Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pat Falloon Autographed Card

I skipped three days because I was overworked and rarely home, and I wanted to make it up with something extra special - so I went to my vault of in-person signed cards of minor leaguers and found... one guy who didn't actually play in the minors until he retired from the NHL: Pat Falloon.

It's fitting to feature Falloon the same week his former line mate with the WHL's Spokane Chiefs, Ray Whitney, announced his own retirement, if only because of the contrast in their stories.

Out of the two, Falloon was considered the true ''blue chip'', can't-fail prospect, having won the Memorial Cup MVP award and getting drafted second overall by the San Jose Sharks in 1991 (the same year as Eric Lindros, Scott Niedermayer, Alexei Kovalev and Peter Forsberg). Whitney was chosen 23rd overall by the Sharks, largely as a favor for Falloon.

Whitney retired after 23 NHL seasons, 1064 points in 1330 regular-season games (plus 53 more points in 108 playoff games), one Stanley Cup (2006), two All-Star Games (2000 and 2003) and a spot on the 2012 end-of-season Second All-Star Team. Oh, and 25 points in 30 games for Team Canada at four World Championships.

Falloon had 322 points in 575 games, and 18 more points in 66 playoff games, the highlight of which was a participation in one Stanley Cup Finals with the Philadelphia Flyers. His highest-scoring season was his rookie year, when he accumulated 59 points, 25 of them goals.

After a 12-goal, 26-assist and 38-point 43-game season with HC Davos in Switzerland in 2000-01, Falloon moved back to his family's farm in Foxwarren, Manitoba, and played for the local Foxwarren Falcons in the NCHL, winning team championships and scoring races and all, until 2006-07. He even competed for the Allen Cup, given to Canada's best non-professional team.

I first met him after a game against my hometown Montréal Canadiens at the Forum, in 1992 or 1993, and while he signed a similar card for me at the time, this one was not it - I can tell because it's signed in blue sharpie, which I didn't get until much later that decade:
It's from Pro Set's 1991-92 Series 2 collection (card #558, his rookie card for the brand), showing him in the Sharks' original and super-popular teal (away) uniform.

No comments:

Post a Comment