# Sunday, March 04, 2012
I attended the Marlins season ticket holder autograph event today.  It is a great event, very similar to the White Sox Picnic in the Park.  The one big difference is that there are only 3 lines, rather than a line for each player.  Each line is for about 20 players.  Today, they had the big names split up as follows:

Ozzie Guillen, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes

Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton, Carlos Zambrano, Heath Bell

Mark Buehrle...  umm... Gaby Sanchez?

For some reason Buehrle was the only big guy in his line.  This was no good for me, as I planned on hitting Buehrle's line at least twice, if not three times.  It would have been nice to knock out another big name each time through.

I had bought an extra ticket, and gave it to a guy I had been hanging out with a bit this spring.  In exchange for the ticket, he would get Buehrle on a mini helmet for me.  I'm not sure if he just didn't know how to handle a mini helmet, or just didn't make any effort to take care of my item, but the damn autograph ended up smeared.  It looks like the helmet was probably shoved in his bag, and something rubbed up against the autograph.  So the item I most wanted signed ended up being trash.  This really ruined the whole day for me.

It was a bad day for mini helmets.  I had a mini helmet in a bag attached to my 16x20 portfolio that I'd planned on getting Ozzie Guillen to sign.  When I pulled it out just before getting to Ozzie, it was completely scratched all over.  There was no way I could get it signed.

Other than the mini helmet fiascos, it wasn't a bad day.  I made it through Buehrle's line twice, and through Guillen's line 1.25 times.  The .25 worked out, as I was one of the last guys to get Guillen my second time through.  I didn't make it to Josh Johnson or Jose Reyes the second time though.

I didn't prepare well for the event either.  It didn't dawn on me that if I was going through Buehrle's line twice, I would be able to get the other people in his line twice as well.  So I had nothing for anybody else in his line the second time through, other than Gaby Sanchez who signed only 1/2 the first time through.

Ozzie Guillen really got a kick out of the 12x18 photo, and the guys next to Buehrle were into the 16x20 with Derrick Rose.

I'm really happy with the two Aaron Rowand cards that got done today.  They are both rookie refractors.

Prior to the event, I also hit the Marlins parking lot.  Here are both sets of totals:

Autograph event
Heath Bell - 1/1 help
Emilio Bonifacio 2/2
John Buck - 2/2, 1/1 (help)
Mark Buehrle - 1/1 16x20, 1/1 10x20, 1/1 mini helmet (help, smeared)
Randy Choate - 3/3
Joey Cora - 1/1, 1/1 help, 1/1 help
Matt Dominguez - 2/2
Greg Dobbs - 4/4
Gary Glover - 4/4, 1/1 (help)
Ozzie Guillen - 1/1 12x18, 1/1, 1/1 5x7 card (help)
Brett Hayes - 4/4
Omar Infante - 2/2, 1/1 (help)
Josh Johnson - 1/1 8x10
Wade LeBlanc - 2/2
Logan Morrison - 2/2, 1/1 (help)
Ricky Nolasco - 4/4, 1/1 (help, smeared)
Eduardo Perez - 2/2
Jose Reyes - 1/1
Aaron Rowand - 1/1, 1/1 help
Gaby Sanchez - 1/2, 1/1, 1/1 (help)
Randy St. Claire - 2/2
Carlos Zambrano - 1/1 (help)

Parking Lot
Jose Ceda - 4/4
Chris Coghlan - 1/2
Scott Cousins - 3/4
Matt Dominguez - 2/2 debut tickets
Michael Dunn - 4/4
Nick Green - 1/2 (smeared it by dropping pen right on autograph)
Gary Glover - 4/4
Brad Hand - 4/4
Kyle Jensen - 1/2, 1/1 (help)
Austin Kearns - 1/2
Tom Koehler - 2/4
Wade LeBlanc - 4/4
J.D. Martin - 1/1
Logan Morrison - 4/4
Edward Mujica - 2/4
Eduardo Perez - 4/4
Rob Rasmussen - 1/1
Evan Reed - 2/2
Sandy Rosario - 2/2 8x10s
Wayne Rosenthal - 2/2
Alex Sanabia - 2/2
Anibal Sanchez - 1/2 (only signed 2 total)
Kyle Skipworth - 4/4
Graham Taylor - 4/4
Gary Thurman - 3/3
Elih Villanueva - 2/4
Sean West - 2/2

