When Dit Clapper skated out before a thundering ovation at Boston Garden, he was greeted by delegations from every team in the league.
On that night he became the first active player in the history of the game to peel the sweater off his back and be inducted directly into the he Hall of Fame. In spite of successive generations of new stars, hockey experts still consistently rate Aubrey “Dit” Clapper as one of hockey’s all-time greatest. Not only was he the first player to play 20 years (all for the Boston Bruins) he was a six time all-star and one of only a select few (including Wayne Gretzky, Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe) to go directly into the Hall.
Dit was revered as the toughest player of his era, and respected around the league as one of the game’s great sportsman – a combination that endeared him to fans in every NHL city. Over the decades his legacy endures in Boston and his homeland in eastern Ontario, but has gradually faded elsewhere. In an age where athletes often achieve notoriety for all the wrong reasons, Clapper achieved greatness for all of the right reasons. His story, never before explored in detail, has been painstakingly researched and now for the first time can be told. Clapper’s legacy was a triumph of sportsmanship in a world where it is too often wanting, setting a bar that endures as a challenge for each successive generation of athletes.
“Dit” – A Hockey Life is a Clapper family approved biography on this amazing individual and his climb from very humble beginnings in a small village in Ontario, Canada to becoming Boston’s most beloved professional athlete for over 20 years.
The authors have spent the last 24 months researching their subject and to date have interviewed over 40 former players, friends and family members including Dit’s 94 year old sister, his daughter, son and grandchildren. The book is targeted for release in Mid-August of 2012. Check back often for the latest details.