Autographs from Nashville’s West Coast Road Trip

From May 21 through May 28th the Nashville Sounds went on a West Coast road trip that took them through Fresno and Sacramento. ¬†Being in Stockton I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the Oakland Athletics AAA club play. My family and I went to 2 games: Sunday, May 24th in Fresno and Tuesday, May 26th in Sacramento. Between the 2 games I took 60 cards of current players (at the time) on the Nashville Sounds roster. In total I was able to get 30 cards, 4 8×10 photos and 1 MLB Baseball autographed. This was a huge success!

Anthony Aliotti was one of the best signers he signed for me a total of 9 cards, 6 on May 24th and 3 on May 26th. Of these cards only 2 were duplicates.

Anthony Aliotti Autographed Cards - May 24 & 26, 2015 (1 of 3)

Anthony Aliotti Autographed Cards – May 24 & 26, 2015 (1 of 3)

Anthony Aliotti Autographed Cards - May 24 & 26, 2015 (2 of 3)

Anthony Aliotti Autographed Cards – May 24 & 26, 2015 (2 of 3)

Anthony Aliotti Autographed Cards - May 24 & 26, 2015 (3 of 3)

Anthony Aliotti Autographed Cards – May 24 & 26, 2015 (3 of 3)

Joe Wendle the Athletics #13 Top Prospect signed 3 cards for me (May 24th) including a 2014 Bowman Chrome Black Refractor.

Joe Wendle Autographed Cards - May 24, 2015

Joe Wendle Autographed Cards – May 24, 2015

Ryan Roberts, an MLB journeyman, signed 4 cards for me on May 26th.

Ryan Roberts Autographed Cards - May 26, 2015

Ryan Roberts Autographed Cards – May 26, 2015

The very tall Nate Freiman was on the disabled list during this road trip, but still traveled with the team. Nate signed 3 cards on May 26th. Kent Matthes, former Colorado Rockies farmhand, stopped to sign 1 card for me on May 24th.

Nate Freiman and Kent Matthes Autographed Cards - May 24 & 26, 2015

Nate Freiman and Kent Matthes Autographed Cards – May 24 & 26, 2015

Catcher, Bryan Anderson, signed a total of 6 cards for me. 3 of them on May 24th and 3 on May 26th.

Bryan Anderson Autographed Cards - May 24 & 26, 2015

Bryan Anderson Autographed Cards – May 24 & 26, 2015

Reliever Ryan Cook was nice enough to autograph 2 cards for me. Former Cleveland Indians pitcher and current Sounds pitching coach Don Schulze signed 2 cards as well.

Ryan Cook and Don Schulze Autographed Cards - May 24, 2015

Ryan Cook and Don Schulze Autographed Cards – May 24, 2015

In a previous post I talked about rehab autographs. May 24th I was able to get Ben Zobrist, who was on rehab or the Athletics to sign a MLB Baseball.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

All in all the 2 games I attended were a lot of fun. I did get to see switch pitcher Pat Venditte pitch against the Fresno Grizzlies, one of the better highlights for me. I did get Venditte to autograph 2 8×10 photos for me and 1 for a friend. I also got reliever Seth Frankoff’s auto on an 8×10. Both of these player’s autos were acquired on May 24th. I will post photos of these 8x10s at a later date.

Hopefully it will not be too long before Nashville comes back around.

Vote for your AAA All-Stars

Now through June 26, 2015 you can vote for your AAA All-Stars. Simply visit the official AAA All-Star Ballot. You can vote up to 25 times per email address. Voting is easy. All you have to do is click on the icon for the Nashville Sounds and all of their players on the ballot get highlighted. Just check those players and submit the ballot.

Vote as many times as you can! Let’s get as many players from the Nashville Sounds on the All-Star roster as we can!

The 2015 AAA All-Star game will take place on Wednesday, July 15th in Omaha, NE.

Rehab appearances and autographs

The relocation of the Oakland Athletics’s AAA club to Nashville has been a blessing for the Stockton Ports fans. As of June 5th there have been 7¬†players to make rehab appearances with the Stockton Ports.

The first came on opening night, Josh Reddick rehabbed with the Ports as they opened the season in San Bernadino against the Inland Empire 66ers. Jarrod Parker soon joined the Ports for a couple of rehab starts. This was during a road trip that took them through Visalia and Bakersfield to face the Rawhide and the Blaze. Unfortunately both Reddick’s and Parker’s rehab assignments were on the road.

Coco Crisp was the first home rehab assignment for the Stockton Ports. On May 3rd and 4th Crisp played for the Ports. On Sunday, May 3rd I was able to get a MLB ball and 2 cards signed by Crisp. On Monday, May 4th I was able to get one more card signed a 2015 Topps cards (not pictured).

