# Sunday, 13 March 2011
Spent another day at Nats minor league camp.  Unfortunately, all of the "Accelerated Development" players had the day off.  This includes all of their top prospects.  Not only that, but it was again quite cold, so everybody was wearing pullovers.  Not a terrible day by any means, but nothing to write home about either. 

Marlon Anderson - 4/4
Paul Applebee - 4/4
Greg Booker - 4/4
Bob Boone - 2/4
Evan Bronson - 4/4
Jerry Browne - 2/4
Alex Cintron - 3/4
Buck Coats - 2/2
A.J. Cole - 4/4
Brian Daubach - 4/4
Adam Fox - 1/1
Archie Gilbert - 4/4
J.R. Higley - 2/2
Kevin Keyes - 4/4
Randy Knorr - 4/4
Matt Lecroy - 3/3
Dan Lyons - 4/4
Sandy Martinez - 3/3
Shairon Martis - 4/4
Paul Menhart - 3/3
Garrett Mock - 2/2
Rick Schu - 4/4
Francisco Soriano - 4/4
Jack Spradlin - 4/4
Michael Tejera - 3/3
Randy Tomlin - 4/4
Jesus Valdez - 4/4

Today's total - 90 cards

2011 Spring Training 11 day total: 833 cards, 13 8x10s, 11 baseballs, 7 16x20s, 2 10x30s, 2 11x14s (4 autographs), 2 10x20s (9 autographs), 2 mini helmets, 1 magazine

posted on Sunday, 13 March 2011 12:02:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Wednesday, 09 March 2011
I spent my last few graphing days at Nats camp.  I spent most of my time on the minor league side, but I did hit up the major league side on one occasion. 

The Nats major leaguers were pretty tough.  It was the day of a road game, and most of the guys wouldn't sign in the parking lot in the morning because "they were late".  As usual, almost nobody signed on the way to the bus.  And of course, the entire workout took place in the stadium, which is closed to the public.  So needless to say, I didn't do very well!

I had both a good day and a bad day on the minor league side.  On Monday, it was pretty cold by Florida standards.  This simple fact wrecked my day, as 90% of the players wore their pullovers the entire time.  Unfortunately, I don't recognize most of the Nats minor leaguers.  So Monday was a big waste of time.

Tuesday (yesterday) was a lot better.  I missed a couple of guys during the onslaught that takes place at the beginning and end of practice, but I got the vast majority of players that are in camp.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen Archie Gilbert yet.

On Monday I was the only person on the minor league side getting autographs, and on Tuesday there was one other person.

Here are my totals:

Sean Burnett - 4/4
Ross Detwiler - 4/4
John Lannan - 1/2
Mike Morse - 2/2
Chien-Ming Wang - 1/2
Brian Peacock - 2/2

Justin Bloxom - 4/4
Bob Boone - 2/2
Brian Daubach - 4/4
Troy Gingrich - 3/3
Destin Hood - 3/4
Carlos Maldonado - 2/2
Spin Williams - 2/2

Marlon Anderson - 3/3
Matt Antonelli - 4/4
Joe Bisenius - 3/3
Gary Cathcart - 1/1
Matt Chico - 2/2
Alex Cintron - 4/4
Mitchell Clegg - 2/2
Brian Daubach - 4/4
Paul Demny - 4/4
Robinson Fabian - 4/4
Mark Grater - 3/3
Rick Hague - 4/4
Trevor Holder - 4/4
Destin Hood - 2/4 (doesn't sign dupes)
Stephen King - 4/4
Randy Knorr - 4/4
Matt LeCroy - 4/4
Sandy Leon - 1/1
Cole Leonida - 4/4
Sandy Martinez - 4/4
Jason Martinson - 4/4
Shairon Martis - 4/4
Brad Meyers - 4/4
Chris Michalak - 2/2
Tyler Moore - 1/1
Tom Milone - 4/4
Luis Ordaz - 2/2
Brad Peacock - 4/4
Hassan Pena - 4/4
J.P. Ramirez - 4/4
Danny Rosenbaum - 4/4
Rick Schu - 4/4
Sammy Solis - 4/4
Steven Souza - 3/4
Tony Tarasco - 2/2
Michael Tejera - 4/4

