Friday, February 19, 2016

Josef Beranek: 2 Autographed Cards

As I mentioned when I initially made my list for my Oilers Numbers Project, I was fairly certain I had a signed card of Josef Beranek's with the Edmonton Oilers, but I cannot seem to be able to get my hands on it, no matter which box I look into.

Still, I managed to find two where he's with the Philadelphia Flyers, tonight's guests in town, as they were facing the Montréal Canadiens at the Bell Centre:
Beranek was the Oilers' fourth-round pick (78th overall) in 1989, the year Mats Sundin was chosen first overall by the Québec Nordiques. There were a few very good players left from the third round onwards, such as Olympians Rob Zamuner (45th), Nicklas Lidstrom (53rd, yeah, I know), Kris Draper (62nd), Robert Reichel (70th), Pavel Bure (110th), Anatoli Semenov (120th), Vladimir Malakhov (191st), Arturs Irbe (196th), and Evgeny Davydov (235th), as well as All-Star Donald Audette (183rd).

Beranek had a knack for beginnings; upon being traded from the Oilers to the Flyers midway through the 1992-93 season, he scored 10 goals in his first 29 games in Philadelphia, ending with 13 in 40 with the team and 15 goals (and 33 points) in 66 games in total. At the beginning of the 1993-94 season, he went on an even hotter streak, with no less than 18 goals in his first 23 games (including an 8-game goal streak), but finishing with 28 goals and 48 points in 80 games that year.

He signed both cards in ball-point pen in the mid-1990s; here's the first one, in his own zone in from of goalie Tommy Soderstrom (I had the same Jofa helmet as Soderstrom's at the time), from Score's 1993-94 Score (Canadian Bilingual Edition) set, with card #439 in the collection:
And here he is moving in on the Washington Capitals' Don Beaupre, from Pinnacle Brands' 1994-95 Score set (card #77 in the collection):
On both cards, he's wearing the Flyers' orange uniform from my youth, with the black sleeves and white arms with black lines, a truly classic look.

The Czech winger retired in 2010 after nine seasons with Slavia Praha (Prague) of the Czech League.

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