Today's total - 116 cards, 1 mini helmet, 3 8x10s, 1 16x20, 1 10x20, 1 12x18, 3 tickets

Eight day total - 584 cards (384 autos), 2 16x20s, 2 10x20s, 5 tickets, 6 8x10s, 2 baseballs, 2 mini helmets

posted on Sunday, March 04, 2012 6:16:39 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Saturday, March 03, 2012
I have tickets to tomorrow's Marlins season ticket holder event, so I decided to hit the Marlins today as well and get a hotel using my endless Hilton Honors points.  Sounds good, right?  Wrong.  Unbeknownst to me, there was a fanfest in Miami today.  None of the big names, save Heath Bell, were even in Jupiter today.  They all went straight to Miami.

I got some decent quantity done, but not much quality.  Aaron Rowand was here, so at least it wasn't a total waste.  Also, some of their minor leaguers were here today, so I was able to knock out a couple of their top prospects. 

I also had a strange experience.  Right after I got Joey Cora, I looked down at the card the guy after me got signed.  It looked VERY familiar.  It turns out it was my card that I'd sent on a consignment, lol.  I got to meet quite a few SG and SCN members today.  Always cool hanging out with those guys!

The totals!

Heath Bell - 2/2 (Very grumpy)
Tarrik Brock - 2/2 (When I asked him to sign after his run, he replied "as long as you don't mind me sweating on it".
Arquimedes Caminero - 2/2
Jose Ceda - 4/4
Chris Coghlan - 1/2
Joey Cora - 2/2 (What has gotten into this guy?  He has signed both days I've been here)
Scott Cousins - 4/4
Greg Dobbs - 4/4
Mike Dunn - 4/4
Joe Espada - 1/1
Chad Gaudin - 4/4 (Also ran into Chad at Target after leaving camp)
Nick Green - 2/2
Brad Hand - 4/4
Josh Hodges - 4/4
Kyle Jensen - 2/4
Beau Jones - 3/3
Austin Kearns - 1/2, 1/1
J.D. Martin - 2/2, 2/2
Corey Madden - 4/4
Luke Montz - 4/4
Edgar Olmos - 4/4
Marcell Ozuna - 4/4
Eduardo Perez - 4/4
Robert Ray - 2/2
Aaron Rowand - 1/1 mini helmet, 1/1 (help)
Kyle Skipworth - 4/4, 4/4
Randy St. Claire - 2/2
Elih Villanueva - 2/4
Sean West - 3/3
Christian Yelich - 4/4

Today's total - 93 cards, 1 mini helmet

Seven day total - 468 cards (381 autos), 1 16x20, 1 10x20, 3 tickets, 3 8x10s, 2 baseballs, 1 mini helmet

I will have better pictures when I get home tomorrow.  Here are some highlights:

posted on Saturday, March 03, 2012 1:45:56 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Monday, February 27, 2012
The threat of rain has killed me this spring.  Two days in a row I wanted to hit the Marlins in Jupiter.  Two days in a row I was afraid to make the drive as I was worried about rain making it a wasted trip.  So I hit the Nats yet again. 

Nothing really notable happened today.  It did finally start raining at around 2:45, so I had to leave before Mark Teahen came out.  Most everybody else had already left, including Bryce Harper who did not sign.

Ryan Zimmerman finished his workout and head towards the white van right as it started sprinkling.  So I didn't try to get the 8x10s I have done.  Jayson Werth and Mike Morse went to the van too, but didn't sign.  Earlier, I had gotten Brad Lidge to get out of the van and come over to sign. 


