Jim Maler played nine seasons of professional baseball, including three years in the major leagues with the Seattle Mariners. Now the President of All Florida Pest Control & Fertilization, he kindly shared with me a great baseball card story.
"--Baseball Card story: In 1983 when I was playing for the Seattle Mariners, we were in Baltimore for a series against the Orioles. We were staying at a very upscale local hotel. One of the days before a night game, I was sitting in the courtyard by myself, just hanging out and watching the people walk by. A young boy probably 8 or 9 years old plopped down next to me with a stack of baseball cards in his hands. He was sorting through them one by one and looking intently at all the men that walked by. I said hello to him and asked him what he was doing. He said he was looking for "Professional Baseball Players" to sign the baseball cards that he had. I told him that sounded like fun and asked him if I could see his collection. He proudly handed me his stack of cards and we began to look at them together. I told him he had a really nice collection. As we were looking through his cards, I came across my Topps rookie baseball card. I pulled out a pen and signed the card and gave it back to him. He looked at me like he was going to kill me. What an angry little face he had. I had just ruined one of his prized possessions. I just smiled at him as he looked at the card and then at me, back at the card and back at me until he finally realized it was me on the card I had just signed. His angry face turned red and then he broke out into a very big and embarrased smile. He thanked me as I got up and walked away. I thanked him for having my card in his collection and wished him luck in his pursuit of more autographs.
--My favorite baseball card of myself is my Topps Rookie Card. I have attached a copy of it.
--I do not collect baseball cards but I am amazed that even 30 years after I played in the Major Leagues, I am still getting requests in the mail each week for my autograph."
Wednesdays with Willingham courtesy of a Super Trader
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