Results tagged ‘ baseball ’

4/22/11 @ Citi Field

First off, I would like to apologize for not writing frequently during the offseason. It was the offseason, and baseball was not in the front of my mind. But now, on to this game. 

WIth spring break winding down, I decided to head out to Citi Field with my friend Richard after buying cheap tickets on StubHub. Too bad we didn’t sit in those seats once, but I’ll get to that later. After waiting on line for a good 15 minutes and watching many others walk into the stadium ahead of us, Richard and I got a good spot down the left field foul line in foul territory. 
After about 10 minutes, a guy wearing a Diamondbacks hoodie and thick gloves just leaned up against the railing a foot from Richard and I. We thought he was just a trainer/coach, so we thought nothing of it. Eventually a small child approached him and said, “Mister, can you sign my ball?” After reading his signature, we realized the man standing right next to us was none other than Armando “Mr. Imperfect” Galarraga. After scrambling through my bag to get something for him to sign, Armando signed a ball and a page in my autograph book for me and a ball for Richard. You can see what I got signed at the bottom of this entry. Then right before he left, he took a photo with me. Thanks Armando!!

As you can see, everyone around me was oblivious as to what was happening. 
Shortly after that, a foul ball flew over my head, hit a chair pretty hard, and was snatched up by the guy standing right next to me. That’s my luck with BP balls recently. I can’t catch a break. 
Then I got another autograph, this time from pitcher Barry Enright. Here is a short clip I took of him signing for some people. Thanks Barry!  

Then, shortly before the game, I got another autograph from former Yankee pitcher, Ian Kennedy. Thanks Ian! Here is a clip of what NOT to get signed at the dugout. 

I’m going to pause with this entry for a second to talk about something that is my pet peeve. 
When a player is signing autographs at the dugout. Make sure you have something that you can throw easily. Ian did sign this guy’s card, but he could have easily thrown it out and left. Just bring a ball/hat/glove or something like that. And make sure you have a pen. 

That was all the stuff I got before the game. However, I did manage to run into published author and possibly the greatest ballhawk ever, Zack Hample. Richard and I talked to him for a few minutes while he signed my copy of his most recent book, The Baseball. I HIGHLY recommend it. It provides a new perspective on the baseball itself with new information that you probably don’t know. Zack managed to snag 3 balls on the day, and you can read his account of the day on his blog by clicking HERE. Then we took a picture together. Thank You Zack!!!

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The game itself was very entertaining. Mike Pelfrey pitched 7 great innings on a sick stomach. I won’t go into details, because I don’t want you to do what Mike almost did on the mound. Joe Saunders also pitched great, leaving without allowing a run through 6+ innings. Then Ike Davis came to the plate and smacked one off the deep center field wall. It was originally called a double, but I noticed that it never hit below the orange line on the wall in center field. As soon as the umpires ruled it a double, I was in the aisle screaming home run and giving the homer signal. The umpires agreed with me and changed the call to a homer. Watch Ike’s blast HERE
You can see me in the blue circle below when Ike came home. 
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Fast Forward to the bottom of inning number 8. As you can see by the above photo, I ended up sitting in great seats (Not the ones we bought.) So when Daniel Murphy hit a Juan Gutierrez foul and Mets third base coach Chip Hale ended up with it, I was down the stairs in the front ball waiting for Hale to throw it to someone. He lobbed it straight in my direction, and about ten different hands all went up for the ball, and since I was the only one with a glove, I had the upper hand. All of a sudden, BAM, the ball went right into the webbing of my glove, and after pushing a guy off my mitt, the ball was mine. My first ball during a game this season. It is a beauty, rubbed up in mud with visible marks of dirt and grass on it, as you can see at the bottom of this entry.  
That was it for the game as the Mets held on to win it 4-1.
After the game I bumped into Zack, who didn’t get a ball at the Diamondbacks dugout, and we took another photo together, and I am the one who is holding a ball. (It was cold, that is why I am wearing gloves in many pictures) 
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A very successful day at the ballpark for everyone. 

