Sunday, February 7, 2016

Signature Sundays - Not Everyone's an All-Star

Not everyone gets to be elite in their sport.  For every Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan or Mike Trout there's a host of mediocre to decent players.  To me, these guys are just as interesting, and I appreciate everyone who has left their mark (however big or small) on the sports I enjoy.  So, for today's Signature Sundays post I've got a handful of those lesser known and lesser appreciated type guys.

Andrew Ference is a perfect example of the type of player I'm talking about.  Boston acquired him during the 2006-07 season, and he'd end up being a key component of their defensive corps for a few years afterwards.  Andrew's definitely not flashy (6 goals are the most he's ever tallied in a season), but was a reliable stay-at-home defenseman during his time in Boston, including solid contributions during the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship season.

A local kid drafted out of Boston College, Steve Heinze went on to skate with the Bruins for nine seasons before wrapping up his career with brief stints in Columbus, Buffalo and Los Angeles.  I've mentioned before that this particular year of Be A Player is one of the worst card designs I've ever seen, and I stand by that!

A first round draft pick for Boston in the 2003 entry draft (21st overall), Mark Stuart was actually dealt away during the middle of that 2010-11 Stanley Cup season to the Atlanta Thrashers.  He's still with the franchise this year (now the Winnipeg Jets).

Here's one of my favorites from this post, longtime team enforcer Shawn Thornton!  I've got just four cards of Shawn and this is my lone autograph.  He doesn't exactly have a ton of certified autographs out there.  This guy has probably made more sacrifices than your average star just to stay in the league over the years, very happy to have him represented in my autograph collection.

Center Seth Griffith cracked the NHL roster for 30 games last season, but this year has appeared only twice.  Count me among the Bruins fans that are mystified that he hasn't seen more time.  He's absolutely killing it at the AHL level (47 points in 37 games).  Meanwhile Frank Vatrano, Max Talbot, Landon Ferraro and Joonas Kemppainen have appeared in 30 or more games each, and Zac Rinaldo has appeared in 44 games.  All centers, none of them with more than 7 points.  I know AHL success doesn't always translate to the NHL, but what gives?  Anyone know something I don't?

This last hockey autograph is a cool one to have, since Matt Fraser was one of the pieces to come to Boston in the Tyler Seguin trade.  He didn't last long, was claimed off of waivers by Edmonton, and last I knew was with the Jets.  Meanwhile, Tyler Seguin...

How about one baseball autograph to close out the post?  After a horrid start to 2015, Joe Kelly looked great at times and even went on an epic win streak at one point.  With David Price the clear ace heading into 2016, it will be interesting to see how guys like Buchholz, Kelly, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello slot in behind him.

Well, that's all for today, enjoy the Super Bowl!


Marc said...

Nice autographs. Did you know that BAP placed all of Andrew Ference's autograph stickers on sideways? They should have adhered them vertically as opposed to the horizontal way they placed them. The 21 is a dead giveaway.

Anonymous said...

Nice cards, even if Joe Kelly's the only one I've heard of. I've been buying more cheap autos on COMC lately, just a fun way to fill out an order.

shoeboxlegends said...

Thanks guys! Marc, I never noticed that about Ference's auto, very perceptive!

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