2008 Florida Spring Training Tour, Day 9 (Atlanta Braves @ Houston Astros)

By: T.C.

On my final day, I drove back to Orlando to catch my flight out at 6 pm.  I figured that I’d end my tour right where it began…back at the Astros camp.  Houston played host to the Braves for a 1 pm start.  My day was pretty much a debacle, as I forgot my glasses in my hotel room and had to go back for them before the game started.  Traffic was HORRIBLE and I didn’t end up making it to the game until about 11:30 (gates opened at 11).  I missed several of the biggies before the game, which sucked (Glavine, Chipper, Texiera, etc.).

The ballpark itself is layed out nicely for autographs.  There is a place called “autograph alley” down the left field line, where you can get lots of Astros as the enter and exit the field.  The visitors’ side has a similar area (but much smaller), which makes for good ‘graphing if you get a spot in the front row…but not so good if you find yourself behind people.  And there will be a lot of people in this area.  It was somewhat of a mosh pit when the big guys got pulled from the game.  A map of the park with autograph areas is below.

Astros ST game

I did OK, considering how late I arrived at the game (and also how early I had to leave to make my flight).  Here is my haul from the last day:

Astros:

  • Michael Bourn, 2 cards
  • Brandon Backe, 1 card
  • Kaz Matsui, 1 card, 1 RMLB
  • Lance Niekro, 3 cards
  • Hunter  Pence, 1 card (he signed for 15 minutes after he left the game…and personalized EVERY autograph unless it was on a multi-signed piece)
  • Ty Wigginton, 1 card
  • J.R. House, 1 card
  • Ryan Drese, 2 cards
  • Samuel Gervacio, 1 RMLB
  • Cecil Cooper, 1 ROMLB

Braves:

  • Kelly Johnson, 3 cards
  • Brent Lillibridge, 2 cards
  • Jeff Francoeur, 1 card, 1 ROMLB
  • Jordan  Schafer, 1 RMLB
  • Glen Hubbard, 1 RMLB (He said he won’t sign cards in person…ever.  However, he said to send him as many as I wanted through the mail and he’ll sign ‘em all.  Weird.)
  • Brent Lillibridge, 1 RMLB, 2 cards
  • Tyler Flowers, 1 RMLB
  • Terry Pendleton, 1 RMLB
  • Diory Hernandez, 1 RMLB
  • Josh Anderson  , 1 RMLB
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