Finally! I'm in Arizona and just finished my first day at White Sox camp. This is something I have wanted to do for about 15 years. I'm happy to say it was worth the wait!
First off, those who didn't sign. Mark Buehrle, Ozzie Guillen, Edwin Jackson, & Alex Rios denied all autograph requests. Several others didn't sign, but that was due more to the fact that 10 people were already signing, and nobody had a chance to call them over. I believe this was the case with John Danks (can't believe I missed him!), Jordan Danks, Matt Thornton, and a few others. Also, I missed Chris Sale, who did sign, because I was getting Jake Peavy.
When Jake Peavy saw the South Side Aces photo, he replied "You know what, I'd really like to have one of those". I told him I would bring him one tomorrow. Hopefully he hooks me up! He is a class act, and signed for everybody.
When Vizquel saw the 2011 Topps Diamond card, he exclaimed "Ooooh, shiny!".
Now, on to Steve Stone. If you've been reading my site from the beginning, you know my feelings about Steve Stone. If not, let me lay it out for you. He's a jerk! I don't think you'll get much argument if you talk to other collectors that have tried getting his autograph. Read my 2009 Soxfest recap
for more details.
Anyway, back to today. For some reason, Stone was at the White Sox workout. Announcers don't usually show up until the games start, but he was there anyway. He was about 5 feet from the 3 foot tall fence we were standing behind. Somebody asked for an autograph, and to my surprise he agreed to sign. However, he refused to walk the 5 feet to the fence. He said "Toss it". When the lady said she didn't hear him, he repeated "toss it". So she tossed him his ball. After he tossed it back, I asked if he would please sign a card for me. He finally walked up to the fence, and took my book that had two of his cards. I was completely surprised to be getting Steve Stone's autograph!
Well, I shouldn't have been. After he returned my book, I looked at the card he "signed". He printed his name on the card! Instead of using his autograph, he wrote out his name like he was in kindergarten. Not only that, but he did it write across his face! I looked at the autograph he signed for the other person, and it was his normal autograph!
Just so we're clear, let me repeat: Steve Stone is a jerk!
Jeff Cox showed what a character he is after signed 4 cards for me. I was the only fan left on the White Sox side of Camelback Ranch when Cox came in. Everybody else had either left or gone over to the Dodgers side. After signing my 4 cards, Cox yelled out "Go White Sox!" What persuaded him to do that, I have no idea.
Well, it's about time I gave you what you came here to see. My tally! If it doesn't say what item was signed, then it's a card.
Gordon Beckham - 1/2, 1/1 (help)
Daryl Boston - 1/1
Brian Bruney - 2/2
Jeff Cox - 4/4
Freddy Dolsi - 2/2
Adam Dunn - 1/1 mini helmet
Eduardo Escobar - 4/4
Tyler Flowers - 2/2 8x10s
Gavin Floyd - 2/2 10x20s, 1/1 card (help)
Lucas Harrell - 3/4 (Lucas doesn't sign dupes, and he thought that the 2010 Bowman and 2010 Bowman Chrome Refractor were the same card)
Philip Humber - 4/4
Gregory Infante - 4/4
Paul Konerko - 1/2
Jeff Manto - 4/4
Lastings Milledge - 2/2
Jhonny Nunez - 4/4
Jake Peavy - 1/1, 1/1 (help), 2/2 10x20s
Tony Pena - 4/4
Josh Phegley - 2/2 8x10s, 4/4 (help)
Juan Pierre - 2/2
A.J. Pierzynski - 1/2
Carlos Quentin - 1/2
Alexei Ramirez - 1/2 11x14s
Mark Salas - 2/4
Steve Stone - 1/2 (I guess)
Dayan Viciedo - 2/2 11x14s
Omar Vizquel - 1/2
Devon White - 1/1 (97 World Series baseball)
A few minutes before I planned on leaving the Sox side, a guy that I had been hanging out with hollered at me from a ways away that Don Mattingly was signing on the Dodgers side. It is a bit of a trek to the Dodgers side, but I felt Mattingly was worth. Unfortunately, I had stuff scattered everywhere, so I was going to have to spend a couple of minutes gathering it all together. Luckily, the nice security lady that I had been talking to said "Go! I'll watch your stuff". So I ran like the wind (ha!) over to the Dodgers side. There was a line formed for Mattingly, so I got in line. When I was the next person to get him, he said "I'm signing 3 more, then I'm done". I had barely made it, all thanks to the nice security lady!
I returned to the Sox side with Mattingly ball in tow, and packed up my stuff and head to my car. Apparently the Sox never sign at the parking lot, so I decided to drive over to the Dodgers lot to see if Jon Garland and Juan Uribe had left yet.
Unfortunately, Garland was already gone. Uribe was still there, but didn't sign anything when he did leave. However, I did get a few autographs, including another from Mattingly and a couple from Maury Wills. Maury was in the best mood I had ever seen him in. He was asking everybody that had a nice item if they wanted an inscription or personalization. He ended up signing for a good 10-15 minutes.
James Loney was great. Instead of getting in his car, and then rolling down his window to sign, he actually turned around and walked over to us graphers. We had a long row of people gathered in what appeared to be a line, and I was the first person he got to. Right as he was about to take my item, he said "What about those guys (pointing to the back of the line)... I think I'll start there! So instead of being first, I got him last! Still, he signed one a piece for everybody, and was very personable and friendly throughout.
When Mattingly was getting ready to pull out, the security guard suggested we form a line. He thought that it would increase the chances of Mattingly stopping. So we formed a line, again with me in the front. When Mattingly pulled out, he said "Wow! You guys formed such a nice line, now I have to sign!". I'd never really met Mattingly before today, but now I'm definitely a fan.
Anyway, here is my Dodgers tally:
Rod Barajas - 2/2
Casey Blake - 2/2
Jamey Carroll - 2/2
John Ely - 2/2
Tony Gwynn Jr. - 1/1
Rick Honeycutt - 2/2
Kenley Jansen - 4/4
James Loney - 1/2
Don Mattingly - 1/1
Maury Wills - 2/2
All in all, it was a fantastic day! I can't wait to do it again tomorrow!
I will post better pictures when I get home.
Today's total: 74 cards, 4 8x10s, 2 baseballs, 2 11x14s (3 autographs), 2 10x20s (4 autographs), 1 mini helmet
2011 Spring Training 3 day total: 162 cards, 4 8x10s, 2 baseballs, 2 11x14s, 2 10x20s, 1 mini helmet