Monday, April 15, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day - Player Appearance Recap: James McDonald ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

I've done a lot of the high profile and/or high dollar players for the most part since I started going through my collection so for at least a week or two I am going to focus on lesser players that many of us have forgotten or just didn't care too much about. They might be favorites of some people but for sure the value of their autograph on a baseball is much lesser than the bigger stars ala Kemp, Trout, Harper etc. They are mostly roll players and every team needs them at some point in the season. So these upcoming posts for the time being is just showing my appreciation for them.

First up is James McDonald. James is an average player with average stats that will keep him employed for years but he will never be more than a 4th or 5th pitcher in any given rotation. He came up in 2008 for that last month and then broke camp with the Dodgers in 2009. He was a starter but after being called back up from being demoted mid season he was used as a reliever. His biggest claim to fame from the Dodger fan prospective is that he was traded along with Andrew Lambo for a little over a month of service time of Octavio Dotel. Granted James is not a big name but you don't trade a 25 year starter for an over the hill reliever. One of the worst trades that Ned Colletti has made in his tenure of Dodgers GM. James is currently a Pirates starter for a team that will be lucky to have a .500 record this year.

James was scheduled to make an appearance at Living Spaces in La Mirada in May of 2009. This was only my second year of collecting and this was the first time I ever have been to a Living Spaces for an autograph signing. James the prior day had a real bad game on the mound and I wondered if he would even show up for this due to him being depressed or possibly demoted. He showed up though. Albeit 30 minutes late Looking like he didn't sleep. He probably didn't. A few days later he was demoted to AAA. A bad few days for the guy. There were no more than 50 people once he arrived and he started right away and stayed his scheduled hour. Got up to James and said hi but didn't get much response back understandably. He signed the ball and I asked him for a picture together and even though you could tell in the picture he was not in the mood he still did it. Thanks again to James for the signature and picture. Not a long time Dodger but a Dodger none the less.

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