Hobby Musings: Catching Up With Jack McDowell – Over the course of his major league career, former pitcher Jack McDowell racked up quite a few accolades, including a Cy Young award win. He also appeared on several trading cards and signed numerous autographs. Recently, he’s lent his autograph to a good cause through Signatures for Soldiers. Mr. McDowell took some time to discuss his involvement with SFS and his other experiences with sports memorabilia. The following interview was conducted via email.
KS: Mr. McDowell, how did you end up getting involved in supporting Signatures for Soldiers?
JM: I became aware of Signature for Soldiers through a Facebook connection with Tim Virgilio. I’ve actually had a lot of very cool connections through Facebook and this is definitely one of the best!
KS: How does it feel to be able to lend your signature for a good cause?
JM: Well I collected autographs when I was a kid and it still seems very surreal to me that I’m on the other end of it now! I still get super pumped to meet ball players from all sports that I watched growing up and during those times I really can’t see myself as a similar guy. But that being said I do realize that people enjoy getting my signature as well and the fact that it can add to a charitable cause that promotes our military is awesome.
KS: When you started playing, did you ever imagine that autographs and memorabilia would get to be as big an industry as it is?
JM: Well as I mentioned before I collected autographs when I was a kid but it has definitely jumped to being more of an industry now as much as it was individual fun.
KS: You were at the National Sports Collectors Convention earlier this year signing autographs. What do you enjoy/take away from doing appearances like that?
JM: Doing the National autograph show is just so cool because I get to connect to players from my era and meet many icons from my youth. It’s surreal speaking with HOF athletes from the 70’s who were my heroes and focus growing up.
KS: What is the strangest thing anyone has ever asked you to sign?
JM: I haven’t had too many strange items to sign that I can recall. I do always laugh when someone wants me to sign their arm or wrist though because they don’t have anything with them to sign! I guess it’s cool until that first shower.
KS: What would you say is the coolest thing anyone has ever asked you to sign?
JM: The coolest things to sign are the items with tons of superstars signatures on them. It always makes me think I’m back in my rookie year walking through the clubhouse at all the guys and wondering “what am I doing here.”
KS: What memorabilia, if any, did you keep from your career?
JM: I’ve got uniforms, hats, jackets etc. I also have a few bats from the beginning of interleague play even though I never got an at bat!
KS: Is there anything from your career that you wish you had kept?
JM: Nothing really pops in my mind that I wish I had kept from my career. I guess I have the cool things I wanted.
KS: You were featured on a large number of baseball cards during your career. Do you have a favorite among them?
JM: My definite favorite card is with Robin Ventura and Carlton Fisk shaking my hand after a game. Mostly because obviously it was a complete game and that was a strength of mine.
KS: Besides baseball, you’re also known for your music career. I have to ask, did you ever ask any fellow players or musicians for autographs or other mementos.
JM: I’ve got a few musicians’ autographs and a handful of signed balls, bats from guys I played with against or ran into during my career.
For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.
Hobby Musings: Catching Up With Jack McDowell
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