Autograph Outing: Sugar Land Skeeters @ Long Island Ducks, April 26, 2013

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I thought my days of getting autographs were over, but this past winter I decided to get back into the hobby but concentrate on only specific teams, and players. I will be doing only the Long Island Ducks this season in terms of Atlantic League teams.

Last season I didn't get any autographs of the Ducks, so it was back to square one. I didn't know many of the players on the roster, so it was going to be tough to identify guys.

After the game was over I walked to the Ducks clubhouse door and waited outside with a few other collectors. Fellow collector Howie Kaplan went to the visitors clubhouse to get his Koby Clemens bat signed, so I was own me own for a little while.

First one out of was former Mets prospect Eric Neisen. He had a hoodie on, and walked by a few us. No one recognized him until he was past us, and no one ended up getting him. Hopefully I'll get him on Sunday during the pre-game autograph session.

Former Mets catcher, Ramon Castro kept on poking his head out looking for something. He told us he'd sign later on. Then Dontrelle Willis came out and walked in the opposite direction toward a car. We asked him to sign and he did 8/8 for me, which was funny because most of the cards I intended to give to some kids at the Sunday pre-game autograph session.  I could tell Dontrelle was a little tired, so I didn't push the issue by asking him to sign my OMLB. I'll hopefully get it done Sunday.

As we stood and waited, a player walked down the path and came over to us without hesitation.  One of the guys said it was Joash Brodin, so I asked him to sign a 2012 Ducks set card for me which he did. I asked him about his time in Canada with the London Rippers (now defunct), and we had a nice little conversation. Really nice guy!

Ben Broussard, and Ryan Strieby came down from the locker room toward a car a few minutes later. Strieby got right in the car. While Broussard introduced himself to someone, so I knew it was him. He politely said to us "Guys, I have a ride, so I need to go. I'll sign a few, and I'll do whatever you want to tomorrow." He signed two cards for me. One will go into my collection, the other will go to Drew Pelto.

After that many of the players started to come down in pairs. Ian Snell did 6/6 for me including a Game-Used jersey card. He was pretty funny when asked, "How do you like it here?" He replied, "I like it, but the real question is how do you guys like it here?" What was great about about Ian is took his time signing each card, and didn't rush. After he left, I noticed a guy standing in the doorway and realized it was former Duck Matt Esquivel. Matt was there for the championship ring ceremony. Matt and I talked for a few minutes, and he signed three cards for me including his 2012 Ducks set card.

Ramon Castro came out a few minutes later, and he told us to follow him to his car and he signed 3/3 for me in pretty much complete darkness. He actually signed the cards perfectly.

Adam Bailey and Rian Kiniry came down a couple minutes later. Bailey did 6/6 for me, and spent some time signing each card. He signed each card with the jersey number he was wearing on each card. He was also a nice guy to talk to. At the time I didn't realize the other guy that was with him was Kiniry, so I missed out on getting him.

 James Houser did 3/3 for me, including two Topps Chrome cards which came out fantastic. While he was signing I missed getting former Arizona Diamondback, Billy Murphy.

As it got late, Conor Graham, Josh Lansford, Jared Lansford, Dan Lyons, and Bryant Nelson came down and all signed 2012 team set cards for me.

Overall, it was a great night. I ended up with only 13 player cards unsigned. 3 of which were Josh Barfield who was deactivated from the roster, but was there. I'm hoping to get the rest signed Sunday.

Here's a breakdown of what I got:

Dontrelle Willis - 8/8
Ian Snell - 6/6 (including GU Jersey card)
Adam Bailey - 6/6
Ramon Castro - 3/3
James Houser - 3/3
Ben Broussard - 2/2
**Matt Esquivel - 3/3 (not on roster)
Jared Lansford - 1/1
Josh Lansford - 1/1
Conor Graham - 1/1
Joash Brodin - 1/1
Bryant Nelson - 1/1
Dan Lyons 1/1

Total - 37 Cards
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