71 Facts About Harold Ballard


Harold Ballard won Stanley Cups in 1962,1963,1964 and 1967, all as part-owner.


Harold Ballard was the owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League for 10 years from 1978 to 1988, winning a Grey Cup championship in 1986.


Harold Ballard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.


Harold Ballard is 1 of 7 names to be on both the Stanley Cup and Grey Cup.


Harold Ballard later reversed the names and referred to himself as Harold E Ballard.


Harold Ballard attended Upper Canada College as a boarding student until dropping out in his third year in 1919.


Harold Ballard became a fan of speed skating and would attend skating events and hockey games, helping to promote the Harold Ballard skates.

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Harold Ballard competed in several regattas, and won the Toronto-Oakville marathon in 1929.


Harold Ballard was elected to the Yacht Club's executive committee in January 1930.


Harold Ballard participated in the 133-mile Albany, New York-New York City marathon in April 1930, finishing second in his class.


Harold Ballard was pulled from the water unconscious, but one of his friends died.


Watson chose not to return the following season, and Harold Ballard took over the coaching duties.


In one incident, Harold Ballard was arrested in Paris following a fracas at a hotel.


In 1934, Harold Ballard became manager of the West Toronto Nationals OHA junior team and hired Leaf captain Hap Day as coach.


In 1957, Harold Ballard moved up to the Maple Leafs as a member of a committee chaired by Stafford Smythe which oversaw hockey operations after Conn Smythe stepped down as general manager and Hap Day was pushed out of the Leafs organization.


At age 54, Harold Ballard was the oldest member of the group, which were otherwise all in their 30s and 40s.


Harold Ballard fronted Stafford Smythe most of the $2.3 million purchase price.


Harold Ballard played a key role in the Leaf dynasty of the 1960s, winning Stanley Cups in 1962,1963,1964 and 1967.


However, Harold Ballard soon began displaying tendencies that would eventually make him one of the most detested owners in NHL history.


Harold Ballard's solution was to make the CBC pay for the upgrade.


Harold Ballard negotiated lucrative deals to place advertising throughout the building, and greatly increased the number of seats in the Gardens.


Harold Ballard expanded the number of concerts, entertainment acts, and conventions booked in the building.


Harold Ballard booked The Beatles on each of their three North American tours from 1964 to 1966.


However, Bassett didn't force Smythe and Harold Ballard to sell their shares, and both men remained on the board.


At age 68, Harold Ballard won a battle with Stafford's family and bought his shares, giving him a 60 percent controlling interest in the Gardens.

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Harold Ballard installed himself as president and chairman of Maple Leaf Gardens and governor of the Maple Leafs.


Shortly after taking control of the Leafs, Harold Ballard stood trial on 49 counts of fraud, theft and tax evasion involving $205,000.


Harold Ballard was accused by the Crown attorney of using funds from Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd.


Just as Harold Ballard's trial was beginning, he told Hockey Canada that they were welcome to use any member of the Leafs on the Canadian team, could use Maple Leaf Gardens for their training camp, and could use the building for any or all of the games in the series, with the Gardens' share of the gate receipts being donated to the NHL players' pension fund.


Harold Ballard then partnered with long-time rival Alan Eagleson and Eagleson's client Bobby Orr to get the television rights to the series, which would be used to benefit Hockey Canada and the players' union.


At no time before or after his trial did Harold Ballard show any interest in being associated with Eagleson or in having members of the Leafs play the Soviets, and the move was widely seen to be a means to generate favourable public relations.


Harold Ballard finished his sentence at a halfway house in Toronto, and was paroled in October 1973 after serving a third of his sentence.


Harold Ballard even claimed to possess photographs of himself drinking beer with corrections officers and wearing one of their uniforms.


Harold Ballard was a very hands-on owner who quickly became known for being irascible and cantankerous.


Harold Ballard tried to micromanage the team, interfering with coaches and players.


The biggest loss was goaltender Bernie Parent, a superstar in the making, who was offered a WHA contract with financial terms far beyond what Harold Ballard was prepared to match.


The players who stayed could use the threat of joining the WHA to negotiate better contracts, and Harold Ballard always blamed the WHA for inflating players' salaries.


Harold Ballard never forgave the WHA for this, and became the leader of the hardline faction of NHL owners who opposed any merger with the upstart league.


However, by the time the Toros played their first game at the Gardens, Harold Ballard had been released from prison.


Harold Ballard removed the cushions from the home bench for Toros' games and denied them access to the Leafs locker room.


Harold Ballard was not only angry at how the WHA had decimated his roster earlier in the decade, but wasn't enamored at the prospect of reduced television revenue.


At the time Harold Ballard took over, the Leafs' captain was Dave Keon, who had been with the team since 1960.


Two days later, Harold Ballard asked Neilson to return, but with a paper bag over his head so as to conceal his identity.


Gregory learned of the news when he received a call from an NHL executive offering him the directorship of the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, unbeknownst to him that Harold Ballard had fired him.


Harold Ballard had once called Sittler "the son I never had", but relations between the two took a turn for the worse with Sittler's increasing prominence in the NHLPA.

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In July 1979, Harold Ballard brought his longtime friend, Imlach, back to the organization as general manager.


Harold Ballard would liken Sittler's actions to burning the Canadian flag.


Harold Ballard told the press that the real battle had been between Imlach and Eagleson, and Sittler just got caught in the crossfire.


Harold Ballard signed Borje Salming to a new contract with terms that Imlach had refused to offer.


Harold Ballard remained as de facto general manager even when Imlach recovered.


In September 1981, after Imlach had another heart attack during training camp, Harold Ballard told the media that Imlach's poor health meant that "he's through as general manager".


However, this was largely because Harold Ballard was unwilling to increase the payroll in order to improve the on-ice product, despite playing in the fourth-largest market.


Harold Ballard thus felt he had little financial incentive to sign better players.


Harold Ballard famously had his hand and footprints etched onto a concrete slab and placed it at centre ice of Maple Leaf Gardens, which deteriorated the quality of the Gardens ice.


In 1974, when Bassett put the Toronto Argonauts up for sale, Harold Ballard offered to buy the team for $3 million, but his offer was rejected.


Shortly after, Harold Ballard tried to buy the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from owner Michael DeGroote, but that offer was rejected.


Three money-losing seasons later, in January 1978, DeGroote contacted Harold Ballard and sold him the club for $1.3 million.


Later that year, Harold Ballard blocked Bassett's attempt to repurchase the Argos.


However, Harold Ballard did not object the following year when Hodgson sold his stake in the Argos to Carling O'Keefe notwithstanding the fact the brewer owned a team in the WHA.


In 1986, Harold Ballard publicly called the Tiger Cats a bunch of overpaid losers.


Harold Ballard sold the team to businessman David Braley on February 24,1989.


Harold Ballard had claimed losses in excess of $20 million over 11 seasons with the Tiger-Cats.


Harold Ballard was recognized for this on his citation during his 1977 Hockey Hall of Fame induction.


Years later, Williams would remark that all Harold Ballard would want from his players was an honest day of hard work.


Harold Ballard died from various health complications on April 11,1990, at the age of 86.

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Harold Ballard claimed to have been with Ballard for eight years at the time of his death.


In 1989, Bill Harold Ballard was convicted of assaulting Yolanda and fined $500.


Harold Ballard fought with Ballard's family and partners over Ballard's estate following his death.


Harold Ballard left his personal belongings to his children and grandchildren.


The executors of Harold Ballard's will were Steve Stavro, Don Giffin and Don Crump.


Harold Ballard is buried at Park Lawn Cemetery in Toronto with his wife Dorothy.