Friday, May 10, 2013
Zack Greinke Rehab Start With Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
I'm still currently in the process of trying to catch up with all of my blog posts from my short leave earlier this month. Luckily, my school gets out next week, so you should be seeing more catch-up posts in the near future. Anyways, former American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke was scheduled to make a rehab start with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes earlier this month. The game was to played in Lake Elsinore, which I knew would keep most graphers away. The only down side was that my family would have to drive over 60 miles in Friday traffic. Wonderful. But the opportunity to get one of the hardest autographs in baseball and make up for my mistake by skipping Dodgers' fan fest was too tempting.
After a long battle with traffic, I arrived at the stadium about 30 minutes before game time. In fact, as I was walking down the steps to get down to field level, I noticed Greinke pop out of the Quakes' dugout to begin warming up. I knew he would not sign until after his night was done, but I was surprised to see him wave at a couple of young fans. I was still able to get Jonathan Garcia, Pedro Baez, and Scott Elbert, who was also rehabbing with Rancho, to sign some cards for me.
Obviously I didn't drive all the way down to Lake Elsinore to get a few minor leaguers and one decent relief pitcher, but I was still happy to get on the board and ensure that I wouldn't get entirely shut out. I then went over to the seats down the left field line, found a completely empty section, and watched Greinke get roughed up by some Single-A rookies over four innings.
Watching Greinke give up eight runs (four earned) really made me nervous that he was not going to sign, but of course I was still obligated to wait, even if I was possibly going to get shut out.
The wait seemed to take forever, but finally Zack came out of the Quakes clubhouse with a huge bag on his shoulder, a plate of pizza, and a soda. Not a good sign. But to my amazement, he put down everything and began signing for the fifteen people waiting. Everything was real relaxed and kicked back. Zack wasn't rushing, he was taking his time to get everybody who waited. He was strictly one per, but luckily both of my parents were willing to help out. In the end I came away with two ROMLBs across the sweetspot and my team ball signed.
I noticed that a few people ran up at the last minute as Zack was getting in his car, and they were all denied. I felt really fortunate that I was able to get his autograph considering I will probably never get it again. I can't even recall Zack picking up one pen during his brief stint with the Angels last season. A big thanks to Zack for signing as well as a shout out to Tyler for graphing along side me. Tyler was literally the only other "pro" grapher out there, that just shows how reluctant people were to drive all the way out to Elsinore. Thanks for reading!