Baseball Tonight Tour bus - Temple Diablo Mon March 12th

Baseball Tonight Tour bus - Temple Diablo Mon March 12th

Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Training-Jays

Spring Training is always a fun time to follow baseball.  Players are excited to get the season started, they are battling to be on the 25 man roster.  You get to see your top prospects and what they have to offer. You get to see baseball game after a LONG winter.

31 days until the regular season begins!

Once the season begins I will be posting blogs on a regular basis.  I hope to go to 2 games a week on average.  I will post pics, recaps of the games and talk about the conversations I have had with the players. Most will probably be the Blue Jays....they are my main team (like the Nats too but they don't talk to fans as much as the Jays).

I am interested in seeing the Jays and how they gel. They have alot of new guys in the bullpen with Jon Rauch Octavio Dotel, Frank Francisco.  This will be JP's first shot at being the starting catcher. We will see how my buddy Adam Lind does playing first base. Will Jose Bautista play right or 3rd (and he will hit 37-42 homers this year)?  Will Aaron Hill bounce back after a tough year last year? YES....he is an excellent all around 2nd basemen.  Yunel Escobar, he is a superb shortshop. I am excited to see Raji Davis play, only saw him a little with the A's. 

I hope my main man Travis Snider recovers from an injury he just suffered and is able to play 130-140 games. He has power, he has a good glove, a hard-nosed player and he is a great guy, very fan friendly and i will always be rooting for him!  Thank you Alex A (AA) for not trading Snider for Greinke or Garza.

We have an up and coming young starting rotation with Romero, Morrow, Cecil, Drabek and I'd like to see Rzepczynski as the number 5 but we will see how he and some of the other contenders do this spring.

And the bench will hopefully improve, but we have Johnny Mac back and he is the heart and sole of the Jays.  He goes out there whether its in a late inning defense replacement role or a pinch running role or if he is starting, he goes out there with the same intensity and heart. Johnny are the man!

I love baseball. Always have. Ever since I was born.  I will write about different teams and players....but NO team has my love like the Jays.....heck some of the guys even know my name and recognize me...

I will deeply miss seeing Scott Downs and Vernon Wells. I wish those two guys the VERY BEST out in Anaheim.  I will see you guys when you come to Bmore.  Those of you that know me, know the reason I became a Jays fan almost 6 years ago was because of Vernon Wells and shortly after that Scott Downs became my favorite pitcher. Good luck guys!

It would be my dream to have players read my blog.  It will get better with pics of me with players and writing the conversations, quotes etc....

31 days..........I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mike "bobblehead guy"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And It Begins........

I am so excited!  This is my first post with my first blog on my baseball adventures and rants.  I want to thank Kathy and Nicole at C&B, Scott my landlord and of course my best friend in the world, Jony, for suggesting I start a blog. Also, Amy for listening to my baseball rants!! thank you to all of you!!!

A little bit about me, I am a baseball fanatic. I was born with baseball in my blood, going to a baseball game when I was just a few weeks old with my dad at Fenway Park!  I attended two games of the 2004 World Series at Fenway. I was a diehard Sox fan.  Yes, I said I was.

It all changed when I went to my first Spring Training in 2004 with my dad and was shocked at how close one could get with the players. I went back with my dad in 2005 and this is when I started collecting autographs. During batting practice I tried to get Vernon Wells autograph. I wasn't able to but he said he would get me a ball (i thought, yeah right).  Sure enough, after he made the catch in center he looked over towards me and threw the ball right to me. I couldn't believe it!

Yes, I was 24, but had never received a game ball (well my dad said I did when I was little). I was so excited, after the game I went to thank Vernon. I waited till everyone was done asking him for autographs. I thanked him and told him I was becoming a big fan of the Jays and him. I told him how I was from Boston, but had never had an experience like today and talking to so many Jays. His son came over and hugged my leg and his wife was there. I thanked him again and told him good luck this season and that I would see them in Baltimore (cause I live in DC and would go to Camden Yards to see them).  He asked me if I still had the ball, I told him I did and he asked for it and a pen and signed it!  He asked if I wanted anything else signed and he signed a 8x10 and a sports illustrated cover. I told thanks again!!! .....that was it, I was now officially a Jays fan and Vernon Wells was my favorite player.

