March 03, 2010

Gordie Howe's Surprise

I can never get enough of the story associated with this picture of Gordie Howe with his parents Ab and Katherine.

The photo was taken on March 3rd, 1959. The Red Wings were honouring "Mr. Hockey" with Gordie Howe Night between the first and second periods in a game against Boston.

Howe was presented with a bevy of gifts estimated to be worth $10,000, which was more than most players were making in 1959. The gifts included clothes, luggage, a trip to Miami, toys for the kids and a brand new station wagon.

But the biggest surprise of the night was who drove the station wagon out to center ice. Much to Gordie's surprise, it was Gordie's parents, Ab and Katherine, in the front seat.

This is significant because even though Gordie played 13 years in the NHL by this point, this was the first time his parents had ever come to Detroit. It was their first time watching their son, the greatest hockey player of them all, play hockey in the NHL with their own eyes.

The teary eyed Howe was too overcome by the surprise. He was not able to score on Gordie Howe Night.

1 comment:

dekeyfrekey said...

I remember another Gordie Howe surprise I saw as a boy growing up in Hartford, CT, at a Whalers game. On his 50th B-day, they brought a rocking chair out to center ice and made him sit in it. With a lone spotlight on Howe in his rocking chair, the place went nuts. I was only 8 years old, but will never forget it!