A few months ago I posted some of the autographs that I had gotten in the Northwest league up to that date but today I want to go over my top autographs from the entire year both in the minor leagues and the major league. Normally this would wait until later but I don’t plan on attending any more Mariners games so my 2012 autograph season is unofficially over.
I’m going to have a few different categories to help show my best autographs of the year. The first category is my highest point’s getter according to the Autograph Game that I created. Scoring information can be found on The Autograph Game Blog Post.
Highest Points Received:
Bobby Doerr is my easily the leader in points for the 2012 season. Nine All-star game appearances, 8 time top 25 in MVP voting including a 3rd place finish in 1946, and is a member of the Hall of Fame. Total score: 20 points but this was before Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers.
Most Exciting to Get:
Joey Gallo didn’t get called up until the last couple weeks of the Northwest League season and my only chance to get him was in Eugene on a Monday night. Not only did Joey stop to sign the bat and two balls that I had but he also saw that I had some cards of him and offered to sign those as well without me even asking. I was going to wait until after the game to get the cards so I wasn’t asking for like 10 things at once but when a ball player says he doesn’t mind then neither do I.
Mike Zunino is one of the most amazing talents that I have ever seen play in minor league baseball and when he came to Salem to play the Volcanoes I had no clue what to expect. What I got was a young man not only willing to sign autographs but also willing to talk, take pictures and get to know the crazy Mariner fans here in the northwest.
Coolest Item Signed:
My Josh Parr printing plate is easily the best. Any time I can get a 1 of 1 card signed it makes my day very happy. Now I just need to get my Mike Murray (yes you, Mike, retired or not I still need your autograph), Andre Eithier, Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak, Jason Vargas and Brett Krill printing plates signed.
Yes, printing plates are my new thing to get autographed so please don’t copy me, it’s hard enough to get them as it is. Just kidding, kind of, not really, don’t do it, they’re mine.
Favorite Players who signed:
Josh Parr was probably my favorite simply because I got the opportunity to talk with Josh four of the five games that Yakima played at Salem. I also got the chance to sit down and do an interview with Josh. Baseball is what Josh does but not who he is. He is a guy that is a great ambassador for the game and for his faith.
Joe Ross, Marcus Littlewood, Cody Wheeler and Hayden Simpson were all great guys who went out of their way to not only sign a few autographs but to also connect with the fans for a few minutes by answering questions and just talking some baseball. Joey Gallo and Mike Zunino also fall into this list.
The One That Got Away:
Charlie Blackman started the season with the Tri-Cities Dust Devils and never even made it to a series against the Volcanoes or Emeralds for me to go watch. It is rare to get a guy with major league experience in this league but that is where Blackman was placed to do a rehab stint. I would have liked to have gotten that one.
The One That Got Away (Kind Of):
Lee Smith was one of the great closers when I was growing up and this year I missed getting his autograph while he was in Salem. I can’t really count this as a true One That Got Away because I’ve gotten Smith each of the past two seasons on 2 balls and 10 cards. A few more cards would have been nice but there is always next season.
Unfinished Autograph Challenge:
For those of you that have read my blog for the last couple of months you know that I was at the Mariners no-hitter. No, it wasn’t Felix’s perfect game but the other one. You know with the six pitchers who got the no-hitter. Well anyways I have gotten 4 of the 6 pitchers to sign my daughter’s first game certificate. I only need Luetge and Pryor to complete the autograph challenge.
Overall this year has been a lot of fun for me. It isn’t my biggest year of autographs but since I didn’t make it to spring training and won’t make it the Arizona Fall League, it hasn’t been that bad.