Monday, August 15, 2011

Thoughts: It's All In The Name

Here's an issue I'm sure not a lot of collectors have to deal with on a regular basis, at least when it comes to hockey. As you know I'm currently collecting Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, so what's problem you ask? Well, it's the fact that for all intents and purposes, he has gone by two different names, at least on cardboard, since his career began. 

I say on cardboard because in his rookie year, 2005-06, Upper Deck decided to go with 'Jim Howard' on all of his RC's, not a big deal, right? Well it wasn't, not until around 2009-10 when UD changed all of his cards to say 'Jimmy Howard' instead.

I'm not saying this is something to complain about, but it's slightly annoying when I'm on eBay, Zistle, or COMC and I have to sometimes search twice just to make sure I don't miss anything. When it really get's confusing is when people don't properly label their auctions, unless they straight up write something like 'Jim (Jimmy) Howard' in the description.

Here's a look at what I'm referring to, you've got Jim Howard on the left and Jimmy Howard on the right.

Relatively speaking this is only a minor issue, what I would really like to know is are there any players out there who legally changed their name during their career, meaning cards would've been produced before and after the switch.

The only case of this I know of is Mike Danton. He was born and drafted by the Devils as Mike Jefferson, but according to Wikipedia changed his name to Mike Danton when he became estranged from his family while with New Jersey.

As you can see below, you've got Mike Danton on the left and Mike Jefferson on the right. Now that seems like it would get interesting for a player collector, although I doubt there are any Danton/Jefferson collectors out there, as he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, but who knows.

There was one other similar switch I could think of off the top of my head, and that was Varlamov's first name switching from Simeon to Semyon. This is more like what I see with the Howard cards, as it wasn't really an actual name change.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Can you think of anyone else this would apply to? It would be interesting to see how many players have actually had cards produced for more than one name.


  1. ITG had Varlamov's first name spelled Semen a few years for thought?

  2. hmmm....interesting, never thought of that
    btw your PC is coming along very nicely...keep it goin bro

  3. Dave - I thought that was the case, but wasn't 100% sure. Kind of interesting that he's had cards made to 3 different names now, isn't it?

    Michael - Thanks, man.

  4. Varlomov changed his name so americans would pronounce it correctly. He was tired of people saying Sim-E-On, instead of Sem-Yon.

    But yeah, I get you on that. I do the same thing with P.K. Subban. Or is it PK Subban?

    And I remember Joey Belle becoming Albert Belle back around 1990.....

  5. Good point on the P.K. vs PK, I never really thought of guys with abbreviated names like that (i.e. JS Giguere, JP Dumont, PJ Axelsson, etc.)

  6. The only one I can think of is ENIO SCLISIZZI as he is listed on his only card 1952-53 PARKHURST
    He was known as Jim Enio so his name was easier to pronounce--I've got a handwritten letter from him explaining this and a postcard signed Jim Enio--hmmm also Stan Mikita was born Stan Gvoth but his aunt and uncle in St Catherines adopted him and he took the Mikita name