Reds 2009 Winter Caravan Here in Indy and The Retirement of A Hat

The 2009 Reds Winter Caravan came to Indy today.  My team (my son Matt, Wendy, and all decided to go and see who showed up and to also get a good feeling of how much Reds pride there is in central Indiana. 

We got to the Castleton Square Mall about a half hour after it started, but the linesFarshotwintercaravan.jpg hadn’t start moving yet for autographs.  Jeff and George were still talking to the crowd looking to gather support for the 09 season.  I was happy to see that there was a good representation of Reds pride there.  Although the winter caravan reporter says there were 400 people at the mall to see the Reds.  I would like to think they were just being hopeful and not actually that bat at guesstimating as it was really was more like half that. 

We moved through the line fairly quickly while talking to others in line about how the off season was, kids, and the like.  While in line we worked on survey’s, chances to win trips to opening day, all the things you would expect from a marketing ploy to rally more money from the fans.

Once we got closer we enjoyed listening to the stars (Jeff, George, Chris Dickerson,  and Dusty Baker) having fun talking baseball with the kids and signing autographs.  They were very easy going and didn’t mind signing multiple things or strange items as I watched someone pull out a full sized home plate to sign or a nascar hat.  They were happy to pose for pictures, and honestly were just taking their time with it.  The negative side of me was really thinking they would be pushing you along through the line, but really it didn’t happen that way.  It honestly seemed like they didn’t mind being there and were actually okay with hanging out with the fans for a while.  It was kinda refreshing.
Thumbnail image for Jeffbrantley.JPGThumbnail image for ChrisDickerson.JPG

In the above shot in case you were wondering my son just explained to Dusty that he could play left field for them for $5 a game.  The only thing Dusty would have to figure out is how to fit his full name on the roster (my son has 4 names, 1 first,2 middle, and 1 last)  At that point the deal was off.  My son was heart broken, but he’ll try again in 13 or so years.

I only have one sad thing to report…and it’s my fault.  I’m new to being a fan again so I am really lost about this whole autograph idea.  Do you have them sign just a piece of paper, your hat, your jersey, a baseball? ..I’m kinda lost.

If you have them sign a piece of paper, it seems impersonal and well boring.

If you have them sign your jersey then you can’t wash it ever again, and do you really ever wear it again once it’s been autographed?  Don’t you take the chance of it fading off?

If you choose a baseball it’s mobile and easy to carry around, you don’t have to worry about it washing off and it maybe the all around best choice, but I didn’t have $16 dollars to blow on one today so that was out.

So that left me with my 08 Reds hat (from previous blogs you’ll know I get a new hat every year as a part of a tradition to hopefully get the Reds out of this decade long slump) A hat is good, but where do you have them sign it?  I was thinking on the inside so I can still wear the hat till I get my new 09 hat (which I don’t get till I visit Cincy on opening day, and is a long time away), but I didn’t flip it over for him and I’m not one to speak up at these kind of things as I’m just appreciative that they’ve actually taken the time out to come see us so Chris Dickerson and Dusty signed the top bill of my hat.  So comes the question, can I still wear the hat till baseball season starts? My opinion is so far that I don’t think so.  I don’t see other people wearing hats that have been autographed.  That’s kinda the last hurrah for the hat.  The hat’s in good shape so I don’t need to wash it which is a good thing.  So I can work on figuring out how to preserve the hat and get ready to retire the 08 jersey as well.  It just makes me a little sad.  I wasn’t really ready to give up 08’s hat yet.  I’ve got months before the season starts and no clean hat to wear and it was also my thought that as the years go on the previous years hat would be my hat to wear around town while that years hat would be worn only on game days.  This whole thing is changing my idea for this tradition!

Thumbnail image for autographedhat.jpgNow after thinking about all of this, maybe I should get a grip on reality, have a beer and realize that traditions, especially 2 year old ones can change.  Who knows maybe there is a better one out there.  What do you think?



    • rosehof14

      Hmm…an off season hat…I don’t know. You see I already drop over $200 right off the bat at the beginning of each year for a hat and jersey, moving that to $240 is a hard sell for me. But it’s a good suggestion.

      Thanks for commenting!

  1. Elizabeth D

    Sadly, I’ve only gotten one autograph, but I’m working my way up. I brought a foul ball that I cherish with a sharpie and had Jed Lowrie sign it. I had to run into the middle of the street for it, but it was well worth it. Anyway, I’d like to get my hat signed. I think the reason people don’t have it signed is because someone could just take it off your head in run. Not sure though..

    • rosehof14

      I really need to learn the art of baseball collecting, I’m never in the right place to get foul balls or home runs. I’m guessing I need to make it out early enough to catch batting practice and snag one that way. Baseballs really do seem to be the right way to get an autograph in my opinion.

      Thanks for commenting Elizabeth and keep up the good work on reporting on the Sox. I think you’ll like the topic of my blog for tomorrow, it’s Sox related.

  2. Jane Heller

    Cob, I’m glad you went to the Caravan, and the anecdote about your son and Dusty Baker is adorable. I bet he’ll remember that conversation forever. As for the autograph, you raise an interesting question. What DO you have signed? A ball would make sense, but it’s expensive. A jersey? Nah. A piece of paper? Too flimsy. I like the hat the best, and if it has to be retired, so be it. Btw, do you live right in Indy? I was there a few years ago to speak at a Book and Author luncheon. It was right downtown in this enormous ballroom with a ceiling that had stars painted on the ceiling to make it seem like the outdoors. Very cool place.

    • rosehof14

      I agree with you completely, but when it comes to the hat I think it’s tacky to walk around wearing a hat with signatures on it, which is why I put it away at that point. I hope your right with Dusty remembering the moment, we take my boy to a lot of home games and who knows maybe he’ll remember him and toss him a foul ball or something. As far as Indy is concerned, yes I live in Indy. The place you were at was the Indiana Roof Ball Room. It originally and still does from time to time be an auditorium for bands and plays to be put on. My personal memory is that it was the place where my high school prom was located.

    • rosehof14

      Well next time you have Reds stuff you want to give away, keep my name on the list. More than likely I’ll even pay the shipping.

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. Kaybee

    That is so cool that you got to go to the caravan! I’m hoping to be able to go to one of those because I don’t think I will be able to make it to the Padres’ fan fest. Last year I started collected autographs with this sheet of Padres stationary. I think I have four on it right now. I would never want a piece of clothing signed, but I think paper is cool!

    • rosehof14

      Paper would be ok if it was a program, baseball card, score card, ect. I’m just afraid of losing it, it getting wet, do you fold it up? See too many questions.

      Thanks for commenting!

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