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