My Obscure Cubs series continues with a player I'm not sure I remember. There have been a few stretches where "other things" got in the way. When that happened, my hyper-active attention to detail for the Cubs lapsed. Mike Mahoney seems to have played during one of those stretches.
The Atlanta Braves selected Mahoney from Creighton University in the 39th round in 1995. It wasn’t a great draft campaign for the Braves, four of their top five choices were pitchers. Those four reached MLB, while the hitter didn't. Mahoney's first stop along the way was a current Cubs affiliate locale in Eugene.
The next season, he jumped directly to Advanced-A Ball, and performed well in Durham, and reached Double-A Greenville the next season. Not bad for a late-round pick. Sometimes, college players adjust quickly. He spent much of 1998 and all of 1999 in Triple-A Richmond in the Braves system.
The 1999 Braves had Javy Lopez, and Paul Bako would be the backup the next season. After a three-way time share in Richmond, Mahoney was released in October. The Cubs signed him before the month was finished. Mahoney looked to be the player who took upper-minors innings where available behind the plate in 2000, and received a brief cup of coffee that season.
He only had a hit in one Cubs victory while with the team. That came July 18, 2002 in Philadelphia. Mahoney’s career game with the Cubs came two months later, September 12, 2002, in a game where the team scored five in the first, but lost. Mahoney went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI that night.
Granted free agency after 2002, he re-signed with the Cubs for 2003. He split time that year with MLB players Keith McDonald and Josh Paul at Iowa, then departed again as a free agent. In 2004, he would sign with the Cardinals and made their big-league roster the following year. The Cubs went 4-2 against St. Louis in his six games against the Cubs that season, but Mahoney would hit his only MLB home run [VIDEO] against his former team, off Mark Prior at Wrigley, August 14, 2005.
Yadier Molina was 22 and becoming established, and Mahoney was done with his cups of coffee after 2005. His career concluded in 2007 with the I-Cubs, when I was still on dial-up. No, I didn't audio-stream yet then.
The Cubs seem well-prepared at catcher, but selecting a "live one" or two every draft seems logical. If the Cubs are finished with the Northwest League (now, or soon), getting players time immediately after their draft selection may be of little value or possibility. If so, I will miss the extra games.
The Cubs’ 1995 draft had three "of note" names. Kerry Wood, Adam Everett (he didn't sign), and reliever Justin Speier, who helped to acquire Felix Heredia. The 1995 draft was one of the Cubs better ones, albeit that was mostly based on being atop the draft. That seems the case rather often.