For those of you who have patiently awaited the Andres Torres Story, the day has arrived. This story is very special to me, and so I’m trying to tell it in a serious tone. Besides, there isn’t much humor to be found in it anyway, but it makes me feel good about the future of our sport. I intended to post the story yesterday, but after I typed the whole thing and I tried to save it, MLBlogs asked me to log in and I lost it. Should’ve copied it… oh well. Here we go again.
First, to start out with a little background information. This was the first of 11 games that Kevin and I ended up making it to over the summer of last year. Kevin had been telling me that as a kid his father and him would get to the games when gates opened and go down to the visitors dugout, where they could get a lot of autographs from the players. I decided I would give it a try and brought two of my baseballs, although I didn’t believe I could just get five autographs in one game, as Kevin claimed. Anyway, here’s the story.
May 31st, 2005: Rangers v. Tigers
The game started at 7.05p, so Kevin and I were there before gates opened at 5.30p. When they did, we ran down to the dugout and waited. Those of you who are good baseball fans know the pregame routine; hitters are taking batting/fielding practice and going in and out of the dugout while pitchers warm up in the outfield. So, there we stood, just to the right of the Ranger’s dugout (on the outfield side,) calling out to the players as they entered/exited the dugout. Now, the first rule to remember if you’re ever asking for an autograph is to be polite. "Mr. Cordero, do you have time to sign please?" If the players are too busy or don’t want to sign for whatever reason, they’ll usually flick their head in your direction, or wave, or say sorry… Sometimes they won’t do anything.
This was one of those days where nobody ‘had time’ to sign. Francisco Cordero had gone into the dugout and I asked him if he had time to sign. He said he didn’t, and I asked him if he just had time for a quick picture. He responded by tossing a ball at me, which made everyone happy. Next, Chris Young came in from the field and, when I asked if he had time to sign, bent down and tossed another ball at me, which I gave to a kid. The rest of the team had blown everyone off. In the spirit of continuing my beating on Alfonso Soriano, I’m going to have to say that he was the worst. On about three separate occasions he walked right by us, (there were about three guys with kids and a couple other ‘sellers,’ which I’ll talk about later,) without even looking in our direction. So, we were a bit discouraged.
Finally, at about 6.15p, a guy named Andres Torres emerged from the clubhouse. Nobody really knew anything about the guy; he had been in and out of the club and hadn’t done anything big, but he had played for the Tigers earlier in his career. Andres saw what the rest of the team had been giving us, (he had been on the field or in the dugout for awhile I think) and came out of the dugout to talk to us. This act forever immortalized Andres Torres in my heart. He asked Kevin and I how we were doing, offered us an autograph, and when I asked if he had time to take picture, he said sure. I took one of us with my digital camera, and Torres actually asked if he could see it. Understand that people are now seeing that someone is signing, and running over to try to get an autograph. Anyway, the first picture didn’t turn out, so he offered to take another. He then offered to take one with Kevin, which we did. He signed our baseballs and then went out on the field to do his warmups.
After this we got kicked out because we didn’t have seats in that section, so we headed up to our upper deck seats. We were pretty excited. On the one hand, we’d gotten blown off by the entire Texas Rangers. But, Andres Torres had stepped up big and come through for us, so we immediately elevated him to level of Hero. We spent most of the game talking about how to honor Andres and his stand up attitude. We came up with a plan, but it would take skill, wits, and technical know-how to pull off. It would also require me burning my arm, but I didn’t know it at the time.
On some baseball notes, I only got a chance to watch the first few innings of yesterday’s Phillies v. Yankees game. For some reason, my archived footage of the game from MLB.TV kept stopping, so I would have to close out the window and restart it. I could only put up with this so many times before I gave up. I hear there is a new media player coming out for MLB.TV in which we will be able to watch multiple games at a time, so we can get excited about that. Anyway, I’ve pretty much been in class the last two days so I haven’t been able to keep up, but I do promise to have some comments in a few hours. Until then, thanks for the readership everybody. Leave comments and emails.
(Read Part Two)