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  • #46
    My Thursday night encounter with Mr. Benintendi never materialized due to heavy rains that engulfed the state of North Carolina which resulted in the cancellation of all local games. Those rains threatened the games today but fortunately the skies began to clear so it was off to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in the beautiful Entertainment District of Durham. I only needed one guy on the Tide but it was not meant to be as I was unable to catch Andy Oliver.

    Here are the Bulls that I nabbed tonight:

    Kyle McPherson 3/3 (3 for jcq08)
    Daniel Robertson 4/8 (2 for mightyswede)
    Mark Sappington 1/1 (1 for daveteach)
    Cameron Seitzer 1/1
    Richie Shaffer 6/6 (1 for graveline, 1 for mightswede, 2 for jcq08)
    Blake Snell 9/9 (2 for jcq08)

    Every year there are two or three players that just give me fits for different reasons. The three that are giving me issues this year include two of my former nemeses.

    Nick Franklin--He will just not sign pregame. At postgame, he either leaves two hours after everyone else leaves or he goes out the front entrance. Last week he was obviously quite intoxicated when he departed. He wanted to sign all of the jersey cards because he "really liked them".

    Mikie Mahtook--I was getting ready to hit him up again tonight and he really gave me the "death stare" so I decided to wait another week or so.

    Adam Wilk--Wrong time, wrong place every game. I have only seen him in the dugout once before a game and of course I was graphing the visiting team. I have no clue as to where he is coming out. I have never seen him leave the park. Perhaps he is just living at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

    Total Autographs--24


    • #47
      From Saturday, May 7--I spent some quality time with my youngest son, his wife, and my two beautiful granddaughters today and then headed north towards home as I began to prepare for my next showdown with the young phenom Andrew Benintendi. Of course the weather has been spotty in the Carolinas and the Salem Red Sox and Winston-Salem Dash were playing a doubleheader in Winston-Salem. Of course the second game of the doubleheader was delayed due to rain. However I arrived in the bottom of the ninth inning of the second game and soon thereafter he departed from the stadium.

      He knocked out three of the 2015 Bowman Chrome cards in beautiful blue Sharpie. After that I headed back home to get ready for next week's menu of minor league baseball. Next up...the Lexington Legends and Greensboro Grasshoppers on Monday night!


      • #48
        This was from Monday, May 9

        The graphing scene moved to beautiful downtown Greensboro to New Bridge Bank Park as the Lexington Legends rolled into town. Several SCN guys there...good times!!!

        Cody Jones 1/1
        Nolan Watson 1/1
        Justin Twine 9/9 (9 for jcq08)

        Stone Garrett 1/1 (His game used bat from Mother's Day)

        A neat story about the Stone Garrett bat. My mother is a cancer survivor and I have mentioned on here multiple times about looking much different than other graphers. Since yesterday was Mother's Day, in honor of my mother, I wore a Nike Pro Combat pink compression top with black shorts along with pink high top Nike athletic shoes. Stone Garrett came out of the tunnel and he saw me. He said "I have my pink bat from yesterday that I will give you". He went into the clubhouse and returned with his game used bat from yesterday. Of course I asked him to autograph it and he gladly signed it along with inscribing his uniform number.


        • #49
          A new James Bond thriller was released tonight in beautiful downtown Charlotte when the Durham Bulls visited the Charlotte Knights. The new movie is called "Tomorrow Never Comes" and it features many different players but the leading roles would be played by Tim Anderson and Jacob Turner.

          This may be the last time that I make a special trip to Charlotte to concentrate on the Knights as they are just miserable and are seemingly getting worse if that is even possible.

          Luke Maile--0/1 ("I will get you later"...well later never came and I never saw him post game)
          Daniel Robertson 3/8
          Chris Beck 1/1
          Matt Davidson 1/1
          Travis Ishikawa 3/8
          Nick Franklin--He did not come out until after the National Anthem and he did not come out either of the normal exits after the game.
          Tim Anderson--Two kids asked him and he said "Nah, I'll have to get you later".
          Jacob Turner--"Hey, I will get you tomorrow"
          Erik Johnson--He pulled a disappearing act and evidently left via another exit. He must have been with Maile and Franklin.
          Scott Carroll--While I was brooding over Anderson, I allowed Carroll to walk right past me. Ughhh!
          Daniel Fields--While the two kids and I were trying to get Anderson, he walked past all of us.
          Phillippe Aumont--I never saw him post game either.

