Thursday, April 11, 2013

Game Used Generosity

Sometimes statistics don't paint the entire picture.  When you look at Arturs Irbe's statistics during his five seasons with the San Jose Sharks, you probably aren't too impressed.


57 Wins
91 Losses
26 Ties + Overtime/Shootout Losses
3.47 GAA
.889 Save Percentage

But what his numbers don't show is just how much the fans embraced The Wall.  During his time in San Jose, Irbe's contributions on and off the ice made him one of the team's most popular players.

Unfortunately, Sharks fans don't have much to choose from when it comes to Irbe's autographs and memorabilia cards that feature him in his Sharks uniform.  Currently, there are only two certified autographs and zero memorabilia cards which feature him in teal and black.


However thanks to my buddy, I'm now the proud owner of this awesome game used Irbe stick.  It should be able to hold me over until Upper Deck, Panini, and In The Game figure things out.


Awesome, right?  Here's a program insert from the 1993/94 season that shows Irbe with a similar stick:



The only downside is this huge crack on the blade:



But I'm not complaining.  It's one of my coolest pieces in my San Jose Sharks PC.  Thanks Mike for this truly generous gift.

Alright, it's your turn to talk...

Who are some of your team's fan favorites?

In other words, players who aren't necessarily super stars, but get the super star treatment in their hometown.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

14 comments:

  1. John MacDonald could probably win the mayorship of Toronto, and he's American. Always a pleasure to watch him. Hopefully Pittsburgh will love him as much as the Blue Jays fan base did.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excluding Brooks Robinson and the other Oriole icons I think Baltimore held several players in the category of fan favorites... Elrod Hendricks, Mike Cuellar, John Lowenstein, Floyd Rayford, Rick Dempsey, Jim Gentile, Tippy Martinez and Al Bumbry come to mind right away, at least for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of good names in that lot... especially Dempsey, Bumbry, & Martinez.

      Delete
  3. Luis Cruz is a current fan favorite at Dodger Stadium. Every time he comes up to bat, or he makes (yet another) smooth play at third, the fans give him a solid, fairly loud, "CRUUUUUUUUUZZ!"

    Now if only Damn Mattingly would recognize the guy's potential.

    ReplyDelete
  4. growing up in San Antonio, it was always Sean Elliott. I loved him, he was so nice and gracious with everyone in town and was always doing charitable things...great guy, but David Robinson got most of the love back then (he deserved it too). Sean Elliott was my guy though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I collected Elliot cards in the 90's... followed him even when he was at Arizona.

      Delete
  5. Luis Sojo. Yankee fans loved him, and he sucked. But he was fun to watch, and was so chubby and awkward. He always seemed to find a way to get a big hit though, even though I'm pretty certain he was a .053 lifetime hitter.

    ReplyDelete
  6. sweet piece! still looking to pick up a Getzlaf game-used stick one of these days.

    current fan favorites in Anaheim: Bobby Ryan, Francois Beauchemin.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Irbe is kind of a cult hero around the hockey "hotbed" of Raleigh for getting the Canes to the 2002 Cup Finals. I worked with a guy a few years ago who had a huge Irbe collection. Jerseys, Sticks, and a blocker. Unique collection, but those are the fun ones to put together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to hear that Irbe was a hero to Canes fans too.

      Delete
  8. I gotta go college football and say some of VT's fan favorites: Bryan Randall (ACC POY in '94, great guy on and off the field), Cody Grimm (worked his tail off from walk-on to NFL), and Eddie Royal (great wide receiver, and still a big Hokie supporter)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, great stick! Thanks for sharing that Fuji!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Awesome stick!! As for hometown favorites, who's a better example than Brian Scalabrine!? Dustin Byfuglien was also a big fan favorite in Chicago, mostly because of his playoff success.

    ReplyDelete