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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.