Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Toughest Spring Training Autographs

I attended four Spring Training games on my trip this year (it would have been five, but one was rained out), and I spent a good chunk of each day trying to get autographs. I spent sometime before, during, and after each game trying to get signatures of the O's players and two of them seemed to elude me day in and day out. While I certainly didn't get autographs of everyone on the team, Delmon Young and Julio Borbon remained just out of my reach, at least until the last day.

*For what it's worth- I didn't see Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, Ryan Webb, Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, or Steve Pearce sign at all, but I already have their autographs and wasn't trying as hard for them.

Between Young and Borbon, Delmon certainly has a much better chance at playing for the O's in 2014; in fact, Borbon was sent to minor league camp the day I left Florida. But depending on how everything works out this year, either of them could conceivably make an appearance in Baltimore at some point. And I always prefer to be prepared in that case.

I heard a few times before my trip that Delmon was not an easy signature to get, so I figured he would be a tough get. I know he has had a few "incidents" over the years that might back up a surly demeanor, but I know that we all can change, so didn't want to judge. I asked him a few times to sign at games, and he turned me down at least twice with standard variations of the "not now" excuse. When he finally did sign, I have to give him credit that he came down the third base line in Bradenton to sign for a handicapped fan who I happened to be standing next to at the time.

Julio Borbon was not someone who I anticipated having any trouble getting a card signed by, but he didn't seem to spend much time signing autographs. The day he signed for me, I honestly didn't see him signing for anyone else, so this could be the only autograph he signed over the four games I attended. I'm just happy that he signed it for me!

I will continue to show off my Spring Training autographs over the coming weeks, hopefully wrapping them up by Opening Day. And I need to do a final count on how many of these old man cards I got signed, because I'm guessing they were easily at least 50% of what I got signed down there.

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