Friday, February 28, 2014



Officially, a week from today (19 Feb) will be the first spring training game of the year (26 Feb). I'm looking forward to taking full advantage of Goodyear Ballpark free military tickets to every game this year. My goal is to go to all the Indians games, and I have also set aside a few games for the Reds too.

19 Feb

As the players were walking out to the practice fields, former Indian second baseman Carlos Baerga stopped to sign autographs, I did not think he would be there so my cards of him were in my bag. I was able to pull one out and he signed a 1991 Topps. After practice lot of the invitees signed, but by the time I found out who they were, they left. Only a few autographers was looking for them. Then, came the big names guys, most took a b-line back to the complex. However, first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr signed a 1989 Topps, Yan Gomes signed a ROMLB and Jason Kipnes signed a 2012 Topps.  All the players left the field so I took a shoot at the fence by the player's parking lot. There was only four people looking for player autographs as they exited and headed for their cars. Two players came out and no one knew who they were except for me. I called over Tyler Naquin and he signed a 2013 Topps Heritage Minor and Josh Tomlin who signed a total of 6 cards (2) 2010 Bowman Draft Pick, (2) 2010 Topps Update and (2) 2011 Topps. I finished the day with 10 cards and 1 ball. Not bad for my first day back from a long weekend.

"The Fence" small cut out for players to sign in team parking lot

Today's Autographs

20 Feb

I arrive around 9:45am and the Reds practice looked confusing from the start.  All the players and coaches was on the field, but doing nothing but looking at their watches. Finally, around 10:15am fly ball drills started. I started to feel embarrassed to watch when some of the ball coming down and players totaling missing the ball. Sometimes it looked like a little league practice. After fly ball drills, player split into four groups to the four practice fields and some players did not know where to go. How can they compete in the NL Central if they can't even get to the correct fields.

Reds training is the same place as the Indians, but the Reds are more fan friendly. The access to the practice fields are all open compared to the Indians. However, the autograph hunters are the rudest I've seen all spring. One player went to the bathroom and when he came out there was a group of guys waiting in front of the bathroom door asking him to sign as he exited. I like to collect autographs like any baseball fan, but a lot of them have no concept of private space or leaving a player alone while at work. If this kind of things continue to happen, players will stop sign all together. Besides, when players don't sign, I hear autograph hunter talking this was a wast of time. The sooner these kind of stunts stop, and start being polite players will stop and sign for you. When there is a big crowd I try and stay away, unless I really want that players autograph. But, I'm always polite and not pushing or hurting other collectors in the processes. When you try to get a players autograph can you tell the different from the fan/collector to the autograph hunter who will more than likely post the idem on eBay as soon as they get home.

With that being said, I only got one autograph today. After fielding practice and before batting practice Joey Votto stopped by the gate and signed while the coach that was giving batting practice warmed up. As Joey Votto walked down the line, I got him to signed his Aug 30, 2010 Sports Illustrated cover.

Today's Autographs

21 Feb

More than likely, this will be my last practices until minor leaguers report to camp. Middle of next week spring training games start. The day started slow with no big name stars signing, but ended well with my biggest one day autographs all spring. My only bad news in Francisco Lindor. Every time I try and get him to sign for me, he passes me by. I even stood by two young ladies and one older lady who got their items signed and still he just passed me by. I have to say if you are a guy over 16, good luck in getting his autograph.

For the good news lets start with pictures, total of 2 5x7 one with Jake Lowery and the other of Jesus Aguilar. Next baseballs, total of 3 two nice guys who stardom has keep then down to earth guys Yan Gomes and Tyler Naquin. Every time I ask them to sign, they do. For the other baseball, on his way to his truck, Trevor Bauer stopped and signed for the small group in the parking lot. Lastly baseball cards, in total 11.(4) Tony Walters 2011 Bowman Prospects, (4) Josh Tomlin (2) 2010 Bowman Draft Picks and (2) 2010 Topps Updated, (2) Sandy Alomar Jr (2) 1991 Score and final the Indians new right fielder from the Rangers Dave Murphy 2014 Topps. In total 16 autographs.

While I was waiting in the team parking lot, a group of autographers showed up from the Dodgers practice and told me that Sandy Koufax (who was signing all week) got hit in the head by a line drive at batting practice. By the story I read online he was doing fine.

