My previous post was on All-Time Great, Marcel Dionne. The following day the NHL released the names of the 2018 Hall of Fame inductees. Martin St. Louis was one of those chosen for this years class. “Marti” and Marcel have one thing in common, their size. Marti St. Louis stands at 5′ 8″ tall and because of that some feel he went un-drafted in 1997.
He then settled for a spot on the Cleveland Lumberjacks in the International Hockey League and when he scored 50 points in 56 games it caught the attention of the NHL Calgary Flames in 1998. He earned a spot on the team and debuted in October 1998 but had limited playing time. In 2000 under new management, the Flames let go of St. Louis to free agency.
Few teams seemed interested so he chose to play for the Tampa Bay Lighting because that’s where he thought he would get the most playing time. At first he struggled but later that season he changed up how he was approaching the game, there was a dedication and a perseverance about him that made him at times stubborn. All he’s heard was, “No Marti, you have to do it this way. No! Marti you have to do it that way!” He was told he’s too short, he’s not good enough and his career had come to a crossroads.
Marti St. Louis decided to do things his way and he found motivation in proving people wrong. That’s not all he found, he also found success! He pressed in and persevered and by 2006 St. Louis had his greatest year yet scoring a career high 43 goals and 102 points.
The apex of his career came in 2004 when he helped Tampa Bay Lightning win their first Stanley Cup title, it was a seventh game win against who else, the Calgary Flames, the team that gave him up to free agency not but four years prior. That same year Marti also won the Hart trophy and the Lester B. Pearson award.
Marti says, “One of the hardest things in life is to maintain a level of excellence. Getting there is one battle but staying there is even harder. But with hard work and passion at some point dreams turn into reality.”
Career Numbers: Games Played 1,134 | Goals 391 | Assist 642 | Points 1,033
ROOKIE CARDS OF HALL OF FAMER MARTIN ST. LOUIS
1998-99 Crown Royale, Card No. 20 (shop eBay)
I’m not talking about Canadian Whiskey, I’m talking about this beautiful die-cut rookie card of Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis. The crown shaped card front has gold foil accents, great action image and bold silver foil lettering across the bottom. Definitely my favorite Marti RC. The card back lacks player bio and stats but it sure has plenty of eye-appeal.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $2.00-$5.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell in the $25.00-$35.00 range.
1998-99 Pacific Dynagon Ice, Card No. 28 (shop eBay)
I’m not sure what a Dynagon is but what I do know is that this is another Pacific offering given to collectors. The card front gives us an action photo and lots of color but I’m not quite sure what’s going on here. To me the overall theme is watered down a bit. Maybe that’s it, Ice and Calgary Flames gives us blue melted water?! I don’t know.
I really like the card back because its colorful, includes photography and overall is well-balanced, only thing its lacking is player bio.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for a couple of bucks; no recent nor relevant pricing for graded copies found.
1998-99 Pacific Omega, Card No. 38 (shop eBay)
Pacific’s more affordable brand Omega has two serious flaws in my opinion. The card is really dark and it features another rookie, Rico Fata. I’m not much of a fan of these dual rookie cards, now if Rico was a Hall of Famer too it might be something cool but this is not the case for most of these. Card backs don’t give us much probably because there’s not much room.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for a couple of bucks. No recent nor relevant pricing for graded copies found.
1998-99 Upper Deck, Card No. 234 (shop eBay)
This is a 420 card set split up into two series. Marti can be found in series two packs. Due to Upper Deck’s dominance of hockey cards this would be St. Louis most popular rookie card among collectors. It is a full action, game day photo, with silver foil sides framed out in black and red borders. Card back gives us everything a card back should have: player bio, photo, stats, extended commentary. Overall a great card!
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $3.00-$6.00; graded mint copies (9’s) are selling in the $25.00-$30.00 range.
1998-99 Upper Deck Gold Reserve, Card No. 234 (shop eBay)
The Gold Reserve was distributed to retail stores and are an exact carbon copy of the Upper Deck release with the exception of the gold foil sides instead of silver.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $2.00-$5.00; No recent nor relevant pricing for graded copies found.