Bryan Pitton, who can be found in between the pipes for the Condors on game nights, handed a business envelope to broadcaster Ryan Holt after practice one day and simply asked him to throw it in the office’s outgoing mail. When asked where it was headed, Pitton cracked a laugh and revealed that he was sending signed cards to a collector. Why was he smiling though? Pro athletes get signature requests all the time.
“Have you seen that I was named the worst hockey card of 2010?” Pitton joked
The website www.punkjunk.com ranked Pitton’s 2010-11 Score “Hot Rookies” card the worst hockey card of 2010. In fact, the author of the article, Sal Berry, called his card “the sorriest excuse I’ve seen for a hockey card in a long time.”
On the card, Pitton is displayed wearing his Edmonton Oilers uniform and goalie equipment. However, he is standing with his back showing. You can’t see his face and there is a flame/fire-burst effect on the card that gives the illusion of Pitton staring off into the distance. It’s definitely a different take on a standard trading card.
“I woke up one day and had about 100 notifications on my Facebook from my family and buddies,” he said. “They had all posted the link to the Youtube video showing why the card was so bad. They were chirping me pretty bad, but I have a pretty good sense of humor so I laughed about it. It was well done.”
His family has had the best ongoing joke though. “They keep telling me that I’m too ugly to even look at the camera!” Bryan cracked.
Pitton, who hails from Ontario and grew up in a hockey family (his brother plays in Europe and formerly with him in Stockton), has many hockey cards from all levels of hockey that his family has collected, mounted, and framed around the house. This isn’t one of them.
“I didn’t even know the card was being made,” he said. “They must have just taken a picture of me in warmups when I was at rookie camp. It’s strange that you can’t see my face, but it’s gained a little bit of notoriety.”
The Condors goalie has taken the new found “fame” in stride, often signing his card and mailing them back to collectors. But, it was a happen chance meeting last year during the AHL playoffs in Hamilton with one collector that gave him a good story to tell.
“I was sitting in the stands with my family and a guy asked me to sign that card so I did,” Pitton remarked. “Then he said thank you and that he appreciated it and I swear it was the same voice as the guy on the video saying it was the worst card of the year. But, before I could say anything, he was off and nowhere to be found. I would have shaken his hand and thanked him to be honest.”
Bryan is good about signing cards and pictures for fans. But, for his sake, the next time you want him to sign something, at least have his face showing!