1979 Sportscaster #56-05 – Montreal Forum
OK, I will admit that the title is a lie. The Capitals and Maple Leafs played many games at the Montreal Forum — just never against each other at the Montreal Forum. But the card above states otherwise. What’s going on here?
First off, the card in question isn’t a trading card; it is from a set called Sportscaster, which were sold in the U.S. and in various European countries. Sportscaster cards measure 4.75″ wide by 6.25″ tall, have a large photo on the front, and lots of text on the back.
These were not intended as collectibles like traditional sports trading cards; rather, their purpose was to inform — sort of a like a sports Wikipeida before Wikipedia even existed. Sportscaster cards covered every sport imaginable, from baseball to hockey to tennis to darts. Subjects included famous athletes, stadiums, trophies, games and events, as well as explaining aspects or rules of the games. Sportscasters were issued in series of 24 cards. There was even a special box to put them in, along with index dividers to separate the cards by sport.
This “Montreal Forum” card — which is number 5 from Series 56 — shows Darryl Sittler of the Toronto Maple Leafs facing off against Ron Lalonde of the Washington Capitals. However, whoever approved the photo on the front mistakenly thought that the team in white was the Montreal Canadiens and that this game took place at the Forum; the back of the card even states “The Canadiens wear white on their home ice.”
Whoops! That’s a pretty epic mistake, considering that the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup for four straight years in the late 1970s, while the Capitals were usually one of the worst teams in the league. That would be like mistaking a door mat for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
I wonder if the Sportscaster photo editor also thought that this “In the Corners” card was a classic Habs-Leafs matchup, too. ■
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.