gumption

gump

For Lorne: Born this day in Montreal in 1929, Lorne Worsley played for Rangers in New York (including, above, in 1962) and Canadiens, too, as well as Minnesota’s expansion North Stars. He won four Stanley Cups and collected a Calder and a Vézina, all of which helped him find a place in the Hall of Fame. He died in 2007. “I was called a lot of things during my years in hockey, most of them unprintable.” That’s from They Call Me Gump, the autobiography he published in 1975 with Tim Moriarty’s aid. “The least offensive ones were ‘Beer Belly’ and ‘Meat Head’ or ‘Cement Head.’”

A childhood friend named George Ferguson got the credit for his indelible nickname:

I had a crew cut in those days and my hair stood up like Andy Gump’s in the old comic strip. George used to kid me a lot about that. He’d whack the back of my head and say, “Come on now, Andy Gump, let’s get going.”

Soon other guys started calling me “Gump,” and then everyone did. I didn’t mind. At least they didn’t call me “Shorty” or “Piss Pot.”

(Photo: Weekend Magazine/Louis Jaques/Library and Archives Canada/ e002505681)