I went to my second Hillsboro Hops game of the season last night, the first one was the third home game and last night was the last night was the last home game. I only went because the Hops (D'backs affiliate) were playing Eugene (Padres Affiliate). I managed to set in the front row right next to the Ems dugout before the game. The first autograph I got was Jim Gabella, the manager. He said he hadn't seen that card before and I told him I made it and he signed for me and I gave him a copy. I made two copies of each card one to get signed and one to give to the player. Next out was Coby Cowgill, the starting pitcher, who liked it also. The rest of the team starting coming over and I got all but three of the cards I had signed. The three guys I didn't were all gone for different reasons, Trae Santos' brother had been suffering from cancer and passed away, Ryan Miller was injured and Ronnie Richardson had been promoted. I disappointed several of the players because I hadn't been able to find photos of everyone. I got the photos from a local Eugene TV stations website. The EMS post lots of player photos on their Facebook page but they don't identify the players. It was fun seeing everyone reacting to the cards and sharing them with one another. I got to talk with Trevor, one of the Ems interns, and he was the one who told me where the three guys were and where the last one to get signed was. Bryan Verbitsky was the last one to get signed and he was in the stands behind home plate charting pitches. Trevor took the card to him and told him to let me know that Bryan would sign the card. I had to go through a suite to get to him. I had to sweet talk my way through the suite, by getting the security guy to let me through. He did and watched me and then when I showed him the card he wanted to see them all. Prior to the game guys were coming over and asking if I cards of them and when I showed Jeff Enloe his card, he told me that wasn't him and didn't want to sign it. A few minutes he came back over and said what the heck and signed it took the extra copy.
After the game I got to talking to some other people who were wearing Emeralds gear, turned out one of them was the graphic designer for the team. He told me that he didn't design their cards this season, the Assistant general manager did and she got behind. He also told me that my cards were better than the team issued cards.
I had a great time talking with the players and getting stuff signed, I am already working on my design for next year and am trying to figure out how to get pictures of more of the players earlier in the season. It was a good game and 2009 draft pick Donovan Tate had a good games and the Ems won 4-3.
The Eugene Emeralds are the Padres Rookie League Short Season team. I am going to go see them play the Hillsboro Hops this Friday and want to get some signatures so I made these to get signed. I bought my front row seat next to the visiting dugout today, so I hope to get as many of these signed as possible.
I just discovered a new Padres fan living in Portland and he has started a new blog called Baseball Card Breakdown. He talks about all kinds of thing not just the Padres, if you want know how to decrease your ROI on cards he has a great blog post on that and also a great post on former Padres great Fred McGriff. Try him and add him to your blogroll.
Wednesday morning dawned and it was kinda of overcast but that went away early. Robert and Phil got up early and donned their matching polo shirts, and went off to their conference at Point Loma Nazarene University. I surfed the net some catching up on emails and facebook and such. Around 10 I decided to look at the transit system, I wanted to see how to get to Petco Park by bus and train and such. I have been spoiled by Trimet (it pains me to say that), I thought it would be a fairly quick trip in a town this size. The closest bus stop to me was about four blocks away (no problem), but here comes the problem. A bus line taking people to downtown along one of the major thoroughfares in town, only runs once every half hour. So I had to get going or I would have to wait another hour for a bus. I got dressed and walked to the bus stop and got there a few minutes before the bus. I got on and paid my $2.25, asked the driver, what bus I should transfer to to get to the park, he told me and I waited for a transfer. He said we don't give transfers, I would have to pay the fare again when I got on the next bus. We got downtown and I told him that I was going to walk to the ballpark and he gave me a different destination which was closer. I wasn't going to pay $2.25 for a 10 block trip. They must not have fare inspectors because I had no proof of paying my fare. Several people who got on had passes, they don't show them to the driver, they simply hold them up to a screen and it registers that they can and I would assume deducts the amount of the ticket from their card.