Today’s Autographs: 
                                                                                       
Barry Enright                                                                         Ian Kennedy
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Armando Galarraga                            I got a ball I snagged at a game last season signed. 
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The one baseball I snagged today: 
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Thanks For Reading- Howie
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October 1, 2010 @ Citi Field

In terms of quality, this was an o.k. day at best. In terms of quantity, this was a great day. 
My birthday was last week, so my dad got tickets for my friends and I and we went to Citi Field right after school last Friday. I wasn’t optimistic that there would be BP, and I ended up being right. Originally, my friends and I went down near the Mets dugout to try to get autographs. However, I quickly went over to the the Nationals side when their pitchers started warming up. Soon after that, John Lannan, from Long Island, to sign a ball for me. He kept on moving around and I literally had to run in circles to finally get him. 
After they were done warming up, Craig Stammen and Tyler Clippard to sign the same baseball. Below is Stammen, who is wearing his glove on his head, and Clippard is on the right. 
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Then, closer to the dugout, a player that my friends and I could not recognize was signing near the dugout so I got him to sign the baseball and I also got a picture with him. 
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Later, I found out it was rookie closer Drew Storen. I took a short video of him signing. You can check it out HERE. The first baseball he signs is mine. Shortly after that, another pitcher stopped and signed for the small group of fans. It was Joe Bisenius, a reliever who has only had a cup of coffee in the big leagues. He also signed my baseball. Here is a video of him signing.

After that, the last two players on the field, veterans Miguel Batista and Joel Peralta walked in, and both signed my baseball. I had to throw and catch the ball while holding the camera at the same time, which was difficult. These would be the final Nationals autographs on the day. 

Finally, after getting 7 Nationals autographs before the game, I went back over to the Mets side and got Manny Acosta to sign a different ball for me in a big scrum.IMG_7795.JPG

That was all for pre-game. 8 autographs and no baseballs. Right before the game, Jose Reyes signed and I was so close from him, yet I didn’t get him. I got a video, however, check it out HERE
Finally, after 2 years of going to games at Citi Field, I finally ate shake shack. Single shack burger, fries, and a chocolate shake. Very filling, especially for a ballpark meal. After that, my friends and I settled in our seats in right field and saw an unlikely pitchers duel between Pat Misch and Jordan Zimmerman. Pat Misch struck out 10 over 8 innings and Zimmerman went 6 innings and allowed one run. 
Then came the bottom of the 10th, the game had gone by quickly, and rookie catcher Josh Thole stepped in. He got the count to 3-1, and I said, “Put on the green light, risk everything.” I guess Thole heard me because he sent the next pitch in my direction. I jumped out of my seat, however I could do nothing but watch the ball sail straight over my head. You can check out the footage HERE. I am circled in the screen shot below. I was wearing my Nationals hat, and I didn’t even realize it until I took it off until I got home. 
That gave the Mets their 78th win of the year, and a good one. That makes 3 different catchers that have hit walk-off homers for the Mets. Rod Barajas, Henry Blanco, and now, Josh Thole. 
Unless I somehow get Yankees playoff tickets, it looks like my 2010 season is over. 
Here are my final autographs. 
Manny Acosta                                                                 Miguel Batista & Joel Peralta 

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Drew Storen & Joe Bisenius                             John Lannan, Tyler Clippard, Craig Stammen
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That’s all for now. I’ll make a full season recap soon. 
 Thanks for Reading- Howie

Cooperstown!

This past week, my family and I took a vacation, and one of the stops was in Cooperstown. After a long drive, we parked on main street. Then, after a short walk down the block, I was in front of this building. 

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(Does anyone else think it is odd that the U in the word museum looks like a v?)
My family bought tickets that were good for 2 days. We entered, and spent a good chunk of time in the plaque gallery. If you are unfamiliar with the hall of fame, the plaque gallery is where all of the plaques of people that have been inducted into the hall are held and displayed. The first class inducted into the hall of fame was in 1936, and their plaques are displayed right in the middle of the room. If you want to see a close up, click on the picture below and zoom in. 
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After the plaque gallery, I spent some time exploring the 2 floors of exhibits and artifacts. There was the extremely old…
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…to the more recent…
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Also, there were many other different interesting and unique artifacts. 
One of my favorite ones was a wall that had the game balls from every no hitter and perfect game thrown since 1940. 
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A hat from each of the Ryan Express’ 7 no hitters. 
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Everything except the ball from Bobby Thomson’s shot heard round the world.
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If you are curious about what happened to the ball, check out this book. I found it very interesting, and it explains what people have been wondering. What happened to the ball?
This artifact is definitely the only one of it’s kind in the world. 
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There were thousands of different baseball cards on display from many different years. 
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There were also many exhibits honoring Hank Aaron, one of which is his uniform, and right next to it was an autographed ball from his final career home run.
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After leaving the hall of fame, I went down main street looking at all the memorabilia stores. There were quite a few things to choose from.
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The only thing I bought was a Ryan Zimmerman signed card for $20. Not a bad deal in my opinion.
I capped off the day by taking some swings at the Doubleday Batting Range. I’m not exactly the greatest hitter, but I got good contact on some of the pitches. 
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I had a great time in Cooperstown, and any baseball fan, no matter what age, must go to the Hall of Fame at least once in their lifetime. It is one heck of an experience. 
Thanks for Reading-
Howie

