Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I mentioned a big one at the end of the last post. Even in all of the madness of the trip, we were able to get our 1,000 autograph for the season! It is funny how it worked out that it ended up being with the Barnstormers...on the road! Catcher Matt Tupman came out of the dugout to warm up Ceasar Carillo and stopped to sign 2 cards for us...#999 and #1,000! Thanks Matt!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Game 41: Somerset Patriots 1 Lancaster Barnstormers 9

If there was a silver lining in our trip mishap it is that we broke down near a ballpark, they were home that night, and they were playing the Lancaster Barnstormers. So while we settled in to the hotel and waited for our tire, we took in a game. It was fun seeing the guys on the road because we don't get to too many away games unless their playing in York. We were able to talk to the guys and did ok on autographs...especially a big one!

Todays autographs: 12
Season autographs: 1010
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $50.50

Monday, August 29, 2011

911 What is your emergency?

Well...what a week! We started out early Wednesday morning and headed to Troy, NY, home of the Tri City Valley Cats. They have been raising money for NAAF this season with their baseball card machine and were going to present a check on the field before the game Wednesday night. About 1:00 we heard a BOOM and pulled over to the side of the road. Blown tire... no big deal we have a spare. Dad got the lug nuts off the front tire and went to jack up the van. The jack bent and buckled on him. Now we have the spare out, lug nuts off, but can't get the van up to change we wait. We thought someone might stop and even tried to flag a few down thinking we could just use their jack. After no one stopped, dad called a tire store about a mile and a half away but they would have to tow us because we were on the side of a major highway. Against moms wishes, dad called 911. They were going to send some help. After about an hour, a state trooper pulled up behind us and said that the NJDOT will be coming. After about another hour dad called 911 again. Apparently they were busy that day. Since Kyle had finished his last bottle and we had no more water with us, we thought they would come quicker...NOPE! Finally, Tony showed up in his NJDOT service truck and got out a hydraulic jack. So after 3 1/2 hours on the side of Rt 287 in New Jersey (with 1 pack of Twizzlers and 2 sodas for everyone) we were on our way. Since the tire was blown, it couldn't be patched we had to go get a tire. We knew there would be no way to make it to the Valley Cats that night, so we called and rescheduled it for Thursday night. The good news is we were 5 minutes away from the Somerset Patriots so we headed over to TD Bank Ballpark. We talked to our friend Rob and he told us of a few tire stores close by. Now for the bad news...NO ONE HAS THE TIRE IN STOCK! Not even the same tire...we just wanted the same size! Pep Boys told us they would have it the earliest at about 10am on Thursday. So, we headed back to the ballpark to catch a game...against our Lancaster Barnstormers. We got a hotel and would be back on the road in the morning...or so we thought. After breakfast, Gavin and I wanted to take a quick dip in the pool. We didn't know it would be THAT quick. Shortly after we got out there it started to pour down rain! That wasn't really a big deal until we started to hear thunder. So we checked out and headed to Pep Boys...and, no tire! It didn't make the truck and they never bothered to call us. Next earliest tire delivery would be around 4:00! It was at another store 25 miles away so we asked for the address. We thought we would just go there...but it was 25 miles in the WRONG direction! The service manager said he would go pick it up for us and to come back in a couple of hours. There was a Chuck E Cheese right there so we went and played games for a while. After a while we headed back and they had the tire! It was still too late to make it to the Valley Cats so we had to call Michelle again. With their season coming to an end, we wouldn't make it up this season. So around 3:30 we headed home! The Barnstormers were giving away Cylo t shirts that night so we thought we would get home in time for that game at least. After spending an hour and a half going just 5 miles we were in PA! Not sure if the traffic was just construction or people leaving NJ/NY because of hurricane Irene, but it was heavy! We finally got home around 6:30 and went to get our t shirts! So here is how we can sum up our trip:

Felt like this...

Saw too much of this:

and this...

and missed out on this...

but ended up back here...

and got one of these...

...and that's the short story! What a couple of days! Thanks to Michelle and the Tri City Valley Cats and what you have done for NAAF this summer and raising awareness. We are so thankful and will definately make it up next summer!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Caring Neighbors

Sunday afternoon there was a knock on our door. Our neighbors and friends, Ty and Kira, just got back from vacation in Florida. While there, they went to see the Jacksonville Suns...AA affiliate of the Florida Marlins. Ty was happy to bring me this paper and show me that he got 5 autographs for us. That was really awesome! We had to look them up to see who they were and they are: #7 Jake Smolinski, #23 Ben Lasater, #4 Kevin Mattison, #15 Paul Gran, and #28 Jeremy Synan. It was really cool that our friends were thinking of us while on their vacation! We are so thankful to have GREAT neighbors! Thanks Jenkins family! With these 5 we are now just 2 autographs shy of 1,000 for the season!

Todays autographs: 5
Season autographs: 998
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $49.90

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cover Boys!

We got a package from Joe at the National Alopecia Areata Foundation this weekend with the quarterly newsletter...Gavin and I are the cover story! The newsletter is full of stories of how people young and old deal with alopecia areata, research information, and different fundraisers like what we are doing. There is a special section called "Kidnet" that focuses on just what kids are doing to help the alopecia areata community. There are alot of different people doing things so it is pretty cool that we are on the cover. If you would like to know how can get a copy, just email me at

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Game 40: York Revolution 5 Road Warriors 0

Saturday night we headed to the other side of the river to watch the York Revolution take on the Road Warriors. Because 1 team left the league after last season, and the new team won't join until next season, the league is playing with an all road team. No home games...all on the road. There are several former Barnstormers playing for them so it was good to see them play as well. The Barnstormers have a Road Warrior heavy schedule in the last month of the season, so we will be seeing them alot! Great to see our friends in York as well...Ramon Castro, Chris Walker, and Octavio Martinez! I'm looking forward to a fun first round of the playoffs!

