04/15/19 – Indians at Mariners

Autos, etc.

Edgar Martinez

Felix Hernandez

Tyler Naquin

Jason Kipnis


 

The Game

It was windy and thus freezing, even with the roof closed.  Trevor Bauer pitched well for the Indians and the M’s were out of it for most of the game.  I think I left in the top of the 8th.  Seattle came back to within a run but Cleveland won in the end.

Advertisements

04/13/19 – Astros at Mariners

Autos, etc.

It was 7EB82707-D31D-4BA8-AA61-D5489EABA88Da bizarre night in the world of autograph hunting at Safeco, er I mean T-Mobile Field.  During Mariners BP, one unidentified pitcher came by the stands, Domingo Santana signed a few at the dugout corner, and that was about it.  Usually plenty of players come by during an early-entry batting practice, but today it was almost no one.  It seemed like the coolest thing about this pregame on Salute to Armed Forces Night would be the sweet free hat.

Over on the Astros side, I showed up with one of my headshots on a shersey — of Jose Altuve. I’m pretty sure he saw it. He didn’t laugh and generally appeared to be pretending he didn’t see it.  In one of the weirdest autographing moments I’ve ever seen he signed over on the M’s side before he even took BP.  The chances of Altuve signing for us on the Astros side of the stands didn’t look that good.  Usually I’ll hop around when people are signing in different locations, but today I stayed put in a good spot by the camera well, waved my goofy Altuve pic and shersey around, and kept hoping beyond hope.

Between BP and the pregame stretches, I did see Astros TV Field Reporter Julia Morales, and she was kind enough to sign MLB 19-01.  Thank you Julia!

Otherwise, it was brutal.  Altuve signed for some folks on the field, some kids at the dugout, and some fellow Venezuelans in the stands further down the line,  but did not visit us.  Correa didn’t do his usual visit to the corner.  He talked with a Puerto Rican family by the camera well and signed for them, but that was about it.  There was also a Spanish speaking coach who came by to talk with those same folks.  During the BP and in those few moments close to game time, I can’t think of any other player who even came close to our spot.  It was weird and it seemed all hope was lost… but it wasn’t!

At least one guy came by. On his way back to the dugout, Alex Bregman scooted over to the corner!  He signed three or four balls, including mine!  Wow.  I’ve been wanting a ball signed by Bregman for several years.  What an amazing turnaround at the last minute.  So awesome! Thanks Breaux!


I guess staying in one spot worked out after all. 🙂

The Game

It was freezing.  The ‘Stros got up early with two runs in the 3rd off M’s starter Felix Hernandez.  In the bottom of the 4th, Mitch Haniger hug a homer to deep center to break up Justin Verlander’s no-hitter.  Jose Altuve hit a homer in the 5th yo pit the Astros up 3-1.  The M’s threatened with two outs in the bottom of the 7th versus Will Harris but came up empty.  In the top of the 8th, with the Astros leading the Mariners 3-1, and a guy in the same row (about 10 seats away from me) got a foul ball on a ricochet.  It was even more freezing!  In the bottom of the 8th, I noticed that Ryon Healy wears number 27, just like Mike Trout and Jose Altuve.  The Astros beat the Mariners 3-1.

04/01/19 – Angels at Mariners

Autos

SIMBA!!!!!!!!!

Even though Mike Trout is the best player ever, Andrelton Simmons is actually my favorite player on the Angels.  (Don’t tell Mike!)  I rigged up this contraption to hold up a head shot and a Simmons “shirsey” several feet in the air.  Got his attention for sure, and he was gracious enough to sign after finishing his BP.  I gave him a white Sharpie paint pen for the auto.  Not sure if that was the best choice but it is still turned out nicely and is still awesome.  Thank you Simba!!!!!

Stood by the railing for Trout before the game, but he went a section or two to the right and I didn’t jump over, so that didn’t happen.  Was pretty much focused on Simmons though, so I was psyched!


