Tuesday, February 23, 2016

IP Recap: The Bird and Brian

Spring training started late last week for pitchers and catchers for the Cardinals along with most other teams.  Today is the first full workout for all Cardinals players, meaning exhibition games are right around the corner.  I have a love/hate feeling for this time of year.  I love the fact baseball has started.  I hate the fact February also starts dance competition season for my daughter.

OK, hate is too strong of a word.  Dislike may fit better.  My daughter has danced in various competitions the last 4 years.  There is anywhere from 4-5 competitions each spring that we drive at least two hours to, with a national competition in Ohio being a 7 hour drive.   Youth sports can be expensive, but dancing is right up there with it.  Monthly class fees, costume fees, and competition fees add up very quickly.  Worse yet, you cannot sell a used dance costume that you outgrow like you can with a baseball glove that is too small.  I support my daughter 100% while she is dancing and enjoy watching her during her 5-6 minutes of stage time.  It is the other 3-4 hours of time watching young girls shake body parts they should not that leaves me thinking when will this end.  At least this appears to be her last year dancing, as sports will take a more prominent place in her life during junior high.
Last weekend was her first competition in Collinsville, IL.  I was lucky enough to be searching the internet last week and found out a sporting goods store in St. Louis was having a baseball expo with former Cardinal Brian Jordan signing autos for free from 12-2.  Since it was just a 20 minute drive from the dance competition, my son and I were able to get away for it.  I had been to one of these signings a few years ago when Willie McGee was there.  People were lined up 2 hours before he started, so I did not wait around for the slight chance to get his auto.  This year was completely different.    

  We arrived about 12:30 and found the line was less than 30 people deep.  While waiting in line, my son got his first auto of the day

 Cardinals mascot Fredbird

Fredbird helped passed the 10 minute wait until we got to the front of the line.  Jordan signed my son's bat that has about 40 other signatures on it.  He was very nice and took a picture with him.  I got 2 cards signed.  

We put our autos back in the van and went back into the store to hit in the indoor batting cage.  After we finished, I noticed Jordan had less than 10 people in line.  The workers said anyone can jump back in line if they wanted since there was still an hour left for the signing. I got one more card signed.

The store was providing free 8x10s for anyone that did not bring a ball or card with them.  My son grabbed one.

All 3 cards came out nice, but the photo is great.  Nice big bold signature with his full name.  He thanked us for coming and being Cardinals fans.  I cannot argue about 5 free autos.  The store was even giving away free hot dogs and water.  I almost felt guilty getting all the free things, but I did end up buying a bat for my son. 

All in all a great day.  My daughter's dance group finished first in both her routines, so everyone left happy.


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