Friday, December 6, 2013

On the Signing Front

We return to the signing front and the pile continues to grow smaller,but there still should be at least two,if not more signing fronts before we are caught up from the 2013 season.

We start with the Asheville Tourists.
The Tourists usually bring a decent amounts of graphers to Hagerstown because they are the only team on the East Coast that are a Colorado Rockies affiliate.
The lucky catch was first round pick David Dahl,who was injured for nearly the entire season,but was traveling with the team.
Wonder who Dahl ticked off to spend four days in Hagerstown when he was nowhere near the condition to play?
Dahl was a terrific signer and signed everything for everyone.
Rosell Herrera was the breakout player of the Rockies system last year and was a willing signer,but the player I felt worst for was Max White,who had tons of different cards,yet signed them all.
Former big leaguers Mike Devereaux and Joey Eischen signed for us as well in their return to Hagerstown....

Next on the docket were the Winston-Salem Dash in Frederick.
This was the day with Big Don and my Buffalo Wild Wings gift night from Bridget as written about here.
The Dash themselves were led by speedy Micah Johnson and Courtney Hawkins.
Hawkins is a great signer,that might be getting tired of the overkill that top prospects get with the pen.
Courtney came out and I had 4 cards,which was a drop in the bucket in the past.
Courtney signed two and handed the other 2 back,I walked away with Derreck and said "looks like another guy ruined by the 25 at a shot gang".
Hawkins then walked to the field and looked up at us.Derreck says "He's trying to get your attention!".
Courtney then hollered up and said "Come down here after I'm done and I'll get the rest of those for you"!
First time for everything in this hobby!

Next up was another trip to State College to work on the Spikes team set and the visiting Williamsport Crosscutters,the short season team for the Phillies.
Both teams were strong enough and it's always a good time traveling with Derreck.
The Spikes featured Carson Kelly and David Washington as the top prospects.
Kelly signed his New York-Penn prospect card as well as the Bowman Silver Ice card that came in the mail the day after our last trip to State College,while Washington signed his State College and NY/Penn card too.
Nice pickups from the Crosscutters were Mitch Gueller on his Ny/Penn and Bowman refractor,Andrew Knapp,Andrew Pullin on a Bowman refractor and Dylan Cozens on his NY/Penn and Topps cards.
We stuck around far longer than we should for coaches Oliver Marmol and Ramon Ortiz,but with the season ending,its kinda nice getting the extra time in...

Next into Hagerstown was the Greensboro Grasshoppers and prospects from the Florida Marlins.
The interesting addition for the Grasshoppers was 2013 first rounder Colin Moran.
Moran had no cards at the time,but I was able to get him to sign the Hopper logo card from their team set.
Moran was also noted for a running style that brought to mind Tom Hanks running back kicks in Forrest Gump.
Chad James was a one time first rounder that had suffered injury problems.
Chad was very nice in knocking out all four cards that I had..
The other prospect that I was able to get was Jesus Solorzano on a team not filled with them.
During this series,I also got Nationals first rounder (sandwich pick) Jake Johansen and Derek Self on an Orange Bowman I got at a card show...

The Altoona Curve hit Harrisburg for their first shot at their team set.
Jameson Taillon was gone to AAA Indianapolis,but Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson had arrived from High A Bradenton.
Neither Hanson nor Polanco were especially cooperative on this night as Tyle and I were the only ones to Hanson pre-game on one,while Polanco refused pre-game and post-game signed for a few before trying to leave.Tyler caught him,which allowed me to get his top 100 card signed.
Boy,am I going to miss him when he is finished in this hobby!
Nick Kingham was nice and Alex Dickerson was quiet but signed everything.
Dickerson was recently traded to the Padres as he looked to be blocked by the organization's outfield strength.
Curve manager Carlos Garcia continued to be a less than friendly one per,which is as always,better than zero from the former Pirate shortstop.

We wrap with the regular season finale' in Hagerstown with the Lakewood Blue Claws.
Strictly team set cards for the Claws,which mean my first graph from 17 year old Carlos Tocci.
Other than Tocci and Larry Greene,just more of the same guys that come all the time from the Phillies.
Coaches Greg Legg and Aaron Fultz were great as always and manager Mickey Morandini was grouchy as usual,but did sign my team card,which was all I had.
At least he signed that,which was more than he was for some..

Thanks to Jason Christensen for his help in Binghamton with the main pickups being Noah Syndergaard and Travis D'Arnaud before D'Arnaud was promoted and Quinton Miller on his Bradenton card.

Thanks to Tracy Mackereth for two players that I didn't have cards for on the Grasshoppers.
Tracy graciously gave me a Robert Ravago and Austin Dean,that for some reason I didn't have....

Thanks to Bill Cover for his help filling in some Wilmington Blue Rocks that I couldn't get to Frederick for.
No real top prospects,but I did get J.C. Sulabran on an old Tri-Star.
The "Dark Set" is one of my favorites and as it ages,I get fewer of those signed..

Whew! That's a lot of card emptying,but there still is more!
We have the Suns two playoff opponents,some arrivals through the mail with a new champion for length of return time and more help from my friends.

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