Saturday, May 18, 2013
Padres vs. Nationals Game 5/18/13
I decided to head down to San Diego to catch the Washington Nationals in action against the Padres. I had been planning this "trip" for weeks and was very hopeful after hearing that both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper had been signing quite often on this west-coast road trip.
The day got off to a rough start. I left my house around 8 a.m. in hopes of getting to San Diego with time to spare. As I was about 20 miles away from my house, I realized that I had forgotten all of my cards at home. So I then had to turn around, drive all of the way back to my house, and start the trip over again, almost one hour behind schedule. Luckily, or maybe not, I got to Petco Park just in time to see Bryce Harper deny all of the Nationals fans waiting for his autograph. Things did get a bit better, as I was able to get my first autograph of the day from Adam LaRoche, who kindly signed two cards for me.
San Diego is a great place for graphing, the only bad thing is that there are so many entrances that the players can walk in and out of. The day prior Ryan Zimmerman, who was one of my main goals of the day, had apparently taken a side entrance with his wife. I figured that there were good odds of the same thing happening, so I went to the side entrance hoping to get the All-Star third baseman. Well, forty minutes and no Zimmerman later, one of the graphers came over and showed us his Ryan Zimmerman autograph, which he got at a different entrance. I wanted to be upset, but I just couldn't be. That's how much I love Petco Park, even though everything was going wrong, I was still just happy to be there. That attitude helped me get Dan Haren's autograph about 20 minutes later.
Dan was always a terrible signer in Anaheim, so it surprised me to see him sign for 30 or so fans. Even though I've only gotten Dan a hand full of times, I have nothing bad to say about him, he's always a really cool guy and is really down-to-earth if you get a chance to talk to him.
I was about to get ready to call it quits for pre-game, but just as I began to head towards Subway, Jordan Zimmerman and Rafael Soriano walked over together. I initially went after Zimmerman with little to no hope that he'd sign since he was the starting pitcher that night. To no surprise I got quickly denied, so I then turned my attention to Soriano, who surprisingly stopped and signed for all of us. I was able to get Soriano, a notoriously tough signer, to sign a ROMLB across the sweetspot.
Overall it was a good way to end pre-game graphing. I then grabbed a bite to eat before heading inside Petco Park for what was a brutally slow BP. For the entire tow and a half hours I was inside Petco Park, I was able to collect one lousy Chad Tracy autograph and a Gio Gonzalez autograph for my friend Kyle. At least I was able to get some great pictures of beautiful Petco Park.
That last photo was the view behind me on the way up to the second deck. Wow, just wow. The Padres ended up winning the game 2-1 thanks to an 8th inning, go-ahead single from Everth Cabrera. The game also marked the 24th team I've seen play live as I've never seen the Nationals in action before.
As for pre-game, things got a bit better. While I was denied by a limping Bryce Harper, I was able to get Jordan Zimmerman, who only signed for my friend Matt Crocker and I. Jordan was kind enough to sign my ROMLB across the sweetspot.
I was also able to get Padres' manager Bud Black, Rafael Soriano, Tyler Clippard, and Chad Tracy (at BP) to sign some cards for me.
Overall it was a okay day of graphing. Was the drive to San Diego really worth what I got? No. Was watching another game at Petco Park cool? Yes. Was it better than going to Angel Stadium for the White Sox again? Yes. Glad we got that settled. A big shout out to Matt Crocker, Rob, Rick, and everybody else that I met. Thanks for reading!