Saturday, April 27, 2013

1996 Leaf Signature Joe Magrane Autograph

I picked up a cheap autograph this week of Cardinals/White Sox/Angels pitcher Joe Magrane.  Not many people remember Joe Magrane and there is really very little reason to when you look at at his overall career numbers from his eight year career.  Magrane was 10 games under .500 for his career and had an ERA of almost 4.  He was released by all the teams he appeared for in a Major League uniform plus the Cubs and Expos signed and released him after minor league stints or Spring Training tryouts.  When I saw the card, I was honestly surprised that Magrane even had a certified autograph card.  I'd never really looked for it though either.  I just kind of walked into this one.

The career numbers of Joe Magrane really do not do him the justice that he deserves.  While he was never as good as a pitcher like Mark Prior, he definitely fits into the category of player.  Prior and Magrane were both drafted in the first round by their respective teams, rushed to the majors within a year or two of being drafted and were immediately successful.  Prior won 18 games in his first full season and pitched the Cubs into the playoffs.  Prior spent the rest of his career on the DL and skipping around between several teams.  In his first three seasons, Magrane started a NLCS game and a World Series game for the Cardinals in 1987, won the National League ERA title in 1988, and then won 17 games in 1989 (he did not win a game after late August).  Magrane had arm trouble during the 1990 season and would miss the 1991 season.  He pitched part of the 1992 season for the Cardinals before he was released during the middle of the season. 

While I was surprised that Magrane has a certified autograph it is fitting I guess that the card is in the 1996 Leaf Signature Series set.  There are plenty of cool autographs in this set, but there are also plenty of really low end common autographs.  Magrane easily fits into the low-end common autograph category, but as a Cardinals fan I am happy to add this card to my collection.  

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