Sunday, May 6, 2012

Balk 9 - Jose and me...and JJ...Gronk...

The Blue Jays. Oh the Blue Jays.

The Jays were here for a 4 game series and I decided to put some serious effort into trying to collect their autographs. Things didn't start off well when on the first day of the series I arrived to see my stack of Jays cards was not in my bag. All I had was on okay looking ball I had gotten during BP the day before. Not what I wanted, but it had to do. Instead of attempting to get the Angels when a few players signed I tried to get Jose Bautista walking in. He didn't sign and said he would after BP. For the remainder of the day I tried to bounce around the stadium was completely shut out.

As I was sitting around trying to plan out my next move when my friends Eric and Phil suggested I get my first autograph of the day from "JJ." Those of you who don't know, JJ is John Jackson a former NFL receiver and USC star who is a commentator at the stadium.

I didn't have anything for JJ to sign so I was thinking about just using my ticket when Eric reached into his bag of goodies and pulled out this.
That's right a Fox Sports Net piece of cardboard. I'm not sure why he had it or who he had it for, because even he said "I don't know why I have this." I went over to JJ as he was walking in and he was super friendly and autographed the card. He was nice enough to not only sign "John Jackson" but even added the "Fox Sports 1" inscription for me. I've never asked for the announcers to sign anything for me, but it was awesome and him being so nice about it made me really like this card.

Later inside the stadium I saw Bautista take BP. After BP he walked over to the very large group of fans for their "on field" experience and started to sign for them. I moved directly behind the group and was the only one behind the dugout to be there. When he was done signing he started to speak to 3 guys who were standing on the field behind a little chain divider. When one of the guys with them finished taking photos of Bautista talking to them he turned to me and motioned for me to toss him my ball. I was super excited. All day long I had been out of position and now finally for JOSE BAUTISTA I was the lone fan to be by him. It was my time. Or so I thought. Unfortunately he tried to catch my toss left handed with his camera in the other hand. You can guess the rest.

The ball went off his bad hand, and hit one of the guys Jose was talking to in the back. Now it wasn't like he batted it down roughly into him, more like someone tossing you the remote and it falling off your hand onto the couch. He picked up the ball and offered it to Bautista who gave me the worst look I've ever received. I'm pretty sure he thought I was just throwing a ball at him, because he not only shook his head no but stared me down before throwing the ball back to me. And like I said, I was the only fan there. I had succeeded in not only irritating one of my favorite players, but let him memorize my face for his "never sign for, acknowledge, or save from a fire" memory banks. Great.

I got a few Jays autographs throughout the series but my heart just wasn't really in it. For the Saturday game I went to the stadium intending only to autograph and skip the game, but ran into some friends and decided to hang around. While sitting there, a friend Kyle (@addictiveartwrk) thought he recognized a really big muscled guy who talked to Jordan Walden for a few minutes during the game. I didn't know who he was and said I didn't think he was anyone. Boy was I wrong. A few minutes later a dad and his son came down and got the guys autograph. As they were walking away the kid excitedly was talking about how awesome it was to meet Rob Gronkowski. Yup. GRONK.
He started to get mobbed as fans heard the news, but I was lucky enough to have him sign the back of one of my cards. Who would have thought that the best player I get the whole series at Angel Stadium would be a Patriots Tight End.


  1. What a weird day. I hope the autograph from Jose came out ok. At least you got Gronk. He's one of the best tight ends in the NFL right now. I would have had him sign a baseball.

  2. I have a Gronk signature on paper. I am trying to find out how much it is worth. Any help?