2014 MLB SPRING TRAINING WEEK 4
Indians vs Mariners
I got no autographs today. I was on the Mariners side of the field and Robinson Cano came right in front of me, but the first pen he used was a black sharpie and he used it on everything until he was done. I pulled by ball away as black sharpie will run or bleed into the leather ball later down the road. All the other players was farther down the line closer to the dugout and did not come down my way. Most of all the big name players made the trip today, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed some make the trip tomorrow too. When I got to my seat on the Indians side of the field people was saying that Swisher, Santana and Cabrera was signing. I know getting autographs is a game of hit and miss and I missed badly today. After the game, it was kids run the bases and player had to leave the field before it could start so no players stopped to sign. Better luck tomorrow on the autographs of Mariners players.
For the game, the good guys won again 6-3 in front of 4,199 the biggest crowd so far this spring. Today was also the Indians give-a-way game of a fleece blanket. Carlos Santana started at third base and his first play of the spring at the hot corner was a throwing error. It looked as Nick Swisher made the tag when he came down, but the ump called the runner safe and charged Santana with an error. Francisco Lindor hit a 3 run homer to break the 3-3 tie in the 7th inning. Indians are now 3-1 this spring, and every win they had at least one home run. Their only lost they did not have a home run. Hit a home run win the game... lets see if that trend keeps true.
Indians Fleece Blanket Give-a-way
Reds vs Mariners
The rain and clouds have passed with only sun and 80's the rest of the week, perfect weather for baseball. Mariners had a split squid game today, and most of the big name players stayed home to play while the scrubs made the trip to Goodyear Ball Park. I made up yesterdays zero autograph with 8 autographs today.
I started the day of early by going to Reds batting practice. There was over 50 people trying to get autographs in the small area. I did not think of taking picture, but if I go again I'll show you how small the area is for fan to get autographs. Instead, I went to shag balls from batting practice. I was able to get one ball. When the third group came to batting practice I left to go to the Indians minor practice fields. A group of players was still at batting practice as these players played yesterday and today was their off day. When I arrived, it was the last group batting of the day. In that group was Yan Gomes. I was able to chase down one ball from the Indians practice. After practice Yan Gomes came over and signed for all 5 fans who where there watching batting practice. He signed a ROMLB for me. When the major leaguers where done I walked to see what minor leaguers was still around. To my surprise there was two Kent State alumni Nick Hamilton and Anthony Galles. Anthony came to me and just started talking like we were friends. We talked about Kent State and some of it alumni who are playing ball and who we think will make it to the show. We both think Travis Shaw of the Red Sox will one day be in the show. Nick also came over and signed some photos I had of him. One photo was of him with David Lyon (Rangers MiLB catcher). I have to make it the Rangers minor league camp to finish this photo. Indians minor league camp starts on 10 Mar. I told them I would be back to see them again this spring and will bring more photos of them to sign. Anthony had to leave, but I hope to get both of them together one day to get a picture of them in their Indians uniforms. That would be a nice addition to my Kent State collection.
It was around noon when I left the field to make my way to Goodyear Ballpark. Today was Reds autograph day and the day I had yesterday I will take a sure autograph over a 50/50 chance. Today's signers where infielder Kristopher Negron and catcher Tucker Barnhart. Kristopher is an Invitee who is at AAA and had a cup of coffee in 2012 with the Reds. Tucker is on the 40-man roster, but only at AA. I had nothing for them to sign, but at the table they had team index cards with Reds and Goodyear Ball Park logo. I then made my way to the Mariners side of the field where I was lucky enough to get Jesus Montero on a ROMLB. With no one left I wanted to get autographs from, I went to the Reds side of the field. I was able to get Chris Heisey on a 2014 Topps and Billy Hamilton on a ROMLB. It was not on the sweet spot, but at least I get his autograph on a ball now.
For the game the Mariners won 6-5 in front of 2,252 fans. Mariners had 5 errors and giving up 3 unearned runs. If not for Chris Tyler grand slam in the 7th the Mariners would have lost this game.
Billy Hamilton steeling second base
Indians vs White Sox
Big day, all the Indians normal starters are slated to start. I went to Indians batting practice hoping to get some autographs before the game. When I arrived there was a B-team game between the Indians and Angles. Most the the Indians players were invitees, AAA and AA players. I was surprised to see that since minor league report day in not until 8 Mar. However, I did make out pretty good in getting 6 autographs, they are Arron Harang 2009 Topps, Zach McAllister 2013 Topps, Trevor Bauer 2013 Bowman, (2) Frank Herrmann 2010 Topps Updated and "The Golden Goose" Manager Terry Francona 1989 Topps when he player for the Indians. The stories are true, Terry Francona is hard to get autographs from. But, there was someone he knew and I was standing close to them and jumped in. He did not stay long only about 10 autographs and then he ran inside the complex. I wanted to get over to the minor league fields, but when I got there they were done. I did however see Nick Hamilton leaving the field and he signed my custom Kent State Alumni 5x7 photo.
