One upon a time in the little suburb of Toronto known as Scarborough lived an 8 year-old who loved hockey. Back in the late 50s/early 60s, of course, the National Hockey League consisted of only 6 teams. Thanks to a magical electronic box in the corner of his living room little Noname would, from time to time, be allowed to stay up late and watch his revered Maple Leafs - hazy little black and white figures - skate from one end of the ice to the other and, more often than not, slam home a little black puck into their opponent's net.
His heroes included goalie Johnny Bower and players Bobby Baun, Tim Horton, Eddie Shack, Bob Pulford, George Armstrong, Red Kelly, Dave Keon and his very favourite Frank Mahovlich.
So taken was Noname with the Maple Leafs that he played street hockey with his friends every chance he got and his Dad would walk with him to the arena in winter where he played little league hockey. He played various positions. He played wing where he checked an opposing player into the boards after the whistle. The player's mom yelled at the ref about the bully who should get a penalty. Bully? Hell, Noname could hardly keep his skates upright. Let the poor guy have a little fun. Next up was goalie where Noname would spend half-an-hour before each game suiting up in pads that were bigger than he was. In spite of those huge pads he rarely stopped a puck, seeing how he couldn't get up enough momentum to move and then if he did he couldn't stop. Noname was a well-rounded player in that he pretty much sucked at every position except "bench". But he loved the game. And he loved his Maple Leafs. And he loved Frank Mahovlich.
One day Noname went shopping to Loblaws with his Mom at the nearby Golden Mile shopping plaza. As his mother was proceeding through the checkout Noname looked outside and guess what he saw? Frank Mahovolich was sitting on a bench outside the grocery store wearing his #27 Maple Leaf leather jacket. "Mom, Mom" said Noname "Quick, have you got a pencil and a paper?" And like all Mothers she had just what he needed in that purse of hers. He tore out of the store, ran up to Frank and stammered, "Um, ah, Mr. Mahovlich, could I have your autograph? I'm a really big fan and I watch you play all the time."
But the stars were not aligned that day. Frank opened his mouth and said "Oh, I'm not Frank. I'm his little brother Peter. I'm just wearing Frank's jacket."
"Peter?" he thought. "Hell, I've never even heard of him." Totally dejected, his arms dropped to his sides and he slowly turned and walked away. Little did he know that 3 years later Peter would be drafted by the Red Wing organization 2nd overall in the amateur draft and end up winning 4 Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, where - guess what - he ended up playing several seasons with big brother Frank.
Today, Frank's a Senator in the Parliament of Canada. Peter's a scout for the Florida Panthers and Noname never did get either brother's autograph.