Baseball Tonight Tour bus - Temple Diablo Mon March 12th

Baseball Tonight Tour bus - Temple Diablo Mon March 12th

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Missing To Many Games

I am ashamed to say I have missed around 22 games this year. I have only been to about 14. Its been tough. I was really looking forward to this season. Spring Training was AWESOME.  My work encourages me to go. Sometimes I have meetings or presentations or I have a project i need to work on and work is my number 1 priority.  I also had my wisdom teeth and missed a few games.  A few times i was to gosh darn tired.

Anyways, i miss hanging out with my baseball friends from Sean, Chris, Dawn, David, and others (you know who you are).  

Of course you will see me at the Jays games in August and September. I am planning on going to one Rays game next week and at least one (hopefully 2) games next weekend with Oakland visiting.

 Getting autographs in DC is no fun, its very hard to get autographs their since they put up the netting. Very much an un-fan-friendly park.

 I am excited about going to two new stadiums in August.  Pittsburgh and Cleveland.  August 9th-13th.

 Anyways, thanks for reading my blog.  And if you would like to post a comment or have a questions, please let me know!  Hope that you have found my previous posts interesting and helpful.

 Many Nats players are really nice.  But, with police escorts leaving, they are not letting the players stop. A few players have wanted to stop and police and security say no. That is NOT OK. 

 Well, thanks for reading my rant.

 Mike "bobblehead guy"

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wednesday, May 2nd Dbacks at Nats

I arrived with Brandon around 6:30 ish....we had amazing seats in Sec 110, Row C...thanks Brandon for taking me!  Great view, right there at field level. It was bitterly cold and I did NOT have a sweatshirt or jacket (just a spring jacket). Harper hit 2 doubles, so close to being home runs. Ian Desmond hit a walk off 2 run home run with 2 outs. that was AWESOME!!

 I stayed after and there were a lot of people (for the Nats) nearly 20 outside trying to get autographs. The fans out there were very nice. I gave some of them tips and helped recognize the players for them (though i had a little trouble as it was so dark, and my eyes were kind of blury for some reason).  But i really enjoyed talking to the fans out there. I was glad i could help out in a small way, by giving my staedtler pens for them to use or telling them the basics (calling the player by their first name and saying please, then thank you).

Not many players signed, it was cold, it was late (10:10pm when game ended, roughly).  I talked to Gio Gonzalez, he is one of top 3 nicest players i have ever met (not on the Blue Jays). Along with Matt Capps and Dallas Braden.  He remembers me, i don't need his autograph, just chatted with him. I am rooting for this guy every-time he pitches!!!

 I did get Jordan Zimmermann on a program from 3 years ago,

 I did get Jayson Werth on a jersey ginter and mini-ginter. That is 3 of 4 times i have stayed after this year that he has stopped. I wish i got his bobblehead, i would have been able to get it signed!  Never thought i would get his autograph. I don't have anything left for him to sign. 

I also was able to get the 19 year old phenom Bryce Harper on his sports illustrated cover from 3 years ago.

I also received Ian Desmond on the game ticket (wanted to ask  him to inscribe walk-off home run) but never ask players for inscriptions, don't know what i am afraid of. At that point there were only 4 of us left. 

 I was so cold and finally left at 11:45pm.

GO Nats!!

Mike "Bobblehead Guy"

Wednesday, April 25th Jays at O's

I was so excited to see the Jays in person for the first time this season. I arrived around 2:45pm for the 7:05pm game (arrived nearly 2 hours later than i planned). Only a few Jays had actually walked in.  The visiting players are now allowed down the tunnel in a town car and of course the bus had a bunch of players.  This is unfortunate as before they were not allowed down in cars, only the bus and therefore you could get a bunch of players if you recognized them in their street clothes.

So, with arriving so late and the players needing to be in no later than 4pm, I decided to go to Potbelly's and rest/go thru my Jays items and write out my lists of what I need and my goals for the game.

Inside I was able to get Omar Vizquel down the 3rd base line, he was just sitting on the wall.  This was the first time I had received this future hall of famer's autograph.  I also was able to get Kelly Johnson on 3 jersey cards by the dugout (between home plate and dugout) and coach Farrell.  Edwin Encarnacion signed a jersey card there for me too.  I missed Eric Thames as it was crowded, despite being one of the first ones in the stadium, i was three rows and 5 deep.

