Thursday, June 30, 2016



This past week have gone by fast, but it feels like I have not been to a game in months. The Ducks were only gone for 4 days and I was having withdraws. They finished a 3 games series in Reading and dropped the series 1-2. Ducks were at one time the best team in the Eastern League with a large lead in their division, now they are a 42-31 with a 1 game lead in the division. This is the week to start winning. Trenton Thunder comes in for a four game series with a rain out double header on Saturday.

Game one: Showed up at first pitch. Coming off the field after the third out Nile Rodriguez tossed up the ball when returning to the dugout and I got it. The Duck then brought 9 men to the plate scoring 5 runs. That's all they needed as the won 5-2.

Game two: SGA game and season ticket holders had to wait in the general admissions lines. For some odd reason with no answer why, the gates did not open until 30 minutes before the game. The SGA was Willie Mays Hays (movie Major Leagues) bobblehead. There were guys walking around the ballpark with a sign that read "buying bobblehead $20".When I got home and checked eBay they were selling between $80 and $150.

Even with less time then normal I still got two Ducks autographs.

I saw the first ever LIVE hidden ball trick out. The Trenton runner was on second and the outfielder threw the ball to the shortstop. The pitcher was standing off the mound and the runner got his lead off second, the shortstop came over and tagged the runner out for the third out. Like I always say "I can always see something new everyday".

I don't know what's going on, but the Ducks looked like little leaguers when it came to base running. Once on a miss bunt a runner was too far off second and got thrown out. Anther time, the run rounded second and got thrown out by the left fielder before the run scored. Those two running mistakes cost them the game as they lost 3-4.

Game three: Part of a doubleheader and make up game from May 4th rain out. These are the games I dream of as I get to watch two baseball games for the price of one. However, this is not Hiromi's dream. Since she came to the game with me I have to respect her wishes and stayed for only one game.

Unfortunately, the Ducks lost by the same score 3-4 and I don't think I could have handled two loses in one day.

Game four: Game four was a 2pm start and I stayed at the campground spending time with my wife. Good thing I did I would have probable left earl as they lost 2-12 and fell out off first place in there division.

I saw this day coming weeks ago.With the 1-3 series lost the Ducks are 43-34 in second place and .5 out of first and one game up on third. The top two teams advance to the playoffs in each division. After this seven game road trrp the Ducks return home to play the NEW first place Altoona Curve.

Week 12 Haul

Week's total: 2 games, 1 balls (0 give-a-way), 2 autographs 2 SGA
Games: 0 day  1 night  1 doubleheader   Home record: 1-1

Akron's total: 31 games, 111 balls (50 give-a-way), 88 autographs, 2 bat, 9 SGA,
Games: 8 day  23 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 22-9

2016 baseball season total: 46 games, 152 balls (55 give-a-way), 173 autographs, 9 bats

Wednesday, June 22, 2016



For anyone who don't know us Jun 15th is Hiromi's Birthday and Jun 18th in our (American)wedding anniversary. Every year I try and make it different while trying to keep it a surprise, but Hiromi can read me like a book and knows if something is going on. We are not big on gifts as there is not much place to put anything away. Thus the best week where we celebrate and the worst week trying to top the year before. I hope I can keep Hiromi surprised and not give into her spell.

15 Jun
The night before I put out Hiromi's birthday card and her favorite Lindor's dark chocolate. When she woke up and saw them on the kitchen table she was surprised. I then made breakfast.

Hiromi started to clean the inside of the RV and I said, "Why are you cleaning?" she said "it just another day". My response was "Then I don't have to take you out to eat dinner". In her demanding voice "Today is my Birthday". Needless to say I took over the cleaning chores for the day. After I was done inside, time for the outside chores mainly the car. Our oil light came on yesterday So I changed  the oil. I was then tasked to clean the entrance door to the RV and sounded like Hiromi wanted me to clean the whole RV too, but lucky for me rain is in the forecast later in the evening. The rest of the day we just sat outside and walked around the campground.

Around 4:30pm we left for dinner. I took her to Texas Road House in Alliance. The surprise that I kept all day was that my mom, dad, aunts and uncles all showed up too. We had a table in the back. My aunt brought a cake that the staff presented while signing happy birthday. She even got gifts and cards from everyone. I took the camera, but did not use it as I did a lot of recording instead.

