2009 Florida Spring Training Tour, Day 8 (Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros)

BY: T.C.

My original plan on this day was to go to Viera to see the Nationals play the Astros.  However, after 7 straight days of driving all over Florida, I just didn’t feel like getting up early and making the drive all the way over to Viera.  Instead, I woke up and headed back to the Braves’ camp, which was only a 5 minute drive from my hotel.  The Braves were playing an away game that day, so I was hoping to get a couple of the stars that didn’t make the trip.  Unfortunately for me, most of the stars DID make the trip on this particular day.  There was one lucky occurrence, though.  This happened to be one of the days that Phil Niekro was in town as a guest instructor.  After spending a couple of hours there, I was able to get a few ‘graphs…including Phil Niekro on a ball!

Once I got Niekro’s autograph, I considered my day at the Braves camp to be a success (even though I only got a couple of other autographs).  I then decided to head over to the Astros’ camp to see if I could get a few ‘graphs as guys that didn’t make the trip to Viera left practice.  I ended up getting there just as practice was ending.  A lot of the Astros’ big guns stayed back (Berkman, Lee, Oswalt, Tejada), but they didn’t sign.  I did get a few ‘graphs, but nothing great.  Honestly, I really didn’t care that much.  I was ecstatic that I got Niekro earlier in the day!  Here is what I ended up with for the day:

Tim Byrdak Card x 1
Mike Hampton Card x 1
Tommy Hanson ROMLB x 1
Latroy Hawkins Card x 1
Jair Jurrjens Cards x 3
Phil Niekro ROMLB x 1
Russ Ortiz Cards x 6

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