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Thread: Went to a card show and a ballgame broke out

  1. #1
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    Went to a card show and a ballgame broke out

    This past Saturday was an odd one for me. I decided to make the 85-mile trek down the road from my cozy home in Austin to the ghastly confines of the Alamodome in San Antonio for a card show. The flyer I had picked up for it said there would be Lou Brock and a couple other HOF signers, and the listing on Beckett said it would be 100 tables (or so I thought). The flyer also said it would be in the Alamodome. This is a bit unusual, but not unheard of because many time stadia have ancillary rooms or other spaces where events are held. Anyway, off I went.

    When I got there, I noticed a large police presence and a parking lot somewhat more full than I'd expect for a card show, so I figured there was some other event going on. When I went to park, it was $20. I was flabbergasted, because that's an extremely stiff price. That's like Saturday night downtown Austin swanky restaurant valet prices. So I was torn. Gas for the trip cost about $20 round trip, so I figured I was in it. Plus, it's my first show since last summer, and I was sure I'd find something good amongst the 100 tables. So I stumped up for it. People were tailgating, taking up 2 or 3 spots right near the front with barbecues and such. I noticed a lot of people wearing Rangers shirts, and a few Astros shirts. People really do dress the part for this show, I guess.

    When I got to the gate, having to go through security metal detection and looking through my bag (containing my wantlist, binder with empty sheets, notepad, pens, magnifying glass, screwdriver, and extra top-loaders, no outside food I promise), I am asked for my ticket.
    "What ticket? I just want to go to the card show."
    "I don't know anything about that."
    "Isn't there a card show here?"
    "I don't know anything about that. But if you want to get into the building, you need to have a ticket."
    "Groan. Fine, where do I get a ticket."
    "The box office."
    "Where's the box office?"
    "Right over there."

    So I wander over to the box office, but on the way I notice the electronic billboard by the dome. The Rangers and Astros are having an exhibition game today, in the Alamodome. I didn't think that was possible, but here is was. No wonder all the people, police, lines, and demands for tickets. The cheapest ticket is $10. I'm pissed. I call up the promoter and complain. I have to pay $30 to get into this card show? There as nothing on the flyer, Beckett, or the promoter's website about any of this. Parking, that's out of his control, but there's no street parking, and locals charge $20 to park in their driveways.

    So I stewed. My girlfriend called me at that point to find out how things were going. I vented a bit. She said I should just buy the ticket because I was already there and I love baseball and all that. Then I realized she was right. Here I am trying to buy baseball cards and I was annoyed that there was actual major league baseball interfering with that? Sometimes I am dumb.

    So I pulled out a $10 bill and went back to the box office and bought the cheapest ticket, which I was told was $10.
    "That's $11."
    "How does it go from being $10 to $11?"
    "Service fee."
    "What service does the extra $1 buy me?"
    "Buying the ticket."

    I very nearly completely lost it there. But I am Zen.

    So I go in and it took me about half an hour to find the show. No one knew about it or where it was. Only by randomly noticing one of the information monitors on a wall did I see the message "Card show behind section 224." So I walk up the stairs again and find it. This was not a 100-table show. I checked Beckett later on to make sure I wasn't crazy, and the listing read, at that time, "50-$10" instead of "100-Free." So either I had completely misread or misremembered the info, or it had been changed. I doubt I'd not notice the $10 admission fee, but whatever. Here I was. And to say it was a 50-table show is maybe a little generous. There were probably 50 tables set up and covered with stuff, but there were about 10 dealers each covering 5 tables, all of whom are regulars in the central Texas show scene, and amongst whose wares I could find nothing I wanted to buy. Some people had nice stuff, but just nothing I wanted. A lot of the same overpriced vintage and ephemeral semi-new stuff I've passed over many times before. And one table with candles.

    So, after about 90 minutes of desperately digging for something to buy to justify my spending $31+gas for the right to buy something, I gave up. The game was starting, and I was curious and actually excited. I had seen glimpses of the field from my stadium crawl looking for the show, but here it was all laid out before me.

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    It was fun. The local military bases were the subject of the pre-game proceedings. A wounded vet was honored before the game. The ball for the first pitch was delivered by the Army Forced Rappel team, descending from the roof on ropes (looked so fun, I took video of that) and thrown by Lieutenant General Perry L. Wiggins (made it to the plate, pulled it "right" of course).

    After the National Anthem and all the pre-game stuff, I settled in to take some pictures and take a breath from the agitta of the morning. While studying the place, I was surprised they fit a major league field in there. I'd only been in the dome once or twice for other events, and didn't think it was big enough. It turns out it probably just barely was. I thought the rules for MLB stadiums were they had to be 330 feet down the foul lines and 400 to dead center. Looking at the outfield, I noticed the 330 marker in right was about halfway up. And looking at the RF line there was no way it was 330 feet. Maybe not even 300. When marking this picture up I tried to measure the line, marking a line from home to first and copying it. It was only a little more than 2.5 of these lengths, or about 225 feet. While there is the issue of perspective, I don't think that would add more than a handful of yards to the total. Anyway, I looked it up and the rules say that 320 feet is preferable for foul lines, 250 is the actual minimum. So this was probably just barely a regulation field. The left-field line was 330, FWIW. Anyway, it was just an exhibition, and I figured if people started aiming for right field there would be a lot of homers. I only stayed for the first 2.5 innings but there were 4 homers, at least 2 of which were probably flyouts in most places, and more followed as the Astros won eventually.

    George Springer played for the Astros. I'd like to say he looked good, but I didn't get much chance to see him because he hit a homer on the first pitch he saw, and then a solid single on about the fourth pitch of his second AB. His homer was to a bit right of center, well into the seats, and probably would've been out anywhere. Prince Fielder is still a big guy, but I saw him run really hard on a ground out, barely missing it. Love seeing big guys run hard. Leonys Martin, one of my prospects, hit a homer. And there was a woman walking around in the front row with a halter top and cleavage I could see from section 322 row 14. Whole sections turned their heads to follow her. Then barbecue on the way home.
    Looking for 2011 Topps Marquee Museum autographs, rare Frank Thomases, and any Grady Sizemores I don't have

  2. #2
    A_Pharis's Avatar
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    That's nuts about the card show, man. And I can understand "convenience" fees (as crappy as they are) but a SERVICE CHARGE for getting tickets at the boxoffice? WUT?!?!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hawk8's Avatar
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    That is horrible about the show, but at least you ended up having a good time
    Want to buy anything Andre Dawson - Twitter @The8Hawk8
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    Also collecting Drew Brees with my son

  4. #4
    Member KLARNOLD's Avatar
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    Baseball, cleavage and BBQ...sounds like you had a good day to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member vwnut13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smapdi View Post
    I thought the rules for MLB stadiums were they had to be 330 feet down the foul lines and 400 to dead center.
    Do you really believe that all MLB stadiums are 400+ to center, and 330+ down the lines?

    There is a rule that states that after 1958 all stadiums should be no less than 400ft to center and 325ft down the line, but that rule has been waived many times in construction of new stadiums.
    Last edited by vwnut13; 04-02-2014 at 10:55 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLARNOLD View Post
    Baseball, cleavage and BBQ...sounds like you had a good day to me.
    Was about to say the same thing
    Check out my Griffey Jr. bucket

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