 The Jays lost....Drabek pitched well though (despite allowing 2 homers, only allowed i think 5 hits).

 After the game only a couple players came out. I was able to get Henderson Alvarez on a jersey card and then Evan Crawford who was just called up. I finally left after over an hour and a half of waiting. Bautista came out and said he would sign tomorrow. I could not go, so i will have to wait another day to get Bautista on my 16 x20 or the jersey cards i have of him.

 I did meet some guys that are working with Bautista on a project and they took my name and phone number after talking about baseball and how i became a jays fan. they found it interesting and said i could possibly be a part of this project.  how exciting!!

 Until next time.....

Michael "Bobblehead guy"

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday, April 21st Marlins at Nats

Before the game, inside, I got Heath Ball on a ginter card. My only Marlins player in 2 days. They are a very tough team to get signed. I could have also had Logan Morrison on a ginter card, but i made a ROOKIE mistake...i gave him Chris Coghlan's cards...don't know how/why i did that...he said, I am not Chris...i was like i know...damn...pissed off at myself)....get it together, Mike!!!

After the game (which the Nats one in 11, thanks to Ian Desmond's sac fly, he also hit a monster home run in this game which that Nats won 3-2 in 10).

Ok...the most amazing in terms of names today for autographs. There we about 15 people here....and you won't believe this list....i was and still am in utter SHOCK....disbelief....amazement!

Stephen Strasburg SIGNED and I got him on the Sports Illustrated!!! i told him while in line great start today and also asked how his arm is doing.  I then asked if he could sign it to Mike, but he said he doesn't do inscriptions, and i said ok, its for me thats why (see as people who know me know, i ask all players to sign to mike on 8x10's or SI's etc.) cause i DO NOT sell anything.  And, he then signed the SI and then asked my name and added To Mike...a few people said the signature was the best one....I think so too!!!  Thanks Stephen, you made my day, my week!...still smiling!!!

Not done yet....

Got on an 8x10 RYAN ZIMMERMAN....and then i had a photo from 3 years ago with him and Mike Hinckley and he signed it to Mike!!!

Also got....

Jayson Werth - Team ball
Rick Ankiel - Team ball (but didn't come in part of it because pen died)
Jordan Zimmermann - Team ball
Craig Stammen - Team ball
Mark DeRosa - card
Ian Desmond - signed all 4 of my remaining cards!!!

This was AWESOME!!!!!!!!  So happy!

I told Rick Ankiel he has the best arm of any center fielder or outfielder. that nobody will run on him.  He said "damn right i do". he was so funny.  he was great! 

So, how was my day?....The best!!


12-4, First place in the NL East. 

Mike "Bobblehead guy"

Friday, April 20th Marlins at Nats

Detwiler pitched 6 strong innings and then a great job by the relievers, though HRod was a little shaky in the 9th.  Detwiler with the Win! Nats win 2-0.  Quick game, only i think 8 hits combined? Ankiel with 3 hits (Home Run, single and a double).

After the game I got the following players

Edwin Jackson - Team Ball
Ross Detwiler - Team Ball
Ian Desmond - Team Ball
Mark DeRosa - Team Ball
HRod - Team Ball
Drew Storen - Team Ball
Tyler Clippard - Team Ball
Chad Tracy - card
Tom Gorzelany - card

Detwiler again a very nice guy. Told him what a great job pitching!  Glad to have him in the rotation. Asked DeRosa how the house hunting is going and he found a place and had no boxes in his back seat!  I asked Storen how his arm is and talked about Matt Capps.

The Nats are great!  Watch out National League, I know its early....but dare I say...Playoffs in Washington??!!

Mike "Bobblehead guy"

Sunday, April 15th Reds at Nats

A tough extra inning loss, put an end to a 5 game winning streak for the Nats.  Of course, this was the first game I saw the Nats play this year.  Detwiler pitched well (except for the 1st inning where he let up a home run to Ludwick). Glad that he is in the starting rotation though, he is a solid starter.

After the game, I stayed and was pleasantly surprised.  There were about 10 people who stayed for autographs after the 11 inning loss and it being a Sunday, i was hope just for a few Nats to start off my year.  But, they were unbelievable today! 

