By late this month, no Hamilton Tiger-Cat will ever wear No. 68 again.
The Tiger-Cats will announce Tuesday that they are honouring Angelo Mosca by retiring his jersey number when the team plays host to Montreal Alouettes on Thursday Aug. 27. The only other number the Cats have ever retired is the No. 10 worn by the late Bernie Faloney, Mosca’s longtime quarterback, teammate and good friend.
Mosca, who played all but a brief portion of his 15-year CFL career with the Cats, has come to stand for “Ticat” football. He personified the physical, ‘smash-mouth’ style of play which characterized the team’s greatest on-field era in the late 1950’s through to 1972, his final season in uniform. He is easily the most instantly-recognizable Tiger-Cat of all time.
“I wondered why (Ticat CEO) Scott Mitchell was driving out to see me today,” Mosca told The Spectator late Monday afternoon. “We usually just talk by phone.
“When he told me, it was just awesome. My wife Helen and I were crying. My wife deserves this just as much as I do. It’s an unbelievable honour.
“The funny thing is that I was in the group that first pressed to have Bernie’s number retired.”
Centre Mike Filer currently wears No. 68 but has told the Cats he is proud to be giving it up to honour the franchise legend.
Ticat owner Bob Young, who prefers to call himself the team’s caretaker, said that retiring Mosca’s number is “an organization-wide move, on behalf of our fans, our players, our alumni and the CFL.
“It’s one thing to be an all-star five times and play in nine Grey Cups (a record), and win five of them, but it’s another thing completely that Ang has pretty much dedicated his life to promoting the CFL and the Ticats since he retired. This is the perfect thing to do.”
Mosca, who was also a legendary pro wrestler, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s late last winter. The CFL Alumni Association is celebrating his life with the ‘Still Mosca’ gala at Carmen’s August 26, the night before his number will be retired at Tim Hortons Field. Proceeds from the event will go to help Alzeheimer’s patients.
Former football stars Matt Dunigan, Pinball Clemons, Russ Jackson, Terry Evanshen and Marwan Hage, hockey legend Doug Gilmour, wrestlers Rotten Reginald and Horrible Hartford Love, boxer George Chuvalo, and broadcasting icon Brian Williams have already committed to Still Mosca. The public can purchase tickets at is open to the public and tickets can be purchased through Carmen’s or at email@example.com.
“It’s going to be,” Mosca said, “a very emotional couple of days.”