Given that I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, you might find it surprising that I would choose to write about Maurice “The Rocket” Richard.
Rocket Richard’s story is well-documented in the movie “Rocket Richard: The Maurice Richard Story.” I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this movie while channel surfing a few years back. Being an avid hockey fan, I thought that I knew everything there was to know about the Rocket. After watching this movie, I realized I was sadly mistaken.
Statisticians will tell you that that stats don’t lie, but we all know that stats will not tell you the entire story.
Maurice Richard shared many traits typically attributed to superstars like Gretzky, Lemieux and Crosby. The difference between Richard and the aforementioned players is that The Rocket played in a hostile environment. He belongs in another category of superstardom shared by the likes of Satchel Page and many others who played sports without the support of those around them. The Rocket, a Francophone playing for the Canadiens in a predominantly Anglophone league, suffered many unfortunate incidents at the hands of his peers – notably the Richard Riots in 1955.
Although I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, I am attracted to the aura of the Rocket. How can one endure such stressful conditions and maintain their superstar status? I draw inspiration from exemplary individuals such as Maurice Richard, with hopes that I can lead my life with honesty, integrity and honour.
He helped shaped the NHL of today. Scratch that, he helped make our world a better place. Humanity isn’t quite there yet, but we are learning to evolve our intellectual framework to rise past such trivial issues as the color of one’s skin or the language that one speaks. Above all, we are human beings borne of the same heart and soul, striving to make our lives better. We should continue to work together to make this dream a reality.
2010 Sports Icons Cut Auto
Attributes: Cut signature of Maurice Richard.
Card Status: Will be kept in my personal collection
Notes about image: I tried to scan my card which is encased within a slabbed card-holder but the scans didn’t turn out right. I used an image from the web of a same card to give you an idea of what mine looks like. It is similar except that the signature on my card is on a slightly darker bluish background.