Hiromi got a few little gift. 1) A coffee cup with her birth month and her self given American name. 2) A box of 50 pieces of candy one for each year of her age. She told me I could help her eat them. If there is only 25 pieces of candy left then that will make her 25 years old?

16 Jun
The rain held out until after Hiromi's birthday, but then the rain came in buckets. Our yard flooded. When we walk out of the RV we have to wear diving gear as our patio mate is floating on a foot deep of water in front of the door.

17 Jun
In downtown Akron across the street from Canal Park on Main St is Lock 3. Lock 3 is an outdoor park that holds event throughout the year. Every Friday night in the summer there are free cover band concerts. Tonight's cover band was Absolute Journey. A tribute to Journey. After the RubberDucks game I made my way into Lock 3 to see the concert to get some pictures and video. If you are ever in the Akron, OH area looking for a FREE night of music and cheep beer checkout LOCK 3 for all tribute bands playing this summer. When I arrived the park was packed, I worked my way down to the front of the stage. I sure hope the video sound turned out good on the GoPro. 

 Little bit of beer being spilled on me by the people rockin too hard and dropping their cups. Besides that, I had a great time. I will be going back this summer to see the covers of Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Queen, Van Halen and Led Zeppelin.

18 Jun
We really don't go out of our way to celebrate our anniversary. Being married 23 years to your best friend and the love of your life it's the little things that make us happy and not the big expensive ones. I do like to surprise her, but it's so hard when we live so close together all day and if I leave to do something she always says, "Where are you going?". Then she knows something is going on.

There were no digital camera when we got married and our pictures are in storage. I did come across our Japanese wedding pictures that I had scanned. Our Japanese wedding anniversary is 11 October.  If I fail on my American anniversary, I have a mulligan in four months. 

It's now official, I'm the photographer for Cutty's Sunset Resort for the 2016 season. They liked my price FREE. All the photos and videos I take this year I'll give them so they can use for Facebook, website ...whatever. I just hope they give me credit for the pictures they use. It was a long day, I took pictures and video of the Father's Day lunch, then the golf cart poker run and finished with kids bounce house inflatables. All this and I still have a RubberDucks game to go to tonight. Now I have to find time to edit all the video into a short clip.

 19 Jun
My LOVE for Cleveland Sports are (in order) Baseball (Indians), Football (Browns) and Basketball (Cavs). If you live in North East Ohio these are the (pro)teams you pull for. Ohio football fans are divided between the Browns and Steelers. Most of my life as a fan it's been "so close, but no cigar" or "wait until next year". Only an Ohioan will clam they are a fan of a Cleveland sports team . The last championship was in 1948 when the Indians won the World Series. When one of these teams finally wins a championship there is no "jumping on the bandwagon", I've been a fan for life. Since I was born a Cleveland teams has never won a championship, but this year in the 216 the Cavs brought the NBA Championship home and in style by beating the Golden State Warrior who were 73-9 in the regular season. The Cavs became the first team EVER to be down 3-1 in the series and come back to win it all. This is the Cavs first ever Championship since entering the league in 1970. Soak it in everyone .... "WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD"!

Monday, June 20, 2016



Ducks got swept by Harrisburg in the 4 game weekend series. The wheels have fallen off the wagon as the Ducks have lost 9 straight. Lucky for their early season success they remain in first place at 38-26 with a 4 game lead. However, everyone is closing the gap and they have to turn it around fast.

Erie comes into Canal Park for a three game series. Erie is a team that is 13 games under .500, no better time than the present to stop this losing streak and start winning again... fingers crossed.

Game one: I got all the Erie players autographs from the last time they visited. This is the perfect week to try out the new Kalimar 500mm telephoto lens I picked up at the flea market last week. No baseballs, no autographs just pictures today.

I would say getting use to the length and weight of the camera was the biggest thing. With the new lens I was able to get "in you face" shoots, but my arms were shaking and lot of the pictures came out blurry.

