Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Pitches...STRIKES!

Sunday the 18th was the final game of the regular season for the Barnstormers. They finished up their season against the Road Warriors and one last tune up before the playoffs started. I always love fan appreciation day because of all the giveaways, but don't like that it means it is the end of the season. As the kid reporters, Gavin and I were invited to throw out the first pitches and we both threw strikes (from the mound). It was an awesome year kid reporting and I hope we can do it next year.

So, what was your favorite report that I did? How about Gavin? Let us know by leaving a comment here or on our facebook page.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Games 46, 47, and 48

The end of the season has been a wet one! Game 46 we traveled to York to see our friends on the Bridgeport Bluefish one last time for the season. There was rain coming and the tarp was covered when we got there. We ended up just hanging out and talking to Luis Lopez for a while. He is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet! He has been so kind to our family and has really been a good friend to us. We also got to talk to Antonio Alfonseca and I got him to sign a ball and card for a friend of ours that is getting married. Lots of Bluefish were wearing the NAAF bands and stopped by to say hi. The game ended up getting rained out but that's ok because it was more fun hanging with them during the rain delay.

Games 47 and 48 were the final 2 games of the regular season for the Barnstormers and they were playing the Road Warriors. I'm sure the Road Warriors were ready to be done as they have spent the entire season traveling. It would have been cool to have the Barnstormers let them be the home team, let them pick their walk up music, and have the crowd cheer for them as they really have no fans because they have no home. We do know several guys that play for them that are former Barnstormers. Josh Johnson is their catcher and he signed a bat for me to auction off...Thanks Josh! So the regular season is over for all of minor league baseball. On to the playoff updates shortly!

Luis Lopez with Kyle

Today's Autographs: 24
Season autographs: 1140
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $57.00

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Raising Awareness with the Barnstormers

Saturday night was our big silent auction to raise awareness for alopecia areata. It was our first time doing an event like this and was a lot of work...but a lot of fun! We auctioned off some autographed photos, bat, jersey, and some balls that we got during the season or were donated to us. It was game 3 of the playoffs between the Lancaster Barnstormers and York Revolution. Since York is only about 30 minutes from Lancaster, we knew there would be some Revs fans there as well. The Revolution also donated a few autographed items for us to sell as well.

Due to the rain out on Friday, a couple of guys that were scheduled to sign autographs could not make the Saturday game. We did have Eric Ackerman who is the only player to win a championship with Lancaster (06) and York (10). He signed autographs and talked to the fans before heading back to the mound to throw out the first pitch. We got to hand out the NAAF awareness bands, talk to people about our cause, and meet Carla. She has alopecia areata and has never met anyone else that has it. I hope we were able to provide a little support for her and spread the word around Lancaster and York.

So, now the big question...How much did we raise? $726! A huge thank you to the Barnstormers for letting us have our auction there and for their items. We also want to thank the Revolution, Josh Johnson, Sandy Keyes, Tommy Everidge, Beth Cardwell Photography, Aaron Herr, and Coach Cummings for their donation of auction items. Last I would like to thank my entire family for helping out and making the night a huge success!

Check out the photos below and back to updating the autographs tomorrow!

The boys with Eric Ackerman

Blake and Carla

Eric Ackermans first pitch...notice the alopecia areata band on the right hand!

The boys with Sandy Keyes winner of the autographed 8x10 Barnstormer kid reporter photo

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Silent Auction and Autograph Booth

I do have a couple of autograph posts to catch up on, but we have been very busy planning our silent auction to be held at tomorrow nights Lancaster Barnstormers vs York Revolution playoff game. When the gates open at 6:00 on Friday night, our first silent auction will begin. This will be a great night to raise money for the National Alopecia Areat Foundation. We have been working hard all season and have had a blast doing it. There will be a table with brochures and the popular NAAF baseball bands, a silent auction table, and we will be having a pre game autograph session with several former Barnstormers. Looking forward to a great night and hope the rain holds off! Here are some of the items that will be auctioned off, there will be a few last minute additions for any Revolution fans in the house!

*Lancaster Barnstormers Team Signed Ball
*Lancaster Barnstormers First Pitch for any game in 2012
*Inning in the Radio booth with Dave Collins in 2012
*Suite Night for 20 people in the 2012 season (food and beverage not included)
*Exclusive meet and greet with the team in 2012 – includes watching batting practice on the field and behind the scenes tour
* Cal Ripken Jr signed baseball
*Matt Watson signed 2010 game used A's jersey
*J.D. Durbin signed 2007 game used Twins jersey
*Tommy Everidge 8x10 signed A's photos
*TJ Beam 8x10 signed Yankees photo
*Brandon Jones 8x10 signed Braves photos
* $150 gift certificate to Beth Cardwell Photography

Confirmed autograph guests are:

Denny Harriger 2006

Eric Ackerman 2005-2010

Kevin Wilson 2005

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Team Up for Alopecia Areata

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation announced that they would use baseball as a platform to raise awareness during September, which is awareness month. Friday, September 23, the Lancaster Barnstormers and Autographs 4 Alopecia have teamed up for an awareness night during the first home playoff game in 5 years! We will be having a silent auction, table with brochures and wrist bands, and scoreboard messages during the game. Thank you to the Barnstormers for helping us raise awareness in the Lancaster and York fan bases. Game time is set for 7:00!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our Buddies!

