Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hounding Report: Indians vs. Rangers, June 6-7

A little mid-series report, as I have two more days to go tomorrow and Monday...

SHAMELESS PLUG: Spray-on sunblock is the greatest invention since air conditioning and Slurpees.  Minimal burnage today despite being outside from 8:30 am to about 6:30 pm.

Ended up with 12 total on Friday.  T.J. House was the first one.  While I didn't have any cards of him, I did pull out a bunch of 1991 Upper Deck team logo holograms with Chief Wahoo, so he signed one of those for me.  Not long after that, Kevin Cash made his way out to the bullpen, stopping to sign my two cards of him.  Mickey Callaway wasn't far behind, also signing two. The big one was Carlos Santana.  I've had a photo of him that I've carried to Tribe games since about 2011 or so. Santana usually only signs for like 3 people before calling it a day.  This time I was one of the lucky few he signed for.  I was hoping he would use my gold pen, but as you see it looks fine in blue.

At least he signed it in a light spot
After Santana was Michael Bourn, signing two-per. I remembered from last year to only place two cards and to space the cards out as he's a smearer. Last year I had three. He signed the left-most card and then the middle one, dropping his hand on the first one in the process. This time I left the middle section in my book blank.  Unfortunately he just grabbed one pen and signed everything with it, and it was the world's worst black Sharpie. I might post a picture later.

Fortunately when Terry Francona rolled with a single pen, it was a decent blue one as he signed one-per for everyone around.  Josh Tomlin was the last one I got, signing three as he chatted with a few friends.  FRIDAY TOTALS: 11 signed cards and a photo from 7 players.

Saturday I hit the tunnel first.  I realized I forgot to restock my book when I only had one Mitch Moreland card, but fortunately he was the only one I have cards for that I missed.  And at least he signed that one, which will go to Chris.  Before him, Chris Gimenez came through.  As a former Indian, I had him sign one of the 1991 UD holo logos.  Joe Saunders was a nice surprise, stopping for the first time this season, signing one-per. David Murphy, now of the Indians, was the last one I got, signing a typical one-per.  Gotta love Murph: they sent a golf cart up to get him and he told them no, he was walking in so he could stop and sign for us.  He even signed again inside.

I also got to meet up with another Bench member at the tunnel, as Michael (AKA tribefan) was in town.  He definitely helped out a bit inside as only about half the players had their regular BP jerseys visible.  I'm alright usually with players without numbers visible, but far from being 100%.

Inside the ballpark, I got there just barely in time to get Corey Kluber.  He was one of my big targets for the weekend, and he signed one of my three cards.  I also got Cody Allen, one that Michael picked out.  He signed another logo hologram.  These things came in VERY handy this weekend.  John Axford was next through, signing a ton.  He skipped me about three times, but eventually I got him near the end as he signed my three cards.

After Justin Masterson snubbed us on Friday (an EXTREME rarity) I didn't hold out much hope for Saturday, wondering if his contract dispute had soured him a bit.  But he made up for it on Sunday, signing all three cards I had and spending a lot of time chatting with fans and taking pictures.  He's also started adding the same Bible verse to all his sigs, 2 Corinthians 12:9.  For the Biblically inclined (not me), it says "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." While, as I've said here before, I'm not religious in the slightest, I am at least interested in what players find inspiring.  My favorite verse is still Matthew 6:6.

After Masterson, I took a little bit of a gamble, calling out to Matthew Quatraro, the Tribe's assistant hitting coach.  Matt never played in the majors, but shares a 1997 Topps card with Alex Sanchez.  He seemed really surprised when I asked him to sign, but he came over and did it, signing the three copies I had of the card.

It seemed like George Kottaras expended more energy avoiding us and telling us why he wouldn't sign than he would have to stop and sign.  So when I saw him walk by out to left field to take part in the pregame festivities in defending his cow milking title, I figured I'd follow one of the other collectors out to see if he would sign.  And shockingly, he did-- probably since it was just two of us-- signing one of my three cards.

Last but not least was a big one I wanted to get-- Mr. Bro-hio himself, Nick Swisher, who signed one-per down the line.  Swisher is great, always chatty with fans, jokingly berating Rangers fans for wearing the wrong attire. I mentioned I'll finally be getting to a few games at The Jake this year and he laughed and said "You know, I still call it The Jake too," to which another Tribe fan nearby said "Yeah, I think we all still do."  There are shirts out there that say "I Still Call It The Jake," which I may have to buy.  SATURDAY TOTALS: 17 cards from 11 players (16 from 10 for me, 1 from 1 for Chris).

TOTALS SO FAR: 28 cards and a photo from 18 players (27/17 for me, 1/1 for Chris)

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