Thursday, August 28, 2014

Time Is Running Out

So I saw another Staten Island Yankee game. At this point in the season the Yankees don't have a shot at winning the division but they did have a shot at the wild card spot as they were only 3 games behind the Cyclones.
Speaking of the Cyclones, the Yankees opponent at this game was their arch rival from across the Hudson. Which meant that this game actually meant something for whoever managed to win and screw over the other team's chance at making it to the playoffs.

Starting for the SI Yankees was Ty Hensley.
Hensley's leash appeared to have grown smaller as he was only in the game for three innings. Giving up four hits, one run (earned) while striking out six.

After Hensley was pulled Andrew Chin came in to pitch three innings of scoreless relief. He allowed two hits, one walk and struck out five.

Although he didn't pitch I managed to get Jordan Foley's autograph before the game. And it looks like Choice used the same picture I used for my custom.

Now at this game I didn't as many autographs as I usually do. Mainly because I was too lazy to bother trying to get everyone to sign the team set the SI Yanks released out of nowhere (I'll elaborate more on those later). But I did go after a few Cyclones after the game.

Like Michael Conforto, the Mets' first round pick in 2014 who was selected tenth overall. The outfielder is already one of the top prospects in the Mets organization and has been included in quite a fair number of top 100 prospects lists. This guy has some serious potential, lets see how the Mets manage to mess it up.

I also got Marcos Molina who was one of the Cyclones representatives in the 2014 NYPL All Star Game. He's had a breakout season here in 2014 and has at least made his presence felt in an organization that values pitching depth more than pretty much anything else.

Finally I acquired this signed card of Corey Oswalt.
I'm kind of torn on whether or not I should include this in my IP count because I didn't get this signed. A fellow autograph collector who I've spoken to on numerous occasions gave it to me during the game. I'll probably add it since I was too lazy to get Oswalt to sign the card I had prepared.

Alright those were my autographs, lets move onto the bullet points, er I mean notables.

*The starting pitcher was Ty Hensley and the catcher was Luis Torrens.
That's right, Ty Hensley and LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS were the SI Yanks' battery at the beginning of the game. If you're a total minor league Yankees geek like I am that line should have given you a boner.

*The Staten Island Yankees released a team set this year.
For the first time in 9 years the team decided (out of nowhere) to release a set for this year's team. Naturally I picked one up (actually I picked up seven of them). At this point I probably won't get too many of them signed (I already have my customs) but I'll see how far I can get on cruise control and not 100%.

*The Yankees won the game 2-1 in walk off fashion.
The game went into extra innings with both the Yanks and Cyclones tied at one run apiece until the bottom of the 10th game and Chris Breen hit a walk off home run to give the SI Yanks the victory and send those from Brooklyn home crying. Another guy who remembers who I am, Sam Agnew-Wieland was the winner after providing two innings of scoreless relief in the 9th and 10th.

*It was cold hard cash night and prior to the game the team was handing out envelopes filled with cash to the first 500 guests. The prizes ranged from one penny to one hundred dollars. I managed to get seven dollars.

*LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS still remembered who I was. Yes, this is important (to me).

*The SI Yankees are now (as of this post) 4.5 games back in the wild card race. With a few more important games against Brooklyn coming up the cliche that "every win counts" actually means something.

So that was my post about my latest SI Yankee game. Hopefully I can make it to the season finale next week on Labor Day. If not, well I'm honestly pretty satisfied with my "haul" here in 2014.

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

2014 IP Auto Count: 139

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

All Star Fun

So a few days ago the New York-Penn League All Star Game was held at Coney Island and I decided to go see it.

This game was the first All Star Game I'd ever been to (minor league or otherwise) and I had a pretty nice time.

The only "problem" I had is that prior to the game the players were all signing autographs at various booths set up inside the stadium but by the time I arrived at the ballpark most of them were done signing. And I didn't get as many autographs as I would've liked. That said I did manage to snag a few and I'm grateful for every last one :).

