November 30, 2009

Archie Hooper & The Little Men of Iron

This is Archie Hooper, the scoring star and team captain of the Little Men of Iron.

That was the unofficial nickname of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association team that won back to back Stanley Cup championships long before the NHL even existed.

In 1902 the AAA defeated the two time defending Cup champions, the rough and tumble Victorias from Winnipeg. They successfully defended the title in 1903 against the same group of Winnipegers, ending what proved to be an epic rivalry between the two cities.

The 1902 championship was particularly celebrated by Montrealers. Upon return to Montreal the players were greeted at Windsor Station by 1000s of well-wishers. Once the players got off the train they "were drawn in sleighs by man-power from the station to the MAAA club house when 1000s of admirers refused to allow the horses to pull their heroes. They unhitched the horses and pulled the sleighs themselves, through snow and slush." (Lord Stanley's Cup by Andrew Podnieks)

Playing on a line with Jack Marshall and Jim Gardner, Art "Archie" Hooper was Montreal's star player. In 1902 he led his league in scoring 17 goals, including 9 in one game. He only scored six goals in the 9 game season in 1903, but that still led the team in scoring.

It was the start of what promised to be a spectacular career in hockey. But Hooper died two years later at the age of 24 as the result of an accidental blow he took during a hockey game.

The family of Archie Hooper has recently put a unique Stanley Cup heirloom up for bids at Classic

To commemorate the 1902 Stanley Cup championship the players were given 14 karat gold pocket watches. Hooper's was engraved with "Presented to A.W. Hooper by the Montreal Hockey Club - 1902." The exterior features the club's winged wheel logo, the year and the well earned words "Hockey Champions of the World."

This is probably the most unique item in Classic's current auction. Bidding starts at $10,000.

BallHype: hype it up!

1 comment:

Scotty Hockey said...

Must ... win ... lotto ...