          For those people that are really interested in getting some graphs, Saturday would be a great time to catch both Anderson and Turner since they will be signing "later".


          • #50
            Another James Bond sequel was written tonight and it was called "One is Enough" as I returned to the scene of my Friday night disaster with a heart that was set on redemption. After a 12 inning marathon at beautiful BB&T Ballpark in downtown Charlotte, I assertively approached each player as they exited the stadium and they took my blue Sharpie and the ink flowed from my Sharpie onto their cards. It was a beautiful scene as it almost brought me to tears! There were about six of us graphing both teams!

            Tim Anderson 1/3 Yes, I scored a Tim Anderson autograph this afternoon and he signed for everyone in attendance
            Scott Carroll 2/2
            Daniel Fields 1/1
            Leury Garcia 2/2
            Travis Ishikawa
            Erik Johnson 1/2 This has to be one of the most miserable players in International League history.
            Tommy Kahnle 2/2
            Jacob Turner 1/3 I was told that he had only signed two or three times during the entire season.
            Nick Franklin 4/4
            Daniel Robertson 2/3
            Blake Snell 1/1


            • #51
              At the Palm Beach Cardinals @ Clearwater Threshers game. All card blowups; Black Sharpie.

              Chris Rivera: 2009 Upper Deck USA Baseball 16U National Team Patch card.

              Jack Flaherty: 2013 Panini 18U USA Baseball National Team Patch card and a 2013 Panini 18U USA Baseball National Team Stars & Stripes card.
              sigpicMan, do I *HATE* the Yankees!!!!!!


              • #52
                It was back to the beautiful Durham Bulls Athletic Park in the Entertainment District in downtown Durham as the Rochester Red Wings have arrived in town. Although the DBAP is located in the Entertainment District, the pre game graphing was anything but entertaining. The best word to describe the festivities was putrid.

                Byron Boxton 1/2
                Adam Walker 1/1

                Boshers signed but I could not work around the "legendary grapher" so I missed him. One other player stopped to sign. The "legendary grapher" was steaming. I quickly moved over to the Bulls' side to attempt to get something accomplished.

                Dylan Floro 1/1
                Mikie Mahtook 1/7--He looked at me and said "how have you been". I think that we are friends now!
                Danny Farquhar 1/1

                Also J.P. Arencibia is back in town as he signed a minor league deal. For those individuals that might not know, his lovely wife is the lead singer for "The Band Perry".

                As crappy as the pregame was, the postgame was just as good. slnoble01 and I doubled down on some guys and took care of business.

                Byron Buxton 1/1 (I was waiting on the Bulls and Buxton showed up to talk with Blake Snell)
                John Ryan Murphy 3/3
                Nick Franklin 4/8
                Daniel Robertson 4/8 -He started out the Bulls' exit according to a couple of graphers but then he turned right trying to get out the other front entrance. I saw him and knew that he would try to come out the very front entrance. As he did, I was situated in perfect position. slnoble01 and several others capitalized on the moment as well and took care of business.
                Richie Shaffer 5/5
                Blake Snell 3/3
                Adam Wilk 4/4

                Total Autographs 29


                • #53
                  The weather in the Triad area of North Carolina is certainly hindering my graphing performance. Last night's South Atlantic League struggle between the Greensboro Grasshoppers and Hagerstown Suns was cancelled due to rain which has plagued the area recently. The game was rescheduled for today as a doubleheader beginning at 4:30 PM and the gates were scheduled to open at 4 PM. At approximately 3:56 PM the gates opened and the crowd after going through the customary security checkpoint which includes having a security wand scanning your body, slowly filed into sun soaked New Bridge Bank Park. I was the ONLY grapher present which was perfect. The players began making their way onto the field but in the distance, ominous storm clouds began appearing. At approximately 4:10 PM the tarp came out onto the field so the players that were out, slowly began finding their way back to the clubhouse. At approximately 4:20 PM, the PA announcer Dave Aiken who also happens to be a meteorologist asked everyone to leave the bowl of the stadium and take cover as an impending storm was bearing down on the stadium which featured pea size hail and winds in excess of 40 MPH. After discovering that it could possibly rain until 10 PM tonight, I decided to escape to the comforts of my vehicle and return home.

