I ruined the careers of two former number one picks of their respective teams in the amateur draft. They were Oddibe McDowell, drafted number one, 12th overall by Texas in 1984 and the Seattle Mariners number one pick, 19th overall in 1997, Ryan Anderson.
But I will not accept the blame. In truth-at least my truth-is that they were to blame.
Here’s what happened.
McDowell was one of the players I drafted in a Pursue the Pennant board game. A popular game with player cards and dice and charts where players perform as in real life.
I took his card to a game and saw him signing autographs so I went down to the railing to ask him to sign my card. I told him I drafted him for my team and I was nice, respectful, and patient. He would not even look at me, not acknowledge my presence in any way. He signed for everyone from nuns to a guy dressed in a nazi uniform. But not for me.
He signed for somebody
Skip ahead to Ryan Anderson . He is pitching for Tacoma in 2000. I go to a game and see him charting pitches in the stands behind home plate not far from me. Between innings I ask for his autograph. He says he “is working, catch me after the game.” Game ends and as we are walking towards the clubhouse outside Cheney Stadium I again ask, he says he has to get to locker room. I say I will wait. Later he exits, but still refuses.
A year after McDowell ignored me his career takes a nose dive. He is traded and is out of baseball for four years. He tries to make comeback. Nobody wants him. Not long after Anderson refused my autograph request, the 6″10″ strike out throwing machine, the next Randy Johnson, has a career ending injury.
Don’t you wish you had signed?
I come from ancestors who were gypsies and yes I placed a gypsy curse on them. But if they had signed there would have been no curse. And what might they have achieved in the careers if they had only signed.
One of my gypsy ancestors asking for autograph of Captain E. J. Smith, captain of the Titanic. He should have signed.
I ask for an autograph as frequently as the Mariners have a winning season. So you see it is a rare thing. This year Brandon League signed. He was an all-star.
Moral-don’t mess with gypsys. Sign your stupid name.