Now all I have to do is get tickets to all the Indians games and a few selected Reds games. See ya at the ball park.

Today's Autographs

Autograph Total

Week 2 Total
Cards        21
Photo          2
Baseball      4
SI Cover     1


Spring Total
Cards       37
Photo       14
Baseball     4
SI Cover    1


Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Baseball and National Park

Arizona has more than just Major League Baseball, it has College Baseball too. The wife and I took a weekend trip to Tucson to see Kent State take on # 24 Arizona in a three game series.

After a little research, I found out that Hi Corbett Field home to the Arizona Wildcats was once the Spring Training home for my Cleveland Indians from 1945-1992.

2014 Wildcat Schedule
 Kent State at batting practice before game
 Wildcats Greats
 2012 College Baseball Champions
Same tournament as Kent State 
 Baseball Hall of Famers who played on Hi Corbett Field
 The only number retired is Indians Manager
Terry Francona
Rich in tradition and proven champions 

Game 1 and 3 were touch to watch. Kent State had a total of 8 wild pitches, 2 pass balls and 4 errors in the thee game series. Defense like that and it is hard to win any game. Game 2 was fun to watch as Kent State had 16 batter come to the plate in the first inning and put up 11 runs before Arizona even got up to bat.

From what I saw, the freshman phenom Eric Lauer the #14 ranked Freshman (pre-season) in the country and 2013 MLB Draft 17 rounder (Did not sign) at only 18 years old, 6'3" and 205 lbs, he looks to be the real deal. After walking his first college batter he faced, he was light out to the next 9 batters he faced. They were 1 for 9 with 1 BB, 1 SO 1 ER and that run was giving up by the pitcher who relieved him. And to top it off, he was the one who recorder the win and was named MAC pitcher of the week too.

Eric Lauer first college pitch

Because, I'm so far behind in my posts a week has passed and Kent State played a tournament in South Carolina. In the final game of the tournament,  Eric Lauer throw 5 no hit inning picking up the win with 1 BB, 3 SO and 1 HP. Of the 17 batter faced they were 0-15.  Kent State pitchers finished the game in allowing only one run on one hit. In 7.2 inning pitched opposing batter are only hitting .042 against Eric and he was named MAC pitcher of the week for the second week in a row.

If I don't get this posted soon, I will be talking about Eric's third game too.

After game 2, I was able to talk to some players and was able to pass a 8.5x14 team sign sheet that players signed as they left the dugout. I got 23 of the 36 man roster for 64% of the team. I got 6 of the 7 former draft picks to sign. I was also luck enough to add 7 more Kent State Alumni photos to my collection (5x7 photo with players picture and school logo). Finally, I started the Kent State 2013 draft photo. Kent State had five player drafted in 2013, but Eric Dorsch did not sign and stayed in school. Three of the final four will be in Arizona Minor League camp this spring training and I will continue to work to get this photo completed. The only other player is in Florida playing in the Yankees system. I guess I will have to try and get him to sign if his team is playing somewhere close to us.

Arizona Night Baseball ... WHAT A VIEW

Game 1 Final score
 Game 2 Final
(11 runs top 1st) Kent St broke the score board
 Game 3 Final Score

Weekend Autographs

I'm not all about baseball, even though my wife sometimes thinks so. Before game 2 (night game) we took a day trip to Saguaro National Park in Tucson. As you might have guessed. we visited another Cactus National Park. It was an 8 mile loop with pull offs and hiking trails. The loop is long and lots of hills, you have to keep your eyes open for the bicycles. The views was beautiful and we enjoyed the day with weather in the low 80's.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014



February and March in Arizona means Spring Training Baseball, I will be going to a lot practices and games. More than likely, I will blog about them too. I know this is a Full-Time RV blog and talking about my adventures on the road. I love the game of baseball and when I visit a stadium it's part of that adventure. If you don't like baseball, I hope you still stick around as I will be doing other stuff beside just baseball.

I'm also having issues with my video card over heating on my desktop. Working on fixing or just getting a new video card. Loading pictures to this blog will take longer too when using my laptop.

