Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Baseball card stories from Mark Mangum

Mark Mangum, the Rockies number one draft choice in 1997, pitched six years in the Rockies and Expos organizations. He now runs Mangum Insurance, a leading Texas independent insurance agency, and is a coach for the Houston Heat travel baseball team. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

- Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players?
My 1997 Bowman has been great material for my friends. The picture
was taken when the Rockies flew me up to Denver for a press conference. I look like I'm 12 years old. I think the 97 on the jersey was actually my weight at the time. Roger Bailey gave me his extra pants since it appeared that his size would fit me better than anyone else's in the clubhouse...they still swallowed me. Compared to pants worn now, they may not look ridiculous in that picture, but those pants were huge.

Also, take notice of my left arm...I'm still not sure what's going on there. I didn't pick up a baseball for about a month after the high school season ended. I tend to think that at 18 years old, one month off is enough to get mechanics out of whack. I definitely catch flack for that part of the picture.

I also changed my autograph after seeing the chicken scratch on my 1998 Bowman.

- Do you have a favorite card of yourself or of another player?
Not specifically. I am fascinated by the height, weight, hometown,
and birthdates of players with cards pre-1990. I am amazed by the physical giants of the game, I always root for the little guy and I always hope to find players from places like Old Dime Box, TX or Goat Town, GA.

- Do you collect baseball cards?
I used to collect cards, but not anymore. I still have them
around somewhere. I traded a Barry Sanders rookie in return for a Roger Clemens rookie at one point (my first business deal; I think I broke even).

My best friend also gave me a Bonds rookie right before the steroid stuff came out...oh well.

Thanks! Here is the one card I have of him, from 1998 Topps.

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