In Brooklyn first because life has to be difficult of course.
The dawn of a new local minor league baseball season will always be exciting. But it's even more exciting when your favorite player of all time will be there.
Yes folks, after a year and then some of shoulder surgery and rehab, Luis Torrens is back. His return was so hyped that the New York Post's Matt Schneidman even wrote an article about him.
And oh what a return it was.
The moment his first at-bat came up is one of this "I knew I was witnessing history" moments. You might think that I'm over exaggerating but that's because you don't know how good Torrens is. He's so good that, he's just good okay!
Well okay he's better than good. Both as a player and as a person.
All in all Torrens went 2-for-5 with one walk and one strikeout. A fine and solid return for the best catcher in the history of baseball.
Torrens won't be back in Staten Island for long. He's already shown he can dominate the NYPL (and he's like the 2nd youngest guy on the team). This is just a small rehab-like stint at best before he gets called up to Charleston in like a week.
Now you all know me. Obviously I didn't go home without any autographs.
BAM!!! How's that for my second autograph of the year?!
For the first time ever I decided to come to the ballpark really early (like a good five hours before the game actually starts early) to see if I could get Luis Torrens to sign this superfractor when he goes into the stadium at Brooklyn. I waited an hour or so outside the stadium (enjoying the beautiful Coney Island boardwalk in the process), then I swooped into action when I saw the bus carrying the Staten Island Yankees enter the parking lot.
I noticed Torrens getting off the bus, went up to him and I think he recognized me. I'm not sure. We did that pound hug thing and then I asked him to sign the superfractor for me. Which he did.
In return for this and the gloves & bat Torrens gave me two years ago, I gave him 100+ cards of his that I've been accumulating over the past year. All of which are dupes. Some came from collecting buddies of mine like P-Town Tom, Bob Walk The Plank and 89Anco. Regardless of where they came from, they're all his now. I told his father about it and his family should enjoy them too.
I also threw in some extra cards of guys Torrens (probably?) likes such as Venezuelan icon Miguel Cabrera or Salvador Perez (who also hails from Venezuela). And of course other Yankees org guys like Thairo Estrada and Greg Bird.
After I got this superfractor signed I walked around the Coney Island boardwalk some more for two hours waiting for the gates to open. Once they did I got inside and got four more autographs.
The first of which was Drew Finley (the card misspelled his name).
Finley was last year's third round pick by the Yankees and he's one of the pretty high ceiling caliber pitching prospect the Yankees have taken in the third round these past few years. Along with Austin DeCarr and Nolan Martinez. Finley's due to pitch today's Staten Island Yankees game in Staten Island.
Next I got Yankees prospect Kendall Coleman. Coleman was drafted by the Yankees back in 2013 but injuries have slowed his development. Nonetheless he's back with a fury this year. Putting up very promising results in Charleston before kind of being pushed out due to the logjam of outfielders there. With Coleman in Staten Island, he should get more playing time and make up for lost time.
BTW, the card above is actually a 2013 Bowman Chrome MINI card. Coleman noticed and commented how it was the mini version.
It's hard to see on the scan but this is former Rays pitcher Travis Phelps. Phelps is the pitching coach for the Staten Island Yankees this year and I wanted to get his autograph on this. Drafted back in 1996 (as a 89th rounder!) Phelps pitched in the big leagues for the Rays and Brewers but mainly spent his professional career in the minors and independent leagues.
My last autograph of the day was from Dave Bialas, the manager for the Staten Island Yankees. Bialas was a pro baseball player in the Cardinals organization but never made it to the majors. Later he became a coach and was one of the Chicago Cubs' coaches for a few years. Now he's managing in the Yankees org.
Alright so the game itself was really really long.
See. 20 innings. TWENTY INNINGS.YANKEES WIN! After 5 hours 39 minutes & 20 innings, the #BabyBombers are 1-0! The bullpen gives 14 shutout IP, while Blaser reaches 7 times.— StatenIslandYankees (@SIYanks) June 18, 2016
By the 12th inning Luis Torrens got replaced by Keith Skinner (Skinner!).
As embarrassing as this is, I actually left the game early and didn't see it through the end.
Yup. I left around the 3rd inning which was sometime between 7:30 and 8 PM. I got home around 11 PM and the game was still going on and would continue to go on for a couple of more hours. Yeesh, the bullpen and players will all be tired and wiped out tomorrow.Amazing. I left the SIY game around the 3rd inning. Got dinner. Finally came home. And the game is still in the 16th inning.— Kenny (@disnalldat) June 18, 2016
BTW, my tweet above was featured in Jim Waggoner's recap article about the game.
In a way I'm glad I left early. My feet were killing me from all the walking anyway.
Anyway that was my first Staten Island Yankees game of this season. Will there be more to come? I freaking hope so. At least while Torrens is still here.
As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).
2016 IP Auto Count: 6