Last year, 2010 season I attended 79 baseball games. One spring training game in DC, one single A Potomac Nats game and 77 regular season games. I saw games at Camden Yards, Nationals Park, Fenway Park, Target Field, Citizens Bank Ballpark, Miller Park, `US Cellular Park, Wrigley Field, Coors Field, Busch Stadium, Kauffman Stadium and Turner Field.  The last 7 I saw in 9 days, 4 of the stadiums with my dad and 3 on my own.

I was able to get somewhere between 500-600 autographs last year. Let me first say I am NOT a dealer. I have never ever sold a single autograph. there was a kid who was getting crushed on a train as before a game people pack the metro and are not respectful and he was crying, I asked his mother and brother who his favorite player was, he told me Ryan Zimmerman, so i gave him an 8x10 autographed zimmerman photo and then let him pick out a zimmerman card and then two autographed cards (he picked Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham). Later inside the stadium his older brother saw me and came up to me and thank me so much and that I made his day and that he and his mother will never forget this.  Boy, did that make my day. It sure did.

I have given extra cards of players for kids to get autographed for themselves at almost every game. I love seeing kids faces and their parents saying thank you after I helped a kid get an autograph. I even found some great friends that way.  I am known as the "Bobblehead Guy" by some people as I have around 80-90 or so bobbleheads that I bring to try to get signed (started this hobby in 2009), i have probably 50 or so signed. I should do an inventory before the season begins. 

How did I get to so many games?  Well, I had a job I loved. It was my life. It wasn't a job to me it was a mission it was my everything. New management came in and lets just say we didn't have the same values. I resigned reluctantly. So while looking for work I was able to go to lots of games. My friend Jony and my family know that Baseball in summer 2010 saved my life. Kept me going.  Jays players know my name, they know i am a true fan. I see them in a few stadiums a year (in 2010 saw them 9 times in Baltimore, 4 times in Boston, 2 times in Colorado, 3 times in Minnesota).  Scott Downs has been my favorite pitcher for about 5 years. He knows my name, so does Travis Snider and Jason Frasor (i think), others remember me like David Purcey, Lyle Overbay, Vernon of course, Cecil and others.

I am still looking for a job in social work, community organizing, outreach. I am taking a class with Catholic Charities to be a Certified Addictions Counselor. I am working part-time, started out season with Crate and Barrel (since November 2nd).  I thank my Crate and Barrel family for being so supportive, for teaching me things everyday, for their understanding through these hard times for me, you know who you are.

So, this is the longest blog I will probably write, its my first and hope that I will have followers. I will have photos with players on here (hopefully). And write about the games I attended and autographs I got.  I will write about people I have met.

If you want tips on autographs, where to go, when to arrive, best places to stand for visiting teams, home teams etc....for Camden Yards and Nationals Park, I would be more than happy to help out. I have never been to a teams hotel though. Just get autographs outside and inside the park.

So, I am a baseball fan, period!  Yes, I am from Massachusetts, live in DC, had 1/2 season tickets to Nats in 2010 and am a 13 game holder for Orioles (for the past 6 years), but a Jays fan who has NEVER been to Canada!!  Though, Jony and Susan are taking me on a trip to Toronto this upcoming season....SO EXCITED!!! I can't wait to tell you all about it!! will see pics of me with mainly Jays gear, Nats gear (one AL and one NL team), and a few old ones with Red Sox gear.  And I did get free O's gear, that I have put on a couple times....mainly when they played the Sox last year and my sister came up for a pair of the games.....i put on O's jersey and jacket and hat that I got for free to just aggravate and annoy worked!...haha....

I hope that I will gain followers. I hope to give insight and tips on autographs, on the players, on the stadiums I visit. I will write about the stadiums I went to last year, soon.   

Hope you will follow me when the season begins!!! 


"Bobblehead Guy"