I got to 8th and Broadway which looked much different than when I got my tattoo on Broadway, straight out of boot camp in 1975. It is much more upscale now, I got dropped in front of a giant NBC building. I then walked to the ballpark and spent a few anxious moments at the main ticket office trying to get my ticket that I had purchased just a few hours prior. I got my ticket and went in and sat down at field level, it was a whole different perspective than the high altitude seats of the night before. I like to occasionally go to a game by myself and just soak in the majesty that is baseball. I noticed that Jaff (Jeff) Decker, #1 in the picture above was there. It was Jaffs' first major league callup, he didn't get in the game but it was nice to see him there. I had watched him progress through the Padres system in 2008 when he was first drafted. Just before the game started I went and got a refillable Coke, (sorry Diana), and a Sonoran Dog. This is a big hot dog wrapped in bacon with beans, onions, jalapenos and tomatoes on top. It reminded me and several friends of a delicacy we had consumed in Caborca, Sonora, Mexico back in 1995. Those were some fun times with Clark, Mindy, Chewy, SaraJane, Meagan and so many more on that trip.
I settled in to watch the game and the Padres scored three runs in the first inning when the pitcher walked in a couple of runs. The score at the end of the top half of the first was Padres 3-Braves 0. It was a pretty good game and at one point I went and walked around the ballpark exploring the different concessions and areas of the park. It is really a cool park and has so many great views of the city and the bay. I went to the team store and picked up a hat and a ball and then went back to my seat and watched the Padres almost give the game away in the 9th, needing three pitchers to close out the game and preserve the victory for Edinson Volquez.
After the game I called my friend Vicki Luntzel, Vicki and I worked at Young Lifes' Woodleaf together in 1980 and hadn't seen each other since 1984. We had reconnected a couple of years ago on Facebook. She came down and picked me in the maze of streets that happen after a ball game. We decided to go get something to eat and went to KC Barbecue, even if you haven't been there it may look familiar because Maverick, Iceman and Goose were all there at one point with some of their friends. I had a combo plate of ribs, chicken, fries and a local craft brew IPA which were all really good. We had a great time talking and then we went down to the waterfront and I took pictures of a couple of sculptures along the Greatest Generation Walk, there are some really cool sculptures there. I will need to come back and do a complete walk, I didn't get to see the Bob Hope grouping with he and the servicemen and women.
Then Vicki dropped me off at the hotel and I wrote on readerman some more about the trip. We made plans to get together the next day and do some sightseeing. Thursday was an off day for the Padres so there was no game to go to. I got up and did laundry and read, finished Robopocalypse, and started on Fair Coin while the laundry was running. Vicki came over and we went looking for card shops because I wanted to get some cards of Donne Wall, the Padres are having a reunion of players from the 1998 season and Wall is someone I have never been able to get a signature of. We checked out Centre City Cards, he had a ton of stuff but no organization, it was a disaster, you couldn't really shop because you would have to ask him to find something for you. Great collection but not much of a shop. We then headed out to Clairemont Sports Cards where I found exactly what I was looking for and some more, I managed to score a 1968 team photo, which was the last minor league team and featured author Larry Colton as a part of the team. Vicki then took me up to Mt. Soledad, where you can see all of San Diego it was wonderful to have her pointing out things for it, it was the most awesome part of the trip so far. They have a really neat memorial for service members atop Mt. Soledad, with lots of pictures of the service members. Then Vicki delivered me to the home of Travis (better known as Punk Rock Paint) and Kerri Peterson, I know Travis through blogging about the Padres and we had met when he drove some musician friends up to Portland doing gigs along the way. We shared Padres memories and cards until Kerri came home and then we all went out to dinner for Sushi at Yummy Sushi, it was really good, I had been looking for a conveyor sushi place but the Petersons said there weren't any in the area. Had some really good teriyaki beef and chicken along with tempura vegetables and also a plate of rainbow rolls. Then we came back to the house and Travis and I looked at more of his Padres memorabilia while Kerri got ready to go camping this weekend at Zion National Park. I went to bed and fell soundly asleep.
