Card of the Week: Garf Grunsky

1992 Skybox Garfield Trading Cards – card #78

Garfield Hockey CardThis is a card that I just randomly lucked into finding. In the early 1990s, I worked in a comic book store, and in 1992, Skybox released a set of Garfield trading cards. Containing 100 cards, the set consisted of random illustrations of Garfield, Odie and other characters from the comic strip. A few of the cards would parody something. This was one such card.

The front depicts Garfield as a “Garf Gruntsky”, a goaltender for the Moosejaw Breakers. Notice that the puck that he is holding has a bite taken out of it. And for some reason, I find that angry purple moose logo really funny.

The back of the card has a head shot of “Gruntsky”, with text that reads:

BORN: With a silver puck in his mouth; Caribou Lips, Saskatchewan. One of the stingiest and hardheaded goalies ever to play, “The Great Gruntsky” has never worn a mask during his amazing career. He is still the all-time leader in lost teeth and subdural hematomas.

Garfield Hockey CardWhile most people would think that this is a parody of Wayne Gretzky, real hockey fans know who this is meant to be a spoof of: none other than the late, great Lorne “Gump” Worsley. The similarities are numerous. Short? Check. Chubby? Check. Doesn’t wear a mask? Roger that. Sarcastic? You know it.

Lorne Worsley was nicknamed “Gump” due to his resemblance to comic-strip character Andy Gump. But maybe if Worsley played in the 80s instead of the 50s, he would have been nicknamed “Garf”—for his similarities to the chubby, sarcastic cat.

And though Gruntsky posted some amazing numbers—including 911 games played and a 2.73 goals-allowed average—his status as a housecat ultimately disqualified him from Hall of Fame eligibility.

As a side note, this is the only “hockey card” in the set of Garfield trading cards. 

Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

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