Oly Caravan Stop, 2007 -- a Surprise Guest!
So, I debated whether or not to leave work early to catch the M's first caravan stop in Oly this year. I planned on taking Joey with me, because he's quite the M's freak, and he also was a little bit of a Mike Morse fan from the games we caught at Cheney this year. I figured I would leave work at 4 (I normally leave by 4:30, so not too early), swing by Costco to pick the pictures from my gallery, and grab Joey and go. But, this morning I discovered I had to go across town to the new Costco to have my pix printed. So, I cut work (with permission, of course) at 3:30. I debated printing some pictures in the first place, but I'm glad I did.
We got there just before Adam and Mike sat down to sign, and the line, as expected, was pretty short. When we got in line, though, the first person I saw arrive to the table was "Norm Norm" Charlton! He must've taken Rick Rizzs' spot. Needless to say, I was not in the least bit disappointed! Before George came along, Norm Norm was my favorite lefty bullpen guy. Now, it was very fitting, really, since Joey's first experience at Safeco was standing in line for 2 hours during FanFest just to get Norm Norm's autograph. His Norm Norm glove is still a favorite item. Since Joey was only 2 at the time, I had to remind him who Norm Norm was. Things started coming back, and then he instantly re-connected. It was great!
Once we made it to the front of the line the first time, I told Norm Norm that story, and then proceded over to Jones and Morse. I pulled out the prints I'd made for those guys to sign, and I'm glad I made two copies apiece! When Morse saw the shot I'd taken of him, he was pretty happy about it. I told 'em they could keep a copy, and they both were grateful. Morse was actually a little bit excited.
Since we were pretty much the back of the line, I asked Adam if anyone's ever told him he looks like Eric Davis. Overhearing this, Norm and Mike both looked at him and sorta chuckled. Of course, Norm Norm would be somewhat of an expert on the topic, considering he was his teammate on both the Reds and the 1998 Orioles. Fittingly, Norm Norm looked at the picture of Adam that I'd brought (see below), and said that there was definitely a resemblence. Yeah, he gets it all the time.
The thing I discovered last year was that the Caravan was a great place to get autographs and to chit-chat with players. The line is usually short here in Olympia, and there's usually time between the autograph session and the free raffle to gab with the players without interrupting people from getting autographs. It's great! I'm glad I took Joey this year, because, being a kid, he really likes the Moose. He got to spend time dancin' with the Moose, and I got to spend time chattin' with Norm Norm and the other guys.
I could go on and on, considering I gabbed quite a bit with all three of the guests. Let's just say that Mike Morse has jumped pretty high on my favorite M's list. I was a closet fan before, but now, I'm even moreso. We got several autographs, of course, and I'm very glad I took the extra time to get the pictures printed. Speaking of pictures, here are several, including copies of the autographed prints I scanned on my new toy. Most of them, of course, include Joey, so complain if you want to -- he's my cute kid, and I don't brag about him enough:
Mike Morse and Adam Jones killing time after the autograph lines emptied. They both traced their hands with the sharpies. And got a good earful from the Caravan manager, who mentioned that the table covering was supposed to be used for the entire season, including the charity auctions during games and stuff. I'm pretty sure if it's that big a deal, that they've got the money to get a replacement.
Morse, my cute kid, and Jones
Joey and one of his favorites, "Norm Norm" Charlton
I gotta hand it to the Moose. Anyone who's got the energy to keep up with Joey deserves some kudos in my book. Joey was workin' him/her pretty good! The Moose definitely got his/her workout this evening...
One of my favorite pictures of Adam Jones from my photography collection. Now autographed for good measure.
Another totally sweet picture of Mike Morse from my collection of Mike Morse pictures. Also autographed now. I'm pretty sure this one's going into a frame for my baseball room/music studio wall.
I'm glad I went, especially since Joey had a blast, too. I'm still deciding about FanFest. I'll probably go, even though it's a little bit harder to actually get autographs and connect with the players like you can on the Caravan stop. If you're waffling, though, about going to a Caravan stop, just go ahead and do it. It doesn't cost anything, and at least here in Olympia, the lines are short enough. I'll probably do it again next year...