More Cowbell

      Well as Will Ferrell put it in his SNL skit depicting Harry Carey, “A lot of things happened, some good…some bad.”  This spring training has been very up and down.  Of course, it has been a very good experience.  But things are looking up for me people.  AJ actually managed a complete sentence that was directed at me.  AJ then asked a follow up question after I answered the first.  Once again people, things are really looking up.  I went to dinner with Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, and AJ the other day.  This was a huge bragging nugget to my friends back home.  I called a couple of friends the day before and casually brought up the fact that I was going to dinner with three all-stars and at least one sure fire hall of famer.  For all of you people who have heard such good things about Jim Thome, I just wanted to let you know they are all true.  Jim treated me as his equal when I have yet to step foot in a major league game.  He will be in the Hall of Fame, probably first ballot, and he treated me like I had known him for ten years.  There is a lot to be said for treating people like that. 

 

      I try everyday to make sure that I treat people in a way that I would like to be treated.  I will be the first to say that I love the fans.  The fans are why I play this game.  When I run out onto the field and the fans go crazy, that’s what fires me up, that’s what gets me ready to play.  I try to sign as many autographs as I can each day.  Problem is, sometimes it just isn’t going to happen.  There are days where it’s impossible.  I feel bad when I can’t sign every autograph but the fact is, I have a job to do.  If I pull a hamstring because I was not loose for the game, I am blamed for that.  I think there are moments when people forget that.  There is another problem which a lot of players keep in mind when signing autographs.  There are some people out there that try to profit off your signature.  THAT’S PRETTY SAD.  I was once approached by a little boy about six years old.  He ran up to me while I was going to the cage and asked if I could sign his baseball.  He then asked me if I could sign it on the “sweet spot”.  Pause right there and tell me when you were six did you know what a sweet spot was?  I did not find out until I was 18 years old!  Anyways, on with the story.  Even though I was a little suspicious of how he knew what the sweet spot was, I reached down to sign his ball.  My teammate, who will remain nameless, asked the little boy, “What’s your name buddy?”  Once we found out what his name was, my buddy asked him if it would be alright if I personalized the baseball to him.  Pause right there and tell me if you were six or you have a six year old child who wanted an autograph, wouldn’t you be ecstatic to have your name on the ball?  I know I would have been beyond pumped.  Personalizing a ball is genuine.  It means that you wanted it for you and no one else.  Back to the story.  The kid looked shocked and depressed when I asked him if I could personalize it for him.  He looked blankly around and then said ever so meekly and unexcitedly that I could.  Finally I went into the cage as the kid ran off.  My friend told me to watch from the cage.  I then watched the little boy run to a couple of grown men.  He started to walk with what I guess was his father and gently handed him the ball.  For me, this is one of the saddest moments I have had as a pro.  I love kids.  I love the fact in how genuine they are about getting autographs and how their joy helps make my job easier (not that it is too difficult).  I will never forget bawling after I heard the news that our game was cancelled one afternoon.  I was ten and my Dad had just called the game.  It’s that emotion, that love for baseball that I see in every kids eyes.  It always makes me smile.  So for all you true fans and kids out there, thank you for making my life easier and more enjoyable.  You truly are the reason I play the game.  The genuine people unfortunately get mixed with the guys who are there to profit, and for that I apologize.  For the true fans out there, I just want to say thank you.

 

      But it is basically all quiet on the western front ladies and gentlemen.  I will be heading east, back to my southern roots, on Saturday.  Back where people drink sweet tea, say “ya’ll” and “yes ma’am”.  Where there is more green than concrete and skyscrapers aren’t always metal.  Where there are actually trees, big majestic two-hundred year old oak trees entrenched in southern soil.  Where the writings of Pat Conroy float through the marsh breeze on the coast of the southern shore.  Where thunderstorms are actually welcomed after two months of no clouds.  But mainly, where baseball parks light up the bright red marinated sunset.

 

Should be fun.

 

     

HEY! Let me ask you a question.  If the moon were made of spare ribs would you eat it?  I know I would, heck…I’d have seconds, then I’d polish it off with a nice cold Budweiser.

