1990 Reds, Forever in our hearts?

I remember growing up in Flint, Michigan I remember how much the 1984 Detroit Tigers meant to the state of Michigan. The excitement and pride surrounding that team was electric! Everyone was watching baseball that fall. People who were not really fans of the game were watching. Kids that grew up during that summer and the years following knew most if not all of the names of the players on that team! We were in love with the Tigers because they were hard working, blue collar guys in a blue collar town.

When I moved to Ohio in 2007, one of the 1st things I did was start learning about the sports teams! I began reading about the Reds, Bengals, Bearcats and even the Cyclones! (yes hockey, almost everyone in Michigan likes hockey!) Needless to say I was impressed with my new city’s sports history. You have to be impressed with the fact that in 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings, were established as the 1st professional baseball team!

Then I noticed that the Cincinnati Reds had won the 1990 World Series! As a baseball fan I knew this fact but I was pleased to see that the city has seemed to embraced the 1990 Reds just like we had embraced the 1984 Tigers! I noticed this right away when I was looking for autograph signing events all over the city and how most of them seemed to revolve around 2 very important parts of Reds history, The Big Red Machine and the 1990 World Series Champion Reds. While the Big Red Machine was a team that became legends and command respect accordingly. The 1990 Reds team seems to be closer to what the 1984 Tigers were to me. They seem more like a blue collar, working class team! I was so please to see how the players for that team seem to show up everywhere and the fans show up with them! No matter if it is Chris SaboTodd Benzinger, Tom Browning or those amazing Nasty Boys people show up in full force! The 1990 Reds players seem to be loved by all of the legions of Reds fans!

Case in point was a Chris Sabo signing that was held at Buffalo Wild Wings a week ago. I grabbed a baseball and ink pen and headed over to see what was going on. I expected a few people to show up but was pleased to see a line that stretched around the inside of the place! Then I remembered the Nasty Boys signing held at Sports Gallery awhile ago, tickets were selling for $200+ and people were lined up ready to go! Amazing show of support from the Reds fan base!

What I am trying to say is that I think that it is so cool how much the 1990 Reds mean to the people of Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. That team won a Championship 23 years ago this fall and they are still loved and adored by millions of fans all over Ohio and beyond!

Do you have any memories of the 1990 Reds or any Reds teams? Feel free to comment below or message me on Twitter at @garpike28

Have a great day!


2013 Reds First Year Player Draft Review

The 1st couple rounds of the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft was last night and as a card collector / autograph hound all I could think about was:

1) Who are the Reds picking?

2) Do they have any cards yet?

3) Wonder what their autographs look like?

So…I followed along on Twitter and waiting on the edge of my…well…desk chair to hear the names of the newest Reds! It seemed like it took forever to get all the way to pick number 27. Tick Tock. Come on people! Lets get to the REDS! Finally they got to the Reds and with the 27th pick they took… Samford junior outfielder Phillip Ervin! Woot! Then I make the mad dash to eBay…typed in Phillip Ervin…There is 2 autographed baseballs for sale. But most important, his signature looks pretty cool! He has some nice readable letters in there, you can see the “P”s in his first name. Would like to see the “E” in his last name a bit better but there is some cool loops in the rest of his name. Overall a nice signature. Would give it a B.

Phillip Ervin

Now we wait for the next pick….not too long though. 38th overall. Then I see the Tweet…With the 38th pick they took RHP Michael Lorenzen from Cal State-Fullerton! Once again I make the mad dash to eBay…typed in Michael Lorenzen…There is a LOAD of cards and stuff for sale, and his signature looks AWESOME!! He has ALOT of  readable letters in his auto you can see some of the letters in his first name and the important “L” and “Z” in his last. His signature has 4 very cool loops in his name. Overall an Excellent signature. Would give it an A.


I thought we were done for the night, I am used to NFL drafts were teams might have 2 picks the first night. But then I see the Reds have the  67th overall. So I wait once again. Soon, I see the Tweet…With the 67th pick they took 3B Kevin Franklin from Gahr High School in California! Once again I make the mad dash to eBay…typed in Kevin Franklin…There is a LOAD of stuff for sale (his name is pretty common, DOH!). So after some tweeking and narrowing down I find 1 card of his and it is autographed! His signature looks…well….kinda simple. He has 2 letters in his auto. Yep…only 2. Just a simple KF. His signature leaves something to be desired but he is still a high school guy. He has lots of time to work on it and make it into a nicer autograph if he chooses to. Overall a simple signature. Would give it an C.

Kevin Franklin

Well there you have it my review of the 1st 2 rounds of the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft. While I have not covered what sorts of talents these guys have (leaving that to the other bloggers who know more about that stuff) I have gotten right to the heart of the Autograph issue!! 🙂

I welcome any comments or questions either here on the blog or you can hit me up on Twitter @garpike28

Thanks and I hope you have a great day!

Autograph Joe

The Latos Experience

About a month ago while cruising through my Twitter feed I came across a tweet from Sports Gallery in West Chester (@ASportsGallery) stating that they were having Mat Latos in store for an autograph signing! This jumped out at me in two ways: 1. I love collecting autographs! (Duh!) and 2. Anyone who has been on twitter and follows the Reds and their fans knows that Mat’s wife Dallas (@DallasLatos) is a riot to follow and there was a good chance she would be there too. (WOO!)  So I began looking into the details of the event. Not only was Sports Gallery about 5 mins drive from my work,  it was only $30 for Mat to sign any item I wanted to bring! I was on this like a Spider Monkey all jacked up on Mountain Dew!