First up is 2014 first rounder, Casey Gillaspie. Casey is the younger brother of Conor Gillaspie but projects to be a far superior player. Some scouts have even compared him to Lance Berkman, which isn't too bad. What is bad is that he's in the Tampa Bay Ray(pist) organization. Poor guy.

Next is Bralin Jackson (who's in the picture above). Jackson was drafted by the Ray(pists) in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB Player Draft. The speedy outfielder projects to be a solid defender who can hit for a high average and also have some pop in his bat. According to the back of the card, Jackson is a rare breed, a player who throws left handed but hits as a righty.

Hunter Lockwood was also signing autographs at the booth where Bralin Jackson was signing autographs. An 11th round draft pick in 2013, Lockwood was originally a catcher before being drafted as a left fielder. The biggest asset Lockwood has to offer is power, 30 HR power. Something the Rays have never had in the offense killer they call Tropicana.

Next is Nolan Gannon who was signing autographs at the same booth where Casey Gillaspie was signing autographs. While he is not an evil boar that kidnaps Zelda, he was the starting pitcher for the North (away) team. He worked a scoreless inning or two then left. Or at least I think he did (I stopped paying attention to the game around the third inning).

FINALLY, someone who's not in the Ray(pists) organization!
Jamie Ritchie was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 13th round of the 2014 MLB Player Draft. He was the starting catcher for the North team.

And signing autographs next to Ritchie was Nick Tanielu. Also known as the 2014 NYPL All Star Game MVP. Nick went 3-3 and drove in the only run that the North team managed to score.

And finally I got LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS too.
One thing that was really cool is that Luis remembered who I was. You see, around the 3rd inning my 21st century attention span wore out and I decided to go watch pitchers warm up in the home team bullpen, there I saw LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS warming up. He saw me, we waved hands at each other and he went on catch Mitch Gueller (a guy I wanted to get an autograph of but didn't).

After that I stopped paying attention to the game altogether and just went on Torrens-watch.
He warmed up in the bullpen for a while until he was eventually thrown into the game as a pinch runner in the bottom of the 5th.

Although Torrens made it to second, he was left stranded and the South team didn't score.

Torrens stayed in the game as a catcher and remained in the game until the end.

In the seventh Torrens hit a double and then made it to third when the next batter (fellow SI Yankee Isaias Tejeda) reached first on a fielding error. Torrens later came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Derek Campbell, scoring the only run the South team managed to accumulate.

In all Torrens went 1-2 with a double, run scored and threw out a base stealer attempting to steal second in the 8th inning. I dunno about you but I think they gave the MVP award to the wrong guy...

So those were my autographs and LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS reports. Here are the rest of the notables using bullet points.

*The game ended in a tie 1-1. A positive way to look at the game would be to call it a pitching duel. A negative way to look at the game is that it was a total waste of time for the audience.

*They gave away free whatever the hell you call these things at the gates. Mainly so the staff/security could see your ticket and make sure you're sitting in your seat.

*The gift shop at MCU Park finally had the NYPL Top Prospects set as well as a Cyclones team set. I bought three Top Prospects set (I gave one entire set to Luis as a thank you present) and one Cyclones set.

*As I was leaving the stadium I noticed a box that still had some programs inside and decided to take some for myself. Anyone want one?

*Seeing all the desperate and sweaty autograph hounds (mainly out of shape whiteys in their 30's) after the game kind of made me embarrassed to be an autograph collector.

So anyway, that was the All Star Game that I saw.
As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by and take care :).

2014 IP Auto Count: 132

Monday, August 4, 2014


So a couple of weeks ago I purchased this on eBay.

It's a red refractor parallel of Yankees prospect Luis Torrens from 2013 Bowman Chrome.

