Happy Secretaries Day!

1988-89 ProCards card – Sheryl Reeves

1988-89 ProCards card - Sheryl ReevesDuring the 1988-89 season, the ProCards company produced minor league hockey cards of AHL and IHL teams. Each was sold as an individually-wrapped team set. Many future NHLers would be featured, with players like Ed Belfour and Mark Recchi appearing on trading cards for the first time. Most notable, though, would be a card of one team’s administrative assistant.

Yes, that’s right – a hockey card of a secretary.

Each team in the ProCard set was represented by about 20 or so player cards. Some teams also had cards issued of their coach or their mascot. But the Peoria Rivermen went overboard. Besides cards of 21 of their players and a team photo, also appearing in the Rivermen set were cards of their coach, trainer, general manager, assistant general manager, sales manager and administrative assistant – a woman by the name of Sheryl Reeves.

Smiling broadly, the frizzy tresses of her hair draped over the shoulders of her pastel sweater, Sherly represents what is the first – and I’d wager only – time an administrative assistant has appeared on a hockey card.

One could imagine the look on the face of the kid who spent $3 to purchase a Rivermen team set; “Let’s see…Pat Jablonski, Tony Twist, Cliff Ronning, Sheryl Reeves…Sheryl Reeves?”

Sheryl’s inclusion was not without merit, though. As explained on the back of her card:

Sheryl is in her third season as the “woman behind the scenes in the Rivermen office. Sheryl is in charge of coordinating travel plans for the team, as well as holding together the administrative functions of the hockey club.

That sounds like a pretty tough job. Coordinating travel plans of a minor league hockey team could be daunting, with all the bus trips to Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, Fort Wayne and Flint. Plus those ubiquitous “holding together the administrative functions”. Not sure what that means. Perhaps stuff like making a last minute bank deposit so that the players’ paychecks don’t bounce, ensuring that all office personnel use the new Rivermen TPS report cover sheets, and properly disposing of all of the old Peoria Prancers stationary.

1988-89 ProCards card - Sheryl ReevesBy the way, today (April 22, 2009) just so happens to be Administrative Professionals Day. Back when this card was issued in 1989 – and up until 2000 – it was known as “Secretaries Day”.

In actuality, though, this whole week is considered Administrative Professionals Week, and – as vaguely explained by the International Association of Administrative Professionals’ website – “is one of the largest workplace observances outside of employee birthdays and major holidays.”

How about that? Mothers, fathers, presidents and veterans only get one day – but receptionists, secretaries and administrative assistants get a whole week. And a lucky one got to be on a hockey card, too.


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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