Thursday, March 26, 2009

Featured autograph - Nolan Ryan

One of the lures in collecting in-person autographs is what I consider - going after the 'big game.'

You can only put in so much time collecting the rank-and-file guys and even some of the stars - sometimes you need something to keep you motivated besides seeing and getting certain players/team personnel.

Depending on access and number of people who want the same thing as you do, trying to get anyone in particular can be nearly impossible - however, you are always hoping you get lucky.

During my 2009 spring training trip, I was hoping to get this living legend to sign for me at a Texas Rangers/Kansas City Royals game in Surprise - I didn't even focus on the players leaving the game in-between innings, since I was so focused on Nolan Ryan.

"I'll forget everyone else for Nolan," I heard one guy say to his buddy who was at the same game I was - it is too bad they didn't wait for him, since the buddy thought it wasn't Ryan whom he saw. I only told the buddy where Ryan sat, behind the Rangers' coaches.

When Ryan signed after the game - I was pretty excited at the opportunity to be able to approach him for an autograph. The ushers at the game made sure a certain number of people were to approach. I bought the 8x10 photo either on Ebay or at a card show four years ago, hoping to get it signed by mailing it to Ryan's foundation.

It was a Steiner Capture the Moment 8x10 matte photo - which shows Ryan pitching in his first no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals on May 15, 1973.

It is safe to say - the 8x10 became the crown jewel of my 2009 Cactus League spring training trip.

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