Monday, July 28, 2014

Something For My Bucket List...

There are lot of things I want to accomplish in life, one of them is getting Francisco Cervelli's autograph in-person and having him inscribe "Cervin' Up Cards" on a card.
Will I be able to do this? I dunno, maybe if I can raise enough money for a trip to Tampa to try and catch him at a ST game I can. But in the meantime, I'm left with a dilemma, which card am I going to have him sign that on? This question haunted me for months until I saw and bought this on eBay the other day.

#'d 39/40

According to Beckett, this is a "Jumbo Patches" card from 2009 Topps Unique. Although it is jumbo sized, the cloth itself is not a patch. Personally I feel empty looking at the card. Almost like how I feel every time Cervelli is on the 60-day DL.
So should the opportunity to meet Cervelli arise, this is one of the cards I want him to sign and this is the one I want him to inscribe. It'll give it more depth and meaning, at least on a personal level. It'll also ruin the "value" of this card but who cares about monetary value? Even if I leave this untouched who the heck is going to want this card when Cervelli's playing days are over? Nobody that's who. So I might as well do what I want with it.

Thanks for stopping by to read this blatant look at what I just bought post that's also an incoherent mess because work and exhaustion are frying my brain and I'm too lazy to do anything about it.
As always, take care :).

Friday, July 25, 2014

Going Behind Enemy Lines

So this past Thursday I went over to Coney Island to see a Brooklyn Cyclones (the NYPL SSA-ball affiliate of the New York Mets) game where they faced off against the Vermont Lake Monsters (the NYPL SSA-ball affiliate of the Oakland A's).

Brooklyn Cyclones

Why did I decide to go see such a game?
Well for starters I needed to buy a ticket for the NYPL All Star Game that's going to be hosted at MCU Park in August. And I needed to get an autograph of a Cyclone I didn't get back in June. Plus the Staten Island Yankees were away on the road.

So let's go straight to the autos.

This time there was only one guy I was looking to get an autograph of, Amed Rosario.
Amed Rosario is a short stop who hails from the Dominican Republic and is one of the Mets' top prospects. He was so advanced that he pretty much skipped the really lower minor league levels and went straight to the Kingsport Mets. He projects to be a defensively solid shortstop with power who can also hit for a high(-ish) batting average.
During the game Amed went 1-4 with a triple and scored two runs. He also reached second on a throwing error and also started a double play. Just goes to show that if you want to have a good game, you need to sign for me before the game ;).

Even though I wasn't actively trying to get autographs of the Lake Monsters (mainly because almost none of the players have cards) I managed to get two guys after the game. Both were relievers who were returning from the bullpen to the dugout.
On the left is Blake McMullen, a righty who was drafted by the Oakland A's in 2013. He grew up as a Texas Rangers fan but found himself on Oakland (and Arizona)'s radar(s) when he made the All-Sooner Athletic Conference team (per Enidnews).
On the right is Corey Walter, another righty who was just drafted by the Oakland A's in the 28th round of this year's draft. He was a starter in college but converted into a reliever midway through the season and became a dominant workhorse. Lets hope he can continue that into his pro career.

So those were my autos. Now I'll just explain the rest of the notables using bullet points (again).

*The Cyclones dominated the Lake Monsters and won 7-2. At one point the game was close as the Lake Monsters managed to shorten the lead to 3-2 but a four run 7th pretty much made the game out of reach for poor Oakland.

*It was a Thursday which meant that the team gave away jerseys to the first 3,000 fans who arrived at the game. I managed to get one, and like the jersey I got last week over at Staten Island, this jersey is also number 14. Which means that we were all Gil Hodges fans (his number 14 was retired by the Cyclones because, you know, Brooklyn).

*I picked up a 2013 Brooklyn Cyclones team set. The 2014 team set won't be out until mid-August (at the earliest) but the store still had some sets from last year left so I decided to pick up two of them. I'll use one for TTM requests, and the other one I'll keep sealed and locked away.

*I also bought this random assortment of 50 Brooklyn/Mets baseball cards. I was hoping that it would be 50% Mets and 50% Brooklyn Dodgers. Instead it was 99.99999% Mets and 0.00001% Dodgers as that Jackie card was the only Dodger in the entire plastic case. What a waste of $10.

*I got my NYPL All-Star Game ticket and I'm hyped.

*This guy was juggling while twirling a hula hoop around his neck/stomach. A+.

All in all this was a pretty good game to watch and it was nice to see a non-Yankee baseball game for the first time in basically a year. But I won't lie, being at MCU made me miss RCBBP. And getting to Coney Island is a lot more of a pain than getting to Staten Island. And that's saying something considering how I have to take a ferry to get to the SI while I only need to make one subway transfer for CI.
Hopefully my next off day will coincide with a SIY game again.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

2014 IP Auto Count: 118

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Days, Two Baseball Games

So for the first time in almost forever my two off-days from work managed to coincide with two Staten Island Yankees games at home. Both games were against the Williamsport Crosscutters (the NYPL affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies) and both were pretty fun games.

Like last time I got a few autographs. Most of whom were guys I missed out on last time. As much as I'd like to keep this post short, I'll examine the signees one by one. They deserve it.
And like last time, the custom cards were made using pictures that were taken by Robert Pimpsner of Pinstriped Prospects. All of which I got his permission/blessing to use.