One of the cool things the Barnstormers booster club does is the secret buddy program. This was our first year for it and you get little gift bags of goodies for your "buddy" during each home stand during the season. We actually ended up with 3 buddies this year. Our first was Jerome Williams. After starting 6-0 for the Barnstormers he was signed by the Angels and sent to AAA. If you follow baseball at all you know where he is now. After getting called back up to the majors for the first time in 4 years, he is now 3-0 with the Angels and in the middle of a pennant race. Last week he pitched a 1 hitter for his 3rd win! Way to go Jerome!

Once he left the team, we were assigned Adam Calderone. He has spent most of his career in the Blue Jays organization between AA and AAA. Late in the season he was put on the inactive list so he could go home and be with his wife who was having their first baby. Congrats Adam!

Our third buddy is Yaibel Tamayo. He has mostly played in the independent leagues and is a really nice guy. At the end of the season while the players are eating their post game meal, you get to meet your buddy so they can see who has been behind the gifts. Even though we knew Jerome and Adam we were not allowed to tell them they were our buddy. It was pretty cool when we finally got to meet Yaibel. Go Yaibel!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Luke Murton!

Luke Murton is my Uncle John's nephew and was drafted by the Yankees in 2009. We had the opportunity to see him play at Georgia Tech and his rookie year at Staten Island. He was with the High A Tampa Yankees this season and has had a good start to his career. We contacted him and he sent us these 4 cards. Thanks Luke...hope to see you in Trenton next year!

Gavin and I with Luke in 2009

Today's Autographs: 4
Season autographs: 1123
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $56.15

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tri City Valley Cats

When we started out our autograph campaign in the spring, I sent a letter to minor league teams seeking donations of any old card sets they might have left. We have lots of minor league baseball teams in the area, both affiliated and independent leagues. This would give us the opportunity to get those cards signed and we couldn't afford to buy them all. I knew not all the teams would respond and would be thankful for any team that did respond. If you read the early posts on our blog you can see that many teams participated. Gavin and I couldn't wait to check the mail to see if we got something. There is one team that had several responses...the Tri City Valley Cats. They are the short season team for the Houston Astros. Back in April, Michelle Skinner sent us a package that included LOTS of team card sets, t shirt, Ben Zobrist bobble head, and stickers. That was by far more than we expected and we were so thankful...but there's more. We received a letter in June stating that the Valley Cats and Finnigans Sports Cards would be teaming up to make a donation to NAAF through Autographs 4 Alopecia.

We headed out the week before school to catch a game in Troy, NY and receive a check for NAAF. Unfortunately this happened and we never made it. When we got home from Cleveland there was a package waiting for us from Michelle and the Valley Cats. When we opened the box, there were t shirts, hats, stadium replica, baseballs, 2011 team card set, and a Hunter Pence bobble head. There was also a check in there for $300! We are so thankful to Michelle, Jeff at Finnigans Sports Cards, and the entire Valley Cats organization for their thoughtfulness. We will definitely be visiting the Capital region next summer and already can't wait!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Scott Patterson...Barnstormers!

Scott Patterson is one of the original Barnstormers. He was the starting pitcher in the first ever game at Clipper Magazine Stadium in 2005. After being with the Barnstormers for a couple of seasons, he was the first Barnstormer to make it to the "Show" when he made his major league debut for the Yankees in 2008. He has since pitched for the Padres, back to the Barnstormers, and now with the Tacoma Rainiers...AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. After finding out what we were doing by one of our friends, Scott sent us a few of his 2011 Tacoma Rainiers baseball cards. Thanks Scott for the cards and Olivia for making the connection!

Today's Autographs: 3
Season autographs: 1119
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $55.95

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pictures from Cleveland

Jim Thome with the family

Jim Thome with Blake and Gavin

Manager Manny Acta

Manny Acta with Alopecia Areata wristband

1st round draft pick and future star Franciso Lindor

Justin Masterson

Ubaldo Jiminez

Honorary Bat Boys

Grady Sizemore

Rally Alley

The Game

Slider with Blake and Gavin

Enjoying the game

Browns cornerback Joe Haden

Tigers Victor Martinez

Game 45: Detroit Tigers 10 Cleveland Indians 1

As the honorary bat boys for the Indians, we figured we would do pretty good on autographs...and we did. Most of them were by the Indians, but we did get a few Tigers too. All of the players we came in contact with from both teams were super nice. When we first got there, Gavin was asked who his favorite Indian is. He loves Shin-Soo Choo! Since he is on the DL he was not going to be at batting practice...bummer! In the 3rd inning, Jess (our Indians rep) came down to our seats with a signed ball and signed picture for Gavin. AWESOME! So here are some of the autographs we got that night...

Jim Thome signed bat!

Balls signed by Victor Martinez, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Shin-Shoo Choo

Gavin got his ticket signed by Duane Below, Tigers

Today's Autographs: 49
Season autographs: 1116
YTD $ raised for Alopecia Areata: $55.80