Ike-Davis

I spent a lot of time at the Union Square branch of Citibank this weekend so I could see Ike Davis, Ron Darling and John Franco and get their autographs. (I also managed to finish some holiday shopping and do some sightseeing while I was in Manahattan.)

On Saturday, I arrived at the bank branch at about 11:30 a.m. I figured that should be early enough, since Ike Davis wasn’t due until 1 p.m.  It was just early enough to get in the door and wait in the foyer… I underestimated how much of a draw Ike would be.

At 1 p.m., Mr. Met arrived to greet fans. Davis didn’t sit down at the table to start signing autographs until about 20 minutes later. If you were near the front of the line, you probably had a good experience. Davis took time to chat and pose for photos. He commented that the card I asked him to sign is his favorite of his various rookie cards.

Ike-Davis-card

But by the time I got through the line, it was already 2 p.m. Davis was only scheduled to stay until 2:30 p.m., and I couldn’t even see the end of the line that wrapped all the way around the outside of the bank and stretched off down the block. I’m afraid that there were a lot of unhappy campers when it was time for Ike to leave.

I understand that the bank employees are not autograph show promoters, but somebody should have cut off the line… there was no reason to let people wait around in the cold when there was no shot they’d get an autograph.

Sunday, the crowd for John Franco and Ron Darling was a lot smaller. I got on line for Franco at around 10:30 a.m., but I could have come at noon when he started signing and I would have been fine. He signed my card and I was done before 12:30 p.m.

john-Franco-card

That was great, except I still had to hang around until 2 p.m. for Ron Darling. So I went back through Franco’s line and got the photo that they were giving away signed too. For the last 20 minutes or so that he was there, Franco appeared to be just sitting around talking with the bank employees.

John-Franco-photo

By that point, I was back outside waiting for Darling to arrive. He was actually five minutes early, so since I was near the front of his line I got my card signed right about when he was due to arrive.

Ron-Darling-card

I could have called it quits, but I thought I’d try to get a photo to go with the one that Franco signed. So it was back outside on line again. Darling was very pleasant and shook hands. I wished him a merry Christmas and called it a day.

Ron-Darling-Photo

I made it home in time to catch the Giants collapse to the Eagles, but rather than think about it let me leave you with an image of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

Rockefeller-tree

The autograph appearances at Citibank may not have gone without a hitch, but I know that they made some Mets fans happy this December. Thanks to everyone who made it possible.

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About Paul Hadsall

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper and current contributor to Hot Stove Baseball. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

11 responses

  1. Slangon says:

    Nice signings. I wish I knew about this. I might’ve dragged my ass into the city.

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  2. Jeff says:

    I went Saturday and confused the times. I arrived shortly after 10AM for a 1pm start, not 12 noon, which turned out to be a good mistake. There was actually two young men who arrived earlier. We sat in the bank as people starting trickling in. A few people starting hovering around the table and we wondered when the bank was going to start forming a line. So shorty after 11AM, I took it upon myself to form a line behind the loiterers who refused to give way to the two who arrived early. Ike started at about 1:15PM and the three loiterers swelled to nine as they let family members join them. Those were the ones that got multiple items signed, took pictures (from behind the table) and told Ike their life stories. I felt sorry for those waiting in line outside in the cold. Ike was very personable even made a point of switching to a silver sharpie to sign his 2008 Brooklyn Cyclones card, for me, which has a dark background. He had no handlers at the table, just a couple of suits at each end of the table who were trying to nicely to get the message to Ike (and the signee) that it was “one per person”. The bank employees were oblivious of the logistics of a free autograph signing (Hey, they’re bankers. What do you expect?). From my understanding, Ike was ~$70 at his last paid signing. This was worth it.

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    • Paul says:

      I thought it was a good deal, if you were lucky enough to get an autograph. I spent $45-$50 this summer for a signed photo from Ike’s MLB debut.

      Ike was great, and the bankers’ inexperience was understandable… I just wonder why no one thought to cut off the line.

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  3. ig4mer says:

    Sweet autos! I was thinking about going to the Ike Davis signing but I figure it would be too crowded. The last time I waited out in the cold for a signing I had chapped lips and a nasty cold for the rest of the week. New York City winters can be brutal.

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  4. Stephen says:

    I went of Sunday to see Johnny Franco, I already had Ike Davis and Ron Darling. Franco was a very nice guy. Great to talk to. He still wants to be in the game some how. I asked him if he ever would be interested in a spot like a pitching coach for the Mets. He said ” well they know my number”. I actually think he would make a good pitching coach.

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  5. NJBaseball says:

    I considered going to get Ike’s autograph — I would’ve brought the same card that you did, Paul — but with a lot to do Saturday before working that night, I just didn’t want to devote the hours to it. I figure there will be quite a few opportunities to get Ike’s autograph in the future.

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    • Paul says:

      I was lucky enough to fit this in between last minute Christmas shopping & other stuff. I can only imagine how big the crowd would have been if it hadn’t been the last weekend before Christmas.

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  6. Nick says:

    I was thinking about going but I just wasn’t going to bear the cold for Ike Davis, as I had a bunch of other stuff going on Saturday. Glad to hear the bank staff wasn’t overbearing with the autograph seekers. They were terrible earlier this year when Keith Hernandez was making the rounds. Both Darling and Franco gave you excellent looking signatures. Congrats.

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    • Paul says:

      I heard about a Keith Hernandez signing at a different bank that happened earlier in the year while I was waiting in line on Sunday. (Surprise, surprise) he wasn’t very friendly and they only wanted to let people get a coaster signed. I’m glad I didn’t bother with that one.

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