August 24, 2010 @ Citi Field

First, I would like to apologize that this is the first entry I have written since June. I went away for the summer and got back just a few days ago. Since I got back, I attended the Mets game on August 24. They were hosting the  Marlins, and I was looking forward to having a good day.

After taking  the only working train on the LIRR, I arrived at the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at 4:30, right before the gate was set to open and I was at the front of the line. As soon as I entered the stadium, I went straight to right field to look for easter eggs. Unfortunately, there were  none. After throughly searching every single row, I saw that Mets star Mike Pelfrey was holding a ball in is hand. I asked Mike for the baseball and responded by flinging it underhanded toward me. I lunged over the wall as far as I could, but missed the ball and it rolled into the Mo’s zone and stayed there. I waited and waited, and eventually rookie outfielder Jesus Feliciano picked it up and tossed it to me. Right after that, I met my friends at the corner near the Mets dugout to try to get some autographs. Once Mets batting practice was over, my friends left to go to the Marlins side and I waited because I saw Chris Carter signing for people near the dugout. As he was about to go into the tunnel, the people around me, along with myself started yelling at Chris to come and sign. He obliged. I got Chris Carter to sign the ball that he threw me on June 24. I brought it because I heard he is a great signer, and it paid off. Then Chris started signing odd items, like a country club hat, and he even signed some autographs with a pencil. It was kind of odd. Since I was stuck in the corner, I also got to take a picture with him, which was good because I rarely take pictures with players. I took a video of him signing, and you can see that HERE.                                          
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After that, I met my friends on the Marlins side and got rookie catcher Brett Hayes to sign a ball for me. I snapped a picture of him right before he left for the dugout. 
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Shortly after that, a light mist started to fall and BP went dead. All I had was a ball and two autographs. Not great, but I was happy just to get anything. 
Then, with a light rain falling, my friends and I settled down in our seats, which were about 10 rows behind the tarp on the 3rd base side. I have always wanted to see knuckleballer R.A. Dickey pitch live, and tonight was my lucky night, as he was facing Marlins ace Josh Johnson. 
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The game went back and forth, with the Mets and Marlins having multiple  lead changes. The biggest one was in the bottom of the 9th, game tied at 5. Will Ohman was pitching for the Marlins and the Mets had runners on first and second for Luis Castillo. To my surprise, Castillo lifted a bloop single into shallow right field, scoring rookie Ike Davis to give the Mets a 6-5 win.
New York Mets' Jeff Francoeur, and Ike Davis 
It was a good win for the Mets, because they were trailing after 7 innings but never gave up and got the win. 
Today’s autographs:
Chris Carter                                                      
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                  Brett Hayes                                                       
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Today’s baseball: 
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  That’s all for today, I will be heading to Cooperstown next week, so expect an entry on that when I get  back. 
Thanks for Reading- Howie

May 8, 2010 @ Citi Field

I went to Citi Field on Saturday May 8 to see my Mets host the San Francisco Giants. My dad, who knows people, got front row seats behind the Giants dugout for a very, very discounted price. When I looked at the weather forecast for this day, I noticed that there was going to be some early morning rain, so I decided to sleep in a little. We got there at around 11 AM, and everything was soaked and the tarp was on the field. The only action I could find was down the right field line where some Mets were stretching. My dad stayed at our seats with the camera. The picture on the left is taken by my dad from the seats. The one on the right is from my phone.