Bradly Zimmer sliding back to first base on pickoff attempt 
I really need that support stand for the lens, I moved to my smaller zoom lens where I could get a lot more of the action.
Bradly Zimmer Batting

For the game the Ducks have now dropped 10 straight losing 9-5. There were some bad things like after the third out guys not hustling back out on the field for defense.  Basic fundamentals on fielding and throwing that cost the team three errors. Starting pitching... enough said. Some of the good; after two weeks in AA Mike Papi looked good at the plate and had his first 3 RBI game. 8 of the 9 starters collected at least one hit. There were more hits than strikeouts (12/6). Lastly, the back half of the bullpen was lights out the last 3.2 inning gave up only 3 hits with 3 strikeouts and no runs.

Game two: Did not attend the game as it was Hiromi's birthday. PRIORITIES! Ducks lost 9-2.

Game three: A BIG storm came through since last night, then again at mid day with buckets of rain flooding our yard. Even if the rain stops and there is a game I would not go. The streets looked like rivers and our yard like a swamp.

The game must go on and the Ducks got swept at home again losing 4-2 in 10 innings. That now makes 12 straight. Unbelievably, The Ducks are still in first place at 38-29 with a 2 game lead in their division.

This homestand is not over as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats(Blue Jays) make their first trip of the season into Canal Park. I complete the search of the teams roster and of the 117,000+ sportscards I have, I have only ONE card of all players on the roster. If I continue to try and get minor league players autographs I should invest in some current minor league products.

Game one: Showed up early for BP, but there was none for either team. The RudderDucks had a youth baseball camp all day. When I arrived the ground crew was working on the field getting it ready for the game. The one player I have a card to get signed and he was promoted to AAA earlier today. One of the regular guys getting autographs gave me a card of the Blue Jays #8 Prospect Rowdy Tellez for nothing in return. I got my one autograph of the day.

It was a packed house at 7,121. Not sure if it was because of the fireworks after the game? Maybe, a hot nice day? What ever the reason it was nice to see the fans come out and support the team. The Ducks had a one game special jerseys for the Akron-Run. During the game you could bid on the players jersey. If you won the auction after the game you got the jersey off their back, autographed and picture taken. The Ducks should have special jersey every night, because they finally won a game. After scoring 5 runs in the 2nd inning they sent the start to the showers early. The Ducks held on and won 7-4. Did not stay for the fireworks.

Game two: New rule that there is no early entrance on Saturday's even if you are a season ticket holder. That means no BP or autographs. I never got a clear answer to why, but it sounded like something to do with the SGA. I guess they only had a few cases in the season ticket entrance and ran out. When a season ticket holder went to the regular entrances they were at the end of the line and when they finally got in all the SGA were gone. Mostly the SGA are limited to the first 1,000 fan. If you don't arrive early you don't get the SGA simple as that. As season ticket holders we paid a lot for our tickets and I think we are entitled to still arrive early like any other day and if they are giving something away we should get it first. It might have been a worker error by not having enough cases at the season ticket entrance, but don't punish us. I'm sure a lot of other season ticket holders feel the same (except for the ones who did not get a SGA).

On to the game ... The SGA today was a 2016 Eastern League All-Star T-shirt. I played by their rules showing up early and waited by the main entrance gate. I did not get any baseballs or autographs, but I did get a PROMO Romeo's Pizza T-shirt with the RubberDucks logo on the front that was thrown into stands. Ducks starting pitcher Nick Pasquale making his AA debut looked pretty good gooing 5.1 inning giving up 4 hits, 1 run and striking out 5. Ducks won 3-1. Did not stay for the P!nk's firework show.

Game three: The last few Sunday's game did not have BP, so I did not arrive until first pitch 2:05pm. Another large crowd came out to the ballpark. I don't know if it was the 91 degree weather or the Ducks unable to play fundamentals baseball in scoring a runner from third with no out. All they had to do was hit the ball deep in the outfield or on the ground to the right side of the field. But NO, the next three outs all came from striking out. I could not watch anymore and left early. The game would go into extra inning and the Ducks won 2-1 in 10 innings.

The Ducks have swept the series and are starting to come around. There record is 41-29 leading the division with a 3 game lead. On the road for the next four days before returing home for another weekend series at home against Trenton Thunder.

Week 11 Haul

Lots of stuff going on this week and my game haul is down from my normal standards.

