March 28, 2010
White Sox at Rangers
8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Had heard great things about the Rangers’ facility. But in retrospect, I spent a lot of hours graphing and really didn’t get much. However, every stud Rangers’ minor leaguer walked right by me, including Font, Boscan, Smoak, and many many more. If I had seen Smoak in time I most definitely would’ve gotten him on a SS.
Ozzie Guillen: 1/1 (B+W 5×7 sketch card)….gave him blue Sharpie but he signed it in black and it came out so well that the graph actually looks like it’s part of the sketch
Ian Kinsler: 1/1 (8×10)….one of the prettiest graphs I’ve gotten in a long time
Josh Hamilton: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)…got the last Hamilton item I own signed. I think I’m gonna read his autobiography and get that signed….every time he signs for me it seems I have a story. This time, he was inscribing Psalm 62. He did it on a lot of items but not mine. I asked him why I didn’t get the inscription. He looked at me and asked, “Do you remember it?” I said that I did and Hamilton smiled. GREAT GREAT dude
Gordon Beckham: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB)…I was on the other side of the stadium and saw him signing. I rushed over to where he was and got lucky. Funny thing is that a young girl standing in front of me asked for the SS and he refused. Then when it was my turn I asked for the SS and he did it. It may have had something to do with me telling Beckham that I had flown in from Florida. I wished him luck this season and he thanked me. A real GREAT dude
Ron Washington: 2/2 (cards)…guy was a common in the 1980s so I have a ton of his cards. I didn’t bring all of them with me. Maybe I should have because now I have nothing left for him. A great guy and a great signer
Nelson Cruz: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)…went down the line on the backfields, signing for everyone. a GREAT GREAT dude
Michael Young: 0/1…this guy has proven to be hard. he actually signed for three people standing next to me, including a little boy, but he wouldn’t sign for me
Elvis Andrus: 0/1
Nolan Ryan: 0/1..I finished my pregame graphing and knew that Ryan was probably in attendance so I talked to an unsher who worked the area behind home plate. He pointed to Ryan’s seat (he sits in the same seat every game). He said Ryan hadn’t yet arrived. Oddly enough, five minutes after speaking to this usher I turned around and saw Ryan standing five feet from me. I was the only one to recognize him. I asked him to sign and he wouldn’t do it. I walked with him a few feet, trying to make small talk and butter him up for later. He ended up leaving the game in the bottom of the 8th, but this time went out through the field exit, which was inacessible to me. On a side note, between half innings ushers would guard Ryan on all sides, preventing people from scooting over near him. However, if you happened to be a good-looking woman, Ryan would motion you over and allow you to sit next to him. I saw a hot blonde point at Ryan and he invited her over. She sat next to Ryan for 15-20 minutes and when the two of them were done talking Ryan signed for her.
Alex Rios: 0/1
Paul Konerko: 0/1
Juan Pierre: 0/1
Once I saw Ryan leave I knew that the stadium’s logistics would limit further postgame graphing opportunities so I high-tailed it back to Phoenix.
Indians at Angels
Huge crowd of people stood outside the fence waiting for Angels’ graphs. I knew the chances of anyone stopping were slim so I thought of something creative. A 6-foot wall surrounds the player parking lot, which is also where the visitors’ bus parks. I’m 6’5, so it was easy for me to look over the wall at the Angels’ players exiting the clubhouse, in addition to those Indians boarding the bus. The wall is only a few feet from the entrance to the visitors’ bus so the players had to acknowledge me as they boarded. After a few minutes I looked down and saw three boulders, which I piled on top of one another. I stood on the three boulders and was even taller, leaning over the wall with my items in hand.
While standing on the boulders
Tori Hunter: 0/1 …I was only two feet from him as he exited the clubhouse yet he wouldn’t do it
Chris Perez: 4/4 (cards for deejayshane)….I saw him so many times in Jupiter last year that I recognized him immediately, which is the only reason I was able to get him. If I had waited to see the name on his back then I most definitely wouldn’t have gotten him. I gave him the four cards I had and he asked why I needed so many. I told him that they were set cards for a friend whom I trade with. He then said he was just messing with me. We talked about the University of Miami and I wished him luck. One of my favorite players in MLB. GREAT GREAT dude
Sandy Alomar: probably could’ve gotten him but I didn’t realize it was him until he had already passed me
As soon as I got Perez a security guard stationed inside the clubhouse walked over to me and told me that I had to get down off the wall.
Back behind the barricades
Hideki Matsui: 0/1 …wouldn’t stop his car
If you would like to contact Mark, he can be reached at email@example.com.