Sean Burnett - 4/4
Tyler Clippard - 2/2
Mark DeRosa - 2/2
Ian Desmond - 4/4
Gio Gonzalez - 1/2, 1/1 ROMLB
Jarrett Hoffpauir - 4/4
Destin Hood - 3/3
Edwin Jackson - 2/2 (got the crappy graph today)
Waldis Joaquin - 1/1
John Lannan - 1/1
Brad Lidge - 1/2
Steve Lombardozzi - 2/2
Carlos Maldonado - 2/2
Tyler Moore - 4/4
Chris Michalak - 1/1
Ryan Perry - 2/2
Bo Porter - 2/2
Wilson Ramos - 4/4
Rick Schu - 4/4
Bill Singer - 2/2
Drew Storen - 2/4, 2/2
Chad Tracy - 2/2
Chien-Ming Wang - 1/2
Jordan Zimmermann - 1/1 (signature is tiny, everybody else got normal size)
Ryan Zimmerman - 1/2

Today's total - 57 cards, 1 baseball

Six day total - 375 cards (378 autos), 1 16x20, 1 10x20, 3 tickets, 3 8x10s, 2 baseballs

posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 3:36:37 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Sunday, February 26, 2012
I had originally planned on going to Jupiter today.  However, the weather forecast didn't look very good, and I really didn't want to drive all the way down there and have it rain.  So I decided to spend the morning at Nats camp, and the afternoon at the movies with the wife!

I was at Nats camp until 5pm yesterday.  I was only there until 10am today, and yet I had a MUCH better day.  No Strasburg or Harper of course, but I got all of the Sox guys, and for the very first time I got Ryan Zimmerman!  He came out to the cages by the parking lot at about 9:30, and after he hit he came over to the fence and signed 2 a piece for the 10-15 of us that were there.

Edwin Jackson also signed for everybody by the fence.  All of the players were coming back there to talk to the Rawlings reps, and get new gloves.  Most of them went back inside without signing, but Edwin came over and signed multiples for everybody. 

Right after Zimmerman signed, I got in my car and drove over to the practice fields.  As soon as I got out of my car, I saw Gio Gonzalez walking down the sidewalk.  I approached him, and he told me "After practice".  I told him I had to leave to take my wife to the movies... and it actually worked, lol.  He stopped and signed 2 cards for me.

There is a new setup at the practice fields.  When the players walk over, they go in an opening to the far left of the fence, rather than the one that fans enter through.  They have ropes set up so that you can't get right up to the players.  They still have to walk right by you, there is just a rope between you.  It seemed to me that more players signed taking the field with the ropes up than they usually do without the ropes.

Here are the totals for my abbreviated day:

Bob Boone - 2/2
Corey Brown - 1/1
Sean Burnett - 4/4
Brett Carroll - 2/2
Tyler Clippard - 1/2
Mark DeRosa - 2/2
Danny Espinosa - 1/1 8x10
Gio Gonzalez - 2/2
Jarrett Hoffpauir - 2/4
Edwin Jackson - 1/1 8x10, 1/1 ROMLB w/ No Hitter inscription
Davey Johnson - 1/1
Cole Kimball - 1/4 (ouch)
Steve Lombardozzi - 2/2
Ryan Mattheus - 4/4
Yunesky Maya - 4/4
Jason Michaels - 4/4
Tyler Moore - 4/4
Ryan Perry - 2/2
Wilson Ramos - 2/2
Anthony Rendon - 1/2, 1/1 (help)
Mark Teahen - 4/4
Jordan Zimmermann - 1/1
Ryan Zimmerman - 2/2

Today's total - 49 cards, 2 8x10s, 1 baseball

Five day total - 318 cards (321 autos), 1 16x20, 1 10x20, 3 tickets, 3 8x10s, 1 baseball

posted on Sunday, February 26, 2012 11:02:49 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Saturday, February 25, 2012
Had another mediocre day today.  Decent quantity, but pretty bad quality.  I didn't get any of the big guys.  I skipped Strasburg's line, as that guy isn't worth wasting my time on.  Zimmerman, Gonzalez, and LaRoche signed in the back of the practice facility, but I missed them.  I saw Edwin Jackson signing, but was searching for Gonzalez and missed getting him.

