Palmateer was my influence to play net in Markham house league for a couple of years. I'm a southpaw too and adopted his style of play. That is a one-on-one race for the puck at the blue line kind of style.
I remember my Dad's friend, "Rye", lending me his goalie skates. Just one size too big but a few pairs of socks helped with the fitting. The league supplied the rest of the goalie equipment. However, finding gear for a lefty was a challenge. The brand new blocker spanned from my knees to my elbows. Back then, everything was leather and when wet would add at least 10 pounds. My stick hand agility was a bit slow.
The gear would have to sit out at home for a day to a week to dry out. My dog decided to investigate and chew through a few fingers in the blocker. Can't get too angry over this...most of you chewed on your baseball glove in the outfield and it was delicious. Speaking of which, in the off season, I had to use my baseball glove in net because the equipment had to be returned at the end of the season. Which reminds me, I think I still owe Markham Minor Hockey a new blocker.
"A 10 MINT grade for the flow"
My Dad would often take me to visit his friend "Vern" who lived on Bridletowne Circle in Scarborough, Ontario. On one Saturday visit, Warren told me that Palmateer lived in a townhouse down the street. This was a time when he started playing for the Leafs so I would have been 10 years old. Warren's son Damon and me ventured to his house around 1 in the afternoon and rang the door bell in an effort to say hi. About a minute passed with no answer. I decided to pound on the door to get his attention. Still, no response. I perched myself up to look in a window to see if he was there. All I saw was a poker table and a bunch of beer bottles ("stubbies"). I knew then that I had the right address but still no one-on-one time.
It wasn't until around 2015 that I ran into Palmateer at the Home Depot in Aurora, Ontario. "What are you building and oh, you were my influence to play net", I said. I never asked if he remembers the disturbance.
I've held this card since when it was released and just had it graded in April 2021. I'm going to keep it safe in my personal collection and the NFT in my blockchain wallet for the memories and proof of ownership. You can see the public view of the NFT in our gallery or through this link.
The other rookie card:
But first, a bit of hockey card trivia. The California Golden Seals relocated to Cleveland for the 1976-77 season. The cards for that season has Topps featuring the team as the Seals. Whereas, O-Pee-Chee features the team as the Barons but players are wearing their Seals jerseys. This has to do with production timing and Topps releasing their packs well ahead of O-Pee-Chee. The run of 1977-78 cards would be the only season that you would see players in Barons jerseys.
Now for Palmateer's other rookie card. Both 1977 Topps and O-Pee-Chee card #39 Bob Murdoch (Cleveland Barons) has a great shot of Palmateer...venturing out of his crease of course. Hey, is that Don Ashby in the background?
Palmateer and McDavid have the same birth day January 13th
- Dean Sprung