.

Autograph Slut

A Redlands man expects his 7-year-old son to consider dad a god after getting the autographs of Dodgers stars Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp during a road-trip to Atlanta on Aug. 18 and Aug. 19.

I got Dodgers superstar Matt Kemp to autograph a baseball for my son during a road-trip to Atlanta last weekend.

My 7-year-old son Marshall will think I’m a god when I fly back to Southern California and present him with the ball in September, when I complete my US Army Reserve training time in Alabama.

God it’s fun to be an autograph slut.

I don’t work every weekend while on active duty, so I took advantage of a free weekend on Fort Rucker to drive up to Atlanta and catch the Los Angeles Dodgers during a weekend home stand with the Braves.

To my surprise, I found it easier to get autographs from the Dodgers in Atlanta than in Los Angeles. Considering 90 percent of the 40,000 fans were swooning for the Braves, it seems obvious in retrospect.

On Saturday, I got outfield stud Andre Ethier to sign a baseball for Marshall. Ethier was a class act all weekend, going out of his way to sign autographs for every Dodger fan who leaned and strained over railings to get one.

On Sunday, I got one from Kemp, whom my son worships. (For the record, I grew up a fan of the Big Red Machine, the Cincinnati Reds of the 1970s; my son doesn’t get the concept that I could like any team other than the Dodgers. Anyway, in my current roster of baseball teams, the Dodgers, because my son bleeds Dodger blue, are now among my favorite teams to follow.)

Chasing autographs never gets old as one gets older. I had just as much fun last weekend as I did when I was a kid chasing any autograph I could growing up near Des Moines, Iowa. In the 1970s, our local minor-league team was known as the Iowa Oaks. They later changed their name to the Iowa Cubs when they became their AAA farm team.

On another baseball topic, a mathematical improbability occurred last weekend: I’ve been to seven major league games this year – two each in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and one in Los Angeles – and the home team lost each of those games.

My son, who can recite every game the Dodgers played this year, now dreads the idea that I will be attending his birthday party – a Dodgers game in LA.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Charles Ferrell August 23, 2012 at 08:04 PM
A number of years ago, Tom Candiotti was a pitcher with the Dodgers. He had been injured and was making a rehab start for the Bakersfield Single A Dodger minor league team against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (which by the way is now a Dodgers A Minor League team). My wife and I happened to be at the game with my wife's childhood friend, husband and little daughter. After the game, the five of us were standing outside the stadium talking when we saw Candiotti leaving with what appeared to be his wife and a couple of other people, heading to a car. Suddenly, our friends' daughter broke away from us and ran over to him, asking him for an autograph. From a distance, I noted to our friends that we were about to learn if Candiotti was a jerk or a nice guy and I also noted this might make or break their daughter's potential love for baseball in general and he Dodgers in particular. Much to our pleasure, Candiotti was as nice of a guy as we hoped he would be. He bent over, took the little girl's program, signed it, and talked to her for a couple of minutes. I'm sure this is now just a forgotten moment in this now former major league pitcher's life, but it is not forgotten by this now 25-year-old college graduate, her parents and my wife and me. Thanks for sharing about your autograph experience with these two big league stars in Atlanta. Your son will appreciate the autographs, but as he continues through his life, he will appreciate his dad much more than that.
John F. Berry August 24, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Thanks much for the feedback Charles. I remember my autograph encounters from 40 years ago as though they were today. I got Pete Rose's autograph when he spoke to us at the University of Florida in the late 1980s. He was such a jerk -- shattered what I thought of him when I was a kid, when I had to be #14 because he was #14. He ran on and off the field, so I did so, too.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »