2013 has been the best year for me since 2008, when I developed a love for the game. The Red Sox won the World Series and I collected lots of autographs, baseballs, and memorabilia. This post will go over all of the previous posts on the blog.
Game 1: January 26, 2013- Joe DiMaggio Legends Game, Fort Lauderdale Stadium
I hadn’t gone to a game since July of 2012, so I was excited to get back out to a baseball stadium. The money raised at this game would go towards the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and all of the players were retired. Some played in the 50’s, and could barely swing a bat- they actually hit weak grounders. It was fun, and, unfortunately, this was the final Legends game. Ft. Lauderdale Stadium is run down, and hasn’t seen a professional game since 2010, when the Orioles held Spring Training games.
The scoreboard didn’t work properly and the advertisements were fading.
Bill “Space Man” Lee showed up, but didn’t sign an autograph for me.
Baseballs- This was a charity league ballgame, so I didn’t try to get any.
Jeff Conine signed this ball for me
My ticket stub.
Game 2: February 24, 2013- Red Sox vs. Cardinals, Roger Dean Stadium
This was my first ever Red Sox game, and it was amazing. The Red Sox won, and I saw Jon Lester up close- kind of weird, I know, but you can’t get that at a Major League Ballpark. I got a free T-shirt and double-digit autographs. Unfortunately, I had to stand for almost 6 hours, but it was worth it.
Jon Lester was RIGHT THERE
Our ALCS MVP. I didn’t get his autograph at the game, but he signed a baseball card TTM.
The final score- I got to the ballpark at 11:00 and had been standing until 4:45- I was tired!
Koji Uehara again
I stood on this all game!
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Joel Hanrahan autographs
My ticket stub
Game 3: March 16, 2013- Tigers vs. Cardinals, Roger Dean Stadium
This game was fun- I got an autograph from Austin Jackson, and the Tigers ended up with a 3-0 victory. I snagged my first-ever baseball (even though it wasn’t game used) and met some cool people. The drawback to this game, however, was the lack of space to stand. The box offices “oversold” the ballpark to over 7,000 people, which is the stadium’s capacity. There was nowhere to stand, and even in the concourse it was packed.
My first baseball- snagged during BP
The bleachers in Left Field- if you look on the bottom right, those people are standing- it was like that throughout the ballpark
The line 30 MINUTES before the gates opened
The final score
Game 4: April 21, 2013- Miracle vs. Cardinals, Roger Dean Stadium
This would be my first Minor League ballgame since July of 2012, and I was happy to find an empty Roger Dean Stadium. Former Red Sock Doug Mientkiewicz would be managing the Fort Myres Miracle, and top prospects Miguel Sano and Corey Williams would be there as well. The game would be my best ever in terms of total autographs- 26, and I set the record for baseballs snagged in a game- 7. That is still my personal record (I am not a ballhawk, I am a ‘grapher, but I do want to collect some baseballs- who wouldn’t?). Rain delayed the start of the game by over an hour. The final score was 6-5 in favor of the Cardinals, winning on a walk-off shot by Jonathan Rodriguez.
Corey Williams signing autographs
Miguel Sano signing autographs
Your final score
My blurry shot of Jonathan Rodriguez
Celebrations- #16 is Cardinals top prospect Stephen Piscotty
Game 5: May 5, 2013- Hammerheads vs. Cardinals, Roger Dean Stadium
This was just an average ballgame, despite getting 19 autographs and a free ticket. Not a lot of top-prospects for either team (all of the Hammerheads from last year were in Jacksonville or Miami) or former Major-Leaguers. The Hammerheads won by a score of 1-0, making them 2-0 in games that I’ve seen them in. The Cardinals loss put the whole organization at 1-3.
My free ticket stub
The final score
Austin Barnes and I (I would also get pictures with Andy Haines, Josh Adams, and Robbie Redbird)
Game 6: June 11, 2013- Red Sox vs. Rays, Tropicana Field
I was excited to get to this ballgame, mostly because it would be a Red Sox game. I was also excited to see a domed stadium for the first time, although I did see The Trop in the air in 2012. While I was waiting for the Red Sox to walk out, 30 minutes before the game started, the stupid Rays security kicked 3/4 of the Red Sox fans out of the area. I was mad and made the mistake of skipping the Rays, thinking that my Red Sox jersey would not earn an autograph. My backpack’s zipper broke (which was later fixed by my grandfather in Birmingham) and the Red Sox lost. To top it all off, I never got a ticket stub- all I got was that crappy print-out.
The Rotunda is probably the least ugly part of the stadium
I at least got to see our World Series MVP, Big Papi
I got his bobblehead, though- on sale for $15
Matt Joyce was my last chance for an autograph, but he never signed- my 1st shutout in 10 ballgames
Game 7: July 8, 2013- Braves vs. Barons, Regions Field
This would be my first ballgame in a stadium’s inaugural season since 2009, when I visited Goodyear Ballpark (spring home of the Indians and Reds). The stadium was awesome, but one of the problems was the speaker system- it was LOUD. I got Gary Ward to sign a 1990 Topps baseball card, but missed an opportunity for double-digits by skipping Julio Vinas, the manager, after asking him for the line-up card. The Barons would go on to win the Southern League Title.
The exterior of Regions Field
Trayce Thompson signed my 100th autograph of the season
The Gary Ward auto I was talking about
Right under the scoreboard
Game 8: August 11, 2013- Miracle vs. Hammerheads, Roger Dean Stadium
I was excited for this ballgame, especially because it would be the last one in 2013. I ordered some Doug Mientkiewicz cards on Amazon to get autographed, and Casey Kotchman would be rehabbing for the Hammerheads. I later learned that there would be two ballgames, and I used my free ticket on this game- TWO ballgames for the price of NONE! My friend Ben attended this game with me, and I taught him how to collect autographs. He told me he would rather be the one giving the autographs. The Hammerheads would lose both games.
Casey Kotchman came out for game two
Andy Haines, the Hammerheads manager, gave me this:
A line-up card, my first ever
Riverwalk Stadium, Montgomery, Alabama
Here are some pictures from my visit to Riverwalk Stadium, home of the Biscuits, on July 9, 2013:
The seating bowl
Autographs IP: 112/80- Achieved
Autographs TTM (so far)- 20/20- Achieved
Autographs- Total: 132/100, Achieved
Ballhawking- 14/20, Failed
Hopefully next year will be as much fun as 2013! Thanks for reading!
– 2014 Goals (December)
– Any mail posts
– Baseball Card pack break (maybe)