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Shortly after that , Fernando Nieve started signing and I got him to sign a ball on the sweet spot with someone else’s black pen. That autograph, along with my others can be seen at the bottom of this entry.  This picture was taken by my dad from a long distance away.
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After that, I returned to my seats and noticed that Giants reliever Dan Runzler was having his photo taken, presumably for his next baseball card. 
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After that, when he was walking into the dugout, I asked him to sign a ball, and he did. I don’t have it on tape. But apparently I need to work on my pen throwing. Shortly after, another Giants reliever, Denny Bautista, had his picture taken by that same man. 
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After that, when he entered the dugout,  he was talking to someone he knew in spanish, and I asked him to sign the ball that Runzler had just signed, and he obliged. My dad got it all on tape and I put the video up on youtube. He dropped the pen even though I threw it right to him 

After that, things slowed down for a little while until Juan Uribe signed a ball for me at the dugout after the national anthem. He signed so quickly that my dad could not even take out the camera. That left me with 4 autographs at game time. Once the game began, my father and I were clearly visible on TV. This is a screen shot of Henry Blanco batting in the 2nd inning. I am circled in grey. My father is circled in purple. He wore the A’s hat so he could stand out in the crowd. 

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The game started with the Mets jumping off to an early lead. Jason Bay got a sacrifice fly off Todd Wellemeyer in the first. In the 2nd, Angel Pagan got a triple down the left field line past a diving Mark DeRosa. After 3 innings, the Mets were up 3-0. But let’s take a rewind to the bottom of the third inning. With 2 outs and David Wright on first after a walk, rookie Ike Davis stepped in to face Todd Wellemeyer. Why am I telling you about this? Keep on reading.IMG_5745.JPG
As you can see, the count went to 2-2. Ike rolled over on a pitch and hit a ground ball to Pablo Sandoval, commonly referred to as Kung Fu Panda, who threw the ball to Aubrey Huff at first base to end the inning. Huff jogged toward the dugout with the ball in his glove. I stood up and raised my arms and tried to get his attention. He reared back as he was going to throw the ball into the crowd. In the very blurry screen shot below you can see Huff, circled in blue, about to throw the ball over the dugout, while circled in the other blue circle, I am up and ready for the throw. 
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Huff threw the ball up, and it went right to me, and I made the easy one handed catch. The seat next to me was empty, and since I was in the middle of the row, there was no competition. Ball #1 was in the books, my first game ball. Some people only count live game balls, like foul balls or home run balls, as game balls. I think if the ball was used in the game, it counts as a game ball. I was pretty happy. I think the only reason Huff threw it to me was because I was wearing a Giants hat. You can see a close up picture of the ball below.
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After that, I didn’t really care what happened the rest of the day. But in between innings later in the game, I noticed someone in the dugout that I had not seen earlier in the day. It was Tim Lincecum. I was looking for him pre game but just never saw him. I took a bunch of pictures of him, but here is one of the best ones. 
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During the rest of the game, it was fun to see Ike Davis’ stats on the Jumbotron because I felt like I owned the groundout to 3rd base. 
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As you can see by the line score, the Mets blew a late inning lead, but the game went to extras, and for the second straight game, the Mets won it on their final at bat. This time, it was catcher Henry Blanco going yard just over the left field wall to send all the Mets fans at Citi Field into a frenzy. This is the first time in MLB history that a team has won back to back games thanks to walk off homers by catchers. On the way out, I noticed the Mets were selling game used batting helmets. $75 for a Lance Broadway “game used” batting helmet, I think not. By game worn I mean sitting on a shelf. 
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They had a whole mess of game worn stuff, and it was all really overpriced. 
Here are today’s autographs. 
      Fernando Nieve                                                                 Juan Uribe

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          Dan Runzler                                                                      
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                                     Denny Bautista

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And finally, here is ball I snagged today, my 18th lifetime and first game ball. 

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As you can see, it is pretty rubbed up with mud and there is a distinct spot, right near the MLB logo, where Ike’s bat hit the ball. 
This is probably going to be my last game for some time because I am nearing the end of the school year. 
That is all for this entry. I hope you have enjoyed it. Feel free to comment.
Thanks for Reading, 
Howie

April 5, 2010 @ Citi Field *Opening Day*

I went to Mets Opening Day on Monday at Citi Field. I had a great time, so let us get right to it. 