                  Here are the slim pickings:

                  Matt Derosier 2/2 (1 for Sheehy)
                  Victor Robles 3/3 (3 for jcq08)--This guy came out and stood beside of me. He signed for fans (which were about 20 at that time) until no one was even asking. He asked me to let him keep my blue Sharpie so he could sign. He would have signed 1000 cards if I had that many. He was looking around for people to sign for. Wow!!!
                  Justin Twine 5/5 (2 for jcq08, 3 for slnoble01)

                  Total Autographs 10

                  Of course I really needed Matt Crownover and Mariano Rivera! Ugh!


                  • #54
                    San Antonio at Frisco today...

                    Here's the day's full rundown...
                    Ryan Cordell 1/1 on program
                    Brian Shouse 1/1 on photo
                    Isiah Kiner-Falefa 3/3 (his grandfather's second cousin is Ralph Kiner)
                    Joe Jackson 2/2 (distant relative of Shoeless Joe Jackson)
                    Preston Beck 2/2
                    Jason Hart 3/3
                    Carlos Maldonado 4/4
                    Joe Mikulik 2/2
                    Lewis Brinson 6/6
                    Kellin Deglan 2/3
                    Ronald Guzman 4/4
                    Mike Olt 3/8, 2/5
                    Trevor Hoffman 1/1
                    Kyle Lloyd 3/3
                    Jose Rondon 2/2
                    Rafael DePaula 1/3
                    Phillip Wellman 2/2
                    Taylor Lindsay 2/7
                    Auston Bousfield 2/2
                    Jimmy Jones 6/6
                    Nick Torres 3/3
                    Gabriel Quintana 2/2
                    "Joba Chamberlain has a career ERA of one point seven bazillion against Cleveland. Most sentient bipeds either overtly or secretly revel in this fact." - Steve Buffum, The B-List, 6/1/2010

                    Good traders: bravesautographs, kearns643

                    Check out my autograph blog!


                    • #55
                      It was back to rain soaked New Bridge Bank Park in Greensboro tonight for some pregame graphing as the Delmarva Shorebirds flocked into town. The clouds were ominous and raindrops actually fell while I was getting Brett Lilek charting pitches in the stands about fifteen minutes prior to first pitch. I put my hands over the notebook as the ink was flowing from my Sharpie. I should also note that this was my first game of the season rocking the "freestyle" bow tie and I could tell that the players could hardly wait to get my blue Sharpie in their hands so they could sign their cards! LOL

                      Here are the results:

                      Ryan Mountcastle 4/4--By the way, he is not on the Delmarva roster but is listed on the Aberdeen roster but he was there. That move was just made yesterday but evidently it was just a "paper move".
                      D.J. Stewart 4/9--He was super nice!

                      Brett Lilek 6/6
                      Anfernee Seymour 3/3

                      Jacome is not with the team right now but I will continue watching for him. Cody Poteet was starting so I did not ask him. He will obviously be with the team for some time.

                      Total Autographs 17
                      Season Total--547

                      Next game--I will probably be doing the day game on Wednesday between these same teams so that I can finish up on Mr. D.J. Stewart!!! On day games usually the only graphers there are graveline and I which improves the odds considerably!


                      • #56
                        It was back to a sun splashed sauna like New Bridge Bank Park in beautiful downtown Greensboro for some pregame graphing of the series finale between the Delmarva Shorebirds and Greensboro Grasshoppers. It was a Businessman's Special which insures that all of the convalescent centers in the area bring all of the senior citizens to the game which is always a recipe for a tragedy and all of the schools bring their students on a "field trip" to see the Grasshoppers so the park is filled with screaming kids! LOL. This was the only series of the year between these two teams in Greensboro. Surprisingly there were about six graphers there but that did not hinder my production.

