WHA Hall of Fame

48 . . . 49 . . . 50 . . . RECORD

By Ray Bauschke, Business Manager

What more can you say about Bobby Hull that hasn't already been said, that hasn't been printed, that hasn't already been shared by the total community of Winnipeg, the World Hockey Association cities, and the cities and hamlets around the world. Bobby Hull is THE superstar in hockey - the greatest player to have laced on a pair of skates - the best acquisition that the Winnipeg Jets ever made - the best step that the World Hockey Association made in acquiring him when the WHA was first established.

On the next page is the complete history of Bobby Hull's playing career, up to and including his 50th game in the 1974-75 season. Bobby has led or tied league records in every league he has played in. He has been on Allstar teams, he has established a number of records that have never been equaled. But all this relates to his ability as a hockey player and not to his outstanding achievements as a person and as a member of our community. The Winnipeg fans enjoy Bobby Hull as a player because he is the one person who can change the complexion of the game by one quick wrist shot. He is the player who can literally bring the fans out of their seats when he unleashes his booming slapshot. The Winnipeg fans, like all good hockey fans, claim psychological ownership of Bobby. Only the boards and the glass separate the fans from Bobby when he is on the ice. Without this barrier, the ice would literally be overtaken with fans every time one of the opposition players gives Bobby a cheap shot.

Bobby Hull is without question the greatest public relations person the City of Winnipeg has ever had. He is in demand by community organizations, service groups, commercial groups - you name it, they want Bobby Hull. “Could we arrange for Bobby to come down for an autographing session?” “Do you think that Bobby would visit a sick child in the hospital?” He is every child's hero because Bobby Hull is just a great guy. He is never too busy to stop and chat with anybody who wants to simple shake his hand or ask him how he is feeling or slap him on the back or just simply be near him. Bobby has the charisma that attracts people to him. Always smiling, never in a difficult mood, he is the kind of guy everybody would like for a dear friend.

Bobby Hull has signed his name so many times that he can almost do it without looking. It is automatic. If he were to get a penny for every time he signed his signature, he probably wouldn't have to work another day in his life. In airports, on airplanes, in shopping centres, at the Arena, before the game, after the game, regardless of where Bobby Hull goes, fans are looking for his autograph. The amazing thing about this man is that he never refuses one. He is never too busy regardless of the circumstances. Many a night after a game at the Winnipeg Arena, Bobby is practically the last person to leave. He will not leave until every fan seeking an autograph gets one. Bobby has signed as many as 600 autographs in one night. Most of us complain when we have to sign and address 50 Christmas cards. For us this is a major chore. For Bobby it would be a small task because he does so much of it.

What else could really be said about Bobby Hull. It has been said. Winnipeg fans and the Province of Manitoba and the WHA are indeed fortunate to have this great person as a part of the great sport. Bobby Hull is a most important member of our community and probably does more for the image for the City of Winnipeg than any politician or public relations man. Bobby averages 15-20 fan letters a day. They come from all parts of Canada, the United States, Europe, and even some of the communist dominated countries. This is how vast this man's popularity has grown. It has grown not because of a cosmetic job that some public relations man has done. It is not because of an imagery that some other person has created for him. It's happened because of Bobby Hull himself. He has created the image because he is BOBBY HULL.

But this isn't the end, it isn't the beginning. It is simply a phase in Bobby's great career. We are sure he will be adding additional records, making many new friends and bringing additional prestige to the Winnipeg Jets and to the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba for years to come. We as well as the citizens of Manitoba hope that Bobby Hull will always feel the same way about us and that Winnipeg will be his permanent home even after his playing career has ended.