By Rodger M. WoodCollectors Corner will focus on Washington Capitals autographs, photos, sports cards, game used sticks, jerseys, and other Capitals hockey memorabilia from the present back to the Capitals’ inception in 1974.There will also be an occasional article about my Detroit childhood collecting of Red Wings and other NHL teams’ memorabilia in the 1950s.
In olden days the Washington Capitals players were very generous to their fans. They always had enough time to sign cards, photos, team pictures, everything you’d ask them to sign at the Tyson Corner practice facility, before or after the game outside the waiting room at the old Capital Centre, at the hotels they stayed at on the road, or requests by mail. They never said “no” to my three children or their young friends.The Capitals were truly our hockey team both on and off the ice, and we loved them despite their lowly win-loss record for the first ten seasons.Last week at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, I thought I’d test our present day Capitals to see if their attitude toward the fans had changed with the great success they’re realizing this season. I was worried in these days of “high cost autographs,” our present day Caps might have changed their attitude about signing an autograph for their fans.
I was hoping Brooks Laich would sign an 11×14 canvas photograph and other Capitals would sign some 4×6 photos I had taken for my young grandson’s “TJ” sixth birthday presents.After practice, Capitals players, Brooks Laich, Quintin Lang, Nicklas Backstrom, Jeff Schultz, and Brian Pothier came over to sign autographs graciously for all who wanted them. They turned out to be just like the good old Caps after all.I was pleasantly surprised – and they made TJ a very happy little boy when I gave him his birthday presents this past Sunday. Thank you very much!