Saturday, January 5, 2013
Skip Schumaker at The Refinery Training Facility
Dodgers second baseman and two time World Series Champion Skip Schumaker made an appearance at the new Refinery Training Facility in Torrance. The appearance was part of the facility's grand opening celebration which was listed on the flyer as being between noon and four. However there was no confirmation on when Skip would be there or if he would be signing autographs. I decided to leave around 11:30, thinking I would get to the facility around one, unfortunately my plan got a bit delayed. After a quick stop at Frank and Sons and battling with Los Angeles traffic, I found myself running way late and began to panic that I would be too late. For all I knew Skip could of showed up at 12 and left at one.
Around 1:40 I got a call from my friend Tyler saying that Skip would be there until two and that he was signing autographs. This was both good and bad, good in that he was signing and was still there, bad because I needed to get eight miles in under twenty minutes. Luckily traffic wasn't terrible from that point on and we got to the facility around 1:55. As I was rushing to the entrance I noticed a few people walking out with Schumaker signed baseballs, I asked them if he was still inside and they said yes but only for a few more minutes. Luckily, right as I got inside, I noticed Skip waiting a table with an empty line. I was trying to get my cards out quickly and Skip began to pick up his water and was about to leave, I got my cards and said "Skip, could you sign one more?" Luckily he heard me and turned around. He took my book which had eight cards on it, we both got a good laugh in as when he saw all the cards, he said, "Oh my goodness!". You could tell he was surprised by all the cards. He kindly signed all eight of my cards and I asked him if he could do a ball for me too. He obliged and even waited for me to get the ball out of my backpack and unwrap it. Skip was as nice as could be and even inscribed "2011 WS Champs" on my baseball. He was very talkative as well asking where I came from and more. I also liked his advice that he told a women. She asked him what she should do because her son is a really good baseball player but doesn't want to play anymore, Skip told her that she shouldn't push him because the more you get pushed, the less you enjoy and the less you want to play. That is advice a lot of parents should take to heart.
In retrospect I wish I wasn't as rushed and had more time to talk to Skip, he was always one of my favorite Cardinals and I have rooted for him since he was a rookie back in 2006. But I just barely did get the autograph and that is what matters the most. I wasn't able to take any photographs of the place or of Skip because it was really an in-and-out experience, no time to think or really pause and relax. I would like to thanks Roberto from Vin Scully Is My Homeboy for the info on the event as well as Skip Schumaker for being so nice and signing. Thanks for reading!