Thursday, February 19, 2009

Interview with Pat Ahearne

I was fortunate enough to come into contact with Pat Ahearne, who won 115 games over sixteen professional seasons, and pitched in four games for the Detroit Tigers in 1995.

I asked Pat if he would share some stories about his cards and cards he collects, and he graciously responded with some interesting anecdotes.

"I have a few stories about my own baseball cards. Let me start with the sore spot. I have one major league card which is the 1995 Bowman’s best from the Detroit Tigers. It’s a cool glossy looking card and I look about 12 years old (actually was 25), but on the back it is quick to point out that I’m a “relatively soft thrower”. Thanks a lot! They couldn’t find anything nice to say other than he’s a “soft” pitcher. I wonder if Sparky Anderson read that one before he sent me back to Toledo. Sparky’s first words ever to me were in the clubhouse after my Major League Debut – 1 inning, 5 earned runs – “the sun’ll come up tomorrow, kid”. To be sure, I was facing a Yankee lineup with Bernie Williams hitting 8th, but the sun did come up the next day."

"One of my cards I’m really proud of is the card made of me in the Venezuelan Winter League. I have one playing for los eternos campeones, los Leones del Caracas. Venezuela is one of my favorite places in the world and I’m proud of my performance and enjoyed my time there too."

Some of my favorite cards of other players include my 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly. That whole set is cool anyway and that was his rookie card too. Now let me say that I’m a Dodger fan all the way and that Donnie Baseball is 0-2 career against me."

"My favorite Dodger cards are my 1980 Steve Garvey (met him in spring training 1997), an Orel Hershiser card from the Albuquerque Dukes (I grew up in Albuquerque and went to the games all the time), I also like the Hershiser 1989 Upper Deck as that shot was right as the 3rd out of the 59th scoreless inning was recorded."

"My personal baseball card collection stretches from about 1982 through 1990. It became impractical and expensive for a college student/minor league baseball player to keep up the collection. Some of my other cool cards are the 1983 Cal Ripken Card, my 1981 Fleer “Fernand” Valenzuela card, and the 1991 Studio Set – I’m into photography as well."

Speaking of that, I took up photography about 10 years ago and from 2003-2006, my managers were nice enough to let me shoot from the dugout when I wasn’t starting. In 2006, I played for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League. All the guys had seen my work and I had sold some prints of the players in the souvenir shop as well. So when the baseball card set came out, all my team mates asked why they didn’t use my photos for the set as they liked them better. I said as a pitcher, I can be had for cheap, but behind the camera, they couldn’t afford me. "

Thanks, Pat!

Check out his site - he really is a good photographer. Readers in the SoCal area may want to consider him if they have a wedding or something.

I only have one card of him myself, from 1995 Topps Traded:

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