Thursday, September 25, 2014

1994 Signature Rookies Draft Picks, John Mabry

#97 John Mabry

When I first started going to Royals games regularly in the early 2000s, I wasn't into getting cards signed. Instead, I took balls to get signed. It was fun and had some advantages, but overall, it didn't make as much sense as getting cards signed. For one, official Major League balls are expensive. Secondly, signed baseball take up a lot more room than cards. Then, when the only signature you get at the park on that expensive ball is Tony Eusebio, it is kind of a let down. So that is why I try to get cards signed. But before I switched over to cards, I got a ball signed by John Mabry.

That was my first experience 'graphing the parking lot in Kansas City and I did it after a day game. John was the only member of the Mariners to sign that day. The set-up outside of the K was much better back then than it is today ('graphing-wise), but I guess the M's were just ready to get out of town. At least I did not go home empty handed.

Since all I had signed by John was a ball and not a card, I picked this one up from COMC for $0.75. It is not the best-looking card out there, but who is going to argue over $0.75?

John played in the Majors for fourteen seasons with the Cardinals, Mariners, Padres, Marlins, Phillies, A's, Cubs and Rockies. He was a .263 hitter with 96 home runs and 446 RBI. His best season was with St. Louis in 1996. That season, he hit .297 and had career highs with 13 home runs and 74 RBI.

I got to see John play eight times and he did really well in those eight games. He was 8-19 with 5 runs, 6 RBI, a double, and 2 home runs. The reason why he did so well at those games is because he signed a ball for me. Signing autographs is just good karma. It might have helped that most of those games were against crappy Royals pitching, too.

This card is an odd one for this set. This is a draft picks set and John was drafted in 1991. I have no idea why they put him in this set, but I am glad that they did.

Here is the ball he signed for me in 2003.

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