MacDougal Howser

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!

Hey Mikey! Gotta go to the bathroom?!

There are not many cards of a player in front of his locker. Probably for good reason. This one covers it up with a gaudy fontbox of the word “Autograph” in case you didn’t know what all that scribbling was. All in all, this is a hideous card. White signature box too big, background too busy and 90s-looking. The photo is fine. In fact, put this on a full bleed Upper Deck card with just a small logo, foil name and smaller lightbox for the autograph and I’d applaud it.

There’s no sense in trying to change the past though. And Mike MacDougal is hardly the player to use as the poster boy for better autographed cards. That’s nothing against him- in fact, for a couple years, he was a top-tier reliever. But the hobby has no place in its collecting heart for relief pitchers. Just ask my Sean Marshall RC Superfractor (yes, I have that card). MacDougal started a few games in his 2001 rookie campaign but was converted to the ‘pen the next year. In 2003, he was the Royals’ lone All-Star selection, having posted fine numbers in his first half as a closer. But, from then until 2005, something went wrong and his ERA and WHIP hit dangerous levels. He spent some time at AA and AAA, so I assume there was an injury (I wish Baseball Reference had DL stints listed). At any rate, he returned to form in 2006 and was traded to the White Sox for the hilariously-named Dan Cortes (MTV Sports, anyone?) who has pitched out of the bullpen for the Mariners the past two years. His 2006 was his best year by far, with the rest of his career to date being a bit up and down.

For a while, though, I associated him with being one of the best relievers in the game. Of course, being that he played for the White Sox, I never really saw him pitch so I assume I got my data from MVP Baseball 2005 which is why I still think Tom Goodwin is the fastest player in baseball. At any rate, I think this is MacDougal’s only auto and I bought the only one I ever saw pop up. I rather like the idea of including one RC auto in Traded sets- it brought us Miguel Cabrera’s XRC Auto, after all. Of course, with the new rules about RCs and the way Topps beats its rookies into the ground, it would be just another auto of one of the same guys you’ve been seeing in products for months by the time Update comes out. Anyone have any opinion about this practice and how it would fit into the hobby today?

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