Skip to main content

Luck Of The Irish: King Clancy

It is one of the most unique game worn Toronto Maple Leafs sweater in hockey history. It sold in 2009 at ClassicAuctions.net for nearly $38,000!


The story behind this green wool sweater, complete with the shamrock on the back, is amazing. It was actually worn in a league game back on St. Patrick's Day, 1934. While the rest of the Leafs wore their familiar blue, King Clancy wore this very special outfit for the first period. In the second and third Clancy had to return to his normal jersey as Lester Patrick, coach of the opposing New York Rangers, complained about the alternate jersey on the ice.

Why was the impish Clancy wearing this jersey? The Leafs were hosting "King Clancy Night." Clancy was as big a star as Toronto has ever seen. They honored him with the night, the jersey, and a number of stereotypical gifts that would keep any Irish eyes smiling.

Several junior players stepped on to the ice through large potato props. Red Horner emerged from a boxing glove. New York Ranger's star Bill Cook hid in a shamrock. All the while the Knights of Columbus Minstrel Band played Irish music.

But the highlight of the night was when Clancy was introduced to the sold out arena. There has never been anything quite like it in sports before or since.

Here's Clancy's own memories of the event:

When my turn finally came, the lights were all turned out and, dressed in royal robes and wearing a crown, I was ushered in on a big throne pulled by Hap Day. As the float reached the middle of the rink, I got hit in the face with a handful of soot from (Hap) Day and (Charlie) Conacher. When the lights came on, I looked like Santa Claus but my face was pitch black. It took me two or three days to get that stuff off.

This was a wonderful night to give anybody and I have wonderful memories of it. There is also a grandfather's clock at home which is worth more than any amount of money because of the inscription on it: 'From the Toronto Maple Leafs to King Clancy on St. Patrick's Night 1934.'
"

Here's some photographic evidence of the evening:


The Leafs won the game 3-2. Talk about luck of the Irish.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M