Whitewashed Capital

1975-76 Topps card #189 – Bill Clement

1975-76 Topps card #189 - Bill ClementDuring the summer of 1975, the Philadelphia Flyers traded center Bill Clement to the Washington Capitals. This transaction was apparently important enough to prompt Topps’ art department to revise their photo of Clement for their 1975-76 set. Unfortunately, his trade wasn’t quite worthy enough to merit revision to the entire photograph. Only Clement’s jersey had been altered to reflect the trade. His torso screams “Capitals,” while his legs (and heart, probably) still say “Flyers.”

The mismatched jersey and socks makes Clement look like some castoff from a third-tier European hockey team – just add a green helmet and some skates from the 1950s. What puts this over the top, though, as one of the worst paint-overs ever is that there are real Washington Capitals players present in the picture. Are we not supposed to notice that Clement’s socks are orange, while his teammates’ socks are white?

1975-76 Topps card #189 - Bill ClementWorse yet, Clement was “given” double-zeros (00) as his jersey number. Strange that Topps would go the extra mile to add a uniform number – albeit an insulting one – but then totally ignore the legs.

As for the trade itself, it didn’t fare too well for Washington, who received Clement, defenseman Don McLean and Philadelphia’s first pick (18th overall) in the upcoming entry draft. McLean played a total of 9 games, and their draft pick – Alex Forsyth – only played one game. Clement was named team captain, but was again traded midway through the 1975-76 season before he could make any real contributions to Washington.

In return for their pick and the two players, the Flyers received the Capitals first pick in the draft. And since the Caps finished dead last the season before, their pick was the first overall pick. The Flyers reaped the reward of the Capitals’ on-ice and off-ice ineptitude, and used the first overall pick to draft junior league scoring sensation Mel Bridgman.

Just like Clement’s jersey, Washington got whitewashed.

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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

4 thoughts on “Whitewashed Capital”

  1. He looks like a sticker that was just put on there for no reason. I really like his aura that is hovering around him.

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