Monday, January 28, 2013
Eddie Guardado Charity Bowling at Bowlmor Lanes
After some back-and-forth deliberation, I decided to spend my Sunday at the 2nd annual Eddie Guardado Charity Bowling Event held at Bowlmor Lanes in Tustin. According to my friend David, last year's event was very kicked back and there were only about ten graphers, but this year's event was much different.
After a long Saturday I finally woke up around 12:30. I quickly got all of my stuff ready, made a couple of quick stops, and headed out to Tustin. I got to the alley around 3:30 and met up with my friends David Anderson, David, Benson, Scotty, Alex, Spencer, Moe, Matt, Rob and Alex Cala. I thought the Trinity Home Run Challenge was a reunion, but man, this event brought out all of the graphers from the dealers to the dimers. The amount of graphers did make it difficult to graph, but it was nice seeing everybody from Angel Stadium again. The first person to sign was the man himself, Eddie Guardado. Guardado was very nice and signed for all of the people who wanted his autograph. He was kind enough to sign a pair of cards for me.
The next guys to come in were Scott Feldman and Derek Holland. Holland only signed for about eight people and unfortunately I was not one of those eight, but I was able to get Feldman. He was kind of in a hurry and was only doing one per, but I considered myself lucky to get him as he walked in almost immediately after signing for me.
LaTroy Hawkins and Adrian Beltre then rolled up almost simultaneously. Everybody swarmed Beltre, making it impossible to get to him, but only a few guys went after LaTroy, so I decided to get him instead. Beltre ended up signing for about twenty or more people, but there were probably fifty people surrounding him, and I wasn't even able to get close.
Angels' ace Jered Weaver then came in, however he took a back entrance and we were unable to get back there in time. Weaver remains one of the toughest guys to get in Southern California. I have only been fortunate enough to get him twice, once at Spring Training and once earlier this year at a signing that was held at a casino. I then came back to where my mom was sitting and noticed that Shawn Green was signing for a few people around the corner. Most of the graphers were back by the valet area, so there were only about ten people around him. Luckily he signed for all ten and I was able to get my 2003 Donruss card signed.
UFC wrestler Mark Munoz then came in with his son and daughter. I'm typically not a big collector when it comes to UFC or WWE type of guys, but Munoz is one wrestler that I'm familiar with, and was able to pick up a few of his cards the other day. He was very nice and signed all three of my cards.
The next person to come up was former utility man Denny Hocking. Two other graphers and myself thought we saw Hocking go in the VIP entrance earlier, so all three of us were happy to see him come up and sign. Hocking was very personable and was doing everything that you had. One of the graphers, Greg, was able to get his full page of eight cards done. Me, well, I only had two, but Denny was more than happy to sign them both for me.
By the time everything slowed down, it was 5:45 and the event was well underway. All the graphers were under the impression that everyone had already come in, but then Michael Young, Vernon Wells and Jamie Moyer all came in at the same time. I initially went after Young. For some reason I have never been able to get the former batting champion, it's not that he doesn't sign, in fact he is a very good signer, but I have either missed Young or have been turned down by him every time I have encountered him. Unfortunately it seemed as if today wasn't my day either. Young signed away, but said he had to get into the event after a while and left right as I got in front of him. I then sprinted over to try and get Wells, but like Young, he had just gone inside. By that time Moyer had already walked in and I had missed out on all three of the guys that I wanted.
I was a little depressed, my day hadn't been great to that point, and I was turned down by some of the three biggest names at the event. It seemed as if my Sunday was turning into a bit of a waist, similar to my Saturday. I was ready to go home and watch the Clippers game. I went back over near the VIP entrance to say goodbye to some of my friends, and what do you know, Michael Young and Vernon Wells were checking in. I pulled out a baseball and immediately got Wells, who had the lesser crowd around him. I was able to get him on an official baseball across the sweetspot.
I then took about five steps to the right an found myself right in front of Michael Young. He also signed an official baseball across the sweetspot for me.
I thought about asking my mom to get my bat signed by Young, but realized that it would probably be too late and that I could save it for Spring Training. None the less I was overly excited to get Young, especially since he is with Philadelphia now, a team that never comes to Angel Stadium. I was also excited to finally get Wells again. He is in the midst of trade talks and I am happy to get him on a baseball just in case he does eventually get traded. My day had turned from okay to great.
As I was putting my two baseball's away, Jamie Moyer walked right in front of me. I tried getting a baseball out, but by the time I did he had already entered the alley. I wasn't too disappointed though. I then made it home just in time to watch the Clippers end their four game skip and beat the Portland Trail Blazers in convincing fashion. I would like to thank Eddie Guardado as well as Bowlmor Lanes in Tustin for putting on the event as well as all of the athletes for signing. Unfortunately there were a ton of no-shows including Torii Hunter, who I really wanted on one of my bats. While I did do good this year, I probably won't be going back for next year's event, especially if there is something else going on. The event was decent for autographs, but there were just too many graphers and I expect there to be even more of a crowd next year, if possible. A shout out to all of my friends who I saw at the event and can't wait for the season to kick back up so I can see all you guys more often. Thanks for reading!