return down it appeared that Buck might need a shot at it though all of us knew he was no outfielder.”
Whereas the ball was descending, Buck misjudged it. He ran a number of free little circles underneath it and, lastly, in a final determined second, stabbed throughout his physique, one-handing it within the webbing for the out.
“By then,” Frank remembered, “Ruth was on his option to second. When he noticed that the catch had been made, Babe was dumbfounded.”
Whereas the gang went wild with pleasure, the Yankees icon was quickly mystified.
“At that time,” Frank concluded, “Babe simply laughed and thumbed his nostril at Buck. In the meantime, my brother simply stared on the ball in amazement!”
Throughout Bobby Orr’s prime as a famous person defenseman for the Boston Bruins, a reporter went to Parry Sound, Ontario to interview his mom, Arva Orr.
The interviewer requested Mrs. Orr, “What do you consider your son?” The, “son,” after all, was Bobby.
Arva stunned him when she replied, “Which one?”
Seems that Bobby had two brothers, together with Ron, who was older by one yr. And the elder Orr performed hockey too however not in addition to Bobby.
Ron by no means had it in thoughts to play professionally however he did play Junior C hockey when his child brother starred for the Junior A Oshawa Generals. And as soon as, the Orr brothers confronted one another in an exhibition recreation.
As a matter of reality, they virtually fought one another that evening.
“A combat broke out,” Ron remembered, “and I grabbed Bobby and he grabbed me. He by no means hit me although.”
Ron wound up opening a enterprise in Parry Sound whereas the child brother revolutionized protection within the NHL, received the Stanley Cup twice and was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1979.
“They are saying there’s just one good hockey participant in a household,” Ron confessed. “In our household it was Bobby!”
A New York Mayor and his touring hockey Cup
Hockey was the favourite sport of Gentleman Jimmy Walker, New York Metropolis’s dashing, debonair mayor through the “Roaring Twenties.”
Walker cherished hockey and, particularly, the Rangers. He sat instantly behind coach Lester Patrick’s bench after they performed their first recreation at (outdated) Madison Sq. Backyard to begin the 1926-27 season.
A yr earlier, Walker donated a trophy to New York’s Met League champs, the Knickerbockers. When the league disbanded the Walker Cup was claimed by Madison Sq. Backyard and put in storage.
In 1933, Rangers president John Reed Kilpatrick positioned the trophy again in competitors for the Jap Beginner Hockey League (EAHL), and the Atlantic Metropolis Sea Gulls had been the primary winners in 1933-34.
Just like the Stanley Cup, The Walker trophy had a zany life. As soon as it was stolen from Madison Sq. Backyard and a reward was posted. A number of days later, Rangers coach Lester Patrick found it within the window of a close-by Eighth Avenue pawn store.
In the course of the 1942-43 season, Walker and his Cup made it to heart ice at Madison Sq. Backyard. In a grand ceremony “Beau James,” as he was typically known as, personally introduced it to that season’s EAHL champs, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutters.
Jimmy Walker presents the Walker Cup to the 1943 EAHL champion U.S. Coast Guard Cutters
Quite appropriately, Gentleman Jim handed the trophy to Cutters captain Artwork Coulter, who had helped the Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1940.
Lastly, in 1946 — the yr Jimmy Walker died — the trophy was captured by the EAHL’s New York Rovers, the Rangers’ farm workforce.
“The Rovers had been Walker’s second favourite workforce,” mentioned Patrick. “The primary being the Rangers!”
Walker photograph courtesy of Stan Fischler