Saturday, November 19, 2011
2006 BBM, John Bale
#749 John Bale
Here is the first 2006 card that I have to post and it is one of my favorites. It doesn't feature a prominent player or even a player I am fond of. But, this card is special to me as it is my first Japanese card that I have got autographed. Actually, this is the only Japanese card that I have got signed in-person. My other two Japanese autos were both pulled from packs.
I got this card signed at Royals Fanfest in 2009. I was a partial season ticket holder that year and season ticket holders got into Fanfest an hour earlier than the general public for an extra autograph session. John was in the first session I attended and he seemed thrilled that I had this card of him. He was sitting next to Trey Hillman, who managed in Japan, and he had to show the card off to him. Unfortunately, the autograph got a little smudged, which was most likely my fault. But I am still happy with the results.
John lasted in Kansas City for three uninspiring seasons. He never accomplished much and he spent a lot of time on the disabled list. One time when he was on the DL, he punched a wall and broke his hand because he wasn't happy with the speed of his recovery. Obviously, the broken hand set him back farther.
2009 was the last time John pitched in the Majors. He spent 2010 back with the Hiroshima Carp and I think he pitched for Camden of the Atlantic League last season.