Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday morning homily XVIII

Over the past few years, I've heard about the Tampa Bay Lightning's so-called "gearage sales." It's billed as an opportunity for Johnny Lightning Fan to get his hands on some game-used gear. After visting my first sale yesterday, held before the Lighting's disappointing 4-3 loss to the Panthers, I was a bit overwhelmed.

There was a lot of equipment available. Tables and tables of gloves, many still in their bags. Shiny helmets stacked three deep across tables. Twenty feet of sticks, a colorful collection from players past and present. Racks of rookie camp and practice jerseys.

It was like being a kid in a candy store.

The only problem, though, was that the prices were way too high. Those gloves? How about $60? Same for the helmets. Those sticks, while tempting, were $100. A rookie camp jersey of some no-name? Only $250. Practice jerseys, with no names or numbers, commanded $80.

For the hard-core collector, a pair of Johan Holmqvist goalie pads, showing considerable wear, were available for $750. Nice? Yes, but too rich for most people.

Because of the prices, I did nothing but window-shop. Want to know why? I paid only $25 each for the two Lightning practice jerseys I've bought during Lightning games. And I still have a couple of Marty St. Louis model sticks, picked up at the Lightning Foundation fund-raising table during training camp, that cost only $12.50 each.

Funny thing, too. I didn't see too many people buying stuff in the 20 minutes I hung around. Maybe next time the Lightning will take more of a garage sale approach, where it's dimes on the dollar, not 50-cent pieces.

Shameless self-promotion

If you check out page 138 in the February issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, you might recognize some of the autographed items shown on the page shown above. Here's a couple of hints:

~ they were obtained around Thanksgiving when the New York Rangers played the Tampa Bay Lightning; and
~ I wrote the article, my first for a Beckett publication in a few years.

Unless plans change (theirs, not mine), I'll have another piece in the February issue of Beckett Hockey.

For a better view of the article, click on the top image.

Hockey tongue twister

There's a good reason I write for a living. I don't believe I could quickly say these names three times in a row:

Kimmo Timonen
Ville Peltonen
Jere Lehtinen
Matt Niskanen
Teppo Numminen

5 Big Sigs

It'll be a big week down here in Hockey Bay with the Dallas Stars and the Buffalo Sabres coming to town. I'm going to raise the bar a little this week, seeing whether we can add these to the collection:

~ Dallas' Mike Modano on the Team USA jersey and puck;
~ Dallas' Marty Turco on the Team Canada jersey and goalie mask;
~ Dallas' Brad Richards on a Notre Dame College Hounds puck;
~ Dallas' Brett Hull on Stars and Red Wings pucks (sorry Sabres fan, but I have to try); and
~ Buffalo's Ryan Miller on the Team USA jersey.

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