Sunday, January 8, 2023

Mike James, Genuine Jockey

A few weeks back, I pontificated about the next new Mike James to be added to my collection.  What sport would he play?  So far I had representatives from the four major sports - would I finally find a professional athlete named Mike James outside of those four groups?

Well I finally did it everyone.  We have our 5th sport to be represented by a Mike James - Horse Racing.

Here's the newest Mike James, courtesy of the 1999 Jockey Star set:

I love the simplicity of the set, especially the little horseshoes to the left and right of the name with just a solid headshot to represent the guy.  The back is pretty basic too but gives some wonderful stats, including Mike James' career earnings to date:

5,443 races...that seems like a lot, right?  I mean I guess they can ride 4-5 in a day given the right setup, but dang that seems like quite a few races to me.

What's even crazier is that, upon a Google search, Mike James is still racing TODAY.  It's much less frequently - after all he had temporarily retired in 2005 - but he had one start in 2021 and four starts in 2020 to give him 11,341 for his career.  Crazy numbers for a guy who is now around age 60.  Even wilder?  His Dad was a jockey too until he passed away in a racing accident when James was just 19 months old.  Makes ya wonder how long this James can and will continue to ride.

One more weird note - on Googling an article comes up from 2010 featuring another young jockey named Mike James.  I'm not going to assume he ever gets a card, especially since I can't find any newer articles about the guy, but you never know - maybe I'll have TWO different jockeys in my Mike James collection someday!

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