23 June 2011

The Perfect Storm of Baseball Fandom

I think I've mentioned before that I started a new job not too long ago, and I've been experiencing a great amount of fatigue lately.  A friend suggested that I'm in the "Jet-Lag" period of the job.  I doubt it, but I'll go with it for the time being, because that explains why I haven't posted much in the blog as of late.  Your girl is TIRED.

And for the series that the Braves just concluded with the Blue Jays, which I had been looking forward to ALL YEAR (pretty much as soon as they announced the schedule, I put a countdown on my blog), I had planned a series of "essays" to write to kick off the whole thing.  I even made notes!  Talking about Adam Lind, Joey Bats and his Bautista Bombs, my precious Yunel Escobar, Magic Man Johnny Mac--Prime Minister of Defence, Aaron Hill (because even if YOU don't love him, I DO), Rzep, Jon Rauch, etc.  I had lists!  Links!  Photo examples!

... But the series is over.  And I'm still going to talk about those things, but less in an "introductory" sense, and more of an "And in conclusion, the Blue Jays are still rad even though they were swept by the Braves."  After I finish editing my 3000+ pictures.  Sigh.

Hat tip to one of my first readers, Parker (Blue Jays fan represent!!), for naming this post for me.  Thanks!!  You're awesome.

And yes, Braves readers, I still love the Braves.  Obviously.  And no, I won't take any of your shit for not rooting for the Braves completely during this series.  Because I don't care what your opinion is on that subject.  I love who I love, and that's that.  (Thanks to Lauren T. and Eric for both reassuring me that my guilt is unfounded and silly.  Also, once again, thanks to Parker for straight up telling me to root for the Jays.  ;)

Right.  So I obviously don't have my gazillion photos edited yet.  But I have a few pictures of "loot."  Wanna see?  Sure you do!

Firstly, I took this photo:
Yunel Escobar, BAMF. 6/20/11

This is clearly the best photo I've ever snapped of Yunel Escobar... or of anybody, really.  And I cannot believe I got that shot, that I caught him in midair, with that shadow, about to fire the ball, smirking.  Me!  

Lauren T. was kind enough to print a copy for me so that I could get it signed.  But I'm useless when it comes to stuff like this sometimes.  I can't yell, I am too flummoxed and shy.  But uh, when I get to sit front row next to the visiting dugout on the last day they're in town?  Girl is on a mission.  And that mission is to find an excuse to say hi to my other favorite favourites (that wasn't a typo).

Thus, fueled by my new-found courage-of-sorts, and with the rather quiet Lauren O. egging me on (instigator Lauren T. wasn't present, sad), I went to go grin like an idiot at my Northerly boys, Eddie-ball and Sharpie in hand.  (Aside:  I love Eddie Perez for giving me this ball.  All of them.  And that Sharpie, y'all.  It has gotten AROUND.)  The fact that I managed to speak at all (while sweat is pouring from all of my pores--not at all attractive, but what can you do?  It's 1 PM in Georgia) was amazing.  I'm a generally shy person, so I have a hard time talking unless someone else starts the conversation.  Otherwise, I go into Waitress Mode, which I've mentioned before... somewhere.  So here I am, near my other favorite team, and I'm wordless.  Gross.  

The first Blue Jay that I saw was Marc Rzepczynski.  I felt like a total tool, y'all.  Some other guys asked him how to say his name, and he pronounced it for them, and I felt proud of myself that I already knew it.  Then I kind of sidled over, much to L.O.'s amusement, and asked him to sign my ball.  "Of course!" says he.  I gushed a thank you, and he looked me in the eyes with a smile and said, "No problem" before he walked away.  HAPPY.  And instantly regretted not asking for a picture.  He's adorbz.

Brandon Morrow and Zach Stewart made their way over after they warmed up a bit, and I managed to very normally ask if they would sign my ball, and take a picture with me (my wits were more about me this time around, you see).  ZS was WAY nice about it and his eyes are very pretty.  And Brandon Morrow?  Can you say gorgeous?  Yes.  I felt like a TOOL.  And my pic with him is ugly.  As in I'm gross, and he's beautiful.  SIGH.  (PS--L.O., I'm not saying anything about your photographing abilities... I'm mostly concerned with my crazed expressions and general sweatiness and bad posture and all-around awkward limbs... sigh.  Why can't I just pose normally??)

Curly (and New) Zach Stewart!

How to be Awkward in a Photo with Brandon Morrow
Example 1
PS- Lauren T.:  THIS is what "GET OFF" actually looks like.  Your supposed "get off" picture is pretty much the opposite.  Ugh.  I look like I'm trying to push him off.  I wasn't.  :P


He was SWARMED y'all.  My new friend Neil (from Kitchener, ON) and I were the only ones wearing Jays gear.  Oh, yes.  I broke out my Jays hat for this game, that's right.  I was not messin' around.  So, Joey Bats was trying to sign a kid's ball, and the pen didn't work, so I gave him my Sharpie to use.  He signed my ball after that.  And I told him he was amazing, and he smiled and said, "Thank you."  I never said I was a conversationalist, y'all.  I got out of the way, so that other people could get their stuff signed, and then everybody left, and he had a really long conversation in Spanish with someone... and then I asked if I could get a pic with him, and he was like, "I can't..." when he saw how many people started coming back.  "I've gotta go back down, I'm sorry."  And he smiled apologetically.

