1976-77 O-Pee-Chee card #240 – Cesare Maniago
At 6-foot-3, former NHL goalie Cesare Maniago stood out among his peers. He played in the 1960s and 1970s, during an era where most goalies were of average height. Maniago’s tall frame – mixed with an unfortunate background and a hasty “jersey re-coloring” led to one strange-looking hockey card.
On the left is Maniago’s hockey card from the 1976-77 Topps set. It pictures him with the Minnesota North Stars. However, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks before the season started. As was their practice, O-Pee-Chee had someone recolor Maniago’s jersey in the photograph to look (more or less) like a Canucks sweater.
The result is something that is reminiscent of the artwork by Modern artist Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). For those of you who slept through their Humanities classes in college, Modigliani was the guy who painted the weird-lookin’ people with long necks.
Modigliani’s abstract portraits were inspired by the elongated features of African masks. Maniago’s giraffe-like neck, combined with the painted-over bright blue jersey and eerie yellow background make this hockey card look like it could be one of the famous painter’s masterpieces.