My father and I arrived at the Jackie Robinson Rotunda gate at around 10 AM. We were right at the front of the line and that was a good thing. I also was armed with a new yellow t-shirt. 
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That is correct. I got the Happy Youngster t-shirt.  It is a long story, and a special thanks to the Happy Youngster himself for the shirt. (The link above goes to his blog.) As soon as the gates opened at 10:30, I was off and running into the stadium. I chose to take the stairs rather than the escalator, and even though I tripped like 5 times wile running up the stairs, it was a good idea. 
I was running in the concourse down the third base line and I saw a security guard standing on the field holding a ball, I sprinted down the steps and asked him for the ball, and he tossed it straight into my glove, and within 2 minutes of me running into the stadium, BALL #1 was in the books. It was also a Citi Field commemorative ball from last season. Ball #1 is shown below. 
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It was the first ball given to a fan during the 2010 regular season  at Citi Field and the first Citi Field commemorative ball that I have ever snagged. On my mygameballs.com page, I counted it as a found ball because I found the security guard holding the ball. Literally a minute after I got this ball the person standing next to me noticed Nate Robertson of the Marlins was walking back to the dugout, and we asked Nate to sign, and he said sure. I got him to sign a separate ball that I had brought to get signed. He even signed  it on the sweet spot. Thanks Nate!
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Then I settled down in a good spot in the front row right behind where the Marlins started playing catch, but first during the end of Mets batting practice, Luis Castillo, hit a hard foul ball down the line bounced foul on the field then went into the stands and hit me in the thigh. I said, “Ouch.” as I bent down and picked up BALL #2, also a Citi Field commemorative ball. Here is that ball: 
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You could say I was a little happy. 
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During this time, I got so unlucky that I don’t even want to share the details on the blog. My bad luck changed when Anibal Sanchez threw me BALL #3. It was pretty much brand new, except for a small green mark on the sweet spot. After  he threw me the ball, Jose Veras, a reliever on the Marlins, started signing, and I got him to sign the ball Sanchez just gave me. 
Here is a picture of him signing:
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If you can see me, I am in the teal Marlins hat. Here is ball #3, which was signed by Veras. verassignedball3.JPG
Then, after with a quick photo with the 3 balls, we were off to the seats for the game.
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The game went great. The Mets won 7-1 behind David Wright’s 2 run homer and Johan’s solid outing.
See you next time from Citi Field
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Thanks for reading- Howie

Card Show

Sorry I have not posted in a while. Today I attended a card show. I usually went to these a lot when I was a little younger. This was the first time I’ve been to a card show in years. My father and I got there at about 12:30 pm and we immediately went to the back of the gym where former Mets Jack Fisher, Davey Johnson, Bruce Berenyi, Ron Darling, George Foster, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Elster were signing autographs. They all, cost a certain amount of money, except for Jack Fischer who was free with your paid admission. I bought 8×10 photographs of Foster and Fischer. How it worked was you would buy a card that entitles you to get 1 autograph from that player. You would give it to a person sitting next to the player then get the autograph. They gave you a card of Fischer with your admission. How the signing worked was there was 1 large table where all the players were sitting and signing. I went to George Foster first, but the  line for him was so short and I thought he wasn’t there yet. It turns out that the line for a former MVP, World Series Champion, and All-Star, was well, no one. I just walked straight up to him and got him to personalize the photo I had just bought and I got a (slightly blurry) picture with him. 

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It was surprising to see him decked out in Reds gear at a New York card show. 
Then we waited on line to get Jack Fisher. Thanks to a quick read on wikipedia earlier in the day, I found out that he was the Mets pitcher in the first ever game at old Shea Stadium, so I brought a Shea Stadium commemorative baseball with me and got him to sign it and an 8×10 with some inscriptions that I asked him to do. My father took a video of him signing, and you can check it out HERE. That is a good trivia question to stump your friend. Who threw the first pitch ever at Shea? Jack Fisher

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After that, we browsed the rows and rows of dealers. Recently, I was denied in the mail by Jeff Reardon, he returned my cards back unsigned, so when I saw a signed 8×10 of him as a Met for only $1, there was no way I could refuse, so I grabbed a dollar from my pocket, handed it to the dealer, said thanks, and walked away with this Jeff Reardon autograph:

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So, we looked around at the many dealers, saw some interesting stuff. Didn’t buy anything though except for a box of Topps Ticket To Stardom Baseball which contained 20 packs of 12 cards each and in one of the first packs my dad opened up, he saw this:
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Pretty nice. On the back it was numbered 338/489. Now here is the reason why the box is called Ticket to Stardom. 
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If you can’t tell, those are actual tickets from games in 2008. After that, we noticed the line for Davey Johnson, manager of the 1986 Mets, was small. So we bought a picture and a card needed for an autograph, and got on line. There was only one problem, we were on the line for Bruce Berenyi, and we didn’t realize that until we saw Davey Johnson get up to leave, so we ran over to him right before he was going to walk out the door, and got him to personalize an 8×10 for me. Here is a proof shot taken by my dad along with the photo itself. 
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That was it for the card show. Very successful. 
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