Trevor Bauer signing for fans
Terry Francona watching the B-Team game behind home plate
A side note about pitchers, I think they are a different breed when it comes to autographs. Harang, McAllister, Hermann and even Bauer signed everything for everyone today. Very few position players sign for every fan. The only exception I have seen this spring form big name players are Kipnis and Gomes. The young guys like Naquin, Walters and Wendle are a sure (99%) sign.
I made my way to Goodyear Ballpark to see the game. There was a large group of people standing by the Indians dugout, so I went to the White Sox where there was almost no one. I was able to get 3 White Sox autographs of Robin Venture on a 8x10 photo, Harold Baines on a ROMLB and Gordon Beckham on a ROMLB. I ran into a autograph blogger I follow MC's Autograph Signings. Check out his link in my "Blogs I Follow". It was a quick hello and he went back to the White Sox as I made my way to the Indians. I must have had luck on my side today as I was able to add 4 more autographs to my daily total. They were Charles Nagy 1993 Topps, (2) Justin Masterson 2012 Topps that he inscribed John 16:33 on both cards. The last is a 8x10 photo of Santana, Brantley, Cabrera, Kipnis and Aviles after the 2013 AL Wild Card lose. I was able to get Kipnis to sign it, now I just have to work on the others the rest of the spring. Today's Autograph total was 14, 9 cards, 3 photos and 2 ball.
For the game, the good guys won 5-4 in front of 2,121 fans. Josh Tomlin pitched 3 inning (3rd-5th) with a small hiccup in this second inning of work, but he fought back and only gave up 2 run. When he left the game he was in line for the win, until the 7th and 8th where the bullpen gave up solo shoots to the first batter in each inning. It was the Carolina Mudcats connection in the bottom of the ninth to score the winning run with two outs. Tyler Naquin was on second and Joe Wendle drove him in with a line drive to center to improve the Tribe to 5-1 this spring.
Reds vs Dodgers
The game today is a night game with a 7:05 start time. I wanted to complete the duel Hamilton/ Lyon photo and my Kent State Alumni photos, so I made my way to Surprise at Ranger minor league practice. The two players on my list are David Lyons (catcher) and Ryan Boares (pitcher). With pitchers and catchers in camp all I have to do was find out where the bullpen practice was located and look for them. When I arrive there was major league batting practice and there was a lot people. I walked in the back to see the minor leaguers and for some odd reason I was not thinking and did not bring a ROMLB for Ryan Rua who put up some big power numbers last year, and to top it off he is a local boy form O-H-I-O. There was no one around and all minor leaguers was signing for anyone who asked them. Ryan Boares was on a no pitch day so I could not find him, but I did get David Lyon who was catching live pitching. I called him over, we talked a little about Kent and he signed (2) 5x7 photos for me. One was the double with Nick Hamilton (Completed) and the other was my custom Kent State Alumni. When I go back to get Boares autograph I will take a ROMLB ball for Rua also.
Around noon I headed back to the RV Resort to take a break and play some water volleyball before heading to the night game.
I did not have to do much research of players baseball cards for the Dodgers as the players I want will be on ROMLB. When I arrived at the ballpark it was a circus. The Dodgers foul line had a line of at least 3-5 deep trying to get autographs.
I made my way to the right field where the team enters the the field. Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig sprinted to the dugout passing by everyone with a mix of cheers and boo's. However, two coaches I grew up watching as a kid Yankees legend Don Mattingly and my favorite player growing up Mark McGwire stopped by me as I got both to sign a ROMLB on the sweet spot. I tried to get McGwire's autograph at the Dodgers complex for three days and tonight I was the third person he signed for.
First night game of the year at Goodyear and after the first inning there was still a line at the ticket booth for fan trying to get into the game. Reds lost 10-3 in front of 5,013 fans, new high at Goodyear this spring.
Speed kills as Reds Billy Hamilton beat out a bunt and later scored. In the 2nd inning he had a RBI single to right field. Power is the equalizer, when Dodger rookie Alex Guerrero hit a grand slam to left. In the 5th Adrian Gonzalez had a solo shoot. I was walking around the ball park and almost got the ball (Long black sleeve shirt in khaki shorts and long hair. When the ball hit the wall I'm just above that [time :10]). Checkout the the video link below.
By the end of the game, the Dodgers had mostly players with no names on the back of their jersey on the field. I think they were AAA just in case (JIC) players since the Dodgers have a day game tomorrow.
Indians vs Cubs
A few days ago I asked Anthony Gallas and Nick Hamilton (Kent State Alumni) if I could get a picture with them together, today was the day I got them together. Here they are at BP.
I know there are a few more 1st rounders like Lonnie Chisenhall (2008), Francisco Lindor (2011) and Tyler Naquin (2012), but I got Chisenhall earlier this spring; Lindor is hard (I only got one autograph in the last 4 years); Naquin (one of the good guys) has signed every time I have asked.
For the game, the good guys won 1-0 in front of 3,303 fans on an Asdrubal Cabrera bases loaded walk improving the Tribe record to 7-1.
I am taking the next two days off, as the Reds host the White Sox and Cubs. Most defiantly, I will be back in full swing starting Sunday as the Indians will host 5 home games next week.
Week 4 Total
index card 2
index card 2
SI Cover 1