Coco Crisp autographed ball and cards from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on May 3, 2015

Coco Crisp autographed ball and cards from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on May 3, 2015

On May 14th and 17th Oakland Athletics’s closer Sean Doolittle made his rehab appearances with the Ports. These were home games, May 14th was a Thursday day game so I couldn’t go due to work. On Sunday, May 17th, I got to see Doolittle pitch, but I was unable to get his autograph because he did not come out to the bullpen until the 3rd inning.

A couple of days later on a road trip to Visalia second baseman Ben Zobrist joined the Ports for a couple of rehab games. On May 23rd Zobrist joined the Nashville Sounds, who happened to be on a West Coast road trip, for a couple for rehab games. I went to the game in Fresno against the Grizzlies and was able to get Zobrist to sign a ball for me.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

Sunday, May 31st saw the 6th different Athletic to make a rehab appearance with the Ports. Pitcher Drew Pomeranz threw 2 scoreless innings that day. Most recently former Stockton Port and current Oakland Athletic starting pitcher A.J. Griffin made his first rehab appearance coming off of Tommy John Surgery. He threw 3 innings on June 2nd against the Lake Elsinore Storm and before the game Griffin was nice enough to sign a ball for me.

A.J. Griffin autographed baseball from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on June 2, 2015

A.J. Griffin autographed baseball from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on June 2, 2015

In addition to all of the prospects that Ports fans get to see on a regular basis, we have been treated to quite a few Oakland Athletics rehab assignments this season. I want to thank the Sacramento River Cats for not wanting to be an Athletics affiliate anymore. Without their desire to switch Ports fans may not get to see as many rehab assignments.

 

In Progress: First Tennessee Park – 01/15/2015

The new home for the Nashville Sounds, Oakland Athletics AAA Affiliate, is currently under construction. First Tennessee Park is scheduled to open on April 17, 2015. The new stadium marks a return of baseball to the area where Sulphur Dell Park once stood. Sulphur Dell hosted Negro League and Minor League games from the 19th Century up to the 1963.

Here is a current look at the First Tennessee Ballpark as of January 15, 2015 around 2:30 pm Pacific time.

First Tennessee Park - January 15, 2015

First Tennessee Park – January 15, 2015

Occasionally, we will post updates about the future home of the Nashville Sounds. For a live look at the webcam you can visit: http://www.firsttennesseepark.com/

Athletics Trade Brandon Moss for Joey Wendle

The Oakland Athletics have a track record for making a splash at the Winter Meetings and this year is no exception. The Athletics traded 2014 All-Star Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians for their No. 9 Prospect, second baseman, Joey Wendle. This move comes nearly 2 weeks after All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie and a couple of top pitching prospects.

Brandon Moss is a power bat who hit .231 with 25 home runs in 2014 for the Athletics. The 2014 season was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type season for Moss. Before the All-Star break Moss was batting .261 with 21 home runs in 89 games. After the break Moss retreated batting .173 with only 4 home runs in his final 58 games. Moss regained his confidence just in time for the Wild Card game, where he provided most of the Athletics offense in that game blasting 2 home runs and driving in 5 run. However it wasn’t enough for the playoff run to continue.

Joey Wendle will likely start the season with Triple A, Nashville Sounds and could easily make the 25-man roster by mid-season. Wendle hit .253 with 8 home runs in 87 games for the Arkon RubberDucks (AA) in 2014 before being sidelined with a broken bone in his wrist. In 2013 Wendle was named a Post Season All-Star with the Carolina Mudcats as well as a MiLB Organization All-Star for the Indians.

Joey Wendle appears to be the long term answer for the second base needs of the Oakland Athletics.

Goodbye Sacramento, Hello Nashville!

The Oakland Athletics have announced that they have reached an agreement on a 4-year Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast League. This is the first AAA affiliate change for the Oakland Athletics since minor league baseball moved back to Sacramento in 2000.

The Nashville Sounds will be moving into their new ballpark, First Tennessee Park in the 2015 season and the Athletics farm hands will be the first to experience the new facility.

This change has come as no surprise as it was reported back in May the the River Cats could seek a new affiliate at the end of the 2014 season. Here is a link to our original story: River Cats. The Athletics leave behind an amazing legacy in Sacramento, one that will be difficult to duplicate. 11 division titles, including a stretch from 2007-12, 4 League titles and 2 Class titles (2007, 2008).

Now the Athletics will begin a new era of AAA baseball in Nashville where they will create a new legacy.