HELMUT BALDERIS - AUTOGRAPH - HFSID 319948
The Soviet hockey right winger signs his name and jersey number in blue ink
Signature: "H. Balderis 43" in blue felt tip. 5x3. Helmuts Balderis (b. 1952) is a retired NHL right winger who played for one season for the Minnesota North Stars (1989-1990). Balderis, born in Soviet Latvia, made his professional debut in the Soviet Hockey League for the Dinamo Riga (1969-1977, 1980-1985) and later played CSKA Moscow (1977-1980), and he was the league's leading scorer in the 1977 and 1984 seasons, even winning Player of the Year in 1977. He was considered the best Latvian player of the 1970s and 80s due to being the nation's most prolific scorer with 333 goals playing in the Soviet League. Balderis is also well known for being on the losing Soviet National Team during the "Miracle on Ice" game in 1980, although he still won World Championships in 1979, 1979, and 1983, even being named Best Forward in the 1977 championships. He retired in 1985 to coach in Japan, but a few years later joined the NHL after ban was lifted for Soviet Players, he played only 26 games for the North Stars with 3 goals and 6 assists; but was the oldest player ever drafted by an NHL team, and the oldest player to ever score his first goal in the NHL. After his second retirement he again changed his mind and played for Latvia when they gained their independence, serving as their national team's captain, later head coach, and eventually general manager. Balderis was inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998. Toned. Corners rounded. Lightly stained. Otherwise, fine condition.
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