Saturday, February 26, 2011
Mike Fisher: 4 Autographed Cards
Oh, the irony. A day after posting how January was a slow month in regards to receiving mail back, I got some from two of my favourite players in the NHL. And while I'm still struggling to find the proper words for my piece on Alexandre Burroughs, I'm honoured to write this post on one of the league's best two-way players, Mike Fisher.
I sent Mr. Fisher a fan letter and these four cards (care of the Ottawa Senators) on November 17th, 2010 and got all four back, signed distinctly in black sharpie (adding his jersey number, 12, to each), on January 18th, 2011, two months after my initial letter, and roughly after a month before getting traded to Nashville. I still have trouble imagining him as a member of the Nashville Predators, but I guess it makes sense to play for a team close to where his wife - country singer Carrie Underwood - lives and works.
As usual, I picked cards with different uniforms on them. I was always partial to the Sens' black uniforms, like in this card, from Topps' 2002-03 Topps Total set (card #148):
This jersey is different from the Sens' first black jersey, in that the sleeves sport huge gold horizontal lines instead of white and red - an upgrade, in my opinion - but sports the now-main logo with the centurion facing the front rather than sideways (I preferred the original, sideways logo, seen at the top of the card, which seemed more sober and professional - less cartooney). The jersey also had maple leaves, representing the Canadian flag, on each shoulder, which the original did not.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, many studies came out demonstrating that teams in red uniforms tended to win more championships - by a 3:1 margin over blue, and nearly 10:1 for every other colour. And so, the Senators introduced a red jersey, which kind of became their main home jersey along the way:
This card is from Topps' 2000-01 O-Pee-Chee set (the NHL Prospects sub-set), and is card #289 in the collection. It also bears the ''OTT-9'' mark, meaning it's the ninth in the collection of a Senator.It serves as his main rookie card for the Topps and O-Pee-Chee brands.
And then, of course, there are the current Reebok (''RBK Edge'') practice-like atrocities they wear nowadays, as seen in these two cards:
I chose the card on the left because it shows the edge of the jerseys, with no defining line to end it, which used to be customary. It also clearly shows that both shoulders harbor the 'O' patch. It's from the 2008-09 Upper Deck Series 1 set (card #64). The card on the right, from Upper Deck's 2010-11 Victory set (card #133) shows the team's logo more prominently, and a bit of the black-coloured underarms, which lead to the wrists in some odd way. It also shows he's made his way to being named assistant-captain on the team, which reflects how he went from a defensively-minded youngster under coach Jacques Martin at the time to the reliable 20-to-25-goal scorer he currently is, still in the positives for his +/- stats despite being on poor Ottawa teams of late.
I wish him the best of luck on the Preds. If I ran a team, he'd definitely be on my shopping list this July 1st.