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Seventeen Hall of Famers -- and "Grapes"

March 9, 2018, 5:51 PM ET [1 Comments]
Scoop Cooper
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In 1984, the late Hall of Fame broadcaster Gene Hart, the voice of the Philadelphia Flyers for almost thirty years, and I collaborated on a book of unusual hockey trivia called "The Hockey Trivia Book". While going through some of my old hockey files a few days ago, I came across a copy of our book that I had actually forgotten about and hadn't seen in a couple of decades which I had used in the mid 1980s to collect the autographs of a number of great hockey figures who I run across while I was covering Flyers' games at the late lamented Spectrum and elsewhere.

It turned out that I had collected a total of 35 such autographs which were spread throughout the book of which 17 are of Honoured Members of the Hockey Hall of Fame including the three greatest players of all time -- Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky -- and our game's greatest coach -- Scotty Bowman. The six players (Bob Clarke, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Gordie and Mark Howe) whose autographs appear together on one page accounted for 9,783 games, 4,248 goals, 7,025 assists and 11,273 points while playing in the NHL and WHA while Scotty Bowman holds the NHL record for most wins in league history with 1,244 wins in the regular season, 223 in the playoffs, and has his name on the Stanley Cup as a head coach or executive fourteen times. Although not in the Hall of Fame -- yet -- is Don "Grapes" Cherry who is arguably Hockey's best known former player broadcasting figure and commentator.

Some of the Hall of Famers signed pictures in the book of them when they were still playing in the minor leagues early in their careers. Four of the Hall of Famers (G. Howe, Arbour, Shero and Hart) are now deceased. Here are scans of the pages in my book with the autographs I had collected of these Hall of Famers more than three decades ago.

Bob Clarke, Wayne Gretzky, Gene Hart † (Broadcaster) and Bruce "Scoop" Cooper (myself)

Emile Francis (Builder), Kerry Fraser (Referee), Mark Howe, Gordie Howe †, Bob Clarke, Bobby Orr, Scotty Bowman (Builder), Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, and Mike Emrick (Broadcaster)

Fred Shero † (Builder) - EHL New York Rovers (1945-47)

Al Arbour † (Builder) - AHL Rochester Americans (1962-67)

Johnny Bucyk

Gerry Cheevers - AHL Rochester Americans (1961-65)

Glenn Hall

Jean Ratelle - AHL Baltimore Clippers (1962-65)

Don "Grapes" Cherry - AHL Hershey Bears (1954-57)
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