Total from last three days: 152 cards

2011 Spring Training 10 day total: 743 cards, 13 8x10s, 11 baseballs, 7 16x20s, 2 10x30s, 2 11x14s (4 autographs), 2 10x20s (9 autographs), 2 mini helmets, 1 magazine

posted on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 07:24:30 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 01 March 2011
As I'm sure you've figured out, I loved every minute of my AZ spring training trip.  Well, not every minute.  I absolutely dreaded replenishing my supply of things to get signed every night.  Every minute of my time spent at Camelback Ranch, however, was fantastic!

I got a lot of different things signed during my time there.  Here is a list of what i got signed from each player:

White Sox
Harold Baines - 2 cards
Gordon Beckham - 5 cards
Buddy Bell - 1 card
Kyle Bellamy - 5 cards
Daryl Boston - 9 cards
Brian Bruney - 10 cards
Mark Buehrle - 1 10x20
Nick Capra - 4 cards
Anthony Carter - 1 card
Justin Cassel - 3 cards
Ramon Castro - 4 cards
Kirk Champion - 3 cards
Kyle Cofield - 12 cards
Don Cooper - 1 8x10
Jeff Cox - 8 cards
Jesse Crain - 8 cards
John Danks - 4 cards, 2 16x20s, 2 10x20s, 2 10x30s
Jordan Danks - 12 cards, 4 8x10s, 1 16x20
Alejandro De Aza - 4 cards
Freddy Dolsi - 2 cards
Richard Dotson - 4 cards
Adam Dunn - 2 cards, 1 mini helmet, 1 baseball
Eduardo Escobar - 8 cards
Tyler Flowers - 4 cards, 2 8x10s
Gavin Floyd - 4 cards, 2 10x20s
Stefan Gartrell - 8 cards
Mike Gellinger - 1 8x10
Lucas Harrell - 5 cards
Curt Hasler - 8 cards
Kevin Hickey - 4 cards
Philip Humber - 6 cards
Brandon Hynick - 4 cards
Greg Infante - 12 cards
Darrin Jackson - 2 cards
Edwin Jackson - 4 cards, 2 10x20s
Nate Jones - 7 cards
Josh Kinney - 6 cards
Paul Konerko - 3 cards
Tim Laker - 3 cards
Charlie Leesman - 4 cards
Brent Lillibridge - 7 cards
Shane Lindsay - 4 cards
Donny Lucy - 8 cards
Ever Magallanes - 4 cards
Jeff Manto - 11 cards
Jeff Marquez - 8 cards
Jose Martinez - 8 cards
Joe McEwing - 4 cards
Dallas McPherson - 12 cards
Lastings Milledge - 5 cards
Brent Morel - 3 cards, 1 8x10
Juan Nieves - 8 cards
Jhonny Nunez - 4 cards
Will Ohman - 4 cards
John Orton - 8 cards
Jake Peavy - 9 cards, 2 10x20s, 1 mini helmet
Tony Pena - 8 cards
Josh Phegley - 12 cards, 2 8x10s
Juan Pierre - 14 cards, 1 baseball
A.J. Pierzynski - 4 cards
Charles Poe - 8 cards
Jared Price - 1 card
Carlos Quentin - 4 cards
Alexei Ramirez - 3 cards, 2 11x14s
Jerry Reinsdorf - 1 baseball
Alex Rios - 1 card
Santos Rodriguez - 8 cards
Mark Salas - 5 cards
Chris Sale - 8 cards, 1 16x20, 1 baseball
Sergio Santos - 12 cards
Brandon Short - 16 cards
Luis Sierra - 2 cards
Miguel Socolovich - 1 card
Steve Stone - 1 card
Mark Teahen - 5 cards
Matt Thornton - 2 cards, 1 2010 All-Star baseball
Dayan Viciedo - 2 cards, 2 16x20s, 2 11x14s, 2 8x10s
Omar Vizquel - 2 cards
Greg Walker - 2 cards
Devon White - 4 cards, 1 '97 World Series baseball
Kenny Williams - 1 baseball

