Shayne Toporowski has donned a National Hockey League uniform during his 18-year pro career.
Yet, the Quad City Mallards forward said pulling on the Double-A club's sweater tonight will offer a special thrill.
That's because the Flock is wearing "Turn 'Back-to-Back' the Clock" togs for the annual Genesis Jersey Auction night.
The throwback jerseys mark the 15th anniversary of the second of two straight league championships won by the Mallards in 1997 and '98.
Toporowski's older brother Kerry, one of four Mallards to have their numbers retired by the team, played on that second title winner.
"I remember coming to those games and seeing those jerseys," said Shayne Toporowski, who was then a third-year pro with Triple-A AHL Worcester. "It was a great barn to come into and watch my brother and that team win their championship. Winning back-to-back titles at any level is special. So I'm honored to get a chance to wear that jersey."
Toporowski promised he'll hardly be alone, either, with the jerseys a ready reminder to his younger teammates of their 16-year-old team's successful history.
"Any time you get a chance to pull on any jersey in pro hockey it's a special day," Toporowski said. "But when you have a franchise that had success like that, you want to represent them well.
"It'll be a good night for the fans, too, and bring back some good memories. Hopefully we put a good product on the ice so we can bring some fans back our way."
The post-game auction of the game-worn gear benefits the Genesis Flu Free QC program.
Also available during the game are Genesis "Stand Up To Breast Cancer" posters featuring the Mallards. The posters cost $10 each, or two for $17, with proceeds benefiting the Genesis Centers for Breast Health.
"It's a neat thing," Toporowski said about the Mallards' annual fundraiser. "It's great to give the sweater off your back to the fans that support you, and you know you're raising money for a good cause, too."
To top it off, this two-game weekend is shaping up to be a recordbreaker attendance-wise for the Mallards.
More than 3,000 fans are expected tonight, and John Deere Employees Night boasts ticket pre-sales of about 7,000 for Saturday night.
The Mallards' three largest crowds since returning to action in 2009 are 7,766 (Oct. 24, 2009), 6,737 (March 20, 2010) and 5,989 (March 24, 2012).
The Flock's biggest back-to-back games since the demise of the Triple-A QC Flames was a combined 10,395 last Jan. 13-14.
QC's average attendance so far this season is 2,410.
"It's an exciting weekend for us," said Bob McNamara, the Mallards new president. "The jersey auction night is a long-time staple of this franchise. And, people better get here early Saturday to beat the traffic."
In honor of the QC Convention & Visitors Bureau's annual "Be a tourist in your own backyard" promotion, the Mallards are offering free kids' tickets with the purchase of an adult ticket to either game.
The concession stand also offers specials tonight ($1 hot dogs and $1 beers) and Saturday (a free bag of popcorn to each fan).
Today is Saturday, May 18, the 138th day of 2013. There are 227 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A large variety of children's wagons and gigs have arrived in thecity and are being sold at war prices. 1888 -- 125 years ago: All Rock Island retail houses, with the exception of a clothingstore and a jewelry store, have agreed to early closing hours during the summer months.The store will be closed at 8 p.m. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Baseball enthusiasts in Rock Island are attempting to raise$20,000 to keep the Island City Park open, despite the fact that the city has no franchise inorganized baseball this year. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The organization of a third rural young people's unit will beundertaken tomorrow night at the Milan Presbyterian Church, with Mrs. Mildred K.Wellman, home advisor, and Robert Smith, county farm adviser in charge. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Deere & Co. will begin a "big switch" on its telephone systemMonday morning. The extension numbers of all 1,600 telephones on the firm's EastMoline and Moline exchanges will be changed Monday morning. 1988 -- 25 years ago: East Moline's June Jamboree VI -- Nostalgia Days, will seemlike a '60s revival with the appearance of stars like Bobby Vee, Freddie Cannon, PeterNoone, Turtles, The Grass Roots and Lou Christie. This year's festival has beenexpanded to five days, June 22-26, at the Northeast Park complex.