All Star Ramon Castro

Todays autographs: 38
Season autographs: 993
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $49.65

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Game 39: York Revolution 6 Lancaster Barnstormers 1

Wednesday night we took in the final meeting in Lancaster of the War of the Roses series. I love watching our cross town rivals play and we do have a few friends on the team. York came out on top tonight, but Lancaster won in York on Thursday to take back the Community cup this season. The final set of cards were given out for the Lancaster set so we were able to get quite a few autographs...closing in on 1,000!

Todays autographs: 25
Season autographs: 955
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $47.75

Monday, August 15, 2011

Games 36, 37, 38: Long Island Ducks sweep Lancaster Barnstormers

Hopefully this was not a preview of the Atlantic League Championship Series! The Barnstormers and Ducks both won the first halves of their divisions and could end up meeting in the championship series. Hopefully if they do, things will turn out differently. The Ducks came into Lancaster and swept a 3 game series in a wet and stormy weekend. It was a good weekend for autographs as we got to finish up the Duck cards that we had and they had another card giveaway for the Barnstormers Sunday. We also got to see our friend, Tom Pennino, and talk with him for a while. After this 3 game set, we are only 70 away from 1,000 for the season!

Gavin with some area mascots

Weekend autographs: 53
Season autographs: 930
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $46.50

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Heart as big as Texas!

On Friday we received a big box in the mail. It turns out that my friend Roni grew up with Mike Napoli, catcher and DH for the Texas Rangers. Roni told Mike what we were doing this season and he sent us a signed picture, 2 signed cards, and one of his catchers masks autographed!!! It was really awesome! Gavin and I took turns wearing it throughout the day. It was cool too because Mike was the catcher on my fantasy baseball team. Huge "THANK YOU" to Mike for the package and to Roni for making it happen!

Todays autographs: 4
Season autographs: 877
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $43.85

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Game 35: Somerset Patriots 4 Lancaster Barnstormers 3

We were able to catch a mid week game last night between the Somerset Patriots and the Lancaster Barnstormers. We decided to concentrate on the Patriots since it would be the last time we would see them this season and we'll be able to get the Barnstormers all weekend. The Patriots are always nice to us, a fun team to watch, and I'm sure they will be back in the playoff hunt next season. We were even able to get Sparky Lyle tonight!

Todays autographs: 21
Season autographs: 873
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $43.65

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New York Nickels

Aunt Margie and Aunt Kathleen recently sent me a package that was pretty cool...a bag full of nickels. Now it did have a few dimes, quarters, and pennies, but was mostly full of nickels. I thought it was pretty cool since I'm donating a nickel for each autograph I get. So how much was in the bag??? $24.95 worth of change!Thanks for your donation and support to Gavin and I as we raise awareness for alopecia areata!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Baby Marlins

This past weekend we got a package in the mail from Dave and our friends at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Floria. It is the home of the Jupiter Hammerheads and the Palm Beach Cardinals as well as the spring training home of the Marlins and Cardinals. Dave first responded back in May with a nice package that included a Mark McGwire and an Adam Wainwright autographed card.

This package included an Official Major League baseball, 2011 team card sets from the Hammerheads and Cardinals, as well as a 2011 Jupiter Hammerheads signed baseball. One of the signatures is the Marlins #2 prospect, Chad James. There was also a 1978 Topps card of Brent Strom who is the Cardinals minor league pitching instructor.
Thanks so much Dave and the staff at Roger Dean Stadium. Your support for us is greatly appreciated. Maybe next year we can make it to Florida. :)

Weekend autographs: 22
Season autographs: 852
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $42.60

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Game 33: Barnstormers 10 Riversharks 4 Game 34: Barnstormers 11 Riversharks 6

This past weekend the Camden Riversharks came to town to play the Barnstormers. It was exciting for us as Phillies fans to see Pedro Feliz get to play in Lancaster and we also got to see our friends and former Barnstormers Lloyd Turner and Juan Francia. Saturday night we got there early and Gavin got several cards autographed by the Riversharks. I was working on a Riversharks team signed ball so we ended up doing pretty well that night. Monday night we went back...different story. First, dad was working until 8 so he was going to meet us there. Mom took us and we got there during the National Anthem! That is WAAAAY to late! We didn't get any autographs before the game for the first time all season...maybe ever! That's OK, we can always get them to sign after the game. Little did we know that 2 outs into the first inning the skies opened up for a 56 minute rain delay. Once the game finally did start, the Barnstormers bats opened up. It was almost 10:00 and only in the 4th inning. That's right, we did it again. We left about 10:40 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Not only did we get there late, but we left early...NOOOOO! So we were going to leave with a SHUTOUT for the first time EVER!

But...we had a big spike in fans of our facebook page over the weekend and one of them had a surprise for us. Bob Ford is the Business development director for the Barnstormers and when he saw what we were doing, he got Pedro Feliz to sign a ball for us and had it in his office. Thanks to Bob we were not shut out.

Weekend autographs: 22
Season autographs: 830
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $41.50

Monday, August 1, 2011

Game 32: Christmas in July

Last Monday night the Barnstomers beat the York Revolution 8-5 at the Christmas in July game. They gave out stockings to the fans, had Christmas music playing, lots of Christmas decorations, and a visit from SANTA! They also played my latest video asking the players about their best Christmas present ever. We were waiting to do this post so we could put the video in, but will have to do it separately as soon as it is available. As far as autographs go, we went over the 800 mark for the season!

What is your best Christmas present ever?

Today's autographs: 12
Season autographs: 808
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $40.40