Durham Bulls @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

Day 1 (Thursday) of my 3 day trip started out in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Pa and turned out to be the best of the 3, weather wise.  I will write 3 seperate posts, 1 for each day. Because they might get long.
The RailRiders where playing the Durham Bulls who are the AAA affiliate of the Tampa Rays.
The team is called the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders but the stadium is located in Moosic which is just outside of Scranton and is the home of the AAA affiliates of the New York Yankees. The Yankees have had there AAA affiliate in Scranton since 2010.  The team was rebranded this year as the RailRiders after a few years as the Yankees. In addition to the rebranding the stadium had an extensive renovation. The stadium was built in April 1989 and was the home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RedBarons who at the time was the AAA Affiliate of the Phillies. When the stadium was built it had the same field dimensions as the old Vet. It was built this way in order for the players at the time to get the felling of how the Vet would feel. You can check out pics using the following link. http://digitalballparks.com/International/Scranton1.html.
The new stadium still hold the name it has had for the last few years is PNC Field. The new stadium looks similar to Coke Cola Stadium in Allentown PA. Which now happens to be the AAA Affiliate of the Phillies.Traffic thru the NYC is never easy and I ended up getting to the stadium a little later then I planned on. Driving into PA it rained most of the way and then for the most part cleared up. I got there around 1:30 and at this point most of the team had already gotten there. 3 other graphers where already there. It also had started to drizzle. But, there is a small overhang and its large enough to hang out under and not get wet.
But, I was able to get a few players on the RailRiders:
Brennen Boesch, 2 cards. He was recalled the next day.
Josh Bell, 1 card. Josh was once a big prospect with the Dodgers and the O's. But, things never panned out for him. He has spent parts of the 3 seasons in the Majors with the O's and D-Backs. Most recently in 2012 with the D-Backs
Clay Rapada, 1 card. Clay had spent parts of 6 years in the Majors with the Cubs, Tigers, Rangers, O's and most recently the Yankees in 2012.
I also started a scrub ball and got the following:
Brett Marshall, had pitched in one game with the Yankees this year and was real nice and talked to us about his first game in the majors
Alberto Gonzalez, has played in part of the last 7 years in the majors starting out with the Yankees, Nationals, Padres and Rangers. He started the 2013 season with the Cubs and then was picked up on waivers
Corban Joseph, he has had 7 ab's with the Yankees in a brief stint
Luke Murton, Real Nice Guy and younger brother of former major leaguers Matt Murton who,played for the Cubs, A's and Rockies and is currently in Japan
Ronnier Mustellier, he is from Cuba and has been in the Yankees system since 2011. He had a great spring and had being considered for a spot on the big league roster.

Then a taxi drops off 2 players and the 4 of us did not know who they where. I had 1 of them sign the scrub ball and it turned out to be Chris Archer who was on Durham. So, I made a rookie mistake. When they seemed confused on how to get in the stadium somone asked them who they were and Archer and he told us. I had cards for Archer and he signed 1. Archer is the Rays top pitching prospect. Both players hung around outside the Railrider locker door and talked with Rapada. As they did this we realized the other player with Archer was former Yankee Cory Wade who had just signed with the Rays. I had 1 card for Wade.
At this point all of the players where in. So, I went and grabbed lunch and then headed over and checked in at the hotel.
The game was a 6:35 start and gates opened at 5:35. But, I had heard there was some bag restrictions at the stadium and got there a little early to try to verify what was allowed. When I picked up my ticket at will call I asked about the bags and was told it was at the security guards decsression. Well they are not very consistant. I asked one guard who seemed to be running everything and she told me that my bag was not allowed. She had said no backpacks. But, mine was not a backpack. All she kept saying was the bomb in Boston was in a backpack and the new rules where for the fans saftey. So, I went back to the car and swapped out for a string tied bags. The actually looked like a backpack. So, i asked again and this bag was allowed. Then I was waiting online to get in a somone had a similar bag from my first one and they allowed him in. If you decide to go to Scranton make sure before the gates open the your bag is allowed.
At this point the gates had opened and everyone seemed to run over to the visiting team side for Wil Myers. He is probably the Rays highest prospect as far as position players goes.
Before any of the players came out it got very dark and started to rain. The rain only lasted about 10 minutes. I went back to my spot on the 1st base side and waited a little longer before players started to come out. First to come out was former Met and current Bulls pitching coach Neil Allen. I had 1 card for him and he signed it.
Wil Myers came out and everyone was calling for him. He just ran out onto the field and started his stretching.

After he stretched he walked over to us and signed for everyone. He signed on the SS for me and then I got him on 1 card. He will signed for everyone. But, his auto is scribble.
After Myers was done everyone pretty much left. But, I had cards for other guys. I then got former big leaguer Shelly Duncan. He was pretty cool. I asked him about his older brother Chris and he said he was doing sports talk radio. Chris spent most of his time in the majors with the Cardinals.
I then called over Tim Beckham. He is a strict 1 per. So, he signed 1 card. Tim was the Rays 1st round pick in 2008 out of high school. His stock had dropped alot in the last year or 2 and he may never turn into what the Rays had hoped for.
10 minutes before the game time the ushers ask you to got to your seats and at this point most of the players where off the field already.
The game was rain free till about the 8th when the it started to drizzle. I got up to stand on the concourse and then the thunder and lighting started. A few minutes later the real heavy rain and wind came. They played most of the 9th in heavy rain and then the RailRiders had a man on 2nd and where in the middle of a rally and the umps had the tarp put on the field.
At this point a group of us realized the Alex Colome was on the concourse. When he turned around there was about 6 of us with our cards out and all he said "he had no time" and walked down the concourse and went thru a door.
Most of the stadium had emptied out and about 30 mins later the game was called.
The rain had let up a bit. The visiting team side outside does NOT have an overhang. So, a couple of us head over to the Scranton side which had one.
All I was really looking for was Chein-Ming Wang and I had some help. There was 2 guys who had come from Taiwan. It always helps that someone speaks the language of a foriegn player and it worked. Chein-Ming was thrilled to see a fellow country man waiting for him. He signed 4 cards.
Most of the players didnt look interested in signing and most ran to there car in the rain.

1 of the 2 guys from Taiwan spoke some english. So, he talked a little about what baseball was like and how graphing was over in Taiwan. I also asked him if he had seen Manny Ramirez play. He thought it was cool that I had known that Manny was playing the EDA Rhinoes.

Here are some pics of the new PNC Field

 Walk way behind the right field wall. Those rocks are real. The stadium was built in the side of the Montage Mountain.

                                                                     The visiting teams bullpen.

Day 1 was done and I had gotten 20 autographs. If I had only gotten there a little sooner and if the weather had not so been so bad I'm sure I would have gotten more.

I will try to post about days 2 and 3 soon. Day 2 I went to Binghamton and Day 3 was Cooperstown. Today I went to the Ducks game and tomorrow the plan is to go over to Bridgeport on the ferry

Thanks for reading and Check Back Soon!!!