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|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1975|
Bailey in 1934.
|Born|| (1903-07-03)July 3, 1903
Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada
|Died|| April 7, 1992(1992-04-07) (aged 88)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)|
|Played for||Toronto Maple Leafs|
Irvine Wallace "Ace" Bailey (July 3, 1903 – April 7, 1992) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs for eight seasons, from 1926–1933. His playing career ended with a fight he encountered during a game against the Boston Bruins; he was severely injured in the resulting scrum. He is the first professional sports player to have a jersey number retired in his honour.
Born in Bracebridge, Ontario, Bailey grew up in Toronto and played junior hockey for St. Mary's in the Ontario Hockey Association. He played senior hockey in Peterborough for two seasons (1924–1926) and in November 1926 was signed by the Toronto St. Patricks of the National Hockey League, renamed the Toronto Maple Leafs in his first season with the team. He was the leading scorer and goal scorer in the NHL in the 1928–29 season, with 22 goals and 32 points in 44 games. He was again the Leafs' leading scorer in 1929–30 and one point short of repeating in 1930–31. After three consecutive 20-goal seasons, his offensive production declined in the 1931–32 season. Bailey still helped Toronto win the Stanley Cup in 1932, scoring the Cup-winning goal in game 3 of the finals.
Bailey's career came to an abrupt end on December 12, 1933, when he was hit from behind by Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins, and hit his head on the ice, fracturing his skull; he convulsed on the ice of the Boston Garden. This occurred after Maple Leafs teammate King Clancy upended Shore with a hard check as the latter player rushed up the ice. Angry, dazed, and thinking he was going after Clancy, Shore rushed at Bailey intent on revenge. Another teammate, Red Horner knocked Shore out cold with one punch after the incident. It was feared that Bailey would not survive after severely injuring his head. He came out of a coma for the second time 10 days later, making a full recovery, but did not play professionally again. When he was assured that Bailey would survive, league president Frank Calder suspended Shore for 16 games. An all-star benefit game was held at Maple Leaf Gardens on February 14, 1934, which raised $20,909 for Bailey and his family. Bailey and Shore shook hands and embraced at centre ice before the game began. Thirteen years later, the NHL introduced an annual all-star game.
Bailey's #6 sweater was the first ever to be retired by an NHL team, and is one of the 13 numbers (19 players) to have been permanently retired by the Maple Leafs. Bailey, however, would later ask Ron Ellis to wear the number. Over his career, Bailey totalled 111 goals and 82 assists in 313 games.
Post-playing career and death
Following his career-ending injury, Bailey asked the NHL if he could work as a linesman, but he was turned down. He coached the University of Toronto Varsity Blues men's ice hockey team hockey team from 1935 to 1940 and again after World War II from 1945 to 1949, winning three Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union championships. He also worked as a timekeeper at Maple Leaf Gardens from 1938 to 1984, when the 81-year-old Bailey was told by Gardens owner Harold Ballard that his services were no longer needed. Bailey died of lung failure in 1992 at the age of 88.
- November 3, 1926 - Signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs
Awards and achievements
- 1928–29 – NHL Scoring Leader
- 1932 – Stanley Cup champion
- 1975 – Hockey Hall of Fame, honoured member
- Number (6) Retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs
Regular season and playoffs
|1921–22||Bracebridge Bird Mill||OHA-Jr.||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1922–23||Toronto St. Mary's||OHA-Jr.||4||2||1||3||—||4||2||1||3||—|
|1922–23||Toronto St. Mary's||M-Cup||—||—||—||—||—||4||2||1||3||—|
|1923–24||Toronto St. Mary's||OHA-Jr.||8||10||0||10||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1926–27||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||42||15||13||28||82||—||—||—||—||—|
|1927–28||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||43||9||3||12||72||—||—||—||—||—|
|1928–29||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||44||22||10||32||78||4||1||2||3||4|
|1929–30||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||43||22||21||43||69||—||—||—||—||—|
|1930–31||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||40||23||19||42||46||2||1||1||2||0|
|1931–32*||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||41||8||5||13||62||7||1||0||1||4|
|1932–33||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||47||10||8||18||52||8||0||1||1||4|
|1933–34||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||13||2||3||5||11||—||—||—||—||—|
* Stanley Cup Champion.
- "Maple Leafs: Ace Bailey and the birth of Leafs Nation". thestar.com. December 11, 2013.
- Shea, Kevin, One on one with Ace Bailey, Hockey Hall of Fame, archived from the original on December 4, 2010, retrieved November 20, 2010
- Podnieks, Andrew (2003), Players: The ultimate A–Z guide of everyone who has ever played in the NHL, Toronto: Doubleday Canada, p. 37, ISBN 0-385-25999-9
- Podnieks, Andrew (2000), The NHL All-Star Game: Fifty Years of the Great Tradition, Toronto: HarperCollins, p. 5, ISBN 0-00-200058-X
- Podnieks, Andrew (2000), The NHL All-Star Game: Fifty Years of the Great Tradition, Toronto: HarperCollins, p. 7, ISBN 0-00-200058-X
- Alex, Prewitt (January 26, 2017). "Bailey's near-death experience the impetus for NHL's first All-Star Game". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Greene, Nick (November 7, 2014). "Who Had the First Jersey Number to Be Retired in Sports?". Mental Floss. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
- Pincus, Arthur (2006). The Official Illustrated NHL History. Montreal: Reader's Digest. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-88850-800-3. OCLC 64344694.
- "Ace Bailey". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
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