Monday, April 24, 2017

Oriole # 1020- Wade Miley

Well, it finally happened, after attempting to get an Orioles card signed by Wade Miley since he was traded to the Orioles last July, I'm finally able to scratch him off of my need list. And it only took me nine months!

Wade came to the Orioles organization via a trade with the Mariners on July 31, 2016; the O's sent prospect Ariel Miranda to Seattle to complete the deal. Probably within a week of the transaction, my dad had made Wade Miley Orioles Old Man Cards, and I attempted to get them signed a handful of times through the end of the 2016 season. Every time I was at a game, Wade consistently ignored requests from fans to sign. I even had him one on one a couple times and was turned down. 

After the 2016 season, Wade was included in the 2016 Topps Update set as an Oriole (the personalized card on the left), and I had to officially include him on my autograph need list. Oh well, I figured that I could knock his autograph out at Fanfest in January. Except he wasn't there, which is really strange considering that almost every US based member of the team attends the yearly event, which I assume is a contractual obligation. 

Ok, I thought, well I can hopefully get him at Spring Training. But that didn't work out either. I was waved off a few times by him and I didn't see him sign once over the week that I was in Sarasota. By that point, I was pretty bummed out, as Spring Training is generally the best bet to knock out some of the tougher players, as they generally seem more willing to sign with the smaller crowds and more relaxed environment. One of my other autographing friends who spent the entire of duration of Spring Training attending O's games didn't have any luck with Wade either. 

To top things off, I couldn't even find any signed Orioles cards for sale anywhere. Which kind of indicated to me that I wasn't the only person who Wade was not signing for, and my frustrations continued.

Until yesterday. Sunday's have historically been the best day to get pitchers' autographs at Camden Yards as there isn't any batting practice on the field and most of them seem to do long toss or other warm-ups in front of the fans. Wade appeared to be throwing a bullpen session when I got to the came, and as he was walking back to the dugout, some fans called him over. 

I didn't have much hope, but he came over and probably signed autographs for 20 minutes. He probably signed for 200 people, and since I wasn't sure if I would have another chance to get his autograph, I asked him to sign two cards and he obliged. He signed my son's ball as well, and honestly seemed very personable and friendly. He was joking around with everyone and seemed to be a pretty nice guy. What a nice turn of events, and I can rest easy knowing that my autograph need list just got a little shorter. Thanks Wade!

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