How Do You Display Your Collection?

by Chuck EckelsIMG_0100

There are as many different ways to display your collection as there are collectors. The best way to display your collection is up to you. Living in a 3 bedroom town home with our daughter gone, my wife did not put up any opposition to me having a “hockey room”. There is a room in our house devoted to my passion for the game with a big screen TV.

I collect minor league vintage jerseys. I think it reminds me of my youth. ( I have changed directions so many times my friends have joked that I don’t collect jerseys,  I only rent them.) The way I like to display them is with a vintage pennant and a vintage piece of cardboard. I like the aesthetics of this method. The downside to this process is that it limits the number of shirts I can display or keep in my collection. If I can’t display it or look at it, there is no joy in having it. Toy collectors like to have the cardboard box the toy came in because most people threw the box away or the cardboard simply didn’t survive.  I feel the same way about vintage hockey cardboard and pennants.

I have included three jerseys in my limited collection. First up is a San Diego Gulls 72-73 dureen Jersey. The white WHL jerseys are difficult to find because most of the whites were given to the players. The road blue jerseys were offered to the public. Adding the WHL 25th patch and this style is not easy to find. The white WHL pennant is extremely easy to find. One could pick one up on eBay for $10. The John Adams litho was given out at Gulls games in 1974. Not many survived, so it’s difficult to find one. There’s a puck hitting the blocker in this litho. The artist had to draw the puck in the photo to cover the word Cooper he had written on the blocker because of copyright infringement. My favorite Gulls story from this era involves Bob Courcy. Bob was offered an NHL contract by the Flyers but he turned it down . He had a girlfriend in every WHL city and preferred that to skating for Philadelphia.

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The next triad is a combo from the EHL and SHL. All of these items are difficult to find but the 2ft by 3ft poster of the Roanoke Valley Rebels is absolutely impossible to find. This cardboard just doesn’t exist. It’s my favorite piece of cardboard. The Greensboro Generals pennant is difficult to find as well. I like this pennant because it has the Southern Hockey League logo on it. In 30 years of collecting I have only seen 4 SHL pennants. The Stall and Dean Rebels jersey is from the EHL of the 60’s.

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The Pacific Hockey League was formed by the President of the San Diego Sports Arena Peter Graham. Dennis Murphy who helped create the WHA was also involved in the league’s creation. The WHA was winding down so it was thought there would be a bounty of players left over from that league. The WHA had wiped out the highly successful WHL and once the WHA was gone there was a vacuum to be filled. The league sputtered from the start due in part to marketing after the fact as opposed to before the league started. The ticket prices were extremely reasonable in the hopes many would attend the games. The league lasted all of two years from 1977 to 1979. The last display includes a San Diego Hawks pennant with a Hawks cardboard 17” X 14” schedule . I would be surprised if another Hawks schedule existed. The jersey is a Phoenix Roadrunners jersey from 1979.  PHL items are fairly obscure pieces. 

I appreciate the clothes line of Leafs jerseys or purple and gold Kings jerseys. I appreciate the Gretzky jerseys in elaborate cases. However my favorite way to display hockey jerseys is with vintage cardboard and a vintage pennant.  The pennants and cardboard are not high value items. Anyone may acquire them. They are desirable because not many exist.