A friend of mine, James Duncan in Toronto, mailed me a gift which came yesterday.
It’s a Jan. 4, 1957 edition of the American magazine Collier’s, featuring Princess Grace on the cover, and inside, along with stories about the princess and teenagers and fictional crime, is a nice piece on 25-year old Jean Beliveau.
Wikipedia says the magazine was founded in 1888 and the last issue was on Jan. 4, 1957, which is this particular one. (It would start back up in 2012).
So it’s the final issue, with a beauty of a three-pager on our Jean Beliveau, which mentions that only four men in the league match Jean’s 6’3″, and no one equals his 205 pounds.
Gump Worsley, playing with the Rangers at the time, is quoted as saying “With Beliveau, you don’t bother to figure. You just wait, knowing he’s simply going to overpower you.”
The writer, Tom Meany, compares Jean and teammate Maurice Richard, saying the Rocket “has the flamboyant showmanship of Babs Ruth, while Beliveau has the effortless grace of Joe DiMaggio. And between them, the Rocket and Le Gros Bill leave Montreal’s knowledgeable – and rabid – fans limp”.
It also has a paragraph on legendary Montreal sportswriter Jacques Beauchamp, who donned goalie pads for some of the Canadiens practices, and who says, “I happened to tell Boston goalie Terry Sawchuk recently that Beliveau’s shots were so terrific I closed my eyes when they came at me.” Sawchuk replied, “I got news for you. We all do.”
I can’t thank James enough. He’d found this old mag somewhere, thought of me, and sent it out. Such a nice gesture.