Rod Barajas - 2 cards
Casey Blake - 3 cards
Jamey Carroll - 2 cards
J.D. Closser - 2 cards
Ivan De Jesus Jr. - 1 card
John Ely - 10 cards
Damaso Espino - 2 cards
Dana Eveland - 2 cards
Jay Gibbons - 3 cards
Hector Gimenez - 3 cards
Dee Gordon - 2 cards
Javy Guerra - 2 cards
Tony Gwynn Jr. - 1 card
Trey Hillman - 1 card
Rick Honeycutt - 2 cards
Ken Howell - 2 cards
Kenley Jansen - 4 cards
Gabe Kapler - 2 cards
Hiroki Kuroda - 3 cards
Jon Link - 4 cards
James Loney - 1 card
Mike MacDougal - 7 cards
Don Mattingly - 2 cards, 1 baseball
Aaron Miles - 3 cards
Bill Mueller - 2 cards, 1 baseball
Dioner Navarro - 1 card
Trent Oeltjen - 1 card
Ramon Troncoso - 2 cards
Tim Wallach - 1 card
Maury Wills - 4 cards

A few players stood out on both ends of the "fan-friendliness" spectrum.  They are as follows:

The Good

Jake Peavy - Jake signed for everybody every day I was there.  The first couple of days he was doing multiples.  By day 5 he was down to one per person, but he was still making sure to get everybody.

John Danks - John is as friendly and personable as ever.  I didn't notice if he was doing multiples for everybody, but he made sure to take care of me after giving him some photos to give to his mother.  He is by far my favorite current player, and that is just as much for his personality as his excellent pitching.  It should be noted that his brother Jordan is just as fan-friendly.

Chris Sale - Chris signed everything put in front of him, adding inscriptions upon request.  There were a few guys that were handing him baseball after baseball, and Chris signed every one on the sweet spot without complaint.  When I put my 16x20 in front of him, he asked me where I wanted it signed.  Great guy.  I only hope that he stays that way after his career takes off.

The Bad

A.J. Pierzynski - A.J. probably signed too much to belong on the "bad" section of this list.  His attitude while signing, however, put him squarely at the top.  He would bitch and moan any time somebody had the nerve to ask him to switch pens.  He was about to sign my A&G mini card in a fat silver paint pen... I'm sure that would have looked just great!  I asked him to please use my pen.  His response was an exaggerated sigh.  After signing my card in blue sharpie, the next item handed to him was a team ball with many ballpoint signatures.  Of course, the guy asked him to switch pens again.  A.J. responded with something along the lines of "Jesus Christ, does your pen get you THAT much more on eBay?"

Ozzie Guillen, Joey Cora - Grouped together for their extreme ability to ignore all autograph requests.  Well, Joey ignored them.  Ozzie always responded with "Later", or "I'll be right back".  Of course, "later" never came.

Paul Konerko - Like A.J., Paulie did sign quite a few autographs.  By day 4, he utterly refused to sign for me.  Every day I was there, I had the best spot to get autographs.  It got to the point where Konerko would walk up to where I was, and take the item of the person next to me, and begin working down the line from there.  I assume he thinks I'm a dealer, which cracks me up.  I'm getting CARDS signed!  He thinks I'm making a living selling his signed cards for $10 a pop on eBay?  Yet he signs all day for the kids that work for dealers.  Does he really think these little kids can afford baseballs, jerseys, bats, etc?

The Ugly

Kenny Williams - Kenny ignored all autograph requests, with the exception of day three.  When I asked him to sign on day three, he actually walked over to me and signed my baseball.  Of course, several other people stuck out their items in hope of a signature.  Kenny signed one other item, then mumbled under his breath "I don't have time for all of this shit" and walked away.  What a great guy!

posted on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 15:40:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Saturday, 26 February 2011
Well, today was my last day in Arizona.  I had a blast, but I think I am definitely ready to go home.  I think the White Sox players are ready for me to go home as well!

