My favourite Tim Horton story (and his RC)

The '52-53 Horton RC. Not sure where Tim's going, but he's going there really fast.

Shows what I know.

Skinny Reimer was every bit as effective as not-quite-so-skinny Reimer and I’ll enjoy this moment of him leading every conceivable goaltending category while it lasts. He even mimicked the Belfour shutout I alluded to yesterday. Good show.

I’m working on something that will be a little longer, so today I wanted to share a Tim Horton story I read in Open Ice, a Horton biography that is now out of print.  This is too bad, as it was a pretty good read (though it’s not worth the $90 those used sellers want).

In the early days of the Tim Horton’s donut chain, it was nothing uncommon for Tim to be personally involved in the construction of the buildings.  He had some experience from off-season jobs and he was effectively free labour, so why not?

One day, he was digging the foundation for the third or fourth store when a bunch of schoolkids passed by, led by their teacher.  One of the kids looked down and said, “Hey! That’s Tim Horton!”

“Yes,” replied the teacher, “and if you don’t do your studies you’ll end up digging ditches just like him.”

They don’t use this story in the commercials.  I think they should.  :)

It’s a shame that book is out of print.  The copy I had was borrowed, so I’ll have to scrounge around used book stores if I want one of my own.  There was a lot of good information in it and there are so many little tidbits that make the whole transition from Smythe to Ballard that much clearer.  The early history of Tim’s efforts to find an after-hockey career are also interesting.  Tim had car lots, a hamburger restaurant and a take-out chicken restaurant that also delivered.  If you ordered from it, there was a good chance Tim Horton would deliver your dinner himself.

The card above is Horton’s rookie from ’52-53 Parkhurst.  I love this set.  They’re a little larger than the ’51-52s and this makes the picture a lot more visible.  This is also the first Parkhurst set that had anything on the back.  They’re still only about 3/5 the size of a modern card, but it works.  For baseball collectors, they’re similar to a ’52 Bowman, just a touch smaller.

This one was obviously kept in the album Parkhurst offered.  The nice thing about the album is that it generally kept all the surfaces clean and it didn’t involve any form of glue. The cards were press-fit into little corner slots much like an old photo album.  The downside is that it was all but impossible to get them either in or out without creasing the corners.  (Or maybe kids in 1952 just weren’t all that careful.  Either way, the result is the same.)  This one shows the problem on three.  At least they all creased worse on the back. The scanner glare on the edge is from the sheet it’s kept in.

Tim's stats are from the Pittsburgh Hornets (AHL). After the death of Bill Barilko, Horton was one of the players the Leafs hoped would fill the void. Barilko's plane went down near Cochrane, Tim's home town.

The title Open Ice refers to a huge hit Horton took from Bill Gadsby in the ’54-55 season. Gadsby caught him going laterally and crushed him, breaking his leg and jaw.  It took two full seasons before he was right again and there was talk of him being dealt to Montreal. (Imagine that.)  In ’58-59, he got a new partner in Allan Stanley and the confidence returned to his play.  He was still effective when he was killed in that car crash in 1974.

Just goes to show why you don’t give up on a defenseman too early, right, Mr. Komisarek?  :)

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8 Responses to My favourite Tim Horton story (and his RC)

  1. Dave H says:

    I immediately thought of your article yesterday when your boys won last night!

    Congrats on the win and another great post as always!

    • 1967ers says:

      Thanks! I managed to miss both of the goals, but saw the end, at least.

      I don’t know what it says about Reimer (or more likely his equipment) that he dropped 20 pounds and I can’t tell…..

  2. Wooooo Komi! He was a disaster in the first last, much like the rest of the team except Reimer, but he was almost not bad in the rest. If he and Gardiner can do that all season, I’m actually OK with it.

  3. brian jones says:

    Consider this an early Christmas present from us to you…paste the below link into Google Chrome and enjoy!! (Copies from $3-5.00 USD.)

    http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qwork=14514146&matches=11&keyword=open+ice&cm_sp=works*listing*title

  4. the kids were not careful in ’52… and they randomized teh cards after cutting in a cement mixer.

    alll in all not a good way for corners to survive.

  5. more help says:

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a
    comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment.
    Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove
    me from that service? Kudos!

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