Believe it or not one of the most impressive collections of San Jose Sharks memorabilia you will ever see can be found in Rancho Cordova. Super fan Steve Cropper started collecting Sharks memorabilia in 2004 and has since acquired signatures from every single San Jose Sharks player ever, with the exception of four and two of them have passed away.
But his collection doesn't stop there. He has a room in his Rancho Cordova home that's totally dedicated to Team Teal. There are pucks stacked up on shelves with color-changing LED lights behind them, rows of bobbleheads in a floor-to-ceiling display case complete with signed gloves and helmets, with posters and pennants layered all over the walls. The only white space left in this room is on the ceiling. Cropper's collection is so extensive he even has rare items representing San Jose's minor league hockey affiliates.
Of all the players to skate through the Cow Palace and the SAP Center, Cropper's favorite player of all time is Douglas Murray. Murray was drafted by the Sharks in 1999, just eight years after the team was established. The defenseman who earned the nickname "Crankshaft" spent the first eight years of his hockey career playing for the San Jose Sharks before retiring from hockey in 2016.
Murray was known to be a fighter when he was skating in The Shark Tank but his biggest fan, Cropper, is a fighter in his own right. The Army veteran was recently diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor. It's not cancer but Cropper has already undergone two brain surgeries, radiation, and continues monthly treatments. Cropper's illness has forced him to make difficult adjustments to his life but his love for the Sharks is the one constant that helps him get through it all.
To lift his spirits, the San Jose Sharks arranged for its longtime play-by-play announcer, Dan Rusanowsky, to accompany Murray as he came to meet his biggest fan.
"The reaction is kind of... You're speechless," Murray said of Cropper's collection. "The dedication, the commitment... It hits close to home. It's special. I don't really know what to say to it... It's humbling."