‘On The Road With psugator02′ – Andres Galarraga & Larry Walker – January 8, 2011
Saturday, January 8
Miracle League Golf Tournament
Links at Madison Green
Royal Palm Beach, Fla.
Had toyed with sleeping late but knew graphing would be more difficult once the golfers had begun play. Rolled in at the buttcrack of dawn and immediately started recognizing MLB umpires. I don’t graph umpires but it was still neat to see so many big names. Two years ago I got my picture taken with Angel Hernandez. He took one look at the pic of me, already dressed for a game I was supposed to ump later that day, and began peppering me with questions. I told him that I knew about his identity being stolen and that I understood if he wasn’t able to sign. He laughed and said, “I sign autographs all the time. That identity thing was a long time ago.” Someone mentioned that it cost Hernandez $100,000 to clear his name. That, Hernandez said, wasn’t even close to the truth. He happily signed the pic, then shook my hand. As he walked away I asked him about his golf game. “I think I’ve broken 100 once,” he said.
Angel Hernandez: 1/1 (signed a picwith)
Next player I saw was Andres Galarraga, walking from his car to the course with golf clubs in tow. Years ago I probably would’ve gotten him on a ROMLB. But now, wise in my years, I didn’t even think he was worthy of an 8×10 so I got him on a Diamond King. Back in the mid-1990s it seems every time I got his graph it was pure scribble. But now, with no one else around, he gave me an absolutely beautiful graph. I had a few more cards for him but I walked away after he did the DK. Still a beast of a man.
Andres Galarraga: 1/1 (Diamond King)
Larry Walker had snuck in while I was getting Galarraga. I was a little intimidated because so many graphers had told me horror stories about him. I asked him what he does with his days now that he’s retired. “Piss off my wife,” he replied. He appears to simply sign his name, only adding the “MVP” inscription if asked. Once I realized this I gave the first ball back to him and he kindly added the inscription. The ball just looked naked without the inscription.
Larry Walker: 2/2 (ROMLBs, both with “NL MVP ’97” inscriptions)
I saw that Walker was standing next to Gary Carter. I’ve had a bunch of bad experiences with Carter lately, so instead of even trying for him I walked the two Walker balls back to the car. While away, some veteran graphers bribed Carter with photos. That act of kindness warmed him up a bit and he did one for one grapher and two for another. When I returned Carter was now on the putting green. I waited for him to finish putting and then take a group photo, then approached him with two neat oversized baseball cards from the mid-1980s. I’ve been carrying them around for years and really wanted to get them done.
“I don’t sign cards,” was Carter’s response when I tried to graph him. No problem, I thought to myself, as I walked over to my bag and grabbed two balls. Carter was now in his golf cart. As he was about to drive away, I again asked him if he would sign. “I don’t sign,” Carter said, as he drove away. I now have two options. I can try to bribe Carter with photos the next time I see him OR I can send Carter every item I own and tell him to shove them up his ass. I think I’m going to go with the latter.
Gary Carter: 0/1, 0/1….my pursuit of him has officially ended
ALSO: A local grapher asked Tommy Hutton who the Marlins would hire as their manager when they open their new stadium in 2012. “Ozzie Guillen,” Hutton said, without blinking an eye.
NO-SHOWS: Livan Hernandez, Orlando Hernandez and Carl Pavano. Brian Schneider was there, but I didn’t need him.