I took some time off from work today, and headed into the city to go to one of the final stops of the New York Mets 2006 Winter Caravan. The Mets' new catcher, Paul LoDuca, was scheduled to sign autographs at the Manhattan Mets Clubhouse shop.
I wasn't sure how many people were going to show up for the event, so I got there early. I was at the store by 10 a.m. for an event that wasn't scheduled to begin until 12:30 p.m. In fact, the barricades that the store planned to use to maintain control of the line hadn't even been dropped off yet. But I wasn't the only one there that early. A number of others were also waiting for LoDuca. The store management was nice enough to let us wait inside until the barricades were delivered, but when they arrived at 10:30 a.m., it was time to line up outside.
So, for the next three hours, I waited on line. I read a book for a while, but it was difficult to concentrate when I was being interrupted every few minutes by someone asking what the line was for (so much for the idea that New Yorkers mind their own business). Mr. Met and a photographer from the Mets website arrived around noon, and somebody started passing out Mets.com magnets to those of us on line and passers-by. Unfortunately, LoDuca was held up in Manhattan traffic.
By 1 p.m., LoDuca arrived and started signing. He seemed friendly, but to tell the truth, I was in and out so quickly I never really had the opportunity to say anything.
He did sign a nice autograph, though.
On my way out, I saw that the line to see him stretched nearly to the end of the block.