He might be best-remembered as the curmudgeon father of Frasier Crane on NBC’s Frasier, but decades in acting only led actor John Mahoney to appear in a number of memorable roles.
But only one led him to appear on baseball cards.
The actor died on Sunday at 77 after a brief health battle, years after he played William “Kid” Gleason, the manager of the 1919 Chicago White Sox in Eight Men Out.
That 1988 film from John Sayles tells the story of The Black Sox who conspired to throw the World Series. Its ensemble cast includes some pretty big names who have had plenty of memorable roles in the years since — John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, Charlie Sheen, D.B. Sweeney, Michael Rooker and David Strathairn to name a few.
That same year, Pacific Trading Cards released a 110-card set for the film, documenting characters and scenes from the movie as well as highlighting the real-life players and their stories within the story. Some of the notable actors have their own cards spotlighting them in their roles, while others appear on character cards and can be found throughout various scenes in the set.
The manager got his own character card (with Mahoney’s name noted on the back with the scene description), while he can also be found on a handful of other cards. (You can see most of them in the gallery below.) The relatively affordable set was released in both wax packs and factory sets with the cards of Sheen, Cusack and Rooker often commanding more when graded or signed.
Mahoney was born in England and moved to the United States as a teenager and he didn’t actually take up acting until he was in his 30s. (Read more about his life and career here.) He was a member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company at the beginning of his career and he had lived in Chicago for the last decade.
“John Mahoney was a fixture on the Chicago stage for over 30 years through countless award-winning performances,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told NPR. “Even as his fame grew through his fantastic work in movies and television, John stayed connected to his artistic home here in Chicago in theaters and as a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Though he will be missed, his work and impact will endure for generations to come.”
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