Diamonds and Ice

Sign this
May 9, 2008, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you’re a big Chicago Cubs fans or Ryne Sandberg fan and haven’t acquired his autograph, yet, you’re not trying. In his two years in the Midwest League, Sandberg (who managed the Peoria Chiefs) has been incredibly gracious giving his time to sign, sign and sign for fans.

For instance, Sandberg signed for about 10 to 15 minutes prior to each of the three games his team played last week against the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Memorial Stadium. Then he’d sign autographs for a couple minutes after games as he was walking from his team’s clubhouse to its bus.

The Kernels did a good job of organizing things. Autograph seekers were ushered down the left-field line in the lawn section along the wall. An usher was constantly seated at the side of the Peoria dugout to shoo away anyone who didn’t have a ticket to sit in the area.

After games, barricades were set up to allow Peoria players and coaches a clear path to their bus following the game. Fans lined up along the barricades in hopes of having Sandberg sign for them.

Went to the Peoria game at Clinton on Thursday night (yes, I’m a loser) and the LumberKings had a similar pregame and postgame setup. Interestingly, Peoria and Clinton got into a bench-clearing episode late in the game, with Sandberg apparently upset with Clinton Manager Mike Micucci over one of his players bunting with his team up 7-0. Sandberg and Clinton player Tim Smith were ejected. At one point in the scrum, someone pushed Sandberg hard in the chest, knocking him over and into a roll. So much for respecting a Hall of Famer, huh?