Sunday, April 29, 2007

My Experiences with the Rangers Hitters

This week I will give my experiences with all of the Rangers hitters.

Hank Blalock:
I’ve met Hank a few times. The first time was after the 2003 season, when he was doing autographs at the RoughRiders ballpark. I asked him what it was like to hit a home run in the All-Star game and he told me it was awesome. He also signed for me before a game once. Before a Spring Training game in 2006, he signed a card for me and then gave me a pair of his batting gloves. Hank doesn’t really talk very much but is nice.

Frank Catalanotto:
I only met Frank once and it was a long time ago, during his first time with the Rangers. He was signing autographs in the Gold Club. He seemed really nice. I also saw him once at a Q&A ‘Meet the Ranger’ Junior Rangers session.

Nelson Cruz:
I only met Nelson once, and he didn’t seem to like giving autographs. I was trying to get his autograph from behind the dugout last season. He said that he would sign after batting practice. I reminded him when he was walking back in and he signed my ball. He didn’t respond when I tried to talk to him and rolled the ball back over the top of the dugout and disappeared when he was done so he wouldn’t have to sign for anyone else. Still, I was glad he was willing to sign.

Jerry Hairston:
I haven’t met Jerry much, but when I have he’s always very friendly. I got his autograph before a game last year when he signed for a line of people. In Spring Training this year, I saw him at a Diamondbacks Spring Training game. He was there to see his brother Scott Hairston. My dad, granddad, and I talked to him for 5-10 minutes. He was great and seemed really happy to talk. The next day at workouts, he recognized me, and came over to say hello. I told him that Victor Diaz was the last autograph I needed to get to have the whole Spring Training roster. He told Victor, and I got Victor’s autograph. Then, about a week ago, he signed for me and my friend at a Ranger game.

Matt Kata:
I’ve only met Matt once, and he was kind of rude. Before a Spring Training game this year, I asked for an autograph and he said he would sign after he warmed up. After he warmed up, I asked again and he said he would sign after the game. After the game, I asked again and he walked right past me. I reminded him that he had said he would sign, and then he sighed, rolled his eyes, came over, signed, and ignored me when I thanked him.

Ian Kinsler:
Ian is a great guy. He has done an interview for my blog, and is always willing to sign for kids. He does a lot of autograph events too. Whenever I call out to him, he always comes over and talks to me. He is the nicest hitter on the team, although Michael Young and Jerry Hairston are both very nice too.

Gerald Laird:
I’ve met him three times, and he was nice every time. One time it was at a Redhawks game in Oklahoma City, and he came over and signed for me. Another time, he was at a Rangers autograph event at the RoughRiders stadium and the last time it was at a Rangers’ Spring Training game in Frisco.

Kenny Lofton:
I’ve only met Kenny twice, and I’ve learned that he’s nice until you ask for autographs. At Spring Training I talked to him after warm-ups on the backfields and he was really nice, asking me how I was. But when I asked him for his autograph, he seemed unhappy and said ‘just one’. He didn’t sign for anyone else at Spring Training that day and we noticed during the week that he basically never signed. At a Rangers game this year, he was nice and came over to sign for me and my friends when I asked. He seemed to get mad because he took a ball from my hand, when I wanted him to sign my card, so he had to stop, take the card, and give me the ball back. He then gave the card back, saying that he had already signed it. It was one of those cards that has a preprinted autograph on it. My dad told him that it wasn’t an autograph and was just printed on the card. He took the card back and signed it but that somehow made him so grumpy he walked off on one of my friends. So, Kenny seems like he can be nice but gets unhappy easily.

Sammy Sosa:
I’ve gotten Sammy’s autograph twice this year. Once during Spring Training, when he signed for me when he was walking between stations during workouts. Like with what happened with Kenny, I was the only one to get his autograph that day. Then at a game earlier this year, he signed for a long time for a huge line of people and I was able to get his autograph again. He doesn’t talk to you when he signs. During Spring Training, I saw him tell people he would sign for them after the game but then leave after the 5th or 6th inning without signing.

