Let’s Go Rangers! Clap Clap ClapClapClap!

My father was a devout fan of the Rangers… When I was growing up, every single Rangers game was on the TV in our house. Although I’ve never really been a Rangers fan myself, I have to admit that I’ve developed a soft spot in my heart for the Broadway Blueshirts, especially in seasons like this… I can just imagine how excited my father would be to have the Rangers in the finals for the first time since they won the Stanley Cup twenty years ago.

Over the past year or two, my interest in 1970’s hockey cards has been on the upswing, so to commemorate the Rangers playing in the finals, I thought I’d share some Rangers cards I got at a show a couple of months ago.

The first card is a 1973/74 O-Pee-Chee card which commemorates the Rangers’ 4-1 series win over the Bruins the prior year. Unfortunately, the Rangers would lose to the Black Hawks in the semi-finals.
1973-74 OPC Hockey Quarterfinals Rangers Bruins

I don’t really have favorite Rangers as much as there are certain players I look back on fondly. Jean Ratelle is one of them. Combine that with a photo which includes the California Golden Seals, and you’ve got what I consider a must-have hockey card.
1974-75 Topps Hockey Jean Ratelle
This card is a 1974/75 Topps card, by the way. Unfortunately, Ratelle was included in a trade that got the Rangers a guy I don’t look back on fondly…

…and that would be Phil Esposito. O-ver-ra-ted! Clap! Clap! ClapClapClap!
1976-77 Topps Hockey Phil Esposito
I don’t remember Esposito wearing anything but #77, so I was surprised to see him wearing #12 on this 1976/77 card. It turns out he wore #5 and #12 in his first year with the Rangers.

Esposito couldn’t wear his customary #7 because it was being used by this guy:
1972-73 Topps Hockey Rod Gilbert
Rod Gilbert is another guy who’s in my “Top Ten Rangers, For What That’s Worth” list.

This borderless, glossy card was an insert in the packs of 1977/78 hockey cards. This particular card features Dave Maloney, who was the team captain when the Rangers lost to the Canadiens in the 1979 Stanley Cup finals.
1977-78 Topps Hockey Glossy Dave Maloney
Maloney is modeling the Rangers’ unfortunate 1970’s attempt to “update” their uniforms.

Finally, we have Ron Stewart on a 1969/70 Topps card. Stewart was kinda sorta before my time; I remember the name, but he had retired by the time I came to regard hockey as anything more than a nuisance taking away from my valuable TV watching time.
1969-70 Topps Hockey Ron Stewart
Ron Stewart spent 13 years with the Maple Leafs, but also played three years in Madison Square Garden and would later coach the Rangers for part of a season.

Being that the NHL and I are estranged,  I don’t know that I’ll do any more than check in on the finals here and there.

I know that CommishBob over at The Five-Tool Collector will be watching tonight.  Will any of you join  him in watching the finals, or are you saying “What, they’re still playing hockey?  It’s June, for crying out loud!”

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6 thoughts on “Let’s Go Rangers! Clap Clap ClapClapClap!

  1. I’ve been so busy with school ending I’m just now catching up on blog reading.

    Thanks for posting these. Interesting mix of Rangers and cards. I was a huge fan of Jean Ratelle. I’m glad that I was down here in Houston pretty much isolated from the Rangers when that trade went down. A couple of years earlier and that might have sparked some sort of homicidal rage in me. And I never have gotten over the trauma of seeing the Rangers wearing that cruddy ‘crest on the front’ jersey.

    I can’t look at a Ron Stewart card and not think of how a scuffle with Terry Sawchuk ended up with Sawchuck dead. It was a weird story at the time.

    Game two tonight! I was disappointed in how Game One ended but since it’s the Kings, a team I don’t really pay attention to, I can’t work up a true hate. Less hate=less bitterness. LOL

    #LGR

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