I got damn close to the rate I was wanting (Arron and I are each paying $230 for it; my original goal was $222) and only having to stay a little further out. My aim was for the La Quinta in Independence, instead we're at the one in Macedonia. Whatever. Ten minutes more of driving isn't the end of the world. It also gives us a slightly shorter return trip late at night from Akron, Columbus, and coming in initially from West Virginia. Eastlake should be about the same, Toledo will be slightly longer.
Ehh, whatever. It's not enough to make a huge difference really; the price and quality hooked me.
Next up: buying tickets, coming in March. Supposedly, autograph guests are supposed to be announced starting this month. Hope we see a lot from the VIP list early. There are a few I can guess will be there-- Len Barker, Joe Charbonneau, Kevin Mack... I hope they get Sonny Siebert again, I still have my 2014 photo of him and I need him for the 1972 Topps set.
I know, I failed to post an autograph update for January. It was a slow TTM month and I've been busy with the National and trying to keep my band afloat. Our guitarist just up and quit on us a week ago, which also left me without a drum set for a week. We have the latter squared away at least so far.
I'll have a full update on these two months coming at the end of February. At around the same time, I also will be writing a piece for SCF as a National Preview, which I will cross-post here. I'm going to be trying to write an update for them on each day of the trip, as well as posting it here.
I actually wrote a couple pieces for them on the NFL kneeling issue, as well as the removal of Chief Wahoo. The former got a LOT of talk going-- mostly against my position. The latter, not so much, as it seemed more people than I expected were in agreement with me. It seems I've become the SCF Writing Staff version of WFAA's Dale Hansen: clearly I'm not afraid to take on some controversial topics. On the old format, I also did editorial-style pieces in favor of fighting in hockey and applauding Sean Avery's work with the "New Yorkers for Marriage Quality" campaign.
I also will be re-writing my March 22, 2013 article on Steve Olin and Tim Crews for this year's 25th anniversary of their accident and deaths. It'll be a busy few months, but I'm in the mood to write again. Let's hope it stays for a while.
Back on the topic of National stuff, ballpark promotion schedules are trickling out. So far, nothing big for our games. Birmingham, West Virginia, Columbus, Lake County, Akron, Fort Wayne, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa don't have theirs out yet. Lexington has a vomitous Faith and Family Night, plus fireworks-- no giveaways. Toledo has the first day of a Youth Skills Camp-- also no giveaways. Indians have the Rock N Blast fireworks display, along with dollar hot dogs and a pregame block party (hmmm, alumni autographs maybe?)-- no giveaways there either. I've heard Fort Wayne typically has a postgame autograph session on Sundays.
(EDIT: Fort Wayne released their promotion sched on 2/14 and they do have a postgame autograph session; it's also Bark at the Park and a beer tasting... no giveaways)
Lake County confirmed their schedule times for me, as did West Virginia. We changed the Indians to Friday with our potential Lake County reprise moving to Saturday-- SCF is trying for a group outing to the Friday Tribe game. So far I know of two members likely to be there besides me (scottkoz20 and doniceage). I'd bet there will be more: I remember in 2014 I met up with BSEBALLCOMMISH75, loQtus, mlbfan85, michigandan, palantri, Postman, jeeptrader, and several others. I'm also hoping to meet up with autograph collectors in other cities.