Sunday, June 20, 2010

2010 Minnesota Twins Autograph Party

On Saturday, June 12 I attended the Minnesota Twins autograph party. Unlike past years, the Twins did not release a player signing schedule before the day of the event. I think the Twins reasoning was that they tired of people showing up the night before and camping out in the Joe Mauer or Justin Morneau lines. It did not help though as many people did camp out in what they thought was the Joe Mauer line. Of course at 9:00 am when the signing schedule was release, I heard all these people found out they were in the wrong spot and they ran like a spooked herd of cattle to the right line.

I, on the other hand, showed up at 9:30 am and got in the Orlando Hudson line which had all of 10 people in it. I needed Hudson, Jose Mijares, Matt Tolbert, Ron Mahay, Danny Valencia, Steve Liddle, and Trevor Plouffe to complete my collection of signed baseball cards of current Twins players and coaches. Hudson was signing with Jose Mijares so I figured I could kill 2 birds with one stone.

About the time the Twins started signing it started to rain hard. The rain cause numerous problems including slowing down lines, destroying items people wanted signed, and smearing autographs. The ball I had signed by Francisco Liriano had the autograph smeared, but it was still legible. Numerous other folks were not so lucky.

Despite the rain, things went well for me. I got 16 different players including everyone I wanted except Plouffe.

One thing that surprised me was future Hall of Famer and Twins broadcast analyst Bert Blyleven was personalizing all photos. The Twins have always said no personalization at the events. You get in trouble if you even ask for one. However, the rule must not apply to Bert. I think he knows he is about to be elected to the Hall of Fame, and he thinks people will get stuff signed by him and will sell it on the Web. He is probably right; there are some of those folks around. I also noticed Bert was not signing baseballs on the sweet-spot (the prefer spot for collectors) either.

I have no problem with Bert personalizing my photo. I think it is great he gets to know who I am. Also I do not sell my stuff.

Below are my signing successes all of which were baseball cards unless otherwise noted:

Orlando Hudson, Jose Mijares, Clay Condrey, Steve Liddle, Danny Valencia, Francisco Liriano (ball), Matt Tolbert, Joe Nathan, Rick Stelmansyk, Ron Mahay, Drew Butera, Ron Gardenhire (banner), Bert Blyleven (photo), Ron Coomer, Al Newman, Greg Olson (the ex-Atlanta Brave and Minnesota native signed a post of the game winning hit of 1991 World Series – he wanted to draw a sad face on it, but I thought that was not a good idea).

I had a good time and look forward to next year – without the rain.