Remember when, two weeks ago, I featured Ted Hampson’s first card as a member of the Oakland Seals? Remember how I said it was the “strangest-looking card to ever feature a player wearing a ‘California Seals uniform.’” Here it is again, in case you don’t remember.
Well, imagine my surprise when, no kidding, just today, I came across this little doozy while shopping for hockey cards on eBay. I stand very humbly corrected, as THIS is undoubtedly the strangest-looking card to feature a player in a “Seals uniform.” I mean, it may be a Seals uniform, I have no idea, because it looks almost nothing like the one the Seals’ captain is rocking.
Here we have the late, great Carol Vadnais gearing up for his first season in Oakland, if Oakland was in fact a part of the cartoon universe. Vadnais was picked up by the non-cartoon Seals from the roster of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1968 intra-league draft. Since there were no pictures of him in a Seals uniform at printing time, O-Pee-Chee had to improve, which was not their strong suit. For one thing, the pants are the completely wrong colour, as they should be dark blue. Second, the logo is all wrong, as there is no yellow or white in it at all. I mean, how hard was it to ask the preschoolers on O-Pee-Chee’s payroll to just copy the kid nearby colouring the Ted Hampson logo. Sure, the Hampson logo ain’t great, but at least the colours are kinda ok, and if the Vadnais logo had some yellow or white in it, it would at least sorta make these two logos match. Instead, you have two teammates who, if you put their cards right next to each other, don’t look like they even play for the same team. No matter, both Hampson and Vadnais would become stars for the Seals in 1968-69, leading the team to their high-water mark of 29 wins and a second-place finish in the West DIvision. Hampson would lead the team with 49 assists and 75 points, whereas Vadnais would become the team’s flashiest star, leading the defense with 42 points.