The worst thing about today was waiting for Bryce Harper in the parking lot.  A group of about 12-15 of us waiting until 5:00 for Harper.  Everybody else had left, including coaches.  When Harper finally emerged, he took the center field path to avoid us. 

During the workout, I saw an older gentleman walking around with his grandson.  I took a good look at him, and thought that it was Bill Singer.  I've been carrying his cards around for years, as he is the Scouting Director for the Nats.  I asked him if he was Bill Singer, and it turned out I was right.  I tried to find all of the regulars I know to point him out to them, as I figured I couldn't be the only one carrying his cards around.  One other person had stuff for him.

The only other remotely interesting thing that happened was getting called out by Matt Purke.  I got him on 2 cards (out of 4) in the parking lot in the morning.  He was signing again after the workout, so I tried to get him again.  He said "Didn't you get me this morning?"  When I said yes, he handed my book back without signing.

Here are the totals:

Rick Ankiel - 1/2
Andres Blanco - 2/2
Greg Booker - 1/4
Bob Boone - 2/2
Corey Brown - 4/4
Sean Burnett - 4/4
Brett Carroll - 1/1 8x10
Tyler Clippard - 2/2
Ian Desmond - 4/4
Ross Detwiler - 3/4
Danny Espinosa - 2/4
Jesus Flores - 2/4
Eric Fox - 4/4
Jeff Fulchino - 2/2
Jeff Garber - 1/1
Brian Goodwin - 2/2
Jarrett Hoffpauir - 4/4
Davey Johnson - 2/2
Matt Lecroy - 4/4
Steve Lombardozzi - 1/1 Debut ticket
Chris Marrero - 4/4
Steve McCatty - 2/2
Jason Michaels - 4/4
Tyler Moore - 4/4
Xavier Paul - 3/4
Bo Porter - 4/4
Matt Purke - 2/4, 1/1 (help)
Wilson Ramos - 1/1 Debut ticket
Anthony Rendon - 2/4, 1/1, 1/1
Bill Singer - 4/4
Drew Storen - 1/1 Debut ticket
Tony Tarasco - 2/2
Mark Teahen - 1/4, 3/3
Chad Tracy - 3/3
Chien-Ming Wang - 4/4
Jordan Zimmermann - 1/1

Today's total - 89 cards (92 autos), 3 tickets, 1 8x10

Four day total - 269 cards (272 autos), 1 16x20, 1 10x20, 3 tickets, 1 8x10

posted on Saturday, February 25, 2012 5:58:39 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Friday, February 24, 2012
Today I went to Braves camp.  I had almost convinced myself to skip this camp this year, as I always have a miserable time, and the quality of the graphs is almost never enough to make it worth it.  I probably should have skipped it, and will almost certainly do so next year. 

The main thing that bothers me about Braves camp is the fact that you are guaranteed to miss guys, due to the setup of the facility.  Do you stand by the cages, by the back fields, or down the first base line?  Today, I missed Julio Teheran, Michael Bourne, Mike Minor, Brian McCann, and Jair Jurrjens.  All because I picked the wrong spot. 

The one time I picked the right spot, I got Jason Heyward.  He signed a ton through the gate between home plate and the first base dugout.  I got 2 cards signed, but I could have gotten more if I could have reached my duffel, which was sitting on a seat about 5 feet away.  Unfortunately, once he started signing, there were about 396 people crammed into that 5 feet. 

I got a strange bit of deja vu from my encounter with Greg Walker.  Last year at White Sox camp, I asked Greg Walker to sign about 50 times, and he always said he would sign later.  Finally on my 5th and final day, he started to respond with the same "I'll get you later".  But then he looked up at me, and recognized me as the guy that had been asking him over and over.  He jumped out of his golf cart and said something like "I'll sign for you, I've been putting you off all week.".  He then signed for me, and then got back in his golf cart and left without signing for anybody else.

