Friday, June 14, 2013

Hounding Report: Indians, June 10-12

I have had possibly the greatest sports fan week ever.

On Monday at work, I got to spend some time chatting with Daryl "Razor" Reaugh, former NHL goalie and currently a broadcaster for the Dallas Stars with Ralph Strangis.  Great guy.  He told me next time Ralph gets laryngitis, he knows where to look for a stand-in.

Tuesday, I received a message on Twitter (follow me @drewpelto) that I had won the Lake County Captains' 4000th Twitter follower contest, whose prize is throwing out the first pitch at a game.  Awesome!  Unfortunately, the Captains are 1200 miles away from me in Eastlake, OH, near my hometown of Painesville.  Here's to hoping I can trade prizes.

And last but not least, the weather was pretty good for 'graphing.  My Indians came in for three games and I was able to work a full day and get inside the Ballpark without missing too many players each of the three days.

On Monday, it was my fellow Drew leading off the signing as Drew Stubbs signed one-each for everyone.  Mike Aviles came over and signed as well, doing two-per, as did Michael Bourn.  BIG warning on Bourn though-- he's left-handed, and of my three cards, he signed the middle one first, then the one to the right, causing the first one to get smeared pretty nicely.  So be forewarned: either only get one item signed, or space your two out a bit.

Justin Masterson is one of the best signers in baseball today.  The Tribe's best pitcher, he signed all three cards I had with me.  Similar to Turner Ward a few weeks back, he added a Bible verse, tagging each with John 16:33.

Justin Masterson, signing for everyone on Monday
 After Masterson came manager Terry Francona.  Tito was a one-per signer, but fellow hound Phil helped me out, getting my second and third cards signed for me.  I'm usually not one to double dip, but if someone insists on doing it for me, I won't complain.  Third base coach Brad Mills signed the lone card I had of him as well.

Tuesday I got in a bit late due to a nifty little ticket snafu.  Arron traded in a ticket for me on Sunday so I could come to this one as well.  It was printed for me, and all looked good.  Unfortunately he couldn't come down for the games, so he called and left his normal season tickets at Will Call for a friend.  Unfortunately when that friend picked up the tickets, they reprinted mine with them, and she used it to get in.  Fortunately the box office was able to reprint the one she didn't use, and I was on my merry way after a 25-minute delay.

Due to a plumbing issue, there was no batting practice and a giant sinkhole behind the pitcher's mound.  I missed out on a few bullpen arms signing, and with no BP, there were no position players out there either.  I ended up doing alright though.  Scott Kazmir signed, another one-per guy.  Nick Hagadone, despite (or perhaps because of) his rough outing Monday night, signed all four cards I had with me, followed by Vinnie Pestano signing the only card I had of him.  I mentioned I follow him on Twitter and he laughed and said thanks.  Ubaldo Jimenez signed as well, doing two-per for everyone down the line.  His sig is pretty much a big U with a J looped around it.  Short, but at least he does it.  Reliever Joe Smith came over and signed after taking a few warmup tosses, followed by bullpen coach Kevin Cash.  A little later, I also got pitching coach Mickey Callaway to sign a card.

Wednesday lacked in quantity, but the quality was aces.  Nick Swisher was a one-per signer, but did it for everyone, making sure to get to the kids first, then everyone else.  Very chatty while signing too.  New re-acquisition John McDonald came and signed as well.  I only had one card of him, but once again, he did it.  Tito came by again, another one-per, followed lastly by Justin Masterson again.  I only had one left of him, but he signed it while hanging out with some family members who came out to the game.  While a player was doing an interview on TV next to us, he spent the time tossing sunflower seeds at him.  It's always fun getting to see the players interact like that-- you never see those things on TV.  Or you do, but you don't know where or from whom it's coming.

I could have had more on several of these guys, but the cards I bought on SportLots didn't get here in time.  I got two more cards of Cash, Callaway, and Pestano, plus one extra each on Smith and Masterson.  Tuesday I missed out on Matt Albers, Bryan Shaw and Rich Hill-- Hill was the only one I had cards of at the time-- now I have three of each.  At least I'm prepped for next year, or in case any of them get traded to a team that comes later in the season.  I guess the moral of the story is to make sure you buy your cards so that they'll arrive at least a week in advance.  I thought I had done it with enough time, but obviously I did not.

Overall, a pretty awesome week.  28 autographs, two Tribe wins, 7.5 miles biked, a Yu Darvish bobblehead, a chat with a former NHL'er, a Twitter contest won, plus 47 hours of actual paid work.

And zero sleep.

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