June 7, 2016

Gotta Love a Day at the Ballpark

I haven't been to many baseball games so far this season. I guess that having a third child somewhat limits opportunities to just pack up and head to the ballpark. Well, my beloved Durham Bulls only play the Yankees' Scranton Railriders for one series at home each season. That series happened to begin last Monday on Memorial Day. I couldn't make it to Monday or Tuesday's game, but Wednesday, hey were scheduled for a day game. The planets aligned just right and I was able to pack up my two youngest and head to the ballpark while my oldest was at school for the day.

It turned out to be a beautiful day to take in a ballgame. As the series approached this year, I had been pulling cards of players from the Scranton roster in hopes that I'd get to do a bit of autograph hunting. When hints didn't work out for me to go to either of the first two games, I assumed that I'd be coming empty in the autograph department, but I packed a few cards along with all of the necessities I needed for my girls. Somewhere along my drive to the game, I decided that if things worked out just right, I'd attempt to grab some sigs before the first pitch. When I got there and went to the box office to grab tickets, I was able to grab a few seats in he section at the outfield end of the visiting dugout, second row. I figured things couldn't line up much better, so I set up shop along the wall at the end of the dugout. At the end of the day, I probably could have left with more autos than I got, but I prioritized tow guys:

First, one of the top prospects in the system. Turns out he was a really great kid. Yes, I said kid... He asked 'how are you doing, sir'? I wished him luck and told him how much I appreciated his time and he seemed truly thankful for the kind words.

The other guy I targeted was a little more elusive and I had to wait a bit longer to walk away with his auto.

Swish! The small group that had gathered near the wall where I was standing had asked Nick to sign as he went out to the field to do pre-game stretches/warm-ups. He didn't stop to sign, but he was very animated and asked how we were all doing. He was quite the character. I had met a fellow member of a local FB card collector's group while waiting at the wall and he told me it would be worth a shot at asking when he was on the way back to the dugout after warm-ups. So, we did. We were all met with the same 'How's it going, guys'? This time he added that he would happily get everyone after the game. So, knowing that I wouldn't be able to hang around post-game, I began to resign myself to the idea of only being lucky enough to walk away with Judge as my only success. Honestly, that would have been fine, but as I was packing up, my fellow group member offered to take some stuff that he was fairly certain he could get signed post-game. I handed him the Pressed Into Service and told him I only wanted one and would appreciate his trying for me. Sure enough, a few hours later, I received a FB message letting me know that one of the other members of the group met up with him after the game and he was able to get the card signed. I sent my address and yesterday a FedEx envelope with the Swisher auto arrived on my doorstep. It never ceases to amaze me how generous the collecting community tends to be.

In my younger days, I would have been disappointed with a 'graphing haul of only two cards. However, as I've gotten older, I care more for the memories associated with the experience of obtaining the autos. When I look at most of my older IP auto cards, not many stand out for more than the subject pictured. Going forward, when I look at these two, I'll always remember having my two youngest daughters with me, how nice Aaron Judge was(despite being one of the organization's top prospects), and how entertaining Nick Swisher was. Ahhh, memories! Thanks for reading.


  1. I've always heard Swisher was a good guy. The Pressed into Service card looks great with an auto.
    Sounds like a great day!

  2. You can't beat a day at the ballpark, walking away with a couple of autographs with good memories attached is icing on the cake!

  3. I'm quite jealous. I still have to wait two more weeks until baseball returns and I can see it frequently again.

    Nice Judge (shiny!) and Swisher. Swisher seems to be having a ton of fun just being back in the Yankees org.

  4. Great choice on both cards! Glad to hear Judge is a good dude.