Week's total: 4 games, 0 balls (0 give-a-way), 1 autographs, 1SGA, 1 PROMO
Games: 1 day  3 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 3-1

Akron's total: 29 games, 110 balls (50 give-a-way), 86 autographs, 2 bat, 7 SGA,
Games: 8 day  21 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 21-8

2016 baseball season total: 44 games, 151 balls (55 give-a-way), 171 autographs, 9 bats

Tuesday, June 14, 2016



We try and go to the flea market at least once a week as long as it's not raining. Mostly we go to walk, buy fresh vegetables and to see if we can fine some great deals. This week was pretty good. I have not talked about life-in-RV or the campground in a while. Besides the normal route most expect I'll fill you in on the rest. 

Normally all I find at the flea market are baseball/ hobby related or little stuff we need around the RV so nothing to exciting to talk about. Except for today.

First, I found a 1991 Mickey Mantle comic book issue #1 for only $1. There was only 2 issues made. All I have to now is fine issue #2 for the complete set. After reading the comic I found out that the publisher Magnum Comics have made several comics of baseball icons of Brooks Robinson and Duke Snider. However, from the research I have done Magnum Comics only release 4 total issues (2 Mantel and 1 each of Robinson and Snider).

Second, a few post back I talked a little about my dream hobby. I found a Kalimar 500mm lens for $10. Normally, these used lens sale for $50-$100 ish. I can start that dream hobby now. I have a starter telephoto lens to try it out next week when the Ducks return home. All I need now is a support stand to attach to the lens. It's long and hard to hold for long periods of time. When not using it for baseball I will still take it on the road with me and use it for nature shoots, birds or wild animals that are far and a safe distance away. Maybe. one day you'll see one of my pictures on a baseball card or the cover of Sports Illustrated. 

Before returning home we stopped by Maize Valley Winery only a mile and a half away from our campground to grab a snack and a sample glass of wine for Hiromi.

Last weekend theme was anything and everything chocolate. Chocolate donuts eating contest and chocolate slip n' slide.

This weekend was animals. The headliner was barnyard animal petting zoo. Turkey, pig, rabbits, alpaca, turtle, chicken and more. I guess you can't pet them all, but we did stop by to take a look. To close out the night was the Disney's Zootopia movie. We left the campground to attend our American Legion dinner and drawing night, but we did not win any money.  

Sunday afternoon was origami. I had to talk Hiromi into going. She made all the easy kids stuff like hat that turns into a boat, balloon. snack cup, kid flip game and when all the kids left she made a crane.

 Just in case you might not have guessed, next weeks theme is Father's Day Weekend. I took a leap of faith and talked to the campground front desk to see if they need an event photographer. I told them I would do it for free and give them all pictures that I take. This way I can start working on my portfolio and the campground has photos of the 2016 season. They will forward the idea to the owner and I'll let you know what happens. I think it will be a win-win for the both of us. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016



7-9 Jun

Coming home after a three game series that turned into a four game series with a doubleheder to make up a rain out earlier in the season. The Ducks split the series 2-2. Now the Duck return home to face the Reading Fightin Phils. Reading is the East division leaders with a 39-19 record and are 7-3 in the last 10 games, while the Ducks are 3-7 in their last 10.With the Ducks in a slump for the first time this year can they breakout and win the big games when needed?  At the end of the series this will show if the Ducks can win the big games against good team. 

Game one: Weather called for rain so I did not go. The rain did not arrive until a few hours after the game was completed. Good thing I did not go, because I would have probable left early since the Duck lost 11-1.

Game two: Summer game times have started and games now start at 7:05pm. Season ticket holders can enter at 5:05pm. I arrived around 5:30pm to see the the end of the second group and all of  the last group of Reading's BP. I got three baseballs and gave them away to two kids and one begging mother who said she never got one before. Not sure if she is going to keep it for herself or give to one of her kids. I have two Phils player baseball cards where I got one signed before the game (Rhys Hoskins Phils #19 prospect) and one after the game (Jorge Alfaro Phils #9 prospect). I also got a third out toss up game used ball for Duck's Nellie Rodriguez (I keep ALL game used baseballs). The game was pretty close where both staring pitchers pitched to the 7th inning where the score was tied 2-2. Both pitching staff where on their "A" game with the two teams totaling 35 strikeouts and giving up 11 hits. The game would go into extra inning and the Phils would win on a solo homerun by Rhys Hoskins in the 11th inning 3-2.

