First Spring Training Experience

Rarthur

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I had never been to Spring Training before, but last week I finally went although it was fairly late into spring training. I saw two games at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL:

Sunday March 28: Astros @ Marlins

I was walking around the stadium seeing as the gates weren't going to open for another 2 hours or so and then I saw a small opening in the corner and sure enough...Edwin Maysonet of the Astros came walking by, and a guy next to me called him, over and he signed one of the ROMLB's

I was very surprised to see how much access you actually could get through the minor league fields during their practice. I was able to snag a homerun ball from one of the minor league batting practices, but it was fairly scuffed and thus not signable. There were so many autographs to be had that I decided to hold off, considering I only brought 2 ROMLB's. But then we walked up to the field closest to the actual stadium and the entire Big League Staff was taking BP and practicing bunts. On their way between fields I was forced to make choice between pitchers and I chose:

Josh Johnson on ROMLB (Sweet Spot)
I was very pleased with this signature and he was very nice signing for all 7-10 people that were at the field at the time. This did mean that I had to pass on Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, and a few others but I felt it was worth it. At this point I was out of materials for signatures

Next, I went to the team store to see what they had and I was surprised to find that they had Rawlings baseballs of not only the home team, but also all of the away teams for that week, so I grabbed an Astros Ball and made my way to the dugout once the gates opened.

The 'Stros were just starting BP so I was eager to see what I could get. First Mike Bourn came over, and I just missed getting his signature which was somewhat dissappointing. Next, as JR Towles was walking into the dugout I was the only one to ask him to sign so I was able to get him. Next, as BP was winding down both Jeff Keppinger and Jason Michaels stopped to sign for several people. I was able to be one of the first to Keppinger and was ready to toss my ball to Jason Michaels fairly soon when I saw Mike Bourn come back up so I quickly got over there and grabbed Bourn's Auto instead. Right before the game, Jason Castro, the one player whose AU I was most wanting came out and began to sign a little. I went over but was the first one left without a signature as he ran to go warm up. After the game I just missed Chris Johnson as well.

So the final damage...
Josh Johnson ROMLB Sweet Spot
Edwin Maysonet ROMLB
Rawlings Astros Baseball
JR Towles
Michael Bourn
Jeff Keppinger


The game itself was fairly uneventful except that Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco pitched into the 8th inning which really surprised me seeing as it was still spring training. The Marlins won.


The next day was Monday March 29th Twins @ Cardinals:

It was unfortunately very rainy the night before as well as the day of and there was a rain delay at the beginning for about 30 minutes. This definitely hurt chances at Autos because the minors didn't practice at all and the players did not sign hardly at all. Before the game I saw only Adam Wainwright sign for maybe 10 people and the place was way more packed than the day before so it was impossible to get over there. After the game almost nobody signed except Denard Span signed for one guy on his way to the bus and Matt Pagnozzi of the Cardinals signed for maybe 10/250 or so people after the game. So I left this game empty handed.

The game itself on the other hand was much more eventful. Ryan Ludwick hit a quick bomb, and then Albert Pujols a few innings later hit one of his own. The Twins traveled essentially nobody (Mauer, Morneau, Kubel, Cuddyer, Hardy, O. Hudson, and more weren't there) but they still made a game out of it and tied it up in the top of the 9th 3-3. Then with two outs, Daniel Descalso hit a 2 run walk of blast to send Cardinals fans home happy.

Overall I really enjoyed Roger Dean Stadium and Spring Training in general. I hope to catch a few games in the years to come.
 

Utleyfan

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I would absolutely love the opportunity to go down to Spring Training. From what I can see, most of the people who go down there enjoy it and are successful autograph-wise. I'm glad to see you had a good time and enjoyed watching the games. Congratulations on your success!
 

dan5

Active member
1,726
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Next time you should probably go to the Astros camp. You will get alot more autos of the Astros and the whole team is at all the games.

Personally I think it is the best Stadium to get autos at.
 

Drock

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nice you had a good time here at my home stadium :) those 2 days i decided not to go because of the rain on monday and frankly i didnt need anyone from the astros. you also could have got the cardinals players the day they played away. everyone else stays there and gets their work in. btw dont listen to dan, that place is horrible...lol jk, i just had bad luck there the last couple times i went.
 
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