This is a picture of who, exactly?

Dave? Dave’s not… wait… he might be here, I’m just not sure where….

My dad is a twin.  An old picture of him and his brother has the following unsigned note on the back:  “The one on the left is me, I think.”

So we don’t know who wrote the note and even he didn’t know who was who in the picture.  We love this.  It’s hilarious.

Every so often you get a card made where if you didn’t already know what the player looked like, you’d never figure it out from the image.  There are a bunch of long-range action shots in 1973-74, but for the most part, the subject of the picture is central.

Not here.

Now, this is an awesome picture and captures a bunch of hall-of-famers getting ready for battle.  It’s just that if you didn’t already know Dave Keon and how to recognize him by sight, you’d never figure out which one he was.

This picture could have made at least three pretty solid cards.  There’s this shot of Tim Horton:

plus this shot of Ullman facing Don Luce.  This could have been a great horizontal card:

You could even make a case for a head-and-torso shot of Paul Henderson or Steve Atkinson.  But this is supposed to be Dave Keon’s card.  As awesome a shot as this was, the card really needed to look more like this (apologies for the lame photoshop):

You could argue that most people should figure out Keon – he and Horton are the two players in the centre and Horton plays for the wrong team.  I might even buy this as it allows me to keep that fantastic picture.

But now take a look at this one:

Now, one of these guys is supposed to be Richard Mulhern, but if you didn’t know either of them on sight, which one is it?  Who was traded to the Leafs, the Flame or the Bruin?

From the photo, the Bruin is clearly the central figure and the likely candidate to be Mulhern.  If we look at the action, though, what you have is a defenseman who has just shot the puck up the boards and a forechecker coming in half a second late.  Mulhern is listed as a defenseman.  He’s the Flame, not the Bruin.

Richard Mulhern is the guy in the background of his own card.

We can verify this by looking at the back:

Mulhern was never a Bruin, but he was a Flame.  He was also a King and a Leaf in the interim, so clearly, nobody was in any hurry to get a more recent photo.

Of course, if you happened to know that #8 for the Bruins was Peter McNab, then the whole thing was easy.  It’s just not very polite for McNab to horn in on Mulhern’s card like that.



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7 Responses to This is a picture of who, exactly?

  1. commishbob says:

    I knew because I knew he was #14 but the shaggy Keon with the ‘stache just doesn’t look like him to me. I remember him as being buzz cut. Interesting card isn’t it? I’ve never seen one quite that crowded!

    • 1967ers says:

      It’s a really neat shot and there were a lot of busy shots that year. This one is loaded with so many big names, though. Three Hall-of-famers and two more that you could make an interesting case for.

  2. bamlinden says:

    Excellent post!

    I knew which one Keon was (that’s a great card), but was stunned to find out Mulhern was the Flame. The 80/01 release was my first year of collecting and I remember that one.

    Great stuff.

  3. I was just thinking about this card a couple of days ago. I went looking for it after I acquired a couple of photos of Keon. In them, there are several players, and again, if you didn’t know who was who…..

    but on the card, I thought I knew who everyone was…. but I thought the Leaf taking the draw was Ron Ellis, not Ullman… what do I know? I’m a Habs fan 😉

    • 1967ers says:

      It’s Normie. Ellis was #6. 🙂

      In profile, though, I can see it. Similar hair, too.

      The Leafs are Henderson, Keon and Ullman. Sabres are Luce, Horton, Steve Atkinson (pretty certain) and I’m debating the elbow at the right. It’s a left-hand shot and we’re missing both a left D and a left wing. Could be Schoenfeld, could be Ramsay.

  4. flamestuff says:

    That Keon card is probably the ultimate “cameo” card, but the Mulhern one is particularly interesting because, as you pointed out, he is in the background of his own card. Another enjoyable (to me, anyway) part of the card collecting hobby is recognizing the other playes who appear on hockey cards. I once wrote about a few cameos at:
    I actually have more blog articles featuring cameos in the works, but the world will have to wait for them because of my self-imposed moratorium on featuring NHL/NHLPA items in any new blog posts during the lockout.

    I also enjoy looking at the fans in the background of hockey card pictures…like that Mulhern card for example. You sometimes find a great facial expression, but at the very least such cards always provide a valuable history lesson on popular fashions at the time the photo was taken! And, occasionally, a cameo appearance happens on the other side of the glass:

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