The Ducks need to find out what's going on. There has been a lot of roster transactions with Advance A players getting their first taste of AA pitching so, this might be the reason for them, but the main core group of players have been in AA all season. When you get only 4 hits and strikeout 17 times as a team something is not clicking.

Game three: Hiromi keeps telling me I have to many baseball, I took three with me to give away. As I got to BP I would get 9 more baseballs (two were toss ups after I called their name) and one game used foul ball toss up by Eric Stamets. I gave 10 balls away (half way to my season goal of giving away 100 baseballs)while still taking three balls home. Funny how thing workout, after walking around the stadium giving the baseballs away to kid with gloves (today's goal) I sat down in my seat and that inning is when Eric tossed me the ball. Give away 10 BP baseball get one game used. Like I said before I will keep ALL game used and any toss ups. I worked to get them by knowing the player name and asking for the ball (please and thank you), Most kids just yelling "here, here, here" or "hey number xx" then running off to show their parent without saying anything to the player. Clint Frazier has not signed in a few weeks, so I moved from my normal spot close to the dugout to mid field by the rain tarp. He was the DH today, so he is responsible for bring the ball bag back to the dugout after warming up and is the last player to leave the field. Most times since the player has the ball bag they just return to the dugout, but today I said "Mr Frazier can you sign for me please" and he came to me first. It's always good to get one of the teams top prospects. I would get a total of 5 Duck autographs.

Luigi Rodriguez made his AA debut and it was a good one going 2-4 with an RBI. The game was close (2-2) until the 3-run homer from Reading that took the air out of the crowd and the team, I saw another first when Akron pitcher Louis Head strikeout 4 batter in one inning. The first batter strikeout but the ball got away from the catcher and the runner advanced to first. The next three batter all strikeout swinging. The Ducks had a little rally in the ninth but a perfect throw from Reading outfielder Dylan Cozens to gun down Joe Sever at the plate to end the game. Ducks lose 6-2. The Ducks once again had more strikeouts than hit (10/8). That makes two nights in a row. Any time any team does that it not going to be a good night.

Week 10 Haul

Despite the slump the Ducks are in the last two weeks they remain in first place at 38-22 with a 4.5 game lead in their division. Let's hope they can turn it around on this four game weekend series in Harrisburg (against the team where the slump began).To start a winning streak you first have to win one.

Week's total: 2 games, 14 balls (13 give-a-way), 7 autographs
Games: 0 day  2 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 0-2

Akron's total: 25 games, 110 balls (50 give-a-way), 85 autographs, 2 bat, 6 SGA,
Games: 7 day  18 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 18-7

2016 baseball season total: 40 games, 151 balls (55 give-a-way), 170 autographs, 9 bats


The 2016 MLB draft was held 9-11 June and Kent State had three players drafted. New player to get baseball cards and follow around the US when I'm on the road.

1st round and 25th overall pick (LHP) Eric Lauer to the Padres. Previously drafted in 2013 17th round and 505th overall to the Blue Jays.

7th round and 222nd overall pick (RHP) Andy Ravel to the Blue Jays. Previously drafted in 2013 21st round and 630th overall to the D-Backs.

13th round and 394th overall pick (1B) Conner Simonetti to the Nationals. Previously drafted in 2013 35th round and 1,065 overall pick to the Reds.
(No picture with him  ... yet!)

All these players decided not to sign out of high school and attend college turned out better for them as they got coached by the Kent State coaching staff who are former Major Leaguers in pitching coach Mike Birkbeck and head coach Jeff Duncan.

Now I need pictures with them in there MiLB/MLB uniforms.

Sunday, June 5, 2016



27-30 May
Coming home after a short three game road trip where the Ducks split the series 2-2 to the Altoona Curves. Akron will host the Memorial Day weekend four game series with Harrisburg Senators (Nationals).  This will be the only time Harrisburg visits Canal Park this season. 

