Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wax Stain: A Cup Of Coffee With Chris Ferraro

Wax Stain Wednesday is a regular feature on Dirty Dangle. Our pal Dave at Wax Stain Rookie is an avid autograph and card collector and has some amazing experiences to share with us. WARNING: these posts may make you want to buy a Beckett and get those dusty hockey cards out from under your bed that you hide from your girlfriend like a secret porn collection.
A cup of coffee is an expression that is often used in baseball and hockey to describe a player who has spent very little time of their career in the pros. One of the most famous players I can think of that fits this bill is Don Cherry. As a player, his NHL career lasted about as long as a cup of coffee. He played exactly one game and that game was a post-season game for the Boston Bruins in 1955. Don would go on to have a pretty successful coaching career, but as a player he would toil in the minors for the better part of 20 seasons. For purposes of these posts, I am going to focus on autographs of players who spent less than a full season (80 career games) in the NHL. Hard to believe that someone who played less than 80 games would have a card created with an autograph of theirs on it, but there might be more there than you realize.

The first post in this series is going to be Chris Ferraro. Chris was a superstar hockey player in junior, and I was lucky enough to see him play as a member of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL back in the early 90’s. In fact, before there was Henrik and Daniel Sedin, there was Chris and Peter Ferraro. These twin brothers were both talented hockey players who were drafted by the New York Rangers in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Peter was a first round pick and Chris was a fourth round pick. Internationally, they were equally awesome, as they were some of the best players on a pretty decent United States U20 team. Chris scored 7 points in the 1992 tournament where the US won the bronze medal and 11 points in the 1993 tournament while his brother Peter put up 8 points and 11 points respectively during his two trips to the WJHC.

However, it just seemed that a career in the NHL for Chris wasn’t meant to be. He would post some pretty solid AHL numbers including a 99 point season in 95-96 for the Binghamton Rangers, but couldn’t put up the same numbers he did in the minors when it came to the NHL. After playing 74 games with 5 different NHL clubs, Chris would retire from hockey in 2009 having scored just 7 goals and 16 points. He actually has more WJHC goals (8) and points (18) than he does in the NHL. I guess this goes to show success in the NHL is far from guaranteed. With that being said, I still jumped at the chance a couple months back to buy his autograph from the local card shop. The card itself books for 5 bucks, but I was able to get it for 2 bucks and it is worth every penny to me as I enjoyed seeing him tear up the USHL as a kid.
This card is from the 94-95 Classic Draft picks set and as you can see, it is limited to just to a mere 4770 hand numbered copies. Actually despite the high print run, this is the first time I have ever seen this card which just adds to the enjoyment. The set this card is from actually features a couple decent cards including Doug Gilmour (1950 copies), Cam Neely (1850) copies and Brian Rolston (2400 copies). Cam and Doug were added to be “stars” among the prospects, but of the 33 prospects in the set, very few actually amounted to quality NHL stars.

4 comments:

  1. I am old enough to remember the Ferraro twins. Thought they were related to Ray Ferraro back then.

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  2. 4th rounder guy. So not really a bust. There are first rounders who don't even make the NHL

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  3. I don't think the post is necessarily about "busts." But on that topic, I think he is a bust considering he lit up the junior level and performed at a high level on the international stage, but could never maintain it at the NHL level or even perform. He definitely had his cup of coffee in the show.

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  4. Certainly some of these guys I will post about will be busts. But, the main focus will be guys that ended up with nothing more than a cup of coffee NHL career AND an auto on a piece of cardboard. :)

    Mostly these will be cards that are actually in my collection.

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