Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Last minute road trip gets me 3 autographs of top prospects

A last minute idea for a road trip caused me to stop in Lakewood, NJ on Sunday August 11th to see the Phillies and Pirates A- ball teams collide.  The West Virginia Power (Pirates) were finishing up their road trip against the Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies) and had won the previous 2 games of the series.  On paper, the Power should have came out swinging some big bats as the BlueClaws starter had issues throughout the season.  I got to the stadium around 4 pm for the 5:05 start and gates opened shortly after my arrival.  After finding my seat, I went to the 3rd base dugout to seek out some autographs.

Many players stopped by but I only had cards for 2 players on me and a cheap "official league" ball on hand.  Rather than get the ball signed by the entire team I held onto it waiting for certain players I wanted to display in my collection.  

Up first was 2013 Futures Game All-Star Dilson Herrera.  Dilson was extremely fan friendly signing close to a dozen cards for one guy and signing until everyone in the surrounding area got autographs.  He signed my ball right on the sweet spot.

From a distance I could see Tyler Glasnow signing and went into a little bit of a geek mode as I think Glasnow has the potential to be as good as the Pirates top pitching prospects (Cole and Taillon).  Tyler is only 19 years old and is dominating in A ball.  Through 97 innings pitched he has given up only 53 hits and has a 2.75 Strikeout to Walk ratio (140:51).  He only has a 2.50 ERA with an 8-3 record.  Not bad stats for a 19 year old in his first taste of full season ball.

As the game was getting ready to start, Josh Bell came over to sign for a bunch of fans as well.  When I first got there he told a couple fans he would be back to sign before the game and that he had to get loose first.  So often is the case with top prospects that they don't actually come back to sign for everyone.  Josh was the exception.  He signed cards, ticket stubs, balls, hats, photos, etc until everyone was taken care of.  He doesn't have a long name to sign for, but his signature is clean.  No squiggly signs or anything like that.  Also he was doing number inscriptions on everything he signed.  
2012 Leaf National Young Stars IP AUTO 

2013 Topps Pro Debut IP AUTO
Above are the 2 cards that Josh had signed for me before the game.  Below is the ball signed by all 3 of the Pirates top prospects.

Tyler Glasnow #24
Josh Bell #2

Dilson Herrera #31

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