Tall Boys #12 – Glenn Hall (Mr. Goalie) – and what’s that in his hands?

Posted: February 26, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Glenn Hall - 1964-65 Topps Tall Boys

I’ve had this card for years and this is the first time I’ve ever noticed that Glenn Hall is holding a mask in his left hand.  This makes this card the first mainline card to picture a goalie together with his mask.  The first card to actually show a goalie wearing said mask wouldn’t appear until 1971-72 when the Ken Dryden RC used a cropped game-action shot for his card.  Jacques Plante appears on a Bee Hive photo wearing a mask, but not on a card.  There’s probably a York Peanut Butter card from 1968-69 with a goalie in mask, and maybe a Toronto Star photo from 1965, but this is the oldest hockey card.

What’s particularly odd about it is that from what I can gather (and find online), Hall didn’t actually wear a mask in 1964.  The first time he wore one in a game, he was a St. Louis Blue and it was 1968.  So what is it doing here?  There were netminders who would have a mask for practice (why take stitches when it wasn’t necessary) and ditch it for games. Presumably this is his practice mask and it may tell us something about how or when the photo was taken.

by 1964, the goalie mask was no longer a sign of weakness.  Jacques Plante’s intestinal fortitude had been questioned when he began wearing his mask in games back in 1959, but the sheer number of games he won silenced his critics.  Don Simmons adopted one shortly thereafter and by this time, Terry Sawchuk wore one as well.  Momentum was building and the only odd thing was how long the full conversion took.  Andy Brown was still going bare-faced in 1974.

I don’t know when exactly Glenn Hall picked up the name “Mr. Goalie,” but he was certainly known that way by the time he retired.  He was such a good prospect for Detroit that he was able to push Terry Sawchuk out of the way, but just two years later he took the fall (rather unfairly, I think) for an early Red Wings playoff exit and was sent off to Chicago, with whom he’d win a Stanley Cup in 1961.  Coming off the 1963-64 season, he was the reigning First-Team All-Star goaltender.  His seven First Team selections are still an NHL record for goalies.

1964-65 was the only season between 1955-56 and 1965-66 that Hall wouldn’t play at least 64 games.  His iron-man streak of 502 straight games in goal (all maskless) will stand for an extremely long time.

By 1966-67, Glenn Hall was 35 and Chicago had Denis DeJordy waiting to take over.  Glenn was left unprotected in the Expansion Draft and became a Blue.  He gave them far and away the best netminding of any expansion team (particularly playing alongside Jacques Plante starting in 1968) and St. Louis represented the West in each Stanley Cup Final between 1967 and 1970.  It’s Hall in net for the famous Bobby Orr flying goal of 1970.  He won the 1968 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP despite the Blues getting swept in the Final by Montreal.

Glenn Hall retired in 1971 but remained connected to the game, most recently as a goalie coach and consultant for the Calgary Flames.

Glenn Hall - 1964-65 Topps Tall Boys back

  1. shanediaz82 says:

    What an awesome card, my favorite so far. Love the cartoon too!

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