He signed this 2000 Topps Tek card for me. It's pattern 38-5 in case you're curious.
He didn't play much if at all during the Fall League that year and he was sent home after about 2 weeks. I saw him two or three times before he left and each time he always took time before the game to sign autographs for everyone. I even saw someone hand him about a dozen baseball cards. He signed them all and then asked the guy if he had anymore. That was enough to make me a fan.
Over the next few years I followed his struggles. Doing the occasional Google search to see if anything new was going on. There was nothing bad news until the Cubs picked him up in the Rule 5 draft. I remember my Dad and I watched on TV as he made his MLB debut with the Reds. It was Opening Day 2007. According to Wikipedia, he was given a 22 second standing ovation. During that quarter of a minute I got chills and was very proud of a guy I didn't even know but felt some type of connection with.
Yesterday, Josh reportedly signed a HUGE contract with the Los Angeles Angels. Once again, I'm happy for him and wish him the best of luck with the Halos.