Today, I asked Greg to sign as soon as he got to the batting cage area.  He said he would sign later.  I thanked him, and blurted out "I'm a huge White Sox fan!".  About an hour later, he started to head back towards the stadium.  I called out to him, and he looked up at me and recognized me again.  He came over to me, and while he was walking he addressed the crowd, saying "I've got stuff to do, I'm only gonna sign for this guy right now".  Sure enough, he signed 4 cards for me and left without signing for anybody else.

Anyway, on to the mediocre totals!

Christian Bethancourt - 2/2
Todd Cunningham - 2/2 (he smeared one), 2/2 (help from Nick, gave one to him)
Doug Dascenzo - 4/4
Matt Diaz - 1/4
Scott Fletcher - 8/8
Stefan Gartrell - 8/8
Tommy Hanson - 1/2
Jason Heyward - 2/2
Dusty Hughes - 2/2
Mathew Kennelly - 1/1
Kris Medlen - 4/4
Ernesto Mejia - 1/1
Tyler Pastornicky - 1/1
Martin Prado - 1/2
David Ross - 1/2
Andrelton Simmons - 1/4
Greg Walker - 4/4
Josh Wilson - 4/4
Jose Yepez - 2/2

Today's total - 52 cards

Three day total - 180 cards, 1 16x20, 1 10x20

posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 7:24:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Thursday, February 23, 2012
Today I attended my first ever workout in Jupiter.  I was there for the Marlins.  More specifically, I was there for Mark Buehrle, Ozzie Guillen, Aaron Rowand, and Joey Cora.  Unfortunately, I would end up pretty disappointed on that score.

I got to the Marlins parking lot at 7am, and there were already quite a few graphers there.  I staked out a place along the fence, and waited.  We saw most of the big names come in, but the only one that signed was Josh Johnson.  Mark Buehrle parked in the very back of the parking lot, and went the long way around to avoid us.  Ozzie Guillen and Mike Stanton went into a fenced area in the stadium, and had somebody drive their cars over to the parking lot.  Jose Reyes and Carlos Zambrano both said they would sign later.  Only one of them was true to their word.

Inside, things were apparently a lot different than they usual are at a Marlins ST workout.  They stretched on the field closest to the stadium, and then jogged out to the fields for the drills.  They usually walk out to the fields to stretch, and you could get quite a few of the players while they walked.  Nobody signed on the way to the fields today.

I spent most of the day shadowing Mark Buehrle.  He kept saying he couldn't sign, and that he would sign later.  Later never came.  Ozzie pretty much ignored everybody.  I was able to get Joey Cora (big shock!) and Aaron Rowand.  Mike Stanton only signed a few, and Jose Reyes signed for just about everybody.

I didn't stay very long in the parking lot after the workout.  Once Buehrle snuck out, I left. 

Emilio Bonifacio - 2/4
Steve Cishek - 4/4
Chris Coghlan - 1/2
Joey Cora - 2/2
Matt Dominguez - 2/4
Josue Espada - 1/1
Nick Green - 1/4
Brad Hand - 4/4
Chad James - 3/3
Josh Johnson - 1/2
Wade LeBlanc - 4/4
Logan Morrison - 4/4
Ricky Nolasco - 4/4
Rob Rasmussen - 3/3
Jose Reyes - 1/1
Aaron Rowand - 1/4
Clint Sammons - 4/4
Alex Sanabia - 4/4
Jeff Schwarz - 4/4
Kyle Skipworth - 4/4
Mike Stanton - 1/2
Ryan Webb - 4/4
Sean West (no dupes, ignore the unsigned card in images below) - 3/4

Today's total - 62 cards

Two day total - 128 cards, 1 16x20, 1 10x20

posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 3:39:27 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Today was the day that chisoxcollector reported to spring training.  I spent the day at Nats camp, though I had to leave a bit earlier than I would have liked for a doctors appointment.

I got to the parking lot at approximately 6:45am.  There was one other guy there, and we remained the only two there for close to an hour.  During that time, the only big name to arrive was Jayson Werth.  To my surprise, he actually signed!  He signed a ball (SS) for the other guy, and two cards for me.  The only notable person to arrive during that time was Davey Johnson.  He didn't sign, saying "I might get in trouble".  I wanted to say "But you're the manager!".