Game one: There was a lot going on in the day and bleed over to the evening where I decided not to arrive early for for BP or to get autographs. I will leave that to the rest of the series. The Ducks had back-to-back home runs by Bryson Myles and Bradley Zimmer in the 4th inning. The only day I left my camera at home is the night I witnessed a little bit of history in my first every one hit game (no picture of the scoreboard). Michael Peoples went  6.2 inning before giving up the only hit (and run) of the night on pitch number 94. When the reliever came in the crowd gave Michael a standing ovation as he returned to the dugout. Two pitcher would pitch the last 2.1 inning to complete the combined one hitter.  Ducks won 6-1.

Game two: Indians major league pitcher Carols Carrasco was the staring pitcher on a rehab assignment. That makes the third major leaguer to make a rehab appearance in a Ducks uniform this year. Being the starting pitcher the likely hood of him signing before or after the game was slim to none, but I still tried with no luck.
I got to the park early and there was already a line even at the season ticket entrance. SGSA tonight was Bobblehead Happy Gilmore's Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald). The line was way to long to get him to sign his bobblehead.

 At BP I got 4 balls and 2 autographs of Senators player. When a minor leaguer has the chance to bat against a major league pitcher one of two things will happen; 1) the pitcher is on his game and the hitter looks like a minor leaguer or 2) the batters have no fear and wants to see if they belong in the majors. Over 4 innings of work Carrasco gave up two runs (1 earned) on 7 hits and had 6 strikeouts. If it was not for Senators trying to steal bases and getting thrown out (two times in back-to-back innings)by the catcher Eric Haase they could have had more runs. Once Carrasco was done for the night all the runs the Ducks need came on two swings of the bat from Nellie Rodriguez. In the 4th he had a 2-run homer to tie the game and a RBI double in the 8th to take the lead. Ducks won 3-2.  

Game three:I arrived early for BP, However, there was none as it was challenged baseball day at the stadium. I did get Lucas Giolito the Nationals 2012 1st round draft pick to sign his baseball card. He personalized it with "To Russ". I guess he dose that so no one will sell it. I like it, because I collect autographs and that just adds to my value of the autograph. All my Senators cards were signed, so I went to the Ducks side were I got 7 more autographs. Being an early afternoon start time I ate lunch at the stadium. I had chicken tenders and fries. There was just way too much food for me to eat it all. Hiromi would have loved to share this meal with me.
As the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end". The Akron RubberDucks club record of 17 straight home game wins came to an end. Senators Left Field Cutter Dykstra had two highlight real diving catches to rob extra base hits that would have scored runs.The Ducks out hit the Senators 7-4, but when you strikeout 15 times as a team, your not getting on base and when there is no one on base those 7 hits drive in ..... no one!  Final score 2-1.   

Game four: Did not go to the game, spent Memorial Day at the campground and had BBQ dinner at my parents house. Ducks lost 3-2 and split the series 2-2.

Akron is still leading their division at 35-15 with a 6.5 game lead.

Week's total: 3 games, 4 balls (0 give-a-way), 10 autographs, 1 SGA
Games: 1 day  2 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 2-1

Akron's total: 20 games, 91 balls (34 give-a-way), 69 autographs, 1 bat, 6 SGA, Give-a-way $ ($2.00)
Games: 7 day  13 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 17-3

2016 baseball season total: 35 games, 132 balls (39 give-a-way), 154 autographs, 8 bats

31 May-2 Jun

A rematch of last weeks road game Altoona Curve with prospects Reese McGuire and Austin Meadows will invade Canal Park. The last meeting between these two teams in Canal Park the Ducks swept the three game series. No time like the present to start another long home winning streak.

Game one: Got to BP, but Altoona had a late start to practice as the gates opened they were still on the field 30 minutes before first pitch (visiting teams usually finish BP before the gates open). I got two balls that I gave away to kids. I also got two autographs of Altoona's prospects McGuire and Meadows on MLB baseball. Akron's Clint Frazier returned from the disabled list (DL), Todd Hankins and Eric Haase had 3 RBI's each while the team ran at will with 4 stolen bases and pitcher Shawn Morimando improved to 9-0 on the season. Ducks won 11-4.

