When I last looked at it, the 1963-64 Parkhurst set was down to five cards that were missing (and a pair that needed upgrading). An opportune pickup has dropped the number of missing cards down to two. It could have actually been just a single, but the other Ferguson RC had a big print line down the centre that I’ll wait and see whether I can avoid.
The first card here is the close-up RC of legendary Habs tough guy John Ferguson. In order to fill out a 99-card set based on only three teams, every* player for Montreal and Toronto got both a head shot and a full-body shot. Detroit players only had the head shots. This means that any star or RC from Montreal or Toronto has to be acquired twice, once in each format. Fun.
(*There is an asterisk after “every” because there always has to be an exception. For whatever reason, Leaf Dave Keon only has the full body picture. His place in the head shots is taken by John MacMillan, who correspondingly has no full body shot. Leafs assistant GM King Clancy is also lacking a full-body pose.)
I talked about John Ferguson before. John was the baddest guy around, yet had the skill set to play on the same line as Jean Beliveau. That represents quite the package.
The other two cards that arrived with the Ferguson were the body pose of Terry Harper (also an RC) and the head shot of long-time defensive forward Claude Provost. Terry has a ding in the centre of the top border that looks factory to me. Claude is in good shape.
Terry Harper also had a write up already as part of the Tall Boys series. The Habs must have decided at one point that they needed a serious upgrade in toughness because in fairly short order they added John Ferguson up front and Harper and Ted Harris on the blue line. They weren’t the Big, Bad Bruins out there, but I don’t think anyone was taking liberties with their star players in the back half of the 1960s.
Claude Provost was one of the unsung heroes of those teams – the checker and penalty killer who did a lot of the spadework and permitted the stars on those teams to shine. That said, he did manage to put a fair number of points on the board while staring down Bobby Hull, Frank Mahovlich or whatever other great left-wingers he faced.
He played his whole career – 1955-56 through 1969-70 – with Montreal and hit a high of 33 goals in 1961-62. A 27-goal, 64-point performance even got him named to the 1965 NHL All-Star team at right wing, ahead of a person by the name of Gordie Howe. He was awarded the inaugural Bill Masterton Trophy in 1968.
Claude died of a heart attack in 1984 at the age of just 49.
With these three down, all that remains is #27 – Jacques Laperriere (head) RC and #92 – John Ferguson (body) RC. Numbers 30 (Beliveau head) and 58 (Stasiuk head) need upgrading. This set might happen yet….