Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jimmy Waite: 5 Autographed Cards

I was waiting to see if I'd get a return for these, because I also have some autographed inserts of his I could have featured but I did get this return today, 12 days after initially mailing these 5 cards and a fan letter to him (from March 13th to 25th, 2014).

Jimmy Waite was a star goalie in Juniors, long considered the heir to Patrick Roy in terms of Québec-born goalie (at least until Martin Brodeur's debut). As such, the Chicago Blackhawks made him the 8th overall pick in 1987, ahead of Stéphane Quintal (14th), Joe Sakic (15th), Andrew Cassels (17th), John LeClair (33rd), Éric Desjardins (38th) and Mathieu Schneider (44th).

He had been named the best goalie at the 1988 World Juniors (and on the tournament's All-Star Team) for Team Canada, and things were definitely looking up, except for the fact that the Hawks also had fellow youngsters and future Hall Of Famers Ed Belfour and Dominik Hasek in their pipeline... he also spent time with the San Jose Sharks (behind 70-game starter Artus Irbe) and Phoenix Coyotes (behind 70-game starter Nikolai Khabibulin), but he'll always be identified with the Hawks.

Not only did Chicago draft him, they also traded for him after having sent him to San Jose, and later claimed him off waivers when the Coyotes let him go. After his playing career, the Hawks made him their goalie coach, a job he held until they switched over to his brother, Stéphane Waite, who kept the job until last summer, when he joined the Montréal Canadiens after leading the Hawks to two Stanley Cups with two different starters.

Jimmy is now a goalie coach in the LHJMQ with his former team, the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, where I sent the cards. Speaking of which, here they are, first, from Score's 1990-91 Score (card #407, part of the NHL Prospect sub-set):
It shows him wearing the Hawks' classic red (then-away) uniform, as do these two cards from Pro Set's 1991-92 Pro Set set (#530, which specifies is his rookie card):
I got two of each of these, so a trade may not be out of the question for anyone interested in Waite.

Then there's this card showing him with the Sharks, from Pinnacle Brands' 1993-94 Score (French-Canadian version) (card #539 of the high-numbers set):
He signed all of them in black sharpie, with the number 29 tagged at the end. It's the number he wore in Juniors, in San Jose, and for most of his later career in Europe; he wore #28 in Phoenix, and changed numbers almost every year in Chicago, alternatively wearing 60, 30, 36, 29, 49, and back to 29.

Like him, I wore a Vaughn Legacy blocker and Brian's glove (851 model) in my playing days, but he wore Vaughn pads and I preferred Brian's below the belt.

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