I was fifteen years old when the WHA folded, I remember getting my hockey cards the following year, opening packs up and looking with confusion at cards such as Morris Luckowich Winnipeg Jets, Dave Dryden of the Edmonton Oilers and Andre Lacroix of the Hartford Whalers, not sure who they were, who the teams were or what the hell they were doing in the packs taking up space as I looked for my Dale McCourt and Reed Larson cards.
Over the years I have made it a hobby of mine to study the game we all love, the history of it, and have made it a personal love affair with learning everything there is to know about the WHA. From Derek Sanderson and his 8 game 2.6 million dollar Philadelphia Blazer deal, to Bernie Parent walking out in the middle of a playoff series over not getting paid, Bobby Hull giving the league credibility, Gerry Cheevers getting mugged three times on the way to his car in his first season with the Celveland Crusaders, The Hanson/Carlson brothers from Slap Shot fame being REAL hockey players, Gordie Gallant, Billy Butters, Frank 'never' Beaton, teams merging and then disapearing overnight, Gordie and his boys. Hedberg and Ulfie, the San Diego Mariners owned by Ray Kroc of McDonalds fame, all of it is still very much alive to me.
I collect cards and autographs, as well as stories from retired players. I send cards to players as I get their addresses with a hand written note, thanking them for the memories and asking if they would like to send a story of their time in the game back as well. So far, I have over two hundred letters from retired players, half from the WHA telling favorite stories. Most of the players were from the seventies and eighties, my favorite era, and if anyone is interested in hearing more about this or the WHA's rich history, let me know!!
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