Game two: I got all the player autographs I need for this series I don't think I'll be arriving early for BP and just show up close to first pitch. There was a lot of roster transaction before the game today. After 550+ AB in Lynchberg over the last two season Mike Papi a 2014 1st Round draft pick was called up to Double A. While well traveled Cole Sulser who pitched for ADV A, AA and AAA this season was also assigned to Akron. Justin Brantley was released (no longer with Indians organization and now a minor league free agent), while Jordan Smith and Bryson Myles were called up to AAA Columbus. This marks the first game where all three outfielders in Akron lineup are 1st round draft picks. This game had a total of six 1st round picks three on both teams. Two costly errors and Eric Stamets leaving the bases loaded twice recorded the last out of the inning while the Ducks as a team left 13 baserunners stranded. Ducks lost 2-0. I got two game used ball. One in the 2nd inning third out toss up by Nellie Rodriguez and second on a foul ball toss up by D.J. Brown in the 6th inning. To make the night complete I got a broken bat after the game from Altoona Erich Weiss (currently batting .288). I noticed that the bat company is Zinger. I never heard of them before so I had to look them up. They are an Arizona company based out of Chandler. Located about an hour away from where we spend our spring training days in Arizona. Now, I have to put it on my list to visit when we are in Arizona next time.

Game three: The rubber game between these two teams to see who will take the series. The weather was calling for rain around game time. Now that Papi is in Akron and if the sky looks clear I'll go early to try and get autographs. Got to the stadium with about 10 minutes left in Altoona BP. I got one ball (gave it away)I got 3 autographs from Altoona players and 4 from Ducks including Papi. Not a lot of fans at the game maybe because most stayed home to watch the Cavs vs Warriors game one of the NBA Finals. Mike Papi collected his first AA hit and RBI but that was not enough as the Ducks had four errors that lead to two unearned runs and lost the game 5-4. This is the first series lost at home this season. Simple things can cause a team to win or lose a game, take away the four errors the Ducks win. As the saying goes, "That's the way the cookie crumbles".

Saw my dream hobby at the game. With a camera lens like that I could use my own photos to get autographed. The down side to a sports photographer is the cost of the equipment, that lens alone is over $1,000 and being that big there is nowhere to store it when driving on the road. Have a dream, set the goal and one day I'll accomplish my dream hobby.

Akron is on the road for a weekend series in Bowie. Lets hope the long bus ride tonight gives them something to think about and turns this mini slump (1-4 record) around. The Duck's record stands at 36-17 with a 5.5 lead in the division.

Week 8 & 9 Haul

Week's total: 3 games, 5 balls (3 give-a-way), 9 autographs, 1 bat
Games: 0 day  3 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 1-2

Akron's total: 23 games, 96 balls (37 give-a-way), 78 autographs, 2 bat, 6 SGA, Give-a-way $ ($2.00)
Games: 7 day  16 night  0 doubleheader   Home record: 18-5

2016 baseball season total: 38 games, 137 balls (42 give-a-way), 163 autographs, 9 bats

Wednesday, June 1, 2016



The weekend was spent with family and friends to honor those who have giving the ultimate sacrifice so the rest of us could live free. When I sit back and think about it, I realize that I'm third generation American and third generation military veteran. My family have served America in ever major conflict starting with my Grandfather in WWII and Korean War, my father in Vietnam and myself in Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and the beginning to Operation New Dawn. To all my military brothers and sister you will never be forgotten.

We kick started the summer and the weekend off in style with a few BBQ's and baseball game thrown in the mix. After returning to the campground from our Friday morning running around whatever sites was open was now full of RV's. Friday, Saturday and Sunday I went to RubberDucks games (blog post to follow). Saturday was our first BBQ at the campground with my Aunt, Uncle and neighbors where there was more food than anyone could eat. Needless to say there was a lots of leftovers that we will be eating until next weekend.

Monday evening Hiromi and I went to my parents for a BBQ where my Aunt and Uncle from the campground came too. This time the food portions was better ratio with hardly any leftovers.

The sunset put the perfect ending to the weekend.

Spending time with family and friends is a change from what we have had the last few years on the road, but when it happens it makes it that much more special. If this weekend was a sign to what's to come this summer will be one of the best and I will have to step up my workouts to keep all the weight off.