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Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Graphing Recap of April 2019 Yankees at Orioles
I was really worried, because I came down with some kind of bug on Tuesday, which put me out of work on Wednesday. Whatever it was seemed to be on the way out by Wood Ducks Opening Night on Thursday, so I was all set to go on Friday up to Baltimore. Only thing is, that sick day and the Wood Ducks opener left me with very little time to prep for the trip.
I had already sat aside some Orioles because of Fan Fest, and added more to that pile when Topps and Heritage came out. Then, I grabbed some Yankees from those boxes, and happened upon a couple on my desk, and tossed them in a box. All of my card prepping took place in the hotel room late at night Friday and early Saturday morning.
I had decided early on that I wasn't going to get Eddie on a ball, because I didn't want to feel like I had a duplicate or want to sell something. I originally wanted him on the 1988 Topps Record Breakers card, but at the 11th hour, I remembered that I had the above 2010 Topps Short Print, so I decided that was going to be the one I got signed.
Even though the signature is a little tough to see on the card, I was glad I chose it. Eddie held the card for a bit and said that he had never seen one like it before. I told him it was a 2010 Topps SP and he said that he thought by looking at the yellow railings on the card that it was taken in Chicago (at old Comiskey). He remarked on the road gray jersey, as well. So, the card definitely got his attention.
The biggest moment of the trip came right after Chris and I finished dinner on Friday night, however. We had eaten dinner downtown, after walking from our hotel. I had realized on the ride up that I had forgotten my photo edges for Chris's autograph book (and also my laptop, hence, no blog posts this past weekend). I texted my friend Michael to see if he had any photo edges. About 15 minutes later, I got a phone call...
Michael needed to know where I was because he had a graphing tip for me that I couldn't pass up. He had seen Aaron Judge (and Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier and Taylor Wade) go into a restaurant not too far from where I was. I had to go to my hotel, though, and get my cards, and meet Michael where he was. I also had to pray that the foursome were slow eaters. I got to the room and grabbed my cards. I threw some baby powder on the Aaron Judge card that I thought would look best and put the snap case of cards in my shirt pocket (since I had left from work to head north) and made the mile-long trek across the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore to try and see if I could get Aaron Judge.
I liked the white bordered 2006 Turkey Red and then realized I had a duplicate of the 2006 Upper Deck Special F/X and had to get that signed. You see, back in the day, we didn't have Topps Now that would come out and possibly have the game you went to depicted on a card. You had to be REALLY lucky. Well, 2006 Upper Deck actually had a card of the game that I had gone to that got me back into card collecting. I had taken a friend to Baltimore and that day, I had bought Roberts's jersey. In extras, he came to the plate and I told my friend that Roberts was going to hit a walkoff homer. He did, and later that night some Yankee fans bought us drinks. Now I have a signed version of the card and was able to relay that story to Roberts as he was signing. He was still really cool, as he had been every other time I had met him.
Prior to the start of the game, the Orioles had a Celebration of Life for the late Frank Robinson. In attendance were his wife and daughter, as well as several of his former teammates, contemporaries and players he had managed. Speeches were given by Jim Palmer, Boog Powell and Brooks Robinson. I also saw Cal and Eddie in attendance.
The Orioles lost the game, but it was really close. Miguel Castro gave up a three-run home run to Clint Frazier that put the Yankees ahead. I was able to witness Judge hit two home runs in the innings prior. This season's Orioles aren't expected to do much of anything, but I was pleasantly surprised to see them hang tough against the Evils (and Judge).
After the end of the 8th inning, Chris and I made our way back to the player entrance and got there right as the game was letting out. I noticed that Frank's wife and daughter were standing outside, so I approached them. I thanked Mrs. Robinson for being so kind to me at the National back in July. She seemed to remember me, thanked me and introduced me to her daughter. I told the both of them that I really respected Frank, and that Chris and I had mourned for their loss. They teared up, each shook my hand and thanked me, and Mrs. Robinson pulled Chris in for a hug. I was really glad that I took the time to approach them. I feel like although I was a bit awkward, they must have appreciated the gesture.
So, thank you, Michael for all of the help with the tips, thank you Gerard for hooking me up with the tickets. Thank you Ticketmaster for screwing up in the first place, but most of all, thank you, Chris, for coming along and only complaining minimally (and when I couldn't really hear you anyway). I had a wonderful bonding time with my son, and I know he had a blast as well. I also think it is safe to say that the both of us are Aaron Judge fans, and that is ok.