18 players for the Nats (that is right....18) stopped and signed. I was able to get 17 of them (EJax) Edwin Jackson didn't sign for everyone as there were cars behind him.  But, I am sure I will get him another time.

I did get the following:

Ryan Mattheus - Team Ball
Steve Lombardozzi - Team Ball
Chad Tracy - Team Ball
Roger Bernadina - Team Ball
Sean Burnett - Team Ball
Xavier Nady - card
Jesus Flores - card
Adam LaRoche - card
Jordan Zimmermann - card
Gio Gonzalez - card and team ball
Ross Detwiler - 3 cards
Rick Ankiel - 2 cards
Mark DeRosa - card
Danny Espinosa - bobblehead and team ball
Ian Desmond - bobblehead and card
Craig Stammen - 8x10
Jayson Werth - 8x10

This was the first time i ever got Werth or Ankiel.  Was also the first for Lombardozzi, Mattheus, Tracy, Nady, DeRosa.

I was the only one that recognized Lombardozzi.  I talked to Roger that his catch last year, still the best EVER that i have seen in person.  Talked to Gio about Braden. Gio is a CLASSY, CLASSY, CLASSY guy. I will always root for him to do well. Very fan friendly.  Detwiler was very nice.  Ankiel (just David and I got him as other fans were getting Detwiler and Mattheus).  I talked to DeRosa, asked how he is liking DC...he pointed to his back seat and his boxes, still hasn't found a place.  Espinosa and Desmond--they are a great combination--both will be all star's.  Stammen put, to Mike on photo!  Jayson Werth too!

Yay!  What a day!

Mike "bobblehead guy"

Friday, April 6, 2012

Orioles Home Opener - April 6th, 2012

The 2012 MLB Regular Season is here!!!

 I drove up with my good friend Brandon and his son. I was not feeling well and was grateful that he gave me a ride (thanks BRANDON!!)

I have a new section and seat...I am now in Section 45, Row 2, Seat 7....for a 29 game plan.  I was looking forward to meeting the season ticket holders that would be sitting around me (as the first few rows are season ticket holders). And, the couple sitting next to me were extremely friendly and baseball fanatics...i chatted with them the entire game.  That's what I like, to meet other fans.

 I enjoyed the game....Markakis hit a homer and a triple (should have been an inside the park home run, but he did not run it out as he thought the left fielder was going to catch it).  Also, Arrieta pitched very well!   Jamey Carroll on the Twins made some nice defensive plays and Josh Willingham through out (I think Markakis) at home. He also hit a home run in the 9th (which i did not see, as I left at the end of the 8th to go to Potbelly's).

After the game, I got Matt Capps on 3 4x6 photos that were given to me by Dawn (another fan) back in 2010. It was Capps last game actually with the Nats.  Matt remembered me, he said I looked familiar, but was confused as I had an O's jacket and hat....i told him I was only wearing this because it was opening day. I am a Nats fan (couldn't tell him I was a Jays fan too)....i only wear O's gear for the home opener. But, we chatted about Drew Storen and the Nats while he signed all 3 photos and I told him that I was still very upset about that trade. (which i am--Mike Rizzo!!).

So, I came to the game hoping to get any of the three following players (Matt Capps, Josh Willingham or Ryan Doumit).  And i got Capps!!!

 My next O's game--April 25th vs the Jays!! ....unless I go back this weekend.

 Can't wait to see the Jays though!!!

 Michael "Bobblehead Guy"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Training Day 5: Day long trip to Grand Canyon

No game today. We left at 7:30am and arrived at Grand Canyon East around noon-ish after a couple of stops along the way at a couple antique/trading post places.  Stopped at scenic stops along the Grand Canyon south rim towards the north rim.  Pretty awesome! the view, wow!

I went over some barriers onto the rocks, cliff at one of the stops, went near the edge! Got my picture taken and then it was a little windy way up there and I decided i better get back! 

Left the Canyon around 4:30 and was back to the hotel at 8pm. 

Tomorrow, back to baseball....hopefully we should be seeing a double header. 

First Game Camelback Stadium to see the Angles at the White Sox.  Then the evening game could change, but I have tickets for Royals at M's at Peoria.

