Recent Royals: 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Hal McRae

I have very few card collections given my limited resources and space, but I did decide some time ago to begin collecting on-card Royals autographs. It’s been a blast so far trying to track these things down and this is the latest addition to my collection. To view the cards currently in the collection, take a look at the Gallery or the other posts in this series. I’m working on getting a legit want list together on my trade page but, in the meantime, if you have any on-card Royals autos that it looks like I don’t have, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

A bar next to Wrigley here has a signed Brian McRae jersey hanging on their wall. I always thought that was kind of funny.

There are moments that define a great ballplayer’s career. The one thing people think about when you think about that player. With Hank Aaron, it’s hitting number 715. With Cal Ripken Jr., it’s the day he voluntarily ended his streak. With Sandberg, it’s his 2 homers off of Bruce Sutter.

And, with Hal McRae, it’s this.


A shame, of course, since he was a killer ballplayer. So killer, in fact, that they named a rule for him after one too many standing collisions at second base to break up double plays. His stats put him squarely in the Hall of Very Good, with his 1982 campaign netting him his second 4th place MVP nomination and an OPS teetering on 1.000. His Baseball Reference compairsons include Wally Joyner, Keith Hernandez and Don Mattingly- all highly regarded stars of their eras. And, of course, his 1976 year was topped off by getting beat out for the batting title by teammate George Brett… in the final game of the season… by less than .001. Check out this article by Royals Review for a little more insight into how that happened. So maybe Hal has a right to be angry. He’ll probably always be underrated as a player, but his inclusion in the Greats of the Game set here is no mistake. He was a feared hitter in his prime and, as evidenced by that video, a fierce competitor. Maybe Hal going nuts isn’t the worst way to remember him. But it’s only part of the story. Dude had a 23 year career as a player- 15 straight seasons with the Royals (the last three on one year contracts) and served as the Cardinals hitting coach until Mark McGwire took his place in 2009. I’ve got nothing but respect for this guy and I wish more sets like GOTG and Fan Favorites existed to honor players like him who never got their due.

I do sure wish he had taken a little more care with this signature though. Sheesh!

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