The day started out going to Newark, New Jersey, where the Newark Bears were hosting this years Independent League All-Star Game. Basically a bunch of celebrities were on hand to play in a softball game and then you get to watch the best of the best non-major leaguers go at it.
The highlight of that was getting Ozzie Smith on a legendary cuts card. That’s pretty much the highlight of 5 hours being in New Jersey. I got Armando Benitez another 8 more times. Wahoo! And then guys like Esteban Yan, Nate Bump, Brandon Sing. Guys who were on rosters for a while and then got bounced from those teams and now they’re here trying to find work, making $3000 a month.
Anyway, I didnt even stay for the game. I wanted to get back to NYC in time to go for the Cardinals. I hung out with my friend Russell who has an apartment in the city near MSG. We found a spot near the hotel and then just hung out at the hotel. The NBA Draft Picks were also staying at the hotel. I saw Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, Ricky Rubio. It was cool. I even got Blake Griffin to sign an index for a friend.
Anyway, the Cardinals finally came back. First I got Todd Wellemeyer to sign a board for me, after not getting anyone off the bus. He’s a really cool guy.
Then Came Chris Perez who signed all 4 cards. Ironically, he is no longer a Cardinal. 2009 All-Star Ryan Franklin came out with his family and was nice enough to sign 5 cards.
Chris Duncan Came back and signed 3 cards for me. A 2007 Allen and Ginter, 2008 Goudey, and a 2006 Topps 52 alternate logo SP. He was pretty drunk, but luckily his auto wasn’t affected by his intoxication.
Tony LaRussa came back hammered. I mean hammered. He walked directly over to me and said “I like your hat.” I was wearing the Red hat with the STL insignia on it, with 57 and 32 written on the sides to honor Darryl Kile and Josh Hancock respectively. “I’m gonna sign for ya cause ya got the right hats on. And cause you honor our fallen players!”
He is not easy to get whatsoever. He does not sign when he goes to the park, so I was exstatic to get him now.
A few minutes later Joel Piniero came back. He had told me before that he’d sign the last day. I was able to break him down telling him I couldnt come back the next two days and he made me promise he wouldnt see me. He wouldn’t.
That was it. Not bad for a one night.
Heres the recap:
The recap for this is going to be done in this type of format for postgame only hotels:
Todd Wellemeyer signed 9 of 9
Chris Perez signed 4 of 4
Ryan Franklin signed 5 of 9
Chris Duncan signed 3 of 9
Tony LaRussa signed 1 of 8
Joel Piniero signed 1 of 9
Albert Pujols refused
Adam Wainright refused
Chris Carpenter refused
I have to update the Blue Jays (7/5) and the Dodgers (7/8 and 7/9) and we will be all up to date. I’m going for Detroit Friday and maybe Saturday.