Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hounding Report: May 15 and 17, Rangers-Indians

Just a couple quick pieces. George Bell TTM, 4/4 in about 3 months, Prince Fielder 1/1 IP last night, a RTS from Oscar Roan, and a few additions from Chris for getting him stuff at the Rangers Fan Fest and last month in Frisco.

Friday night I almost decided to get out of the hobby. Today helped turn my thoughts around.

I've been growing pretty quickly disillusioned with the hobby as a whole, at least when going and doing it in-person. The Mets series to start the season made me not want to go to any games. This weekend my favorite team is in town and I completely skipped the first two games of the series aside from doing the postgame tunnel Friday night.

A little story about that postgame tunnel. I wasn't even planning on going except that Adrian Beltre hit his 400th career home run so Arron, Jake, and I figured we'd try the tunnel since a lot of guys will sign there after a big night. Beltre drove out the opposite side instead.  We did at least get Prince Fielder, which was a nice score and a set hit for my 1972-style stuff (got his 2013 '72 mini signed).

A golf cart came out and Michael Brantley, a VERY tough signer and one of my favorites from the Tribe, was on it.  We chased after it, and as I got to his car, stop the presses, he was signing. He signs for four of the six of us, gets to me and says "My ride's here, I gotta go," and gets in the car.


The two of us not wearing Rangers attire (I was in my damn Larry Doby jersey and Browns hat; how much more Clevelander can I get?) were the only two he didn't sign for.  I found out from one of the four who did get him that he was incredibly reluctant to sign so it's not like he was Mr. Nice Guy and then turned into a dick when he saw me. He wasn't even going to sign except that Nick Swisher, who he was riding with, was talking to the Rangers' clubhouse attendant.

One down, one to go!
I went to the tunnel Sunday morning. Not many signed; I got Kyle Blanks on a card (signing one of four), Mitch Moreland on a 11x14 photo, and Tom Grieve on two cards. Ryan Rua is going to turn into my new nemesis: two years ago I couldn't get Dave Magadan to save my life, this year I think it'll be Rua. Maybe it's just because he's on the DL.

David Murphy also drove in and signed, as always. Arron, Chris, and I were talking about how Murphy is exactly what a player should be. Fan friendly, loves signing, solid all-around ballplayer, has some power, usually hits for a decent average, is good for a few awesome catches, isn't ridiculously fast but has enough speed, and isn't afraid to get the uniform dirty. He had a great catch in left field to save a run later in the game.

David Murphy signing for Arron outside
(Photo Credit: Chris Winkles)
Inside was surprisingly awesome. First out was Austin Adams, a recent callup who signed a team logo hologram. After doing some long-toss and running, Danny Salazar signed a card for me down the line, as did Trevor Bauer. Down by the dugout, Zach McAllister signed three, and Ryan Webb added his sig to the hologram, along with Scott Atchison.

Back down the line, Jason Bere signed three cards, while Cody Allen signed my lone card while chatting with some friends. As I was waiting on Allen, Arron tapped me and alerted me that Corey Kluber was signing. Needless to say, I jumped in and he signed for everyone, including me. I went back toward the dugout and apparently the Klubot's autograph switch got stuck in the ON position. Dude just kept on going and signed for everyone. As he came down I figured I'd get a picture with him. I set my book down and he walked right up and signed another card, and took a picture with me. Dude actually smiled too.

Rare photo of Corey Kluber cracking a smile
After that, we finished it off with a trip to the press box, where Rick Manning signed three cards for me. It's amazing the difference a day or so can make. After nearly deciding to get out of the hobby-- or at least change my approach-- I'm ready to get back into it hard.

TOTALS: 22 autographs from 14 players.

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