 

The Game

Mariners 6, Angels 3

The M’s won, with the offense continuing to crank it out.  Felix started off well and then survived into the 6th inning, which was wonderful to see, and the M’s hung on to win.  He was credited with the win.  A very pleasantly surprising start for the M’s this year. 🙂

03/30/19 – Red Sox at Mariners

Autos, etc.

Mariners

Although it seemed a little slow during M’s BP, several players did come over and sign, plenty of players the more I think about it.  The Mitch Haniger auto is really nice for a relatively dark card, the Mallex Smith one is great (would like to find some M’s cards for him), and the Edwin Encarnacion got smudged (sometimes happens by the dugout, balls are better over there) but is still nice, especially in a M’s uniform.  Thanks for signing guys!

Red Sox

What a bunch of pricks lol.  They signed a couple of balls here and there by the dugout but that was about it.  A lot of their players don’t even acknowledge the fans.  The coolest was JD Martinez.  At least he came by before the game after his stretching and patiently signed for a bunch of people.  I was a little too far over and he didn’t sign my ball.  Regardless, thanks for signing JD.

The one person who did sign, and graciously I might add, was legendary announcer Joe Castiglione. Thank you Sir!  People often call me Sir but he’s a Sir for sure. Apparently he’ll be calling the games with a cast of thousands this year, including former Mets broadcaster Josh Lewis and ESPN’s Sean McDonough and Chris Berman.


 

The Game – Mariners 8, Red Sox 6

What a blast!  Through the M’s STH Memories program, I got to work the old school hand-operated scoreboard in left field!!!  I’ve been trying to sign up for this one for three years, so I was really looking forward to it.  By the time I attempted to use my points it was always “sold out”.

More on all this later. 🙂

 

2019 Topps Series 1 – It Is What It Is :)

I picked up a hobby box of 2019 Topps Series 1.  I know the cards and hits are not fancy, but I appreciate (and expect) comprehensiveness, traditionality, and tradeability in the flagship releases.  Other than that, my expectations were not particularly high.  I wasn’t disappointed lol.  Since then, I also picked up a blaster, fat pack, and three retail packs, and have about 90% of the 350 card base set plus about 8 million doubles.  Don’t ask me why I bought so many. 🙂

The base design has its strengths and weaknesses.  I like the photos this year.  It seems like there are more action shots than usual.  The curved border design with the “almost full bleed” image is also cool.  However, I think the capitalized last names and the social media handles are corny.

The parallels are nice.  There are the rainbow foils, “150 years of professional baseball“ stamps, and image/player variations that are not numbered.  The foils look particularly good with this design.  I like the #/2019 gold camo pixel thing better than the faint gold wedge effects they’ve used the past couple of years.  There are cards #/150 with the regular front and new age “advanced stats” on the back.  Maybe I’ll use the card I have as an opportunity to learn more about the new acronyms, how the numbers are calculated, and what they actually mean. 🙂

The 35th anniversary retro 1986 subsets (regular and Silver pack chrome) bring back a great design. Hard to complain about this one lol.

In my opinion, most of the inserts are boring.  They cover a wide range of baseball’s history, too wide in my opinion.  I prefer how the Heritage historical inserts focus on a particular year.  There is also an overemphasis on the Yankees in general.  I know the Yanks are the most popular and most successful baseball franchise, but c’mon man, the other teams count too!  I do like the 150 years manufactured relic card more than I thought I would, and the Home Run Challenge cards are fun.  (I actually won a #’d card from one of my players last year!)

This Albert Pujols retro GU bat relic is a pretty cool hit, much better than I expected!  I’ve not had positive experiences trying to get his autograph at the ballpark, so I’m not much of a Pujols fan.  However, I certainly respect his baseball accomplishments and have accumulated some nice cards of his, so I think this one also goes in the keeper bin. 🙂

Overall, I appreciate the comprehensiveness, traditionality, and tradeability of this flagship release.  Although I would prefer more exciting inserts, I like the base, parallels, and 35th anniversary subset designs.  The hit was better than I expected.  It could be better but it could be way worse.  It is what it is.  🙂  I give 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball 3 out of 5 stars.