Today was a much better day than yesterday.  At least I am ending things a positive note.

Michael Waltrip and some other NASCAR drivers were there today.  They were all wearing Sox jerseys.  Lots of people were getting Waltrip's autograph, and taking pictures with him.  I have to admit, I didn't have the slightest interest in doing either.

The pitchers only worked out for a short while, then called it a day.  Unfortunately, John Danks rode in on a golf cart with Mark Buehrle, so neither one signed.

Here are my totals:

Gordon Beckham - 1/1
Daryl Boston - 4/4
Justin Cassel - 3/3
Jesse Crain - 4/4
Jordan Danks - 4/4
Richard Dotson - 4/4
Stefan Gartrell - 4/4
Kevin Hickey - 4/4
Edwin Jackson - 2/2
Josh Kinney - 2/2
Tim Laker - 3/3
Brent Lillibridge - 2/3
Donny Lucy - 4/4
Joe McEiwing - 2/2
Dallas McPherson - 4/4
Brent Morel - 1/2, 1/1 (8x10)
Will Ohman - 2/2
Jake Peavy - 1/2, 1/1 (help)
Josh Phegley - 4/4
Juan Pierre - 2/4
A.J. Pierzynski - 1/1
Charles Poe - 4/4
Carlos Quentin - 1/1
Alexei Ramirez - 1/1
Santos Rodriguez - 8/8
Chris Sale - 4/4, 1/1 (ball)
Sergio Santos - 4/4
Brandon Short - 4/4
Luis Sierra - 2/2
Matt Thornton - 1/1 (All-Star ball)
Dayan Viciedo - 2/2 (8x10s)
Devon White - 1/2

Today's total: 87 cards, 3 8x10s, 3 baseballs

2011 Spring Training 7 day total: 591 cards, 13 8x10s, 11 baseballs, 7 16x20s, 2 10x30s, 2 11x14s (4 autographs), 2 10x20s (9 autographs), 2 mini helmets, 1 magazine

posted on Saturday, 26 February 2011 18:48:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Friday, 25 February 2011
Well, I knew the bubble had to burst at some point.  Today was not nearly as good as the three previous days.  All of the big guys have cut down tremendously on the amount of autographs they sign.  Well, except for Jake Peavy of course!

Most of the pitchers finished on a small field next to the clubhouse, so there was no access to them when they were done working out.  This meant that I didn't even get John Danks!

When I asked Brian Bruney to sign, he replied "Really?  More?"  I assured him that I was just a big fan and not a dealer and he responded that he really didn't care either way, and he signed the four cards I put out.

When I asked Mike Gellinger to sign, he was VERY surprised that I knew who he was.  He actually said "Give me some" and fist bumped me!

Dunn, Konerko, Pierzynski, and Quentin all finished at the same time.  They all signed a few, but not nearly enough to get everybody.  Konerko must think I'm a dealer as well.  I had the first spot at the corner of the fence.  He walked right by me and started signing with the guy next to me.  I would have been the next person to get Dunn when he quit signing.

For the first time, I decided to wait by the White Sox parking lot.  I had heard from several people that nobody would sign.  They were very nearly right.  I was the ONLY person at their parking lot, yet just about everybody ignored me.  The only people that stopped were Mark Salas, Juan Nieves, and Alexei Ramirez.

