30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hidden Treasures #6: Al Leader HOF Statue

Are you ever embarrassed to tell people you're a sports memorabilia collector?

The fact is... it's a huge part of my life and most of my loved ones know about my hobby. However, I don't tell everyone... mainly because I don't want to be labeled the Japanese version of the:

Anyways... I recently hung out with a friend, who is completely out of the loop when it comes to sports collectibles. And he asked me about my interest in the hobby... which eventually led him to showing me the sweet trophy at the top of the post.

It's a Hockey Hall of Fame statue given to George Al Leader when he was inducted in 1969. The average hockey fan has probably never heard of Mr. Leader, because he was inducted as a "builder" instead of a "player".

He organized the Defense Hockey League in 1940 and a few years later, he was elected secretary-manager of the Pacific Coast League (PCHL). In the early 50's, Leader was the president of the PCHL, which is now called the Western Hockey League (WHL). His contributions helped the expansion of hockey into Western North America. If interested, you can read more HERE.

In addition to the trophy, my buddy also has this framed patch:

And this silver plate:

Some may be wondering... how do you acquire such unique hockey memorabilia? Well... my buddy was really good friends with Mr. Leader's son, who left it to him when he passed away a few years ago.

He didn't seem interested in selling any of the items, but he asked me what I thought they'd be worth (sort of reminded me of one of those Antique Roadshow episodes). Of course, I had no idea. But I'm assuming their one of a kind pieces, so I'm sure they're worth something to someone.

Happy Black Friday everyone! Sayonara.

Nablo WriMo Daily Total: 307 Words
November Total: 6,950 Words


  1. I'm more embarrassed to say I collect cards. At least memorabilia sounds a little more grown up.

  2. The only embarrassing thing is that there's still a stack of late-70s Charlie's Angels in the basement. At least I didn't buy those myself. :)

    Having too much fun with the rest of it to worry.

    One thing, though - I've been into hockey for over 30 years, read every historical book I can get my hands on and I've never heard of Al Leader. I have a set released by the HHOF in about 1983. I have to go see if he's in it.

  3. I couldn't possibly tell my students about it - high schoolers are too cool for baseball cards. It's all about having the latest cell phone and X-Box 360 game. That said, I've been more open with friends about my hobby, and I feel more mature about it now that I can say I have a focus (mainly I talk about the type collection). It's easy to tell my family about how I write about cards, and I have people who read my posts, and thus my hobby isn't some lonely shut-in thing where I don't do anything but spend money on pieces of cardboard.

  4. My wife doesn't understand why a grown man would collect pictures of other grown men. I don't understand why she needs 50 pairs of shoes when she only has two feet.

    My best friend in the UK collects train and truck numbers with his son,so card collecting doesn't seem so bad.

  5. I've never been ashamed of my hobby, and though I'm pretty much the only one in my family and friends who does it, it's what I enjoy to do and I wouldn't change anything about it. Some people collect coins, stamps, antiques etc.. whatever makes you happy. I've heard some people say how could you throw away money, but I don't believe it is all. If an emergency ever were to arise, I know I could sell most of my stuff at or even more than I originally paid for. I don't intend to, but it's nice to have that safety nest just in case.

  6. the lost collector - very true

    1967ers - if you find anything... please let me know

    ryan g - my students are into cell phones and video games too... but whenever i have cards, they're willing to fight over them too. guess that's the difference between middle school kids and high schoolers.

    hairylemon - yeah... guess it's all about an individual's perspective

    chris - i wish i was in your shoes... i'd be lucky to get half of what i've spent over the years.

  7. Well, there you go. Al Leader was part of that set. He's in group M.

    These things also show up on ebay. There were two forms - you could get the postcards in blocks of about 16, or the whole thing was also released as a complete card-sized set. That's the one I have.

  8. 1967ers - that's awesome... thanks for sharing. i'll add this to my wantlist and see if i can hunt down this single for my buddy.