The Anthony Calvillo Project

In many, many threads we see the ol' Anthony Calvillo card played. On a TiCats card table, this card is played to prove we shouldn't give up on a player too quickly, lest he goes on to fame and glory on another team.

I wonder how many other teams have an 'Anthony Calvillo' under the table. How many other teams traded away a player or prospect who turned out to be a Hall Of Famer?

As an ex-NHL fan, one name quickly comes to mind. The California Golden Seals traded their 1971 first round draft pick to the Montreal Canadiens for some player nobody remembers (except his immediate family I assume). The draft pick turned out to be Guy Lafleur.

In baseball, the BoSox selling Babe Ruth haunted them for an extended period of time.

For our discussion, how about we limit it to a player developed by the original team, spent a couple years as a starter, traded or released, who then went on to long term success on his next team. Just like Anthony Calvillo did.

8) No better example than Ron Lancaster.
  Traded to Regina, by Ottawa, after a couple of years sharing the QB duties with Russ Jackson.

   Actually worked out perfect for both teams, as each QB went on to have Hall Of Fame careers in the CFL.

Hamilton traded Tony Gabriel to Ottawa and Tony had a hall of fame career. He burned us over and over again.:frowning: :oops: :oops:

I'm not his immediate family, mind you, but I do believe the player in question was one Ernie Hicke.

If you actually remembered then I'm impressed. Google and Wikipedia are great tools, the latter's founder excepted.

Yes, Ockham, I remembered and did not have to look it up.

Cool. It's nice to see you have a lasting Hickie memory. They usually faded quickly for me.

Good one. Maybe we should start using him along with Calvillo in this context.

Ron Lancaster is another good example. When Ottawa comes back we'll have to remind them of it constantly.

Well off topic a bit, but do you remember the other deal Montreal made that is related to the Hicke for draft choice (Lafleur) ?

Later that same season, the Los Angeles Kings were sinking in the standings, such that it looked like they may end up having the #1 pick and not Montreal (via the Seals). So Sam Pollock shipped a player (and a superior player to Hicke) to the Kings to help them stay ahead of Calfornia in the standings. And it worked, LA didn't finish last, California did. Name the player (without looking that one up!)

I was going to say Rogie Vachon but maybe he was a year later or so.

Are you including players who were already stars when they got traded, like your Babe Ruth example? The infamous Hal Patterson trade would fit that criterion, although probably only the Gretzky sale would match it.

On the other hand, weren't Tom Wilkinson and Don Jonas together on the Argos at one point? They became stars for Edmonton and Winnipeg respectively as I recall. A Calvillo two-for-one.

Except AC was cut , he was never traded. Ticats got squat out of it.

Nice try. . . I believe it to have been Ralph Backstrom.

AC was cut? Holy mackeral, it's amazing how some people can't judge potential talent. Yikes! :o

Anything as close to the Anthony Calvillo card as possible.

I think these links have been posted before, but they put some perspective on Calvillo's departure from Hamilton:

[url=http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/Calvillo+beat+odds/3916052/story.html]http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/Calv ... story.html[/url] [url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/670181911.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jul+23%2C+2004&author=Steve+Milton&pub=The+Spectator&desc=Calvillo+blossomed+after+leaving+Hamilton%2C+playing+with+Ham&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url]

And here are articles from around the time of Calvillo's release:

[url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/509287201.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Nov+13%2C+1997&author=Jeff+Dickins&pub=The+Spectator&desc=Head+coach+search+begins+today+for+Cats&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url] [url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/509304341.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Nov+28%2C+1997&author=Jeff+Dickins&pub=The+Spectator&desc=Lancaster%27s+warning+to+Calvillo%3A+no+guarantees&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url] [url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/508776901.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jan+20%2C+1998&author=Larry+Sicinski&pub=The+Spectator&desc=Cats%27+Calvillo+has+a+lot+to+prove%3A+CFL+veteran+is+just+a+rookie+in+coach+Lancaster%27s+eyes&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url] [url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/509027131.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Dec+17%2C+1997&author=Jeff+Dickins&pub=The+Spectator&desc=Is+Dan+the+man%3F%3A+It%27s+time+for+the+annual+CFL+quarterback+scramble.+Hamilton+head+coach+Ron+Lancaster+knows+the+importance+of+a+proven+pivot+in+this+league%2C+and+a+reunion+with+soon-to-be+free+agent+Danny+McManus+might+be+just+what+the+doctor+ordered+for+the+offensively+challenged+Tiger-Cats.&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url] [url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/508895481.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Feb+27%2C+1998&author=Larry+Sicinski&pub=The+Spectator&desc=McManus%3AExpect+cool+head%2C+hot+hand&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url]