 

Will Ferrell imitating Harry Carey

48 Comments

Hey Gordon — great post. Pure class and grace and you can’t help but be impressed by a ballplayer who manages to mention the great Pat Conroy in a sports blog. I guess this makes you the Great Gordini, sports fans. Anyway, you know this already, but never lose that love for the game and you’ve insured personal satisfaction with your baseball career no matter what the baseball gods have in store for you. Thome is a great role model for this. It’s what keeps guys like me playing in the geezer leagues into their 40’s and 50’s and it’s what keeps future Hall O’ Famers playing like baseball obsessed boys long after their bodies would rather be taking it a little easier. As for those baseball gods, they’ll blow you around in their typically fickle ways, but knowledgeable Sox fans have a feeling that great things are in store for you. The scouts have had their say about the physical tools (and your results are already proving them right) and you’re already showing the heart, soul, and mind that makes good players great. Good luck in Birmingham; see you soon in Chicago!

Great Post, Gordon!

When my son asks for your autograph, be sure to personalize it, and when his dopey father asks for an autograph as well, personalize that one too!

Good Luck in Birmingham!

Gordon – Excellent post! As a father with a young son (4) who loves baseball, I would never pimp him out to get an autograph for me to turn around and sell. That is just sickening. To me, autographs aren’t really that important anymore. I would rather have a picture of my son and me with the player. That would certainly mean more.Russhttp://wight4256.mlblogs.com

Excellent post. I still don’t know what the sweet spot is, and I got three autographs this spring. :) Unfortunately, I missed yours. I tried though. When I’m back at spring training next year, I’ll search you out, and you can sign my ball wherever makes you happy, and please personalize it! I’m just grateful that you guys take the time to sign for us. I was around a lot of people who got irritated and angry when some of you guys didn’t sign for everyone, a lot of people who weren’t very appreciative of actually getting an autograph. Please don’t lose your love of the game. It’s what makes watching the game more fun for people like me. It would really upset me to see someone my age who has so much potential to lose his love because of something related to someone else. Best of luck to you in Birmingham. I can’t wait to see you in Chicago. And please note that I’m super jealous of your dinner with Thome, Paulie, and AJ!
Jen
http://ajroxmywhitesox.mlblogs.com

Gordon,

Awesome post, and awesome to hear about your passion for the game. What you said is something all fans appreciate, and wish they had in their lives – the ability to enjoy what they do and be excited to go to work every day. Players like you are role models, not only to the little kids but the kids inside each of us. When someone as classy as you comes around, people respect you and hold you in high regard. Never change. Its more important to be a good person than a good ball player, in the end.

That being said, thanks for the sigi during Spring Training. Maybe you consider this to be “unfair,” but I asked my doctor to bring me back something signed, kind of kidding. When he actually handed me a ticked stub with your name on it, I was estatic. That ticket will never see the light of day on eBay, and I’ll cherish it just as much as if I was able to go to ST and ask you in person.

Good luck in Birmingham, and see you in the bigs soon!

AP

Gordon,

It’s so nice to hear a professional speak up about the pimpingout of children for autographs! I see it all the time at games during the season and at spring training. It really ruins it for us who want an autograph because they love the game of baseball and the player. As a female, I get the look of, “Who are you getting this autograph for?” all the time because I ask for the signature on the “sweet spot.” I do it because it looks the best there and it’s easier to show it off. I have over 100 autographed baseballs as a show piece in my room and can’t wait to add yours to it. Also, I would be honored if you personalized it because it would make it that more special.

Enjoy your time in Birmingham and good luck!

