I attended the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes' game on Thursday, April 24th in Adelanto against the High Desert Mavericks. My buddy was able to get free tickets and I couldn't pass up the chance to get some signatures from some of the Los Angeles Dodgers' best and brightest young prospects.
The main goal of the day was nabbing uber-prospect Julio Urias on the sweet-spot. I happened to only have a pair of Cal League balls on me that my buddy who used to work for High Desert was able to get me, and thankfully Julio was a great signer. I was able to get him to sign the sweet-spot right before he headed into the clubhouse, and he was nice enough to include his number with his John Hancock.
My other huge goal was one I was unable to achieve last season: getting Corey Seager, my favorite Blue Crew prospect, on the sweet-spot. I was able to stop Corey as he was heading down to the field, and asked if he wouldn't mind signing. He obliged and also honored my request that he sweet-spot. It almost certainly helped that Corey was working through an injury and didn't play as he's been on the DL. I intend on getting both Julio and Corey on ROMLB at some point in the hopefully not too distant future.
Here's where things get interesting, and not entirely in a good way. Before getting Julio to sign a baseball, I was able to get him to sign a photo as he walked down to the field. I was stoked obviously, and before retiring for some sleep after getting home I decided to look at my haul. To my dismay, the Urias photo had somehow been damaged by water in the top corner. I had no alternative but to cut off the damaged photo paper. I did have water in my backpack, but it was in an entirely different compartment; closed tightly; one had yet to even be opened; and the other one was almost empty. It's a mystery I have yet to solve.
Tom Windle was the club's 2nd-round pick out of Minnesota last year. He was actually the first player I was able to stop and he kindly signed a pair of pictures for me, including the above one featuring him in his Gophers' garb. Like the previous Urias, it too sustained water-damage and had to be worked on. I will be getting both of these damaged photos replaced the next time the opportunity presents itself.
One interesting project I wanted to complete in one trip was getting this photo signed by both Windle and the starter that night, Chris Anderson. Anderson was the club's 1st-round selection last year and I've always liked this shot of both of them visiting Dodger Stadium and wearing Dodger uniforms. Anderson pitched very well and was nice enough to sign a pair of photos for me post-game.
Here's the Action Anderson picture, complete with signature.
One of my favorite prospects that I feel does not get enough love is Lindsey Caughel. I had the opportunity to meet him last year at a Quakes' game and he was nice enough to toss me the last ball he used to warm-up pre-game. He then signed said baseball sweet-spot after his start. I wanted to get him on a photo from his time with the Ogden Raptors. I decided to switch pens prior to getting Caughel outside by the team bus, and I'm glad I did, because I found my new pen for autographed photos. Lindsey inscribed his current number, which is always cool.
Finally, I was able to secure a third autograph from the 17-year-old Urias -- I feel weird just typing that, and even older thinking about it -- on another photo and with my new blue sharpie. He inscribed his number once again, and that small pink smudge to the right of the "J" came from his hands and is on the actual picture. It's awesome, and I intend on getting this same photo signed once again. Why, you may ask? Because this one isn't staying with me. A good friend requested I try and snag him Urias' signature for our upcoming in-person trade, and Julio was nice enough to sign after leaving the clubhouse on his way to the bus.