25 Signatures and One BIG Piece of Wood

The Infamous Tatianas bat-- before

The Infamous Tatiana's bat-- before

When Mario gave me my own baseball bat for my birthday last year, I had no idea what to do with it. Sure, it was pretty awesome having my own bat with the name “The Infamous Tatiana” engraved into it, but what could I use it for? A door stop, a reaching pole, a self defense weapon? All very likely choices, but Mario suggested taking it to the few games left in the season and trying to get signatures.

If you have ever read any of my posts about going to games, you will know it is damn near impossible to get any Marlins player to come by the buses after a game (except for Andrew Miller). Be that as it may, I still tried to bring my bat and with many unsuccessful attempts, I finally gave up and left the bat locked away in my dark closet at home.

An entire 5 months passed by and the 2009 Fan Fest was now upon us. Mario thought it would be a great opportunity to try to get a couple of signatures. So, I got my silver Sharpie and black bat and made my way to Dolphin Stadium. Upon arriving, Andrew Miller had begun to pass out free donuts. When he saw Mario, he said it was good to see him and asked if I was around. I went to greet Andrew, wished him all the best, and alas, I received my very first signature! Mario said that it may be the only one I would get and to try not to be too disappointed. I knew that I would get at least one or two more because I was willing to wait in the ridiculously long autograph lines.

We walked onto the field at approximately 12:00 pm and made our way to the first line. We had NO idea who was signing, but my goal was to get all the Marlins players to sign (with the exception of that damned Taylor Tankersley!). When I finally reached the table, I was relieved to see Anibal Sanchez and Zach Kroenke. Bam, 3 signatures. I was pretty darned pleased with myself… until I looked to my left and saw Jorge Cantu. I quickly ran to the end of that line and about 30 min later when I was the 2nd in line, Jorge began to get up and leave. “Jorge, me puedes firmar si tienes un momento” (“Jorge, can you please sign if you have one moment”). To my surprise, Jorge Cantu responded to my begging in his native tongue and turned to sign just one last time and then he disappeared. I then saw John Baker, one of my absolute favorite Marlins, emerge from the crowd. I prayed that he would come to our table. Instead, he sat at the one directly next to mine. I took that moment to attempt to talk to him. He turned around, greeted me, shook my hand, and held a good conversation with me for a couple of minutes. John Baker was actually so interested in what I had to say, that he turned the chair around a bit so he could hear me better. It was amazing and John is just simply a stand up guy.

So far, this day was turning out to be amazing. I was happy with the few autographs I had gotten and if the day was to end right then and there, I would have been very pleased. Andrew Miller remembered me, Jorge Cantu went out of his way to sign on last item for me, and John Baker was the coolest guy ever! I was in heaven, but the day just kept getting better. Now, we did hit our rough patches and got shut down by a few (Chris Volstad, Wes Helms, Tony Perez, etc) and I did get into a physical altercation, but as the seconds, minutes, and hours went on, I kept meeting more amazing players and getting more signatures on my bat. My once completely bare black bat was now quickly turning to silver from all the players that had left their mark on it.

As the day progressed, I was lucky enough to bump into John Baker again by the gated area and I called to him for his autograph. I didn’t think he would come over because he had just finished signing for an hour, but to my surprise (again) he came over for me (and only me) looked at my bat and gave me a chuckle as he signed. “The Infamous Tatiana, huh?” I couldn’t help but smile and blush.

By the time I reached the V.I.P. party that afternoon, there was barely enough space left on the bat for more signatures. Cody Ross, Alfredo Amezaga, Jeremey Hermida, and that darned Chris Volstad had all looked for nice clean spots to leave their mark. Even Hanley Ramirez was left looking for a good spot to put his John Hancock!

At 6:00 pm, I sat down and spun my now silver bat around. I stared in awe as I saw each unique squiggle and I nearly got myself sick trying to figure out whose squiggles was whose. Upon my arrival to my home at 6:30 pm, I patiently sat down and went over each encounter in my head. I finally ended at 25 different autographs, 25 different experiences, 25 new memories created to be cherished. While other fans have to deal with self involved and money hungry players, I have the pleasure of having the friendliest and most caring. I never realized just how lucky I truly was to have the Florida Marlins as my team until this day.

25 Signatures:

1. Andrew Miller
2. Anibal Sanchez
3. Zach Kroenke
4. Jorge Cantu
5. Alfredo Amezaga
6. Hanley Ramirez
7. John Baker
8. Matt Lindstrom
9. Rick Vanderhurk
10. Burke Badenhop
11. Cameron Maybin
12. Ricky Nolasco
13. Chris Volstad
14. Logan Kensing
15. Fredi Gonzalez
16. David Samson
17. Billy The Marlin
18. Cody Ross
19. Jeremy Hermida
20. Gaby Sanchez
21. Ryan Tucker
22. Jack McKeon
23. Brett Carrol
24. Emilio Bonafacio
25. Leo Nunez

Completely

Completely

and

and

totally

totally

badass.

badass.

The first of the day - Andrew Miller

The first of the day - Andrew Miller

And the very last - Hanley Ramirez

And the very last - Hanley Ramirez

4 Comments

Filed under baseball, fan fest, Real Life

4 responses to “25 Signatures and One BIG Piece of Wood

  1. The bat is incredible!! This takes a lot of patience and some extremely good luck to get accomplished. Congrats!!!

  2. darkship

    I’m so jealous!

  3. wickedortega

    you got almost half the team on that bat…. way cool!!!

  4. nmboxer

    Favorite Classic Tatiana Aside From This Post: “and I did get into a physical altercation.” The autographed bat looks fanTAStic. Truly a beautiful object of art.

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