Monday, February 21, 2011

Proof: Evel Knievel Tried Out With The Charlotte Clippers

Like most of the Eastern hockey League stuff I find, I was looking for something else when I came across the note below in the October 11, 1959 Montana Standard by Frank Quinn.

There are lots of places on the web that mention Evel Kneivel , or "Bob" as he was then known, played for the Charlotte Clippers. But like so many things on the web, it's all from hearsay with no definitive proof. Well, here's step one of the proof.

Here's the October 18, 1959 follow-up by Frank Quinn of the Montana Standard.
So, the world's greatest stunt driver ever, Evel Knievel's Eastern Hockey League career ended because he didn't like to ride the bus. ***Pauses to hold back a giggle at the irony.*** It reminds me of one time when my mom and I were Christmas shopping in Haddonfield, NJ (about a mile from Cherry Hill Arena ***lame EHL connection to justify story***). As the stores were closing and we headed to our cars, Santa Claus came over and confided to my mom and I that the parking lot really should be better lit. In other words, Santa was afraid of the dark. Mom still howls when she remembers that.

Bob Knievel was very influential in developing hockey in Butte, Montana in the late 50s. He coached, managed and played for the Butte Bombers of the American Hockey Association that season. after returning from Charlotte. Could you imagine him and a young John Brophy on the Clippers defensive line? Hmmm, I always thought I'd write a nice dry history of the Eastern Hockey League (once I get more-or-less finished), but maybe I need to write a Slapshot prequel with John Brophy and Evel Knievel, complete with a fear of riding buses, on defense. As my friend Murph says, "Could be hideous."