Thanks to Groupon, I was able to attend three games this season of my local minor league team, The Battle Creek Bombers, which is part of the Northwoods League, which means every player must attend college and no one gets paid. Ouch. Still, they play with a ton of heart.
One of the games I went to was a baseball card give away day. I ended up with a bunch of team sets, and managed to get a few autographs after the game. The problem was, I had to stalk outside the exit of the Bombers' locker room looking creepy. That and the guys came out wearing street clothes, so I really had no idea who was who. However, I always root for one of the players, since he goes to Western Michigan University, where I teach. I recognized him, and asked him to sign. So here's my Jimmy Martinez autograph:
J-Mart has a nice signature, and I saw him make some great plays. Best of all, Jimmy lingered around signing autographs longer than any of the other guys. It's always nice to meet a good person when you're getting a sig, and that'll make me a fan as he continues to play. I wish him the best.
I think Jimmy was a bit disappointed with his card. A young kid got a signature from him first, and I heard Jimmy say that his card was kind of hard to find, since he looks like a manager in his picture. Not exactly the best action shot here. And these cards have pretty autrocious designs. They look like the bastard child of 1990 Donruss and 1995 Score.
The highlight of these games was not accomplished by one of the players. The manager stole the show.
Donnie Scott spent four partial seasons in the majors, but it looks like he's doing better as a manager. What makes a good manager? The real answer is someone who can do this:
Credits go to my sister, who taped this show. What you miss in the video was Donnie yanking up first and tossing it, then trying to tear up second, which wouldn't come up, so he just kicked the shit out of it. So, yeah, he went through each base, and I believe that counts as a home run for a manager.
To his credit, the umps were really making terrible calls. But also his blow-up had every person in the park standing up and cheering like crazy. It was the best ejection I've had the pleasure to see in person.
Nice work, Donnie. Now, go Bombers. Good luck in the playoffs.