Natalie

Hey Gordon – great posts!! Besides baseball you have another gift with your writing skills. Best of luck in Birmingham and we’ll see you in Chicago soon. Looking forward to a long career on the South Side. I also hope you keep your writing skills sharp by blogging. And please don’t ever change your attitude. You and guys like Thome, Pauly, and AJ are what make the Sox so special.
TJB

Gordon,
You are quickly becoming one of, if not my top, favorite baseball players. Athletes like you serve as true role models for anyone playing in a sport, no matter what age. Thank you for always being there for the fans, even with those people who are just there to profit. Best of luck this year and for the rest of your career. Hope to see you soon in Chicago.
John

Hi Gordon! I am soooo lovin’ this blog already! I just wanted to say that I am not usually one to feed into all the hype of a player. However, I am already impressed with what little I have seen of your baseball skills, your writing skills and by your ability to be humble. Please stay that way. If you keep Jim Thome and Paul Konerko as models on how to be a professional baseball player, in my opinion, it will be no time before you are held in high regard, as they are! Best of luck to you this season and hope to see you at the Cell! Go Sox!
Lisa

Great post!
Poor kid. I hope his dad hasn’t ruined his love of baseball for him. That’s sad.
I go to school at Clemson University in Clemson, SC, so I totally know what you mean when you talk about the hey ya’ll’s and yes ma’am’s. I love it and sweet tea (the real reason I go to school in the south is so I don’t have to sweeten my own tea).
I am glad you had a good time with Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, and AJ.
Melissa
http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com

Anyone who quotes Will Ferrell’s Harry Caray is on the right track. “Would you rather be the top scientist in your field or have mad cow disease”

Work hard and we’ll see you at the Cell later this year or on opening day 2010.

Whiskers

Enjoy the south while you can Gordo because you wont be down there for very long. Make sure you fill up on the sweet tea and Chik-fil-a since they dont have that up here yet.
And dont forget the best thing about the south, those Georgia peaches.
Soft and fuzzy on the outside, pink and juicy on the inside, brother.

That’s a really sad story about the kid. It’s hard to get autographs when there are a bunch of adults around and kids as well. As a teenage female, I think it might be easier for me, but still. Great entry! I love your entusiasm for the game!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Gordon,
Very cool that you went to dinner with those guys, and that they treated you as an equal. I really like your motives for playing baseball. As far as autographs go, I hate it when people try and profit from autographs. They’re a really special thing for me at least, and those guys take away some of my chances on getting one. I mean, I really do care– I’m there two and a half hours early, waiting to get in the park. I also hate it when people ask players to give the ball to ANOTHER player. That’s sad too.
Good luck this year!!
Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

The challenge has been presented to you…

Play the “Game” at

http://www.mlpogame.wordpress.com

Where respect is earned…

The challenge has been presented to you…

Play the “Game” at

http://www.mlpogame.wordpress.com

Where respect is earned…

The challenge has been presented to you…

Play the “Game” at

http://www.mlpogame.wordpress.com

Where respect is earned…

You should demand a trade to the Pirates, pronto. Just saying.

http://eatsleepmlb.mlblogs.com

The two baseballs that you signed for me (the old fart) on the sweet spot at Buster’s reception are sitting on each of my grandson’s dressers, right next to the one’s signed by Buster. Have faith that they will be raised knowing that the true value is in these items and the stories behind them being passed down to their generation. BTW, my wife surprised me with a Bowman Sterling dual autograph card of you and Buster for my 38th anniversary gift. The gal really knows her traditions, doesn’t she? Good luck and I’m keeping close tabs down here in Leesburg. Thanks, LWH

The two baseballs that you signed for me (the old fart) on the sweet spot at Buster’s reception are sitting on each of my grandson’s dressers, right next to the one’s signed by Buster. Have faith that they will be raised knowing that the true value is in these items and the stories behind them being passed down to their generation. BTW, my wife surprised me with a Bowman Sterling dual autograph card of you and Buster for my 38th anniversary gift. The gal really knows her traditions, doesn’t she? Best of luck and I’m keeping close tabs down here in Leesburg. Thanks, LWH

The two baseballs that you signed for me (the old fart) on the sweet spot at Buster’s wedding reception are sitting on each of my grandson’s dressers, right next to the one’s signed by Buster. Have faith that they will be raised knowing that the true value is in these items and the stories behind them being passed down to their generation. BTW, my wife surprised me with a Bowman Sterling dual autograph card of you and Buster for my 38th anniversary gift. The gal really knows her traditions, doesn’t she? Best of luck and I’m keeping close tabs down here in Leesburg. Thanks, LWH

That last paragraph of the post was awesome! You could be the next Pat Conroy :)

btw, all the stuff you’ve ever signed for me is in the “UGA room” including the personalized bat… I will never understand how anyone could put a price tag on seeing a great athlete play a game, be a hero and take a moment to thank a fan.

