Of the nearly 1,700 items that we got signed over the course of the 2009-10 hockey hounding campaign, this Hot Wheels car signed by Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone is among my favorites.
For one, it's out of the ordinary. I mean, how many toy cars do NHL players sign over the course of a season? I'd dare say it's very darn few.
What really appeals to me, though, is Malone's personalization. Rather than writing "Best wishes!" or "All the best!" to Colin, he offered some good advice: "Dream big!" Very appropriate, if you ask me.
The car, you see, has some significance to Malone. It's one of the cars he owns. We've seen him often behind the wheel. And though it's a status symbol of wealth, it's also a reminder of what hard work, tenacious effort and, yes, dreaming big can bring.
After Malone signed this before the Lightning's final home game of the season, I gave him one of these cars. Maybe he'll give it to his son some day, teaching him that rewards do come if you dream big.