Starting us off are two autographs I got of Luis Torrens who was originally assigned to Staten Island as part of a rehab assignment. But after the game it was revealed that Torrens was no longer on rehab and was placed on the active roster. I would say that Torrens is going to be back up in Charleston soon but with Radley Haddad now on the 60-day DL, I don't know what's going to happen to Torrens.

BTW, I'd like to point out that Torrens is two years younger than me and has already accomplished more than I ever will in my life. I feel old and depressed.

Next are two autographs from Rony Bautista. A guy who I was surprised to see still be on the SIY roster.
At 6'7", Bautista is a giant southpaw. He is also a man of few words.

Another pair of autos, this time of Jordan Cote.
Even though I got a TTM return from Cote earlier this year, I'll still never pass an opportunity to get more IPs.

After weeks and weeks of waiting, the SI Yankees finally added Carley onto their roster and not long afterwards I got to make a SI Yankee card of Sean Carley. And he was still just as cool and humble as when I first met him back in June. In fact, he actually remembered me. He also said that he saw my blogpost via google and how I talked about all of the players I got autographs of. Which can only mean one thing, Sean Carley is the first professional baseball player (that I'm aware of) who has visited my blog. AWESOME!

Austin Aune was one of the players who was interested in my homemade cards. He also contributed in a big way during the 7/17 game as he hit a solo home run in a very eventful 7th inning.

In that eventful 7th inning, Devyn Bolasky came up big as he hit a two run single to tie the game 4-4.

Then with Luis Torrens up to bat, a wild pitch by Nathan Thornhill allowed Renzo Martini (who was on third) to score and gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead.

Jordan Foley was the starter in the 7/17 game. He pitched 3.2 innings and was pulled after giving up a two run home run to Rhys Hoskins.

After Foley left, in came Jonathan Holder who threw 3.1 innings of relief and earned the win.

Connor Spencer was the starting first baseman for the SI Yanks on the 7/17 game, he went 1-3 and scored a run.

Nathan Mikolas struggled a bit but I think he's starting to turn it around (#blindoptimism).

Steiger was one of the many SI Yanks who took his walks in the 7/18 game.

Slaybaugh was the starting catcher in the 7/18 game due to Raddley Haddad's injury and Luis Torrens catching the two previous games. Guess the team wanted to see what they could get out of Slaybaugh at catcher instead of giving Tejeda the nod.

Justin Kamplain is a guy I didn't get to see when I went to the home opener. While I didn't get to see him pitch, at least I can say I have his autograph.

Luis Figueroa is one of the coaches for the SI Yanks and he is a pretty funny guy. He's full of life and energy.

Unfortunately I never got to see Tim Giel pitch but I did see him catch the ceremonial first pitch before the 7/17 game.

Ty's glove work is fantastic. He also went 2-5 with two doubles and an RBI in the 7/18 game.

I talked about how cool Ethan Carnes was as a person last time and he was no different this time. He spent most of the two games chatting with kids who were sitting right next to the SI Yankees bullpen.

Tim Norton is the pitching coach for the Staten Island Yankees this year. I spoke with him a little before the game and like any coach, he misses playing baseball himself but also enjoys coaching too. Norton played in 15 games with the SI Yanks during the 2006 season, not long after he was drafted.

Chris Breen was the DH in the 7/17 game and went 0-2 with 2 walks and scored a run. He was the left fielder in the 7/18 game and went 1-4 with a walk.

I didn't get to see Jose Javier on 7/17 but he was the second baseman in the 7/18 game and I managed to get him before the game. He went 1-5.

Matt Borens is another guy I didn't see on 7/17 but managed to see on 7/18. He was in the bullpen for that game but he never pitched.

That concludes the SI Yankees I had sign cards.

There were two Phillies players present who I had cards of, Jan Hernandez and Cord Sandberg. I missed out on Hernandez (twice!) but I managed to get Sandberg after the 7/18 game in the parking lot.
Before being drafted by the Phillies Sandberg was a pretty highly touted American football player back in high school. He was planning on going to MSU until the Phillies picked him in the 3rd round of the 2013 MLB Player Draft.
If memory serves Sandberg is also notable for having an SP auto in 2013 Bowman Draft.

After I got Sandberg's auto I got tired of waiting for Hernandez and decided to just go home.

So that concludes my autograph haul, let me just explain the rest of the notables using bullet points.

*On 7/17 the Staten Island Yankees gave away bottle openers to the first 2,500 adults in attendance. Just goes to show that you can't enjoy baseball without a cold one. (*Note, I never watch baseball drunk, only sober so I can get more autographs or high as a kite so I can laugh at how it's still the 2nd inning ;)*)

*On 7/18 the Staten Island Yankees gave away special jerseys as part of their Everyday Heroes series. The jerseys were commemorating the NYPD as part of NYPD appreciation day. The irony meter was off the charts.
And since all of the jerseys were #14, we were all Ty McFarland fans that day.

*The Staten Island Yankees won the 7/17 game 5-4 with a come from behind win. The Williamsport Crosscutters won the 7/18 game 3-6.

*The ballpark was so empty on 7/17 (which was a Thursday) that I pretty much spent the entire game moving around sitting in different seats and sections.

*After the 7/18 (Friday) game there were post game fireworks.

*I love my 'Merica themed SIY hat even though I'm one of the least patriotic people in the world.

So there was my bloated blogpost about my two busy days of fun and supposedly relaxation. Hopefully I can catch another home game at Staten Island soon :).

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care :).

2014 IP Auto Count: 115