The Worst Hockey Cards of All-Time is a regular feature at Houses of the Hockey. On occasion, we’ll be highlighting some of the ugliest, funniest, and error-ridden cards both past and present.
Context is everything with this airbrushed Rick Vaive from O-Pee-Chee’s 1980-81 set. Season 4 of “CHiPs” was in full swing throughout the 80-81 season, which was Vaive’s first as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The show that focused on California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers starred then hunky Erik Estrada as Francis (“Frank”) “Ponch” Poncherello. Coy Vaive and his boyish good looks were no match for the macho Estrada, so clearly O-Pee-Chee elected to airbrush Vaive in his entirety to help him stand up to the hotheaded motorcycle cop.
Vaive and his Vancouver teammate Bill Deralgo became stars in Toronto after they were traded for Dave “Tiger” Williams and Jerry Butler. Vaive would serve as captain of the Leafs from 1982 to 1986, but was stripped of his “C” after missing a practice. “CHiPs” was cancelled in 1983. Erik Estrada’s hair will live forever on a Rick Vaive hockey card.
Stick tap HOTH reader Mark M. for the tip on this classic Vaive
Although we consider ourselves a bunch of nostalgia crazy hockey geeks, and have all collected cards throughout the years, we’re always looking for new cards to highlight. If you have a hockey card you’d like to see featured, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may post your submission.