Well, me and Curveball forego last night's game, but tonight made it to Baseball Unplugged at Champs in Burnsville. Cuddy hosted and was accompanied by Garza and Neshek.
It was the first time we've gone to this event and we learned a few things. First, be there at least 2 hours before "the show". The place was packed! We got to the restaurant an hour before the festivities were to start and it was standing room only. We waited 45 minutes for a table on the patio. We ate our dinner on the patio while listening to the "interviews" and then questions from fans. Following the question period, there was a trivia contest, complete with prizes, followed by more door prizes. (The final door prize was an autographed Harmon Killebrew bat! Not shabby at all!)
At 8:30 p.m. an autograph line was started. We practically sprinted to the line, but was still quite a ways back. Due to the injury to his thumb, Cuddyer was not signing autographs--but was willing to take pics with fans. Garza and Neshek were signing--one item per fan. At 8:45 we had moved all of 6 inches--the line was pretty bunched up in front. I was starting to wonder if we would ever make it to the front...sure enough, a Twins representative soon arrived announcing that the signing would end at 9 p.m. Optimistically, we stayed in line...which was starting to move a little faster. We got closer and closer and finally were able to take the steps up to the Twins' table. And then the Twins representative reappeared...first declaring that we were the last 2 through and then allowing the 2 fans behind us to go through the line.
Whew! I was thrilled to be able to make it through the line...not that I'm a big autograph person (that would be Curveball), but after that wait...I managed to snap a few pictures and get a few graphs. I had Neshek sign a "card" of his appearance in a "witch" costume last year (part of rookie hazing).
All the players were generous with their time, good-natured, and willing to take pics...but it had been a long day--that started early with an afternoon game that didn't end up in our favor...and it was easy to see they were tired and ready to call the day done.
Tomorrow there's another game...a start to another tough series. Man, we need those guys to come back to the field fresh. We're behind you guys. We know you're playing hard. Go for it.