Long Island Ducks Fan Fest...

Today kicked off the Baseball IP season and it was most likely the end of the IP Hockey season for me. Today the Ducks held there first ever Fan Fest which also included a spring training game for free. If you where a season ticket holder I could have attended a meet and greet with the players.
The Ducks are the Defending Atlantic League Champions. Mike Pfaff, the Ducks GM did a Great job putting together the 2013 team hoping to repeat as Champs. The Ducks have 8 Former Major Leaguers on the roster. When Vlad Guerrero arrives it will make 9. Vlad was put on the inactive roster today. According to the team website he is expected sometime before the season starts. http://liducks.com/ducks/roster/
The Fan Fest opened at 10:30. But, I decided to get there extra early and I graphed outside as the Ducks arrived. I got there at 8am and shortly after that the players started to arrive. Between outside and inside I got the following. Ian Snell GU Pirates Jersey, Ramon Castro GU Bat, Dontrelle Willis 4 cards, Bill Murphy 2 cards, Josh Barfield 3 cards (In the past, Josh has not been easy IP. I'm guessing that since he is in the Indy league he has changed his ways, and Adam Bailey 2 cards
Willis was great. He signed everything for everyone. One person had cards on his board and he signed all of them.

During practice Dontrelle had a bullpen session and he signed after he was done throwing. I was able to get a load of pics. At somepoint during his session decided to change balls and he threw it up to us and it came right to me. If I get a chance I may get him to sign it.

                                                              Dontrelle during player intro
                                                           Former Met catcher Ramon Castro
One piece of info any of you guys who graph the Ducks at home will find interesting is. Pregame graphing outside the stadium is NO longer allowed. Shortly before I decided to go into the stadium a security guard approached me and told me they will not be allowing it anymore. He was nice about it and told me that this is a new rule. The Ducks installed a camera outside the player entrance. So, they can monitor things. I believe that this is all due to the fact they signed Vlad and Dontrelle.  I had never graphed pregame before. So, this rule does not effect me. But, I'm sure that once Vlad arrives there will be plenty of dealers hoping to get Vlad and Dontrelle pregame.

I had originally planned on graphing the NY Rangers at the Nassau Coliseum. But, because the Ducks signed so many former Big Leaguers I would attend the Fan Fest. After watching 5 innings of the ST game I left and headed over to the Coliseum only to hear that only Aaron Asham and John Tortorella walked. Everyone else took the bus. So, I was happy that I had made that choice.
Well the game time walk was just as disappointing. No players walked from the Rangers. But, I did get Scott Sullivan and Benoit Alaire who are both assistant coaches on a Logo sheet. I also got Islanders rookie Casey Cizikas on a game program.

So, it was not a bad day. Graphing was very disappointing. But, getting the Snell Jersey, Castro Bat and Dontrelle made it for me.
If the Islander make the playoff, which I believe they will and there is a game on the weekend. I will get another chance to do IP hockey. Otherwise this will be it until next season. Which very well will be the  Islanders last season at the Coliseum.

I plan on taking the drive to Lakewood on Friday and see the Savannah Sand Gnats play the BlueClaws.
The Sand Gnats are made up of mostly the 2012 Brooklyn Cyclones. In addition they have Long Island product Steven Matz who the Mets drafted in the 2nd round a few years ago. Matz is abit behind because he required Tommy John surgery shortly after getting drafted and spent all of last season on the DL.

I'm hoping to have a great IP baseball season.

Thanks for Looking and Check Back Soon!!!!


Orioles Magic said…
Great recap! For what it's worth, when Barfield was with the Bowie Baysox last year, he only ever signed at team events. I never got him once during warm-ups, but good luck!
Howie K said…
Thanks for reading. My comment on Barfield is based on 2 past experiences. Once last season in Bowie and the year before while he played for Lehigh Valley. After the game he ignored everyone. Maybe it was just a bad day for him.