Friday, April 2, 2010

Rick Tabaracci Autographed Card

After Gaétan Duchesne and Peter Zezel, here's the final installment of the ''Inspired By Sal's Autograph Blog'' trilogy of posts... Rick Tabaracci. Like Sal's, it is signed in black sharpie (although mine is from a larger-tipped pen, obviously, but the signature is exactly the same) and was acquired by mail. Like him, it took just about a month between sending the card with a fan letter and receiving it.

Even though he was owned by 7 different NHL teams (and twice each by the Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames), played his highest number of games in a single season with the Tampa Bay Lightning (55 in 1996-97, in addition the the 7 games he played as a Flame the same year), as well as having played with 2 AHL teams and 4 IHL teams, he will, to me, always be identified to the Winnipeg Jets, probably because they're the team I have the most cards of him in, and it's how I learned of this journeyman goalie's very existence.

And I chose to talk about this card today (well, technically, two days ago, but I just got around to it today) because Winnipeg is back in the NHL rumour bin, what with the Phoenix Coyotes' future being so uncertain and their former hometown having a recent pro rink available to be used and Canadian teams being so much more profitable than American ones.

As I told Mr. Tabaracci himself, I love this card: from Upper Deck's sleek design, to it being a dead team, to the picture itself, of 5'10'' Tabaracci checking a St. Louis Blues forward in front of the boards (and nowhere near the net), sending him flying backwards to whence he came. What's also great about it is that while the front picture is of Tabaracci in ''full action'' mode, the back picture sees him stretching on the team bench during warm-up.

I like it so much that it was with a batch of ''good'' cards that I got to save from a 1998 flooding of my apartment (unlike, say, 4 Jaromir Jagr rookie cards). For those keeping tabs, it's from the 1990-91 Upper Deck High Numbers series, and is card #520.

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