It’s been 3 years almost without writing
anything but I’m going to go back to blogging. In the
past 3 years the Rays got alot better and I’ve started
seeking autos alot more. I’ve started doing the mail
again recently and now am working on getting a second set of
cards and a team helmet signed. I usually go do the
player parking lot before or after a game and am only missing
on the Rays helmet- George Hendrick, BJ Upton, Pat Burrell,
Matt Garza, Matt Joyce, and now Winston Abreu. Last
night was my 7th game in 7 days and I know I got over 70
autos. The Natonals sign a ton and are rather easy though
there were 3 I will be mailing out- Josh Bard, Bob Boone, and
one of the announcers. What was funny is during one of
the games the Rays bullpen coach Bobby Ramos turns around and
starts waving at me out of the blue. I got a FSL game
tomorrow nite where former pitcher Adam Lowen is trying to be
I wanted to talk about Chase Utley’s hitting streak before it ended but I guess I waited too long. Although I went to a game last night I’ll cover Utley today while it’s still somewhat relevant. You know, I really wish someone would finally break Joe Dimaggio’s record of 56 simply because it seems like every time someone hits 20 games in a row there’s talk about it again. Just me personally but it gets very annoying. The last one before Utley’s to go 30+ was Jimmy Rollins. I got Jimmy’s autograph during spring training but today’s story is about Utley so I’m sticking to that. The closest I ever came to Utley was there this time that Pat Burrell was signing to the left of me and moving closer and Chase was to the right of me and moving closer. I couldn’t decide which to go for over the other so I stayed put hoping they would make it to me. Neither did. But that was the game Bobby Abreau signed for me and only in that same spot that I hadn’t left. Today’s lesson- You won’t always be able to get every player signing and not even always make the best decisions. You will have to live with your decisions and not let if affect how you do after it either.
Excuse me for any typographical answers- I’m rushing today. So at today’s game Johnny Pesky will be signing through the MLB alumni association. They have a new office this season at the Trop and it’s the biggest name they brought so far though this week they’ve been busy bringing people in. I’m working on getting the 2005 All-Time Fan Favorites completely signed and need Pesky so I better get him. I don’t expect to get any Red Sox so I’m not even bringing those cards. I’m going to try for a few D-Rays though even that doesn’t matter much today.
Robinson Cano is starting his rehab tonight with the Tampa Yankees. Normally I would be going to get his autograph and Tampa’s coach Luis Sojo. For that reason here’s today’s lesson and story. Minor league games are very good for getting autographs, whether it is someone who is a high prospect or someone on rehab. The higher level you are the more likely you are to have a major leaguer come through town. Triple A almost always gets the players while Single A almost never does. But last year Jim Thome attempted to go through rehab startiing with the Clearwater Threshers. There were only two of us truly going for his autograph and this one little girl who was getting everybody. She asked Jim Thome when he stopped what his name was and only because I overhead him say “Jim” was I able to get an autograph from this almost guaranteed 500 hr hall-of famer.
Last night’s game ****** royally but the autographs were pretty good. I gotta say it has become very hard to be a D-Rays fan but I’m going to stick with them and hope one day it gets better. The Red Sox fans stuck around their team for 86 years waiting. Why can’t I? And hey at least at the game I got to see part of a cycle. I left early because of the score so I missed Carlos Guillen finishing it up. So back to what I was saying about the autographs. I got repeats of Ruddy Lugo, Shawn Campa, Jorge Cantu, and Carl Crawford. That’s like my 8th or 9th Crawford because he signs at every game. I’m working on getting this four card “set” of his signed. It’s 4 different variations of the same card and now I’m halfway done. For the Tigers I got Zach Miner, Vance Wilson, Omar Infante, Jamie Walker, Curtis Granderson, AND Pudge Rodriguez. People were saying it’s the first time in five years that Pudge signed. Now two stories from last night and one lesson- First, this kid who I’ve only seen once before was having trouble getting autographs so he asked me if I’d ever give any away. Now, I used to. One day I gave this kid visiting from my old home of Jersey a Wade Boggs and a Brooks Robinson but I won’t give any away anymore and I’ll NEVER sell autographed cards. I did help him get Kenny Rogers and Omar Infante though I didn’t get Rogers. Now, my second story and lesson is that when a player is talking to a friend and tells you he is leave him alone and wait until he is done. Granderson was talking to friends and these elementary school boys kept asking him for it to the point that he signed maybe five and walked away. PLAYERS DO NOT HAVE ANY OBLIGATION TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS IT’S A PRIVELEDGE THAT THE FANS GET SOMETIMES.
I might be the only Devil Rays fan happy to see that Julio Lugo was traded. You see, he’s the only D-Ray that I didn’t like and it wasn’t because of how he plays on the field. Back in 2003 the reason the Devil Rays got him was because the Astros released him. Why? Because he beat his wife in the player parking lot. To me, regardless of who you are and how famous you are, if you don’t have morals and integrity you are ****. Julio could have been good enough to win a freaking Triple Crown and I still would hate him. In regards to autographs he is one of the hardest to get. But, I got him anyways. The Devil Rays for their Saturday games have 2 players sign prior to the game officially. Back in April he was one of the two. I got him to sign the scorecard he was on the cover of from last year. But while I was standing in line I accidentally got some sharpie on it so now it’s not that good of a piece. That is why today’s lesson on collecting is to use the clicker type of sharpie instead of the ones with a cap. It cuts down on errant sharpie marks on your hands, clothes and items. The only problem is the clicker type confuses a lot of oldtime former players but that’s a story for a different time. I’m going to the Tigers game tonight so I’ll have something really to report tomorrow.
With the trade deadline about to hit I’m looking back on who did get traded and who I got the autograph of. Unfortunately, I only got 4- Bobby Abreau, Shea Hillenbrand, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns. Bobby’s trade bothers me alot. You see, Bobby has always been an amazing signer. But now that he is with the dreaded Yankees he probrably will stop signing. That team, in general, is the hardest to get. One day I will explain why. 4 years ago I got 3 cards of his signed in one spring training season. When I restarted this last spring I did not expect to get him again. This was due to him being alot more popular now than he was back then and that he was going to be gone awhile playing in the World Baseball Classic. Amazingly, the day after he returned from the WBC I got his sig due to yet another guideline in collecting. When the ushers start kicking people out of the sections close to game time, usually 15 minutes prior, just sit down close to the field. As long as you don’t keep moving and just act like you belong there the ushers almost never bother you. But, when you are confronted by an usher or the person who the seat actually belongs to act like you read your ticket wrong. BUT if the ticket is asked for apologize and leave the section completely. I used this technique to seat in the first row after everyone else was kicked out the day I got Bobby’s autograph. I’ve also used this technique at a Tigers game and to get backstage at concerts. If you act like you belong then you do. Will all the people who got traded act like they belong in their new clubhouse or will they cause problems.