There was a small group of guys that were at almost every game that I attended. This one guy(I think his name was Pete) that I saw all the time knew every player by looking at them and would call their name out to the rest of us so we could get our cards or other items ready. It turns out he frequented FDR Sportscards(which I have written about in the past) too. One afternoon, I was at FDR trying to get some cards of the next visiting team. Pete happened to walk in. We started chatting about some of the players and he mentioned that he had heard rumors that Wade Boggs might be in town. Boggs had recently taken a job working with the Rays in some official capacity, so it wasn't a complete shock. He told me he was going to pack some Boggs cards just in case. I hurried home and did my best to find some cards from his time on the Yankees and headed out for the ballpark. When I arrived, I took my usual place near the opponent's dugout. Pete was already camped in his normal spot. Today, he had a walkie talkie(yes, this was in the days before cell phones were in everyone's pocket) with him. I looked over at the Bulls's dugout and saw some of the other guys that were 'regulars'. A few minutes later, the walkie talkie beeped and Pete had a short chat with the guy on the other end. He quickly packed up his stuff and headed over to the home team's side. On his way by, he told me that Boggs was in the stadium. I'm not sure how the other guy knew, but is decided to follow. I didn't have any Bulls cards with me that night, so I was taking the chance that Boggs might be the only auto I walked away with that night. I stood waiting until all of the Bulls had gone by, went out to warm up, and returned to the dugout. It was only about 10 minutes before first pitch and still, no Boggs. I packed all my stuff up. Just as I was about to go find my seat, a few of the guys right at the dugout steps started bustling. At this point, there were only about four of us left waiting there. I turned around to see Wade Boggs, complete in a Durham Bulls uniform, walking up the steps from the clubhouse. Since I had already packed all my stuff up, I decided that I'd be happy with the chance to shake his hand and offer my congrats on an incredible career. He willingly signed for the other guys that were still there and turned to me, expecting to be handed another card. I offered my hand instead and if I remember correctly, tripped a bit over telling him how awesome it was that his 3000th hit was a HR. He thanked me and asked if I had anything for him to sign. I told him I had already packed my stuff up and that I didn't want to ask him to wait while I dug one out. He told me that he'd wait since I was the only other one hanging around. I quickly shuffled through the box I had with me and pulled out the first one that I saw showing him in the pinstripes.
He handed this back to me and I thanked him. He gave me a quick nod, walked over to the bench, and started a conversation with one of the other coaches. I don't think I really saw the card until I eventually wandered to my seat for the evening. I was in awe! Looking back on it, the only thing I really wish is that I had a camera with me. I searched and searched for a picture of him wearing the Bulls uni, but came up empty. I've gotten a bunch of in person autos at the ballpark, but this is the best experience I've ever had while autograph hunting.