The RV Resort had a lunch party at Organ Stop Pizza. The restaurant is closed for lunch except when reserved for party of 50 or more. The lunch was a pizza buffet for $7.25 and takes cash only. There is also dinner every night no reservations required, still cash only. While you eat the organ arrives from center stage and the organist plays while you eat. The lunch and music was about an hour and a half long. The cool part is the whole dinning hall has the organ instruments throughout the area and is played from the main organ on stage. The organist took request so I tried to stump him with a long song with mixed tempos. I request two songs Free Bird and Stairway to Heave. The organist selected to play Stairway to Heaven and it was perfect with all the horns along with the drums and all from memory with no music score paper. I just sat there in amazement on how it sounded coming form a organ. The wife even saw me singing to the music.

Thursday, February 13, 2014



February means spring is just around the corner and the start of American's National Pastime is about to be in full swing. Player report to Florida and Arizona in the chase of the childhood dream of becoming World Champions. Fans flock to stadiums for pictures and autographs of their favorite players and the anticipation of their team's run to the World Series. The sight of hundreds of brand new baseballs fill the ball buckets as coaches pull them out to be use for the first time. As the ball hits the bat the 2014 baseball season has official started.

8 Feb

The first team I visited to kick off the 2014 spring training was no other than the local home team Arizona D-Backs. They, along with the Dodgers are starting spring training early because of their season opener in Sydney, Australia. First thing I noticed was all the security around the fields and gates. There had to be about 20 security guards and this practice was just for pitchers and catchers. What will it look like next week when all players report? I remember the Red Sox spring training last year and they only had one at the gate to check bags and that was it. The practice was less than one hour because this day is also the D-Backs FanFest held at Chase Field. Most of the players went straight to the clubhouse after practice and said they would sign autographs after they came out, but security was kicking everyone out shortly after they entered the clubhouse. I was only luck enough to get two autographs this day, 8x10 photo of Alan Trammell and 2014 Topps card Miguel Montero. One person had a book page full of Miguel Montero cards, but he only signed one and went to the next fan. These are the first two and hopefully many more autographs to come this spring. 

Andrew Chafin
 Brandon McCarthy
 Archie Bradley
 Trevor Cahill
 Kirk Gibson & Alan Trammell

Two and counting


I arrived shortly after 9:00 am when the gates open. 968 fans lined the roped off area along the path to the practice fields as coaches like Davey Lopes signed autographs and Don Mattingly welcomed fans and even shook my hand as he passed by. Mattingly said, he would sign autographs after practice. I walked around to the back towards the practice fields and saw the pitchers warming up and then splitting into groups to do their drills. The group with a big crowd following their rotation was Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren, Brian Wilson and a reliever I did not recognize. I walked around looking and taking pictures of some key pitchers. I started back to the clubhouse and there must have been a thousand fan waiting to get autographs. I was stuck on the inside of the roped area and with the crowds of fan most players took a short cut across another practice field and entered the back to the clubhouse. The mad dash started and the fan on the inside roped area could not cross the rope to get to the other side. Lesson learned for the next time. Brian Wilson and Zack Greinke just walked past everyone and straight into the clubhouse. Clayton Kershaw signed for a while, until people started to pushing, then he went inside. Don Mattingly and Mark McGwire signed, but again I could not cross the roped off area. I did walk away with one autograph. I was next to a group of Koreans and Hyun-Jin Ryu came right to them and I was able to get his autograph on a 2014 Topps card. Now, that I know who signs and where they enter the clubhouse I will be ready the next time. Also, today was Sunday the next time I go will be on a weekday and most of the fans will be at work or school ... keeping my fingers crossed.

Don Mattingly
 Brian Wilson
 Dan Haren
 Zack Greinke
 Mark McGwire
 Clayton Kershaw
 Hyun-Jin Ryu
Most of the 968 Autograph hunters

Today's Autographs

10 Feb

I asked the gate security and she told me that today's' official fan count was 209. A more autograph friendly count than yesterday. I was so close so many times today with player like Kershaw, Mattingly, McGwire, Lopes. Then came Chris Perez, a real good nice guy. There was no big crowd for him, but he signed everything for everyone. I got a total of 5 cards signed. (1) 2009 Topps, (1) 2011 Topps and (3) 2014 Topps. Yasiel Puig was there too. As he walked back to the clubhouse the dash was on and almost all of 209 fans ran to him. From a distance I saw that he signed for one young lady and three kids. Brian Wilson just walked past everyone for the second day in a row. I guess he dose not sign. As long as I get at least one autograph a day I'll be happy.