Here are my totals:

Kyle Bellamy - 1/1
Daryl Boston - 4/4
Brian Bruney - 4/4
Nick Capra - 4/4
Kyle Cofield - 4/4
Don Cooper - 1/1 (8x10)
Jordan Danks - 2/2 (8x10s), 4/4
Gavin Floyd - 1/2
Mike Gellinger - 1/1 (8x10)
Curt Hasler - 4/4
Greg Infante - 4/4
Josh Kinney - 4/4
Shane Lindsay - 4/4
Jeff Manto - 4/4
Juan Nieves - 4/4
John Orton - 4/4
Jake Peavy - 2/2
Juan Pierre - 2/4
Charles Poe - 4/4
Carlos Quentin - 1/1
Alexei Ramirez - 1/1
Mark Salas - 3/3
Brandon Short - 4/4
Miguel Socolovich - 1/1
Dayan Viciedo - 1/1 (16x20), 2/4
Greg Walker - 2/2

I went to the Dodgers side after the Sox were done with practice.  Unfortunately, the Dodgers were done as well, and there were only a few players/coaches left.  Luckily, I got there just before Mattingly finished signing.  Once again, I was the next to last autograph that he signed.

Hector Gimenez - 3/3
Dee Gordon - 2/2
Trey Hillman - 1/1
Tommy Lasorda - 1/1 (magazine)
Don Mattingly - 1/1
Aaron Miles - 3/3
Tim Wallach - 1/1

Today's total: 83 cards, 4 8x10s, 1 16x20, 1 magazine

2011 Spring Training 6 day total: 504 cards, 10 8x10s, 8 baseballs, 7 16x20s, 2 10x30s, 2 11x14s (4 autographs), 2 10x20s (9 autographs), 2 mini helmets, 1 magazine

posted on Friday, 25 February 2011 19:32:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Thursday, 24 February 2011
Another phenomenal day!  Though not as good as I originally thought.  While I was back in my hotel room sorting my stuff, I found that one of the best autographs I got today was smeared beyond recognition.  =(

I'm going to have to dispense with the details today... I need some sleep!  I'll post some more detailed info and stories tomorrow.

White Sox
Harold Baines - 1/1
Gordon Beckham - 1/2
Buddy Bell - 1/2
Aaron Boone - 1/1 (ball)
Brian Bruney - 4/4
Ramon Castro - 4/4
Kyle Cofield - 4/4
Jeff Cox - 4/4
John Danks - 2/2, 2/2 (16x20s)
Jordan Danks - 4/4, 1/1 (16x20)
Adam Dunn - 1/2
Eduardo Escobar - 4/4
Tyler Flowers - 2/2
Stefan Gartrell - 4/4
Lucas Harrell - 2/2
Curt Hasler - 4/4
Philip Humber - 2/4
Brandon Hynick - 4/4
Greg Infante - 4/4
Edwin Jackson - 2/2, 2/2 (10x20s)
Nate Jones - 3/3
Paul Konerko - 1/2 (smeared!)
Brent Lillibridge - 3/3
Donny Lucy - 4/4
Jeff Manto - 4/4
Jeff Marquez - 4/4
Jose Martinez - 8/8
Dallas McPherson - 4/4
Lastings Milledge - 3/4
Brent Morel - 1/3
Jake Peavy - 1/1 (mini helmet)
Josh Phegley - 4/4
Juan Pierre - 1/4, 3/3, 1/1 (ball)
A.J. Pierzynski - 1/1
Jared Price - 1/1
Carlos Quentin - 1/2
Alexei Ramirez - 1/2
Jerry Reinsdorf - 1/1 (ball)
Chris Sale - 4/4
Sergio Santos - 4/4
Brandon Short - 4/4
Mark Teahen - 3/3
Omar Vizquel - 1/2
Devon White - 1/2
Kenny Williams - 1/1 (ball)

J.D. Closser - 2/2
John Ely - 4/4
Damaso Espino - 2/2
Dana Eveland - 2/2
Jay Gibbons - 1/1
Javy Guerra - 2/2
Ken Howell - 2/2
Gabe Kapler - 1/1
Hiroki Kuroda - 2/2
Jon Link - 4/4
Mike MacDougal - 4/4
Bill Mueller - 2/2, 1/1 (ball)


Today's total: 146 cards, 5 baseballs, 3 16x20s, 2 10x20s, 1 mini helmet

2011 Spring Training 5 day total: 421 cards, 6 8x10s, 8 baseballs, 6 16x20s, 2 10x30s, 2 11x14s, 2 10x20s, 2 mini helmets

posted on Thursday, 24 February 2011 23:52:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Another day, another White Sox rackfest!  Today was just about as good as yesterday.  I got more autographs today despite the fact that I didn't have any other generous graphers helping me out.

