Friday, September 2, 2011

Request Week- Bruce Chen

Zach who writes the continually great and entertaining "Autographed Cards" blog requested that I write about two players. The first of which is former Oriole and current Royal, Bruce Chen.

Bruce is the quintessential journeyman and has pitched for ten different MLB teams since 1998. He's still only 34 years old, so I think he might be able to squeeze at least two more teams in before he hangs up his spikes. Bruce pitched for the Orioles from 2004-06, and pitched very well his first two seasons in Baltimore before falling off precipitously in 2006.

I actually have a few funny stories about Bruce. The first of which took place at Orioles FanFest in 2005. If you're not familiar with the set-up, it takes place at the Baltimore Convention Center (a pretty standard convention center), and players are located at 4-5 signing stations around the building. While some of the details have changed over the years, essentially fans have to wait in long lines to get autographs. Well, as I was about to leave for the day, I saw a somewhat familiar looking Asian man looking around like he didn't know where to go. It was none other than Bruce, who was standing in the middle of hundreds of Orioles fans, many of whom had been waiting in long autograph lines all day, but no one immediately recognized him. I pounced on the opportunity and got his autograph on the event program. I think that I then pointed him in the right direction but by that point, I had blown his cover and other fans started to figure out who he was.

My next story occurred a few years later when Bruce was a member of the Royals. He signed this Bowman card for me at Camden Yards prior to a Royals-O's game and pretty much signed for all of the fans who were there (which wasn't many). The last two guys he signed for didn't have anything for him to sign except a few dollar bills which Bruce willingly signed. After he did so, a nearby usher mentioned how that could be considered defacing US currency, and Bruce mumbled something about never signing money again. It was a pretty funny ordeal.

Bruce was also known to be a "funny" guy, or at least a joke teller, and the Orioles had a "Bruce Chen Joke of the Day" feature that ran on the JumboTron between innings. A few of his jokes that I could find were:

"What do you do with a one-legged dog?" "Take him for a drag."

"Why did the bicycle keep falling over? Because it was too tired."

"What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear."

Hilarious, right?

I was happy to hear that the Royals are apparently doing a similar feature with Bruce and Zach mentioned that he has added at least one more joke to his arsenal.

"Where do you find a no legged dog? Right where you left him."

Here's to you Bruce Chen!


zman40 said...

That's awesome Ryan. Thanks for sharing!

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Anytime Zach. If you ever want to hear my thoughts about any Orioles, just let me know!