In-Depth conversation here.
At this point, Lauren said how attractive Joey Bats is.  :)

Later, a couple Jays started slowly coming back up into the dugout (AaronHill and Mike McCoy).  Some guy started shouting at Mike McCoy and then these little boys showed up, calling for AaronHill.  ("Mr. Hill!!  Mr. Hill!  Mr. Hillllll!!!!")  So I popped up and went to get my ball signed too.  I mean, really.  He was RIGHT there.  I told him that he's great, and that I hoped the Jays won.  (SO creative, I know.  Shoot me.)  Then the kid behind me asked if he (AaronHill) like his (the kid's) hair.  AaronHill looked confused for a sec until the boy's mom turned him around; the kid had gotten a #2 buzzed into the back of his head!  AH cracked a smiled at that, and then laughed.  "That's great!" he said.

Note:  I am the only adult here.  /groan.

So, check it out!!  My Blue Jays autographs on my Eddie-ball!

Brandon Morrow (#23)

Marc Rzepczynski #34
Zach Stewart #56
Aside:  Look at how considerate they were to keep all their signatures all lined up!  (Even though there was SO much space.  Morrow (above) and Hill (below) totally found white space to sign.  (I didn't include Rzep, because he signed first.)

Aaron Hill #2

AND THEN!  Yunel came out of the dugout (with the starting lineup) to do pre-game warmups.  L.O. is quiet.  And more shy than me.  And I told her I'd yell at Yunel for her.  So as soon as he ran out, I yelled, "Yunel!!"  He looked back, saw Lauren (waving her Escobar #19 Braves jersey) and me, smiled, and motioned "later."  

Sure enough, he came back and signed my pretty picture and Lauren's jersey.  And grinned at us both.  I could just die!!!

Of course, because of this, I missed JoJo and JP Arencibia coming in from the bullpen and back to the dugout.  And I missed Adam Lind.  And Johnny Mac.  But... you know what?  That's ok.  Because Yunel Escobar signed my picture of him!  :D  Lauren and I, btw, were both stunned by how massive Yunel is (even though we knew), but you know, then he's right there, looking at you in your face... and you are simply struck.  He's a big dude!  And we failed to do the following:  1) ask for pictures, DUH.  Giant gorgeous man, standing mere inches from us, and we don't ask for pictures?  Ugh.  Just shoot me.  Seriously.  And 2) forgot to tell him to whistle during Chipper's at-bats to annoy him.  :D

Look how big and loopy his autograph is!  LOVE.

OK.  Here are some teaser pics from Game 3 of the Braves/Blue Jays series:  

Nate McLouth + Jose Bautista converse in Spanish.  AWESOME.

More to come soon.  No procrastinating on these, for sure!


Ian - BJH said...

Wow, very cool experience! Yunel Escobar's signature IS very loopy, but very cool looking nonetheless.

It's great to hear the Blue Jays players are very obliging on the road. I've always wondered if it's easier to get a Blue Jays autograph/picture on a road game than it is in Toronto. I imagine there are far less fans swarming them in ATL for example than TO.

What an impressive haul of autographs, great job Ali!

flintrock70 said...

I was there, section 110 the Wed. day game. What a perfect baseball day. Nice pictures and article!

Lauren T. said...

My favorite part of this is you pushing off Brandon Morrow but not really!. Also, I love that shirt. Also! I'm the good kind of instigator. I don't get you in trouble, I get you awesome experiences, like giant grins from Yunel Escobar. ;) ❤❤❤

Parker said...

Call it even on the blog post name due to my appropriation of the Escobar pic for my work desktop background. I also really like the one with the four Jays walking across the field. Reminds me of that scene from Tombstone. All they need is Photoshopped firearms and cowboy hats. Is that Bautista third from the right? The guy on the left I am drawing a blank, but he does have really short little legs, so might it be Nix?

Kinda off-topic (and possibly bordering on creepy stalker guy?) but I'm curious: is your hair really all those crazy colors in the Aaron Hill autograph-signing pic, or is that a trick of the light? Looks very cool either way.

Very nice work as usual!

Parker said...

Oops, I meant third from the LEFT in reference to Bautista. Or second from the right.

SPDigitalPhoto said...

Love your website! I've always wanted to write articles to go with my pictures but I never end up doing it. Love reading yours!

Alison W. said...

@Ian: Thanks!! I'm not even into autographs... I just figured it was a good excuse to talk to them. Except that I clam up like a chump. d'oh!

@flintrock70: Lauren O.'s seats were actually in 110, 6 rows above the dugout... but we decided not to move from 118. Kind of wish we had, in a way, so I could get good dugout photos. Oh well.

@Lauren T: I never accused you of getting me into trouble... just getting me into situations where I'm like, "and now what do I say???" ;)

@Parker: Yes. My hair had turquoise/green, purple, and caramel highlights. :D It's now just purple and caramel. :)

@SPDigitalPhoto: You should totally write little articles! It's fun. And I'm glad you like mine! :)