Thanks Gordon!
Srav

Nice post Gordon! You are becoming one of my favorite blogs. I have to say I totally understand the autograph thing. We went to Camelback at the end of March and my son was so excited to have such access to the players, but there were some pretty ignorant adults pushing him out of the way to get one of the pictures in their accordian file of pictures signed. My son and daughter each had a ball getting all their favorites to sign the one ball and were so excited by it! You were very kind to them when you came by after all of the “big boys” left already. Don’t think it went unnoticed. You are a classy guy Gordon and my kids appreciated you taking the time to sign.

Mr. Beckham:

Great post. I got to see you play in several games last season in Kannapolis and I look forward to seeing you in Charlotte shortly.

I help my sons collect autographs at games and they usually want me to ask for the autograph as they grin from ear-to-ear. Ball players are among the great immortals for them. My father and I did the same when I was younger. Those autographs we collected at minor league ballparks are among my most valued treasures. I hope my sons enjoy the time we spend at ballgames.

We collect autographs through the mail also. Everyday I’m asked, “Any mail for me, daddy?” We have several Thome cards signed and I hope that my future grandchildren will get them. My sons can tell them how I helped get the autographs for them when they were kids. Please sign all of the TTM requests you can and the heck with the eBayers. The joy you bring to the many children and true fans of the game far surpasses the greed of dishonest folks.

Hoping to see you soon in Charlotte,

Edward Watson
“The meaning of life is found in serving others.”
http://www.mysouth.org

Mr. Beckham:

Great post. I got to see you play in several games last season in Kannapolis and I look forward to seeing you in Charlotte shortly.

I help my sons collect autographs at games and they usually want me to ask for the autograph as they grin from ear-to-ear. Ball players are among the great immortals for them. My father and I did the same when I was younger. Those autographs we collected at minor league ballparks are among my most valued treasures. I hope my sons enjoy the time we spend at ballgames.

We collect autographs through the mail also. Everyday I’m asked, “Any mail for me, daddy?” We have several Thome cards signed and I hope that my future grandchildren will get them. My sons can tell them how I helped get the autographs for them when they were kids. Please sign all of the TTM requests you can and the heck with the eBayers. The joy you bring to the many children and true fans of the game far surpasses the greed of dishonest folks.

Hoping to see you soon in Charlotte,

Edward Watson
“The meaning of life is found in serving others.”
http://www.mysouth.org

Mr. Beckham:

Great post. I got to see you play in several games last season in Kannapolis and I look forward to seeing you in Charlotte shortly.

I help my sons collect autographs at games and they usually want me to ask for the autograph as they grin from ear-to-ear. Ball players are among the great immortals for them. My father and I did the same when I was younger. Those autographs we collected at minor league ballparks are among my most valued treasures. I hope my sons enjoy the time we spend at ballgames.

We collect autographs through the mail also. Everyday I’m asked, “Any mail for me, daddy?” We have several Thome cards signed and I hope that my future grandchildren will get them. My sons can tell them how I helped get the autographs for them when they were kids. Please sign all of the TTM requests you can and the heck with the eBayers. The joy you bring to the many children and true fans of the game far surpasses the greed of dishonest folks.

Hoping to see you soon in Charlotte,

Edward Watson
“The meaning of life is found in serving others.”
http://www.mysouth.org

Mr. Beckham:

Great post. I got to see you play in several games last season in Kannapolis and I look forward to seeing you in Charlotte shortly.

I help my sons collect autographs at games and they usually want me to ask for the autograph as they grin from ear-to-ear. Ball players are among the great immortals for them. My father and I did the same when I was younger. Those autographs we collected at minor league ballparks are among my most valued treasures. I hope my sons enjoy the time we spend at ballgames.

We collect autographs through the mail also. Everyday I’m asked, “Any mail for me, daddy?” We have several Thome cards signed and I hope that my future grandchildren will get them. My sons can tell them how I helped get the autographs for them when they were kids. Please sign all of the TTM requests you can and the heck with the eBayers. The joy you bring to the many children and true fans of the game far surpasses the greed of dishonest folks.