We will see! 

Spring Training Day 4: Temple Diablo Stadium Dodgers at Angels

Got a late start today...didn't arrive until 12:45pm and had to get tickets from a scalper as the game was sold out. There were scalpers asking $30 for a $6 lawn seat for this game!  but, my dad paid face value for seats between dugout and home plate maybe 20 rows from the field ($29 each). 

I took pictures in front of the bus, i waved to Tim Kurkjian, but unfortunately I wasn't able to talk to him or get a picture with him. Took a couple pictures in front of the stadium.

The game was in the bottom of the First when we finally got in.  When the Angels were taken out I went down the right field corner, but dropped a Vernon Wells card and went back to get it and lost my spot. I was not able to get him.  I went outside the stadium and he did not stop. I called Kemp over, held my bobblehead and his girlfriend saw it and pointed (she is very attractive i must say, but nothing compared to Rihanna!).  And he signed a few feet away, but stayed in that one spot, i really thought he would sign the bobblehead, nobody else had one. But, then Tori Hunter almost hit him with his car (on purpose--joking with him and so he stopped signing).  Mark Trumbo I think signed, but I did not try to get him.  Adam Kennedy of course ignored everyone.  Dee Gordon signed, but I got him a couple days ago and had nothing for him to sign.  Tori Hunter stopped and from his card signed for maybe 10 minutes, but I thought he wouldn't sign that long and I got a good spot for Vernon Wells as people left the area I was at to get Tori. Finally, I went for Tori and of course that is when he pulled away! 

So i was SHUT OUT!!!!  today!  If I arrived early then I hope I would have been able to get at least one autograph.  Moral of the story....don't be late!! 

Not a good day today. But, yesterday was awesome!

Tomorrow we are heading to the Grand Canyon, which is about 4 hours away.

Spring Training Day 3: Peoria Diamondbacks @ Padres

Sunday, March 11th

Today was a good day.  We drove to the Peoria Sports Complex which is the home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. We went to the East Campus which is where the Padres have their batting practice.  We arrived around 10am. 

I was able to get all 3 bobbleheads signed. First I was able to get a Clayton Richard bobblehead and a (1) card signed and then a Kyle Blanks bobblehead and (2) cards signed  On cards I was able to get Padres prospect Robbie Erlin (1 card), prospect Jedd Gyorko (1 card), Starting pitcher Cory Luebke on (3) cards. Micah Owings signed (2 cards) and said this is when I had a little bit more hair, referring to the fact he doesn't have that much hair any more (haha). 

Before the game, but inside the stadium I called Huston Street and he came over and signed for me an 8x10 (1) Rookie of the Year photo and he put To Mike on it!  He was really nice, he signed a couple (2) cards as well.  Mark Kotsay also signed a card (1) for me inside and was talking with the fans.  A nice guy.  Finally, one of the Padres top prospects, Third Basemen, Corey Spangenberg took a photo with me after signing a card (1). 

After being taken out of the game, in autograph alley, Cameron Maybin signed a card (1) for me and it was hard, there were a ton of fans trying to get him.  I also was able to get Daniel Hudson of the Dbacks on a card (1), Jeremy Hermida of the Padres on (2) cards, Lyle Overbay of the Dbacks on (1) card and talked to him about the fact the entire starting infield for the Dbacks were former Toronto Blue Jays and that we miss him in Toronto and I am rooting for him and the other guys.  But, he likes being back in Arizona and the National League.  I also got Aaron Hill on a card, saw Johnny Mac and he remembered us! I was able to get Evereth Cabrera on the last remaining Padres bobblehead. Will Venable signed (4) cards. Rymer Liriano signed (1) card. I also got Jason Bartlett to sign a photo I had with him and Craig Breslow of the Diamondbacks signed the Sporting News magazine fro September 2010 that he is on the cover of for being the smartest athlete (in all sports!). 

19 players signed for me. 15 Padres, 4 Diamondbacks.  Plus I talked to Johnny Mac and Johnny Mac signed for my dad a baseball (and put Scituate Mass on it).
Magazine - 1 (Breslow)
8x10 - 2 (Bartlett, Street)
Bobbleheads - 3 (Cabrera, Richard, Blanks)
Cards - 25 (see above for list)
31 different items signed!   Best day so far!!

