One of the best things about spring training is the “thrill of the chase”, and I’m not talking Chase Utley! The thrill of the chase is deciding what guy’s autographs you need, finding out what fields they’re on, and praying you time everything right so that you can grab their autograph.
It’s not always easy. I got Jonathan Papelbon the first day, I was in the right place at the right time, that one was easy. Then again, it took me seven years to get Jimmy Rollins autograph! The key is never giving up. You just got to keep trying. One day sometime you’ll likely time at all just so, and get that autograph.
Then there was this little boy, he had been trying for days to get Chase Utley’s autograph. It was the last day of his vacation and he was desperate. So when we were standing off to the side just the two of us, I told the little fella to say, “Mr. Utley, will you please sign my ball?” As the boy leaned over the fence, he called to Utley as I instructed, (and with me pointing frantically to the little guy) Chase stopped and signed. The kid was grinning from ear to ear! It made his trip!
That’s the way it was for me, too, may be the autograph Gods smiled on me for helping the little guy because I finally got Bobby Abreu. For five days I followed him around like a puppy dog not obviously of course, but kept tabs on where he was practicing, in the hopes of catching him in a signing mood. Today I got him between two of the fields between his practice sessions. I said, “Bobby would you sign my ball, pretty please with sugar on top?” So when he signed my ball, he signed it “To Sugar, Bobby Abreu”
I thought that was pretty cool. No player has ever personalized anything to me before. It really kind of made my day. But my day only got better from there.
I’ve been recognized as Baseball Betsy before, but today was a first for me. This kind gentleman, whom I met before, actually asked for my autograph! It blew me away that he liked me so much that he would have me sign a ball. I never in my wildest dreams, when I started this blog, thought that anyone would want my autograph. So I signed the ball and took a picture of the two of us. It really made today a special day!
Tomorrow’s practice is an abbreviated one as the Phillies have their annual golf outing.