I hadn't really thought about that Whitecaps/Chiefs game in a long time. I see the Sandberg ball all the time, and I remember the excitement of getting Ryno's signature. But details on the game were fuzzy, at best. So I did a little digging.
I knew that I had a program from the game around the house somewhere. I did a little digging and found...
I started flipping through the book and I came to the scorecard page. I don't think that I've kept score at any of the other minor league games I've been to, but for some reason I kept the book for this one.
I started looking over the Chief's lineup and then I had one of those "Oh My!" moments.
Look who was batting second and playing shortstop. It's my guy, Darwin Barney! I had absolutely no recollection that he was in the lineup that day. But there it was, written in my own handwriting.
He went 1-4 with a walk and two strikeouts. Not the greatest day, but not the worst either.
Barney was drafted by the Cubs in June, 2007 and spent some time with a rookie team in Mesa before being promoted to Peoria. He played a total of 44 games for Ryno and the Chiefs. At the time I saw him, he had been with the Peoria for only two weeks.
I took a couple pictures during the game, but Barney wasn't in any of them. I did find a couple online that showed him on the road against West Michigan.
I wonder if they were from the game I was at?
So how cool is that? Not only did I end up with the autograph of a Hall of Famer, but I also got to see the early, raw version of a player I ended up collection.