This one remarks how just about everyone in the league was aware of Calvillo's POTENTIAL:

[url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/508895501.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Feb+27%2C+1998&author=Larry+Sicinski&pub=The+Spectator&desc=Unlucky+13%3F%3A+Anthony+Calvillo+could+soon+be+passing+into+history+for+retooled+Ticats&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url]

This one indicates the Cats still wanted to keep Calvillo, but were asking him to take a pay cut:

[url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/509167981.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Mar+03%2C+1998&author=Larry+Sicinski&pub=The+Spectator&desc=Anthony%27s+option+play%3A+Calvillo+draws+interest+from+other+CFL+clubs&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url] [url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/508161351.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Mar+18%2C+1998&author=Larry+Sicinski&pub=The+Spectator&desc=Sacked%3A+Ticats+give+Calvillo+walking+papers&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url]

This part warrants repetition and emphasis (assuming McCarthy is telling the truth):

"The first thing I told Anthony is you're welcome back, but we have to re-negotiate. He understood our situation. He was very cool and calm. There was no tension," said player personnel director Mike McCarthy...
This suggests that with McManus coming in (who some fans may recall from the 1999 Grey Cup winning Ticats), the Cats couldn't justify paying starter's money to Calvillo anymore. As much as some fans were ready to pack Calvillo's bags for him, the spin from McCarthy makes it sound like it was more about money, and less about "not recognizing talent".
[url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/670181911.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jul+23%2C+2004&author=Steve+Milton&pub=The+Spectator&desc=Calvillo+blossomed+after+leaving+Hamilton%2C+playing+with+Ham&pqatl=google]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/acc ... atl=google[/url]
Calvillo had just come off that horrible 2-16 season, and despite some occasionally brilliant performances

including the club record 542 yards in passing
in 1996 against, of course, Montreal --

he had spent much of his time here like a deer in headlights.

He alternated between trying to slow the game down
in his mind's eye,and fleeing for his life.


A.C.'s release had nothing to do with the people in our
football operations department "not recognizing talent"

as the "everybody is a bum" crowd would have it.

A.C. got no protection from Our O-line
while he was here with the Tiger Cats.

The fans in the stands boo-ed him unmercifully

probably some of those people are still blaming football operations
for releasing him and letting him go to the Montreal Alouettes.

As a former QB, Ron Lancaster understood
how destructive that is to a young QB's psyche.

A.C. told Ron Lancaster that he wanted out of Hamilton
so that he could get a fresh start with another team.

when he phoned A.C and the rest of the Ticats

to introduce himself as their new Head Coach

and talk about preparation for the coming year.

He asked for his release because he wanted to get game reps
where the home crowd wouldn't be so hostile towards him

whether Mike Mc Carthy asked him to take a cut in pay, or not.

P.S.

The next year Danny Mc Manus was going to be the #1 QB,
so it make sense to me for him to ask for a fresh start

as the back up QB on another team and get a few game reps
where the home crowd wasn't likely to be so hostile towards him/

Well, thanks for the perspectives on this guys. Reienforces in my mind just how much of a treasure AC was and still is. The guy is just well, pure class above so many others out there, money or whatever. He's a gamer all the way and some people didn't see that. But if he wanted out, well, who could have blamed him. Better than what he saw at the time here. An organization looking for a "saviour", fair enough, everyone wants this who doesn't have the confidence in the long term. It's the same old story in sports, all sports, everywhere. It's about winning in the short term, I get that, for organizations that really have money issues.

That's a solid perspective, Ron. Perhaps those who play the AC card should read it.