Getting Autographs at Bowie Baysox Games

BY: T.C.

 

I had a work trip to the Washington, D.C. area last week, so I decided to catch a couple of minor league games while I was there.  The first night, I went to Bowie to see the Bay Sox take on the New Britain Rock Cats.  I got there a little before the gates opened at 6 pm.  Once I got into the park, I noticed that there wasn’t a player in sight, which is a little unusual.  Generally when I get into minor league games at 6, the visiting team will still be taking infield practice.  Another kind of strange thing is that both clubhouses were out past the foul poles in left field (visitors) and right field (home).  ‘Graphing during pre-game was tough because no players came out until after 5:30 (and they came out from total opposite ends of the park).  This made ‘graphing solo a pain in the butt.  Although, I will say that having the clubhouses in the outfield helps with ‘graphing after the game because all of the players have to walk right by you.  If you don’t get a player before the game, you still have a good shot as they leave the field after the game. 

 

The first player I saw was Ryan Keefer.  I have to point this out because Ryan is a really cool dude.  He noticed the soccer jersey I was wearing and immediately shouted out “Man City!”  I was shocked for a couple of reasons: A) Most Americans don’t recognize soccer jerseys and B) He not only knew of Manchester City, but he recognized the jersey.  I went down and chatted with him for about 5 minutes about soccer and my recent trip over to London when I saw West Ham play.  I wish more people had Ryan’s attitude…he’s a genuinely nice guy.

 

OK, so back to the graphing…I did a lot of running around before the game and managed to get about 60 cards and a couple of balls signed.  In addition to all of the minor leaguers, I was also able to get Alex Cintron who was doing a rehab assignment that day.  I was bummed out before the game because Matt Wieters didn’t sign.  However, after the game he stopped and signed for everyone that was left.  He signed a ball and a couple of cards for me.  Luis Montanez also came over and signed after the game (he’s another I’ll give props to for being a really nice guy).

 

When it was all said and done, I ended up with over 70 signed cards and a few signed balls.  All in all, Bowie is a pretty average minor league experience.  The stadium is very mediocre and the ‘graphing before the game is a little tough because of the setup.  Having on-field access to the players after the game does help, though.  A map of Prince George’s Stadium is below.

 

 

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