Last year at Twins camp, Jesse Crain would always stop his car on his way out of the parking lot to sign for everybody.  He had some fun with us, though.  At some random point, he would honk the horn of his giant truck, and scare the crap out of all of us.  I asked him if he was doing that this year, and he said he couldn't bring his truck with him because it is way too big for Chicago.

John Danks was great as usual.  He would have signed two more cards, but he got sweat all over them, and he didn't want the autograph ruined.  He told me that his mom would love a copy of each of the prints I've made or had made of him.  I'll bring those to him tomorrow.

Jake Peavy was very appreciative of the "South Side Aces" print that I gave him.  He was doing 1 per for everybody as he was in bit of a rush, but he made sure to knock out 3 for me.

I was surprised to see Darrin Jackson there today.  That makes two announcers in camp.  Luckily, DJ is no Steve Stone.  When he came out, he said he would sign on his way back in.  About an hour later, I turned around and DJ was heading right for me.  I didn't even have to remind him.

I haven't yet decided what I think of Will Ohman.  When he was taking the field in the morning, I asked if he had time to sign.  He looked at his wrist (no watch) and said "I checked my watch, I don't have time".  At the end of practice, he answered the same question with "I do have time now" and signed 2/4 cards.

When I asked Kirk Champion to sign, he replied "You must have dug deep if you've got cards for me".

Here is my Sox tally for day 2:

Harold Baines - 1/2
Gordon Beckham - 1/2
Kyle Bellamy - 4/4
Mark Buehrle - 1/2 (10x20)
Anthony Carter - 1/1
Kirk Champion - 3/3
Kyle Cofield - 4/4
Jesse Crain - 4/4
John Danks - 2/4, 4/4 (2 10x20s, 2 10x30s)
Jordan Danks - 2/2 (8x10s)
Alejandro De Aza - 4/4
Adam Dunn - 1/3
Tyler Flowers - 2/2
Gavin Floyd - 2/2
Darrin Jackson - 2/2
Nate Jones - 4/4
Paul Konerko - 1/2
Charlie Leesman - 4/4
Brent Lillibridge - 2/4
Ever Magallanes - 4/4
Jeff Marquez - 4/4
Joe McEwing - 2/2
Dallas McPherson - 4/4
Brent Morel - 1/4
Juan Nieves - 4/4
Will Ohman - 2/4
John Orton - 4/4
Jake Peavy - 3/4
Tony Pena - 4/4
Juan Pierre - 2/4, 2/2
A.J. Pierzynski - 1/2
Alex Rios - 1/2
Chris Sale - 1/1 (16x20)
Sergio Santos - 4/4
Brandon Short - 4/4
Mark Teahen - 2/2
Matt Thornton - 2/2
Dayan Viciedo - 1/1 (16x20)
Devon White - 2/2

When I was finally convinced that there was no point hanging around the empty Sox camp, I again headed to the Dodgers parking lot.  My main objective was still to get Jon Garland to complete my All-Star 16x20.  The only difference is, this time I completed it!  I was giddy for about 15 minutes afterwards.  This bad boy is getting framed!

John Kruk was doing a report from Camelback Ranch today.  He entered on the Sox side, but was in a big rush and couldn't stop to sign.  He exited on the Dodgers side, and couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.  I just wish I had had some Sox stuff with me!