As you can see it's numbered 3/5. And as you can imagine this card did cost me a pretty penny, not so much that I'll need to skip breakfast for a week, but enough to ensure that I won't be picking up anymore cardboard until Bowman Chrome comes out next month.
Now with cards like this most people would do something like have it graded or keep it safe and locked away until Torrens makes it to the big leagues. But I'm not like most people, I didn't pick this card up as an investment, I picked this up... have it signed.
The minute I decided to pull the trigger and click the buy it now button I knew what I wanted to do with this card. "This is an interesting card, Luis Torrens is an interesting player who plays for my semi-local Staten Island Yankees, I'm going to see the Staten Island Yankees next week..." BOOM!
Now most people have their cards signed in blue or black ink but for this I decided to go with red. I mean it's the red refractor, the only blue that should be on it is the navy blue Yankees colors and the Bowman part of the Bowman Chrome logo. And no, I don't care that there are only four red refractors of Luis Torrens left in the world that are untouched.
I'll probably never own the certified red refractor auto of Luis Torrens (especially since his super is apparently going to cost $1.7k), but I'm perfectly happy with this. It wasn't that expensive and I managed to get Luis to sign it for me in person (as well as actually hold it, sorry no pictures).

Oh and Torrens was the DH in the game and went 0-2 with THREE walks.

Now at this game I got a few other autographs too.

Like former first round draft pick, Ty Hensley who was the starter for the SI Yanks in this game. His outing wasn't exactly the best as he gave up three runs (two earned) in three innings, but he did get 3 k's and his velocity did manage to reach the low/mid-90's (according to PinstripedPros).

Amazingly enough I actually got more autographs this time from the opposing team, the Auburn Doubledays who are the NYPL affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

Last year I went nuts and opened TWO boxes of Bowman draft and ended up with quite a few dupes. So much so that I had Mr. Medina here sign two cards for me and yet I still had an extra card to give him. Medina appeared as a pinch runner during the game, stole a base and scored a run.

I managed to get Garrett Gordon right next to the visitor's dugout. He did not play in the game.

And finally here's Travis Ott. Ott was the starting pitcher for the Doubledays. While he managed to last a little longer than Hensley he allowed three runs (all earned) while walking five in four innings. I managed to get his autograph after the game in the garage.

So those were my autographs. Let me quickly wrap up this post by noting the notables with bulletpoints.

*The game was a seesaw game as the Yankees and Doubledays constantly gave up runs to each other. It even went into extra innings when Jeff Gardner hit a game tying home run in the 9th (with two outs). It wasn't the best game pitching wise, but it was fun to see some offense going back and forth in a game where it's becoming increasingly hard to score runs. The Yankees lost to the Doubledays 6-7 in 10 innings.

*The day this game happened (August 4th) was the last day you could vote for the best mascots in the various leagues. I voted for the SI Yankees mascot a handful of times (I even bought a plushie and tweeted something with a hashtag in support) but unfortunately the Brooklyn Cyclones mascot Sandy The Seagull won. The contest is definitely rigged.

*The game started at 11 A.M. which meant that I had to get up at six in the morning on four hours of sleep in order to take a three hour train/ferry ride. Why? Because Zippy Zappy is a crazy person that's why.

*It was also camp day which meant the stadium was packed (sort of) with children. Which is all nice and dandy until they started singing along to Justin Bieber songs the Doubledays players used as walk-up songs.

*I sat in the front row of the seats right behind home plate during the 9th and 10th. Now some people pay hundreds for these seats at MLB games but personally I didn't see what was so magical about it. The net makes it really hard to see and sitting there gets irritating really quick. Sitting next to the dugout (the parts without the net) is a hundred times better.

*Tim Giel posed for me before the game.

We've reached the end and I'd like to end this post by announcing that I've dropped Adam Warren from my PC guy list, and have added Luis Torrens. Or as he will be referred to (whenever possible) on here, LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS! He will be my blog's version of WTNY's ROCK SHOULDERS. Only I won't be going after every Torrens parallel ever made. Just give me his MiLB cards issued by Choice, Multi-Ad or Grandstand and I'll be happy.

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

2014 IP Auto Count: 125