I have seen the promised land and it is wonderful. We got up and drove from Port Hueneme to San Diego, got the chance to play I Love L.A. as we rolled through Los Angeles, I Can't Drive 55 while stuck in a traffic jam, and Ventura Highway as we cruised through Ventura. Extra bonus points if you can name the three artists. We stopped in Laguna Hills and went to In and Out for burgers for Philip and I. We got to our hotel at around 1:30, down on Harbor Blvd, between Scott and Rosecran. Our room wasn't ready so we drove up to Point Loma Nazarene University so Robert could scope out where he needed to be tomorrow for his conference. We noticed that some of the buildings were rather unique, so we looked it up in wikipedia and found out all kinds of interesting things. I want to go back now and find which building was Albert Spaldings' house. After that we came back and found out that our room was ready. We unloaded into our room and crashed for awhile, then we went to the ball game around 4:30 and just as we arrived at Petco Park, we realized that we didn't have the tickets, so we had to turn around and come back. We got the tickets and went to the convention center where we parked and then walked over to the ballpark and got inside, but couldn't get to our seats because the inner gates don't open until 5:30. When they finally opened we ended walking all the way around the ball park because the even numbered sections are one side of the ballpark and the odd numbers are on the other. So Section 319 is not between 318 and 320 but opposite them. Robert and Phil went to see if the could get down by the players, the Braves players for some reason. I just soaked it in, this is why I made the trip. The grass was so green, the Western Metals building is so cool, and to get to see the Padres play in their home field was incredible. I had seen many of the guys play at short season Rookie League Eugene, and some of them play for AAA Portland, so it was great to see them again. Our old friend Tim Pearson, who moved here in 1985 from Portland joined us in the 2nd inning and we talked to him throughout the game when the Braves were up. After the game we walked back to the car and I started this but I was so I couldn't finish it. I am now a day behind, I will do todays tomorrow morning. Good night, Ruth Ann, you probably went to bed three hours ago.
Today we drove from Santa Cruz to Port Hueneme, it was an exceptionally fun drive and some great highlights and some strange driving behavior from others. We left Santa Cruz and jumped on Highway 1 and headed down the coast, arriving in Carmel in time to take a look at the many ways my first high school, Carmel High had changed. Then we headed down the coast towards Big Sur, we were stopped at Rocky Point, where caltrans had installed lights instead of hiring flaggers to move traffic. We stopped and took some pictures of Coast Guard Hill, I tried to get on the base to go look at our house but the front gate was chained tight with six, yes six, padlocks on the chain. So I took some pictures through the front gate, of Dad's office and the BOQ and we went on down the road. The gate to Captain Cooper School was open so we drove up there. Captain Cooper is a three room school, where I think Tim and Mel went to school. It was only 5 miles from home, while Luann and I were riding a bus 30 miles each way to school. After coming down from Captain Cooper we drove into Big Sur and shopped for a few minutes at the General Store. Then we went on down the road a little bit to Nepenthe for lunch. It was amazing, I had their famous Ambrosia Burger and Phil and Robert each had a half rack of ribs. If you go there give yourself time to eat, because you will spend as much admiring the view as you will eating and they have a great gift shop. However the view is the best thing, I got a chance to talk to a woman who has worked there 20 years and she was able to fill me in on some of the people I knew there. After we left there it was driving to get as far as we could, we made it to Port Hueneme, which is where out family lived in 64 and 65. Dad was stationed at Pt. Mugu and flew out to San Nicolas Island every work day, to do something secret for the Navy. I went to school at Laguna Vista, Miss Jones was my teacher and we had a Blue Angel jet on the playground that we could climb on. When got to our motel we went and got dinner at Panda Express and came back and watched the OSU Beavers hang on to win a trip to the College World Series.
This morning while Robert and Phil slept in I went down to the restaurant at the Red Lion in Eureka and availed myself of the buffett. I had eggs, french toast, potatoes and fruit. After the guys got up we went and checked out and then headed into Fortuna to go to church. We were going to check out the church our family had gone to when we lived here between 1962-1965. We were a little early for church so we drove into Ferndale, a real small town, but the home of Food Network star Guy Fieri. We drove most of the way out to the base where Dad had been stationed, the road didn’t look like much had been done to it since we left in 1964. We got out to the last big turn before the base and that was when I realized how much had changed. There used to be a big house right there and a statue of the Virgin Mary in the hillside and that was all gone. We then turned around and I took a road back to Main Street and there it was the building I started my formal education in. Ferndale Elementary School, I don’t remember anyone from there at all or any teachers. After snapping a couple of pictures we headed back to Fortuna to go to church, we used the navigation from our phone to get to the church which looked vaguely familiar. We went in and talked to the Pastor for a little while, he was from Dallas, OR, had gone to seminary in Portland, had attended Trinity Baptist and had work with Cadence in Germany. So to get to the point he knew of , or knew people that Robert and I knew. His name was Mike Schellenberg, and then he conducted the entire service by himself. It was like attending a church service from the 80′s or 90′s.