Here are my Dodgers totals:

Casey Blake - 1/1
John Ely - 4/4
Jon Garland - 1/1 (16x20)
Jay Gibbons - 4/4
Gabe Kapler - 1/2
John Kruk - 1/1 (baseball)
Hiroki Kuroda - 1/1
Mike MacDougal - 3/3
Dioner Navarro - 1/2
Trent Oeltjen - 1/1
Ramon Troncoso - 2/2
Maury Wills - 2/2

Today's total: 113 cards, 3 16x20s, 2 10x20s (3 autographs), 2 10x30s, 2 8x10s, 1 baseball, 1 11x14

2011 Spring Training 4 day total: 275 cards, 6 8x10s, 3 baseballs, 3 16x20s, 2 10x30s, 2 11x14s, 2 10x20s, 1 mini helmet

posted on Wednesday, 23 February 2011 07:12:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 22 February 2011
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

posted on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 20:19:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Sunday, 20 February 2011
I made my way over to Kissimmee for the Astros workout today.  My main objective, of course, was Carlos Lee.  I got there at 7:00am to try to get him as he pulled into the parking lot.  I had a large sign that read "Please Carlos".  When he rolled up in his Bentley at 8:30am, I held the sign up in the air.  I was the only person there.  Unlike last year, when this gambit worked, he just waved as he drove right by me.

It was a fitting start to a terrible day.  Carlos didn't pick up a pen all day.  The pitchers only worked out for an hour or less, then went straight back into the clubhouse.  So you had to choose between sticking around to try and get position players, or head to the parking lot to try for the pitchers.  I stuck with the position players to try to get Lee.  Of course, Lee didn't sign.  Neither did Hunter Pence.  The only notable guys that signed more than a couple of autographs were Clint Barmes, Jason Castro, Brett Wallace, and former Sox Jason Bourgeois.  The guys I missed by staying (that I was told about) were J.A. Happ and Wandy Rodriguez.

It's only been two days, but it has been a discouraging start to spring training.  I'm striking out on all of the big names (Chipper, Lee, Heyward, etc) and the most notable former Sox (Linebrink, Lee).  I just hope the trip to Arizona leads to more success.

Here is my tally:

Brad Arnsberg - 2/3
Mike Barnett - 2/2
Clint Barmes - 2/2
Jason Bourgeois - 4/4
Enos Cabell - 2/2
Jason Castro - 2/2
Dave Clark - 2/2
Jose Cruz - 2/2
Matt Downs - 2/2
Burt Hooton - 1/2
Jason Michaels - 2/2 (he is the only guy that signed in the parking lot in the morning)
Jiovanni Mier - 4/4
Brad Mills - 2/2
Paul Runge - 2/2
T.J. Steele - 4/4
Milt Thompson - 2/2
Ty Van Burkleo - 2/2
Brett Wallace - 2/2

Today's total: 41 cards

2011 Spring Training 2 day total - 88 cards

Tomorrow I'm off to Arizona to see the White Sox!!!  Probably won't get there in time to get any autos tomorrow, but I should be racking on Tuesday!

posted on Sunday, 20 February 2011 15:37:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Saturday, 19 February 2011
I went to Disney today to graph the Braves spring training workout.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize that they were getting there physicals today, so I got there WAAAAY earlier than I needed to.

I struck out on the big names (no Chipper, Heyward, McCann, Hudson, Lowe, etc) but still had a decent day regardless.  Here is my tally (all cards):

Brent Clevlen - 1/2
Brooks Conrad - 4/4
Randall Delgado - 4/4
Jamie Dismuke - 2/2
Lee Elia - 1/1
Freddie Freeman - 1/2
Eric Hinske - 2/2
Mycal Jones - 4/4
Craig Kimbrel - 1/4
Javy Lopez - 2/2
Joe Mather - 4/4
Kris Medlen - 4/4
Roger McDowell - 2/2
Nate McLouth - 1/2
Phil Niekro - 1/2
Larry Parrish - 2/2
Martin Prado - 1/2
Wilkin Ramirez - 3/3
Jordan Schafer - 1/2
George Sherrill - 2/2
Dan Uggla - 4/4

Total - 47 cards

Next up is Astros camp tomorrow.  After that, I'm off to Arizona to see the White Sox!!!

posted on Saturday, 19 February 2011 18:44:50 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #