April 10, 2012
by Ray Jannelli
It was 1988, two years into my tenure at the "Original" Mitchell & Ness Sporting Goods (before Reebok purchased the name). It was the beginning of The Cooperstown Collection of wool flannel baseball shirts. Myself, being more of an ice hockey enthusiast, I wondered if old cotton/rayon/poly hockey sweaters like Winnwell, Sandow, and Bauer were in storage in some corner of a sporting goods warehouse. I visualized a tattered,creased box on a shelf that housed treasure island.
Going through my own collection of hockey magazines and catalogs, I happened upon my second favorite publication from that era, Casey's Hockey Bible, first being the Acme NHL Players Stamp Album, of course.
Speculation ensued, Casey's still in business? Could they still have the old knit material jerseys in stock ?
Peter Capolino, President of Mitchell & Ness at that time, asked me pessimistically, "Ray, do you really think 1970s era hockey jerseys will sell"? I was confident that there was a market for the old shiny knit jerseys with the lace-up fronts.
My next step was to call the old phone number of Casey's in St. Louis, Missouri, which I did. A young lady answered the phone, "Casey's Hockey,Robin speaking".
To be continued.......