Gio Gonzalez, Chien-Ming Wang, Tyler Clippard, and Mark DeRosa were some other notable players that signed in the parking lot in the morning. 

During the workout, the position players went out to the field just outside of the stadium, and the pitchers went to the practice fields.  I went with the pitchers, as Edwin Jackson was my main objective.  He was one of the first pitchers to come out.  He was very cool, and signed 4 cards for me.  I also had a 16x20 and 10x20 that I wanted him to sign, but I didn't want to carry it with me while I was walking, as I was afraid of them getting bent.

I also got Brad Lidge, Jordan Zimmermann, and a few others as they walked to the practice fields. I think good old Stephen Strasburg was the only person that refused to sign.

Once I got to the practice fields, I decided to get in line to try to get Strasburg.  I was in line for about 1.5 hours when the pitchers finished their workout.  When Strasburg left the field, he walked right past the line of people waiting for him.  He got about 25 feet away, and then turned around and started signing for those that followed him.

I was one of the first people that got to Strasburg.  During the entire time he signed, I was standing right in front of him.  He repeatedly went out of his way to reach around me and take other people's items.  At one point, he took an item from a guy that didn't have a pen.  I volunteered my pen, and Strasburg took it.  After signing the guy's item, he handed my pen back, still refusing to sign for me.  After signing about 15-20 autographs, he announced he was done.  I asked him why he blatantly avoided signing for me, and his response was "Well, I can't sign for everybody".  That obviously didn't answer my question.  I really wanted to tell him what I think of him as a person (I think he one of the two biggest assholes I've ever attempted to graph), but I didn't want to be "that guy" that "ruined it for everybody". 

After getting stiffed by Strasburg, I noticed Edwin Jackson had just started making his way out of the practice facility and towards the stadium.  I ran to my car and grabbed the two large photos.  He signed them both for me, giving a particularly beautiful signature on the 16x20.  Stephen Strasburg could learn a thing or two from Edwin Jackson.

After that I head back to the parking lot, hoping to get Bryce Harper.  Unfortunately, I had to leave at 1:30, and he hadn't left by then.  I'm sure I'll find out that he left at 1:32 and signed for everybody.

All in all it wasn't a bad day, as I got all 3 of the former Sox that were my targets (Jackson, Gonzalez, Teahen).

Roger Bonifacio (this dude has Popeye arms!) - 2/2
Sean Burnett - 4/4
Tyler Clippard (flat out told a young blond that she had a nice ass) - 2/4
Mark DeRosa - 2/2, 1/1
Gio Gonzalez - 2/4
Tom Gorzelanny - 1/2, 1/1
Edwin Jackson - 4/4 cards, 1/1 16x20, 1/1 10x20
Randy Knorr - 4/4
John Lannan - 1/2
Adam LaRoche - 1/2
Jim Lett - 1/1
Brad Lidge (extremely nice)- 1/2, 1/1
Steve Lombardozzi - 2/2
Chris Marrero - 4/4
Steve McCatty - 2/2
Ryan Perry - 1/4, 1/1
Wilson Ramos - 2/2, 1/1, 1/1
Craig Stammen - 4/4
Drew Storen (very cool guy) - 2/2
Tony Tarasco (much nicer than usual) - 2/2
Mark Teahen - 4/4
Chad Tracy - 4/4
Chien-Ming Wang - 4/4
Jayson Werth - 2/2
Spin Williams - 1/1
Jordan Zimmermann (gave a ridiculously exaggerated sigh when I asked him to sign) - 1/2

Today's total - 66 cards, 1 16x20, 1 10x20

posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:45:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Saturday, January 21, 2012
I have finally completed my first signed Upper Deck team set.  Josh Fields was the last guy I needed to complete the 2010 set, and I found one on eBay a few weeks ago. 

posted on Saturday, January 21, 2012 12:57:08 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I just received my latest batch of items from my framer.  I got my Daniel Radcliffe stuff from NYC framed, as well as a few Sox items.

posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 4:27:06 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #