Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hounding Report: Rangers-Blue Jays, May 16-18

A word to the wise: sunblock is a good idea in May in Texas. I went from my typically pasty 1/2 Northern Finnish, 1/4 Irish appearance to looking like I could camouflage myself against a backdrop of the KFC logo. And that was just today alone.

Overall the weekend was decent.  I got in on Friday and headed straight for the Blue Jays side.  After waiting at the tarp end of the dugout a while, a couple of guys noticed Pat Tabler was out on the field by the batting cage so we headed down to the home plate end.  While we were waiting, Josh Thole came over and signed, doing three cards for me.  One will go up to Corey in New York for his Mets collection.  After finishing his broadcast work, Tabler came over and signed, doing the three cards I had with me. He was a long-time Indian that I hadn't gotten yet, so it was good to add him.  Buck Martinez also signed after getting his on-field prep done, doing three cards for me, including a 1975 Topps I've been hanging onto for a while.

The big reason I stayed by the dugout was that was where Jose Bautista always signs.  I could have given up my spot to go after Melky Cabrera and R.A. Dickey, who signed down the line, but I didn't know how long they would keep signing.  I'd rather take the near sure-thing of a Bautista sig than to go for those two and have them stop before I got there while also losing my spot. Discretion is the better part of valor.

And I'm glad I held my spot.  After taking a lot of time to chat with a few people, Bautista did indeed come over and sign, inking my 2013 Topps Heritage card.  My feet were pretty sore by the end of that from being packed in, unable to move.  Just before Bautista came over, I was able to stretch my legs a little at least, though I did inadvertently piss off a guy who thought I was trying to jump him in the line. As a major adherent to common graphing courtesy, I don't do that and I made sure to let him know after I wasn't trying to go cutting the line, I just felt like my ankles were about to crumble if I didn't move around a bit.  I still haven't written anything about my view of what basic graphing etiquette should be, but I do plan to still.

I went to the tunnel on Saturday and it was a waste.  No one stopped. I'm sure part of it was due to the loss the night before and even moreso due to the fact there were a good 40 people down there hoping to get Michael Young.  Needless to say, we didn't see him.

Postgame was no better.  No Young, and no one else.  Fortunately we ran down Mark Buehrle, who signed one each for the seven of us who made the trek over to his car. He didn't seem too enthusiastic about signing, but since he had just pitched a good game, we were polite, and he had his family with him, he did it.  The streak of never going a day empty-handed at the tunnel continues despite the crappy morning.

Buehrle, Jose Bautista, and Pudge from a few weeks ago
because Mort at TheBench wanted to see it.
Sunday made up for it somewhat.  Ron Washington signed three cards (two go to Chris, as he offered to 50/50 some with me since I was out), Mitch Moreland signed two (my last two; next ones will be part of the 50/50), and Matt Harrison signed three (one to Chris; also part of the 50/50).

Inside wasn't great, but I did get Drew Hutchison on the lone card I had of him, Bob Stanley on three, and Steve Delabar on the lone card I had of him.  Delabar stood there and signed for a good ten minutes.  Also, his current 'stache is legendary.

Overall, not bad. The Blue Jays aren't a great signing team, but at least a few guys are usually gettable.

TOTALS: 24 autographs from 11 players (1 from 1 to Corey, 3 from 2 to Chris, 21 from 11 for me)

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