Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Mom Adds Scott Williamson to my Collection

So my autograph collecting began years ago as a kind of father and son bonding thing between me and my dad.  My mom would frequently tag along on trips to watch baseball games, but she would leave us to try to collect autographs. Well that all changed on Sunday. 

I met my parents at the Atlantic League playoff game between the York Revolution and Somerset Patriots in York. Scott Williamson is currently playing for the Somerset Patriots and he has ignored the two TTM requests that I sent to him over the past two years. I was running out of his Orioles cards and I needed to be proactive, so I figured I would try to get him in person.

Before the game, as more and more of the Patriots' players were coming out on the field to warm up and prepare for the game, I was talking with a fellow autograph hound who mentioned that Scott would normally wait until the game started to come out to take his place in the bullpen. That wasn't good news for me, since players will rarely to never sign once the game has started. 

Sure enough, Scott finally made it to the bullpen bench (which was right in front of our section thanks to some smart ticket selection by my dad) but not until the middle of the first inning. I wasn't really trying to stay until after the game, but if that's what I had to do, so be it. I've had too many in-game autograph requests ignored over the years, so I wasn't even going to ask Scott during the game, but my mom volunteered to do it. I'm not sure she had ever gotten a player's autograph before, so she was well outside of her comfort zone, but she calmly walked over the 'pen between innings and asked Scott if he would sign my card. 

As you can see, my mom came through for me and the collection, so I think I owe her a dinner or something.  She reported that Scott didn't say anything to her after she asked for his autograph, he just signed the card and gave it back to her. Nice work Mom! Thank you very much!

Scott pitched in the Major Leagues from 1999-2007 and is still attempting to make it back to that level, but each passing year seems to make it more and more unlikely that he will get back to the Bigs. Scott's best year was in 1999 with the Reds when he was selected as the N.L. Rookie of the Year and also made the All-Star team. He also won a World Series with the 2004 Red Sox, but wasn't on the active roster for the Series. A multitude of injuries plagued Scott throughout his career, including two Tommy John surgeries, and he was never able to rediscover the magic of his rookie campaign.  

Scott was 1-0 with a 4.40 ERA over 16 games with the 2007 O's before his attitude earned him a ticket out of town. He was essentially questioning the front office's strategy and promotion of younger players, and while I think every Orioles fan has done the same thing, it's different when you're putting your bosses out there in public like that.  

Thanks again for your help mom, I'm glad that you helped me to add Scott to the collection!


kmsals said...

Pretty neat experience! Congrats on chaulking up another one to your collection!

Paul said...

You're lucky that York is a stadium that allows you access to the bullpens.

When Williamson pitched for the Bears last year, I think I only saw him to ask once - during a team autograph session on fan appreciation day at the end of the season.

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Yeah, it was nice that the bullpen bench is immediately in front of the seats so she could ask him. He definitely seemed like he didn't want to sign.

zman40 said...

That's pretty cool. I think I've only recieved an autograph once during a game and it was Runelvys Hernandez of all people.

That's cool your mom volunteered to do that.