Throwback Thursday: Signing Day

Autograph. Signature. John Hancock. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a part of the gig as an NHL player. But it’s also much more. In many cases it represents a moment or story that a fan will remember forever.

For some, an autograph can come out of a chance meeting, set appearance date, practice, game, or in this day and age certain online auctions and stores.

Throughout the season the Leafs will also have dedicated signing days. A time for players to filter through an abundance of merchandise, sign their autograph, and move on.

The team will have their first one of the 2013-14 season within the next week and with similarities there are also differences to the way they used to do it, particularly back in the 1961-62 season.

Signing Day 11

 

 

Both then and now, signed merchandise is used to raise money for various organizations throughout our community. These days Toronto players sign in either blue, black, or silver marker. Back then they used pens. Typically players are not in full uniform and simply filter in whenever they please. But back in 1961-62 the whole team gathered in full uniform to sign the whole lot together.

In the foreground Red Kelly, Carl Brewer and Eddie Litzenberger are signing. And if you look carefully in the background it appears prankster Bob Nevin is actually signing Tim Horton’s head.

Do you have any autographs? What’s the story behind them?

“Every time I sign a ball, and there must have been thousands, I thank my luck that I wasn’t born Coveleski or Wambsganss or Peckinpaugh.”
– Mel Ott, New York Giants great

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