It was slim pickings in autograph land. I planned to arrive forty minutes ahead of the early gate opening, but due to an accident on the light rail track I was more like twenty minutes late. At least I got to the ballpark!
George Kirby was signing, and I chatted with him a little from afar but missed on an auto. Also missed on Cal Raleigh (he only signed on the field) and Matt Boyd (he only did one or two).
I walked over to the visitors’ side a little late and missed Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jonathan Loaisiga. Most of the dudes didn’t stop by for any fans (even those in the field).
Two guys who did stop by were Nector Cortez and Anthony Rizzo. Both signed for other people (Cortez a bunch and Rizzo just two) but not for me. I felt rejected and wondered if I did something wrong, looked too much like a “with it” middle-aged adult (or a “scumbag” middle-aged adult for that matter). Or was it the dark transition lenses somehow making look less trustworthy or something? I get so disappointed and sad and frustrated and all that when I’m right in front of a guy and they skip me and sign for other people (usually women and children but sometimes even other dudes). Have you noticed what happens when I take this all personally? Lol I can bring out the violins and tissues and all that, but I don’t think I did anything wrong and ultimately it’s out of my control. What I can do is prep, try to be in a decent spot at a reasonable time, ask the Universe, and enjoy all the great people and the nice ballpark while waiting for a player to come by. When a player does come over, I can ask politely (nonverbally and/or verbally), wait, and be grateful when someone does sign an item!
Of course everyone wanted an auto from the great Aaron Judge. Earlier during fielding practice, the wife of one of my Japanese baseball buddies called out to Judge. He smiled and acknowledged her and all that. We started going crazy and he started busting up, we started busting up, he continued laughing and so did we, etc. I thought for sure he would come by, but he did not. Oh well, at least we tried. I suppose that was the bad news.
The good news was, one guy did sign, and very nicely in both manner and the auto itself — Albert Abreu. Earlier this season, I had problems with Sharpies skipping on 2021 Topps Opening Day cards. Apparently, something about the gloss on that release can mess up autos. So I tried the whole rubbing off some of the sheen with an eraser thing, and it the auto turned out much better. I thought it was “perfect” but did see a couple of very minor smudges and one little gap afterwards. Anyway I feel like I learned a little something in terms of card prep. Thank you Albert! You actually made my day in terms of autos.
Some of the other good news was that I made it to BP, I was prepared, my homies and the other fans were cool, it wasn’t crazy crowded, some of the players waved or said hello, some other fans got baseballs and autos, and the weather was fantastic!
It was an old fashioned pitchers’ duel. Both Gerrit Cole (7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 8 SO) and Luis Castillo (8 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 SO) were excellent, with neither yielding a run.
From there, it was a battle of the bullpens, with a seemingly endless parade of relievers from both sides. Some were excellent and some were “good enough”. Neither team could score, even as the game proceeded into extra innings with the runner on second and all that nonsense.
The Yankees threatened a couple of times but shot themselves in the foot with multiple base running blunders coupled with great defense by the M’s!
Meanwhile, the Mariners loaded the bases in the bottom of the 12th. Eugenio Suarez seemingly could have been hit by a pitch to force in the winning run. I mean it almost looked like the Yanks were trying to hit him to get the game over already, but he avoided the ball with both his body (by reflex I suppose) and his bat (striking out to end the inning).
However, in the bottom of the 13th, the M’s again loaded the bases. Pinch hitter Luis Torrens came up and… singled to right field, scoring none other than… Eugenio Suarez! Game finally over! Mariners win!
Final Score – Mariners 1, Yankees 0