Wednesday, November 5, 2014
1996 Collector's Choice, Mike Sweeney
#438 Mike Sweeney
Here is a card that I got signed at All Star Game Fanfest in Kansas City in 2012. I was pretty excited that Mike was taking part in the event for a couple of reasons. The main reason I was excited was because I had never got a card signed by him in-person. When he was playing for the Royals, I was into getting balls signed. The other reason I was excited was because he has never attended Royals Fanfest and I was looking forward to seeing him after his playing days were over.
I became a Royals fan in 2000 and Mike had a career year that season. In 2000, Mike hit .333 with 29 home runs, 105 runs, and 144 RBI. On top of that, he walked more than he struck out. It was insane. That Royals team had the best offensive season that the franchise had ever seen. It was a fun time to be a new Royals fan, but it would have been even better if they had some pitching to complement the likes of Sweeney, Joe Randa, Jermaine Dye, Johnny Damon, and Carlos Beltran.
Side note: Of the previous five players mentioned, only one has ever attended Royals Fanfest- Joe Randa. Something needs to be done to rectify that.
If I remember right, Mike ended up hurting his back during an All Star break while riding in a vehicle with his family in California. He had constant back issues after that and was never the same player again. That really sucked as a Royals fan as he was the one the franchise dished out the long-term contract to. Nevertheless, he is the face of the franchise for the 2000s and one day he will be in the Royals Hall of Fame. Now if only he would show up for a Royals Fanfest.
I decided to get this card signed because I liked the stripes and you can see Mike's shinguards. Mike finished his career a pinch hitter/designated hitter, and had his best times as a first baseman, but did begin his career as a catcher. I would assume that most people have forgotten that.
I got this card signed early on the first day of Fanfest. The guys that authenticated stuff must have been a little dumbfounded that I was getting a card signed as they put the sicker on the front of the card. All of the other cards that they authenticated the rest of the week had the sicker placed on the back.