Back in the day, before email and social media, the only way to make contact with your heroes was to meet them in person, or to write them.

Sometimes they wrote back.

I found this at my late mother’s house over the weekend: Correspondence from Maurice “Rocket” Richard, the NHL’s all-time leading goal-scorer from Nov. 8, 1952 – Nov. 10, 1963. He scored 544 goals, and still found time to write back to a 14-year-old kid from Pittsburgh.

I’ve only seen Richard play on videotape. But he’s got to be one of hockey’s top 5 players ever, and certainly top 10. (BTW, Gordie Howe wrote me back, too. Watch this space.)

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