Thursday, October 21, 2010

Slapshot Explored in Blake Ball's Hometown

Some Blake Ball mentions in this article from today's Barrie Examiner....

Cult classic explored


Slap Shot, the hockey movie to end all hockey movies, has ties to almost every Canadian town. Barrie is no different.

The late Blake Ball, who suited up for the junior Barrie Flyers in the 1950s and wound down his senior hockey here in 1976-77, played the role of goon Gilmore Tuttle in the 1977 cult classic.

"It's the most real, genuine hockey movie you could ever have," said Jonathon Jackson, author of The Making of Slap Shot : Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Hockey Movie Ever Made. "Other sports have their movies ... but with hockey, we don't have a whole lot. It's still the benchmark."...

...You could say Ball -- who also played for the Orillia Terriers senior team in 1972-73, and was a defensive end in the CFL -- was type-cast. New Haven Blades fans didn't call him 'Badman' for nothing. The real-life hockey thug, who died in 2006, often collected more than 300 penalty minutes per season.

Statistics like those made the St. Thomas native the PIM king most years in the old Eastern Hockey League, forerunner to the North American Hockey League, which was the basis for the fictional Federal League and the Charlestown Chiefs portrayed in the movie.

"For all intents and purposes, it was a true story," said Jackson, whose research for the book lasted three years. "It documented a lot of events that actually happened in the lives of the Johnstown Jets, which was the real team."

The Pennsylvania steel town's decline in the 1970s made the team's survival tenuous at best. In the end, it folded.


  1. I don't know about "Badman" but we used to chant "Thunderball" when the movie was out!

  2. Watched him play here in 1976 as tough guy for the Oklahoma City Blazers and I do mean tough. RIP my friend and childhood idol !.