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Willie O'Ree starts Blades on victory trail

@ Los Angeles Public Library

Courtney, Tom


Used in the Exhibit: Play by Play - A Century of L.A. Sports Photography, 1889-1989When Willie O'Ree made his debut with the Boston Bruins in 1958, he became the first African-American to play in the NHL. Three years later, after he was sent to the minor leagues, he began a six-season stint with the Los Angeles Blades. Despite an injury that left him nearly blind in one eye, the speedy right-winger led the Western Hockey League in scoring in 1964, with 38 goals. The Blades folded in 1968; O'Ree played for the San Diego Gulls until his retirement. Photo dated: March 17, 1962.
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Los Angeles Public Library

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California Digital Library