Not Your Father’s Rocket

1991-92 Classic Four Sports Draft Picks Raghib “Rocket” Ishmail – card #LP8

Rocket Ishmail Hockey CardNo, it’s not Maurice “Rocket” Richard, or even his brother Henri “Pocket Rocket” Richard – it’s former pro football player Ragghib “Rocket” Ishmail. 

Nicknamed “Rocket” for his blazing speed, Ishmail was a standout in college football, and destined to go in the first round of the 1991 National Football League draft. But he instead decided to play in the Canadian Football League. The Toronto Argos – who were owned by Wayne Gretzky, comedian John Candy and then-owner of the L.A. Kings Bruce McNall. The Argos paid him over $4 million a season, which was unheard of for any CFL player. He played 1991 and 1992 in Toronto, before deciding to play in the NFL, where he remained until 2001 when he retired.

In 1991 Classic featured “Rocket” Ishmail in their Four Sports Draft Picks set, which issued cards for players drafted by the NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB. I believe Ishmail signed some sort of exclusive contract with Classic , so that only they could picture him on a trading card. So, Classic made the most of the license, dressing up Ishmail like a hockey player for our amusement.

Rocket IshmailThis card is hilarious without even trying. From the way he holds a hockey stick to that silly grin on his face. Sure, he’s probably having the time of his life, playing “dress up”. It’s like he’s sort of winding up to take a shot, but not really. Plus that stupid Classic logo – which looks like a blood stain – cuts off the blade of the hockey stick. I would also like to point out that Mr. Ishmail’s hockey uniform is a rip off of the uniforms of the Montreal Canadiens, where both “Rocket” Richard and Henri “Pocket Rocket” Richard played. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

For those of you who need to know – all three of you -the back of the card says:

“The Classic Gold Card”

Congratulations on receiving this extremely limited golden Classic Draft Pick Collection Card. This 1991 gold commemorative Raghibb “Rocket” Ishmail card highlights this year’s most visible athlete and Canada’s newest, brightest star getting the feel of Canada’s National sport.

The best part is, this was probably one of those promo cards that sold for $10 back in 1991. I found it at a card show in March, paying the princely sum of $1. But Ishmail’s grin is priceless.


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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