Thursday, July 30, 2009
1994 Signature Rookies Draft Picks, Steve Woodard
#82 Steve Woodard
To be honest, I still am not sure how I got this card signed. I got it signed last year while I was at a Round Rock Express game. Steve was pitching for the Albuquerque Isotopes at the time.
Now, in order to set this story straight, I have to start at the beginning. And the beginning of this story starts in the seventh inning. Albuquerque's Scott Nestor is pitching and he is the thrid Isotope pitcher at that point and the team was down 6-2. Nestor gave up three straight singles (and a run) and was facing Yordany Ramirez with no outs and runners on first and third. Yordany had hit a two-run home run in the previous at-bat. On the first pitch, Nestor hit him with a curve ball and immediately got tossed by the home plate umpire. The Isotopes manager came out and argued for a good twenty minutes. He had been tossed early in the argument, but he was reluctant to leave the field. Whoever took charge of the 'Topes didn't even bother to bring in a new pitcher until the manager left the field. When he finally left, Steve Woodard was brought into the game. Since he was entering the game because of an ejection, he had all the time he needed to warm up.
As he was warming up, he kept saying stuff to the third base umpire. He finally threw his final warm-up pitch and got ready to face the hitter. He said something else to the third base umpire (who said something back) and finally toed the rubber with the bases loaded and no outs. Before he even got the sign, he looked over at the third base umpire. I'm not sure if he said anything or not, but he got tossed before he even threw a single pitch. I've been to quite a few games, but that was a first for me.
So, the 'Topes had to bring in another pitcher that had as much time as was needed to warm up. From the time of the beaning to the next pitch was a good 45 minutes. It was pretty ridicoulous.
So, Steve headed for the locker room. In Round Rock, the locker room is behind the left field fence. In fact, it is so far behind the fence that the players have to walk across the concourse to get from the field to the locker room (it is a great place for autographs, by the way).
Steve ended up watching the rest of the game from the concourse there. I went up to him and asked for an autograph and he told me that they weren't allowed to sign during the game. So, I waited around that area until the game was over.
While I was waiting, I ended up standing next to one of the EMTs that was assigned to the game. I must have been going through my book to see who I still needed because she ended up asking about it. She thought that it was pretty cool and I told her that I was waiting for the game to get over so that I could get Woodard's autograph and I pointed to him so she could see who I was talking about.
As soon as the last out was recorded, I walked straight over to Steve, but he had already started to head back to the locker room. I asked him to sign and he either didn't hear me or ignored me, and he kept on walking. So, I found a spot to stand to wait for the other players that would be coming across the concourse when the EMT walked up to me. She told me that if I wanted Woodard's autograph, I had better get it now and pointed to where he was. I headed over to him and he signed my three cards and headed back into the clubhouse.
Apparently the EMT was able to get him back out there for a second. I have no idea how she did it, but I certainly appreciated it.
Click on the Steve Woodard link at the top. It will take you to the Baseball Almanac page that has this card on it. But their card was one of the insert autographs from this set. Check out how much his signature has changed from 1994 to 2008. It's pretty drastic.