Here’s the Chris Davis report.
Davis signed autographs for an hour at the AT&T store on Dobbin Road in Columbia, about 20 miles south of Baltimore, at noon today. There were motorcycle police guarding the parking lot entrance of the AT&T store, and overflow parking lined the surrounding road. A lot of people parked across the street at the Wal-Mart.
I talked to a Baltimore Orioles employee who said people had camped out overnight to be one of the first 200 in line, that being the number of tickets the AT&T store was handing out. A guy in line said he’d been there since 7 a.m. The store is in a strip mall. The line began at the entrance to the rear parking lot, came up the access road to the front of the building, and snaked back down and completely around the Fuddrucker’s next door.
A security guard said the total crowd was about 1,400. Toward the end of the hour in which Davis signed autographs, what was left of the crowd migrated, skipped, and ran around toward the back of the building, because Davis had entered through the rear and would come back out that way. This created a crowd of about 100 people with camera phones trained on the back door, but when Davis came out, it only took him about 15 seconds to get from the door directly to his limo and get in. He didn’t wave or stop, and his cap, which had been turned around while he was inside the store, was turned back the right way, covering his face. A lot of people, including me, didn’t even get a pic.
A girl who came out of the store was crying real tears after getting an autograph on the back of her shirt. She said he had been nice to her and thanked her when she said he was her hero. Apparently he only said a little bit to each person. The line moved surprisingly briskly.
My most fervent hope in all that time was that Davis wouldn’t get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from those 200 signatures, give or take.