                        D.J. Stewart 5/5
                        Cody Poteet 6/6

                        Total Autographs 11

                        Season Total 558


                        • #57
                          It was back to a sun splashed sauna like New Bridge Bank Park in beautiful downtown Greensboro for some pregame graphing of the series finale between the Delmarva Shorebirds and Greensboro Grasshoppers. It was a Businessman's Special which insures that all of the convalescent centers in the area bring all of the senior citizens to the game which is always a recipe for a tragedy and all of the schools bring their students on a "field trip" to see the Grasshoppers so the park is filled with screaming kids! LOL. This was the only series of the year between these two teams in Greensboro. Surprisingly there were about six graphers there but that did not hinder my production.

                          D.J. Stewart 5/5
                          Cody Poteet 6/6

                          Total Autographs 11

                          Season Total 558


                          • #58
                            At today's Tampa Yankees @ Clearwater Threshers game. All Black Sharpie

                            Antonio Pacheco: Two Team Cuba action pics from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and a Team Cuba screenshot from the 2000 Sydney Olympics Gold Medal Game.

                            Ian Clarkin: Two 2012 USA Baseball 18U National Team posed pics

                            Michel Hernandez: Indians photo day pic and two Rays action pics.
                            sigpicMan, do I *HATE* the Yankees!!!!!!


                            • #59
                              Jupiter Hammerheads @ Clearwater Threshers. All Black Sharpie.

                              Randy Ready: 8 x 10 blowups of his '89 and '90 Score, '91 Fleer and '92 Leaf cards.

                              Avery Romero: 8 x 10 blowup of his 2015 FSL Top Prospects card

                              Jeremy Powell: Three Expos action pics
                              sigpicMan, do I *HATE* the Yankees!!!!!!


                              • #60
                                This was on Wednesday, June 1

                                After a weekend of family time, it is back to the grind for some doubleheader baseball action. The first stop was a 1:05 PM game between the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Railriders and the Durham Bulls at a steamy Durham Bulls Athletic Park in downtown Durham.

                                Pre-game concentration was totally on the Railriders. They are hit and miss. They were pitiful over the first two games of this series but I had decent luck. Also graphed with graveline and slnoble01! Always a great time with those guys.

                                Jonathan Diaz 2/2
                                Aaron Judge 1/4
                                Donovan Solano 2/2
                                Layne Somsen 1/1

                                Kozma and Swisher ignored everyone. Sanchez told everyone earlier in the week that he would sign again in about three weeks when his hand/wrist/arm healed. I did not see him pre game nor did I see Olson, Parmalee, or Pazos!

                                As morbid as pre-game was, post game rocked.

                                I mainly concentrated on Durham but in a stroke of luck, all of the Bulls' players came out of the dressing room and none of the Railriders had come out.

                                Aaron Judge 1/4
                                Nick Swisher 1/2
                                Kyle Higashioka 2/2

                                Danny Farquhar 4/4
                                Nick Franklin 4/8
                                Jacob Goebbert 5/5
                                Daniel Robertson 3/8
                                Mark Sappington 4/4

                                After this game, it was back on the interstate to downtown Charlotte!!!

                                Doubleheader action on Wednesday, June 1

                                About two hours after my graphing adventures in Durham, I arrived in downtown Charlotte for Lou Piniella night!!! I arrived just after the first pitch so I did not do any pre-game graphing. I got in line in the second inning and I did not get to Piniella's table until the sixth inning!

                                Lou Piniella 2/2

                                After nabbing Piniella, I spent the rest of the game talking to a fellow Reds' collector before returning to the street for post game and the "one per parade" began.

                                Tim Anderson 1/8
                                Jason Bourgeois 1/1 "I will be back in a second"...and he actually returned to sign.
                                Chris Beck 4/4
                                Matt Davidson 1/8
                                Leury Garcia 1/1
                                Erik Johnson 1/4
                                Anthony Ranaudo 13/13 "Here let me knock all those out for you tonight"
                                Carlos Sanchez 1/1

                                Total Autographs for the Day 53

                                Season Total 601

                                One takeaway from tonight's Lou Piniella signing. If you have followed my blog for several years, I have always been extremely critical of any White Sox affiliate because they inevitably always do something to screw it up. Well...last night, you would have thought that Piniella was a Head of State. The Knights' handlers would hardly allow photographs as he was leaving the table. You could tell that even Piniella was somewhat uncomfortable with the insufferable security detail. Overall, they did a good job of planning and execution but they always ultimately screw up.

                                On Thursday, back at it as the Carolina Mudcats make their first visit of the season to BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


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