Autographed pieces of memorabilia are nice to have, but tough to get. But when you can watch a professional athlete, in-person, sign your most prized possessions, then that is something special.
"Meeting all of these people here -- you have some avid sports knowledge in this room, that's for sure," former WVU baseball player and current minor leaguer Grant Buckner said. "There's a lot of cards, but it's fun. Especially talking with Jedd (Gyorko) and David (Carpenter) all about baseball."
Jedd Gyorko, Grant Buckner and David Carpenter all returned home to Morgantown on Sunday to meet fans and sign autographs at a card show held at the Ramada Inn. Gyorko spent this season with the San Diego Padres AAA affiliate in Tucson, Arizona. Buckner played down in Charlotte for the A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and David Carpenter was actually just traded from the Houston Astros to the Toronto Blue Jays where he will pitch next season.
Gyorko has been flirting with the possibility of cracking the Padres lineup next season. He's hopeful for the call-up in the near future.
"They say there's a good chance," Gyorko responded. "I just got to keep working in the off season. I got to go back into spring training and try to prove myself. Hopefully I can do well and make a good name for myself out there and see what happens. They keep saying I'm right where I need to be and that's always good to hear."
Sunday's autograph signing was much more than that. It was also a homecoming of sorts for these West Virginia natives. After being on the road almost all season, they say it's an honor to return to the mountain state.
"I wouldn't want to do it for anybody else," current Toronto Blue Jays pitcher David Carpenter said. "These have been the people that I've been around since little league. So to be able to come back and help out with stuff like this, it's an honor for me to be able to do that for them. So I'm just thankful for that opportunity."