For those of you listening to The Ben & Skin Show on 103.3 FM ESPN Radio (and to those of you that weren't, shame on you) on Friday, you heard Tommy Hunter mention that Mitch Moreland was not on a recent hunting trip because he was honored as part of Mitch Moreland Day in Amory, Mississippi. That was Dec. 6, actually. And here are some reports about the event. From the Monroe Journal:
Mitch Moreland was supposed to sign autographs for 30 minutes. He signed an estimated 3,000 photos, baseballs, bats, hats and shirt sleeves for nearly two hours Monday night as Amory held Mitch Moreland Day to celebrate its favorite son and his rise to Major League Baseball fame.
An estimated 2,500 people were in Frisco Park to watch the event emceed by Mississippi State radio voice Jim Ellis that also featured former Mississippi State coach Ron Polk and Amory baseball coach Chad Williams honoring the Texas Rangers first baseman.
"It's been an unbelievable day, had a great group out here, a great showing," Moreland said. "I never would have thought I'd have anything like this for me. To have the support and the people out here to enjoy it with, it was great."
The World Series may have been Mitch Moreland's career highlight, but the big leaguer said coming home is still just as nice.
"It started at Amory High School and even earlier than that with Coach Bill Journey and my dad coaching me in little league," Moreland said.
Before the crowd even thought about showing up for the 2010 World Series, Mitch Moreland had a plan and it began years ago.
"It was always my goal you know. You hear about it, but you don't see it a whole lot around here," Moreland said. "I'm just happy I had the opportunity to see it come true."
Cooper Jones, a child who came out to see Moreland said, "When I was young we went to his baseball camp and I thought he was going to be in the pros one day."
It was apparently pretty cold out there, but plenty of fans showed up to meet Moreland. The Rangers hit below .200 as a team in the World Series, but not Moreland. He hit .462 and had the best at-bat of his career, belting a home run to help the Rangers win Game 3 of the series. Moreland's bat is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in a current World Series display.
And yes, Moreland rode in the town's Christmas parade.