Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hounding Report: Fort Worth vs. San Angelo, August 11; plus some hockey hounding recon

On Thursday, I got a text from Chris (whom I know I've mentioned on here a few times) asking if I wanted to go over to Fort Worth for a quick, impromptu hounding session on the Fort Worth Cats on Sunday.  It was the final home series for the team and so if I wanted to get my Jim Essian cards signed, I should consider going.  Additionally, former Indians manager Doc Edwards is the San Angelo manager so I could likely get him too.

Sadly, I only had 1 card of Essian and two of Edwards.  On the plus side, it gave me a good excuse to run down to Duane's.  I was able to find a 1965 Edwards card, as well as another 8 Essian cards, so I was all set.  Cost me $3.  Of course, I bought other items too to push my total up to about $20, but whatever. It's a card store, I'm bound to find other things I can't possibly live without, like two boxes of 7th Inning Sketch QMJHL cards from 1990-91 at $5 each.

Anyways, we got to the ballpark in Fort Worth early enough that we were able to find Essian in the stands watching warmups.  He was cool about signing and chatting with us, and signed all nine cards I had on me.  As a former catcher back in my Little League days, I always like adding catchers to my collection-- especially former Indians' catchers.

After Essian, we went to the visitors side and after waiting a while and chatting with a few other collectors (including one who writes for The Hardball Times), out came Edwards.  Doc Edwards has been in baseball for 57 years now, at least ten of which were spent with the Indians organization.  Five members of his 1988 Indians are now big-league managers (hitting coach Charlie Manuel, pitcher Bud Black, first baseman Terry Francona, pitcher John Farrell, and shortstop Ron Washington).

Slowly, about 15 minutes before the start of the game, Edwards made his way out, stopping to chat with us and sign our cards.  I mentioned to him that I was an Indians fan from back when he was managing there, that I was a huge Cory Snyder fan.  He said Snyder is a great guy and that his daughter, Amberley, was involved in a serious car accident a few years ago-- I wasn't aware of it.  She was a champion horse rider and was on her way to Colorado when her horse trailer flipped in Wyoming and sent her off the road.  She survived, but is unfortunately a paraplegic following the accident.  He said they are doing well though, and a quick Google search showed that Amberley is back to riding once again. Cory is currently the hitting coach for the Jackson Generals, AA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

After walking around a bit, we saw former Rangers' pitcher DeWayne Vaughan, in town to watch his son play ball before heading back to Colorado where he currently works in the oil business.  I was out of cards of him, but fortunately Chris had an extra one for me.  He signed for us and spent a good chunk of a half inning chatting with us.

So not a bad day at all.  Added 13 autographs to the collection,  and if any of the Cats or Colts had cards, I'm sure I could have gotten plenty more. Plus Chris hooked me up with a bunch (11, to be exact, aside from the Vaughan card) for doing the driving.

Continuing on to the second half of this entry, I got to do a little recon on potential hotel hounding of hockey and basketball teams this season.  I'm not going to mention the names of the places, but they're not too hard to find or figure out.  The reports I've heard are pretty accurate though: these places do not appear grapher-friendly at all.  That doesn't mean I won't try them out though. It's $5 to get downtown and at the worst, I go, I get no autographs, I spend a chunk of the day in the middle of Dallas, grab a bite to eat, maybe finally get around to going to the Sixth Floor Museum, or the art museum, or whatever sounds good, then I head home.

Walked four miles total yesterday in 100-degree heat while hauling a computer and external hard drive while scoping it all out.  I also spent some time at the library for a large research project that I'm hoping could turn into a full-fledged book.  We'll see what happens, but I'm at least off to an excellent start with it.

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