Hoping to see you soon in Charlotte,

Edward Watson
“The meaning of life is found in serving others.”
http://www.mysouth.org

Mr. Beckham:

Great post. I got to see you play in several games last season in Kannapolis and I look forward to seeing you in Charlotte shortly.

I help my sons collect autographs at games and they usually want me to ask for the autograph as they grin from ear-to-ear. Ball players are among the great immortals for them. My father and I did the same when I was younger. Those autographs we collected at minor league ballparks are among my most valued treasures. I hope my sons enjoy the time we spend at ballgames.

We collect autographs through the mail also. Everyday I’m asked, “Any mail for me, daddy?” We have several Thome cards signed and I hope that my future grandchildren will get them. My sons can tell them how I helped get the autographs for them when they were kids. Please sign all of the TTM requests you can and the heck with the eBayers. The joy you bring to the many children and true fans of the game far surpasses the greed of dishonest folks.

Hoping to see you soon in Charlotte,

Edward Watson
“The meaning of life is found in serving others.”
http://www.mysouth.org

Hey Mr. Handey,
Enjoyed the post. I collected autographs as a kid and it’s nice to look over them on my bookshelves when I return home from college over break. Even though I am a Sox fan, I’d often hop on a train to Wrigley during my childhood summers and get the opposing team’s autographs when they showed up to the ballpark around 930am for day games. I know exactly what you are talking about. Those autograph hounds who would stand around with us are the scum of the earth. I even had my binder of baseball cards taken by one of them when Juan Gonzalez signed for me and none of them. I don’t know why, but I did however like it better when you guys would sign on the sweet spot. It just looks nicer on the shelf. I look forward to passing my collection on to my children. On a side note, if you ever see that kid again I have a suggestion for you:

One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. “Oh, no,” I said. “Disneyland burned down.” He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.

I hope you take that advice to heart. Keep postin’.

-Tom from Glenview

And yes, I would eat the moon. If you were a hot dog, would you eat yourself? I know I would. First I’d smother myself with brown mustard and relish. I’d be so delicious.

I just wanted to let you know, you are doing a great job in your attempts to treat the fans well and sign autographs. I know that some people reading this might think you are just writing what you think fans want to hear, but it is clearly genuine with you. When I was at spring training I brought a white sox flag to get signed by the team, and you not only signed it, but the next day you were about to sign it again. I can think of only one other player who sidestep down the entire wall, signing everything pointed in their direction. I wanted to let you know just how appreciated that is. Some young players, who’s names I won’t mention, have already forgotten what it was like before they were super stars and I am glad that you have resisted this tendency so far. Between your attitude and great play while I was at spring training, you will be my favorite player on the team when you make it.

Let me tell ya something man. You hit the nail on the head. The thing is, I really think the vast majority, and I mean 90% or maybe more, truly just want autographs to collect. It’s just a handful of people who do it to make money that ruin it for everyone else. And the sad part is, with things like ebay, collectibles are so easy to get your hands on nowadays that the value has gone down a great deal. That being said, I know it takes a little bit more time, but I’m surprised more guys don’t offer to personalize an autograph. If the fan says no, player says no. I think that would weed out a lot of the moochers, and also make for a more personable experience with the fan. And it really stinks for people who are in a situation like mine. My best friend and I, both die hard baseball fans, live on opposite sides of the country, so we see different teams and do our best to get a ball or whatever for each other. You get a lot of weird looks when you try to get two balls on said “sweet spot.” Although if you tell them it’s for a friend, they likely won’t believe you. This is a true story: I was in a situation tonight where I was trying to get a top prospect to sign a couple balls while, at the same time, my buddy was trying to get a Hall of Famer to sign a couple of balls so we could swap. I’m not sure if the guy believed my story or just signed because he thought I made up such a far fetched story, but he did sign them. I wish he knew how grateful people really can be for small gestures like that.

Anyways, kudos to you for speaking out on the subject. I wish more players would do so. Good luck with what I’m sure will be a stellar career!