After church we got on Highway 101 and headed south, we stopped in Rio Dell to get gas, stopped for lunch in Willits at Subway (Robert really likes Subway), as we headed south along the highway I kept looking for my oldest son. He is working in California for the summer and had mentioned that he might be along the 101 went we went past. But didn’t see him even when we went past the road to where he is working. We got to Petaluma and kept hitting construction projects and so traffic slowed to a crawl for many miles. We got off 101 so that we could cross the Golden Gate, traffic was pretty heavy there also. The fog was too thick to go up to the viewpoint so we went across, we were scrambling to find money to pay the toll, but all the signs said don’t stop and pay by plate, so we have no idea if we paid the toll or not. We then rolled through town listening to Tony Bennett sing I Left My Heart in San Francisco. After we left San Francisco we rolled on down the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Cruz, talking about Mavericks as we went past Half Moon Bay and Robert reading the Mavericks entry in wikipedia as we rolled by. We got to Santa Cruz and checked into our room at the Comfort Inn, two blocks from the Boardwalk. We got to the Boardwalk at 8 PM just as they were closing down. We walked up and down the boardwalk and I talked about coming to Santa Cruz with the youth group from Lakeside Baptist in Oakland, CA and with Rick Lindholm. We found a little Mexican restaurant just across the street from the Boardwalk, it was pretty good. Then we came back and tried to find the Beavers game but they had finished blowing out K-State. Robert blew up his air mattress and the only way to fight it in and move stuff around so that we were barricaded into the room.
Back in February my friend Robert Jones, founder and CEO of Tren*, told me that he had an event to attend in San Diego, CA on June 12. He wanted to know if I would drive down with him, as he didn't want to drive the whole way by himself. His son, Philip, would accompany us but he doesn't drive. I began to make arrangements to take time off from work, which was fun (not). I had to make arrangements for someone to cover for me, which involves moving people around a bit since I am the only paid employee at the bookstore. I took Friday off to do laundry, pick up a few things I still needed for the trip and pick up some things for Ruth Ann. We had run out of dog food for Sith and I filled up the car. I took my change that I had been accumulating since I returned from my reading vacation** last year. I am not accumulating as much change since I stopped drinking Coca-Cola on April 25+. I took it in to the local US Bank and had them count it and deposit in my account, $142.62. Robert and I went out to Tigard Friday afternoon to pick up the Chevy Captiva we would be driving. We live in Northeast Portland and I asked Robert why we were going all the way to Tigard to pick up the car. We saved $100 in taxes by going outside of Multnomah County, the trip was worth in my estimation. I got almost everything packed and ready to go by the front door, left the computer out till this morning and didn't load up the cooler until this morning. Robert and Phil showed up right at 8AM and we loaded up the Captiva, we were on the road by 8:30 and didn't stop until Eugene, we went to the Best Buy, because we needed to pick up a memory card. Then we got on the road and I gave Robert a history lesson on World War, interspersed with other bits of trivia. Like as we crossed the Willamette River in Eugene on I5 I pointed to the hill where Steve Prefontaine met his end. We drove on to Grants Pass where we stopped to gas up and have lunch. We ate at the Subway in downtown Grants Pass in the shadow of the Caveman Statue. From Grants Pass we continued south on the Redwood Highway, just before crossing into California we passed the Great Cats World Park and the Tiger Preservation Center outside of Cave Junction. We crossed over into California just before two pm. We came down 101 and saw two herds of elk just along the road, more elk in one day than Richard Smouse has seen in all the times he has been hunting. Drove through Crescent City looking for the anchor that had been tossed into town in the 1964 tsunami, but didn't see it. I noticed that the ocean seemed to have a saltier smell than the water off the Oregon Coast. We crossed the Klamath River bridge which has two goldenbears at each end. We stopped at Trees of Mystery, I remember going past the giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe when we would drive up 101 from California to Medford to visit Grandparents, Aunts, Uncle and Cousins. It was a beautiful drive through some awesome redwoods, some so close to the road that it was if the repeated passage of vehicles had shaved it to the side of the road. One of the both entertaining was as we went over the Little River we were listening to Little River Band sing Night Owl. We arrived in Eureka about 4:30 and checked into our room and then went to dinner at Applebees and watched the OSU Beavers and K State Super Regional College World Series game. When left the restaurant the score was 2-1 OSU. We came back to the room and watched K State score something like 5 straight runs and win in 10 innings. We then proceeded to utilize almost every outlet in the room to charge two computers, three phones, a camera, an ipad and an ipod. I read the story of Barrington Bunny to Robert and Phil, Robert read a poem about Mt. Tamalpais to us. Phil is watching youtube, Robert is sleeping and I am finishing this up. I will read a little of Robopocalypse and go to sleep.
