2013 MLB Futures Game

This past Sunday was the Futures game that was held at Citi Field in conjunction with the All-Star game. The first Futures game was played in 1999 and the game features the up and coming minor league players from all of the Major League teams. Many players who have played in past Futures games have made there way to the majors soon after. The game is played between the USA team and the World team.

I was really looking forward to seeing this game and hoping to get a lot of autographs. Knowing that most minor leaguers sign often. I figured this was a great time to get the up and coming players without going games all of the country.
I got the Stadium really early. About 8:30 am It was probably to early. But, I didn't want to take any chance missing anyone. Unfortunately I was unable to get any autographs from the Futures players outside the stadium. Both teams took the bus to the stadium. Which entered the Mets player parking lot. The barricades that are typically there where even further away from the fence then normal.
One person who I wanted did walk thru and that was HOFer Peter Gammons. He signed for a couple of people. But, just not for me.
 After the Futures game there was a Legends vs. Celebrity's softball game also to be played. It featured a number of TV and Movie Stars as well as a number of public figures. The Celebs would play against Legendary baseball players like Rickey Henderson, Frank Thomas and Mike Piazza. I hoped the players and celebs that played in the softball game would also arrive at the stadium early. But, they did not. I believe they arrive during the Futures game.
The gates to the stadium opened at Noon. I got online at about 11:00am and just hung around and talked to a couple of other graphers.. When the gates opened it seemed like the security guards took there sweet time checking my bag and then they using the hand held security wands to check  for weapons. This really slowed me down and since I do not run down to the field anymore. There was not much room down on the railing for me when I did get there.. I wanted to graph the USA side and so I went down the the 1st base side. I ended up further down the line then I really wanted to be. The schedule showed an "on the field autograph session" for about 20 minutes before the game. Which was to be between 1:10 to 1:30. None of the ushers knew anything about this. So, It was a waiting game to see what would happen. Nobody was sure how many players would sign and where they would sign.
Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Brandon Nimmo

At around 1:10 Billy Hamilton ran down the line and started to sign not far from me. I thought I was in a good place to get him and before I knew it I had people pushing and shoving and even had someone on my back and was trying to stop the crowd from crushing a father and his small son. Hamilton did not sign for me and eventually walked away. When he left nobody took his place and signed so I decided to try to make my way back up the line towards the dugout. Byron Buxton and Noah Syndergaard where signing. But, by the time I made my way thru the crowd they where gone. I did manage to get Eddie Butler. Not reallly knowing who he was I just gave him an OMLB and asked got him to sign it SS. Butler turned out the be the Rockies 1st rd pick in 2012. I guess I will wait and see how he turns out before I can judge if it was worth getting him on a OMLB.
A.J. Cole was also signing at this point. But, before I could get him a ball he walked away. I already have Cole on a couple of 8x10's. He was on Hagerstown with Bryce Harper back in 2011.
Before I knew it it was just about 2:00 and game time. My day so far was pretty much a bust.
I guess next time I will just have push all the kids out of the way to get some auto's. HaHa, just kidding.
I had a pretty good seat for the game. But, it was real hot. So, I moved back a few rows and actually closer to the home plate.
 During the National Anthem
 Syndergaard warming up before the game
 View from my seat in Sec. 125

During a pitching change by the World Team
When the game ended I was able to find my way down to behind the dugout hoping to get a few Celebs or Legends before the Softball game. Who ever was signing was not worth it to me. I didn't stay for the Softball game thinking that I would be able to get some of the Futures leaving. Thinking they would leave it taxies. For the most part I was wrong. But, when I was leaving thru the Jackie Robinson Rotunda I noticed a group of people hanging out and some where wearing jerseys of Rey Fuentes. I waited around and overheard someone say he should be out soon. I was disappointed that I had only gotten 1 autograph inside  and decided to hang out and wait for him to come out. Rey came out and I gave him his time with his family before asking him to sign. I had no reception on my phone and couldn't look him up and because of that I asked him to sign a generic custom. It turns out he was a 1st rd pick by the Red Sox in 2009 and has since been traded to the Padres. He is playing in AA this season. He is also a cousin of Carlos Beltran. It would have been nice if Beltran would have been with the family while waiting for Rey to come out.
While waiting for Fuentes to come out a woman came over to me and asked if the players would be coming out of that same door Fuentes did. It turns out that it was Matt Davidson mom. Davidson was named the MVP of the game. Shortly after talking to me. She was texted and told her son would be boarding the bus. So, there was no point in waiting for him there.
I then went outside and found out that most if not all of the Futures players all took the bus after the game and then to make matters worse I find out that after the softball game. Mike Piazza, Ozzie Smith and Bernie Williams sall igned inside the stadium after the game.
Now it was a wait and see who would come out the stadium and try to get them. 1 former player I did get was Kevin Millar who is a 12 year Vet and had played for the Marlins, Red Sox, O's and Jays and now works for the MLB TV station. Not thinking he was worth a OMLB, I got him on a generic custom.
I also got Brian Kilmeade who is on a Fox News Channel show called Fox & Friends and then Craig Carton who is on ESPN radio with Boomer Esiason. I got both on generic autograph customs.
Jennie Finch and her husbund former Big Leaguer Casey Daigle. They had there kids with them. So, everyone did not ask for auto's.
Some reality show guy came out. But, did not sign. He had a guard with him who called us graphers "Stalkers" . Couldn't even tell you who he was. Some people seemed to know him and said he was in "Hall Pass"
Then Kevin James got into his car inside the Mets parking lot. But, his truck stopped once outside the gates. But, he grabbed a black sharpie and ran with it. I wanted a baseball signed. But, passed when I saw him with the sharpie.
John Franco came out and walked to his car and signed. But, for some reason would not sign for me. I had tried to get him on one of my 5x7 Shea customs while at the fanfest. He looked at the custom  and walked away. This time I was in the crowd and he passed over me twice. I gave up. I had have numerous times. But, figured I would get him on the custom. It turns out he was rushing the autographs and they looked like crap. So, it was better off I did not get him.
At this point it was already 8pm. I had been at the stadium for almost 12 hours. I was tired and sunburned and decided to call it a day.
My 3 day count between the 2 days at the Fanfest and the Futures game was 19 autographs. I wish I had done better. Included in the 19 where Jack Morris, Frank Thomas, Steve Garvey and Byron Buxton. It turned out to be an OK few days.
I had planned on going to the Fanfest on Monday aswell. But, needed a day to relax before going back to work.
I've missed a few Duck games this week because I've had other things to do. But, plan on a Cyclones game on saturday and the Ducks on sunday.
Thanks for Reading and Check Back Soon!!!