Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

A late holiday surprise: Mark McGwire’s autograph

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I found a surprise waiting for me in Friday’s mail – a signed Mark McGwire 1988 Topps card. When McGwire joined the Los Angeles Dodgers as their new hitting coach for the 2013 season, I mailed this card (one of my favorites of the late 1980s) to him and asked for an autograph. I didn’t really expect to see it again, but it wasn’t a big risk – I must have at least a dozen more.

Well, almost two years later, I have my autograph. And if it’s the last one I add to my collection in 2014, it’s a fine way to end the year.

Most people can’t look at McGwire without seeing a cheater who used steroids, and they’re not wrong.

But I also remember the 1998 home run race between McGwire and Sammy Sosa that captured national attention, even though I wasn’t really paying much attention to baseball that summer. (I was too busy graduating college and figuring out what came next.)

And I remember the young Oakland Athletics slugger who hit 49 home runs in his rookie season and was half of Oakland’s “Bash Brothers” with Jose Canseco. I loved watching their home runs on sports highlights shows long before any of us were really thinking about steroids in baseball.

McGwire will never earn a place in Cooperstown, and I won’t  argue that he belongs there. But he definitely does belong in my collection, and his autograph joins Clayton Kershaw‘s as one of my favorites that I got through the mail in 2014.

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Manny Acta, Mark McGwire & the World Series

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Manny Acta

Former Mets coach Manny Acta is the new Cleveland Indians manager. It will be interesting to see how he does in an environment where there are greater expectations than he faced in his last managing job.

Acta was well thought of by the Mets and was reportedly a candidate for the team’s third base coaching job. Considering the Mets’ track record, that should probably worry Cleveland fans more than Acta’s 158-252 managerial record. 😉

Still, I wish him well. I’m just a little surprised Cleveland didn’t go with Bobby Valentine or an internal candidate.  Maybe there’s still a little hope for the return of Bobby V to New York after all.

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