Tomorrow, trying to decide where to go...most likely Angels (Temple Diablo) as the ESPN Bus will be there ant Tim Kurkjian.  Plus get to see Scott Downs and Vernon Wells.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Training Day 2: Phoenix Municipal Stadium Reds @ A's

Day 2 is here and once again I was up and ready to go. But, didn't arrive until about 10am again (if you go to spring training, try to get there at 9am or earlier to get players as they are coming in, this is what people tell me).

 I am so happy that I get to have most of this trip with my father, its fun spending time with him and talking baseball. 

My dad was able to get Fergie Jenkins yesterday on a photo by the way. He also got a picture with him.  He is an old-time player who played two years with the Sox.  Today he got a guy that played with the Reds and beat the Sox.  Glad he got people that meant something to him!

Ok, so if you go to Phoenix Municipal Stadium, you need to go to a practice field 2 miles away early. You cannot access practice field at stadium as it is closed off to the public. So, i saw some guys waiting in an area outside for autographs...found out that is where visiting bus goes, only about 7 people there, so we waited....and waited....and waited...

Around 12:05 the Reds finally arrived. Phillips and Cueto did not sign. But, I got Ryan Ludwick on a card and Jeff Francis on the Sports Illustrated!!! I didn't recognize anyone else, besides Chris Heisy, Willie Harris and Dusty Baker.

Inside the stadium i saw someone signing in right field, I got down there as quick as i could and it was Dallas Braden!!  I got him on the bobblehead!!!! and then on and 8x10. I told him I am from DC and that the A's got some good prospects in Peacock, Norris, Millone (i forget the 4th guy for a minute and remembered it was AJ Cole--had a mind block). Braden said that we lost a big one. I said I know. Glad to have him.  I wished him well. He signed for a long, long time...while i was there probably 20-25 minutes. My dad got him on a ball.

I saw a couple Quinnipiac alums. That was cool (i had my yellow Quinnipiac shirt on).

I then saw Dusty Baker signing and went to the dugout and got him in the nick of time on the bobblehead!!

I got a prospect Sonny Gray on a USA jersey card and he showed a couple of his teammates the card. I like having jersey cards as many players show other players or make a comment on them.

One thing in A's stadium they did not have names on the back. I had the program that told me who players were.  I missed some guys cause i was outside.

After the 6th inning i left and went to see where the A's go. But could not find it (well found one side that was blocked off by security). So i went to where the Reds bus comes and I waited to see if I could get Cueto or Phillips. And, I did!  I got Johnny Cueto on a card.  I also got Brandon Phillips on a gametime mementos card and my dad got him on a ball and on 07 ginter card for me.

Ryan Ludwick signed a card for my dad. He recognized all of us from the am and would not sign. But, my dad got him on a mini-2010 allen and ginter card.

Jeff Francis came out and i said to him thanks for signing the SI for me earlier and I said it must be awesome to be on the cover of SI and he probably has one framed at home. And he smiled and said he does and that is was awesome.  I then asked him if he could sign a card and he signed one for me and then signed one for my dad.

So day 2 total: 9  autographs, 6 players and 1 coach
Bobbleheads - 2 (Braden and Baker)
8x10's - 1 (Braden)
Cards - 5 (Gray, Cueto, Phillips, Ludwick, Francis)
Sports Illustrated - 1 (Francis)

Dad -7 autographs (6 players)
Cards - 3 (Phillips, Ludwick, Francis)
Balls - 4 (Crisp-2, Braden-1, Phillips-1)

Tomorrow, not sure where we are going...but, either way. I am excited to be here. If you ever get a chance to do spring training in AZ, it is worth it. All the stadiums are so close.  I have met so many people at the games and hotel that are here to see there team.  I have had a number of great conversations with fans at the seats, fans waiting for autographs.

I met 3 nice women from San Francisco, well they are from that area, but all 3 had Giants gear and had a great conversation with them about baseball and various stadiums. Also talked about how fans are from different teams.  I have met some nice Giants fans in DC, but these women were nice and knowledgeable about baseball.  I even gave them my card, if they ever want to go to Fenway, I would get them tickets.

