Yesterday was a long day but my younger son and I had fun. We got there plenty early, and had we been gambling men, we probably would have gotten Joe Mauer's autograph. We saw a line that looked short enough to get through, but was obviously set up for a long line. We knew it would be Mauer, Morneau or Thome.
But, we didn't want to take the risk so we decided to be first in line for an unknown group of players. Being first in line was pretty fun for my son, and luckily Denard Span was at our station, who is my son's favorite player. David already has autographs from him on a game used bat, mini helmet, an 8x10 picture, a baseball and a couple of baseball cards, so he got him to sign a mini bat. Had he known we'd be seeing Span, he probably would have bought a cap for him to sign. Also in that line were Pavano and Harris. Since we were first in line, Harris asked me how long we'd been waiting. He seemed surprised to hear that we'd been there three hours already.
David had Pavano and Harris sign cards.
At this point it was raining so we ducked into an opening into Target Field that they were using to allow people to use the restrooms. We used this shelter to put our recently signed items away and get out the items for the next signing, which was Liriano, Steve Liddle and Danny Valencia. David had Liriano sign a 2010 Topps Heritage (which got a little smudged), added Steve Liddle to his 2010 team ball, and had Valencia sign a ball, which he signed on the side panel (and it got a little smudged).
Again, we ducked into our shelter area to put these items away and get ready for the next station we wanted to target, which was Slowey, Young and Plouffe. David had all three sign cards. This line was a bit longer and took us about 30 minutes to get through.
Time was winding down a bit for the current players to sign, so we decided we'd head over to station #6 where Killebrew was scheduled to sign at 2:00. We got in line and there weren't too many people in front of us, so we were confident we'd get through. With about 15 minutes left, we realized that the line was very short for the current players at our station, which included Cuddyer, another of David's favorites. So David ran up and got Cuddyer to sign a mini helmet, and added Scott Ullger and Alex Burnett to his team ball, while I held our place in line for Killebrew.
We managed to put these items away while standing in Killebrew's line, under our umbrella. It started raining quite a bit harder at this point. We waited a half hour until Killebrew started signing at 2:00. At 2:20, our line had barely moved! We were getting nervous that we might not make it through. The rain obviously slowed things down as people couldn't get their pictures, baseballs, etc out and ready to be signed until they got under the tent, otherwise the rain would have gotten them wet. Also, Mr. Killebrew is a notoriously slow signer. He's very friendly and is careful to sign neatly. John Castino was also signing with Killebrew. Killebrew and Castino discussed the1956 Topps David was having Killebrew sign. Killebrew seemed to enjoy seeing it.
At about 2:45, the ushers started counting people in line, presumably to cut off the line at some point. They counted well beyond my son and I so we felt confident we'd make it. The rain let up a bit, and the line seemed to speed up. We got done with about 20 minutes left in the session. My son and I got a bobblehead as well as the 1956 Topps signed for my other son. Killebrew is his favorite player, and he couldn't make it because he was playing in a baseball tournament (in the rain). He's a catcher, and by the end of the third game that day, he was sitting in several inches of water behind the plate. We had to hose off his equipment when he got home. Anyway, he was happy to get these items signed.
My younger son also had John Castino sign a mini bat for his brother.
It looked like we might have had a chance to get through Carew's line, but we were pretty tired and our feet were cold and wet, so we decided not to risk it. It was a relief to sit down once we got on the train, then we headed to a restaurant for some pop and appetizers.
A pretty exhausting day, not quite as exhausting as TwinsFest, but the rain added some additional stress and discomfort. I enjoyed spending the day with my younger son, which we don't get the chance to do very often.
Later today or this week I'll post the items that I got signed.