Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hounding Report: Texas Rangers vs. Chicago White Sox, April 30

It takes a lot to top the 38-autograph effort of last weekend, but sometimes it's about quality over quantity.  Getting Felix Hernandez last week was a nice blast of quality in there at least, but overall, I felt like yesterday's White Sox outing was better all-around.

I got to the ballpark a bit late since I parked at the apartment and hoofed it to the Ballpark.  Made it in about 15 minutes though, which is half my usual.  Not bad.  I missed out on Nelson Cruz and Geovany Soto, and had nothing for Leonys Martin.  Oh well.  Maybe one of these days I'll stop being so cheap and actually pay for parking.  Next year perhaps.

I need a few cards of Leonys while he's still cool with signing.
 Anyways, I met up with Arron inside as he was getting Martin, then we went for the White Sox side.  Alejandro De Aza was signing at the dugout but I wasn't able to get to him in time.  That and I didn't feel like trying to toss my notebook.  I'm going to make a 2x1 spiral-bound book this week to use from now on.

Jeff Keppinger did the same thing, as well as broadcaster Darrin Jackson.  We each did at least get DJ on a card, so the day was officially underway.  At the other side of the dugout, Matt Thornton signed multiples for everyone, including all three I had with me.

Arron and I proceeded on down the line toward where the pitchers mostly were doing some tossing, shagging of fly balls, and stretching.  A few position players joined them as well.  I heard a "HEADS UP!" from down the line, turning just in time to see a line drive skip just a few feet away from me.  It was bullpen catcher and former Indians' catcher Mark Salas.  I gave him a nice loud "Thanks Mark!" and a thumbs up and he laughed and waved back.

Alexei Ramirez was first toe come over, signing one-per for a whole large group.  Very surprising that he actually signed.  Arron said when he's seen him sign, it's usually one-per for 4 or 5 people, then he runs off.

Gordon Beckham, currently on the shelf with a broken bone in his hand, was doing some running.  When he finished, he signed one-per as well and chatted with a few White Sox fans as well.  Another DL guy rehabbing was Dayan Viciedo, and just like Becks, he signed for a good while over by the tarp.  Don't know if he was doing multiples or not; I just pulled one off the board for him.

If I was named Gordon, I'd totally go by Gord or Gordie.
Makes one sound like a tough guy from the plains of Alberta.
After the foul line pretty well dried up, we headed back over to the dugout as the White Sox finished taking batting practice.  I was hoping to get Salas, but as I was getting ready for him to come to the dugout, he instead went to throw to a few batters.  Bench coach Mark Parent was nearby at least and I called out to him.  He waited a while, watching the hitters but came over to sign, doing all four cards I had.  I only have three left-- I gave one to the kid who handed my binder down the line to him.

Shocker of the week, Alexei Ramirez came over and signed a SECOND time, so I got him on my other card as well.  Once again, he signed for a group of about 15 or so, just like earlier.

Earlier, Addison Reed had "promised" (his words, not mine) he would sign later.  As he got ready to head out to the bullpen, he came over and signed-- 4 for one guy, 3 for another, 2 of 4 for me, and then ran off for the 'pen. Salas eventually came out of the dugout and signed 2 of my 4 cards, followed soon after by bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen doing the same.

Bobby's 1990 season of 57 saves is better than K-Rod's 62.
I will ALWAYS believe that.
DeWayne Wise signed as well.  I didn't have any cards of him, but I did remember I had a few team cards, so he signed two of them for me.

Earlier I had seen Kenny Williams signing in the dugout, and eventually he came down to have a seat in the stands, front row at the Commissioners' Box.  I had totally forgotten he was the GM so I had nothing for him.  I asked him to sign a team card and he kind of cringed and said, "Ehh, I don't... ahh, alright," and signed one.  So be forewarned: Kenny Williams travels with the team but does NOT like signing team cards.  He has plenty of cards from his playing days though, so he's not hard to find stuff for.

Don Cooper signed as well, but I had nothing for him.  To be honest, I didn't even know he had any cards.

So the final total was 21 sigs including a good ballplayer in Beckham and two from a toughie in Ramirez.  The luck continues; hopefully it doesn't run out just yet as the Red Sox come in this weekend.

For anyone expecting Wednesday Friendsday today, we'll be pushing it back until (probably) tomorrow due to some busy days this week for myself and for our interview subject.

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