Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hounding Report: Astros vs. Rangers, April 12

I always love early outings in a season. Players haven't gotten burned out by signing a lot, they're excited to start the season, the fans haven't gotten ground down by a series of staggering defeats... Okay, maybe that's just my fellow Tribe fans.

Anyway, I ended up getting to the tunnel about 2 instead of 12 as a friend of mine was in town for the weekend for a business retreat so we wanted to do lunch. I hadn't seen Joe Brennan in ten years whereas I'll see most of the Rangers a good 20 times this season alone. So it's obvious what wins out.

Unfortunately I learned I missed out on Adrian Beltre, Mitch Moreland, Leonys Martin, Tim Bogar, and Neal Cotts signing. Arron and I did arrive just in time for Jason Frasor, who signed three of my cards.  Prince Fielder actually stopped and signed, but only for one kid.  Robbie Ross signed too, but I had nothing for him. Overall that's a pretty great group to stop and sign. Hopefully it's a harbinger of things to come this season, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Inside, the Astros were pretty good. Robbie Grossman signed my two cards of him, followed soon after by Carlos Corporan signing three.  Corporan was a big hit for me: he didn't sign last year when I went for the Astros.  Jonathan Villar signed a pair for me as well. He definitely takes his time when he signs, which is great to see. His sig is mostly a J and a couple large loops, but at least it's the same every time and he takes his time with it.

L.J. Hoes came by and quickly signed as well, doing his typical one-per. Somehow Pat Listach skipped me just after him. It's fine though, the Astros come in like eleventy billion times this season, and he does it by mail, so I'm not really missing out on much more than a chance to pad my totals.  Jerome Williams signed a pair, and Lucas Harrell did three.

After this came the big one-- the Astros lone big name, Jose Altuve, worked his way down the line.  He was incredibly wary of double-dippers though, stopping to look each of us in the face to memorize our asking him to sign. But he did it, and that's all that matters.  He signed one of my 2012 Topps cards.

Arron and I considered sticking around to see if we could get some guys going out to stretch or the coaches as they re-emerged, but decided against it. Instead we headed for the press box where Alan Ashby and Geoff Blum each signed three cards for me.  We looked for Steve Sparks, but couldn't find him. Oddly, it seemed as though they changed up who was in what box on the press level, as Arron said Sparks wasn't in his spot from Friday night.

Overall, a great start to the baseball season. I plan to hit the tunnel again tomorrow, then hit up the Mariners on Monday and both the tunnel and the White Sox on Friday. A nice, busy week to start the season.  I'm almost 20% of the way to my 2014 goal of 1500 autographs. With all the research I've been putting in on SCN, I just might hit that in TTM's alone.  I plan to do a mass mailing soon.  I'll update everyone on that as well.

TOTALS: 23 autographs from 10 players.

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