Looking Good Losing with the Hartford Whalers

1990-91 Pro Set - Ron Francis
1990-91 Pro Set – Ron Francis

Today, in Uniforms I Miss, the Hartford Whalers.  Whether it’s the green beauty modelled above by Ron Francis, who was pretty good, or the blue one sported below by Robert Petrovicky, who is 41 years old and still plays professional hockey, the Whalers had a great look.

1993-94 Upper Deck - Robert Petrovicky
1993-94 Upper Deck – Robert Petrovicky

A few things that are worth noting about the Whalers franchise:

  • They were originally based in Boston for the first two years of their WHA tenure, throughout which they were known as the New England Whalers.
  • They had a theme song.  It was called “Brass Bonanza
  • They were the first Avco Cup winners as WHA champions in 1972-73, but when the trophy wasn’t yet ready, the team had to use their divisional trophy instead for their celebration.
  • They missed the playoffs in ten of their 18 NHL seasons, but, in a magical run in the 1985-86 season, made it all the way to the second round before losing.  In fairness, they lost game seven in overtime to the eventual Stanley Cup champions, but the point is they were never very good.  But they looked good.

All this and I didn’t even mention the Cooperalls!

Greg Maddux, Intimidation and Moustaches

1987 Donruss - Greg Maddux
1987 Donruss – Greg Maddux

So you’ve probably heard of Greg Maddux.  Pretty good baseball player who played for the Cubs, Braves, Dodgers and Padres.  He ended up with 355 career wins, four Cy Young Awards, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.  He pitched 198 innings over thirteen appearances in the postseason – now, he spent most of those with Atlanta so he only won one World Series, but still, overall he had a decent run in the Majors, before getting fat in retirement.

What you might not know is that he once sported a moustache.  You see, when Maddux arrived in the Major Leagues in 1986, he was just a few months past his 20th birthday, making him one of the youngest players in the big leagues.  He clearly wanted to look older, more intimidating, more menacing on the mound.  I’m not sure the moustache that he was able to grow really accomplished that goal, but overall, he must have done something right.