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04/02/08 7:50 PM ET

Ensberg learns some New York laws

First-year Yankee cited for talking on phone while driving

NEW YORK -- Ballplayers sign plenty of items on a day-to-day basis -- baseballs, bats, cards; pretty much anything you'd find at a memorabilia show or in the trophy room of a devoted fan.

But a ticket book from the New York Police Department? That's one of the more unusual items requesting a signature, but apparently, it happens. Morgan Ensberg hasn't spent much time living in New York, but he received a brief primer on its motoring laws on Tuesday.

The first-year Yankee had a run-in with the Finest after the club's 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays. Heading for the FDR Drive, Ensberg crossed the Macombs Dam Bridge in a white Range Rover and was passing through Harlem when an officer spotted him talking on his cell phone, initiating a traffic stop.

"I was scared that I really did something wrong, but I was hoping he'd cut me some slack," Ensberg said. "I really didn't know that was a law. If I had, I probably would have just put it on speakerphone."

New York State law does not allow drivers to use handheld mobile telephones while driving except to call 911 or to contact medical, fire or police personnel about an emergency.

Ensberg, who resides in Houston, was chatting with his brother at about 10:45 p.m. ET when an array of red and blue lights popped up in his rear-view mirror.

The topic, the brother's classes at UCLA, didn't pass muster as a valid excuse, nor was the officer impressed by Ensberg's out-of-state plates, scribbling out a $50 citation -- but no points.

Even a mention of Ensberg's new employer didn't buy him any slack.

"I said I played for the Yankees, but I don't think he heard it," he said, laughing. "Maybe it would have been different if I was [Derek] Jeter. Tough league. Two days here and I already have a story."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.