Looking ahead at the team's schedule along with my own work schedule, I came to the realization that the July 9th home outing would be my last opportunity, so my wife & I arranged for a sitter and headed to the ballpark.
The game didn't turn out as well as we would like, as the Redhawks continued their slump with a 6-3 loss to the Gary SouthShore Railcats. The players were in good spirits after teh game though, and were very conversational with all the fans.
Here's a quick look at the autographs I was able to pick up.
Nic Jackson Autographed Bat
I actually purchased this game-used cracked bat at the season-opener, and was waiting for the chance to get it signed. Even though there were other items I would get signed as well, this was the real reason I wanted to be sure to attend one of the Wednesday games. Jackson is a former Chicago Cubs prospect, so if I was going to get a bat signed by any one of the Redhawks players, he would have to be it.
Team Autographed Ball
While I was there, and the whole team was available, I might as well get a ball signed of the entire team, right? Each player came equipped with a Sharpee, which doesn't always last too well on leather, so it was a good thing I brought a pen along. The autographs show up much better on a ball, and the thinner lines give room for more signatures to fit.
There are five players on the Redhawks who have MLB-licensed baseball cards. None of those players have played in the majors yet, but thanks to Bowman churning out their prospect sets, we did have a few cardboard appearances by eventual Redhawks players.
Nic Jackson - 2004 Donruss Diamond Kings (Chicago Cubs)
Sawyer Carroll 2009 Bowman Prospects (San Diego Padres)
Justin Erasmus - 2009 Bowman World Baseball Classic (South Africa/Boston Red Sox)
C.J. Retherford - 2010 Bowman Prospects (Chicago White Sox)
Petey Paramore - 2009 Bowman Sterling Prospects 27/199 (Oakland Athletics)
When my dad would take me to baseball games as a kid, one of my favorite things to do before a game was get autographs. I would always wait by the visitor's dugout before games since the traffic was lighter, and did pretty well, getting guys like Sammy Sosa, Mark Grace, Luis Gonzalez, Billy Wagner, and Jose Cruz. I haven't done much of it lately, with one reason being that the nearest MLB stadium is a 4-hour drive away in Minneapolis, but I almost forgot just home much fun it is. It's always great to be able to get that close to the action and meet the players who you watch so often. It's nice to get a good reminder of that every now and then.