Chris Stewart:
I’ve only met Chris once and it was at Spring Training this year. He was one of the last two players at the game. I tossed a ball down to him when he said he would sign, and when I talked to him he seemed friendly.

Mark Teixeira:
I met Mark at an autograph event his rookie year at a sports card shop. They were selling 500 autograph tickets for $5 each and I got number 498. He was really friendly and when I told him that I thought he should be rookie of the year, he agreed. At the end of that season, I saw him and told him that I was going to go as him for Halloween. He told me he thought that was really cool. I got his autograph again before a game last year, when he was signing for a line of people. At Spring Training this year, he was really nice when I asked him to answer a poll question for my blog. This year, I came within one person of getting his autograph before a game, but he stopped when I was second in line. Mark doesn’t like to sign much but when he does, he seems pretty nice. He seems to basically like to only sign for kids.

Brad Wilkerson:
The first time I met Brad was at the Rangers Winter Awards Banquet in 2006. He was very nice and he signed an autograph for me. The next time I met him was at a Rangers Spring Training game in Frisco that same year. My friend and I asked him for an autograph and he said he had to go do an interview but would come back. After the interview, he came straight back to sign for me and my friend. It was really good that he kept his word. As I’ve said, either keep your word or don’t give a word.

Michael Young:
Michael Young is really nice. I’ve met him 5 times. Four times I got an autograph and the fifth time he was really nice and gave me a bat. The first time I met him was in 2001 on Fan Appreciation Day, when Rangers were giving out autographed cards. I also have gotten his autograph at two other autograph events and he came over to sign for me before a game a couple of years ago. At Spring Training this year, he was nice about answering a poll question for my blog and gave me a bat.

Results of last week’s poll.
Question: Who do you think is the nicest pitcher on the team?
Feldman – 13%
Gagne – 4%
Loe – 17%
McCarthy – 4%
Millwood – 4%
Otsuka – 22%
Wilson – 35%
Everyone else – 0%

Come back next week for my April awards.

5 comments:

dschiller222 said...

Sounds like, for the most part, the Ranger players, coaches and front office people have been very nice. Lets just hope that nice guys finish first this year.

paigerdancer said...

I cannot believe that Matt Kata was rude to you... this is shocking, I'm glad to hear Michael Young was a nice guy though.
-Paige

Jaffe said...

Hi, Added a new value add to my blog this weekend - a news widget from www.widgetmate.com. I always wanted to show latest news for my keywords in my sidebar. It was very easy with this widget. Just a small copy paste and it was done. Great indeed.

Anna said...

Hi! I was very glad to read your comments on Ian Kinsler and Michael Young. I wanted to ask you if you have any tips for me. My oldest son loves Ian and desperately wants his autograph. We went to two games this past weekend in Houston and will be taking him and his brother to two in July for his birthday. Do you have any tips on how to possibly get Ian's autograph while we are there? He would just love to meet him and get it for his birthday. Also, I wanted to let you know how kind Dustin Nippert was. He signed and took pictures with every child who was there wanting one from him before the game Sunday. I could not believe how much time he spent. It was a good thing he didn't have to pitch that day! Ha
Thank you!!

Anna said...

Hi! I was very glad to read your comments on Ian Kinsler and Michael Young. I wanted to ask you if you have any tips for me. My oldest son loves Ian and desperately wants his autograph. We went to two games this past weekend in Houston and will be taking him and his brother to two in July for his birthday. Do you have any tips on how to possibly get Ian's autograph while we are there? He would just love to meet him and get it for his birthday. Also, I wanted to let you know how kind Dustin Nippert was. He signed and took pictures with every child who was there wanting one from him before the game Sunday. I could not believe how much time he spent. It was a good thing he didn't have to pitch that day! Ha
Thank you!!