Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hounding Report: Rangers-Blue Jays, June 15-16

Summer has officially hit us.  Basically.  I don't think we've seen triple-digits yet, but we're close enough.  Usually I'd pass up a ride back to my apartment after a game, but today I couldn't help it.  Considering I had biked 10 miles this week and walked a mile and a quarter this morning, I was not in the mood to walk it back.  I know that doesn't sound like much, but it was in 85-95 degree temps and I'm horribly out of shape.

And that's Fahrenheit.  I know we have a few Canadian readers, so I want to make it known that while yes, it's hot here, we haven't quite reached that close to the atmosphere around us spontaneously boiling.  Soon though.  Soon.

Anyways, it was back to the tunnel for a couple of days plus some work inside the park as the Toronto Blue Jays came to town.  I got there super early Saturday-- no idea why-- but I was there by about 8 for a 3 pm game.  I could have waited another hour and a half and been fine.  Ron Washington came up first, signing the three cards I had with me.  Aside from him, nada.  David Murphy was the only other one who stopped and signed for us all, doing his usual one-per.  The Murph I got signed will go to Andrew in New Jersey in a trade we did.  I sent him some cards of guys in the AAA International League in a semi-50-50, and he sent me a few Rangers to get done for him.  They came in on Thursday, so onto the board they went.

So since no one else signed, I had high hopes for inside the Ballpark.  Unfortunately, they only opened the doors an hour and a half early once again, and not even early for Season Ticket Holders.  Frankly, that sucks.  It's a great perk but only used for midweek games: it does no good for me and a lot of others who work until 5 pm every day.  Why not have it on weekends too?

While waiting, I did get to meet up with a friend from Wichita Falls who came down for the game with a friend.  So that was good.  I've even been invited to next week's FC Dallas game with her and a few other friends.  I'm definitely going since I was already planning on hitting a card store in Plano next week.  With FC Dallas playing just over in Frisco, I definitely will be going.

Inside the park, since we missed most of batting practice only a few pitchers signed on their way back to the dugout after warming up in the outfield.  Steve Delabar, Juan Perez, and Darren Oliver were the only signers, but at least each did three cards for me.  But that was it.  I did get on Fox Sports Southwest during the pregame show though.

Darren Oliver and me.  Oliver is the one signing the cards.
I am the one who looks like Fat Rivers Cuomo.
(Photo by Morgan Choate)
The game wasn't much either-- the Rangers are turning into a giant dumpster fire right before our eyes.  Hopefully once the injuries heal they'll be back to normal.  While yes, I'm an Indians fan, I want the Rangers to do well when they aren't playing them.  Makes the hounding a bit easier as players usually have better attitudes.  I tried the tunnel postgame, but had no luck there.

Sunday was tough to get up for.  I set my alarm for 7 and when it went off, I just looked at it, said "No," and went back to sleep.  The extra 45 minutes of sleep was much enjoyed, and I missed nothing at the tunnel.

As anyone who looks on TAC knows, I have a LONG dry spell with Dave Magadan-- 0 for 10 or so coming into the weekend.  While I won't pass up any autographs, Mags is the only one I truly need for a project-- the 2003-2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites baseball sets.  He's in the 2005 set and never stops when I'm at the tunnel.  But I swear, when I'm not there, he stops and signs.  I don't know how many times I've had him speed past me, followed by me returning to my chair with an F-bomb laden grumbling.

Well, no more!  Mags finally stopped today when I was there and signed the two cards I had with me, including the ATFF card.  Chalk up one more for the set.  Now I can work on the others I have of him, including a couple Mets ones to send to Corey up in New York.

Alexi Ogando came next, signing one-per for everyone.  Leonys Martin stopped as well, signing for 3 before bolting for the entrance.  He sometimes does that, which I don't understand.  Often he'll sign for everyone, but about half the time he stops, he signs for 3-6 people, then drives off.

Anyways, Mitch Moreland came through.  He's been blowing by everyone the last few weeks when I've been out there, but decided to stop today.  Often he's two-per, but did the three I had on me today.  Two of those go to Andrew in New Jersey.  Got a first-time stopper after that as Neal Cotts stopped and signed as well, doing all three I had.  Once again, one goes to Andrew.

Colby Lewis drove up in his 1964 Chevy Nova for the second day in a row.  He didn't stop on Saturday, but did today, signing the last card I had left of him.  That car is awesome, and in hindsight I should have snapped a picture of it.  Definitely will next time I see it.  Last one through who stopped and signed was Tom Grieve. I just stocked up on three more cards of him a week or so ago, and he signed them all for me.  I may need to go wild on SportLots and just get every card of him that I can.  At the very least, I need his 1972 and 1979 cards.  The 1972 set is just awesome, and I sent my 1979 one to Corey for his Mets collection.

Once again, we didn't get early entrance and there was no BP at all, so again it was just a case of hoping for pitchers.  R.A. Dickey signed for a few, one-per, and I was not one of them.  Aside from him, only Dustin McGowan signed, doing the three cards I had of him.

I'm disappointed that I missed out on bullpen coach Pat Hentgen.  Back on September 8, 1991, Hentgen, then a rookie callup in September who had just made his major league debut against Baltimore a week prior, signed my ticket envelope.  It was only about the third autograph I had in my collection and I still have it today.  This time, I had cards with me.  Unfortunately, I had no luck with even seeing him, much less getting him to sign.  I believe he signs via mail though, so I can still get him soon.

Next up, Oakland on Tuesday.  Sixth game in nine days.  While I love hounding, I'll be happy to get some time off until the Celebrity Baseball Game in Frisco on June 29th (or, the FC Dallas game, should I decide to get anything signed there).

29 autographs total, 4 of which go to Andrew.

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