Saturday, November 15, 2014

Andre Reed: 11/15/14

2014 Football Hall of Fame inductee Andre Reed was scheduled to sign autographs at Dr. Alex Corbin Liu's optometry office this Saturday. If you've read any of my blog posts over the past couple of weeks, you've probably seen me mention this signing at least once or twice. Well Saturday was the big day and after my photographs nearly came late (despite paying for overnight shipping FOUR DAYS AGO) I finally had the chance to meet Reed for the first time since being inducted in to the Hall of Fame. I was able to get a pair of Photofile 11x14's signed, both with "7x Pro Bowler" and "HOF 14".

Andre Reed autographed 11x14 #1
Andre Reed autographed 11x14 #2
The signing was going great until Reed dropped my Sharpie on the first photograph, which subsequently left a big mark right below his foot. Had it not been for some friends in the graphing community, the photo would have basically been ruined, but luckily someone suggested tracing over the marking with an Expo erase marker. It ended up working like a charm, but the true moral of the story came before I erased the mark. Dr. Liu saw the photo and after I explained to him what had happened, he immediately gave me a free 8x10 and autograph ticket. In a world where most promoters are greedy it's nice to see someone like Dr. Liu who cares about his customers, which is why I advertise his signings in the first place. A big thanks to Dr. Liu for putting on the event and handling the situation like a professional, also a thanks to Andre Reed, who was as cool the second time I met him as he was the first. Thanks for reading!

Photo creds go to my bud Spencer for this one

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Jim Abbott: 11/8/14 Continued...

After getting Don Sutton's autograph in Whittier, I quickly made my way over to Irvine for another autograph signing. Former Angel and one-armed pitcher Jim Abbott was signing autographs at the grand opening of a new Sports Authority at the Irvine Spectrum. The event was kept under the radar until the very last minute, and most graphers that I talked to after the event had no idea that it was going on. That, of course, was ideal for me as I was in and out with five autographs in under 20 minutes.

Jim Abbott autographed Yankee Stadium ball
Jim Abbott autographed ROMLB

Jim Abbott autographed cards
The fifth and final autograph was a photo provided at the event that I got for my brother-in-law, so I did not take a picture of that. Overall it was one of the easier events that I had been to and a great chance to meet one of the most inspiring players in MLB history. On a side note, Abbott is a big Detroit Lions fan and talked some smack to me after noticing my 49ers iPhone case. I just wish that I could talk to him today after the Niners overtime win against the Saints.

A final reminder to all Southern California graphers that 2014 HOF inductee Andre Reed will be at Dr. Alex Corbin Liu's office next weekend. Tickets are just $30 for flats and mini's and $40 for premiums. If anyone from outside of California wants any photos signed then contact Dr. Liu, he usually has a few left over after every signing. 

As always, thanks for reading!

Don Sutton: 11/8/14

This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet Hall of Fame pitcher and 300 game winner Don Sutton. Sutton was scheduled to do a paid signing at Harry's Dugout in Whittier, his first Southern California autograph appearance since 2001. While many of my friends have had success getting Sutton during his west coast trips with the Braves, I knew that this would be my best chance to get his autograph since I try to limit trips to Dodger Stadium and Petco Park as much as possible.

My original plan was to have Sutton sign a Dodger Stadium 50th Anniversary baseball, however I was not able to find one in time for the event, so I switched up my plans and went to a HOF ball instead. I also decided to pay for two inscription instead of one, and had him sign it on the sweet spot with "324 Wins" and "HOF 98".

Don Sutton autographed HOF baseball
I'm more than happy with the way the ball came out and my decision to pay for Sutton's autograph. The event was well run and Sutton was one of the nicer guys I've met in quite a while. Also it'll save me the stress of trying to get him the next time I graph the Braves (whenever that may be). A big thanks to Harry's Dugout for putting on a great event and bringing a much needed baseball HOF'er to SoCal.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Don Newcombe: 11/1/14

On Saturday, November 1st, I had the honor of meeting former Brooklyn Dodger Don Newcombe. "Newk" played with Brooklyn from 1949 to 1958, and even won a World Series title in 1955 along side one of his friends, Jackie Robinson. He compiled 122 wins in 11 MLB seasons and was the only pitcher in baseball history to win the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player awards until Justin Verlander did so. I decided to pay for Newcombe's autograph after realizing that he was already 88 years old. I had passed on getting him a few times in past, but didn't want to make the same mistake that some people made with Tony Gwynn amongst other former players. With that being said, I decided to get Newcombe on a ROMLB with "1st Cy Young 1956".

Don Newcombe autographed baseball
I find it funny that even at 88 years old, Newcombe can still sign his name better than 95% of current athletes. Obviously he wasn't in the greatest condition, but he still talked to everyone that he signed for and even gave me a fist bump at the end which I thought was neat. I'll have another baseball post likely by next weekend, but until then, thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Anaheim Ducks Autographs: 10/25/14

Over the past couple of weeks I've had a few chances to graph the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks have been my favorite hockey team for several years, and luckily they are fairly accessible if you know what you're doing. Two of the better autographs to get on the team are Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, both of whom signed for me this past weekend.

Getzlaf and Perry autographs
I was also able to get Getzlaf on a Team Canada puck with "2 Time Gold" at a paid signing he did in Anaheim. Being half Canadian, I always enjoy getting autographs of Canadian athletes, including Getzy, who has been a part of the last two gold medal teams.