*Theological Research Network/**I go to my cousin Johns' place every year and spend a week reading/+My friend Diana challenged me to drink less soda, so I stopped drinking soda on April 25, it hasn't been as hard as I thought.
I am still here and reading all your blogs. My time is being consumed with work and putting stuff on ebay to finance my trip to San Diego next month. I will be driving down the California and Oregon coasts with some friends. We will taking Hiway 1 from the Southern Oregon coast to San Diego. I am going to get to see two Padres games against the Braves. This will be the first time I have been to Petco Park, I am looking forward to it. I also plan on spending some time going to card shops and Goodwilling. I am going to spend a night with Travis of Punk Rock Paint fame, and his wife. See the latest issue of Becketts Sports Card Monthly for more information on what Travis has been doing. Those of you who live or have lived in San Diego, what local card shops should I make sure to visit.
I have been picking up a few cards here and there and have gotten a few spring training TTM request back, including one from Spring Training 2012. I will packages going out to several of you when I get back from my trip in mid June.
I am going to try and blog here and on my other blog readerman.us during the whole trip, we will visiting several places that I used to live along the California coast. If you don't know of my other blog, readerman.us, I review everything I read. Stop by and visit me there also.
In game 2 my favorite current Padre came up with the loss, although this time the Padre hitters did a little better than Monday. Gyorko and Hundley both had hits and Evereth Cabrera had two hits, put got picked off at first attempting to steal. If the bats continue to increase their productivity, things may turn around. I would like to see the team salvage one on Wednesday.
I had big dreams the way the team finished the season last year. I had not envisioned the Padres starting out with two losses to the Mets, who many people had thought would be terrible. As one friend of mine constantly reminds me, wait at least until one third of the season is over before starting to panic.
I had high hopes for this year, but this is not the way I saw things beginning. Edinson Volquez only went three innings and gave up something like six runs in three innings and the Padres only had 4 hits in the whole game. Hopefully things will get better for the team and they will come together as a team. I am not yet ready to give up on the team yet.
I have funded several projects on Kickstarter, including a book about the intersection of dance and baseball and a movie about women playing baseball. I have looked at indiegogo but am not a fan of that particular model. I am taking a trip to San Diego in June so I am trying to fund that trip by selling items on ebay. Dodger fans check out the True 1/1 Autograph of legendary Dodger outfielder and Hall of Famer Duke Snider, relic collectors and Tony Gwynn fans that are some awesome and unusual relics of Mr. Padre available. There are Ozzie Smith, Dennis Eckersley and Trevor Hoffman relics, inserts from various sets and an autographed card of Marvel Comics editor Joe Quesada. Thank you for your help. Here is a link to the items on sale
I will be heading south in June of this year. A friend is going to a conference in San Diego and asked me to drive down with him. I agreed so we are going to drive along the Oregon and California coast and end up in San Diego just in time to see the Padres whup the Braves for three games. I also hope to visit with the proprietor of Punk Rock Paint and his talented wife, and maybe listen to the musical stylings of Rob Deez and Isaac Cheong. I have to pay for the trip so I am putting several items up on ebay. I am going to try and sell a bunch of stuff from every team, I even have a true 1/1 from a Dodger Hall of Famer that will be going up eventually. If you are interested in helping out here is a list of the things that I currently have for sale on ebay. Thank you for your help.
I have an autographed card from each year the Padres have been a major league franchise. I have chosen a different player to represent each year. I will showcase that card in this feature until we get to this year.
In 1968 four cities were awarded major league baseball expansion franchises. Montreal, Kansas City, Seattle and San Diego started playing in the major leagues in 1969. In 1968 an expansion draft was held to stock the teams from the current major league teams. Montreal and San Diego went first, and with their first pick San Diego choose Ollie Brown from the San Francisco Giants. Ollie went on to play in the majors until 1977, he played in San Diego from 1969 to 1972 when he was traded to the A's. Ollie Brown also had a brother who played in the NFL, Willie Brown and a brother Oscar who played for the Braves.
In 1969 the Padres were managed by Preston Gomez and finished 52-110, sixth in the division. It was just the first of six consecutive losing seasons in San Diego.