Chris Perez

Today's Autographs

11 Feb

My hometown and favorite team Cleveland Indians started their spring training today when pitchers & catchers reported to camp. Position player report at the end of the week and first full workout next week. Out of all the teams in Arizona, I think I'm most prepared for autographs are the Indians with over 200 baseball cards (LOTS of doubles) of current and alumni players to get autographed. I guess only time will tell how prepared I really am.

I arrived at 9:00am when the gates open, to my surprise I was the first and only person watching practice. There was only one security and I have to say that the Indians have the less fan friendly complex I have ever seen. Fans can walk in, but only up to field one. The rest of the complex is gated off and no one allowed to pass without a press pass. As the players came out I only saw Masterson and Tomlin, everyone else I did not know. A pretty weak practice for the first day. Most of the players were still going through their physical and check-up before getting cleared to practice. After, I got back home I searched the Tribe website, and first workout for pitchers & catchers are Thursday. Masterson was talking to a person frield so I gave him his privacy, then he went to the clubhouse before I could get his autograph. I still have all spring... I hope. All-in-all only 8 fan showed up and I was talking to a few of them who said they will be back all spring to watch practices, Good news, I've started my Indians network of photographers and autographs. Bad news, I did not get any autographs. Better luck tomorrow!

12 Feb
 I'm still on the hunt for those Dodgers autographs, so I made the short drive to Camelback. I arrived shortly after 10:00am and fond my spot where Kershaw has gone the last two practices. Today, he went another way and I was out of luck again. However, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt walk by and I got him on a 8x10 photo. After Kershaw entered the clubhouse, I made my way there as that is where Don Mattingly entered the clubhouse. Again, he changed it up and went the other way. My luck did change. today's fan count was 138 and most of them have left, I walk back to the main gate for one last check of players hanging around. There he was Don Mattingly was signing for every fan. There was a line with about 30 people and he was signing only one item. Some guys tried to get back in line, but Mattingly remembered them and said only one. I walked up, got my autograph and thanked him for taking the time to sign for me.

I think tomorrow is full team workout and players like Puig, Kemp, Gonzales and Ramirez signed for a few fans then left. But, players like Uribe, Gordon and Figgins signed everything for everyone. I was upset as I had only pitchers and coaches items for autographs.

Today's Autographs

13 Feb

Today, will be my last MLB spring training this week, as I will be heading north to Tuscon to watch Kent State open the season at Arizona for a three game series.

I arrived around 9:30am and saw players already warming up. The pitchers was doing drills on the minor league fields. Lot of position players were in camp and took infield and batting practice on field 1. Close to all the 20 or so fans who came out to watch.  Two of those people were from my RV Resort Mike and Waynetta, who are from North Ohio and there for autographs and balls. Waynetta did the autographs and Mike stood behind left field wall chasing home run balls as they flew over the fence.  After practice was over, I stood next to Waynetta and when players came out I called one player and she called another. Soon other autograph hunters came close to us. Still no where as bad as the autograph hunters at Dodgers practice. With a small number of people, the players signed for everyone.

I was impressed with Jason Kipnis, a left handed batter who took all his batting practice pitches to left except for his last one when he would pull the ball the right. To go along with his base-running and fielding, that is why I think he is the best all around player the Indians have.

This was my best day in getting autographs. I was able to get a total of 9 cards. 2009 Topps Asdrubal Cabrera, 2012 Topps Gold Futures Lonnie Chisenhall, 2012 Topps Gold Futures Jason Kipnis, 2014 Topps Jason Kipnis, (4) 2013 Bowman Prospects Danny Salazar and 2014 Topps Mike Aviles. To add the icing on the cake, when Mike came back he had over 20 balls and gave me five of them. Four are MLB baseballs and one is MiLB baseball.

Danny Salazar
(L) Asdrubal Cabrera (C) Francisco Lindor (R) Cabrera's Son
 Jason Kipnis
Ryan Raburn's bat and gloves

Today's Autographs

Autograph Total

Week 1 Total
Cards        16
Photo        3
Baseball    0


Spring Total
Cards       16
Photo       3
Baseball   0