Ryan Getzlaf autographed puck
Finally I was able to get one of the newest Ducks, Ryan Kesler, to autograph one of the Ducks new road jerseys for 2014-15. Kesler is one of my favorite players on the team, and is also thought to be the one piece that the Ducks have been missing the past two seasons. The jersey came out beautiful and I also got it PSA authenticated at the signing.

Ryan Kesler autographed jersey
A closer look at the autograph
2014-15 will hopefully be a great year for the Ducks, who already own the league's best record at 7-1-0. It would be nice to see another Southern California team (not named the Kings) bring home a Stanley Cup this season. I am hoping to have some baseball and football posts up over the next few weeks, so if you are already bored with hockey, those will be for you. On a side note, Dr. Alex Corbin Liu will be hosting another autograph signing, this time with 2014 Football HOF inductee Andre Reed. The prices are more than fair for a HOF'er who charged almost double at a Steiner signing a couple of months ago. All of the info is on the flyer below:

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Minnesota Wild Autographs: 10/16/14

It has only been two weeks since the Angels season ended at the mercy of the Kansas City Royals, but it's felt like an eternity since the last time I've been to Angel Stadium of Anaheim. However with the bad comes some good. The offseason will give myself and fellow graphers a five to six month rest without the typical hassles, and it will also allow me to focus on other things, including hockey. I actually enjoy watching the sport of hockey more than I do baseball, and I certainly enjoy graphing more, but there is always that feeling of excitement hanging out at a Major League ballpark. Needless to say, I'm already looking forward to Spring Training 2015.

Not surprisingly, my first autographs since game two of the ALDS came from some hockey players, but not just any hockey players. The Minnesota Wild happened to be in town for a few days in advance of their game against the Anaheim Ducks, and in a rare occurrence, all of the pieces happened to fall in place. Visiting hockey teams are practically impossible to graph in Anaheim (so please don't email me asking how to do so after this post), but I was able to come away with my three main targets, including one of my favorite players, Zach Parise.

Ryan Suter, Thomas Vanek, and Parise autographs
Zach Parise and I
Considering hockey graphing can be nearly impossible in Southern California, I was more than glad to come away with two of the best U.S. born players in the game, as well as 40 goal scorer to make things even better. I'll have a few more hockey autographs to post over the next week or so, followed by some football and a couple of baseball posts in November. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Final Baseball Autos Of 2014

2014 was a very exciting and ultimately disappointing season for Angel fans. The Angels were able to finish with Major League Baseball's best record but ended up falling short in the postseason against the Kansas City Royals. I was fortunate enough to attend both games 1 and 2 of the series in Anaheim, and while the Angels lost both games in extra innings, I am glad to say that I was a part of Angels history.

Angel Stadium before ALDS game 1
After the Angels won the American League West title in mid-September, I made a vow not to obsess over autographs once the playoffs rolled around. This would be my first time at a MLB playoff game, and I wanted to take in the full experience without the stress of getting autographs. Luckily I was able to keep my vow and still manage to come away with some nice autos from both games. The first came from Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who happened to be at the game with his agent Scott Boras. That's the beauty behind playoff baseball, you never know who is going to show up.

Nolan Arenado autographed baseball
Apparently Arenado is becoming a tough autograph to get in Colorado, so I'm glad to get another signed ROMLB from him before he becomes too difficult. Unfortunately, I got some misinformation and ended up missing out on Cal Ripken Jr. while I was in the process of getting Arenado. A few years ago missing out on Ripken would've ruined my night, but luckily I've come to the realization that you can't have them all.

The other autograph I was able to get that night came from another semi-promising third baseman, Mike Moustakas. Moustakas hit the game winning home run in the 11th inning of game one, and since I had a hard copy of the ticket I decided to get him to sign it. Mike was in a great mood after the HR and even inscribed it "Game Winning Homerun".

Mike Moustakas autographed ALDS ticket
The third and final autograph I was able to get came from yet another promising third baseman, Cubs prospect Kris Bryant. Bryant was the #2 overall pick by the Cubs last year and has torn it up in the minors, so obviously all of the graphers were excited when he tweeted a photo saying he was at game 2 of the series. After waiting around for a while I was able to score Bryant on a ROMLB.

Kris Bryant autographed baseball
This was actually my third ball signed by Bryant, as I was able to get two back in February at the USD Alumni Game. If you click on the link to the left you can see the difference in Bryant's signature not even a year later. That's why a lot of graphers always use the saying "get them while they're young".

My final autograph of the 2014 season came a couple of days after the Angels were eliminated by the Royals. I decided to go down to the stadium at a last ditch effort to add a couple of last guys to my 2014 Angels team ball. Luckily I didn't go home empty handed as Huston Street came over and signed a couple of cards on his way out.

Huston Street autographed cards
I also got Street to sign my team baseball which now only needs three signatures to be complete. I'll likely have to wait until next season to finish it, but once I do I'll make sure to make a separate post showing it off a bit. I want to sincerely thank everyone who read my posts throughout the 2014 season, as well as all of the great people who I had the opportunity to graph with. I want to give a special thanks to Ryan, Kyle, Alex G, Rob G, Lori, David P, Mike, Benson, Matt Crocker, Eddie, Phil, and the legendary Scott Chavers for another great season at the stadium. I'll make sure to keep everyone updated with some hockey and football posts throughout the offseason, but until then, thank you again for reading!