Then my dilemma began, what do I have him sign? Ball? Card? Bat? Photo? I settled on ordering an 8×10 photo which could be framed and hung in my office at work for all my co-workers to be envious of. LOL! So now I had my 8×10 in hand, perfect blue sharpie selected for the signature…and the event was over 3 weeks away! Ugh. So the waiting began.

This week finally rolled around… Monday… Tuesday… Wednesday… Finally Thursday! Latos Day as I had been calling it for a past few days was upon us! I was stoked! the hours I spent at work seemed to drag on and on! Finally it was time to go! Hopped in the car and headed over to Sports Gallery! this sign greeted me as I drove into the parking lot:


My stomach actually began to flutter! I was about to meet not just one of the starting pitchers of the Cincinnati Reds but, the #1 starter in many fans hearts! Now I have met sports figures and various other celebrities in my years of collecting autographs but I was actually a bit more excited about this one! So I got out of the car and headed up to the store to pick up my line number, good gravy I was number 132! This was going to take forever! Oh…wait…they are already on 79…maybe not as long as I thought!

I passed the time waiting by talking with other fans and checking out what they were getting signed. Saw alot of people opting for the Official Major League baseball and jerseys. Still a few more had bats and various other Reds items that were covered in signatures! I was starting to doubt my 8×10 choice but stood strong and stuck with it! After a bit my number was called! I was ushered through a set of doors of a conference hall that had been set up for the event and there they were! Ryan Hanigan and Mat Latos were about 10 feet in front of me! Mat looked to be having a great time talking with the fans in the line in front of me signing there items, taking pictures with them and thanking them for coming! He seemed particularly excited about the person that placed a limited edition bottle of Liquor in front of him to sign of course!

Wanna Drink!? LOL!

Wanna Drink!? LOL!

Then it was my turn, I got a bit flustered handing off my camera to a lady who would take a pic of Mat and I,  but I managed to hand my photo to Mat and while he was signing it in bright blue sharpie I asked one request “Could you please add #TeamLatos under your signature?” to which he comically responded “Me and Twitter do not get along. I don’t want to have anything to do with Twitter, so I can’t do that for you, sorry”. While this kind of stumped me for a moment, I understood. I moved around the table and got a wonderful photo taken with Mat, He said thank you for coming out and I was on my way with my treasure in hand! I don’t think I stopped grinning all the way to the car! The event that I had been waiting for 3 weeks was complete and I had a great memory and photo to show for it!

Me & Mr Latos

Me & Mr Latos

My Precious!

My Precious!

I have no idea if the Latos family will read my little ol’ blog post but if they do I would just like to say Thank you so very much for doing the event tonight! It was so cool to be able to spend even just a moment with Mat on his day off, and I will hang my photo with pride in my office! May #TeamLatos long live in Cincinnati!!

Thanks and have a blessed day!

– Joe G –
Autograph Collector Extraordinaire

Questions? Comments? Love it? Hate It? Feel free to comment below or follow me on Twitter @garpike28

My Son & I: A Minor Experience

On Tuesday of last week a friend of ours called and asked if we would like His 4 Dayton Dragons tickets for the game that night. Of course I said yes, my renewed love for baseball this season has become somewhat of an addiction. I am now trying to get baseball tickets whenever I can, listening to Reds games on the radio, turning on the Reds game when I can.  It is a wee bit sad really. lol. Anyways… I quickly called and messaged a few friends about going to the game but everyone was either working (lame),  had something else to do (lamer) or just didn’t want to go (WHAT!?). So I decided to take my son, Aaron, even though it was a school night. (Yeah I am a cool dad!)

From the moment we left my son was peppering me with questions. Where are we sitting? Are we there yet? Who are they playing? Are we there yet? Can I get a baseball to get signed? Are we there yet? Can I get candy? Are we there yet?
Finally,we arrived at Fifth Third Field! This being our first time there, we were in awe! This is a nice stadium! Our seats were 15 rows right behind the Dragons dugout so we could see everything perfectly! Everyone we ran into was really nice and helpful. It started out as a great night.

Then the game began…ouch. Dayton got behind quickly, so Aaron began to lose interest but he really wanted a baseball! LOL! So just after the 5th inning we decided to walk around and check out the park. We made our way around and found the Team Shop. My son started freaking out when he saw that one of the players would be signing in the shop after the game. (Yes he is just like his father, I was a bit excited at the thought of an autograph as well!) We purchased a baseball and was told to come back  at the end of the game and Ismael Guillon, who is also on the 40 Man Roster of the Cincinnati Reds, would be signing that night! Well now that we knew that an autograph was coming, neither of us could focus on a game where the team we were rooting for unfortunately was losing! We were counting down the innings! We finally made a break for it in the bottom of the eighth inning! Hah!

We got to the Team Shop and were first in the autograph line! Aaron, ball in hand, was pacing while I was watching the game on the big TV in the Shop. Aaron was dying by this point. Then the last out was made and the game was over. Aaron was overjoyed when into the store, lead by a team employee, came Mr. Guillon! Ismael sat down and said hello to Aaron who was grinning a mile wide. Aaron handed his ball to Mr. Guillon, who signed it right on the sweet spot and gave it back to Him. Aaron was so excited and very careful not to smudge it. We then made our way out of the Shop and headed off to the car. On the way Aaron looked and me and said “Thanks so much for bringing me Dad!”

I want to say thank you to the whole Dayton Dragons organization for making our first game at Fifth Third Field a very memorable Father and Son night! We will be back soon!

-Joe G-

Father & Son   Ismael Guillon