Last year in Cleveland I began getting these Eephus League scorebook signed.
There were a couple reasons I began to do this. The biggest was that I was beggining to notice that players were refusing to sign my sweet spot cards, and I assumed that these would never get declined. On that, I was wrong. Two big names declined: Jay Bruce and Pedro Alvarez, as well as Indians prospect Francisco Lindor. I would whine about this–they are not blank, for goodness sake!–but whatever. It’s stupid.
The other reason is that they look nice. The backgrounds are subdued, and the cream color pages really allow an autograph done in Sharpie to pop out. These scorebooks (which you can buy HERE) are the classiest thing since the monocle.
Finally, there are easier to carry around than a books of cards, allowing you to be a little more mobile. Of course, you have to be careful. These are paper and can crease if you don’t handle them right. And they also do not react well to water…so if it is raining, you gotta button these up.
Overall, my haul during my 2012 Cleveland vacation was pretty good. These are about 90% of what I got, the rest are waiting for another shipment of 6×9 toploaders.
Johnny Damon and Jason Grilli (P, Pirates)
Damon signed like a champ most days, and was really cool. I was not sure what I was expecting, but it was nice. Jason Grilli…I was not even going to get him, except that i thought he was Joel Hanrahan. After I got him I looked him up, and sure enough he is one of the better pen arms in the league. Good for him. I remember pulling his rookie card out of packs of Bowman, and every time thinking that I already had 10 too many of them. Also: some dude argued with me for 10 minutes that he never signs. It was nice waiting until the exact right moment to pull this out.
Chris Heisey (Reds) and Arthea Franklin
Franklin walked out of the hotel while I was waiting for the Pirates, so it was a nice surprise. She was very nice…her bodyguards, not so much.
Kevin Corriea (P, Pirates)
Lonnie Chisenhall and Garrett Jones
After getting McCutchen I decided to call it a day–I was about to die from exposure–and get some lunch. As I turned to walk away I noticed that Jones was walking in front of me, about 20 yards, headed towards to area of downtown with all the places to eat. I ended up following him the whole way there. It was coincidence, and I never thought about asking for his autograph, but I have a feeling he thought I was following him. Or not. Maybe guys like him don’t get that kind of attention, but I know that guys like Votto sure do.
I was able to get his autograph the next day. I was happy about that too. That morning for fun I looked up his career stats and found that I have always underrated him: he is only a careet .256 hitter, but has had two 20 HR season and is on his way to a third. He also does not have much on Ebay.
This is the best Chisenhall auto I was able to get. It seems like he is a lot more loose than he was while he was in Akron. He was great to interact with, and signed a couple times. He is one of those dues that I kept hearing people say “he never signs!”, when he did seem to sign pretty regular…just not everyday.
Nick Hagadone and Joe Smith
Hagadone is my long man in MLB2K12. Smith is one of my favorite pitchers in the AL…plus any guy in the Tribe pen is someone I want in my collection.
Rod Barajas and Neil Walker
Barajas seems like he should still be a rookie, but he has been around since 1999 and had some pretty OK seasons. He was one 21 HR season, and a bunch of others in the mid teens. He was part of the 2001 World Series champs D-Backs, thought that season he only hit .160/.191/.274.
Walker was a nice surprise. I love how he finally made it to the major leagues.
He was drafted in 2004 and immediately became one of the Pirates best prospects. For four years he was be rated one of the systems best players: #2 prospect (’04), #1 (’05), #2 (06), #2 (07), #6 (08). But by 2009 things were not looking good. He opened the season rated the #26 prospect and it looked like he ceiling was a utility infielder. But, after a brief and unimpressive cup of coffee in 2009 he would become a regular in 2010 and excel: .296 AVG, .349 OBP with 12 HR and 66 RBI. He was been a reliable part of the Pirates IF ever since.
Mike McKenry and Justin Masterson
I got this Masterson autograph on June 20th. I will always remember that, since he just got done pitching a complete game three hitter. 9 IP, 3 H, 1 R (none earned), with 9 K and no walks. I had already got his autograph once, but after that performance I just thought I should get one more…and take the oppertunity to tell him how lucky the Tribe is to have him.
I dont have much to say about McKenry. He was very nice, and has a cool name. From 2007 to 2009 he was the teams #16, #9 and #13 prospect. He is a very good backup catcher, and I think it would be fun to see what he could do with 500 at bats. He does have a little power.
Jeanmar Gomez and Justin Masterson
Poor Jeanmar. Started the season off so nice, and then sent down. Bummer.
Grady Sizemore and Vinny Pestano
Sizemore is a tough autograph. This is the only time I think he signed while I was in town. I was sure I was going to get him on my last day–I had a Ginter ready and everything–but he blew the four of us waiting off. People say he is shy, so the smaller the group the better. At this point signing autographs is about the most productive thing he does for the organization, so I have no idea why he is as tough as he is to get.
And you can never have enough Pestano.
Jason Kipnis and Hannahan
This Kipnis is the same that I showed off on an earlier post.
And there is always money in the Ba-Hannahan stand.
That is an Arrested Development reference, and it pleases me.
Josh Tomlin and Aaron Cunningham
I only saw Tomlin sign once, after his June 19th start where he went 6.2 IP, allowed 6 hits (1 ER) and walked 2, struck out 2. This was the game where Asdrubal Cabrera nailed a HR in the bottom of the 10th to win the game. I was there, and it was AMAZING.
Anyway, Tomlin did not sign when his wife was with him, which seemed like most days. But that night when he walked out the autograph crowed went crazy cheering for him. I think people where still pretty pumped about the win. He gave his wife a look, said something, she nodded, and he signed for just about everyone. It was a great night.
I got Tomlin last season, but a raindrop nailed the middle of the autograph and ruined it. So it was nice to make up for that here.
Cunningham: super nice guy. Cool autograph. Lots of tats. That is all I have to say about him and his .171 AVG.