You signed a ball at a preseason practice before the 2008 UGA season for my son (Tyler). He didn’t ask you to sign a ball. Didn’t even have a ball. He just saw you standing at the end of the dugout and wanted to talk to his hero. Not only did you talk to him like he was a lifelong friend, you personalized a ball you guys had in the dugout and tossed it to him.

The ball is still one of his most treasured possessions. Not to mention he still listens to that “Your Love” song all the time on his iPod.

Keep being a role model, Gordo. We’re all proud of ya.

Gordon…….
Are you part of the Peavy deal? I hate it personally….but if youre in SD, it will make it a little better

Gordon:

Take it from a lifelong White Sox fan — YOU CAN’T GET TO CHICAGO FAST ENOUGH!!!!!
That team is a mess and it needs you bad. You should be up there learning from guys like Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye before they leave.
White Sox fand are counting the days until you are starting in that infield.

Gordon, good luck and I hope to see you in CHI being able to contribute on a daily basis. I am also looking forward to getting to know you more as a ballplayer. Which will have to do because I have no idea who you are off the field.

Congrats on the promotion to AAA, hope the transition to 3rd base is treating you well.

love the title of the article. reminds me of seeing you play in Foley, since that was one of their favorite midgame clips. So glad to know things are going well for you and that you are still playing with the passion I saw when you played at UGA.

It is sad to know that people are using their kids for autographs. I know how awesome it is to get an autograph and truly appreciate every guy that takes their time to do that for the fans. I have a UGA hat that almost the entire team has signed from this year, and i have it displayed in my room.

I would love to add your sig one day to a collection, with a personalization i.e. “Go Dawgs”

best of luck!

Hey Gordon, I just heard you are heading for the BIGS! Welcome to the Chicago White Sox. We are so happy to have you!!!!!!!!!!!

Congrats on being called up, Gordon! Good luck today!
Jen
http://ajroxmywhitesox.mlblogs.com

Congrats on getting called up Gordon! I have been a HUGE white sox fan ever since i can remember and im sure you will be a great part of the organization… I also went to university of kentucky last year and am also a huge baseball fan, so luckily i got to watch you play in college! Congrats again! We’ll all be watching you!

Shake and bake 15!! So excited for you and the fam; we will be watching every game the rest of the season. Chicago is lucky to have another baseball hero, and what better one to have than a former Georgia Dawg. It is so awesome! Never been to the windy city, but have a terrific reason to travel there now. Remember to “look south”, and know you are loved. AH

I really enjoyed watching you playing this season. Thanks.

RobertJ
http://superbaseball.blinkweb.com/

Mr. Beckham,
You are doing a great job for us!! We live in Iowa, so don’t get to many games, but were in town for 3 games last week…including the perfect game!! My 7 year old daughter loves White Sox baseball, and trust me- she knows where the sweet spot is! :) That is a rarity, though-for a kid to know that kind of info, I agree with you on that. She doesn’t care where the players sign, she’s just happy to be there! She had some great $$ offers for her autographed ball after Thursday’s game, but she was like “NO WAY!”
She hopes to see you and get your autograph next time we’re able to catch a game.
Keep up the great work,

Tammy

Hey Gordon,
I hope you get better to play this week. I hope the injury isn’t to bad. Get well soon!

Hey Gordon,
I hope you get better to play this week. I hope the injury isn’t to bad. Get well soon!

Dear Gordon,
Happy 23rd Birthday! Congrats! I can’t wait to see you play on the 19th. We sit front row bullpen so we have a great view. I really want to get your autograph and have it personalized. I can’t wait! Happy Birthday!

From,
Lauren

Wow so this is really gordo?! awesome! I just wante dot say I was so happy to meet you at soxfest this past weekend. Probably one of the nicest and most awesome person i’ve met! plus i’m a huge fan so of course i’m going to think that. I can’t wait for baseball season to start and see u play! u know i’ll be cheering for you in the crowd! Thanks for making my day! xoxo :)

Great post! Yea, thats pretty sad, but the reality, that many people are trying to profit off of signatures. I would hope that every pro personalizes everything they sign! Enjoy the spring training aprilaire

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