Friday, March 26
Like an idiot, I misread the schedule, thinking that the D’Backs were at the Sox while they actually played host to the Sox. But I made the most of it, trying to graph those White Sox players who stayed behind in addition to the Dodgers, who were on the backfields.
Mark Buehrle: Didn’t make the trip to Tucson. Was in the clubhouse getting treatment but never made it to the practice fields
Bobby Jenks: Didn’t make the trip but I never saw him
Omar Vizquel: 0/1….wouldn’t stop on his way back to the clubhouse despite there being only five graphers
Alex Rios: 0/1…wouldn’t stop on his way back to the clubhouse despite there being only five graphers
Chris Chambliss: 2/2……he wasn’t this cool in ’93 when I got him in St. Pete
Ken Williams: 0/1
Chad Billingsley: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)
Clayton Kershaw: 0/1, 0/1….signed a lot but got mobbed and I kept missing him…but a good dude
Joe Torre: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB)…he got mobbed. to get his attention I yelled, “Can you sign one for a Cardinals’ fan?” at least three times
Andre Ethier: 2/2 (’08 Ginter, ’09 Ginter)
Manny Ramirez: 0/1…yeah right…but he did wave at me, which was neat
Don Mattingly: 0/1….he smiled at me
Reds at Mariners
Stadium is so inacessible that I doubt I’ll be returning. However, I loved the price of the tickets — no need to buy box seats when you can get a lawn seat for $6 and still sit behind home plate — and the strawberry smoothie from Maui-Wowi. On a tangent, I used to work at a Maui-Wowi in Deerfield Beach, Fla. I liked the work attire so much — it’s a loud Hawaiian shirt — that I often wear it to ballgames. It was funny when I ordered my smoothie because the two employees behind the counter looked at me as if I was their manager. On to the totals:
Chad Cordero: 4/4 (’07 Ginters)….got him in the bullpen about 15 minutes before the game. Has to be one of the friendliest players in all of MLB. Told him that he was a dominant closer and that I hope he makes it all the way back.
Erik Bedard: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)….Got him in the fifth inning as he exited the field for the clubhouse. Seems to sign a lot but has an AWFUL graph and I really can’t understand why
Eric Byrnes: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…the only starter to sign leaving the field after the game..but his graph is scribble, too
Ichiro: Thought hanging out with angelsfan might bring me good luck. She had made a killer Ichiro sign written in Japanese that I was sure would get him to stop. But to no avail though he did point at the sign once in the stadium and then again as he drove away
Ken Griffey: 0/1 had his head down as he drove away. I’ve never even seen him acknowledge fans
Cliff Lee: 0/1
And the surprise of the day:
Jay Buhner: 1/2 (SI)….I grew up going to Yankees’ spring-training games — back when they were still in Fort Lauderdale — so getting to meet Buhner was a bit of a thrill for me. And the graph came out great, too
Left Peoria as soon as the game ended and made my way back to Glendale, thinking that some White Sox players may be returning from their game in Tucson. I didn’t see any White Sox players nor did I see any fans waiting for graphs so I drove over to the Dodgers’ side and was surprised to find out that there were some coaches and players still inside.
Blake DeWitt: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)
James Loney: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)
Rick Honeycutt: 0/1…I’m sure I could’ve gotten him but I didn’t know it was him until he had driven by
Joe Torre: 0/1..There were nine graphers remaining when he left at 6:15. It wouldn’t have been difficult to sign for everyone, but he chose to sign only for the three women who remained. And even then he signed the three baseballs in black Sharpie. I don’t think my theatrics from this morning helped my cause. Had I not made such a fool of myself earlier he may have stopped. Some images — 6’5, grey hair, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a Brewers’ cap — don’t leave a person no matter how many graphs they sign LOL
Other: Apparently I just missed Maury Wills, who signed a few minutes before I arrived to the surprise of the locals. I guess he’s become difficult. … George Brett made the trip to Glendale and actually signed, but of course I was at a different game. Can’t win ’em all
If you would like to contact Mark, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.