2004-2006 Durham Bulls
The Devil Rays drafted Gathright in the 32nd Round of the 2001 Draft out of Kenner, Louisiana. Gathright actually started his professional career the following summer in 2002 with the Charleston River Dogs in South Atlantic League (Low A) and immediately impressed with his ability to get on base and steal. During his first professional season he stole 22 bases and had an on-base percentage of .360. The next season in High A and Double A he pushed his on-base percentage over .400 and he stole 69 bases. By 2004, Gathright reached Triple A with the Durham Bulls as a top 100 prospect with Baseball America. He ended up splitting time with the Bulls, Double A Montgomery, and in the Majors with the Devil Rays. Gathright appeared in 60 in Durham, stole 33 bases, and had an OBP of .384. His 2005 was split between Durham and Tampa, while he hit with the Bulls, he did not duplicate that success with the Devil Rays. In 2006, he started the season with the Durham Bulls, but was traded in June to the Royals for relief pitcher J.P. Howell.
Gathright ended up playing seven seasons in the Majors with the Rays, Royals, Cubs, and Red Sox. In the end, he was never able to consistently get on-base and that limited his chances to steal bases. Sometimes you are a good enough athlete you can jump over cars at the mall.....
Yes, it's Joey Gathright. His incredible jumping ability did not translate into hits and walks.
Fleer Authentix was around for a few years in the early 2000s. I really liked this product the first year or two that it was out, but it went downhill quickly. The set obviously revolved around tickets, this was it's final appearance due to Fleer going bankrupt. Not anything really special about this card, but I picked this card based more on what it was not, more than what it is.
Back of the card really quickly.
Gathright signed a healthy number of cards during a 5 year window between 2004 and 2009. Almost all of the cards are signed on stickers. This card is not an on-card autograph, but it was better than most of the options. Really, I did not want a card with a giant silver sticker on the front of it that came out of some iffy product like Donruss Team Heroes.