I hope this trip doesn't go by fast. I have been so excited for it to come and now finishing up day 2.

Until tomorrow!

Mike "bobblehead guy"

Spring Training Day 1: Surprise Stadium Dodgers @ Rangers

Wow, what an amazing time I had. When I attended spring training 5 years ago in Florida, I did not go to the practice fields, just the games.  I enjoyed seeing all the players going from field to field.  Of course, there were tons of fans trying to get autographs.

My first autograph is spring training 2012 was Mike Olt, a high prospect for the Rangers.  I also got (not in this order)

Joe Beimel on 2 cards, people asked who is that guy with all those tats, i was like that's Joe Beimel. I told Joe, thanks for signing the bobblehead a couple years ago when he was with the Nats.

I also recognized Alberto Gonzalez (another former Nat) and he signed for me--nobody around me recognized him either.

I also was able to get Joe Nathan, former All-Star closer with the Twins, in his first year with the Rangers. Wow, what an incredibly nice guy. he signed, no joke--for 45 minutes-1 hour. He was great!  A class act all the way! Joe, I wish you nothing but success in 2012, except against the Jays (sorry, that's my team). My dad got him on a ball and then got him on a card for me later.

Brad Hawpe signed as he was going from the batting cage to a field. He was in a hurry and scribbled on my card.

Scott Feldman was nice and as he was sitting on a fence he signed for fans, signed 2 cards for me.

Mike Napoli surprised me. I heard he wasn't someone who usually signed. He probably signed a good 30-35 minutes (maybe more) right on path leading from main practice field to their clubhouse. He signed a card for me and a card for my dad.

Outside I got a total of 9 cards signed by 7 players, my dad got me 2 more cards (one Napoli and one Nathan). Inside I was able to just get Dee Gordon. My dad got Andre Ethier on a card for me (thanks dad!) and almost got Kemp. I was hoping to get Kemp on a bobblehead.  Just at wrong spot (go figure, i was down there for a while, then when dodgers come out, my dad goes down to the spot further down left field line where Ethier and Kemp both go!!---he is SO LUCKY!!!).

Day 1 - 13 cards signed, 9 players (7 Rangers, 2 Dodgers).

Tomorrow, we are going to Phoenix Municipal Stadium to see the Reds at the A's.  Hope to get Dallas Braden, Brad Peacock and other prospects for the A's.  Not sure who is going for the Reds. But hope to get my bobbleheads signed (brought Jay Bruce and Dusty Baker).

- Mike "bobblehead guy"

Friday, March 2, 2012

Arizona - Cactus League.....can't wait!

Hello Everyone,

I will be heading to Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday, March 8th and will be attending spring training games from March 9th-17th.  I hope to get to all 10 stadiums (we'll see) and see all 15 teams (i hope).  I have never been to spring training in Arizona, so it will all be a learning experience for me, but i am SUPER EXCITED!!!

My father, a life-long, die-hard, Red Sox fan will be coming with me (but leaving two days earlier).  He is telling me he doesn't care what team or stadium to see....but, I hope that he has an enjoyable time.

If anyone has tips on various stadiums, where to go for autographs both outside the stadium and in, that would be fantastic.

I plan on blogging (hopefully every day about my experiences). I will be taking pictures (if i can find my camera) and talking about my interactions with various players.  I am MOST EXCITED about seeing Scott Downs and Vernon Wells.  They were two of the main reasons why i became a Blue Jays fan.  Now, they are both with the Angels. I am NOT going to see the Angels, for Pujols.

I have lots of cards, some Sports Illustrated magazines, photo's and i might bring some of my bobblehead's to get autographed (i am the bobblehead guy after all).

I am aiming to see 13 games in 8 days...(one day we are going to the Grand Canyon).  I can't wait to go and hopefully my spring training blogs will help people for their visit to spring training in Arizona!

Until next week.....enjoy Baseball Tonight and my favorite analyst, writer, person....Tim Kurkjian, who actually remembers me when I see him (at Nats stadium, at Camden Yards and at the airport)....he is so knowledgeable and love talking to him about the Jays. 

 I am eagerly anticipating the season to begin (my O's 29 game plan tickets came a nice box).

Be well!

Mike "Bobblehead Guy" O'Neill