I grabbed the 8:56 train from my station and headed down towards the city. I had only planned on staying Friday for pre and post game but that turned into an entire weekend affair. I met up with my friend Vincent at Grand Central and we headed over to the hotel. When we got there there were already a few people at the hotel.
The day started out pretty quickly as I got Milt Thompson, the Phillies hitting coach and former player to sign a card. Sam Perlozzo, was the next coach out and he signed 7 cards from his Baltimore Orioles managerial days (06-07) after returning from Starbucks. Very quickly I had 8 autographs, but just as quickly as the day began was just as quickly as it slowed down.
We did see a few players. Clay Condrey and Jack Taschner came out at different times, but Clay, other than a brand new 2009 Upper Deck Series 2 card, and Jack who has a few cards but I got them signed last year when he was San Francisco, I had nothing this time for them. Its annoying to not have anything for certain people, and no offense to either one of them, but I wasnt using a team card on either one of them.
The next guy out that I had cards for was Brad Lidge. I was one of the first people up to him, and like all quality players, he has an Allen and Ginter. Guess what I got signed? If you said anything but and Allen and Ginter than you dont know me too well. Brad is a cool guy, and has a nice signature, and it looks great on the Ginter. You can see it below. I did also get a picture with him. Check it out:
A little bit later we noticed two players inside the hotel. We determined that the guys were Chris Coste and JA Happ. Then Jack Taschner walked out and over to Starbucks to get drinks. The players came out and they were cool and had no problem signing. I got Chris 4 times and JA 3 times.
Chris Coste said to me “Man you must have a lot of baseball cards if you have that many of me.
So after everything was done, I went up to Chris again as he waited for a cab. He usually signs just “Chris” so I asked him if he could sign another one with his full name.
“Hey Chris, any chance you could sign this card with your full signature?”
“I’m sorry man, I’m not gonna do that. You still want me to sign it anyway.” He replied.
“Sure, thats cool.”
“Its nothing against you, I just haven’t done that in so long, I dont even think I can physically get that one out on paper anymore.” He said with a chuckle.
I dont know whether he was joking or not, but he gave me a nice one at least, so I was pretty happy with that.
The next guy we saw was Chad Durbin. Vincent told me that he was impossible to get when he was with Detroit. I dont know what it is with some guys, but they let other players allow them to decide whether they should sign or not. Someone obviously thought Kenny Rogers and Justin Verlander were the coolest guys around. But now woth Philly, he was pretty cool.
The next guy was Joe Blanton. Joe is a cool guy. Usually when you see him the first time he says no. Then he goes and gets a drink for himself and goes back inside, and signs when he comes back. Today was no different. He signed 3 cards including a nice 2007 Topps Chrome Refractor that looks awesome.
The only guy who I got at the bus was Larry Anderson who signed 2 for me. Ryan Howard signed maybe 3 or 4 and I would have been the next person to get him, but he got on the bus.
I had 24 so far, not bad, but luckily I was able to go postgame as well.
Vincent and I hung out and looked through cards. He bought a box of Topps Series 2 and Upper Deck Series 2 and we opened those. The Upper Deck box was insanely lucky and was a “hot-box” meaning that instead of getting 2 memorabilia (jersey, bat, hat, etc.) and 1 autographed card per box, he got one per pack! Nothing super special, but some nice cards nonetheless.
We headed back to the hotel after the game ended and the bus was suprising late getting back. The first player I got was Chad Durbin who had taken a car back. He went out to grab a bite or something and he signed the other three cards that he didnt that morning.
I wasnt able to get anyone to sign off the bus, but Jayson Werth came out a little bit after the bus left and he signed 3 cards for me. He used to be insanely nice, but now, with a ring on his finger, he has lost that niceness he once had. During the day he signed maybe 2 autographs, but since there were only 4 people there it was a lot less overwhelming for him.
Pedro Feliz came back after that with his agent, and this just made my night. Pedro is an insanely cool guy and he hung out outside the hotel for literally 30-45 minutes talking to Vincent and I. When he was signing I asked him to sign the 2 Allen and Ginters that I had.
“How come you want those two cards signed?” He demanded. “Why are those your favorites?”
“I just love the way they look signed.” I told him. “I always try to get those signed first.”
“Oh you want two cause your going to sell one on ebay, right.”
“No way, I’ve never sold anything on ebay and I never plan to either.”
He was just joking with me but he acted completely serious. He was funny and down to earth. He just talked with us and we told some jokes and whatnot and it kind of felt like you were spending time with a friend. Vincent told him that after the game on Saturday he should come with us to Chili’s and go bowling with us. He joked and said yes and how we will go. I got a picture with him too. Here it is:
Unfortunately it was dark and I didnt want to use the flash and blind the poor man, so it came out pretty dark.
While we were talking with him, Carlos Ruiz came back and he signed 3 cards for him. Carlos came over and talked with him as well.
That was it for the day, but I had two more pre-games to work with to make it a better trip. Look for those updates by Thursday evening.
Here’s the Recap:
Joe Blanton: 3/9
Clay Condrey: 0/0
Chad Durbin: 5/5
Sergio Escalona: 0/0
Scott Eyre: Missed
Cole Hamels: Refused
JA Happ: 3/3
Brad Lidge: 1/8
Ryan Madsen: Missed
Jamie Moyer: Missed
Brett Myers: Refused
Chan Ho Park: Missed
Jack Taschner: 0/0
Chris Coste: 5/9
Carlos Ruiz: 3/7
Eric Bruntlett: Missed
Greg Dobbs: Missed
Pedro Feliz: 2/9
Ryan Howard: Missed
Jimmy Rollins: Refused
Chase Utley: Missed
Raul Ibanez: Refused
Matt Stairs: Missed
Shane Victorino: Missed
Jayson Werth: 3/7
Charlie Manuel: Missed
Milt Thompson: 1/1
Pete Mackanin: Missed
Davey Lopes: Refused
Sam Perlozzo: 7/7
Larry Anderson: 2/2
Gary Matthews: 0/0
Take a look at the highlights:
Like I said the updates for Saturday (5/23) and Sunday (5/24) will be up by Thursday night. I haven’t decided if I will go Friday or not for Florida, but I will definitely go Saturday, and I will let you know by Thursday night.